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Texan Involved in CBS Report Tried to Help Kerry Campaign
New York Times ^ | 9/16/04 | DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and JIM RUTENBERG

Posted on 09/17/2004 8:58:58 PM PDT by The Bandit

Edited 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.


TOPICS: Breaking News; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: billburkett; burkett; cbs; kerry; killian; napalminthemorning; rathergate; tang
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1 posted on 09/17/2004 8:58:58 PM PDT by The Bandit
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To: The Bandit
Milhous

"And, believe it or not, we got a message from Union Station saying they had a package for us. We went down to get it. You know what it was?

"It was a memo sent all the way from Texas. Black and white spotted. One of our staff members 6-year old daughter named it Checkers. And you know, the kid loved that memo and I just want to say this right now, that regardless of what they say about it, we're gonna stick with our story."


2 posted on 09/17/2004 9:02:16 PM PDT by Roscoe Karns
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To: The Bandit
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.

Talk about being hoist by one's own petard.
3 posted on 09/17/2004 9:03:34 PM PDT by Arkinsaw
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To: The Bandit

So now it starts. It looks like they are starting to cover up the trail of the memos through the sKerry campaign.


4 posted on 09/17/2004 9:03:36 PM PDT by ottothedog
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To: Roscoe Karns

That's the way he sees it, that's the way he decrees it.


5 posted on 09/17/2004 9:03:45 PM PDT by michaelt
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To: The Bandit
Col. Walter B. Staudt - " He also told ABC News that he planned to vote for Mr. Bush.


Funny how the Liberal media seems to forget to ask this question when they are asking questions to people whom they want to put the screws to Pres. Bush

Pathetic SOB's
6 posted on 09/17/2004 9:03:52 PM PDT by DAC22
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To: The Bandit
"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."

Mmm-hmmm. Riiiiiight. I don't suppose that "somebody" has a name? Like....DAN RATHER maybe???

7 posted on 09/17/2004 9:03:59 PM PDT by Texas Eagle (If it wasn't for double-standards, Liberals would have no standards at all)
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To: The Bandit

The NY Times and the Washinton Post smell blood. This COULD get good.


8 posted on 09/17/2004 9:04:34 PM PDT by OkiMusashi (Beware the fury of a patient man. --- John Dryden)
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To: The Bandit

The Washington Post found this same information, but the NYT seems to have dug a little deeper. I sense a competition developing. Let the games begin....


9 posted on 09/17/2004 9:05:00 PM PDT by jhouston
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To: The Bandit

"I helped them before I didn't."


10 posted on 09/17/2004 9:07:21 PM PDT by craighagan
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To: The Bandit; Mitchell
"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.

"So I gave them the information to do it with," Mr. Burkett wrote. "But none of them have called me back."

So was the call back August 22? 23? 24...?
11 posted on 09/17/2004 9:07:53 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: jhouston

Isn't it interesting, how everyone else can find so many people to talk to, yet, none were featured by Dan?


12 posted on 09/17/2004 9:08:09 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: ottothedog

There's something familiar here....can't quite..... grassy knoll ... lone gunman...a magic bullet


13 posted on 09/17/2004 9:08:29 PM PDT by MagnumRancid (I need a new screen name - its left over from my Doom/Quake playing days.)
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To: The Bandit

He may have been unsuccessful at first, but I think Burkett's motto is "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again". And he did.

Cleland is now on record confirming that he spoke with Burkett and referred him to the Kerry campaign.


14 posted on 09/17/2004 9:08:54 PM PDT by cyncooper (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.)
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To: Arkinsaw

Add: This guy is too self-absorbed to realize that the Dims are about to set him up as the fall guy for the whole plan gone awry. He's an unstable whack-job, and it will be very easy to isolate and blame him for the whole affair. IMO, this was Rather's exit plan all along.


15 posted on 09/17/2004 9:09:18 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (CBS's story is sinking faster than Uncle Ted's Oldsmobile.)
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To: MagnumRancid

Maybe, when ol' Max was in Texas, he was doing more than "delivering" a letter to W's ranch.


16 posted on 09/17/2004 9:09:37 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: Arkinsaw
I wonder how Burkett feels tonight, sitting there watching HIS story suck all the oxygen out of the Kerry campaign.

He's probably still harboring hopes that THIS time his charges against Bush will stick. That's probably all he thinks about.

17 posted on 09/17/2004 9:10:02 PM PDT by cyncooper (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.)
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To: The Bandit

" I referred him up to somebody in the campaign."


oh reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally...


18 posted on 09/17/2004 9:11:28 PM PDT by blogblogginaway
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To: jhouston

there's an opening here for some good news organization to try and somehow claim the mantle of credility that has been left lying like the carcass of a dead animal along the side of the road. While CBS and 60 Minutes have been devestated beyond repair for years, if not decades to come, other MSM have an opportunity to try and set the record straight. Rather had that opportunity and he decided to put his partisan sympathies ahead of his career and ahead of the network and corporation he serves. There are others, unlike Rather and others, who will value their journalistic integrity above their partisan interests, particularly given the stakes and potential rewards involved.


