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Are the pro-Kerry media insane?


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The revelation that CBS has used apparently forged documents as the basis for its 60 Minutes program on Bush's military service is a truly serious issue. The so-called objective mainstream media in this country have studiously ignored serious questions raised by the Swift Boat veterans and others for months now, even though their relatively inexpensive campaign has galvanized the nation. The only treatment they have given them is to question their character and veracity. But the main stream, pro-Kerry media have given significant space to the question of Bush's service in the Air National Guard, over and over and over, even when the story is simply a rehash of old charges. Now it turns out that Dan Rather and CBS may not have checked effectively whether the documents they were fed were real, and gave little or no weight to the fact that Ben Barnes, interviewed by Rather, is a significant fund raiser and donor to the Kerry campaign. They run the risk of being exposed as corporate shills for Terry McAuliffe and the Democrats, and may forfeit their reputation and honor as a trustworthy source of news, and hence quite possibly their ongoing commercial viability. How many sponsors will spend money to support a propaganda machine? If these charges are substantiated, look for Rather and the whole CBS crew to start a major apology campaign pronto.

 

I have been concerned for a long time that the Kerry campaign was being buoyed along by big money from the irresponsible left, Soros and others, from Move-On.org and other 527 groups, whose agenda is a sort of swamp-fever anti-Bush craziness that will doom the Kerry candidacy when its roots and agendas are widely known. Kerry's association with these people will increasingly be seen as weakness or worse as they are shown to be off the wall or even lying. Other questionable Kerry events will be brought back into the light as a consequence. If Kerry seriously wants to be the leader of a nation half of which respects Bush, what would possess him to endorse a comedy act that compares Bush to female genitals, and call the Radio City Music Hall hate-fest a voice from mainstream America? Why would Kerry refuse to make a serious and detailed response to the Swift Boat Veteran charges, who after all served with him? Why has Kerry made no helpful response to the concern for his trashing of other veterans in 1971? Why did he allow himself to imply that he might like to take a rifle with him to the debates? Whatever can he be thinking? If you think Bush is polarizing, wait till Kerry is president. He is beyond foolish not to have dealt already, and long since, with the veterans' issues, and is showing that he has poor on the spot judgment about what he says. He should consistently have taken the high road of personal respect for Bush so that he can call on his opponents for support from them when the chips are down on him and he needs them later in his term. Bush has consistently refused to do anything but praise Kerry for his service to the nation in Vietnam. I think Kerry simply does not know how political leadership works.

 

If these documents used in the 60 Minutes program from CBS on Bush turn out to be forged, Kerry and McAuliffe and the whole Democratic Party crew will be put in a terrible place, seeming at the same time weak pawns in a big money media power game and as willing to countenance dishonorable means to gain office. To charge Bush with similar tactics is no answer. People will ask, Why should we trade one nasty piece of work for another, especially when Kerry doesn't seem to know what he's doing?

 

The response to this must not be another round of Bush-bashing ad hominem attacks, but a frank acknowledgment that passion has led some to do wrong. Without such an admission, I am afraid that Kerry and the whole Democratic ticket (except of course Illinois, where the Republican stance is a circular firing squad) will suffer massive damage.

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I don't buy that they're forgeries, and not just because I'm anti-Bush. How can these "experts" examine a document just from what was shown on a TV screen? Shouldn't they see the actual document?

 

I believe the documents were done on a typewriter. I need to get to bed; I have an overnight starting early, but read through this:

 

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/10/21036/4232

 

Here's the best post if you don't want to wade through:

 

 

 

The IBM Executive electric typewriter:

 

[ul][li]Had proportional fonts.

 

[li]Was made from 1947 through the 70's

 

[li]Was made in very large numbers and was a business machine, not a custom typesetter.

 

[li]Had superscript keys on at least some models

 

[li]Used a typeface designed by Monotype, designer of Times New Roman[/ul]

 

Here's a link to an article showing an ad created with an IBM Executive:

http://www.microsparc.com/news.htm

 

Note how similar the type looks to the type in the memos. It's not identical, but neither is Times New Roman. Given that IBM made many different models of the Executive, it's hard to be sure the type wasn't made with some version of that machine.

