Skip to comments.Texan Involved in CBS Report Tried to Help Kerry Campaign
Posted on 09/17/2004 8:58:58 PM PDT by The BanditEdited on 09/17/2004 9:05:20 PM PDT by Admin Moderator. [history]
BAIRD, Tex., Sept. 17 - Bill Burkett, the former Texas National Guard officer who has been caught up in the mystery of how CBS News acquired memos that seem to question President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard service, unsuccessfully offered information and advice to help the Kerry campaign attack Mr. Bush, according to a posting Mr. Burkett wrote in an e-mail newsletter.
"I spent some time on the phone with the Kerry campaign seniors yesterday," Mr. Burkett wrote on Aug. 21 in an e-mail letter circulated to a list of about 600 Texas Democrats.
He complained that he had to "get through seven layers of bureaucratic kids trying to get a job after the election."
"I talked with Max Cleland," Mr. Burkett continued, referring to the former senator from Georgia who has been supporting Senator John Kerry's Democratic presidential bid.
Alluding to advertisements by a veterans group that deprecates Mr. Kerry's Vietnam service, Mr. Burkett continued, "I asked if they wanted to counterattack or ride this to ground and outlast it, not spending any money. He said counterattack."
"So I gave them the information to do it with," Mr. Burkett wrote. "But none of them have called me back."
Mr. Burkett did not say what information he offered. Earlier this year, he gained attention for saying that in 1998 he saw aides to Gov. George W. Bush of Texas and Guard officials dispose of pieces of Mr. Bush's National Guard record that could prove politically embarrassing. Mr. Bush's aides have denied his account.
"I volunteered to come back out with more," Mr. Burkett wrote.
Mr. Burkett, who was at home on his ranch in Baird, near Abilene, on Friday, declined to comment.
Mr. Cleland said in a telephone interview that Mr. Burkett called him "a couple of weeks ago," as he was out campaigning for Mr. Kerry.
"I couldn't swear to it whether he used the term documents or information," Mr. Cleland said. "It was some kind of stuff, some kind of information he wanted to get to the campaign, or something, regarding Bush's National Guard service. I referred him up to somebody in the campaign."
Mr. Cleland said he received up to 100 calls a week from people with tips and ideas. "He sounded like he had something," Mr. Cleland said. "But of course, in this business, you go around, every friend, everyone around the corner, has some something or other."
Campaign officials said Mr. Cleland had referred Mr. Burkett to someone at the campaign who passed his message on to the research department, where the message was set aside amid the deluge of other calls.
Mr. Burkett has returned to national attention since CBS News and "60 Minutes" reported last week on four memos reportedly from the personal files of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, Mr. Bush's squadron commander, who died 20 years ago. The memos said that Colonel Killian was under pressure to "sugar coat" the record of the young Lieutenant Bush and that the officer had disobeyed a direct order to take a physical.
Forensic experts, a secretary who said she typed Lieutenant Killian's memos and members of his family have said that they doubt the authenticity of the documents. CBS News has said it is evaluating their legitimacy and has declined to identify its sources. But one person at CBS confirmed an account in Newsweek that Mr. Burkett had helped with the reports. The official was unable to say what role he played.
Mr. Burkett is an avid Democrat and a frequent contributor to the Texas Democratic e-mail list. His name also shows up occasionally as a contributor of criticism of the Bush administration on a Web site, onlinejournal.com. Asked about his contributions to that site, Mr. Burkett on Friday declined to comment. His wife, Nicki, later confirmed that the articles were indeed his.
His many online musings provide a glimpse of his thinking, including his intense desire to remove Mr. Bush from office. They include some inconclusive references to the possibility of more documents appearing about Mr. Bush's Guard service. Aside from the CBS report, the Pentagon on Friday released new documents from Mr. Bush's files.
Addressing Mr. Bush rhetorically in an article on the Web site on Aug. 25, Mr. Burkett wrote, "I know from your files that we have now reassembled, the fact that you did not fulfill your oath, taken when you were commissioned to 'obey the orders of the officers appointed over you.' " On Sept. 4, shortly before CBS News broadcast its report, Mr. Burkett told the Democratic e-mail list he had a hunch that more material might soon emerge to embarrass the president. "No proof, just gut instinct," Mr. Burkett added.
