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What the hell. It's Matt Drudge, but he's about as competent as Dan Rather.

 

TEXAS GUARD SECRETARY SURFACES: SAYS CBS DOCS 'FORGERIES', BUT STANDS BY ACCUSATIONS AGAINST BUSH

 

The DRUDGE REPORT has found Lt. Col. Jerry Killian's former secretary who claims that the Texas Air National Guard documents offered by CBS in its 60 MINUTES II report filed by Dan Rather last week are indeed 'forgeries'.

 

"I did not type these particular memos. I typed memos like these," Knox told the DRUDGE REPORT from her home in Houston.

 

"I typed memos that had this information in them, but I did not type these memos. There are terms in these memos that are not Guard terms but that are Army terms. They use the word 'Billets'. I think they were using that to refer to the slot. That would be a non-flying slot the way we would use it. And the style... they are sloppy looking."

 

But Marion Carr Knox stands by the accusations contained in the allegedly fraudulent documents that Bush skirted a medical and flight exam without suffering institutional repercussions.

 

"The information in these memos is correct -- like Killian's dealing with the problems."

 

"It was General Staudt, not then Lt. Colonel Hodges [who succeeded Staudt], that was putting on the pressure to whitewash Bush. For instance he didnt take his flight examination or his physical. And the pilots had to take them by their birthdays. Once in a while there would be a reason why a pilot would miss these things because some of them were commercial pilots. But they had to make arrangements to take their exams."

 

Knox speculated as to how she thought the forgeries were created saying, "My guess is that someone in the outfit got hold of the real ones and discussed it with a former Army person."

 

Knox worked for the Guard from 1957 until she retired in 1979, and she was Lt. Col. Killian's secretary during the time President Bush served in Texas.

 

Contacted by the DRUDGE REPORT, Lt. Col. Killian's son Gary, who also served in the unit during the same period, responded: "I know Marion Carr. I remember her as a sweet lady who reminded me then of a dear aunt."

 

"But if Staudt had put pressure on my dad, there would have been a blow-up -- instantly. It was one of the reasons they got along so well. They had a mutual respect for one another."

 

"As has been pointed out by so many others, then Col Staudt had been out of the unit for 18 months. And I stand by my previous comments regarding my dad's admiration for Lt. Bush and his regard for him as an officer and pilot -- which was exemplary."

 

Knox told the DRUDGE REPORT that she did not vote for Bush in 2000 because he is 'unqualified' for the job, and does not intend to vote for him in 2004, either.

 

"Bush was not the only person of privilege who had a spot in the Guard. Senator [Lloyd] Bensen's nephew was in headquarters. There was a big jewelery store, Gordons. Their son was in the Guard. The owner of Batelstein's, a posh department store in the area, his son was in. The other kids couldn't get in like that. Hugh Roy Cullen's grandson was also in. He was a big oil man."

 

Knox, however, did have some kind words about then Lt. Bush.

 

"[bush] was always pleasant and gentlemanly to me," she said. "I never noticed him not being respectful. I thought he was a nice young man and that he must have had very nice parents to produce a son as nice as he seemed to be."

 

Knox has been following the story since last week when the 60 MINUTES II broadcast aired, and on Friday she contacted the HOUSTON CHRONICLE wanting to tell her side of the story. Since then the DALLAS MORNING NEWS has also contacted her.

 

"What really hecked me off was when it was somebody on TV, associated with the White House, who said that all of this information was lies. And I got excited at the time because I knew that I had typed documents with this information because a person like Bush stood out from the others -- because of his association with his father."

 

Asked about reports that Lt. Col. Killian's wife and son saying he didn't type, Knox stated, "He didn't need to. He had me."

 

Knox explains that the August 18, 1973 date typed on one of the "forged" documents proves that they were faked. Group Commander Staudt, who allegedly had been putting pressure on Killian, retired in 1972.

 

To the best of her recollection, Knox explains that Staudt must have put pressure on Killian in 1972 -- the year he retired.

 

"If my father was going to type a CYA memo, which he didn't," Gary Killian responded. "He would have typed it himself because he wouldn't have wanted anyone to see it. But it's academic because Colonel Staudt had been out of the unit for 18 months -- as is well documented."

