Sent the following email to CBS 60 Minutes:
For your consideration,
Knee-jerk Bush supporters rallying to the cause of declaring the 60 Minutes documents false may not realize it, but the last thing in the world they want is to be right in their assertion. If they ARE right, it could bring down the whole house of cards.
What if, for the sake of argument, we suppose that the documents WERE falsified as critics contend, as evidenced (according to those critics) by the superscript "th" and other features that, if not totally unavailable were at least rare on 1970s-era typewriters. In conducting its own investigation after claims of fakery surfaced, CBS found other instances of the "th" superscript and proportional spacing among the 128 pages of official military records released by the White House months ago. While CBS argues this supports the case for authenticity, it might prove something else entirely.
If, as critics of 60 Minutes allege, the "th" superscript and other features ARE proof the CBS documents were produced on a modern computer rather than typewriters typically used in the '70s by the Texas Air National Guard, then it follows that the 128 pages of official military records released by the White House - at least those pages that include these same "modern" features - must ALSO have been produced this way. If this is the case, it means someone in the Bush administration created these "official" records using modern equipment and passed them off to the public as authentic records from the 1970s. That the same word-processor-style features appear in both the CBS documents and the 128 pages previously released by the White House strongly suggests someone working for or on behalf of the White House was the source of both.
CBS' position in standing by its story is commendable, but before the 60 Minutes producers become too entrenched defending that position they would do well to carefully examine all other possibilities. Many people have voiced the suspicion that CBS was lured into doing a story with provably phony documents in a set-up intended - after the documents were quickly discredited - to discourage and prejudice future examination of George Bush's military record and relegate to the realm of conspiracy theory any further discussion on the subject. The immediacy with which the discrediting process began - literally within minutes after the 60 Minutes segment aired, yet astonishingly replete with fully-developed arguments and technical detail - lends credence to that suspicion. 60 Minutes should allow for the possibility that it was indeed used and/or set up - it has certainly happened before in the news business. If it turns out the superscript and proportional spacing issues ARE "smoking guns", and thus possibly evidence of White House involvement in falsifying the military records it previously released, that will be a far bigger issue than whether George W. refused to report for a physical or went over his unit commander's head to get special treatment.
(Additional thoughts welcome.)