 

And here's a list of Monotype fonts, including Times New Roman and Typewriter IBM Executive:

 

http://members.aol.com/typecaster/alph.htm

 

People forget that there was a readily available electric typewriter with proportional fonts because the Selectric, the most popular model of the modern era, did not have proportional fonts. It had easily-changeable fonts, but in order to make it easy to change the fonts (by swapping balls) they had to lose the proportional feature. The Selectric was so popular that it eventually squeezed out all the non-ball typewriters, including the Executive. However, in 1972 the Selectric was brand-new, and the Exective was still positioned as IBM's top of the line typewriter, as far as I can tell.

 

Posted by: Don Munsil on September 10, 2004 at 1:19 AM

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You make some good points, Rick. But the documents are available now. CBS has posted them in Acrobat 3 pdf format. I applaud them for making them public in a way that everyone can check. Scroll down the page and you will find links to them all.

 

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/09/06/politics/main641481.shtml

 

One of the most interesting things about this story to me is the democratization (small d -- not the party) of news that is happening. There are now literally thousands of people with their web logs, and the range of talent is simply amazing. If nothing else, this shows that the days of waiting for the main media outlets to write and disseminate a story so that it can become known are over, and we are in an era of mass scrutiny of potentially everything.

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>>I don't buy that they're forgeries,

>

>

>Would you like to ammend your opinion now that their

>authenticity has been blown to smithereens?

>

>Curiously yours,

>

>FFF

 

And that wouldn't just happen to be because Fin Fang Foom says so, would it? The jury is still out, so FFF, don't start blowing yourself just yet.

 

CBS confident documents are genuine; Source of claims runs Conservative Victory Committee

Filed under:

 

• General

— site admin @ 5:12 pm Email This

 

Latest: CBS certain documents are genuine; Video of tonight’s CBS broadcast at Raw Story

 

By John Byrne and Jesse Kanson-Benanav | Raw Story Editors

 

Update: CBS News released this statement this afternoon.

 

Later today, CBS News will address on the air and in detail the issues surrounding the documents broadcast in the 60 MINUTES report on President Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard. At this time, however, CBS News states with absolute certainty that the ability to produce the “th” superscript mentioned in reports about the documents did exist on typewriters as early as 1968, and in fact is in President Bush’s official military records released by the White House. This and other issues surrounding the authenticity of the documents and more on this developing story will be reported on tonight on THE CBS EVENING NEWS WITH DAN RATHER.

 

Internet ‘journalist’ Matt Drudge has posted an claim which suggests that the new documents that indict President Bush’s failures in the National Guard are actually fakes.

 

The source of his story, Cybercast News Service, is a well-known conservative ‘news’ machine headed by L. Brent Bozell III, who also serves as the head of the Conservative Victory Committee. CNS News was founded in 1988 to combat the “[clear] liberal bias in many news outlets”.

 

Unlike Rupert Murdoch, whose empire includes the conservative television outlet Fox News, Bozell is not simply to be the leader of a conservative media company (the Media Research Center is also under his control); he has campaigned aggressively for conservative candidates, including Pat Buchanan. He is the nephew of conservative columnist William Buckley, and the son of Brent Bozell, Jr., who assisted Barry Goldwater with the writing of Conscience of a Conservative.

 

The Media Research Center, along with Bozell, took part in the drive to eradicate PBS.

 

Here’s a quick statement from his online autbiography.

 

Mr. Bozell also serves as Executive Director of the Conservative Victory Committee (CVC). An independent multi-candidate political action committee, the CVC has helped to elect dozens of conservative candidates over the past ten years. He has also served as National Finance Chairman for the Buchanan for President campaign, and Finance Director and later President of the National Conservative Political Action Committee.

 

His other ‘news source’ is a conservative blogger, who sits on the board of directors for a conservative thinktank.

