View Full Version : CBS Guard Documents Traced to Tex. Kinko's

Kylo Ren
09-16-2004, 07:33 AM

CBS Guard Documents Traced to Tex. Kinko's
Records Reportedly Faxed From Abilene By Michael Dobbs
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 16, 2004; Page A06 Documents allegedly written by a deceased officer that raised questions about President Bush's service with the Texas Air National Guard bore markings showing they had been faxed to CBS News from a Kinko's copy shop in Abilene, Tex., according to another former Guard officer who was shown the records by the network.The markings provide one piece of evidence suggesting a source for the documents, whose authenticity has been hotly disputed since CBS aired them in a "60 Minutes" broadcast Sept. 8. The network has declined to name the person who provided them, saying the source was confidential, or to explain how the documents came to light after more than three decades.There is only one Kinko's in Abilene, and it is 21 miles from the Baird, Tex., home of retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, who has been named by several news outlets as a possible source for the documents. Robert Strong, who was one of three people interviewed by "60 Minutes," said he was shown copies of the documents by CBS anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes on Sept. 5, three days before the broadcast. He said at least one of the documents bore the faxed header "Kinko's Abilene."Strong's comments came as CBS News President Andrew Heyward in an interview acknowledged that there were "unresolved issues" that the network wanted "to get to the bottom of." Since the broadcast, critics have pointed to a host of unexplained problems about the memos, which bore dates from 1972 and 1973, including signs that they had been written on a computer rather than a Vietnam War-era typewriter. "I feel that we did a tremendous amount of reporting before the story went on the air or we wouldn't have put it on the air," Heyward said in an interview last night, while acknowledging "a ferocious debate about these documents."Asked what role Burkett may have played in CBS's reporting, Heyward said: "I'm not going to get into any discussion of who the sources are."Burkett, who has accused Bush aides of ordering the destruction of some portions of the president's National Guard record because they might have been politically embarrassing, did not return telephone calls to his home. His lawyer, David Van Os, issued a statement on Burkett's behalf saying he "no longer trusts any possible outcome of speaking to the press on any issue regarding George W. Bush and does not choose to dignify recent spurious attacks upon his character with any comment."In news interviews earlier this year, Burkett said he overheard a telephone conversation in the spring of 1997 in which top Bush aides asked the head of the Texas National Guard to sanitize Bush's files as he was running for a second term as governor of Texas. Several days later, he said, he saw dozens of pages from Bush's military file dumped in a trash can at Camp Mabry, the Guard's headquarters.The Bush aides Burkett named as participants in the telephone conversation were Chief of Staff Joe M. Allbaugh and spokespeople Karen Hughes and Dan Bartlett. All three Bush aides and former Texas National Guard Maj. Gen. Daniel James have strongly denied the allegations.Suspicions that Burkett could have been a source for the CBS documents first surfaced earlier this week when Newsweek magazine reported that Mapes flew to Texas to interview him over the summer. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that a CBS staff member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Burkett was a source for the "60 Minutes" report but "did not know the exact role he played."Yesterday, reporters from several news organizations were camped near Baird, Tex., outside Burkett's home, which is on a working ranch, with a gate barring access to a one-story farmhouse and a pickup truck outside. At 6 p.m. Central Time, Burkett walked to the gate on his cane with a black dog by his side to collect his mail. He refused to answer questions about whether he provided the documents to CBS."Get out of my way," he told the reporters. "You need to go home."Earlier this year, Burkett gave interviews to numerous news outlets, including The Washington Post, alleging corruption and malfeasance at the top of the Texas National Guard, much of which have never been substantiated. He has also been a named source for several reports by USA Today, which reported Monday that it had independently obtained copies of the disputed memos soon after the broadcast.Like CBS News, USA Today has declined to name the source of its memos on the grounds of confidentiality.Burkett, who served with the Texas National Guard in an administrative capacity before his 1998 retirement, has been involved in a bitter dispute with the Guard over medical benefits after suffering from a tropical disease following a military assignment in Panama. He has told reporters that he had a nervous breakdown and was hospitalized for depression after he left the Guard.Burkett has provided different accounts of exactly what Bush records he allegedly saw in the trash can at Camp Mabry. At times, he has described them as "payroll-type documents" and performance assessments. But in an Aug. 14 posting to a Web log, www.steveverdon.com (http://www.steveverdon.com/), he said he saw "a two-page counseling statement" signed by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, the officer named by "60 Minutes" as the author of its Bush memos.Author James Moore, who relied on Burkett as a primary source for a book attacking Bush as having wriggled out of his Guard service, said in an interview yesterday that he did not think Burkett provided the memos to CBS. "His life is complicated enough already, and I don't know why he would make further complications for himself," Moore said. On Capitol Hill, meanwhile, 39 Republican House members, led by Majority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.), wrote a letter to Heyward demanding that CBS retract its report. Accusing the network of becoming "part of a campaign to deceive the public and to defame the president," the lawmakers said: "CBS reporters would not accept such behavior from public officials like ourselves, and we cannot accept it from them." Separately, Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Calif.), citing reports in The Post and the Dallas Morning News, asked that a House communications subcommittee investigate what he called "the continued use of CBS News of apparently forged documents" intended to damage Bush's reputation and "influence the outcome of the 2004 presidential election." But the panel's chairman, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), rejected the request, saying that the oversight of network news should be left to the viewing public and news media.In a related development, White House press secretary Scott McClellan hinted that more documents regarding Bush's National Guard service may soon be released. Asked whether officials in the White House have seen unreleased documents, McClellan called that "a very real possibility." Other officials with knowledge of the situation said more documents had indeed been uncovered and would be released in the coming days.