 

Contacted at his office in Bartlett, Texas, former Major Dean Roome, who served with Lt. Bush, responded to the latest information.

 

"If the memos are fraudulent, then why were they generated? Roome asked.

 

"Marion Carr Knox is validating what the rest of us are saying. She says once in a while a pilot would miss a physical because some of them were commercial pilots. I was also a commercial pilot with Continental Airlines. The clinic did not just open up for us to take a personal physical. The Flight Surgeons had to be there along with a full complement of medical personnel. We took our physical during the Uniformed Training Assembly (UTA) just like everyone else."

 

"The 'former Army person' she references is the person we believe may have created the fraudulent documents in an effort to injure President Bush. He has his own agenda and I doubt that he has any 'real ones' [documents].

 

Ms. Knox states emphatically that she is not acting for political motives, and has no formal relationship with any political party. She says she just wants to set the record straight.

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And there you have it, straight from the mouth of the Drudge! Case closed on Bush's cushy service in the "Champagne Unit."

 

One last speculation, though: Killian very well may have handwritten a CYA memo to his own file at the time of the Dubya began evading his duty. Who knew then that the rich man's son in question was going to end up being President of the United States? Years later, though, when Dubya became politically prominent in his own right, Killian may have transcribed his hand-written memo on a word-processor, or had someone do it for him.

 

The authenticity of this particular memo, however, is really no longer relevant. The facts of the memo have now been confirmed by Killian's secretary and others who served with Bush in the National Guard. Bush himself admitted, years ago before he realized there was anything wrong with saying so, that people had made phone calls for him to get him into the Guard ahead of ordinary slobs who were on the waiting list. So the truth about Bush's military service remains unchanged from what had already been known about it.

 

Can we move on now?

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She could at least have cleared up the question as to what typewriter make was used - was it an IBM golfball as everyone suspects?

 

With all due respect to her, it would be difficult for her to remember if she produced exactly the four documents released. Thre are in any case strong reasons to suspect that she might not have typed some of them and it would be helpful to know the answer to some detailed questions about the working practices at the base. There is also no confirmation that they could not have been typed when she was on vacation, off sick or just out of the office.

 

1. The order to attend a medical.

 

Evidence from elsewhere suggests that for logistical reasons medicals were held for batches of pilots as TANG had to get together the doctors and other staff to conduct them. The logic would be for the office at the medical centre to arrange a date for a group to have the medicals, identify those who who were due to have one and write a standard letter to them notifying them of the date. This does seem to be the nature of the letter calling Bush to the medical - there is no degree of urgency or of a special nature of the appointment. A carbon copy would have been sent on for the personal file. The "order" would seem to be just such an ordinary, run of the mill, form letter sent to every pilot due a medical othewise it would have had special instructions like a time to report for the medical if the doctor had to be called in specially for one examination.

 

2. The memos to file.

 

These would surely have been very unusual unless such extra-ordinary pressures were being exerted on behalf of all the rich kids dodging Vietnam. Nothing precludes the officer two finger "hunting and pecking" the letters to type up the memo himself to maintain an absolute confidentiality even from his civilian secretary. I think it would be useful to ask her whether he could have done this or whether there was another person in the office who might have typed it up who had higher security clearance etc.

 

There are situations at work when many people are pressured to do things they think either morally wrong, against the rules of the organisation or simply illegal. Few would consider the situation here so serious as to risk a career by publicising improper behaviour by someone senior, even if they had retired but still had influence in the organisation. The natureal thing to do is comply but avoid personal repercussions by recording the events as privately as possible. Coloquially known as "covering your arse" here.

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It would also be useful to look at the implications if the situation around the medical is correctly reflected by the letter and note. Here is the secenario as it plays out (sorry if the orginal "60 minutes" showed this but we have not seen it in full here)

 

 

I think everyone can accept that Bush would have had to attend an annual medical and it is likely that TANG would have arranged it as a matter of routine. Bush agrees he did not attend the medical and gave up his flying status but at no stage has said when he advised TANG in advance that he would not attend the medical.

