September 18, 2004


I pointed out a few posts earlier that CBS/Viacom lawyers need to beware of witness tampering and obstruction of justice, but I guess they don't watch MSNBC or read blogs.

It sure looks like key witnesses/suspects at CBS are now working with the forger and his lawyer to get them to claim the memos are "fake but true" (or something similar that's legally convenient for both parties). This may be what Dan Rather was talking about when he said he wanted to be the one to "break the story" of the forgeries.

The LAT notes that "The network's new reporting will be wrapped up soon, perhaps this weekend or early next week, [60 Minutes executive producer Josh] Howard said. More sources have come forward in recent days, and CBS is leaning on its original sources to see if they will go on the record, he added.

And here we see Dan Rather is headed to Dallas, presumably for a "let's all get our stories straight" meeting with Mapes and Burkett.

A reader writes that his son is flying on American this morning from New York to Dallas. The flight was delayed by weather but has loaded for departure. The reader reports courtesy of his son that Dan Rather is sitting up in first class. I assume Rather is heading down to Dallas to keep digging -- deeeper into the hole he is in.

Earth to Viacom: You need to get control of your Danron corporate scandal ASAP. It's not the crime, it's the cover-up that will kill you. Management's failure to begin a serious internal investigation of CBS News with immediately removing Dan Rather, Mary Mapes, et al from this story is going to open the entire corporation up to massive legal problems. CBS now has reporters and editors pretending to be chasing a story when they're actually running from the law.

MORE: From this account in Newsweek, it looks like Rather reached out to Burkett after the forgery was exposed.

Burkett told a visitor that after the story ran, Rather phoned him and expressed his and the network's "full support."

Now if, on the other hand, Rather felt he needed to keep Burkett calm and offer "full support" after the show aired--but before the forgery controversy erupted the next day--it would appear that he already knew the docs had serious problems.

UPDATE: Viacom insiders dumping stock now? Wow. It may be innocent stock transaction, but those who say that Viacom/CBS execs have no inside info are completely wrong. I wish we knew what they knew about the scandal and how deeply involved Rather, Mapes, and the DNC were.

Posted by Chris Regan at 08:40 PM | Comments (10) | TrackBack

September 17, 2004


CBS backers and "it's the contents, stupid" types won't like what he has to say.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:02 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Here's some recent history that shows Democrats relying on low-level party activists to commit crimes and then to pass the info to party bigs and allies in the liberal press. In this case the information wasn't bogus, but the story behind it was.

Think back to 1996, when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. On December 21st of that year, a Florida couple, John and Alice Martin, were going Christmas shopping, and "just happened" to have a scanner and tape recorder in the car with them. They claimed to have "accidentally" monitored the cell-phone conversation of Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, as he spoke from his car in a conference call with several other key Republicans, including Gingrich. They just "happened" to record it "for history."

I'm sure it's common for people to accidentally intercept and tape private cell phone conversations while going Christmas shopping. Happens to me all the time.

The Martins then turned the tape over to Washington Democrat Jim McDermott, a member of the House Ethics Committee, which was about to rule on Gingrich's ethics violations. McDermott, in turn gave the tape to the New York Times and other newspapers. The New York Times then printed a transcript of the call's participants discussing how Gingrich should respond to the Ethics Committee.

Of course, it's just a "coincidence" that the Martins are active in Florida Democratic politics, just as it was a "coincidence" that they gave the tape to a Democrat on the Ethics Committee instead of the Independent Counsel or the Republican committee chair. Perhaps it was also an "accident" that McDermott gave the information to the press, rather than discussing the tape with his fellow committee members.

Since it is illegal to eavesdrop on cellular phone calls and disseminate the contents, the Martins eventually pleaded guilty and were fined a "whopping" $500 each. However, the court ruled that McDermott's leaking of the call's contents to the press is protected by freedom of speech. Because the recordings were a matter of "important public interest," (how this conversation was a matter of "important public interest" is a bit questionable) the First Amendment trumped the privacy rights of the call's participants.

It's a tough sell, and I'm no lawyer, but establishing an ongoing pattern of illegal activity and coordination along these lines might open Democratic Party operatives up to prosecution under RICO laws.

"...Anyone who agrees or conspires to pursue the same criminal objective can be held liable for a RICO violation. Salinas v. United States, 522 U.S. 22, 63-64 (1997). "If conspirators have a plan which calls for some conspirators to perpetrate the crime and others to provide support, the supporters are as guilty as the perpetrators." Id. at 64. A conspirator must simply intend to further an endeavor which, if completed, would satisfy all elements of a civil RICO claim. Id. at 65.

Posted by Chris Regan at 03:26 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack


I'll be seeing the movie tonight--can't wait. It's getting pretty much universally positive reviews.

Oddly, some reviewers seem fixated on the notion that the movie "came from a computer" or "came from a hard drive." This review, otherwise fine, is a case in point.

Using such a line demonstrates that reviewers are thoroughly out of touch with the movie business. Every movie passes through multiple hard drives at some point. Every single movie made in the past 6 years or so has, at some point in its production, been reduced to ones and zeroes. It may have even been acquired (i.e. shot on camera) digitally as well. High-def cameras, which are mostly digital, have turned out to be great film cameras.

Movies these days are edited on Avid Film Composer, Media Composer or Symphony systems. If not on those systems, then lower-end systems may be used, or the one or two systems out there that are on roughly the same level. These are pricey beasts, but a few dozen steps above iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. You get what you pay for.

All of those systems are digital. All of them. They all are essentially computers with an extra circuit board or two that put video and audio information on their spacious hard drives, and lots of extra RAM and perhaps some souped up video display capabilities. The speakers are a notch above those Hardon-Karmon wineglasses that shipped with your Dell, too. TV shows are made the same way--shot via camera (digital cameras more and more often now), and digitized onto computers for editing. Even Everybody Loves Raymond can be said to "come from a computer," because it does. By the time an episode has been edited for air, it's every bit as digital as Finding Nemo.

The difference between Sky Captain and virtually every other production out there is that its sets were built virtually but the actors are still real people. As for the sets and locations, no carpenters, no hammers or nails--just pixels. Lucas does this sort of thing in the Star Wars prequels, but not to the extent that Sky Captain does. Lucas typically builds half-sets and paints the rest in digitally; Sky Captain goes to the logical next step and employs sets that don't exist and never existed in the real world. Sky Captain was made the way that most cut-scenes are made for video games--real actors, fake everything else. Sort of like CBS News.

But I get tired of reviewers saying Sky Captain is somehow different because it "came from a hard drive." That same little sneer was leveled at Toy Story when it came out, and it was only slighty more accurate then than it is now.

UPDATE: After a too-heavy Mexican dinner, it was two hours of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

What a steaming pile of pixel slag. What a heap of nonsense piled on pointless silliness, and all in a headache-inducing soft focus. I laughed, I cried and kissed two hours good-bye!

Just kidding.

Sky Captain is a very fun movie. It borrows conceits and Easter eggs from all over the place--Ghibli Studios anime features, 40s era comics, Japanese kaiju flicks, and probably a few others that I didn't catch--yet tells a story that's a kick to see unfold. Though acted entirely in front of blue screens, the characterizations are believable, and the sets for the most part look real enough to keep you in the film.

This film will be a great DVD rental, but see it in the theatre if you can. It's worth it just to see the aerial and aquatic combat scenes on the big screen. Sky Captain is probably the only time you'll see a P-40 tangle with robotic flying wing thingies--unless they make a sequel. Which they should.

Posted by B. Preston at 02:05 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


The future of American politics, if the CBS forger isn't prosecuted.

Posted by B. Preston at 12:12 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


If U.S. law enforcement continues to sit on their duffs and rely on the "blogosphere police" to investigate, interview witnesses and preserve evidence he probably won't. Police in pajamas performing citizen's arrests just doesn't quite work. But if there's an official forgery and fraud investigation launched, all bets are off.

From MSNBC's Scarborough Country last night:

SCARBOROUGH: Now, how orchestrated is this attack

Bob Kohn joins us now. He‘s author of “Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted.”