Mr. Burkett's lawyer, David Van Os, said his client had not fabricated any documents. "From my knowledge of Bill's character, I am 100 percent positively, unequivocally certain that Bill Burkett has not created or falsified any documents," Mr. Van Os said.
In another development, ABC News reported on Friday that former Col. Walter B. Staudt - who interviewed Mr. Bush for enrollment to the Texas Air National Guard in 1968 and who was named in a disputed Killian memo as exerting influence on behalf of Mr. Bush - said he "never pressured anybody about George Bush." He also told ABC News that he planned to vote for Mr. Bush.
David D. Kirkpatrick reported from Baird for this article, and Jim Rutenberg from New York. Nathan Levy contributed reporting from Baird.
One of the moneybags behind the DNC assault on the US war effort stirs:
JUNE 2003 : (SOROS CUTTING BACK ON THE WORK HIS FOUNDATION, THE OPEN SOCIETY INSTITUTE, DOES IN RUSSIA SO THAT HE COULD FOCUS ON ATTACKING THE US BUSH ADMINISTRATION) ... the billionaire investor George Soros announced that he was cutting back the work his foundation, the Open Society Institute, did in Russia so that he could focus his attention on the United States. The change was needed, Soros told reporters in Moscow, because the political scene in America had become "quite dangerous." In the Bush administration, Soros explained, "the executive branch has come under the influence of a group of ideologues who have forgotten the first principle of an open society: that they don't have a monopoly on truth."
Soros, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Hungary, said President Bush had "abused" the September 11 terrorist attacks as a pretext to expand his own power and to run roughshod over other nations. Soros has included these concerns in a book, The Bubble of American Supremacy, due out next January , which will attack the so-called arrogance of the president's policies. --- "By George: The Democratic party is now brought to you by super-investors," by Byron York, National Review, 11/10/03, http://beta.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1019439/posts
Lies hidden in vagaries. . .LIES; and the Demrats who tell them.
JUNE 15, 2003 : (MOVEON.ORG CREATES WEB SITE MISLEADER.ORG) Organization: EliPariser, Registrant ; 452W57thSt , NewYork ,:NY , 10019, US , 646/326-6333; Email:firstname.lastname@example.org - sourcec: whois.publicinterestregistry.net*
The Mislead is a new project of the increasingly influential liberal organization MoveOn.org, which claims to reach more than two million activists and recently received a donation of up to $5 million from philanthropist George Soros, who is working to prevent President Bush's re-election.
The Daily Mislead claims that it provides "an accurate daily chronicle for journalists of misrepresentations, distortions and downright misleading statements by President Bush and the Bush Administration," but in most cases since its first issue on Sept. 15, it has done nothing of the kind. Instead, despite numerous examples of actual deception by the Bush administration, the Mislead has generally presented a series of partisan accusations of dishonesty based on nothing more than political disagreement. Like too many participants in the media bias debate, MoveOn is churning out a series of analyses designed to support a preconceived agenda--whether the facts fit the case or not.- "Who's Lying Now?," Opinion Journal via http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1037366/posts
FR's Shermy noted in reference to the excerpt below that " Wilson makes another anonymous appearance" - certainly the description fits Wilson] :
JUNE 29, 2003 : (US OFFICIAL, POSSIBLY AMBASSADOR JOE WILSON, JOINS THE ATTACK AGAINST THE UK WAR EFFORT) A high-ranking American official who investigated claims for the CIA that Iraq was seeking uranium to restart its nuclear programme accused Britain and the US yesterday of deliberately ignoring his findings to make the case for war against Saddam Hussein.
The retired US ambassador said it was all but impossible that British intelligence had not received his report - drawn up by the CIA - which revealed that documents, purporting to show a deal between Iraq and the West African state of Niger, were forgeries.
When he saw similar claims in Britain's dossier on Iraq last September, he even went as far as telling CIA officials that they needed to alert their British counterparts to his investigation. ...
