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.
Memogate? I swear that name was already taken by the Clinton administration.
This backfired bigger than a "Wile E. Coyote" cannon shot.
Kudos to ABC they have been on this like an ornery Texas alligator on a ....oops slipped into Ratherspeak there for a second.
The subject of the senior thesis of the soon-to-be Democratic candidate for President.
Twenty-two days and counting...
Beckett's role is to shield more important people, to be expendable if the need arises. He may have been involved, but would Dan Rather fall on his sword to protect just Beckett? I don't think so.
Beckett = Burkett
""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."
Very funny! Problem is, the libs wouldn't understand it at all. Would NOT have a single clue why that statement is funny. Not one.
But, I think, the further it goes (beyond Rather), the longer it will take.
It's really a huge story, much bigger than Watergate. It's more like the Dreyfus affair in terms of potential connections within and among the powerful.
Think of the level of confidence these people possess, to send Rather and Heyward out there to defend these documents!
The decision to bring down the President using forged "news", via CBS News, for heaven's sake-this isn't using left wing (black) pajama-wearers!
yeah and if he was male enough to father children they would be running barefoot through the B.S. spread around his plantation.
This is the really amazing part of this whole story, the "crime" they are trying to expose (even if true, and I don't concede that it is) is so minor, as to be on the level of jay walking.
I have read that the true plan was to slowly build a case that President Bush was a druggie and come late October run a story connecting the dots.
But again, (and I don't concede any truth to those charges) President Bush has already admitted that he had a period in his life where he was wild and reckless, and then he repented and reformed his life.
President Bush is not running on who he was 35 years ago, but on his record of the past four years. You would think the Democrats would be able to find something more recent to disagree with this administration.
John Kerry made a big mistake using his time in Viet Nam as the reason to elect him President. If he was as smart as they keep telling us, and he had plans to run for President some day, he should have cleaned up his record years ago. He could have gone to one of the many Veternans conventions and apologized for his words and deeds. This simple act would have neutralized the Swifties, but it is obvious that he still thinks he is right, and that thinking is what will keep him from winning this election.
I have often wondered about how Bill Clinton was able to get away with all he did. The only conclussion I could come up with is that he sold his soul to the devil, but the price was more then his sould, but the entire Democrate Party. Think about it, Bill Clinton with all he said and did, comes out of eight years of scandals in the White House untouched, yet everything else is in shambles. If the Democrats are mad, they are focusing on the wrong man (President Bush), the real cause for their current pain is Bill Clinton.
Perhaps Bill Clinton was good for the country after all. If his eight years in the White House results in the death of the Democrat Party, then it may have been worth it, thanks Bill. (Maybe Bill Clinton was a Karl Roves invention as well.)
There's also been a web site up and on the web pushing this story since October 5, 2000. Using The Wayback Machine you can see what's been on the site:
It appears that someone has been funding this story and pushing it for four years running. Who are the people behind the web site? What is their connection to this current memo controversy?
Some digging, while holding my nose it is hard to type that way by the way, turned up links to thomaspaine.com, mention of a "Martin Heldt", there is mention about a refusal to follow two direct orders for a physical (hmmm, wonder where that claim showed up lately?), etc. too much to stomach this early in the AM.
The site's registration information lists:
Tell the Truth, Inc. (AWOLBUSH-DOM)
3 Harbor, #315
Sausalito, CA 94965
An older registration had this info:
Easton, Will (WEO45) weaston@IGC.ORG
Tell the Truth, Inc.
4130 Cesar Chavez #60
San Francisco, CA 94110
Could it be the "Will Easton" who introducted Dr. Dean out in San Francisco earlier this year?
The same "Will Easton" who is organizing "supporters of Barbara Boxer, Democrat from California, to discuss organizing and mobilizing for her 2004 Senate run."
The same "Will Easton" who is involved with the Institute for Global Communications (IGC)? http://www.igc.apc.org/
Not sure if this is the same "To Tell the Truth, Inc." that got a contract from the Allegheny County in Pennsylvania this month:
APPROVED EXECUTIVE ACTIONS - 9/7/04
EXEC. ACT. AUTH.
CENTER/JOB OBJECT DEPARTMENT VENDOR DESCRIPTION AMOUNT
882-04 9/3/2004 203105 63010
Services Tell The Truth, Inc.
To enter into an Agreement for consultation services for
M/W/DBE and the Department of Administrative Services.
Estimated Cost: $56,000 $56,000.00
I've reviewed forgery and fraud laws, and think criminal charges there are dry holes.
I haven't reviewed or studied electioneering laws, but have an aversion to "going there" for the same reason I have an aversion to Congressional hearings. Both lead to regulation of political expression by the media, using the force of law.
To me, the best "correction" is for the public to view all media with deep skepticism, and for each individual to develop critical thinking and analytical skills. Reading comprehension, logical thinking, etc. are useful to society in proportion to the fraction of its people that posses those skills.
I have no issue with the cause of action that GWB has against CBS News for defamation, or a shareholder suit by Viacom shareholders, if their stock loses value on bad business judgement.
"Both sides will count on the electorate to sicken of this style and leave the real meat on the table untouched. "
Yes, they knew the Swift Boat Veterans had some real meat to serve up; and counted on these faked memos about Bush to innure the public to the TRUE charges.
Lots here on FR had thought so, but here he actually SAYS it!
Tough to figure out who the "strategically placed" people are; but the events and subsequent behavior point to high placement in the respective organizations.
Not even Les Moonves has come out, either way. I wonder how CBS News fits into Viacom's business. Is it a money maker? Break even? Loss? One thing that Viacom wants, is to be able to influence the political process via deception and propaganda. In principle, it is worth having that, even if the operation is a loser on the balance sheet.
I think the bigger motivating objective of CBS News (and NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, NPR, AP, etc.) is the ability to manipulate public opinion and the political process - not necessarily to earn a profit. It's about power first, and money second.
Even if Burkett is the forger, he may not have been the faxer. Remember, Rather said the memos came from "an unimpeachable source." Burkett is not "unimpeachable." Therefore, did someone else, someone who is unimpeachable, visit Burkett in Texas and use that Kinko's? If so, who? Who is the Deep Throat of this story?