 

Powerline blog is associated with the Twin Cities Northern Alliance Radio Network, a loose association of self-avowed conservative radio shows and blogs based in Minneapolis and St. Paul. The author, Scott Johnson is an attorney based in St. Paul who is associated and has written extensively for the Center of the American Experiment, “Minnesota’s Conservative Thinktank.”

 

He has published such papers as “The Truth about Income Inequality,” which claims that income inequality has not increased in America in recent years. Rather to the contrary, Johnson claims “these stories have been based, almost universally, on biased analyses which manipulate and distort the underlying economic facts.”

 

Johnson is employed as an attorney for the Claremont Institute, a conservative institution in Claremont, CA whose mission is “to restore the principles of the American Founding to their rightful, preeminent authority in our national life.”

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>They're not fakes, and Bush is a liar. Here's the latest:

>

>http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/11/authenticity_backed_on_bush_documents/

 

Rick, on behalf of everyone here on the MB, I would like to thank you for your rapid Boston Globe updates.

 

oops, wait, I'm wrong.

 

It appears you aren't quite as quick to put up Boston Globe links that cause wardrobe malfunctions to your belief that the fake documents are real.

 

So, I'll supply the link for you. No thanks needed.

 

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/12/new_doubt_cast_on_guard_documents/

 

Furthermore, HughHewitt.com spoke with the Dr. Bouffard that The Boston globe trumpets in your above-mentioned 9/11 article and Hugh Hewitt reports:

 

"I just interviewed Dr. Bouffard again, and he's angry that the Globe has misrepresented him. He's been getting hate mail and nasty phone calls since last night's story was posted, and he wants me to correct the record. He did not change his mind, and he and his colleagues are becoming more certain that these documents are forgeries."

 

Rick, I would suggest you find a new dead horse to whip, this one is beginning to attract flies.

 

And no, that was NOT a veiled reference to Donnie.

 

Stick a fork in Dan Rather, he's done.

 

Repeatedly yours,

 

FFF

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Bush's Guard Service and the Right Wing's 60 Minutes Mythology

 

by Salvador Peralta

 

published by The Progressive Trail

 

Bush's Guard Service and the Right Wing's 60 Minutes Mythology

 

On Wednesday of this week, CBS's 60 Minutes aired a segment which shed some light on President Bush's failure to fulfill his military obligations to the Texas Air National Guard. 60 Minutes Later, the Right Wing punditry started to respond...

 

The documentation that 60 Minutes used as the basis for their story included the following:

 

A memo ordering Bush to take a physical

 

A memo discussing "options of how Bush can get out of coming to drill from now through November." And that due to other commitments "he may not have time."

 

A document suspending Bush for "failure to perform to U.S. Air Force/Texas Air National Guard standards and for failure to take his annual physical as ordered."

 

A memo from Bush's squadron commander where "he is being pressured by higher-ups to give the young pilot a favorable yearly evaluation; to, in effect, sugarcoat his review. He refuses, saying, 'I'm having trouble running interference and doing my job.'"

 

Within hours of the airing of the 60 Minutes segment, a user named "Buckhead" posted to the FreeRepublic.com web site asserting that proportionally-spaced fonts were not common in 1972, and that the 60 Minutes story was a forgery.

 

This post was picked up on the blog LittleGreenFootballs.com, and went from there to the CyberSpace News Service where it spread via the drudgereport from whence it was sucked into the right wing press outlets such as Fox news and the Weekly Standard as gospel before finally making it's finally into the mainstream media including the AP, LA Times, and Washington Post.

 

Holding aside the journalistic credibility of the original sources for this story, "littegreenfootballs.com" and "Buckhead", a cursory glance at the facts of the matter show that the entire right wing line is built on a foundation of decepton. The general line of the right wing attack machine is as follows:

 

Don't deny the story outright. Just raise the possibility that the documents *might* be faked. This gives partisans something to latch onto and a talking point to start regurgitating in the right wing press. Repeat the lie often enough and some people will regard it as the truth.