 

Here is my conjecture as to what happened

 

It would seem that Bush just did not turn up at the pre-arranged medical but phoned in a few days later to make his apologies. In the course of the discussion he advised his senior officer that he wanted to give up his flight status. The senior expressed his regrets that he was doing it and told him that TANG had invested quite a bit in his training in an effort to get him to change his mind. The TANG regulations required that a pilot going off flying status be counselled. The senior officer records the conversation for two reasons. The first is to confirm he had met the requirements to give counselling. The second is a record that Bush received counselling and his responses so that he did not have to be called in for a more formal interview at a later date.

 

 

I would suggest that if there were not the current political implications of Bush's actions, this would be seen as the action of a concerned senior officer when faced with a situation that have potentially fatal results for his junior. He could after all have instigated formal disciplinary proceedings that might have meant Bush being called up and sent to Vietnam.

 

Now my own conjecture for why Bush avoided his medical is not so far fetched. We know that Bush has admitted to having alcohol problems in his past. There is also the suggestion that he partook of other substances. Before his medical date, Bush goes partying and wakes up the day of the medical (or the day after!!) clearly not in a state to pass the medical. Bush gets advice through Daddy and his contacts as to how he can avoid taking a medical in future that would disqualify him from flying. He makes the arrangements so he can avoid going in for a special TANG medical and afterwards makes the call to his senior officer. He knows no-one will argue because ofthe influence Daddy wields.

 

Why do I think this? I know an alcoholic and drug abuser who is currently about to go into detox/rehab. His behaviour is similar in that he avoids situations that would mean him giving up to the extent he has missed medical appointments. He gets nervous before them and indulges "so he can go" and then cannot go because of the after effects. It's a classic denial/panic/flight sequence for substance abusers.

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GOOD MORNING AMERICA today had on two experts that CBS had contacted before airing the show; both had told CBS the documents were not real. at a minimum, CBS should have told the audience that the documents were questionable about their being real. also, everyone is seeing copies. where are the originals? i would think the paper would give clues if they were original. the documents look like a classic "dirty trick" that both parties have used over the years.

 

all of this slime throwing (by partisans of both sides) is stupid. we need to argue today's issues. when clinton ran against bush papa, we were told by the democrats that military service was not important; when clinton ran against dole, if the democrats felt military service was key then dole would have won by acclamation. gore's military service was the same special treatment as bush's so it was not an issue in the last election. now that the tables are turned, it seems that military service 30 years ago becomes all important. enough is enough.

 

how about starting a discussion of the real issues today.

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>With all due respect to her, it would be difficult for her to

>remember if she produced exactly the four documents released.

 

I always find it suspect when someone (often on a jury) claims to remember exactly what they did or didn't do a long time ago. She must have a remarkable memory, indeed, if he she can remember exactly what documents she typed thirty years ago.

 

BG

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>I always find it suspect when someone (often on a jury) claims

>to remember exactly what they did or didn't do a long time

>ago. She must have a remarkable memory, indeed, if he she can

>remember exactly what documents she typed thirty years ago.

 

I find it sad (a term used advisedly) that even as the evidence of forgery mounts from all areas (including major media organizations similar in every way to CBS; the very experts on whom CBS claimed to rely; and now this rabidly anti-Bush secretary (whose motives should be beyond questioning in light of her strenuous claims that the substance of the memos is real)), that people like you are so willing to shut your eyes so tightly to every fact, dismissing each one as they arise, and just insisting that these memos are real - for no reason other than the fact that doing so serves your partisan interests.

 

As I've said, I have had little interest in this story, wilfully ignoring it (as I did the Swift Boat garbage) for as long as I could. But now that it is everywhere, I've paid mild attention to it and it strikes me as fairly clear (given the diversity of sources who say it, including VERY LIBERAL ones) that the memos on which CBS relied are far more likely than not to be fabrications.

 

It's particularly ironic to see you cling to your partisan-driven faith-like belief in the authenticity of these documents - even in light of what is becoming rather conclusive evidence to the contrary - given that you just wrote a post lamenting that people are incapable of having objective discussions in the context of an election.