Kylo Ren
09-16-2004, 07:34 AM
Sorry about the format. I provided the link for easy reading.

Sooner or later, these docs are going to be traced to the Kerry campaign. Mark my words.

Chief Henry
09-16-2004, 07:43 AM
Sooner or later, these docs are going to be traced to the Kerry campaign. Mark my words.

IMO I doubt SKERRY even knew this was coming. One of his hatchet
men/women dug this up.

09-16-2004, 07:47 AM
I doubt if sKerry himself was involved, but tracing it to someone involved in his campaign would be enough.

09-16-2004, 08:11 AM
Sooner or later, these docs are going to be traced to the Kerry campaign. Mark my words.

Dont you mean traced to Karl Rove?

09-16-2004, 08:57 AM
Burkett's attorney is a Democratic candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.....hmmmmm

09-16-2004, 09:00 AM
Burkett's lawyer:

09-16-2004, 09:29 AM
Burkett's attorney is a Democratic candidate for the Texas Supreme Court.....hmmmmm

Yeah, I was posting last night that David Os is one of Howard Dean's hand-picked candidates:


siberian khatru
09-16-2004, 09:48 AM
David Van Os is a former chairman of the Travis County Democratic Party.

Hey, who else is active in Travis County Democratic politics? Robin Rather.

09-16-2004, 10:17 AM
David Van Os is a former chairman of the Travis County Democratic Party.

Hey, who else is active in Travis County Democratic politics? Robin Rather.

When will the NY Times come out with a chart of the degrees of separation between Rather, Burkett, and the DNC?

09-16-2004, 10:31 AM
Interesting...I think this was discussed last week about the 'media' ties to the DNC/RNC...

I see we have a network news anchor whose daughter is a player in the DNC politics. Usually, the children learn their politics from their parents, and this whole episode just exposes how pathetically biased Rather is.

"Bob" Dobbs
09-16-2004, 10:34 AM
I don't know if this has been brought up in another thread or anywhere, but it seems to me that one of the biggest beneficiaries of this whole mess would be the Clintons. On the surface, "helping" the kerry campaign while also leaving a LARGE monkey wrench in it. IF this becomes one of the final straws that breaks the back of the campaign, that opens the door for Hillary in 08. Could the kerry backstabbers be from Arkansas?

Michael Michigan
09-16-2004, 10:53 AM
David Van Os is a former chairman of the Travis County Democratic Party.

Hey, who else is active in Travis County Democratic politics? Robin Rather.


Michael Michigan
09-16-2004, 11:20 AM
What do those signs behind Van Os say? Kerry Edwards?



09-16-2004, 11:26 AM
That point about Hillary has been raised before, sKerry can't win so ensure he doesn't by subotage.

Wouldn't be great if it came back as tied to Hillary's cronies in Ark.

Matt Helm
09-16-2004, 11:38 AM






More links that could be interesting.

I don't know who would forge something like the documents that RAthER put out, but there seem to be plenty of suspicion floating around!!