19 posted on 09/17/2004 9:11:37 PM PDT by Steven W.
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To: All

Anyone remember when the producer, Mapes, was out to interview Burkett?


20 posted on 09/17/2004 9:11:48 PM PDT by Socratic (Kerry/Edwards - Forging a New Reality)
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To: cyncooper
<<

Cleland is now on record confirming that he spoke with Burkett and referred him to the Kerry campaign.
>>
True. He was also incredibly dismissive.
21 posted on 09/17/2004 9:11:59 PM PDT by MagnumRancid (I need a new screen name - its left over from my Doom/Quake playing days.)
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To: The Bandit

They are trying to concoct some story to account for fake memo's. I think this stuff has been around since the gore campaigne.


22 posted on 09/17/2004 9:12:15 PM PDT by dalebert
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To: Arkinsaw

You wonder how Burkett feels?

I wonder how Rather, Mapes and all those closeted liberals at CBS feel about it since they HAD TO KNOW those memos were fakes.

They miscalculated because they never thought anyone would question mighty CBS (Clearly Bull Shix)


23 posted on 09/17/2004 9:12:30 PM PDT by wildbill
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To: Paul Atreides

that's a good reminder!


24 posted on 09/17/2004 9:12:53 PM PDT by Steven W.
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To: ottothedog; Mitchell
"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."

Sounds plausible. SOP.

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.

Yeah...sure...Someone mentions "national guard" and "Texas" and they don't get all tingly? Doubt it...

Remember the American Prowler article that came out quickly once the scandal broke? the one that reports Kerry campaigners had the documents but some had doubts? Maybe there was something to that story...

25 posted on 09/17/2004 9:13:21 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: wildbill

Ollie North was on Hannity the other day, and flat out called Rather a liar. It was refreshing to hear someone say it.


26 posted on 09/17/2004 9:14:24 PM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: The Bandit; Admin Moderator

The date on the article should be "september 18", not 16.


27 posted on 09/17/2004 9:16:20 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Paul Atreides

"It was refreshing to hear someone say it."

Yeah, I was getting tired of hearing myself say it so frequently.


28 posted on 09/17/2004 9:16:32 PM PDT by Socratic (Kerry/Edwards - Forging a New Reality)
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To: The Bandit

Could it be that Burkett hooked up with Cleland and Rassman when they made their special trip to Crawford, Tx. to delivery his letter to President Bush on August 25th?


29 posted on 09/17/2004 9:16:53 PM PDT by mass55th (It's the superscript, stupid!!!!)
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To: Shermy; YaYa123; EllaMinnow
And Cleland and Rassman did that "letter delivery" stunt in Crawford on August 26. I wonder if Burkett helped them dream up that idea.

In the Washington Post story Cleland says they had a cell phone conversation. YaYa123 pointed out that not just anybody has Max Cleland's cell phone number. When he says he gets lots of phone calls are they to his cell phone?

And hang on, going back to read this article, it says he did contact the campaign:

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.

Hmmm, "who" at the campaign said Mr. Cleland referred Mr. Burkett to "someone"? Who is that "someone"? Who in the "research department" took the message? It says it was "set aside". Was it ever picked up?!

30 posted on 09/17/2004 9:17:21 PM PDT by cyncooper (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.)
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To: Paul Atreides
This is getting as good as Clancy, Ludlum, or Forsythe. So much is so far over the top this campaign season. I've got to find things to have fun with or laugh at. If I don't my head will explode.
31 posted on 09/17/2004 9:17:28 PM PDT by MagnumRancid (I need a new screen name - its left over from my Doom/Quake playing days.)
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To: Paul Atreides

Cleland delivered the letter on August 25th

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/08/25/cleland.swiftboat/


32 posted on 09/17/2004 9:17:42 PM PDT by OkiMusashi (Beware the fury of a patient man. --- John Dryden)
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To: Roscoe Karns
It's got to really burn Rathers that all these Nixon and Watergate association are being made.

Someone photoshopped his face into the picture of Nixon by the helicopter when he was leaving after resigning.

When will we have the 'You won't have Rather to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference.' ?
33 posted on 09/17/2004 9:18:01 PM PDT by Mike Fieschko ("Daddy, are there bad men on your planes?")
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To: The Bandit
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.

He Max .. Who did you pass this information on to???

34 posted on 09/17/2004 9:18:20 PM PDT by Mo1 (Why is the MSM calling the Vietnam Vets and POW's a suspected group??)
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To: The Bandit
He also told ABC News that he planned to vote for Mr. Bush.

How typical. I wonder if the NY Slimes has ever identified Ben Barnes as a Kerry campaign co-chairman and top fundraiser.
35 posted on 09/17/2004 9:19:06 PM PDT by sdkhaki
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To: MagnumRancid
He was also incredibly dismissive.