...The former diplomat - who had served as an ambassador in Africa - had been approached by the CIA in February 2002 to carry out a "discreet" task....
--- "Ministers Knew War Papers Were Forged, Says Diplomat," Independent, June 29, 2003 -- via "Joseph Wilson, Niger, Uranium and Bushs Famous Sixteen Words: Evolution of a Confused Story," FreeRepublic's Shermy, April 16, 2004, Posted on 04/16/2004 1:01:46 PM PDT by Shermy
AUGUST 2003 : (NIGERFLAP: FORMER AMBASSADOR JOE WILSON GETS A BOOK DEAL) In August, Wilson got his book deal. -- "The Rise and Decline of Joe Wilson," by Matthew Continetti, Weekly Standard, 05/17/2004
AUGUST 3, 2003 : (KERRY CAMPAIGN VOLUNTEER MAX SCHUTZE POSTS MESSAGE ON MILITARY.COM MESSAGE BOARD : SHOPPING FOR WITNESSES?)
Presidential Candidate/ Senator John Kerry
John Kerry was a swift boat cap'n in Vietnam, decorated with a silver star and other medals. I am a volunteer on the Kerry campaign and would like to hear from anyone who served with him.
Posted by Max Schutze
Aug 03 2003 04:01:14:000PM
The link to Max goes here:
CBS Relied On Dems for Documents
Posted on 09/17/2004 11:45:54 PM PDT by RatherBiased.com
The Washington Post and The New York Times both have huge stories in today's editions on the connections between Bill Burkett, CBS News, and the Democratic Party. Memogate is the story that just keeps giving.
First from the Post's:
The former Texas National Guard officer suspected of providing CBS News with possibly forged records on President Bush's military service called on Democratic activists to wage "war" against Republican "dirty tricks" in a series of Internet postings in which he also used phrases similar to several employed in the disputed documents. [...]
In e-mail messages to a Yahoo discussion group for Texas Democrats over the past few months, Burkett laid out a rationale for using what he termed "down and dirty" tactics against Bush. He said he had passed his ideas to the Democratic National Committee but that the DNC seemed "afraid to do what I suggest."
In another message, dated Sept. 4, Burkett hinted he might have had advance knowledge of some details in an explosive segment that aired Sept. 8 on the CBS News program "60 Minutes." [...]
Whatever his other deficiencies, Burkett is apparently a guy who knows how to hold a grudge!
You mean instead of just the brush-off "Why tell me? Tell the Kerry campaign" (which is plausible and what he intended to convey), Cleland said something more like, "Here's a name and number of someone in the Kerry campaign"? I think, though, that "tip-off" may not convey the degree of coordination.
Retired Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, who earlier said he overheard Bush aides conspiring with the commander of the Texas National Guard to "sanitize" the president's military records, has refused to comment on reports that he could be CBS's confidential source. In e-mails yesterday to The Washington Post, he said he would speak out "at the appropriate time" but "that time is not now."
Yeah, "at the appropriate time," after consulting with Van Os, Cleland?, Mapes, Rather, Moore, NYT?, TVFK. After Nov. 2? Veeeery Interesting.
How does Cleland fit into this. Simple, in a word: revenge (over losing his Senate seat in Ga.). His "cell phone" conversation with Burkett, saying he passed the information on to the DNC is a classic case of "CYA." Where have we seen that before?
This is my first post here at Free Republic, but have been a frequent visitor, and I must say I am truly impressed with all of the contributors who have done so much to expose the bias of the MSM. The MSM will still live, but you can bet they will at least try to make sure they make the term CYA mean something again. If they do not bloggers from the right or left, or both, will burn them.
