View Full Version : Drudge: documents traced to Texas Kinkos..

Joe Seahawk
09-15-2004, 08:31 PM
WASH POST: Documents allegedly written by deceased officer that raised questions about Bush's service with Texas National Guard bore markings showing they had been faxed to CBS News from a Kinko's copy shop in Abilene, Texas... Developing...


09-15-2004, 08:35 PM
WASH POST: Documents allegedly written by deceased officer that raised questions about Bush's service with Texas National Guard bore markings showing they had been faxed to CBS News from a Kinko's copy shop in Abilene, Texas... Developing...


That wouldn't, by any chance, be where the Texans for Truth operate out of, would it?

Duck Dog
09-15-2004, 08:41 PM
This story is getting better by the day.

09-15-2004, 08:44 PM
That wouldn't, by any chance, be where the Texans for Truth operate out of, would it?
i thought they operated out of cambodia...

09-15-2004, 09:00 PM
Newsweek's speculation about Bill Burkett appears to be correct. Now any possible ties to the DNC and/or Kerry campaign need to be investigated.

09-15-2004, 09:01 PM
The Libertarians planted it to draw attention away from the nader campaign!

09-15-2004, 09:03 PM
Abilene Kinkos confirmed to a radio show that Burkett has an account there...again, his story has been thoroughly discredited by the Boston Globe months ago:


Michael Michigan
09-15-2004, 10:10 PM
This is a long read from Kevin Drum (CalPundit/Washington Monthly)

Lot of stuff in it---but here's a key point and Drum's "Conclusion."


Does Burkett have an axe to grind?

This is the weakest link in Burkett's story: he has a huge axe to grind, and so do the people who have corroborated his story.

Here's what seems to have happened. Burkett uncovered the "ghost soldiers" problem in 1997 and tried unsuccessfully to get anyone to take it seriously. Then, in January 1998, after a trip to Panama for the Army, he collapsed in the Abilene airport and became seriously ill. For several months he was denied medical attention by the military and he blames this on retaliation from Bush aides who thought he was a troublemaker for pushing the ghost soldiers investigation.

All three people who have corroborated Burkett's story are also people who got involved in trying to get him medical care, and all three were eventually either court martialed or otherwise removed from the Guard —possibly because of their parts in this. So they potentially have axes to grind as well.

And it gets worse. Burkett's illness seemed life threatening at the time and he was apparently panicked by it. In an effort to get the medical attention he wanted, he says he called Bush's office and talked to Dan Bartlett. During that conversation he came very close to threatening extortion over Bush's file cleansing unless he got the medical help he needed. Burkett says now, "I was probably out of line in a way and yet I will tell you now that I was begging for what I at that point considered life saving help."

According to Burkett, Conn was part of this as well. He was removed from the Guard in 1998 after officials discovered he had sent an email to Burkett advising him that in order to get medical help he might have to "play the card at the governor's office." In other words, threaten to go public with the file cleansing charges.

Needless to say, this provides plenty of evidence that Burkett might simply be a disgruntled guy who didn't get some medical attention he thought he deserved and blamed it on retaliation from Bush. And it doesn't help that he's virtually admitted to extorting Dan Bartlett over this.


In summary, Burkett's story is consistent; it has mostly stayed consistent over time; it's been corroborated by his witnesses; it's been corroborated by outside sources; his previous story about "ghost soldiers" has been found to be true; and he's apparently considered pretty reliable by several people not associated with him.

On the other hand, he also has a big axe to grind. But whistleblowers often do, and while it's important to keep motives in mind it's more important to consider the actual evidence at hand. In this case, it supports his story.

Bottom line: I provisionally think the evidence supports Burkett. He's telling the truth.


At the same time, it's not clear to me that this story is going anywhere. Even if it's true, Burkett is the only person making the charge. The others are merely corroborating that he told them about it back in 1997. They didn't see it themselves.

Unless other actual eyewitnesses come forward to confirm Burkett's account, it's just his word against everyone else.

Note on sources

This has been incredibly longwinded. Sorry about that. But I thought it was worthwhile to spell out in detail precisely what the evidence for and against Burkett is so that readers who are interested can judge for themselves what to believe.

As an aside, I'd also like to point out that it's an example of the kind of forensic journalism practiced routinely by mainstream reporters. I see a little more mockery of journalists than I'd like in the blogosphere, and I think a lot of it is because too many people don't realize how much reporting and how much judgment are behind the small snippets of writing that end up on newsprint or on the air. All I did was make a few phone calls for this post, and far from "breaking new ground," this is life as usual for reporters — except that they have to boil down everything I've written here to a few sentences and there's no way for readers to know what those sentences are based on.

But that's one of the nice things about blogs: if I feel like spending a lot of time on a single topic I can do it, and if I feel like posting all the detailed background information I can do that too. I hope you found it an interesting exercise.

Transcripts of the relevant sections of my interviews with Burkett, Gough, and Conn are below.

Michael Michigan
09-15-2004, 10:22 PM
More here...


It has been my contention since Sunday that the identity of at least one of Dan Rather's primary sources -- and perhaps the very source who provided him with the forgeries -- is being concealed not at the source's insistence, but at Rather's contrivance.

This source's identity is withheld not to protect the source, but to protect Rather-- because exposure of this source to scrutiny would prove embarassing to Rather and CBS News. The source in question has a strong political animus against George Bush -- he is a member of what might be charitably called "the florid left" -- and a personal animus against Bush as well. The source in question blames Bush personally for (as Governor) denying him medical treatment he needed due to illness resulting in subsequent nervous breakdowns (the latter according to Newsweek).

This man is Bill Burkett. Although he has an obvious motive to lie about Bush, Burkett was nevertheless used as a principal source for Dan Rather's now-infamous 60 Minutes II attack on George Bush's TANG service, and, indeed, is one of the sources called "unimpeachable" by Rather in defense of that report.

The New York Times has asked his lawyer whether Burkett was responsible for providing Dan Rather with the forgeries, a question the lawyer refused to answer. But it is not necessary to assume he had anything at all to do with the actual forgeries to question Rather's objectivity and ethics in using Mr. Burkett as a source at all -- and an anonymous one at that.

Because even if Burkett only provided background information and confirmations for other parts of the story, his credibility is extremely questionable -- and certainly not "unimpeachable" credibility in any event.

Much more at the link...

09-15-2004, 10:25 PM
Burkett's attorney, David Van O's is actually one of Howard Dean's candidates...


Now everything is starting to make sense...