Skip to comments.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." [...]
"I believe that Bush knows that there is more coming out than Ben Barnes," Burkett wrote. "No proof, just gut instinct."
In an Aug. 13 essay for a liberal webzine called OnlineJournal.com, Burkett hinted again that President Bush was going to be attacked. This time he was more specific:
Americans will get through the gotchas of the preemptive strike from the Republican swift boat crews who want to elevate obviously flimsy charges in order to immunize Americans from more Bush assaults. The Bush assaults are rumored to finally close the issue of Bush's disappearance from his Air National Guard duty in Alabama; efforts and methods to falsify and cover up Bush problems in his files; and the obvious disciplinary actions that led to his grounding from flying. Both sides will count on the electorate to sicken of this style and leave the real meat on the table untouched.
As documented in most recent polls, the real issues of Iraq have already required enough Maalox for most Americans. Most Americans don't like war. They are rapidly moving their focus to their domestic issues of jobs, healthcare and education.
Burkett elaborated on his thoughts in an Aug. 31 posting not printed in the Post:
While some of us pine for the return of Bill CLinton, that's not the real answer. Many of us have risked everything on this election. And the disappointment is deep and difficult to manage.
But we fight on, inspite of incompetance at the top.
The truth probably is that many of the insiders simply didn't think to chekc someone out in Texas. Does that mean they won't check out those that submit themselves for key positions, as well. That's what we all think.
CBS has said that it obtained its controversial documents within the last few weeks. It may have received them from Burkett following the latter's unsuccessful attempts to pass them on to former Democratic senator Max Cleland who traveled to Texas in late August. Before Cleland's trip, Burkett had telephoned the ex-senator saying that he had damaging information about Bush. He was told to pass this information along to the Democratic National Committe but, according to the Post, national hq was less than enthusiastic.
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."
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."
Contacted by the New York Times, Cleland confirmed contact with Burkett, acknowledging that the disgruntled former guardsman had offered him information relating to Bush's guard service.
"I couldn't swear to it whether he used the term documents or information," Cleland told the paper. "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."
CBS has publicly denied Burkett was its source although a source within the network told Times reporter Jim Rutenberg that Burkett had "helped with the reports" but did not elaborate on exactly how.
Burkett's lawyer, a prominent Democratic activist named David Van Os who is the party's candidate for the Texas Supreme Court denied that his client had forged the Memogate 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," Van Os told the Times.
Stan Merriman, co-founder of a group seeking to make the Texas Democratic party more liberal, echoed Van Os's sentiments in a Sept. 17 posting to the Yahoo Texas Democrats mailing list.
"Our brother, Bill Burkett is under siege by the Carl Rove [sic] smear machine," Merriman wrote.
"David Van Os assures me that as Bill's legal Counsel on a longstanding basis, any assertions that Bill has engaged in 'forgery' vis a vis the now infamous documentation of the Bush desertion of duty as a Texas National Guardsman is total smear with the footprints of the Karl Rove modus operandi all over it."
"I stand with both our brothers Burkett and Van Os and applaud their guts to stand up to the right wing slander machine; President Kerry and many of our DNC brethren can take a lesson from our two populist fellow-Texans who have the cajones to look contemptuously in the eye these ruthless cowards bringing down our formerly proud democracy and tell them to go to h*ll."
A long-time associate of Burkett's is James Moore, a former reporter for CBS's Houston affiliate, KHOU. Since 1994, Moore has been hounding Bush over his National Guard service. Eventually, he left "objective" journalism and has since become a part of the anti-Bush cottage industry that has sprung up following Bush's emergence as a national figure. He is the author of two books on the president,
Bush's Brain and Bush's War for Reelection.
While researching his second book, Moore received assistance from Burkett who provided him with a number of documents which Moore used to make the case that Bush had acted dishonorably during Vietnam. Some of these documents were given to CBS News which used in a Feb. 12 Evening News report which relayed Burkett's charges that Bush had instructed staff members to destroy documents which cast doubt on his Guard service.
Mary Mapes, the producer of CBS's Sept. 8 report which relied on the controversial Memogate documents likely was the recipient of these papers since, according to the network, she has been working on the Bush Guard story for the past five years and is based in Dallas. CBS officials have confirmed that Mapes interviewed Burkett.
That's VERY GOOD!
This is the fall guy that the Dnc and the Kerry campaign have chosen. This goes alot higher, and we need to keep the pressure on to get to the top.
Hey Bill- give me a call on Nov. 3rd and I'll come kick the chair out for you.
Amazing how the Democrats always accuse others for what they are doing.
"I love the guy," Staudt said of Bush. "I'm so tired of this negative crap about him that I'd like to volunteer to build a barn and take you press guys out behind it and kick your asses."
Maybe that Time reporter should get hazardous duty pay.
But, where '0 where is Burkett?
I have only seen his hook nose mug on TV.
I think he's the kind that would stand on a large block of ice and wait for the Texas heat to slowly melt it...kicking the chair would be too fast...
Straight out of Rules for Radicals
Good question. The fool was shouting Bush hatespeak from the rooftops for years, now he's as quiet a churchmouse.
If he was innocent, he would be out there defending himself. Anyone would.
Obviously Dan Ratherbiased did.
I was thinking the very same thing! As I read this article, the hateful spite of this man is plain as day. He is as big a coward as I have seen next to his candidate, the traitor to his country. These people are just plain putrid. The stench is gagging me.
I have searched for that face shot of him the TV uses to NO avail.
ABC talked to him Friday.