SEPTEMBER 29, 2003 : (DEMOCRAT CRIES FOR AN INDEPENDENT PROSECUTOR IN THE NIGER FLAP/WILSON CASE INCLUDE SCHUMER) Schumer did call for an independent prosecutor today. It was just not carried - at least by Fox. Perhaps he just made the statement, as Kerry did. Fox did report that Schumer made the call for the independent prosecutor, however.---26 posted on 09/29/2003 1:59 PM PDT by Wait4Truth *
* Yes, and there was a thread on FR this afternoon that Kerry has asked for a special investigation. He's always a day late and a dollar short. ---- 49 posted on 09/29/2003 2:05 PM PDT by Peach *
SEPTEMBER 2003 late : (WESLEY CLARK CHIMES IN) From FreeRepubli discussion:
To: Grampa Dave : Little Rock -- General Wesley K. Clark (Ret.), Democratic candidate for President, has called for an independent investigation into an alleged violation of federal law by Bush Administration officials. News reports say that the CIA has asked the Justice Department to investigate allegations that Administration officials violated federal law by leaking the identity of a covert CIA agent.
"The Administration should not play politics with this matter. This issue is too important for political gamesmanship or to be managed by the John Ashcroft Justice Department," General Wesley Clark said. "The investigation must be independent of the Justice Department - otherwise the investigation could be influenced by political considerations. That is why President Bush should immediately refer this entire matter to a completely independent body - a body with credibility both in our country and with our allies around the world." Read it on FR now - Guess Clark didn't get the memo! 103 posted on 09/29/2003 2:28 PM PDT by Peach
SEPTEMBER 2003 last week of the month : (FORMER AMBASADOR WILSON THREATENS TO DESTROY BOTH NEOCONSERVATIVES & RELIGIOUS CONSERVATIVES) "Neo-conservatives and religious conservatives have hijacked this administration, and I consider myself on a personal mission to destroy both." Those are the words of Ambassador Joseph Wilson
SEPTEMBER 29, 2003 Monday : (RAY MCGOVERN CONFIRMS PLAME'S STATUS, ADMITS KNOWING WILSON- IS HE LOOKING FOR TROUBLE?) Ray McGovern, who was for 27-years a senior analyst for the CIA, further confirms the status of Plame within the CIA. I know Joseph Wilson well enough to know, said McGovern in a telephone conversation we had today, that his wife was in fact a deep cover operative running a network of informants on what is supposedly this administrations first-priority issue: Weapons of mass destruction. - DemocraticUnderground.com, Mon Sep-29-03 05:49 PM
SEPTEMBER 30, 2003 : (RNC'S GILLESPIE COMMENTS ON WILSON BRING UP WILSON'S PARTISAN INVOLVEMENT WITH "WIN WITHOUT WAR," A PART OF THE LEFTIST MOVEON.ORG) [But] RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie Didnt Malign Wilson, He Just Pointed Out Wilson Is Partisan Advisor. I think that theres a lot more to play in here. There is a lot of politics. The fact is that Ambassador Wilson is not only a
former foreign service officer, former ambassador, he is himself a partisan Democrat who is a contributor and supporter of Senator Kerrys presidential campaign. He [has,] in the past, spoken to a group called Win Without War
Its part of MoveOn.org, and the Greenpeace and other organizations that are opposed to the Presidents agenda
(RNC Chairman Ed Gillespie On CNNs Inside Politics, 9/30/03)via - "SAY IT AINT SO JOES? Joe Lieberman & Joe Wilson Make Bold Assertions That Facts Dont Support, "RNC Research, Republican National Committee, October 5, 2003
* Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity
Whistleblowers urge workers to disclose classified information
By Chris Strohm
govexec.com, daily briefing, september 9, 2004
A group of former government officials urged federal employees Thursday to come forward with information exposing government wrongdoing - - especially with regard to Iraq - - and announced a new legal support network to protect whistleblowers.
The group issued a public memo asking current government officials to disclose classified information concerning plans and cost estimates for the war in Iraq, as well as other documents that reveal government deceit or misconduct.
"Some of you have documentation of wrongly concealed facts and analyses that, if brought to light, would impact heavily on public debate regarding crucial matters of national security, both foreign and domestic," the memo states. "We urge you to provide that information now, both to Congress and, through the media, to the public."