Bob, I cannot believe I am actually hearing that from a White House spokesman, whether they believe it or not, that this is part of a liberal media bias. Do you buy that?


You know, Dan Rather—everyone is speaking very nice of him, but he has been committing forms of journalistic fraud for a long time. If you think about Jayson Blair, that reporter for “The New York Times,” when he committed fraud, all he did was, he faked a few lines and he plagiarized somebody‘s story.

Here is the managing editor of the CBS News, Dan Rather, whose fraud is not for laziness, but to affect an election. It‘s a much more serious crime, and look what happened to Jayson Blair and his boss. Look what happened to the reporter for “USA Today” and his boss. They were all fired. I think it‘s time for Dan Rather to go. He should be fired along with Andrew Heyward, the president of CBS News. They have got to stop working for CBS right now.


SCARBOROUGH: Bob Kohn, I will ask you the same thing quickly. Is Dan going to survive?

KOHN: Well, he has got a business and he‘s got a legal problem. If he basically goes out and says that these are forged documents, the guy who is purported to have done this, Burkett, they have got to expose the source. If it‘s a forgery, they got to expose him. That guy can turn on Dan Rather, the producers, and everybody at CBS.

Legally, if there is an investigation, either from Congress, the FCC, any of the attorneys generals who might think that there‘s forgery going on, as Pat Buchanan said...


KOHN: Then you have got to watch out for witness tampering and obstruction of justice, the same thing they got after Martha Stewart.

SCARBOROUGH: A lot of problems there. A lot of problems.

Pat Buchanan, I‘ll give you the final word, 15 seconds. Is Dan Rather going to survive?

BUCHANAN: I don‘t think Dan Rather now can be permitted to be at the CBS anchor desk covering the president of the United States vs. John Kerry. They ought to put him on leave until after the election and then decide what to do.

KOHN: He should resign.

As I posted before, by passing forged documents to a federal agency to further a fraud, CBS made the U.S. govenment a partner in legitimizing and perpetuating their novel attempt at regime change. I believe that was the specific intent of CBS since they were having trouble getting experts to rubber stamp the forgeries. Their access to experts questioning the documents and their knowledge of the likely DNC/Kerry source makes CBS a culpable as bank officials passing counterfeit money. They should have known. And the continuing Viacom corporate silence is making it look more and more like CBS has conspired as a virtual 527 with the DNC and/or Kerry campaign (as it appears they have been doing the entire summer of 2004 by the way).


In an op-ed in today's Wall Street Journal former CBS correspondent Bernard Goldberg gives a possible explanation for why Dan Rather has so vigorously refused to reveal CBS's source for its disputed documents:

You have to wonder: Now that Dan's credibility really is taking a beating, why won't he blow the whistle on his source, the one who slipped him the documents that almost certainly are fraudulent and got him into this mess?

He doesn't have to give us the guy's name and address, just tell us what motivated him to leak the documents to CBS News. It's a common journalistic practice, after all, to shed as much light on an unnamed source as possible. That's why we often read "a source close to the administration" or "a police source involved in the investigation" said such and such. No name. But enough info so the news consumer understands, as they say, where the source is coming from. In the case of the leaked memos, does the source have any connection to the Democrats? How about the Kerry campaign? [...]

Now it's possible that the mystery man (or woman) is someone who lives in Denmark or Tibet and somehow got his hands on genuine documents that make the president look bad in the middle of a race that might turn out to be tighter than the rusted lug nuts on a '54 Chevy. But I doubt it. I'm betting he lives a lot closer to home, and, who knows, he might indeed turn out to be a "partisan political force" himself. And this is precisely Dan's problem. This is why, I suspect, he isn't coming clean, despite the damage to his reputation. Because Dan Rather may be protecting not just his source, but himself; because, if the source turns out to be a partisan, then Dan wasn't just taken for a ride, but may have been a willing passenger.

And then Dan, and CBS News, can kiss their reputations goodbye.

Or worse.

MORE: CBS cites early White House interview as stamp of approval for their forgeries. This is how forgeries work. You get it in the hands of an official who will unwittingly lend legitimacy to it. It's like John Kerry citing the bogus medal citation he stuck the Navy files as "proof" that he's telling the truth.

Posted by Chris Regan at 12:04 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


It was so convenient for Dan Rather to trot out an apparently sweet (actually partisan Bush-bashing) old lady as a deflector shield for the arrows aimed at himself and CBS. But just as with Rather, Mary Mapes and Bill Burkett, Marian "Opportunity" Knox may have been more than just biased against the President. It appears now her only role was to intentionally mislead viewers--with Rather's encouragement--in order to prop what has essentially now become a CBS forgery scam by default. CBS has embraced and extended the Microsoft Word forgeries.

There was no reason for the Bush/Natl. Guard-obsessed Mary Mapes to interview this key witness about her "feelings" before because CBS didn't yet have forgeries that desperately needed a cover story. Only when CBS made the decision to ignore truth and their lawyers to became a co-conspirator with a forger did they drag out Knox to defend the contents. Maybe she was suckered by Rather's leading questions, but she knew for a fact that the docs were forged before agreeing to rescue the story for Rather and Kerry. There's no way the new "fake but accurate" CBS/DNC talking point now sweeping the nation originated from the mind of Ms. Knox. I'm certain that others decided that would be the spin and used her to launch it.

Her deception begins to unravel here at AllahPundit:

Two different readers with military experience have e-mailed to point out how unlikely it is that Killian would have talked about Bush to Mrs. Knox. Quote:

The idea that a senior officer would be directly communicating his personal views regarding officer performance to the Group secretary is bizarre. The secretary's knowledge would be limited to official correspondence and memoranda that she prepared.

The other reader put it more succinctly: "Anyone who confided in the sort of thing with a secretary wouldn't have a lot of friends for very long."

I concur based on my experience, and would add that she and Killian would also not be the source of any "direct order" to attend a flight physical. A simple notification letter would come from either the clinic or the squadron administration office. So the content in the forgeries doesn't even match reality as she attests. If she and Dan Rather are not lying to us, then consider the alternative:

Victims of Forgery

While forgery is blind to the types of victim it takes, it prefers to hunt the elderly and feeble minded.

Andy Rooney wasn't fooled though.

UPDATE: This post has been expanded since I posted it a couple of hours ago. More links and thoughts.

MORE: Here's one more person CBS apparently "forgot" to interview before the forged report aired: Col Staudt is now saying the content of the forgeries is also fake. Which means our "innocent" little old talking point lady was as legit as Terry McAuliffe in drag.

Posted by Chris Regan at 08:09 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 16, 2004


Sixty-five million years ago, something killed off the dinosaurs. Most scientists believe that something was a comet whose orbit put it on a one-way trip from the depths of space to the surface of the earth. They base this belief on a fossil record which shows worldwide extinction around that time and on a little thin layer of clay atop that fossil region that is rich in iridium, an element rare on earth but abundant beyond.

As celestial objects go, comets aren’t very big. The one that killed the dinosaurs, if it turns out to have been a comet at all, was probably less than 10 kilometers across, yet by striking an object much larger than itself—our planet—it had an effect far, far beyond its heft. It altered the planet forever, changing climates, wiping out whole species and paved the way for the rise of agile and adaptable little things called mammals.

A few years from now, when historians and media watchers begin to piece together what struck down the old media to change it forever and paved the way for much smaller and more agile family of competitors, they will look back to the thin layer of time that makes up the last two weeks. Little niche publishing sites known as blogs have done what that comet did all those years ago in the past fortnight, striking hard at the creaky old media and paving the way for a future full of blogs and a media that will have to deal with them.

As publishing mechanisms go, blogs are a lot like comets. They come and go quickly, mostly reacting to the environment around them but occasionally effecting that environment profoundly. They’re little one- or two- or sometimes multi-person operations clicking and linking their way from bedroom office obscurity to the occasional heights of fame or infamy. But also like comets, once the blogs struck the old media—the big, lumbering and self-confident old media of the news networks, the big daily newspapers and so forth—they packed a mighty wallop. The first dinosaur media figure to fall into the crater the blogs have created will be Dan Rather and his news empire at CBS.