 

Of course, that only works if people don't take the time to debunk the lies. So with that in mind, let's deconstruct the four major planks of the right wing's attack on the 60 Minutes Story:

 

1. Times New Roman Fonts did not exist in 1972

 

The Times New Roman font was developed in 1931 by Stanley Morison, Typographical Advisor to the Monotype Corporation who adapted the font to the IBM selectric Typewriter in 1947.

 

2. Documents back then didn't have superscripted 'th' characters

 

Superscripted fonts appear on other documents in Bush's flight school record, and had been available on IBM electric typewriters since 1947.

 

3. The document used proportional spacing which was not available in 1972

Proportional spacing had been available on typewriters since 1941. Press advertisements dating back to 1952 and 1953 suggest that the feature was widely available, and was even used on Richard Nixon's resignation letter in 1974.

 

4. The document used curlycue apostrophes which did not exist on typewriters in 1972.

 

Print advertisements for the IBM Exectuive typewriter show that curlycue apostrophes were used as early as 1953.

 

Proof that the air force was using typewriters capable of producing documents as early as 1966 can be found here.

 

The story is a cautionary tale about the effectiveness of the right wing smear machine at obfuscating facts and using outright lies to manipulate the public and to punish those who attempt to hold President Bush accountable for his actions.

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This is a weblog by one of the pioneers of electronic typesetting and document creation. He states with certainty that the documents are falsified and he is not a Bush supporter.

 

Also the Boston newspapers have had their source denied the story that Rick cited so that is also out of the question.

 

In addition, the general that CBS cited also denied it because he said that they read the documents over the telephone and they sounded good, but he was under the impression that they were hand-written. Killian did not know how to type so the likelihood of his typing a memo to CYA is highly unlikely.

 

http://www.flounder.com/bush2.htm

 

is an exhaustive description of why the documents are fake.

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Here is another where the guy tried to create the document using the IBM Selectric Composer. Read it and weep:

 

The IBM Selectric Composer

For a couple of days now we've been talking about whether the CBS memos could have been produced using the technology available in 1972 and 1973. We've talked about two typewriters mainly, both widely used at that time: the IBM Executive series and the IBM Selectric series.

 

Though the question has hardly been conclusively answered, the consensus of opinion among interested parties seems to be that neither an Executive nor a Selectric could have produced these memos.

 

My purpose here is not to debate the relative merits of either of those typewriters; that discussion is happening elsewhere. Rather, I want to take a moment to consider the dark horse candidate, the one piece of equipment that is widely believed to have been capable of producing a document similar to these memos, but that has been dismissed as being so improbable an alternative as to hardly bear talking about.

 

I'm referring to the IBM Selectric Composer. This machine resembles a sophisticated electric typewriter in most respects, but is in fact a full-fledged cold-type typesetting machine. (Cold type as opposed to hot type, machines like the Linotype that would cast entire lines of type in molten lead as the typesetter worked. Ah, those were the days.)

 

Whenever the topic has turned to the Selectric Composer, it has been dismissed out-of-hand as being far too expensive an item to find in an office on an Air National Guard base: The machine sold for anywhere from $3,600 to $4,400, and fonts were extra and not cheap. Furthermore, the Composer was widely agreed to be far too complicated and slow a machine to use for typing up memoranda, especially ones that were destined to go into a file and not even be distributed.

 

Update: Many commenters have pointed out — and I'm trying to read 'em all, I promise! — that I'm talking about $3,600 to $4,400 in unadjusted 1973 dollars here. If you use one of the widely available deflation or purchasing-power calculators, you end up with an equivalent in 2004 dollars of between about $16,000 and about $22,000. Bottom line: despite its fairly innocuous appearance, the Selectric Composer was no ordinary office typewriter. It was a pricey little number.

 

But the nagging question remained: Could an IBM Selectric Composer have been used to produce these documents?