 

I don't think that the issue of the authenticity of these documents matters at all for the election - mostly because I don't need these memos to tell me that Bush used connections to get into the Guard and then didn't exactly take his duties seriously. I've long believed that to be the case without these memos, and I don't think many people doubt that's true or, more importantly, care about what Bush did 35 years ago.

 

That's why I don't think this issue matters for the election and why I think the Democrats are foolishly playing into Bush's hands - yet again - by talking about this distraction instead of net job losses for the first time since the Depression, record defecits, a huge mess in Iraq, etc. etc.

 

But clearly, anti-Bush partisans want these documents to be real - because the picture the documents create feeds the hatred of the anti-Bush crowd - and so, regardless of the evidence, and regardless of whether doing so is smart electorally, they will insist that the memos are real no matter how much evidence arises showing they are not. Isn't that partisan-driven, bitterly personal behavior exactly what you were just decrying yesterday?

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I'm now truly bored with this "scandal." Even Dougie now admits that the CBS documents are irrelevant and unnecessary to convince him that Bush used influence to get out of going to Vietnam by serving in the National Guard and then didn't take his Guard service seriously. So it's time to move on to the next cheery bout of mud-slinging!

 

I am offended by the comments about the memory of the unit secretary though. The fact that she's 83 doesn't mean that her memory is impaired. My own mother is the same age and is mentally sharp as a tack, and most of us know many other older people whose mental facilities are just fine. These days that's more common than not, as a quick look around any retirement community will show. As for the secretary's specific recollections, it's not unlikely that her memories are so specific. Dubya was a VIP, his situation and behavior were atypical, and he was the subject of discussion in the "front office." She may not remember every routine form she filled out over the years, but she would very likely remember whether she ever typed such a sensitive memo for her boss. In this case, she says she didn't (which helps support the case against the CBS document you Republicans are trying to make) but that the content accurately reflects Bush's service deficiency and the discussions his superiors were having about him. Added to the statements of other people who served contemporaneously with Bush, plus Bush's own admission that people "made calls" to help him get into the Guard, the picture is complete.

 

I may be mistaken, but I think the order for the physical and some other documents relating to it have been withheld by the White House on the grounds that they contain "medical information." The White House has released other parts of Bush's service file.

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>I always find it suspect when someone (often on a jury) claims

>to remember exactly what they did or didn't do a long time

>ago. She must have a remarkable memory, indeed, if he she can

>remember exactly what documents she typed thirty years ago.

 

Kevin Drum is a very smart, very liberal blogger for the Washington Monthly (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com) who writes almost nothing except anti-Bush arguments every day. He is as much on your side as someone can be. Here's what he said today about the CBS documents:

 

__________________________

 

KILLIAN FINALE?....Last Friday I said that I was skeptical that the Killian memos were genuine, and boy did I hear from y'all about that. My inbox is still creaking under the weight of charges of liberal disloyalty.

 

I haven't said much about it since then because I haven't seen anything to change my mind, but I think it's worth linking to the final nail in the coffin:

 

Marian Carr Knox, who worked from 1957 to 1979 at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, said she prided herself on meticulous typing, and the memos first disclosed by CBS News last week were not her work.

 

“These are not real,” she told The Dallas Morning News after examining copies of the disputed memos for the first time. “They’re not what I typed, and I would have typed them for him.”

 

....She said the typeface on the documents did not match either of the two typewriters that she used during her time at the Guard. She identified those machines as a mechanical Olympia, which was replaced by an IBM Selectric in the early 1970s.

 

....Mrs. Knox said she did all of Lt. Col. Killian’s typing, including memos for a personal “cover his back” file he kept in a locked drawer of his desk.

 

Knox is a loyal Bush-hater, so she's certainly got no reason to lie about this.

 

I think it's time for everyone to give up on this. The memos are almost certainly fakes, they're sucking up media bandwidth that could be better used elsewhere, and Dan Rather is toast. Besides, there was really nothing in them that told us anything new.

 

Time to move on.

__________________________

 

You should acknowledge your error, BG, in saying that these memos are almost certainly authentic. The only ones left who are saying that are Dan Rather and the Ignoto's of the world, and that shouldn't exactly be encouarging.

