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.
'So I gave them the information to do it with. But none of them have called me back."'
Which may get back to Mapes and Rather. Perhaps "none of them" ever called him back, but out of the blue 60 Minutes gets involved. Voila.
Also from that washigntonpost article:
Cleland confirmed that he had a two- or three-minute conversation by cell phone with a Texan named Burkett in mid-August while he was on a car ride. He remembers Burkett saying that he had "valuable" information about Bush, and asking what he should with it. "I told him to contact the [Kerry] campaign," Cleland said. "You get this information tens of times a day, and you don't know if it is legit or not."
Ain't it beautiful?
Burkett and Rather might both make their greatest contribution to the American way of life on this story.
There should be a monument somewhere with a big shoe with a hole shot through it - lined up so that you can see the American Flag waving when you look through.
Yes, I'm finally catching up to the rest of the thread....
Doesn't sound like Burkett will go down alone .. and Max's comments are very interesting
The tenor of the article seems to be putting distance between sKerry and Burkett, which makes me suspicious that it came from his campaign. However, given that the memo was faxed from near Burkett's house, maybe Jenjis John was smart enough to just broker the transaction between Rather and Burkett. I think that either way, they clearly knew this was coming, though.
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Burkett is always focus of MSM. Seems like this is coming to an end soon. What will future hold?
Burkett-Becomes fall guy and gets sentenced to jail? Judge suspends sentence for mental/physical health reasons and his service to US.
Barnes-DEM connection but out of MSM view. Becomes Hillary 08 slime master.
Mapes-fallgirl catalyst for 60 Minutes re-org. Becomes MSNBC producer for Chrissy Matthews.
Rather-retires early after crying on Letterman. Libs will always love him.
Kerry-Swiftvets off front page for now but they hunt him continually. Loses POTUS and Senate reelection bids. Moves in with Al Gore's family after Teresa throws him out.
DNC-three monkeys until 06 and 08
Moveon.org-local election now their focus. Soros seeks to destroy Dollar with a Euro buy.
Van Os-never wins elections again. Works with Mark Gerragos in small Bakersfield law office working CA real estate and immigration law.
Abilene Kinkos-closes to become Abilene's only theme-bar frequented by conservative tourists called Kinky Kinko Jammies.
Charles Shumer-becomes Senate minority leader after Daschle loses o4 election.
Something's afoot. Earlier tonight Joe Trippi was on MSNBC complimenting Free Republic, and Buckhead and TankerKC by name, for their "legitimate questions". Yes, he offered some whacko theory on how the documents came to be, but I and others noted he had adopted a tone of reasonableness. To say the least, it was jarring and I and others figure he sees an investigation coming and coming quick. I ascribe the same motive to Cleland.
Betcha those cell phone bills hold a lot of info
Beats me. All I know is that if the DNC still wants to work Rove into this sequence then they've got their work cut out for 'em.
The DNC either refused to touch the memos and Burkett approached CBS alone or they steered Burkett in the direction of CBS. Either way, they obviously knew about it.
My interpretation of the article is that Jenjis is acknowledging contact with Burkett, but that they didn't want what he was selling. I think the MSM is trying to insulate sKerry. I'm sure we'll see in the next few days...
Poetic justice ain't it? ;)
CLELAND IN DC?
No, but it sounds like Cleland referred Burkett to someone high up in the Kerry campaign who tipped off CBS about the documents. This could could be big.
James Moore shares Devine's view that Bush's faith -- in God and in his own policies -- is misplaced. In Bush's War for Re-Election: Iraq, the White House, and the People (Wiley, $37.99), Moore, co-author of the bestselling Bush's Brain: How Karl Rove Made George W. Bush Presidential, castigates Bush's wartime leadership...Through interviews with soldiers and family members of those who died in battle, Moore conveys the deep resentment toward Bush felt by at least some military families. Moore also conducted revealing interviews with former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson, former Sen. Max Cleland and Bill Burkett, a lieutenant colonel in the Texas National Guard and a frequent Bush critic.
Well Bill Burkett if you are reading this and if you truly had a hand in this terrible act, my advice is to get to the FBI and start talking. FIRST ONE TO ROLL OVER GETS LESS TIME. CBS is about to out you, why do you think the Kinko's connection leaked? You are being sh*t on by your compadres.
Cleland is now on record confirming that he spoke with Burkett and referred him to the Kerry campaign.
this is sounding VERY VERY serious..Connect the dots folks.I still say Kerry and co sanctioned these fake memos and kept their fingers crossed . This could be fatal to Kerry