Michael Michigan
09-16-2004, 11:41 AM
Is this the six degrees of separation?

Rather Spoke at Democratic Fundraiser

By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, April 4, 2001; Page A01

Dan Rather, the longest-serving and most outspoken of the major network news anchors, recently served as the star attraction at a Democratic Party fundraiser.

Donors paid as much as $1,000 for a private evening in Austin with the CBS newsman, according to an invitation obtained by The Washington Post. Rather's appearance at the March 21 gathering generated about $20,000 for the Travis County Democratic Party -- and will undoubtedly provide ammunition to critics who have long accused Rather of leaning to the left.

Rather said yesterday that he hadn't realized beforehand that the event was a fundraiser. "I didn't ask the question, and I should have," he said in an interview. "I take full responsibility for it. I'm responsible and I'm accountable."

But the Texas native stopped short of calling his appearance a mistake or saying he would not have attended had he known in advance that he was being used to raise money.

Acknowledging that he didn't want to sound like Al Gore at a Buddhist temple, Rather said: "When I got there, I was very aware that it was a fundraising event. I'm not going to say I had no idea what was going on. . . . If someone wants to fault me for that, I wouldn't blame them."

Rather said he agreed to discuss election coverage at the invitation of an old friend, Austin City Council member Will Wynn, who drew 150 people to the event in his back yard. He was not paid for his appearance. Other hosts included Scott Ozmun, the county Democratic chairman, and Robin Rather, the anchor's daughter and a Texas environmentalist and marketing executive.

The Austin American-Statesman said Robin Rather is considering a run for mayor and has been consulting with another host of the event, David Butts, a campaign adviser to Mayor Kirk Watson. The CBS veteran said he didn't know that his daughter was an official host.

Asked for comment last night, CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said: "Obviously our standards don't allow correspondents to participate in political party fundraisers. No one believes in this and upholds it more fervently than Dan Rather. This was an honest oversight on his part."

Rather has long disputed suggestions that he is a Democratic Party sympathizer. But he consistently draws the most flak of the major anchors from viewers who see him as less than objective, even spawning a Web site called RatherBiased.com.

"I think the stereotype of Rather is occasionally unfair, but this feeds the stereotype," said Republican consultant Mike Murphy. "Generally, television anchors should not be in the business of helping political parties raise money. He ought to make it real clear that it was a huge mistake and he should never do that sort of thing."

Said National Review Editor Rich Lowry: "He is perceived as the most buffoonishly biased of any of the anchors, as far as conservatives are concerned. He's the favorite media pinata for people on the right. He arouses their ire. This, obviously, will just increase that. This will enter the lore about Dan Rather."

In one widely quoted example, Rather said on "Larry King Live" in 1998: "I would not be astonished to see Hillary Clinton be the Democratic nominee in 2000. . . . As far as I'm concerned, she's the Person of the Year [for] Time magazine."

The fundraising invitation, 1,000 of which were sent out, says: "Please join us for an evening with DAN RATHER. Mayor Kirk Watson & Other Honored Guests. 'Power Shifts & Aftershocks.' An Insider View on Politics & Power."

The RSVP form -- which asks that checks be made payable to the county Democratic Party -- says a donor can be a "host" for $1,000, which buys tickets for "four guests for private reception & evening event." A "sponsor" gets two tickets for $500. A "guest" gets one or two tickets (for $150 and $250, respectively) but doesn't get into the private reception.

Wynn, describing himself as a close friend of Robin Rather, said that "it wouldn't surprise me at all if Dan wasn't aware that technically this was a fundraiser. I'm sorry if somehow there might have been some miscommunication. . . . His comments were completely nonpartisan."

Eddie Rodriguez, the party's executive director, called it "a very successful event. . . . There was just a lot of interest in hearing about the election from someone who had such an insight into what happened in the media."

Rather, who maintains a home in the Austin area, noted that the night before he sat with Texas Gov. Rick Perry at an arts dinner and posed for a picture with the Republican.

"This is part of what I do -- I circulate among politicians," he said. "Over a long period of time, I've met with political groups large and small, Democratic and Republican, Green Party, mugwumps, you name it, because that's what reporters do."

Rather said he "wouldn't be surprised" if critics use the incident to call him a closet Democrat. "I'm going to get that criticism whether I deserve it or not."