 

I found my answer the same place everybody finds everything these days: Google. Typing "IBM Selectric Composer" into that search site took me to the aptly named ibmcomposer.org, which describes itself as "the only site on the Internet completely dedicated to the IBM 'Selectric' Composer line of typesetting machines." The site, which is run by Gerry Kaplan, includes information, scanned user manuals, and photographs of the only working IBM Selectric Composer I've been able to find. And, fortunately for me, it also includes an e-mail address.

 

When I first heard back from Gerry, I felt a little bad for having bothered him. He'd been fielding calls and letters all day, he told me, including an inquiry from CNN. But he was a trouper, willing — enthusiastic even — to help out.

 

I asked Gerry, in a fit of hubris, if he wouldn't mind trying to reproduce a sample from one of the CBS memos on his Selectric Composer. Just over an hour later, he emailed me back a sample, typed up on his Composer using the 11-point Press Roman type ball and scanned into his computer.

 

 

At first glance, the sample Gerry provided looks pretty darned close. The type is proportionally spaced, just like the type in the CBS memos. Gerry was also able to reproduce the now-infamous superscripted "th," though he had a disclaimer about that.

 

Superscript didn't come out so good because when you change the escapement lever (from the larger spacing to smaller spacing, and visa versa), sometimes the ball actually slips forward by a small amount, so you can see that the superscript looks disjointed.

But all in all, I thought it looked pretty close. Was it possible that thirty years ago an Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel typed up a handful of memos on a state-of-the-art typesetting machine?

 

I was getting ahead of myself. There's a big difference between looking pretty close and actually being pretty close. I knew I wouldn't be able to tell until I got the samples into Adobe Photoshop and superimposed them. I tinted Gerry's sample red for visibility and then overlaid it on top of the original. Here's the result.

 

 

The most obvious discrepancy was that the line-spacing — what typographers call leading (rhymes with "shredding") — was off. I e-mailed Gerry about this, and he replied: "Yes, if I had really tried, I could have matched the spacing (leading). The leading on the composer can be finely adjusted. Don't know if it is down to the single point level, but it probably is since you can set the leading according to the font, and the leading dial goes from something like 6pt up to 14pt."

 

Rather than asking Gerry to cough me up another sample, I simply split the lines of type apart in Photoshop and slid them down to align with the baselines of the corresponding lines of type in the original. Here's the adjusted version.

 

 

Much better … and pretty darned close to the original. But not close enough. The letterforms in the IBM's Press Roman typeface are very close to the letterforms in the CBS memo. Not surprising, since they're both based on the original Times New Roman font commissioned by the Times of London in 1931. But as we've seen already, different versions of the same font always exhibit subtle differences, usually in letterspacing. This case is no different.

 

Consider the first line of type. The "14" at the end of the line is almost perfectly aligned in both samples. But the word "to" in "report to commander" is significantly offset. So's "AFB." And, of course, the second line is completely out of whack. The third line is quite close, except for the superscript, the one Gerry said looked disjointed because of a slip in the carrier while he was adjusting the escapement lever.

 

Hey, what about that superscript? How'd he make it? I asked him via e-mail, and he replied:

 

To make the superscripted th, I first typed "111", then switched the font to the 8pt font, switched the escapement lever to the smaller escapement (horizontal movement), reverse indexed the paper 1/2 line up, typed the "th", indexed 1/2 line down, switched the escapement lever to the wider escapement, then changed the type ball back to the 11pt font. On other tries, I was able to produce the superscripted th much cleaner (where it looked proper), but on the one I sent you, the carrier slipped forward a little bit when I switched the escapement lever to and from the smaller spacing.

Just to be clear, when Gerry says he switched to the 8-point font, he's not talking about pushing a button. He had to remove the 11-point type ball from the machine and replace it with the 8-point type ball, which in a real office would involve digging in the back of a drawer to find the seldom-used thing. Creating that superscript wasn't quick or easy, and when he did it the carrier slipped and the superscript ended up offset. Unlike the perfectly formed and placed superscripts seen in the CBS memos.

 

So the superscript is slightly off, and the letterspacing is significantly off. What's left? Something I didn't even think to ask about: the centered type.