By now, you’re probably familiar with the tale. Last week CBS’ flagship news program and its iconic anchorman ran a story that smeared President Bush and was based on what are almost certainly fraudulent documents. CBS published scans of those documents on the web, and within an hour or two the blogs started to chip away at them. Within 24 hours various blogs had contacted forensic document experts, run experiments and consulted with former and current military veterans, collectively working the kind of journalism that CBS failed to do before airing the story. In short order the blogs wiped out any trace of the questionable documents’ credibility. Along with that went both the premise of the story and the authority of CBS as a trusted news source. As Rather was the face for the story and subsequent lame defenses, he is the dinosaur unlucky enough to have been standing right where the blog comet struck.

In the time before blogs, the CBS story would have probably stood without much scrutiny. Its hand-picked experts would have been believed, its documents therefore accepted and its smear left intact. CBS would have thereby made some mark on the upcoming presidential election. But though CBS still operates as though its news brand name is beyond question, it is not operating in the time before blogs and didn’t expect its story to fall apart so quickly.

Now CBS is in a massive damage control mode, but that cannot last much longer. Other media know where CBS obtained the forged documents, and once the forgery is finally verified and the forger identified the game will be over. The Tiffany Network, one of the oldest names in news and the old media, will fall. Mr. Rather will probably be looking for work or a nice, quiet retirement community. CBS will have to work very hard to rebuild its credibility over a long period of time, and every word uttered in the name of news on that or any other network will be vetted by the little blogs that cruise through the depths of cyberspace.

The relevance of this story isn’t so much in the particulars, though, but in what it means for the future. The blogs have finally crossed paths with big media and struck hard. The impact will last. The days of old media dominance are finished, the slant and bias of that old dinosaur now exposed and bleaching in the glare of a million little suns. Likewise for politicians and their challengers, whose scorched-earth campaign tactics (witness Sen. Kerry’s efforts to destroy President Bush by trotting out multiple accusations and ads claiming a multitude of sins that just don’t add up to much at all) will not last long under the heat of round the clock scrutiny and fact checking. The days when old media could just pass off an unverified story as fact are over. Now we hear from CBS that bloggers are unfit to comment because we have no editors, answer to no one but ourselves and can just publish any crazy idea at the push of a button, when what we should be hearing is contrition and a promise never to lie so brazenly again. After all, it was CBS and not blogs that made at best a colossal error and published a bum story based on false information. The blogs have set the story right by practicing the craft of journalism. The old media sees blogs as a threat, an army of midgets that together chip away at the media’s cracked, timeworn edifice. We hear from the old media that blogs do not allow equal time for opposing thought, as though Dan Rather and Peter Jennings allow anyone on their sets to rebut their stories. The media complaint about equal time misses the point, though: Blogs are equal time. Blogs are serving as editors and fact-checkers for a media increasingly blinded by its own partisanship. Blogs are the reaction to the media’s initial action of media sloppiness, deceit and bias. And the media might as well get used to the blogs and other related internet journalism, because blogs have found their moment now and they are here to stay. Unlike comets, our collision course with big media wasn't a one-way trip.

MORE: Very related. Michelle, next time you visit JHU, drop me a line. I'm in that orbit.

Posted by B. Preston at 07:14 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


"Kerry is hitting his stride."

-- Andrew Sullivan

Ironically it's from his quote of the day post. The only thing funnier would be to find someone saying "Dan Rather is hitting his stride."

The news today is that Kerry is plummeting in the polls and badly contradicting himself on Iraq once again.

Posted by Chris Regan at 06:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


As of yesterday, CBS came clean with the full list of experts it consulted to verify the Killian memos. They are Marcel Matley, Emily Will, Linda James and one James J. Pierce. The first three have now come out contradicting the various CBS versions of its use of their expertise, to the point that Will and James face accusations directly from CBS that they "misrepresented" their work on the case. This, they deny. And they may well sue.

But what of James J. Pierce? He's new as of last night's stories. As The Kerry Spot notes in a word-counted demolition of the original 60M II story on the memos, he's quite mysterious. He doesn't show up in Google searches or on the boards or rosters of relevant forensic document examiners' groups, a hint of any standing in the field he might have (in other words, none). CBS has posted a memo from Mr. Pierce in which he verifies the docs as authentic. It's a wonder to behold.

First, it's dated 9/14/2004. The original 60M II story aired on the 8th of September. Why is Mr. Pierce just now rendering his verdict? Was he consulted prior to the broadcast? If so, where's the paperwork? If not, how and when did his involvement begin? The date alone makes his involvement here suspect.

The memo itself is just three paragraphs long, and offers no detailed analysis or evidence at all. The first graph deals with the signatures, which Mr. Pierce verifies as authentic. That doesn't advance the story at all, since even Martel says the sigs are real though he can't authenticate the documents themselves, owing to the fact that the docs CBS has are copies and the fact that digital technology renders copies useless in this case.

The second graph is about typefaces. Mr. Pierce asserts that because the typefaces used resemble typefaces in existence at the time, the documents must be real. What? Yes, yes, Times New Roman has been around since 1931--but not on typewriters that would have been available to Lt Col Killian in a Texas Air National Guard unit. Pierce doesn't even address the superscripts, kerning, proportional spacing, faulty military nomenclature, or formatting issues that have been raised with regard to the memos. This paragraph of Pierce's is utterly useless. It doesn't even attempt to answer the real questions about the Killian memos.

It also raises a question--is Pierce a handwriting analyst or a forensic document expert? Those are two very different fields from what I understand; if he's an expert in both and with enough qualifications that he is now the CBS go-to guy for the highly disputed memos, why doesn't he show up in relevant group membership lists?

This memo from Mr. James J. Pierce is highly suspect. It answers almost none of the charges still extant against the memos, its conclusions are based on two different disciplines and its date puts it well past the first airing of the memos. What in the world is CBS trying to pull here? Did they consult a real James J. Pierce or just ring up Dr. Tuttle.

UPDATE: James J. Pierce is a real guy, and apparently CBS is even misrepresenting his investigation of the Killian memos. This just keeps getting weirder:

I called Pierce at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday night. I told him I was with the Athens Banner-Herald newspaper, doing a piece about the Killian memos. He asked me how I got his home phone number, and I told him. I thought he might hang up, but he stayed on the line... maybe because I was upfront with him and not aggressive in asking him questions. He said he couldn't give me many details about his analysis of the documents that CBS gave him because he was still “in the middle of studying them“. More on that to come... - The key point: Pierce seemed upset that CBS is using his ‘Professional Opinion’ memo of 9/14 to prop up their defense about the Killian memos being authentic. Pierce said “CBS is wrong, CBS is wrong” to portray it that way, saying it twice for emphasis. He said that his PO memo was only a preliminary judgment, “not a final conclusion” on all the documents.

- The (for me) stunner: Pierce said that the reason he hadn't rendered a final conclusion yet was that he was only “midway through his analysis” of all the documents - speaking as though there were many docs. CBS gave you other documents besides the four that 60 Minutes used in the story? “Lots more documents” were his exact words.

"Lots more documents"? And why did CBS run to air when one of its experts hadn't--and still hasn't--finished his investigation into its cornerstone evidence?

This whole thing stinks big-time. The 60M II story aired on September 8, 2004. Kitty Kelley's anti-Bush book alleging cocaine use by GWB was release on September 14, 2004. The DNC's "Fortunate Son" ad--which used 60M II footage and allegations--premiered on September 15, 2004.

All together now--I question the timing. Once more with feeling--I question the timing. That's better.

I don't own a tinfoil hat but I could fashion one quickly enough. Is it possible someone very, very high up in Viacom is orchestrating this whole thing? Could that be why CBS is still holding on to the "fake, but accurate" memos which probably aren't even accurate?

Weakness in the theory: Kelley's book was published by Doubleday, which isn't a Viacom subsidiary. Doubleday's ownership is German.

But why did CBS make sure its deeply flawed story aired on the date it aired, when it would have been far safer to vet the story properly? Their behavior makes no sense apart from there being something very big and very bad that folks way up the chain in Viacom consider worth protecting. What could that be?