The group is made up of 10 former employees of the Defense, Labor and State departments, the FBI and the CIA. It includes Daniel Ellsberg, a former Marine who leaked the Pentagon Papers about the Vietnam War to the media in 1971; Sibel Edmonds, who reported security breaches and cover-ups of intelligence within the FBI while working as a contract linguist; Ray McGovern, a 27-year CIA analyst who founded an organization opposed to the invasion of Iraq; and Mary Ann Wright, a career foreign service officer who resigned the day the Iraq war began.
The group compared Iraq to Vietnam, saying that government deception and the reluctance to publicize information carries a significant price in human life and national security.
Members also issued a list of 12 specific documents they said are being wrongly withheld and should be disclosed by federal workers. The documents relate to prisoners in the war on terrorism, the 9/11 commission investigation, security breaches and misconduct within the FBI, estimates on how many troops were needed to invade and occupy Iraq, and requirements for the postwar restoration of Iraq.
"It is a time for truth-telling. It is a time for unauthorized disclosure," Ellsberg said. "There is a more patriotic and more effective way to serve your country as an official than either by resigning in frustration or continuing to participate as Americans are lied to death. And that way is to tell the truth."
The memo notes that whistleblowers have little legal protection and often end up losing their jobs. Ellsberg said a new support network for whistleblowers is being established. The network includes pro bono legal counsel from the American Civil Liberties Union and advice from the Project on Government Oversight. The network also includes Ellsberg's Truth Telling Project and McGovern's group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.
"Needless to say, any unauthorized disclosure that exposes your superiors to embarrassment entails personal risk," the memo states. "Should you be identified as the source, the price could be considerable, including loss of career and possibly even prosecution."
I was wondering the same thing. This appears it could be some type of personnel vendetta. Is it possible their paths have crossed years back and Burkett just hates President Bush?
Four days later (Aug. 25th) Max Cleland starts yelping on Bush's ranch in his wheel chair while melting in the hot Texas sun and hasn't been seen since.
Exactly. The author of the memos is not as important, if the memos got to CBS with DNC or Kerry campaign knowledge.
At this point, I assume somebody in the DNC or Kerry campaign called CBS and said, "Hey, there's a guy in Texas you should talk to." Subsequent events follow naturally.
I would venture a guess that the Kerry campaign seniors returned Burkett's call on August 23rd. All day on the 24th the media was saying that Max Cleland was headed to Crawford to hand deliver a letter tomorrow (in that case it would have been the 25th of August). Because Max Cleland went out to Crawford on the 25th to hand deliver a letter to Bush about the Swift Vets, not before making some idiotic statement to the press.
I wonder how Burkett feels tonight, sitting there watching HIS story suck all the oxygen out of the Kerry campaign. Watching HIS handiwork make the public fed up with his pal Rather. Watching HIS vendetta help the undecideds start to turn toward Bush....and knowing that all the while, in the background, the swiftvets, the group that originally cast doubt on Kerry's "heroism", are getting stronger and more influential every day.
Bill Burkett tells everyone that he found these incriminating records in the trash can.
From a CNN article dated February 13, 2004:
Burkett said that the day after he overhead Allbaugh's request, he heard James convey a directive to the state services officer to gather Bush's files and go through them. Then, about 10 days later, he said, he came across "files on a table."
"But I also saw at the edge of that table a roughly 15-gallon, old metal waste can. At the top of that were several pages, 20 to 40 pages approximately," Burkett said on CNN's "Paula Zahn Now."
"I glanced down at the top of those documents. In ink was the word 'Bush, George W., 1 Lt.' This was a performance report. I was right at the trash can. I filtered through the top five or six pages in that, and they were all copies and originals of old performance documents and pay records for 'Bush, George W., 1 Lt."
Now I ask you, if you had traveled halfway across the country to "sanitize" official government records that might be embarassing to the future president of the United States, would you just chuck them in the trash can for any Joe Schmo to find a week or two later? (What, the janitors didn't empty the garbage every night?) Pffffft...the mere idea is ludicrous.
They can no longer claim to know about the fakes, because they used them to their advantage.
Two questions Mr Os: 1)Were the documents that CBS used in it's broadcast ever in Burkett's hands? And 2) If he didn't fabricate the documents, where did he get them from?