 

Another point that is very suspicious is the centered heading. This is a snap to do with fixed spacing (like courier), but the text is centered using proportional spaced text, which means that the typist had to carefully measure the text prior to typing to calculate its exact center point. Typing a superscript, with all its steps, is simple compared to centering text proportionally without digital electronics.

This point was so important to Gerry that he went out of his way to mention it to me again later in the day: centering type is hard on the Selectric Composer. Two of the memos, May 4 and August 1, 1972, feature a three-line centered head. Each of those lines of type had to be centered by measuring it carefully, doing some math, then advancing the carrier to just the right point on the page. The margin for error would be pretty wide because type can be off by a few points in either direction and still look pretty well centered. It wouldn't be objectionable unless you went looking for it. So it wasn't necessary for Lt. Col. Killian — or his typist — to be millimeter-precise.

 

And yet … he was.

 

 

Two letterheads typed three months apart can be superimposed on each other so perfectly that no difference at all can be seen. It's the same deal as before: the red in front was superimposed over the black behind it. You just can't see the black copy because the red copy is perfectly aligned with it. These letterheads weren't centered to within a couple of points of each other. They were centered exactly the same. Three months apart.

 

Remarkable.

 

Can we draw any conclusions from this? Well, there's always room for doubt, no matter how slim, no matter how slight. But in my opinion … yes. Based on the significant differences in letterspacing between the Composer font and the font used in the memos, the iffy nature of the superscript "th," and the unbelievable coincidence of the precisely centered headlines, I'm ready to say that the IBM Selectric Composer was not used to produce these memos.

 

Update: Gerry, who I swear is going to have his own blog before the end of this, had a suggestion.

 

Something that I think would be a good test for your website may be to reproduce the centered heading using MS Word and Times New Roman. If you can produce centered text that matches identically to the letterhead, it is, in my opinion, a true hoax. The reason is, because even if they were able to center text with a typesetting machine such as the composer, a PC (and good word processor), will center the text even more precisely, not at the "point" level, but rather on the twip level (1/1440th of an inch or 1/20th of a point).

I live to please. Behold:

 

 

This is the composite image from above with the new stuff on top. The bottom layer is the first original memo headers in black. Above that is the second original memo headers in red ink. And on top of that in black is the header I created just now using Microsoft Word's default settings and clicking the "center" button. There's a little slippage because the original scans are not perfectly horizontal while the overlay I put on top is. But beyond that … looks like a dead-on match to me.

 

What are the odds?

 

An update, in two parts: First, I would never suggest ballot-stuffing an online poll. Never. However, I'm not above publicizing one that deserves attention. Tonight's CNN/Lou Dobbs "quick poll" asks the question, "Should Dan Rather and CBS News reveal the sources of the Bush memos?" Y'all all know what I think, and now so does CNN. Go give 'em your opinion.

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>Tonight's CNN/Lou

>Dobbs "quick poll" asks the question, "Should Dan Rather and

>CBS News reveal the sources of the Bush memos?" Y'all all know

>what I think, and now so does CNN. Go give 'em your opinion.

 

What about Bob Novak? Do you also think he should have to reveal the White House source who outed Valerie Plame as a CIA operative to him? Novak has been, for months, declaring that as a journalist, he shouldn't have to reveal the person who outed Plame to get back at her husband Joe Wilson, but just last night Novak vehemently stated that Rather must reveal his source for the memos. What a weasel.

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As to Novak, OK by me but you need to remember that unless Plame was functioning at the time in an undercover position, then there was not problem with mentioning that she was an employee of the CIA and that the person who probably made her position most evident was her husband, the man who went to Niger, had tea with the government official who mentioned that the Iraqis were trying to get a trade deal and then came back to say that the Iraqis were not trying to get yellowcake uranium in Africa. He only talked to Niger and the info Bush used mentioned that the Iraqis were trying to to get yellowcake from several countries in Africa. We still don't know how he got the appointment to do this trip either. Was it because of his wife? The question still remains unanswered. One thing is sure is that his finding does not negate Bush's statement as stated by Lord Hutton and the 9/11 Commission.

