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More proof the media and their journalists are a bunch of liberals who hate Bush and almost all vote Democrat.
CBS: Bush Memo Story A 'Mistake'

(CBS/AP) CBS News said Monday it cannot prove the authenticity of documents used in a 60 Minutes story about President Bush's National Guard service and that airing the story was a "mistake" that CBS regretted.

CBS News Anchor Dan Rather, the reporter of the original story, apologized.

CBS News claimed a source had misled the network on the documents' origins. The network pledged "an independent review of the process by which the report was prepared and broadcast to help determine what actions need to be taken."
In a statement, CBS said former Texas Guard official Bill Burkett "has acknowledged that he provided the now-disputed documents" and "admits that he deliberately misled the CBS News producer working on the report, giving her a false account of the documents' origins to protect a promise of confidentiality to the actual source."

The network did not say the memoranda — purportedly written by one of Mr. Bush's National Guard commanders — were forgeries. But the network did say it could not authenticate the documents and that it should not have reported them.

"Based on what we now know, CBS News cannot prove that the documents are authentic, which is the only acceptable journalistic standard to justify using them in the report," said the statement by CBS News President Andrew Heyward. "We should not have used them. That was a mistake, which we deeply regret.

"Nothing is more important to us than our credibility and keeping faith with the millions of people who count on us for fair, accurate, reliable, and independent reporting," Heyward continued. "We will continue to work tirelessly to be worthy of that trust."

Additional reporting on the documents will air on Monday's CBS Evening News, including the interview of Burkett by Rather. CBS News pledged "an independent review of the process by which the report was prepared and broadcast to help determine what actions need to be taken."

In a separate statement, Rather said that "after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically.

"I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers," he said.

"We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry," Rather added.

The authenticity of the documents — four memoranda attributed to Guard commander Lt. Col. Jerry Killian — has been under fire since they were described in the Sept. 8 broadcast of 60 Minutes.

CBS had not previously revealed who provided the documents or how they were obtained.

Burkett has previously alleged that in 1997 he witnessed allies of then-Gov. Bush discussing the destruction of Guard files that might embarrass Mr. Bush, who was considering a run for the presidency. Bush aides have denied the charge.

In the statement, CBS said: "Burkett originally said he obtained the documents from another former Guardsman. Now he says he got them from a different source whose connection to the documents and identity CBS News has been unable to verify to this point."

Questions about the president's National Guard service have lingered for years. Some critics question how Mr. Bush got into the Guard when there were waiting lists of young men hoping to join it to escape the draft and possible service in Vietnam.

In the Sept. 8 60 Minutes report, former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes — a Democrat — claimed that, at the behest of a friend of the Bush family, he pulled strings to get young George W. Bush into the Guard.

Other questions concern why Mr. Bush missed a physical in 1972, and why there are scant records of any service by Mr. Bush during the latter part of 1972, a period during which he transferred to an Alabama guard unit so he could work on a campaign there.

The CBS documents suggested that Mr. Bush had disobeyed a direct order to attend the physical, and that there were other lapses in his performance. One memo also indicated that powerful allies of the Bush family were pressuring the guard to "sugar coat" any investigation of Lt. Bush's service.

Skeptics immediately seized on the typing in the memos, which included a superscripted "th" not found on all 1970s-era typewriters. As the controversy raged, CBS broadcast interviews with experts who said that some typewriters from that period could have produced the markings in question.

Other critics saw factual errors in the documents, stylistic differences with other writing by Killian and incorrect military lingo.

Some relatives of Col. Killian disputed that the memos were real. His former secretary said the sentiments regarding Mr. Bush's failures as an officer were genuine, but the documents were not.

Some document experts whom CBS consulted for the story told newspapers they had raised doubts before the broadcast and were ignored. CBS disputed their accounts, pointing to the main document expert the network consulted, Marcel Matley.

Matley insisted he had vouched for the authenticity of the signatures on the memos, but had not determined whether the documents themselves were genuine.

Last week, CBS News stood by its reporting while vowing to continue working the story. The network acknowledged there were questions about the documents and pledged to try to answer them.

Mr. Bush maintains that he did not get special treatment in getting into the Guard, and that he fulfilled all duties. He was honorably discharged.

On Saturday, a White House official said Mr. Bush has reviewed the disputed documents that purport to show he refused orders to take a physical examination in 1972, and did not recall having seen them previously.

In his first public comment on the documents controversy, the president told The Union Leader of Manchester, N.H., "There are a lot of questions about the documents, and they need to be answered."