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>You should acknowledge your error, BG, in saying that these

>memos are almost certainly authentic. The only ones left who

>are saying that are Dan Rather and the Ignoto's of the world,

>and that shouldn't exactly be encouarging.

 

Doug's reading disorder has prevented him from realizing that I have never said the documents are authentic, just as I have never said that they are fake. In fact, I have posted evidence pointing in both directions.

 

As for those who are casting aspersions on the memory of an 86-year-old woman: Your prejudices are probably the result of just not having known very many people of that age who are leading energetic, productive lives. Now John Templeton -- that's a different story. The doddering old (91) fool has simply lost it with his $5,000 contribution to the Swifties.

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>You should acknowledge your error, BG, in saying that these

>memos are almost certainly authentic. The only ones left who

>are saying that are Dan Rather and the Ignoto's of the world,

>and that shouldn't exactly be encouarging.

 

Doug:

 

If I had said that the "memos are almost certainly authentic", I'd acknowledge that to be an error and also a mistake -- since it isn't what I believe. What I wrote previously was:

 

"As it stands right now, I haven't see "a shred of evidence" that the documents you refer to are really forged. In fact, it seems now that there is a growing accumulation of evidence that they are not forged."

 

I used the "shred of evidence" phrase purposefully, pulling it from the post I was responding to, to make a point. The gentleman I was responding to used that phrase in a way that I felt was ill-advised.

 

However, I stand by what I said. I haven't seen any evidence at all that the memos are forged. I've heard a lot of opinions, mostly from people on both sides of the issue with strong political points to make. What I haven't seen is evidence -- factual evidence -- that the memos are real or forged. Someone can say that they don't think it's likely that a particular typewriter had this font or that 30 years ago and that's well and good if they want to believe that. But the technology to produce the memos did exist at that time and one reason that I know that personally is that I used an IBM Selectric typewriter at college to type my termpapers. It was in an office I had access to by virtue of being a student worker and it had various "golfballs" that you could use to produce different fonts, include superscripts and typographical effects that I learned to use to make my termpapers look as good as possible. It certainly didn't take a genius to know how to use a Selectric.

 

Nevertheless, that doesn't tell me that the memos are real or that they are forged. It simply tells me that they could be real. If someone shows some hard evidence that they are forged, I'll accept that. Similarly, if someone comes up with proof they're real, I'll accept that.

 

But just because someone says they don't think it's likely that they're real or that they're forged doesn't prove anything, at least to me. And Trilingual's comments notwithstanding, I question the memory of anyone who can say with certainty what memos they typed or didn't type 30 years ago. I've got a pretty damn good long-term memory and I can't remember exactly what documents I typed 30 years and I don't believe anyone else can, not with certainty. She may be a very good woman who is simply trying to be honest and helpful, but 30-year-old memories have to be subject to at least some skepticism. I'd feel exactly the same way if she came out and said "oh, yes, I remember typing these on October 12, 1972."

 

All of which is basically beside the point to me. I don't care about these memos. As a young man in the late 60s and early 70s, I had lots of friends who took lots of actions to try to get out of going to Vietnam. Hell, I was glad I was in college and had a deferment and then, when the draft lottery came, I was tickled that I got a high number and didn't have to go. If George Bush or his father took some steps to prevent him from going, well, that's what a lot of people did and it was 30 years ago and I don't really care. I don't even really care that he was a stumbling drunk. It's unfortunate that he was but he evidently eventually figured that out and got himself sober. It speaks to character but kind of on both sides. I could see a recovered (recovering?) alcoholic being a real liability in the White House or doing a terrific job. For me, it's not a defining issue.

 

What is much more important to me than what happened decades ago is what is happening now and what has happened during the last four years. I see this administration as the most conservative in a long time and conservative in areas that I think are dangerous.

 

The country is wildly divided right now, right down the middle. If George Bush had come in and acknowledged that right from the beginning and had chosen to govern as a moderate conservative, he'd probably be at 80 or 90 percent right now. Instead, they've governed from the far right -- in my opinion -- and we're more divided now, with more hatred in the country, than we were four years ago. Is that all Bush's fault? Of course not -- there's enough mud being slung on both sides. But, as President, he could have taken a different tack.