Posted by B. Preston at 04:18 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Un freaking believable statement from Mrs. John Kerry re hurricane victims:

"Clothing is wonderful, but let them go naked for a while, at least the kids," said Heinz Kerry, the wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites). "Water is necessary, and then generators, and then food, and then clothes."

Let them go naked! Never mind human dignity! She's talking about victims in the Caribbean. Would she say the same about victims in, say, Alabama? Why or why not? Discuss amongst yourselves.

(inspired by JG-EBGD's rant)

Posted by B. Preston at 10:23 AM | Comments (12) | TrackBack


First Time does a graphics-rich expose of just how bad our Mexican border enforcement regime is.

Then hot on its heels, the LA Times publishes a border story that reads like a follow-up. From Time, we have the problem of easy illegal entry into the US via Mexico. From the LAT, we have the terrorism connection. They make a great one-two of the type Michelle Malkin and Mark Krikorian have been writing for years (and about which this blog has also strewn pixels in futility), and for which the liberal press tends to dismiss them and us.

But now, on the eve of an election in which the incumbent is running on his record as the successful architect of a secure homeland, the lib press discovers both illegal aliens AND a possible terrorist connection.

I'm happy to see such stories, but I have to say--all together now--I question the timing. And I ponder the possibility of collusion. And I wonder what would happen to Bush's juggernaut should the back door he has helped leave open allows a terrorist strike through the Mexican smuggling conduit.

Posted by B. Preston at 09:38 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


Some interesting observations on Lt. Col. Bill Burkett from Kerry Spot readers and Jim Geraghty -- reposted below in full:


Marion Carr Knox, the secretary to Col. Jerry Killian, President Bush's National Guard commander, this evening, during her interview with Dan Rather:

"And there are words in there that belong in the Army, not to the Air Guard. We never used those terms."

From the Veterans for Peace web site:

Lt. Col. Bill Burkett completed 28 years of decorated service and was medically retired from the US Army National Guard in 1998.

UPDATE: I must have the best readers in the world. Kerry Spot reader Roger points out another unusual similarity.

One phrase that struck me on reading the CYA memo that "Killian" wrote referred to him "having trouble running interference and doing my job". "Run interference" struck me as an unusual turn of phrase. So, I google "run interference" and "Burkett" and get two hits: He's used "run interference" in an interview with Kevin Drum (where someone ran interference for him), and described another officer as running interference for Bush, Rove, Albaugh etc. It seems to be a verbal tic with him and it's interesting that it shows up in a memo that "Killian" wrote.

This isn't proof, but it is odd that this particular phrase would show up like this. By the way, note that Rather and Mapes say they spent five years working on this story, and the blogosphere is picking this apart like piranha on a cow within a matter of hours.

Kerry Spot reader Jonathan writes in, "The most self-damning statement of all is the claim that Mary Mapes has been following this story since 1999. She studies Bush's guard record the way biblical scholars study the dead sea scrolls. That isn't journalism; it's political obsession."

UPDATE: Ace of Spades HQ does a nice job exposing the "shadowy links"and strange background of Burkett.

Posted by Chris Regan at 08:32 AM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 15, 2004


Here's the CBS statement so far. I'm sure they'll have more on the newscast in a few minutes. It amounts to kicking the can of an internal investigation down the road--say, past the election. That looks like one more bit of evidence that the source has DNC connections, at least to me. They will wait to out the source until it can't effect the outcome of the election.

The scuttlebutt has been that Rather was talking to the secretary this afternoon, and that's the reason for all the delays in releasing a statement. If so, that's a losing strategy. I mean it literally can't win.

She's already on the record that the memos are fakes. She's also on the record saying their content is true, but that's disputed by Killian's wife and son, among others. She's already somewhat questionable.

The best CBS can hope for is that she reverses herself and now backs the memos. But what will that say about her earlier denial? Her credibility will be gone, and with it whatever CBS might have hoped to gain by talking to her not just about the memos but about their content.

She's in her mid 80s, which means she's median age to anchor 60 Minutes but old by non-CBS standards. If she changes her story now, CBS might open itself up to accusations that Rather or his people bullied an old lady into changing her story or they took her quotes out of context. That's what they did to the handwriting expert, so it would fit the pattern for this story. She won't be believed if she changes her story, and may in turn stir up more trouble than the effort was worth.

Also fitting the pattern, CBS is opening itself up to more charges that it is cherry-picking its witnesses--using supportive but questionable witnesses while ignoring more credible but less credulous ones. By interviewing the secretary but ignoring the wife and son, CBS just plays right back into all that.

This is a dumb strategy. It's a sure loser. It won't help, and won't convince anyone. Give it up, C-BS.

On the other hand, the kick the can strategy may work. If the source was DNC, and protecting them is priority one, then any delay in identifying them will be beneficial. It's dishonest, but it may work. And if they were dishonest enough to participate in this journalistic scam, they're dishonest enough to kick the story down the road and past the election.

UPDATE: Transcript here. Anyone else feel like CBS is suckering us into watching the CBS Evening News each night of the ongoing Dan Rather Holds the U.S. Electorate Hostage drama? That may be the most disgusting part of the whole scandal. They're milking their incompetence and last remaining crumbs of credibility with the apparent view that any publicity is good publicity. People have been comparing Rather's mentality to Clinton during the Lewinsky mess, but the better comparison may be to selfish Al Gore holding America hostage in Florida.

MORE: Yep, CBS is trying to spin the negative publicity in their favor. New commercial here:

In a commercial aired following CBS's third report on the Memogate controversy, the network took aim at its rivals, especially Fox News Channel.

The ad, designed as a damage control effort to keep loyal viewers from fleeing in light of Memogate, blasted CBS's competitors. Script follows:

"Campaign 2004. Some people talk about fairness and balance. Other people talk about covering the issues, but it's just talk. CBS News is actually doing something about it.

"'What does it mean to you?' Every key issue in the presidential campaign examined in detail, from both sides.

"Only on the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather."

Watch the video here. Please mirror on your own sites.

MORE: The full CBS statement is the most disingenuous thing I've seen since Clinton circa 1998. Take a look at this:

Four independent individuals with expertise in the authentication of documents were consulted prior to the broadcast of the story regarding the documents 60 MINUTES Wednesday obtained: document examiners Marcel B. Matley, James J. Pierce, Emily Will and Linda James.

Pierce is a new name as far as I know. The rest we have already met. Moving along:

As CBS News has publicly stated, the documents used in the report were photocopies of originals.

Two of the examiners, Mssrs. Matley and Pierce, attested and continue to attest to their belief in the documents' authenticity. (see attachments 1 and 2)

No, they don't. Matley says he only looked at the signature, and that he couldn't verify anything more than the signature, which says nothing about the documents in the age of Photoshop. As for Pierce, well, this is the first we've heard of him.

Two others, Ms. Will and Ms. James, appeared on a competing network yesterday, where they misrepresented their conversations and communication with CBS News. In fact, they assessed only one of the four documents used in the report, and while one of them raised a question about one aspect of that one document, they did not raise substantial objections or render definitive judgment on the document. Ultimately, they played a peripheral role in the authentication process and deferred to Mr. Matley, who examined all four of the documents used.

This is ridiculous. Does appearing on a competing network disqualify them? Then because Rather appeared on CNN the other night, he's disqualified too. Why did Will and James only assess one document? Because that's all CBS gave them. Why? Probably to keep them from opining on the others and possibly ruling them all fake. CBS wanted only support, and didn't want to risk tainting the whole pool with negative verdicts. That scenario is CBS' doing, not the experts. As for whether or not they deferred, CBS has turned it all into a he said/she said as though that means CBS wins by default. BUT THE BURDEN OF PROOF AT THIS POINT IS ON CBS. Aaarrrgh.

Additionally, two more individuals with specific expertise relative to the documents - Bill Glennon, a technology consultant and long-time IBM typewriter service technician, and Richard Katz, a computer software expert - were asked to examine the documents after the broadcast for a report in the Sept. 13 CBS EVENING NEWS. They, too, found nothing to lead them to believe that the documents did not date back to the early 1970s. They strongly refuted the claim made by some critics that there were no typewriters in existence in the early 1970s that could have produced such documents.