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>Two letterheads typed three months apart can be superimposed

>on each other so perfectly that no difference at all can be

>seen. It's the same deal as before: the red in front was

>superimposed over the black behind it. You just can't see the

>black copy because the red copy is perfectly aligned with it.

>These letterheads weren't centered to within a couple of

>points of each other. They were centered exactly the same.

>Three months apart.

>

>Remarkable.

 

 

Yes, really remarkable. People used to print the letterhead first, and then type on it later. How quaint. Because the letterhead was printed with an offset process, every sheet looked the same. Amazing, for mid-20th Century technology.

 

The font was the same because they may have typed the master for the letterhead, on the same typewriter.

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Well, not really. It's a valid question, which you you Bush supporters have studiously avoided answering.

 

As for the famous memos, they may NOT be originals. CBS never got the originals, and never said it had originals. If Killian didn't type, he may have handwritten his CYA memo. However, at some point he may have had someone type it up for him, and later on he (or someone else) may have retyped it as a word-processing document when that technology became available.

 

Regardless of the circumstances, and the incredible dither about the authenticity of this particular document, everyone is overlooking that other documents cover details of Bush's service, and those documents have not been challenged by anyone, including the White House. Most of those are original documents (or copies of the originals). There is other testimonial evidence from people who served in the Alabama National Guard at the time Bush was supposed to have been there, as well as from people in Texas who "made calls" to help get Bush into the Guard. Bush, himself, admitted several years ago that "people made calls" for him so he could jump to the top of the waiting list for the few available slots. So whether or not this particular document is fake, the overall record is clear that Bush used his family's influence to avoid service in Vietnam by joining the National Guard, and then failed to meet his service requirement. Why or how he avoided court-martial, or being called to active duty, as a consequence is not clear. But his failure to follow orders and take his flight physical seems to be an unassailable fact, as was his use of influence to get in the Guard in the first place.

 

The facts about Kerry's service are also unassailable (in spite of the loathsome Swift Boat Veterans for Backstabbing). Kerry also could have used any of the dodges available to the children of the elite to avoid serving in Vietnam. He chose not to. He volunteered, served in combat, was wounded, acted heroically, and was decorated for his injuries and for his valor. The Bushitters can use all the smoke and mirrors and flashguns at their command to try to divert voters from that truth, but it's still the truth, just as Bush (and Cheney's) avoidance of combat service is also the truth.

 

But by all means, keep the debate raging! It keeps the tawdry nature of Bush's service before the voters. It's richly deserved payback for the craven campaign to try to discredit Kerry's record.

It's a crying shame, though, that American politics have come to this level of pettiness and filth. x( And meanwhile, real and pressing issues, like how to extricate ourselves from Iraq, or what to do about some really dangerous governments like North Korea or Iran, or stopping the insane deficit spending that's going to put our economy in the toilet before long, go ignored. Meanwhile, in some cave somewhere, Osama must be giggling himself into fits. He couldn't possibly have wrought as much havoc and damage, even if al-Qaeda were a hundred times larger and stronger!

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Nothing, repeat NOTHING in the CBS memos is inconsistent with them being written on an IBM Golfball typewriter of whatever flavour your care to name. You did not change the pitch to print a superscript - you just hit a key marked with a fraction that corresponded to the superscript you wanted, the proportional spacing on the IBM did it for you. Golfballs with "th", "nd" and "st" were available in Press Roman and if I remember correctly 10 and 12 point size as off the shelf alternatives to the standard golfballs with fractions. If you went into any IBM stockist you could pick one up usually from stock,

 

Golfballs were mechanically produced so each letter had its own slight offset when examined in great detail. In some cases you found one where the letters were ideally and regularly placed. If you were a perfectionist (and I worked with some typists who were) you kept this one for "best" whereas the ones with the letters more out of alignment you used for day to day work. The good ones just looked better on the page and I doubt whether they could actually explain precisely why they thought it was better. Even then, as you used it, the metal wore down and the crisp letters became "fuzzier". As they wore down, you could not use them for multiple carbon copies or cutting stencils but they were perfectly adequate for things like record cards where more inconsistent or less crisp letters did not matter, thus protecting your "better" ones.