It's a beautiful thing.
Sometimes conspiracy theories are true ...
Looks to me like Dan was just trying too hard to get the scoop story that brings down the President. He wanted it to be true, that's what makes the conspiracy work. A willing dupe.
Right. Which is significant, because you got the sense that Cleland was off the reservation that particular day: Cleland's stunt burned a news cycle (it led on CBS, of course) at the same moment the Kerry camp realized they were taking on water from the Swift Boat Vets and were trying to game their way out of the Purple Heart imbroglio.
So Cleland's statement on Burkett is huge...
Wow! This looks like info that should be forwarded to media on our side or at least with neutral leanings. These people are telling these Bush-haters to reveal classified documents to the public! This is serious stuff. And this is from THIS MONTH! Maybe this is their big October surprise - these people expose classified info, the media twists it and the Bush Administration has no time to effectively respond. I hope you forward this stuff to the proper outlets.
You're right. The correct term is FORGERY.
I am also getting a bit annoyed that the Old Media does not credit New Media sources for making them aware of items that they then follow up on. Most of the items in this story has been on FR already this week, so it is already posted on the internet somewhere, or occasionally even generated here.
This should be front page NYT, but it got buried in this article.
Does it even pass the giggle test that the Kerry campaign never called Burkett back to see what he had? We might not have all the lines connected yet, but it looks like we're beginning to see most of the dots.
Yep ... kind of makes a person go hmmmmmmmmm
He also called him "a despicable human being" and said "let him sue me."
It looks as if the rest of the MSM has written Rather off -- his credibility is gone even if he brazens it out and keep his job. Since Rather cannot be saved the New York Times and the rest will run with the story for cover against their own bias. Next times they get accused of being anti-Republican the will say: "That's ridiculous, just look at how we covered the Dan Rather story!"
What I heard on Fox was that Burkett got some sort of illness in Panama when he was on business for the Guard, in the 90s, and that he was refused compensation for his medical care, for some reason.
Then he held then-Gov. Bush responsible, and has been attacking him ever since.
Mr. Burkett continued, "I asked if they wanted to counterattack or ride this to ground and outlast it, not spending any money. He said counterattack."
To me, it looks like Burkett might have made them a proposition..."you can try to ride this out (presumabily the Swiftboat ads) NOT SPENDING ANY MONEY".......or "you can counterattack" (and I will help you, BUT IT WILL COST MONEY).
Is there a possibility that the "forged memos" were bought and paid for?
He said that the memos were retrieved from something like Microfische (spelling?). Old documents 30 years old have to be stored this way. He said that when these records (from the micro database) are printed out, they take on the characteristics of the medium they are printed out on ... like Microsoft Word.
I have only heard this idea proposed once. What say you?
That is a great logic point that I hadn't thought of, but here is where that probaby falls down, though. The sKerry campaign hasn't "explained" anything, from Christmas in Cambodia to "I voted for it before I voted against it". The upside would be that it would be another nail in Jenjis' coffin (how many nails can you put in a coffin?).
The NYT reported the story they way they wanted it to be reported. They say that Burkett "unsuccessfully" tried to aid the Kerry campaign.
They still have not retracted the story they wrote based on the forged documents. I'm not sure who is worse, CBS or the NYT.
Max Clelland is up to his eyeballs in this story also!! So is the 86 yr. old secy.
mary Mapes said that they believed that the old lady typed the documents...the old lady said they were NOT typed by her but they were "real". Mary Mapes also said MORE would be coming out. I guess they are being Forged as we speak.
Burkett is tied in to Michael Moore or some other Moore?
Bush GAVE Max Cleland the post of VA Secretary, andthis is how Maxie repays the favor!!
Parse..Parse..Parse...Fabricate....not the same as TYPED.
Basically, a petard was a mideaval bomb that was attached directly to castles to blast openings. They were often screwed in from a hoist apparatus to get at weaker areas of the walls and gates.
The term 'hoist by one's own petard' seems to refer to a soldier getting blasted up when his own bomb went off early (e.g., Max Clelland).