We've been through this. Glennon isn't a forensic doc expert, and neither is Katz. Their testimony is irrelevant.

The bottom line is that CBS produced the original story on the testimony of Ben Barnes and the four memos. Barnes' story has been soundly refuted by his own daughter, and as a Democrat operative and Kerry supporter Barnes has a substantial political motive to lie. The memos, which CBS is now describing as "accurate" as opposed to "authentic," are in fact forgeries. Their story is entirely bogus. And this episode should end a whole lot of careers at CBS, beginning with Dan Rather's.

It's all over but the hanging, Dan. Step up and take it like a man.

Posted by B. Preston at 05:42 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack


As a general rule, lawyers annoy me. On a personal level, I like several lawyers. That's life I guess.

Via Spoons and Chris R., here's one reason I don't like lawyers much as a group:

But let me see if I understand things correctly. A presidential election is less than two months away, and there is a war going on right now in Iraq. The war in Iraq raises profound questions about United States policy with regard to the Muslim world for decades to come. But instead of debating the war that is going on right now, we're debating the war records of the two candidates from more than three decades ago. Wait, no, that's too direct: we're debating one network's story about one candidate's war record from three decades ago. Wait, maybe that's too direct, too: we're debating the fonts on different typewriters that may or may not have been used to write a memo that led to a story about one candidate's war record from three decades ago. Yeah, that's pretty much it.

C'mon, folks: don't we have more important things to blog about?

That's Orin Kerr from the Volokh Conspiracy.

All he's doing is trying to lawyer the story away by deconstructing it from its meaning down to the pathetic and silly details. Fonts! Superscripts! Typewriters! He hopes to use the oddities to make the story seem trivial, then dismiss it and get back to things he likes to do like debating a war that this country approved two years ago.

To turn a phrase, it's not the fonts, stupid. It's the story, stupid. The story is that a major news organization apparently helped fabricate a story to smear the president and take him down. It's about the responsibility of journalists as individuals and as members of news bureaus to keep the trust their viewers place in them, and to use their First Amendment rights honorably and fairly. It's about truth. It's a very, very serious story, even if us Rather haters are getting so much glee out of it.

You can make anything sound silly if you hit it from the right angles or play up the silliest parts of it, just like you can make any word in the English language sound silly by saying it with a funny accent. But that doesn't change the meaning of the word.

So here's what I dislike so intensely about Kerr's post: It's a dishonest lawyer's trick. It's the same kind of thing slick defense attorneys use to distract juries from focusing on the big picture ("If it doesn't fit, you must acquit!"). And judging from the comments over at Spoon's place, it worked on a couple people.

Lawyer talk is usually snake oil, people. Stay away from it.

Posted by B. Preston at 04:42 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


It's simple, really. Just pay the family of a Hamas terrorist who killed 21 Jews, and send the killer's father a nice thank-you note.

Yasser Arafat paid $2,000 to the family of a Palestinian suicide bomber who attacked the beach front Dolphinarium dance club in Tel Aviv in 2001 and then sent the terrorist’s father a letter in which he praised his son’s murderous act, according to documents captured in a recent Israeli operation that were released yesterday.

The attack on the Dolphinarium was one of the most brutal massacres of the Palestinian intifadah, killing 21 people, mostly teens, on a Friday night in June 2001. More than 120 people were injured in the powerful blast carried out by Hamas terrorist Hassan Khutari.

It was disclosed in documents published yesterday by the Israeli Intelligence and Terrorism unit at the Center for Special Studies that the Palestinian Authority transferred $2,000 to Khutari's father, who resides in Jordan.


Days after the money was transferred to Jordan, a German television station reported Arafat, via the Palestinian ambassador to Jordan, sent the terrorist’s father a letter praising the act of his son, describing him as “an extraordinary model of strength, manliness and willingness for self-sacrifice.”

Posted by B. Preston at 09:07 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack


The US and EU-3 still can't agree that Iran armed with nukes will be a problem.

A rift has surfaced between the United States and the European Union over how to deal with Iran and its suspected nuclear weapons programme.

Ignoring American suggestions, key members of the EU circulated their own recommendations to other delegates at a crucial meeting of the UN atomic energy agency on Tuesday.

The latest development contradicted earlier claims by some diplomats that the US and the Europeans were making progress in drafting a common language for an International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA) resolution that would set a deadline for Iran to dispel fears it was trying to make nuclear arms.

But the latest draft that circulated informally mirrored the one that France, Britain and Germany came up with last week and was already dismissed by the US as not tough enough.

Ok, the source is Aljazeera. Take that for what it's worth. But still, it does seem that Europe can't get its head around the fact that nuclear armed mullahs will cause trouble far beyond the Middle East.

The EU-3 are Britian, France and Germany. Britian has for the most part been solid on the war, occassionally wobbly but still at our side. The other two--well, we all know what friendship with France is worth. If you were a German tank officer in the 1940s, it was worth quite a bit. To anyone else at just about any other time, nada.

As for Germany...

The author of a book that exposed Germany's equivalent of MI6 as amateur spies obliged to rummage through dustbins and sell toasters in their quest for intelligence has been threatened with prosecution for betraying state secrets.


Mr Juretzko's account begins in 1990 when the BND decided that a camper van was vital to enable its agents to carry out intelligence-gathering work around Soviet bases in the recently collapsed East Germany. However, the van could not be delivered to Berlin from BND headquarters near Munich because it was a Friday afternoon and the driver had gone home.

The author describes how the head of American intelligence in Berlin exploded with rage at the BND's failure to supply the van: "Are you sure that you are working for an intelligence service?" he is quoted as asking the BND men. "For God's sake go out and buy yourselves a goddam camper van," he added, throwing down $100,000 in notes.

Mr Juretzko explains how he and his BND colleagues bought a van but found themselves obliged to work like "dustmen", touring the rubbish dumps around Soviet bases and sorting through bins in search of top- secret documents.

Who knew that Hogan's Heroes was a documentary...

Posted by B. Preston at 08:42 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 14, 2004


CBS wasn't fooled into accepting those forged memos. It built a story around documents that it apparently knew were false. That's what Jim Geraghty says, and based on this story from ABC, he's absolutely right. CBS is the perpetrator of a fraud, not a victim.

Two of the document experts hired by CBS News now say the network ignored concerns they raised prior to the broadcast of 60 Minutes II about the disputed National Guard records attributed to Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984.

Emily Will, a veteran document examiner from North Carolina, told ABC News she saw problems right away with the one document CBS hired her to check the weekend before the broadcast.

"I found five significant differences in the questioned handwriting, and I found problems with the printing itself as to whether it could have been produced by a typewriter," she said.

Will says she sent the CBS producer an e-mail message about her concerns and strongly urged the network the night before the broadcast not to use the documents.

"I told them that all the questions I was asking them on Tuesday night, they were going to be asked by hundreds of other document examiners on Thursday if they ran that story," Will said.

But the documents became a key part of the 60 Minutes II broadcast questioning President Bush's National Guard service in 1972. CBS made no mention that any expert disputed the authenticity.

"I did not feel that they wanted to investigate it very deeply," Will told ABC News.

Look at that last sentence again. It's a smoking gun. CBS wasn't searching for an objective truth. It was seeking to validate a truth its producers wanted to believe.

And note that though Will and another document expert were consulted prior to the broadcast, their negative findings on those documents did not make it into the story and apparently didn't even influence the production of that story. CBS instead went to the handwriting expert, Marcel Matley, and to Killian's commander to verify the docs--and Killian's commander didn't even see the docs and he now says CBS' producers misrepresented them as handwritten when they described them to him over the phone. MG Bobby Hodges, the commander, also says the docs are fake.

As for Matley, he says he only examined the signatures. He's not an expert on documents. He only verified that the signatures were real, though CBS edited its reports to make it look like he was authenticating the whole ball of wax.

And the two doc experts CBS did consult didn't tell CBS what it wanted to hear, so CBS didn't use their testimony to form its report.