 

I regret greatly the great damage that has been done to the image of the US in the rest of the world over the last four years and believe it will take many, many years to undo this damage. I see the world as being a very small place these days and disagree with those who think we can or should go it alone and damn the opinions of everyone else.

 

I view Bush as a cowboy, who came into office determined to get at Saddam one way or the other and used 9-11 as an excuse to start a stupid war, a war that is going to end up costing the US more than a quarter TRILLION dollars. Some people believe that we are safer now because the world knows we'll react with military force. Those who believe this do so honestly. But I don't agree. I think, if anything, the US has been shown to be far less powerful, in the end, than people thought. We've been shown to be someone you can attack and then get away and escape capture for years. In some ways, we've aided the cause of the terrorists by increasing their visibility. I believe we would have been far more successful -- and be living in a far safer world -- if we had built a true global consensus and partnership to combat terrrorism everywhere. Unfortunately, this is something we couldn't do today even if we wanted to, because so much of the world hates us.

 

Our economic house is still a mess, deficits are growing tremendously and the long-term costs of Bush's tax-cuts and other proposals are now being estimated at more than $3 trillion over the next decade. I think we are on a very dangerous course.

 

Bush's government has espoused various positions on the environment that I regret. Sometimes it seems like we're back in the 70s, fighting business on the environment again. His government's positions on various social issues are ones I often find distasteful or regretful, including those related to gay people. And allowing the assault weapon ban to expire is, in my mind, just nuts.

 

So, you see, I couldn't care less about the memos. I assume he used the guard to stay out of Vietnam and probably screwed around while in the guard. I don't care. I do care about the positions taken by his administration, which I think have been very dangerous and hurtful to our country. I know others disagree with me and I respect that. None of us has a lock on the truth.

 

But what I regret most of all right now is that the campaigns -- both of them -- keep spending so much time on what boils down to attacks and mud-slinging instead of allowing us to have an honest national debate about the really important issues facing us. And, ultimately, the fault for that belongs to all of us.

 

Regards,

BG

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>But just because someone says they don't think it's likely

>that they're real or that they're forged doesn't prove

>anything, at least to me.

 

Excellent. I agree. The only point I think it worthwhile to make regarding these documents is that the Bush family have a long history of smearing anyone who gets in their way, and those very, very familiar tactics have been on display with respect to Dan Rather and CBS ever since the report was aired. Every right wing radio host and television commentator has suddenly become an expert in document identification and has tried to change the subject from Bush's cowardice and laziness to accusations regarding the memos. I have heard these filthy scumbags tell so many lies in the past that it is now almost reflexive with me to believe the opposite of whatever they say.

 

>And Trilingual's comments

>notwithstanding, I question the memory of anyone who can say

>with certainty what memos they typed or didn't type 30 years

>ago.

 

Sorry, I think that is nonsense. Plenty of people have no trouble remembering experiences from 30 years ago that stuck in their minds for one reason or another. That is especially true when it comes to encounters with celebrities like Bush.

 

> It speaks to character but kind of on both

>sides. I could see a recovered (recovering?) alcoholic being

>a real liability in the White House or doing a terrific job.

>For me, it's not a defining issue.

 

To me the significance of this whole affair is simply what Nicholas Kristof said it is in his column in today's Times: that Bush has not been honest about his past. He just got through giving a speech about the heroic sacrifices of Guard members -- those words should stick in the throat of an honest man whose own Guard service was all about avoiding sacrifice and slacking off, as is unquestionably true of Bush.

 

When our nation is at war we don't necessarily have to have a leader who was in combat, but we do need to have one who doesn't have a long history of avoiding any such sacrifices himself and lying about it later.

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>>And Trilingual's comments

>>notwithstanding, I question the memory of anyone who can say

>>with certainty what memos they typed or didn't type 30 years

>>ago.

>

>Sorry, I think that is nonsense. Plenty of people have no

>trouble remembering experiences from 30 years ago that stuck

>in their minds for one reason or another. That is especially

>true when it comes to encounters with celebrities like Bush.

>

 

Perhaps you are right. Certainly, I have learned to have great respect for your memory. :-)

 

BG

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