The Bush campaign has alleged that their Democratic rivals were somehow involved in the story. John Kerry's campaign denies it. In an email revealed last week, Burkett said he had contacted the Kerry campaign but received no response.

Meanwhile, a federal judge has ordered the Pentagon to find and make public by next week any unreleased files about Mr. Bush's Vietnam-era Air National Guard service to resolve a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the Associated Press.

The White House and Defense Department have on several occasions claimed that they had released all the documents only to make additional records available later on.


İMMIV, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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

Yes I have a thought... 20.Sep.2004 14:23

alan

So CBS screwed up...who doesen't...but it brings up the fact...that it is not the untruths or the bias, (that one with any brains) can gleen from mainstream press or media...but the blatant nonreporting or under reporting is the crime...FAIR&BALANCED...NEWS YOU CAN TRUST....indepth coverage with comments from our experts...what a bunch of crap!...the violation of trust that these so called news agencies are guilty of is over the top. FOX,GANNETT,CNN,CBS,NBC,MSNBC...calling it what it is "corprate news&information" Our trusted news-anchors and reporters,in our homes every night,almost part of our familes, with their concern ...and 6&7 figure incomes...so they give it to us just like their told to....and millions of us know no better....you cannot have the liberty of freedom without an informed public....and for the hundreds of millons you think you as fools and uninformed....there are hundreds of thousands of us...who will take this disinformation and untold truths...and correct it...and...expose what you attempt to hide from the light of day....

No one screwed up. It's the truth 20.Sep.2004 18:57

me

No one screwed up. It's the truth, it's only being repressed. Read this for the two documents that prove it uncontravertibly.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/09/297842.shtml

Is Rather's report accurate? Is George W. Bush a war hero or a privileged little Shirker-in-Chief? Today I saw a goofy two page spread in the Washington Post about a typewriter used to write a memo with no significance to the draft-dodge story. What I haven't read about in my own country's media is about two crucial documents supporting the BBC/CBS story. The first is Barnes' signed and sworn affidavit to a Texas Court, from 1999, in which he testifies to the Air Guard fix -- which Texas Governor George W. Bush, given the opportunity, declined to challenge.

And there is a second document, from the files of US Justice Department, again confirming the story of the fix to keep George's white bottom out of Vietnam. That document, shown last year in the BBC television documentary, "Bush Family Fortunes," correctly identifies Barnes as the bag man even before his 1999 confession.

At BBC, we also obtained a statement from the man who made the call to the Air Guard general on behalf of Bush at Barnes' request. Want to see the document? I've posted it at:
 http://www.gregpalast.com/ulf/documents/draftdodgeblanked.jpg.

equal time, equal standards? 20.Sep.2004 23:26

no, no, no case

When was Bush expected to "prove the authenticity" of any documents he's made public about his military "career"? Captain America is an idiot -- or a self-conscious propagandist helping to lock down permanent power for the new one-party Republican fascist state. Love U Cappy! :-P

yeeaaarrrgh 21.Sep.2004 04:43

bork

"More proof the media and their journalists are a bunch of liberals who hate Bush and almost all vote Democrat"

so true... except for almost all of the media and their journalists!

pay no attention to the man behind the curtain 21.Sep.2004 07:00

Miss Direction

CBS is now admitting the documents are false, or at least questionable. This only shows their lack of political courage.

Any news organization probably used--in the '60s and '70s--the same high-end IBM typewriters which the military also used. A lot of attention has been given to the "th" superscript. In fact, you're much more likely to see a superscripts in a document created on a ball-element typewriter than in a document created on a computer. Superscripts were more common 30 years ago. Nowadays they look quaint.

As for proportional spacing, this too could be found on many typewriters of the era in question.

The questions regarding the legitimacy of the documents were raised primarily by right-wing blogs and right-wing talk radio. Somehow, the mainstream media picked up and ran with these allegations very quickly. While the stories of the Swift Boat liars weren't seriously questioned until the story had been simmering on the front pages for two weeks.

Liberal media my ass.

But this supposed document-forging story is a sideshow to the bigger story of Bush shirking his National Guard duties, in much the same way the whole Presidential election is a sideshow from global corporate destructiveness.

. 21.Sep.2004 16:18

Mind_Cemetary

Liberals aren't leftists. Just like conservatives, they are apologists for the status-quo.

grammar 22.Sep.2004 12:41

copy editor

"media" is a plural noun, idiot.