This is fraud, pure and simple. Willfull and intentional fraud, an intentional effort to use data CBS knew to be false to smear the president and effect the election. As I described in an earlier post, this was an attempt to execute a soft coup. And CBS is up to its evil eye in it.

UPDATE: Stay tuned. The Evil Eye will address the world at noon today.

MORE: By the by, in case the Evil doesn't tell all and bow in shame, here's a list of companies that advertise with 60 Minutes. For future reference.





KIA requires registration







Ford 1-800-392-3673

Express 1-800-525-3355

OOOOHHH: From the NYT:

The Democratic National Committee released an Internet video on Tuesday accusing Mr. Bush of being dishonest about his National Guard service. The Republican National Committee shot back a one-line statement: "The video the Democrats released today is as creative and accurate as the memos they gave CBS." (my emphasis)

Ya think the White House has found some dirt here?

YET MORE: A new term is about to enter the lexicon--"authentication shopping."

UPDATE: Now the CBS statement is set for 3:30. It takes time to fabricate documents to verify the documents you've already forged. Patience, people. Patience...

AGAIN: Now 5 pm. Gunga Dan must have a strong resistance to those tranquilizer darts.

UPDATE: Bad vibrations. It appears the delay until 5pm after the market closes is meant to protect Viacom stock. Viacom stock is trading down in higher volume this afternoon and dropping steadily since Monday. The suits must be restless as Dan addresses family and friends and prepares for civilian life.

(via InstaPundit, others)

Posted by B. Preston at 09:13 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


That was the headline that greeted me from my Hotmail inbox today. The radicals at, people whose ideological cancer has now metastisized across the entire Democrat party, sent this along with it:

It's no exaggeration to describe this as using our dead soldiers as bricks in their road to power. The Democrats are quite literally hoping to use a blood libel to oust the president. I wonder if the families of the dead approved this political use of their lost loved ones. Given the state of the left today, I wonder if all or even any of the photos are even real.

Either way, this is a new low. It turns my stomach.

Besides, it's probably fair to say that those soldiers and Marines who have died in Iraq already voted. They voted for freedom and liberty for all us, voting with their very selves.

The Democrats dishonor them and their sacrifice.

Posted by B. Preston at 08:35 PM | Comments (6) | TrackBack


The mercurial blogger best known lately for smearing Zell Miller finally decides on a story line in the forgery affair and puts up a solid article. Welcome back to the land of sanity, Andrew. Look around, get comfy. We'd like you to stay.


A sentence toward the end jumped out at me:

Any journalist who starts mistaking himself for an oracle needs to be reminded who he is from time to time.

I think Sulli would be wise to read that sentence to himself before a mirror the next time he contemplates smearing Christian conservatives, Southerners or anyone else he disagrees with.

(Via NRO, InstaPundit)

Posted by B. Preston at 08:10 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 13, 2004


The Tiffany network has offered another defense, this time trotting out a few new "experts" to butress its case. But oddly enough, the "experts" of CBS' choosing don't make a compelling case.

The problems are a) why should we trust CBS to get anything right now when they misrepresented themselves to Killian's superior to create the first report and b) the new experts are commenting out of their fields in come cases. Would you go to a butcher to get advice on what to do about your stopped up toilet? Then why did CBS go to a software designer for expert testimony about old typewriters? Anyway, here's the new defense and the JYB's easy breech of same.

Point 1:

"Everything that's in those documents, that people are saying can't be done, as you said, 32 years ago, is just totally false. Not true. Proportional spacing was available. Superscripts were available as a custom feature. Proportional spacing between lines was available. You can order that any way you'd like," said document expert Bill Glennon.

Then do it, Bill. Put your QWERTY where your mouth is and find a typewriter of the right vintage that makes a document that lines up perfecty with anything you can make in Word using its default settings. Find a single typewriter made in the late 1960s or early 1970s that could do all that AND would have been available to a Lt Col in the Air National Guard, a Lt Col that according to his wife didn't type at all. No one's arguing anymore that none of those capabilities were available, because they were--but only on high-end machines or as special features to more widely used machines, and not all together on any one machine other than typesetting equipment. The likelihood that Killian had all of those features on one machine--and used that machine to type memos that would only cause him trouble later if discovered--is almost infinitesimally small.

Point 2:

Richard Katz, a software designer, found some other indications in the documents. He noted that the letter "L" is used in those documents, instead of the numeral "one." That would be difficult to reproduce on a computer today.

Bull. Open up Word on your own machine. Plink around with different fonts, including Times New Roman (which existed but wasn't on typewriters at the time but appears to be the font in the memos), and make some little "l" and "1" characters. Note what that does to the spacing. In most fonts including Times New Roman, the characters are the same, but the spacing is different--the numeral 1 gets more space than the letter l. Then go look at the memo from May 4, 1972. The l and 1 characters are the same, just like in Word, but the spacing is different, just like in Word. The problem here is that Mr. Katz is a software designer, not a forensic doc expert. He's talking out of his hat on this, and CBS is either too dumb to realize it or is content to try and pull another smoke and mirrors job. Disgraceful.

Point 3:

In addition to the forensic evidence, Monday's "Evening News" story said the original report relied on an analysis of the contents of the documents themselves and interviews with colleague's of the author to determine their authenticity. The new papers are in line with what is known about the president's service assignments and dates.

For instance, the official record shows that Mr. Bush was suspended from flying on Aug. 1, 1972. That date matches the one on a memo given to CBS News, ordering that Mr. Bush be suspended.

So what? Your worthless forger got something right. Toss him a bone, but don't expect anyone to be convinced by this.

The article does a half-hearted job of reciting some of the problems with the docs while leaving out all of the non-standard aspects of what are supposed to be military documents, then moves on to Point 4:

Several of the document examiners said one clue that the documents may be forgeries was the presence of superscripts — in this case, a raised, smaller "th" in two references to Guard units.

But Katz, the software expert, pointed out that the documents have both the so-called "superscript" th (where the letters are slightly higher than the rest of the sentence, such as 6th ) and a regular-sized "th". That would be common on a typewriter, not a computer.

Bull, again. Katz the software guy isn't a typewriter expert nor a forensic doc expert. He's a butcher trying to unclog your toilet with an axe and three sheets of plywood--the wrong guy bringing the wrong tools to the job. Why does CBS rely on him to make two of its points? Because he will. Why didn't "documents expert" Bill Glennon, the first gentleman quoted, make the two points Katz is supposed to make? Well, because he didn't. Why? I ask the question, you decide on an answer. As for Katz, he's just wrong. To make a superscript on those old typewriters required changing out a ball. If you went to the trouble of doing that, you're likely to make sure to use the superscript correctly in all cases, not willy-nilly as is seen in the memos. Contrary to what Katz says, the most plausible explanation for the presence of mixed uses of "th" in the memos indicates sloppines combined with Word's dictatorial editing, not that the doc was made on a typewriter. Forensic doc experts have lined up one by one to say precisely this; Katz, not a forensic doc expert, says the opposite. Who are you going to believe? CBS believes the software designer commenting on typewriters. I believe that that's just more evidence that CBS knows it has been caught in a whopper and is swirling around for a way out.

Sorry. You drove down this disastrous cul de sac by choice, CBS, and this latest defense doesn't get you turned around in the right direction. You're still stuck.

Posted by B. Preston at 10:27 PM | Comments (9) | TrackBack



He's baaaack! Al Gore looks like he's channeling some strange power while delivering a deceptive and confusing message from beyond in his latest Bush-bashing freak show tour:

"I think he is a bully, and, like all bullies, he's a coward when confronted with a force that he's fearful of," Gore explained in the New Yorker interview. "His reaction to the extravagant and unbelievably selfish wish list of the wealthy interest groups that put him in the White House is obsequious."

Because of this, Gore calls Bush as one with "genuine moral cowardice."

On the warpath against Bush in the past few years and speaking on behalf of liberal groups such as and the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Gore's open disdain for Bush parrots the sentiment of these groups.

"Bush's failures have been spectacular," Gore stated. "The evidence of deceit, miscalculation have combined to produce in the minds of a lot of people a growing conviction that it's really not good for America."