Yes, so dismissive he referred him directly to the Kerry Kampaign.

36 posted on 09/17/2004 9:20:02 PM PDT by cyncooper (And an angel still rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm.)
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To: The Bandit

This is a curious article. On the one hand, they appear to have actually picked up the phone and called Burkett, which is a lot more investigating than the new New York Times usually bothers to do these days.

On the other hand, they refer to the whole affair as a "mystery." The correct term is "forgery."


37 posted on 09/17/2004 9:20:09 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Mo1

Has anyone emailed Drudge about this?


38 posted on 09/17/2004 9:20:21 PM PDT by Bushruffneck
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To: Arkinsaw
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.

I'd be willing to bet that over at DU they are postulating that Burkett and Rove are the same person.

Denial, thy name is democrat.

39 posted on 09/17/2004 9:20:41 PM PDT by P-Marlowe
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To: OkiMusashi; Dog; Howlin

"Cleland delivered the letter on August 25th"

Oh, yeah. Someone might create a timeline of Kerry's responses to the Swift Vets, the calls to Bush to stop them, the complaint to the FCC, etc.


40 posted on 09/17/2004 9:21:07 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: cyncooper
Hmmm, "who" at the campaign said Mr. Cleland referred Mr. Burkett to "someone"? Who is that "someone"?

You caught that too huh?

Seems Max is trying to pass the buck

41 posted on 09/17/2004 9:21:12 PM PDT by Mo1 (Why is the MSM calling the Vietnam Vets and POW's a suspected group??)
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To: Arkinsaw

I saw a picture of him on FOX and he even looks like a jerk; for real.


42 posted on 09/17/2004 9:21:53 PM PDT by no dems (Saddam Hussein, himself, was a Weapon of Mass Destruction.)
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To: Shermy; MagnumRancid
I can see how NYTIMESWASHPOSTNBCABCCBSCNN are going to play it now: Burkett shopped his phony docs to Kerry, who turn him down. Burkett is getting hung out to dry.
43 posted on 09/17/2004 9:22:04 PM PDT by ottothedog
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To: cyncooper
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 Cleland starts talking campaign strategy and costs with a guy who said he had to go through seven layers of kids to even get to a senior person? Somehow this doesn't ring true.

44 posted on 09/17/2004 9:23:33 PM PDT by Dolphy (Support swiftvets.com)
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To: The Bandit

I have a question. Burkett was in the Texas Army Nat'l Guard. President Bush was in the Texas AIR Nat'l Guard.

Army and Air Force, for all intents and purposes. Do the Texas Army and Air Guard share office space? How would Burkett, being Army Guard, be aware and privy to, what was going on in the Air Guard?

I was under the impression that the services protected their turf zealously.

Anyone???


45 posted on 09/17/2004 9:24:17 PM PDT by baseballmom (You Know Where I Stand - GW Bush - 9/2/04 We're standing with you, Mr. President)
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To: ottothedog

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A30043-2004Sep17.html

from the Washington post a similar piece:

In e-mail messages to a Yahoo discussion group for Texas Democrats, Burkett laid out a rationale for using what he termed "down and dirty" tactics against Bush. He said that he had passed his ideas to the Democratic National Committee but that the DNC seemed "afraid to do what I suggest."

In an Aug. 21 posting, Burkett referred to a conversation with former senator Max Cleland (D-Ga.) about the need to counteract Republican tactics: "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. But none of them have called me back."


46 posted on 09/17/2004 9:24:56 PM PDT by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/welfare.htm)
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To: cyncooper
"Cleland is now on record confirming that he spoke with Burkett and referred him to the Kerry campaign."

Yeah, and I wonder why he said that. He must know someone has tied him to this.

47 posted on 09/17/2004 9:26:23 PM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: ottothedog

Burkett is still the most likely source. I offer two reasons:

1. An amateur attempt at forgery
2. Burkett's lawyer says that Burkett didn't do it :)


48 posted on 09/17/2004 9:26:57 PM PDT by OkiMusashi (Beware the fury of a patient man. --- John Dryden)
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To: Paul Atreides

You're right. The timing fits.


49 posted on 09/17/2004 9:27:43 PM PDT by A Citizen Reporter
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To: The Bandit

So Burkett is now connected to: Moore, Cleland, and through Cleland the Kerry Kampaign. Who works in Kerry's research department? Perhaps the NY Times or WaPo lurkers here could dig up that info? :)

By pointing the finger to the Kerry Kampaign, Cleland is trying to avoid that nasty little possibility of conspiracy, of forgery charges. Think he was afraid that Burkett may have already bragged to someone that he passed the info to Cleland.

Another thought - Cleland had quite a bit of press coverage when he performed his stunt in Crawford. Wonder if there is a photo or video of him meeting with Burkett?


50 posted on 09/17/2004 9:28:28 PM PDT by BlessedByLiberty (Respectfully submitted,)
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