 

For these reasons it is not possible to exactly overlay two documents produced at different times or by different golfballs with the same typeface. If you used carbon paper, it is not even possible to overlay say the top and 3rd copy precisely as the thickness of the paper/carbon layers meant there were slight differences in the vertical spacing of the lines. The top copy was covering a larger circumference of platter/paper/carbon/paper than the bottom copy. As the roller turned through the same angle, more paper was drawn though for the top copy than those lower down the pile. Simple geometry. Sometimes copies slipped very slightly as the roller turned hence the supposed "proportional vertical spacing".

 

Despite all the highly complex and ingeneous ways the experts in computer word processing and typesetting can come up with, the fact remains the easiest and most likely way the CBS documents could be produced is with a standard IBM golfball typewriter that would have been found in virtually any well-equipped office.

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RE: Dick's Nerve

 

>How conveniently you tried to side-step the other matters at

>hand. Since the documents have been conclusively proven to be

>fakes, you now try to shove the question off to something

>else. Typical!!

 

Hey, Dick, you have one hell of a fucking nerve ragging on someone else for changing the subject. I'm still trying to get you to explain why you falsely stated that Tawana Brawley publicly confessed her rape accusations were untrue, when the fact is she never did any such thing. You made that statement in a thread during the primaries earlier this year and you have changed the subject or run away every time I have asked you why you said it. If you are going to post lies and then run away when someone challenges you, don't complain about others, just shut the fuck up.

 

As for the Bush documents, there has been no "conclusive" proof either way. You just ignore all of the facts on the other side of the issue because your chief ambition in life is to have your lips sugically attached to Bush's buttocks.

 

What has been conclusively proved is that Bush signed up for the Guard to get out of going to Vietnam and then didn't fulfill his obligations, even going so far as to lose his right to fly by failing to take a mandatory medical exam. THAT is the subject, and it is YOU who are changing it to the authenticity of these documents because you don't want to deal with it.

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RE: Dick's Nerve

 

Good, good, keep it up. This continuing focus on a non-issue is of great benefit to Bush and we thank you for it. The electorate have heard about Bush's National Guard service time and time again and doesn't care what happened 40 years ago. Kerry made a serious blunder by starting it, first by claiming that joining the National Guard was the equivalent of draft evasion. Them he made his own service in Vietnam the center piece of his election campaign, opening himself up to close examination of his alleged heroism. The truth, we now know is that his three purple hearts were for mere scratches, and a insult to all those who were proud of their purple hearts for serious injuries. At the same time, his unable to come up with a consistent position on our most pressing issue: Iraq. To say he flip-flops is an understatement. Even after being accused of flip floping he has continued to do so. No one can honestly say he knows Kerrys position on Iraq. And say what you will, he seems weak on terrorism. His emphasis on begging our allies and the UN is not encouraging. So when it is all over, Kerry will lose and all his supporters will spend the next 4 years crying:"BooHoo, Kerry lost because they smeared him."Wrong, he will lose because he is running one of the most inept campaigns in the memory of man.

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RE: Dick's Nerve

 

>Good, good, keep it up. This continuing focus on a non-issue

>is of great benefit to Bush and we thank you for it.

 

That "we" says a lot. I'm sure I'm not the only poster here who wonders what it is about you that makes you support a politician who wants to deny you the same civil rights as other Americans. Is there really a lot of difference between you and the Jewish "kapos" who helped the Nazis keep order in the camps?

 

 

> The

>electorate have heard about Bush's National Guard service time

>and time again and doesn't care what happened 40 years ago.

 

If you Repubs really feel that this issue creates no problems for Bush, why are you trying to deflect attention away from the fact that he failed to complete his Guard service by focusing on the authenticity of the documents? Your behavior doesn't make sense -- if you are telling the truth.

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