However, when asked what he thought of Bush's faith as president, Gore said he sees it as a "particular kind of religiosity."

"It's the American version of the same fundamentalist impulse that we see in Saudi Arabia, in Kashmir, in religions around the world: Hindu, Jewish, Christian, Muslim," Gore expressed, directly comparing Bush to radical Islam terrorists. "They all have certain features in common.

Gore said this kind of religion focuses on "the vengeance, the brimstone."

"In a world of disconcerting change, when large and complex forces threaten familiar and comfortable guideposts, the natural impulse is to grab hold of the tree trunk that seems to have the deepest roots and hold on for dear life and never question the possibility that it's not going to be the source of your salvation," Gore continued.

Bizarre message translation: "God cannot save you or this nation now, Mr Bush. Let go of your God and be saved."

Preacher Al's message to George Bush makes this quote from preacher John Kerry's race-baiting psycho-sermon last week a bit more relevant: "As scripture reminds us, beware of wolves in sheep's clothing," Kerry said.

Will do.

The GOP responds to Al Gore's descent into madness:

Republicans, however, say Gore's passion on the campaign path has reached an unhealthy fever pitch that could do Democrats more harm than good.

GOP strategist Keith Appell likens him to "some kind of cheerleader on acid."

"Some of the things he has said have been outrageous and he says them in this high-pitched scream," Appell said. "I really don't know what to call that."

MORE: Perhaps we need to change the headline of this post from "Campaigner from Hell" to "Party from Hell." Pardon my language for a minute, but what the bloody hell is wrong with the Democrats, that they think nonsensical attacks like this one will have any traction or even make any sense? To wit, they're trying to build an argument that George W. Bush never served in the Air Force and they're making a big distinction between the Texas Air National Guard and the active duty AF.

Here's the deal, idiots of the left: When you go to basic training, whether you're heading for active duty like I was or heading to the Air Force Reserves or even (shudder) the Texas Air National Guard, you go through the same 6 weeks of nonsense and crap from your TI (that's Training Instructor to you militarily-challenged morons). That's for enlisted. For officers, you either go through the Academy or you go through ROTC or you go through OCS (Officer Candidate School) or in very, very rare circumstances you can be field promoted. It's the same, no differences, active duty or reserves. You people would know that if you knew the first thing about the military or had access to anyone who did. These kinds of attacks do nothing to shore up your credibility with anyone, least of all veterans or anyone on active, reserve or National Guard duty. Especially when the accused, one George W. Bush, served 2 years of active duty while in the TexANG, and who put in five times the amount of time required of him as a highly skilled reserve pilot, and who served honorably with distinction. This kind of attack is just plain dumb. Besides, Bush actually did serve in the Air Force, for about four months.

The Democrats just aren't a serious party anymore if they think smearing a man who served his country honorably and didn't smear his fellow airmen after the fact is going to work. They aren't serious about one single solitary thing except grasping ever more desperately for the power that seems to slide even further from their deathlike grip. We veterans out here can call you on your stupidity and publish it for all the world to see. Get used to it.

There is a second side to this attack which is also quite dumb. It's obvious by now that the Kerry cohort just doesn't have a decent response to the Swifties. If they did, they would have come out with it by now. But they haven't, because they can't. Kerry is a traitor and probably wormed his way into most of his decorations. That's the essence of the Swifties' case, and so far it stands up quite well. So since the Democrats can't knock it down they think just generating lots of noise about Bush's military record will somehow make up for the damage the Swifties obviously did and will continue to do. Not gonna work. In the Bush story, there's just no there there. There's no hook, no angle, no story. He served. He flew. He did his time and got out and didn't do the Vietcong's PR work on his way out like your guy did. You gotta problem with that? Then you've got a problem with the vast majority of living veterans today, because most of us did just what Bush did with the exception that most of didn't get to take a fast and dangerous aircraft up and put it through its paces (except in our dreams).

You Democrats are seriously playing with fire here. You're doing your best to alienate the entire community of veterans out here, and there are a lot of us and we care enough about our country to be politically active and we don't forget things like this. Ever.

Posted by Chris Regan at 02:18 PM | Comments (8) | TrackBack


We have now passed 1,000 combat deaths in Iraq. John Kerry noted the occasion by accusing American troops, living and dead, of “shoving freedom down” the Iraqis’”throats at the end of a gun barrel,” shades of 1971. The media is making hay of the milestone, as usual, playing up the costs of the war without any regard to context. Anything they can use to club the president, they will use. Anything they can use to dent our war footing, they will use. And the media and the left love magic numbers. They will talk about the number of jobs “lost” during the Bush years, yet somehow slide past the terrible economic shock of 9-11 or the recession that preceded it. They will talk about sluggish economic growth, yet somehow slide past the historically low unemployment rate of 5.4 percent we’re enjoying. And they will talk about combat deaths in Iraq (though not Afghanistan) with a reverence they usually reserve for Castro and his vaunted health care system.

1,000 is but the latest magic number in this war. The first magic number was when combat deaths after May 1, 2003 equalled those before, since that date signified the end of "major combat operations" in ousting Saddam. The media and the left used that number to suggest that Bush jumped the gun when he declared the end of major combat operations. The meaning of the word “major” apparently eluded them.

There will be other magic numbers. The next will be 2,000, then 2,948--the tally of dead on 9-11. When we reach that number, the media and the left will suggest without subtlety that it's Bush's fault. They will suggest that he has overreacted in this war, and the lives spent have been spent in vain. They will slide silently past the culpability of the terrorists who started this war and have every intention of winning it over our dead bodies.

Some day in the not too distant future we will suffer our 2,948th combat death in this war. Perhaps not in Iraq, but perhaps in Iraq. Who can say? But as long as we prosecute this war, as long as we fight it in all the ways we must, we will continue to experience deaths on far-flung battlefields.

What will it mean to reach that most magic of numbers, 2,948? What will it mean to surpass it? What sort of conniption will the media subject us to when we suffer our 2,949th combat death?

Today's media and the left would have us believe that these combat casualty milestones are significant somehow, that with each death we approach some level beyond which the war will be proven to an ever greater slice of the American public as futile, a lost cause, a fool's fight. They thought that level was reached when deaths after May 1, 2003 surpassed those before, and played up the number. Then they thought that level would be reached when we suffered combat death #1,000, and are playing up that number. Soon they will look forward to #2,000 and then #2,948. And #2,949.

The lives of those lost are significant. They were precious before they were lost, and will be long afterward. They have given their lives in a significant way, in a significant undertaking. But none of that really matters to the media and the left.

They are only interested in the magic numbers. But they are only interested in magic numbers of their choosing. The media and left will play up the latest casualty milestone, yet ignore numbers that are more important in understanding the progress of the war. Here are a few numbers that should interest the media, but don’t.

In 1991, Saddam crushed a Shiite uprising in southern Iraq. As many as 300,000 Shia lost their lives and were buried in mass graves. The total number of dead buried in the dozens of mass graves around Iraq during Saddam’s long reign may total more than half a million, and the victims may never be identified:

New mass graves are discovered almost on a daily basis. Some sites contain tens of thousands of bodies, while some are just too swarming with human remains littered on top of each other that no one bothers to keep a head count. The bare bones, broken skulls, cuffed hands and scraps of clothing tell a horrifying story. Many skeletons belong to women, some even to young children. The scene is nothing short of horrendous, and the sorrow of loved ones is utterly inexpressible.

In pre-war Iraq, UN economic sanctions were estimated to have killed 4,000 Iraqis per month through starvation and disease. Today, no one dies from those sanctions because they no longer exist. That means the war has so far saved 68,000 Iraqi lives just by ending the need for UN disarmament sanctions against Saddam.

Before the war, Iraq pumped 2.8 million barrels of oil per day, with the proceeds intended to go toward purchasing food and medicines for Iraq’s beleaguered people. We know now that Saddam Hussein skimmed billions of dollars from those proceeds and used them to pay off various allies within the United Nations and in France, Germany, Russia and around the world. Today, Iraq is pumping oil at pre-war levels in spite of terrorist sabotage. None of the proceeds prop up Saddam or his cronies.

Pre-war, teachers in Iraqi schools made $4 a month. Today, they make between $150 and $333 a month. Over five million Iraqi children attend schools refurbished mostly by the Coalition Provisional Authority, which spent $63 million to rebuild Iraq’s dilapidated and war-beaten education system. And there are no children in Iraqi prisons today, a stark contrast to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.

Before the war, Saddam’s odious sons operated rape rooms to torture the wives and daughters of political dissidents and prisoners. Uday and Qusay also infamously tortured under-performing Iraqi athletes. Today, the rape rooms and torture chambers are shut down and Saddam’s sons are dead. Twenty-five million Iraqi citizens can breathe easier knowing that those two criminals will never trouble them again.

To toss out another number the media and left often ignore, of the 23 officers who served in John Kerry’s unit in Vietnam (you knew he served there, didn’t you?), four support his candidacy for the White House. Seventeen oppose him. All of Kerry’s commanders and superiors within his unit, totaling 254 officers, also oppose him. Yet the media touts Kerry’s tiny “band of brothers” while ignoring the much larger body of veterans who distrust and even loathe him.

As for the magic number of 1,000 combat deaths in Iraq, the media will never give you the context from which to understand its significance. It will never explain how historically miraculous the anti-terror campaigns have been to date, and how astonishingly low the death count has been thus far. It will never tell you how our casualty rate hovers below one percent, and has since the war began. It will never tell you that given the speed and brutal power of modern weaponry, such a casualty figure is beyond amazing. In three years of war, we are just now surpassing 1,000 killed in action in Iraq even after destroying two whole enemy armies and liberating 50 million people in two countries on the other side of the world.

The media and the left will also never tell you about casualty figures from other wars to provide meaningful context. It will never tell you how America lost 2,403 on December 7, 1941 and would go on to fight battles in which she would lose many times that number during the course of that war. America lost nearly twice the grim toll of Pearl Harbor on June 6, 1944 alone, and thousands more on useless rocks strewn across the Pacific and in hamlets and cities across Europe. America's final death tally after World War II stood at almost 300,000. Were the lives above the number killed at Pearl Harbor spent in vain? Did Roosevelt overreact in defending the homeland against Tojo and Hitler? Should he have stopped the war at some magic casualty figure, say, 2,403?

No. Once the war was on, America had no choice but to fight to the end or be annihilated. If that took 3,000 or 30,000 or 300,000, so be it. There was no choice, but fight or die.

The media and left pretend otherwise, but the choice today is identical. We must fight or die. We face an enemy that wants to destroy us root and branch. We must destroy them first.

For evidence, look to Beslan School #1, where terrorists murdered over 170 school children on their first day of school. Or Madrid, where terrorists killed over 200 and changed Spain’s government. Or Bali, where terrorist bombs killed more than 180. Or New York, or the Pentagon, or a field in Pennsylvania, where America and the world lost 2,948 innocents at work or on their way home or on their way to long awaited vacations. Or read the headlines from just about any day in Israel, where terrorists have waged a decades-long campaign to eradicate that tiny state a few precious lives at a time. Fight, or die. The jihadi enemy kills men, women and children without any regard to the value of human life at all. And the enemy will continue to do so until we stop them by force. There is no magic number beyond which we should conclude the fight won or lost.

The media’s magic numbers only have meaning if you're looking for an excuse not to fight. They only have meaning if you believe we can keep the jihadis at bay with nice talk and friendship with treacherous France. They only have meaning if the facts on the ground and the blood in the streets—and the value of freedom, liberty and human life--don't mean anything to you at all.

Posted by B. Preston at 11:45 AM | Comments (4) | TrackBack


It turns out the infamous Scott Lindlaw not only was behind the AP's bogus "Clinton heart attack booed" story, but is now in full Dan Rather CYA mode. Not only is he refusing to admit he planted a hoax eyewitness acount under the name of another reporter, but he won't even do the smart thing and say he was mistaken.

The mainstream media has reached a tipping point this week and and is going to collapse -- it's just a matter of time. After denying for decades that they even lean slightly toward the left, their tilt has actually become dangerous to a free society. It's the exact opposite of what it was supposed to be. Like the efforts to save the Tower of Pisa, if the MSM doesn't implement drastic corrective action immediately there will be no recovery.

UPDATE: Remember, there is no AP ombudsman or letters to the editor because they decided they didn't need a system of internal--or external--checks and balances to weigh them down. That stuff is just for the little people.

Posted by Chris Regan at 09:09 AM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

September 12, 2004


Produce for us just one original typewritten memo by the late Col. Jerry Killian from the early 70's. Any subject will do. Out of all his meticulously typed and centered IBM Selectric Composer memos...just pick one that looks good for your case and show it to the world.

Sooner rather than later, Dan. Viacom stockholders are getting a little anxious about the corporate-backed "regime change" idea gone bad.

Posted by Chris Regan at 11:13 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack


How liberals do defy the mind
For nothing in theirs’ can we find,
That willingly will look with reason
At how their man committed treason,
Skulked off to Paris this effete
To grovel at the Madame’s feet,
Betraying his sworn officer’s oath
To become the turncoat we so loathe.

Our law is clear you shall not treat
With America’s foes nor their cadres meet;
Give aid nor comfort to enemy forces
Nor espouse a view from hostile sources.
Without a mandate from the state
Wherefrom your right to negotiate?
Was treason, John, and is treason still
To this very day your unpaid bill.

Don’t try to hide behind your youth.
You knew the law you knew the truth.
You knew your faux negotiation
Would further tear our war-torn nation
And all for what, John, your career
So you can shameless brazen here,
And claim now that you’re fit to lead
The very nation you made bleed?

And yet before us there you stand
With medals blazing you demand
Such treachery we must ignore
Your treason that lost us our war.
But hold on, John, we veterans say,
You had your turn, now comes our day.
You thought we slept, forgot your crime?
Oh no, John boy, it’s come our time.

Some say let you apologize
But that won’t do it in our eyes.
A man astride of each position
Could we believe your true contrition?
The vindication we’ll accept
In settling up this long-held debt,
Is each of us will do his best
To deny you, John, your lifelong quest.

Listen carefully John to what we say, November 2d is Veterans’ Day.

Russ Vaughn
2d Bn, 327th Parachute Infantry Regiment
101st Airborne Division
Vietnam 65-66

Posted by B. Preston at 09:00 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Here's a great site devoted exclusively to the unfolding of RatherGate. Check it out. It's very detailed and offers some concise play-by-play of the story and some unique background into as well. For example:

All USA made copy paper in 1973 was made via acid technology. Today an original document from 1973 would appear with some degree of yellowing, whereas paper made in 2004 would not show this type of yellowing.

The paper could be easily analyzed. For example, all copy paper made in 2004 is via alkaline chemistry. Filler content is primarily calcium carbonate [in USA the calcium carbonate is of the precipitated type] which desolves in acid conditions. Paper made in 1972 is made with TiO2 and kaolin [clay] as filler.

In addition, no recycled fiber was used in 1972 but copy paper often carries up to 50% recycled fiber today. If you had a sample of an original document all of the above could be easily tested and confirmed.

Also, in 1972 most duplicates were done with carbon paper. Copy machines were available but use was usually monitored as cost per sheet was considered to be too high for all purpose useage.

The above was written by a man with 35 years of experience in a variety of fields that add up to making him an authority on the chemistry of paper.

Now, we all know from CBS' own stories that all it has are photocopies (probably printed from Word and reduced to 93% and run through a copier a few times). But the above probably explains why the source of the docs only gave CBS photocopies. That's all they had, and it gave CBS a layer of deniability.

If you're very, very familiar with this story the linked site may not be of much use to you, but if you're trying to convince someone that the docs are forges, or if you just want to look at one page that lays it all out, that site is a solid one-stop shop to do it. It has the overlays, the signature comparisons, discussion of the typefaces, the collapse of CBS' "trump card" witness, etc.

(thanks to MW)

Posted by B. Preston at 08:41 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack