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September 09, 2004
(UPDATED: "At Least" 90% Positive They're Fake)

Are the CBS National Guard Documents Fake?

Posted by Bill

INDC Exclusive. Must Credit INDC.

Based on Powerline's suspicions of forgery over the documents put forth regarding George W. Bush's National Guard service, I decided to do some legwork and track down the opinions of forensic document examiners that may have an expertise in old typefaces.

After contacting several experts, a rather notable Forensic Document Examiner named Dr. Philip Bouffard took the time to examine a pdf of the documents and perform an initial visual analysis of their authenticity. Dr. Bouffard has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Michigan, but got involved in forensic examination of typefaces after working in "graphics" with NCR until 1973 and taking a two-year Certification Program in Document Examination at Georgetown University. After completing the program, he became specifically interested in typewriter classification and went to work for a prosecutor's crime lab in Lake County, Ohio.

Using something called the Haas Atlas, the definitive collection of various typefaces, Mr. Bouffard (and other forensic document examiners) examined the veracity of various documents for over 30 years. Beginning in 1988, Mr. Bouffard hired a programmer to write a computer database program that catalogues the nearly 4,000 typefaces that appear in the Haas Atlas. This computer program is now a forensic standard that is sold as a companion to the Haas Atlas by American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (ASQDE). Though semi-retired, Dr. Bouffard is one of the top two experts in forensic document examination (regarding typefaces) in the country.

UPDATE: The name of the program that Dr. Bouffard developed is called "The Typewriter Typestyle Classification Program" (C:\TYPE).

What did Dr. Bouffard think of the documents?

First, the necessary caveats:

* The pdf document is of poor quality. It seems to have been copied and recopied several times, blurring letter characteristics.

* Also, certain types of analysis can only be done on the original documents, which don't seem to be available, even to CBS.

So Dr. Bouffard is very clear that his analysis is not 100% positive. That being said:

"It's just possible that this might be a Times Roman font, which means that it would have been created on a computer. It's very possible that someone decided to create this document on a computer... I've run across this situation before - my gut is this could just well be a fabrication."

The reasons why?

* Right off the bat, Dr. Bouffard noted what others in the blogosphere have been talking about: something called "proportional spacing," which means that each letter does not take up the same amount of width on the page. On old typewriters that do not have proportional spacing, the letter "i" would be as wide as the letter "m." Except for professional typesetting, proportional spacing was only available on a very few models (an IBM model, "Executive" and perhaps one or two other models Mini-Update: Dr. Bouffard e-mails to correct me that it was seven or eight possible models, not one or two - Ed) that were not widely available in 1972-73; the vast majority of typewriters did not have proportional spacing. Because of this, Dr. Bouffard's computer program immediately eliminated "over 90%" of the possible fonts from typewriters that could create such a document, narrowing it down to perhaps 15 fonts used by a very few models.

* Next, Dr. Bouffard began entering individual characters in an attempt to match them to the remaining fonts that were available on proportional spacing typewriters of that era, focusing on numbers. Thus far, one character stood out, the number "4." In the document provided by CBS News, the number 4 does not "have a foot" and has a "closed top," which is indicative of proportional Times New Roman, a font exclusive to more modern computer word processing programs. Other characters matched the old proportional spacing fonts (available on only a small few typewriters of the era), but this number did not (please note that this is only an initial analysis with numerical characters).

Dr. Bouffard ran this number and could not find a match in his entire database of over 4,000 typewriter fonts that have been maintained and collected into his computer database since 1988. Otherwise, the font is very indicative of Times New Roman, the font version that is only available on computer word processing programs.

The final word?

Once again, let?s not forget the qualifications: it's a bad copy of a copy and we have no original document for review, but, based on the initial analysis of the documents by an industry expert with over 30 years of experience in typesetting and forensic document examination, the documents "could just well be a fabrication."

In light of this information, I think that it would be highly appropriate for CBS News and the Boston Globe to attempt to obtain a copy of the original document for more thorough vetting, and run a correction/addendum to the story.

I still have two other forensic document examiners that are examining the pdf file, and I will update if/when they get back to me. I also plan to ask Dr. Bouffard more detail about the nature of the "th" on the end of dates, though in our first conversation he indicated that some typewriters had the capability to do something in that format.

UPDATE: Dr. Bouffard called me again, and after further analysis, he says that he's pretty certain that it's a fake.

Here's why

* He looked through old papers he's written, and noted that he's come up against the inconsistency of the "4" several previous times with forgeries that attempt to duplicate old proportional spaced documents with a computer word processing program.

* Regarding the small "th" after the date, Dr. Bouffard told me that it was possible to order specialty keys that would duplicate the automatic miniaturization completed by word processors after a numerical date, but it was certainly not standard, and wouldn't make a lot of sense in a military setting. "That by itself, while suspicious, is not impossible, but in conjunction with the (font irregularity of the) number four, it is really significant," he said.

* Dr. Bouffard said that signature analysis isn't that relevant because the signature could have easily been copied and pasted onto one of the photocopied forgeries from another document.

* He said that he didn't know who CBS contacted to verify the document's authenticity, but that there is really only one other man that may be more qualified to determine authentic typefaces than himself. I think that the burden of proof may be on CBS to reveal this information.

I asked him to put a percentage on the chances that this was a fake, and he said that was "hard to put a number on it." I then suggested "90%?" Again he said it's "hard to put an exact number, but I'd say it's at least that high, sure. I pretty much agree that that font is Times New Roman."

I hesitate to render verdicts, but based on an initial visual analysis by one of the country's foremost forensic document analysts that specializes in old typefaces, it looks like CBS was duped.

Posted by Bill at September 9, 2004 02:41 PM | TrackBack (200)

Comments

Look at Charles' MIcrosoft Word version superimposed on the "memo" at LGF http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=12526_Bush_Guard_Documents-_Forged

It is clearly Times New Roman on Microsoft Word with default tab settings and margins. It would be very difficult to create a document in any other format or with any other font that would match up this well.

Posted by: Elder of Ziyon at September 9, 2004 03:03 PM

Good stuff Bill... keep us updated... I would love to see this 'document' blow up in their face.

Posted by: Iraqi Intelligence at September 9, 2004 03:07 PM

The combination of the "th" superscript AND the proportional font might be enough to eliminate all possible typewriters of the time.

Also rather suspicious in addition to the default Word tabs and mrgins, is that there is, for the documents I've looked at, a space in between the # and the "th" where it is not superscripted - which is what you have to do in Word to have it not auto-correct to the superscript.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 03:08 PM

Blogs rule. Nice work, Bill.

Posted by: rick at September 9, 2004 03:17 PM

Top shelf work. What are the odds alone of the line breaks lining up perfectly with the default word settings?

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 03:20 PM

I believe the proper term is: "Slam. Dunk. All your bass is mine."

Posted by: TC-LeatherPenguin at September 9, 2004 03:25 PM

I hope you have sent this report to every media outlet that you can find.

Major issues are raised if indeed these are forgeries......

Posted by: Techie at September 9, 2004 03:28 PM

It is easy enough to correct the superscripted 'th' in a Word program, but it does require some attention to detail. That easily explains why the forger caught a couple of them but missed one.

Posted by: Da Kine at September 9, 2004 03:29 PM

I think the apostrophe is defining. It is curved, which to my notion is never on typewriters regardless of serif or sans serif

Posted by: peapies at September 9, 2004 03:32 PM

EVERYONE should start calling local CBS TV stations, especially those in states where the President is most popular, to demand that they read this website and conduct their own investigation independent of CBS HQ. Make the local stations pay for this smear job, and CBS will be ruined.

Posted by: Andy at September 9, 2004 03:34 PM

Bill you rock! I wasn't one bit surprised that you tracked down a forensic expert annd picked his brain, just the kind of thing I like about INDC Journal.

Posted by: Pete at September 9, 2004 03:38 PM

Per your update, I don't think CBS was duped. Even to my sort of untrained eye (I've worked with computer word processing and type writers for the past 25 years) those documents looked wrong right off the bat. The don't even _look_ like typewritten documents. They don't pass the initial smell test.

If they were duped, they were duped willingly at the very least.

Posted by: Keith at September 9, 2004 03:38 PM

Should that be PHILLIP Bouffard rather than PETER?

I can google up a forensic expert in Lake County named PHILLIP (who works for a guy named Charles Coulson, interestingly enough...) but the only PETER Bouffard I can find online is a guitar expert. Which is a nice thing to be but does not make him qualified to offer an opinion about typefaces.

Posted by: pouncer at September 9, 2004 03:39 PM

Just double checking. The "Coulson" that Phillip Bouffard works for is a Charles E (like, "ECHO") Coulson.

Nixon's Charles Coulson was, it turns out, a Charles W (like, "WHISKEY") Coulson.

So they might be different people.

But then, so might PETER and PHILLIP.

Posted by: pouncer at September 9, 2004 03:44 PM

Welcome back, Bill! Glad you're back on the case, nailing the bad guys.

Posted by: Scott P at September 9, 2004 03:48 PM

> (peapies)

If you're referring to the May 4, 1972 memo, what apostrophe?

Posted by: dongiller at September 9, 2004 03:52 PM

This Lt.Colonel Killian seemed to be a pretty proficent typesetter decades ahead of his time.

Perhaps Bill Gates owes his estate royalties since MS-Word seems to so closely emulate his setup.

Posted by: Charles at September 9, 2004 03:54 PM

There's no "i" in team, and there's no "u" in (Nixon's) Colson.

Posted by: Joe Baby at September 9, 2004 03:56 PM

Another thing... if this document is from private files, why was it copied and recopied so as to make such a crummy looking print? Wouldn't we be looking at a cleaner copy... maybe only copied once .. if it were truly from a private file? Or are we looking at a forger's attempt to make sure it looks like it's an "old" document? Does anyone make copies of copies of his private files?? If so, why?

Posted by: kd at September 9, 2004 03:57 PM

This is great fact checking. Bravo
It raises the question again, who was CBS's expert, and why didn't they catch this?

Posted by: papijoe at September 9, 2004 04:00 PM

Real question is how CBS reacts now. My guess is denial and viscious attacks on the blogosphere. In other words the usual when they are shown up by the new media. If Rather has the slightest amount of journalistic integrity (or pride) left, he'll burn this lying source into the ground.

As someone wiser than I once said: 'A source lies to you, you burn them. Period.'

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 04:01 PM

Using a downloaded TrueType Typewriter font, I was able to mimic those memos in Word. I then added some underlining and speckling in Photoshop. The results are here

Posted by: Jeff G at September 9, 2004 04:02 PM

Mark: Of course CBS will deny and smear. That's whay we have to call LOCAL STATIONS and make them decide if they will put their credibility on the line. They can call local forensic experts as easily as we can.

Posted by: Andy at September 9, 2004 04:05 PM

In so many ways bloggers are better and more diligent reporters than professional reporters. They actually seem to want to get to the truth. Their interest does not lie in circulation numbers or selling ad space. This is great stuff.

Posted by: Iraqi Intelligence at September 9, 2004 04:09 PM

There won't be a denial or smear, at least not immediately. Instead, MSM will quietly ignore the story.

Posted by: Big Dave at September 9, 2004 04:16 PM

The line breaks line up exactly in MS Word using Times New Roman 11 point font and a 2 inch left margin. I typed the 19 May 1972 document into MS Word and it lines up exactly.

I will post the MS .doc file if anyone will tell me how to do it.

Posted by: Steve at September 9, 2004 04:22 PM

I sent the link to my local CBS six o'clock newscaster/anchor. We'll see what happens.

Posted by: Joey at September 9, 2004 04:27 PM

Look, I'm a Kerry supporter but these are badly faked documents.

Who the @$%##$^ gave CBS these documents????

Posted by: Thomas at September 9, 2004 04:29 PM

"I sent the link to my local CBS six o'clock newscaster/anchor. We'll see what happens."

Nothing. Locals take their marching orders from network. You're more likely to see this story on the frontpage of the NYT than a local affiliate covering it, particularly CBS.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 04:29 PM

Drudge just posted Power Line's blog on the subject, top of his page. Hopefully INDC is soon to follow

Posted by: pete at September 9, 2004 04:29 PM

Something else bothers me. In one of the documents, the purported LTC Killian says something like "...report not later than (NLT) blah blah blah." At least in the Army, we wouldn't do that. EVERYBODY knows what NLT is, and in a semi-formal memo that's all they'd use.

Posted by: Doc Obi-wan at September 9, 2004 04:30 PM

Uh, at least some of the analysis is off.

Fonts from that time clearly show closed number '4' with a foot.

EG:
http://www.selectric.org/selectric/fonts/bookface72.gif As an example.

Many IBM typewriters of the time could type proportionally, and many even had font size differences and superscript capacity.

Now, these docs might be fake, sure. But this analysis doesn't quite do it.

Posted by: What? at September 9, 2004 04:31 PM

Well, the 4 convinces me, because I seem to remember that typewriters used the open 4 so that they would strike better.

Of course, when you can type the document into the latest version of Microsoft Word and get an exact copy...

Posted by: Opinionated Bastard at September 9, 2004 04:35 PM

Boy, when you come back, you certainly do come back! Thank you very much for your impressive contribution to this story!

All the best,

Paul (in DC)

Posted by: Paul (in DC) at September 9, 2004 04:36 PM

There are two logical ways to clear this up:

1) If legit, these documents would have typed by an in-house secretary. Is she still alive? Does she remember the documents in question? What model typewriter was she using at the time?

2) The military keeps records on EVERYTHING, especially supplies and inventory. If this magical IBM typewriter was being used in that office in 1972, an offical record should reflect that fact. Dig it up.

Posted by: Brendan at September 9, 2004 04:36 PM

These "memos" bear no resemblance to type-written documents at all. Who at CBS could have been so stupid as to fall for this? Score another one for Karl Rove. He played the media like the patsies they are. The only problem for the Bush campaign is that they probably didn't count on the forgeries being detected this quickly, I assume they wanted this story to percolate a little before using it to expose the media as frauds. In any case, I'm sure the media will never dare mention Bush's National Guard "service" again so Bush wins.

Posted by: Vanya at September 9, 2004 04:36 PM

"In any case, I'm sure the media will never dare mention Bush's National Guard "service" again so Bush wins."

Wanna bet? :)

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 04:38 PM


Of course, when you can type the document into the latest version of Microsoft Word and get an exact copy...

Ahh, but they don't.
See discussion here:
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/9/153213/0277

Posted by: What? at September 9, 2004 04:39 PM

Fonts from that time clearly show closed number '4' with a foot.
So now try finding a closed '4' without a foot (like Times New Roman and the in the document in question).

Posted by: Chuck T. at September 9, 2004 04:39 PM

What -

I forwarded your link to Dr. bouffard for rebuttal.

He's really a big shot in this area, so we'll see what he says.

Bill

Posted by: Bill at September 9, 2004 04:39 PM

Bill, I gotta say, that's a really nice piece of work. You've done a great service here, and impressed a lot of people. I hope you are feeling justifiably proud of yourself. Really well done.

Posted by: Spoons at September 9, 2004 04:41 PM

Don't know if this has been mentioned yet. One of the "memos" has Bush's rank as "1st Lt." I was an army officer from 1969-74. I am certain that by 1970 at latest, the DoD had adopted the 3-letter format for all ranks in all branches (2LT, 1LT, CPT, MAJ, LTC, COL, etc.). Can't believe that an officer or clerk even in an ANG unit would have used the old form for ranks. As I remember, the adoption of the 3-letter versions was immediate and universal.

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 04:44 PM

Chuck--
Well, how about this one?
http://www.selectric.org/selectric/fonts/delegate.gif

I have no idea which typewriter or font was used, but the selectric was a widely used typewriter, and there are lots of fonts available for it. The ball mechanism allowed a huge variety of typefaces.

Bill--
I'll be interested in his comments. I'm not interested in refuting him. I just think that some of this is spurious. All of this is moot until we find out what typewriter would have been available to the author and so on.

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 04:47 PM

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 04:48 PM

Has anyone checked the memos against others of that era? I thought the military always wrote their dates in military "style", like "04 MAY 1972" or "04 MAY 72" and "01 AUG 1972" (instead of "August"). I guess that may have boiled down to personal preference. Just wondering.

Posted by: NewBlogFan at September 9, 2004 04:49 PM

Why hasn't anyone made a big deal about the fact that Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian's signature on the fake documents is WILDLY different from the one where he approved Bush's discharge? Seems to me that in combination with the font issue, that would pretty much seal the deal.

Posted by: gophergas at September 9, 2004 04:50 PM

What -

I'll have to see what he says, but I was not spurious in tracking down a man with his specific credentials in this area.

We'll see what he says, but when he called back and said more than 90%, I was pretty floored.

At this point, I would be that he has an explanation, but we'll see. If you scooped one of the country's biggest type experts, I'll retract/update.

Posted by: Bill INDC Journal at September 9, 2004 04:53 PM

Looking at the 04 May 1972 memo, there is a redaction of Mr. Bush's address. But you can read through the redaction (it looks like it ays "5000 Longmont, #8). Anyone who redacts documents with a Marks-a-Lot knows that you black-out on a copy, throw the copy away, and then make a copy of the blacked-out copy--otherwise, one can see through the redaction, as is the case here.

Posted by: Kim P. at September 9, 2004 04:54 PM

Great work Bill, you're a giant amongst us little men, Dr. Bouffard.

By the way, just speculating. That guy Ben Barnes from Texas, who was smearing Bush, was on CBS 60 minutes. So were those fake documents.

Ben Barnes was convicted for fraud in the 70's.

Did CBS get those documents from him?

Good site about Kerry's book The New Soldier here.

Posted by: Brian Dupri at September 9, 2004 04:54 PM

At this point, I would be that he has an explanation, but we'll see. If you scooped one of the country's biggest experts, I'll retract/update (unlike CBS).

Heh. I wouldn't go *that* far. I don't doubt the good doctor's creds. All I'm saying is that there were fonts back then, widely used, that have the features of the 4 in question, foot, no foot, closed, open, permutations of the above.

*shrug*

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 04:55 PM

What? --

I checked your link, and while it has a "closed 4 with a foot" you might also notice that it has a "straight" apostophe -- unlike the "curly" one in the document.

So that font you linked too isn't the same one.

Posted by: JC at September 9, 2004 04:56 PM

What?

What are you talking about. His analysis says that the documents lean more to being a fake because the number four in the disputed memos DO NOT have a foot and a closed top. While, fonts of the time (~1972) would have a foot. Your GIF shows a four with a foot but a closed top. This actually strengtens his argument. You'd need to find any old typewriter font that has a number four WITH NO FOOT.

Posted by: What? What? at September 9, 2004 04:57 PM

Call to lawyers: Is forgery a felony?

Would CBS be vulnerable in this case to libel charges if the document is indeed a forgery?

Posted by: lex at September 9, 2004 04:57 PM

To What?

I linked to the other site and saw what they meant with the transparency test - but as an experiment, I compared a Word document using Times New Roman 11pt against an OpenOffice document using the same font - and the "th" looked much smaller in OpenOffice (and more similar to the document in question). Not that it was done in that software necessarily (it could have been WordPerfect or even Word for Macintosh, for that matter), but just to add more fuel to the fire...

Posted by: Ceallach at September 9, 2004 04:58 PM

What?:

JC doesn't mention the '9', the '7', and the 'W' also do not match. I'm impressed that you found a closed,no-foot '4' -- but unless you posit that the typist switch balls like a maniac, you need to find a single ball that matches every character in the document.

'Course, we already found one. It's not a ball, tho: it's the Times New Roman font in MS Word...

Posted by: Chuck at September 9, 2004 05:00 PM

Also, look at the numbers 7 and 9.
The custom back then in typewriters is that the tails drop below the baseline.
Doesn't happen in the forged documents

Posted by: mkanders at September 9, 2004 05:00 PM

"Would CBS be vulnerable in this case to libel charges if the document is indeed a forgery? "

Not unless they did it knowingly. You would need intent. A civil case would be possible but I dont see Bush suing CBS any time soon.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 05:01 PM

JC:
So that font you linked too isn't the same one.

I'm not claiming that they are. I have no idea what font was used. How could I? All I'm saying is that such fonts existed at the time that the text was ostensibly written. I'm giving an counterexample, not citing the exact font. My point simply: There were fonts then that were both closed and footless. (More on this below)

The webpage I quoted above has a collection of widely used fonts, but there are others, and there are specially designed fonts which may well have been available for military use (though I have no idea on that last bit)

What? What?:
What are you talking about. His analysis says that the documents lean more to being a fake because the number four in the disputed memos DO NOT have a foot and a closed top. While, fonts of the time (~1972) would have a foot. Your GIF shows a four with a foot but a closed top. This actually strengtens his argument. You'd need to find any old typewriter font that has a number four WITH NO FOOT.

Uh, true. I missed this the first time, but then showed examples of two such fonts from that time. Here they are again:
http://www.selectric.org/selectric/fonts/delegate.gif
and
http://www.selectric.org/selectric/fonts/adjutant.gif

Both fonts have closed 4 with no foot. Again, I'm not saying that one was the exact font used. I dunno. They could be forged. I'm just saying that there were contemporary fonts with these characteristics.

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:03 PM

'Course, we already found one. It's not a ball, tho: it's the Times New Roman font in MS Word...

I've tried to suggest above some analysis that questions the MSWord point, but this is getting to be speculative. (The Dailykos thread above in particular refutes the charge that MS Word's times new roman fits 'exactly')

We need to find out what typewriter the author would have used, what fonts he had at his disposal, etc. Until then, much of this blows in the wind. But the claim that certain fonts weren't available back then, or proportional typing wasn't common back then, just isn't holding up, at least as far as I can tell.

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:08 PM

Isn't this just precious. Here we are at war against terrorists who kill without distinction: men, women, children, and each other. As we struggle to regain our economy after our worst attack in history, "we the people" have nothing better to do than forge documents in an attempt to bring down our extraordinarily bright and talented leader, President Bush...to the level of discredit self-imposed by his opponent, John Kerry, in his self-indulgent obsession with (his own)exagerated importance? Only in America where we also have the freedom to be vain and stupid.

Posted by: Carole Stewart at September 9, 2004 05:09 PM

Here's a selectric font from the 60s-70s with a closed 4 and no foot:

http://www.selectric.org/selectric/fonts/adjutant.gif

Posted by: Alan at September 9, 2004 05:10 PM

Charles Johnson has done the superimpose test where the allegedly-forged document and his Macintosh-based Microsoft Word document matched just about exactly.

Posted by: addison at September 9, 2004 05:11 PM

What you are trying to refute one of the nation's foremost experts on this type of analysis. Your argument just doesn't hold water. You just don't have a clue.

Kerry Spot reader Bruce Webster who has as served as an expert witness in U.S. District Court cases regarding computer document forensics, writes in that the CBS News document "has all sorts of problems... The typefaces weren't available on typewriters in 1973."

From National Review

The typefaces listed and linked below, by the way, do not have “curly” quotes, only "straight" ones. Oddly, you'll notice the CBS documents, like the Kerry Spot, have both, sometimes in the same document. (On the Kerry Spot, this is a result of transferring text from a word processing program into web-publishing program Moveable Type. (A link using curly quotes won't link correctly, which means every link has to be checked to make sure it has the right kind of quotes.)

CBS had better have one heck of a defense for this.

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 05:12 PM

Let me try to summarize a bit if possible:

In order to believe this memo is genuine, you would have to believe that a proportional spacing typewriter (which was a pain in the ass to use) was used to write a standard memo that would generally be hand written. The font on that typewriter would be one that we cant identify consistantly from 1973, and the "th" would have to have been custom installed. All this was to have happened in an airforce office, where apparantly the lingo used was archaic and/or unlikely in a supposedly typical memo. Also the memo is missing any official letterhead and any intra-office notation one might expect in a document sitting in a military facility for 30+ years. Also the signature appears noticeably if not radically different. A leading expert in forensic documentation finds the likelihood of forgery at 90+% and must be dismissed as well.

Or you can believe this was typed in Word where the linebreaks happen to match this document with an 11 pt font and 2inch margin identically.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 05:12 PM

Alan,

'What' posted that (see the 5:03PM post).

Posted by: addison at September 9, 2004 05:13 PM

Okay, I have a dumb question.

What 4?

I don't see a link to the document itself in this post. The one at Wizbang doesn't appear to have a 4 anywhere in it, that I can see.

What am I missing?

Posted by: Spoons at September 9, 2004 05:14 PM

If it is truly a copy of an original done on a computer using word prosessing you should not be able to line them up word for word because all copiers distort the image slighlty it would be highly unusual to put your original in front of or behind the actual 'copied' document and have each word exactly match when held up to the light.

usually it is distorted along the lenght of the copy as run through the copier.

For instance it will turn an o into an oval. And at the tail edge of the copy the words would not be exactly on top of each other.

So if your looking at two documents that line up exactly one of them wasn't copied or it is a 'forced' alignment of some sort. Im 90% sure of that

Posted by: copier tech at September 9, 2004 05:14 PM

Odd too that the May 4 memo has the P.O. Box being "34567" (could be a coincidence).

Posted by: Ugh at September 9, 2004 05:16 PM

We shall see. All I am saying is that part of the argument presented--specifically on the availablity of a footless closed 4--is not accurate, so far as I can tell.

On the rest, you read way too much into my post.

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:17 PM

Mark Buehner,

Here is a signature comparison. The 'K' in Killian's last name is radically different in the allegedly-forged memo.

Posted by: addison at September 9, 2004 05:17 PM

What: I'm sure you can agree that CBS was sloppy to the point of unethical in releasing this without at least 3 bigshots backing this up. I see at least 4 experts in the "forgery" camp between two websites.

Posted by: Andy at September 9, 2004 05:19 PM

Spoons -

In the full doc (published in the WaPo this morning, now strangely not on the front page), there is a "4" in the heading.

Posted by: Bill INDC at September 9, 2004 05:19 PM

Also, FWIW, I can't find any curly quotes in the four memos/docs available on the cbsnews webpage. Can someone provide a link to ostensibly original documents from this period with these curly quotes?

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:20 PM

I think we should be sending these discoveries to our local FOX news outlets and the NYpost. They are our friends and carry a lot of weight.

By the way. Since the signature of a military officer was forged, shouldn't the Pentagon or one of its offices be investigating this fraud? Does anybody know how we can set in motion an offial complaint? I mean this is serious stuff.
You can't go around forging signatures of officers and CBS should have done due diligence.

You can read John Kerry's anti- American book THE NEW SOLDIER and 4 chapters of UNFIT FOR COMMAND for free online HERE

Posted by: Brian Dupri at September 9, 2004 05:20 PM

Ahhh, thanks Bill. That explains it.

Posted by: Spoons at September 9, 2004 05:21 PM

BUSH LIED!!!!!


(Sorry, just wanted to add a bit of comic relief ; )

Posted by: skipkent at September 9, 2004 05:21 PM

What is the statute of limitations on perjury? Anyone know?

Posted by: addison at September 9, 2004 05:21 PM

What -

"so far as" you "can tell."

The problem is, tell me that that font of selectric typewriter is correctly identified a font that could have been used in a typewriter at that time.

Wait for the good Dr's response. He invented the database program that tracks these fonts.

Not trashing your skepticism here, but this guy is an expert. It's likelier (at this point) that you are not thinking of something rather than him. Wait.

Posted by: Bill INDC at September 9, 2004 05:21 PM

What: I'm sure you can agree that CBS was sloppy to the point of unethical in releasing this without at least 3 bigshots backing this up. I see at least 4 experts in the "forgery" camp between two websites.

I have no idea what CBS did to fact check their story. Knowing 60 minutes, I'm willing to bet they did *some* factchecking and authenticity analysis. On whether that's true or not, how would I (or you) know? If they didn't, yes, I'd call that foolish.

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:21 PM

If I owned one of these old IBM typewriters, I'd place it on Ebay ASAP! Sleuths are gonna want to track them down.

Posted by: Brendan at September 9, 2004 05:23 PM

"From 1973 until late 1982 I was a repairman for the Office Products Division of IBM. I can assure you that the comments on your site by Mr. Burgess regarding the Selectric typewriter are incorrect. The Selectric was available only in mono type. At that time my customers who wanted proportional type used either the IBM Executive typewriter or IBM Composer. The Composer was an expensive and complicated piece of equipment which would normally be found only in printing and communications departments. I doubt that it would be used to write memos to file"
http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/007760.php

Selectric may be out as a contender. And lay off What, he's doing a good job raising questions. thats how you find answers after all.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 05:24 PM

What -

"so far as" you "can tell."

Yes. I'm no expert here. I defer to the good doctor. I'm just saying that one of the arguments he used doesn't fit what I've seen from fonts from that time.


The problem is, tell me that that font of selectric typewriter is correctly identified a font that could have been used in a typewriter at that time.

Wait for the good Dr's response. He invented the database program that tracks these fonts.

Yes, I'd be interested in his response. How would I know exactly what font the document is written in? But the arguement was the 4 is odd because of x and y, and I've given counterexamples of x and y.

*shrug* Again, I don't know. I'm interested in the further analysis.

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:24 PM

Wouldn't it make more sense to look for additional documents from that same unit (or from the same person) written in the same time frame. The unit may have had several typewriters, but if its like any unit I've been at, all the typewriters would be busy generating the paperwork a bureacracy runs on. So if there are several memos with proportional typing and all that other stuff, it seems the one in hand would be genuine. If not, then more doubt to heap on.

Posted by: Dave at September 9, 2004 05:25 PM

All this searching for 'the perfect font' ball is insane.

Yes, you're going to find something that matches someday probably - but NO ONE USED IT. That is - every single profession that might reasonably be expected to have more than the two balls (10 & 12) that _came_with_the_typewriter_ has something to do with professional publishing. Ad houses, magazines, publishers, etc.

Finding that the Selctric II was a ball-oriented proportional typewriter is great. But what was on the _stock_ ball? And did they have Selectrics?

Posted by: Al at September 9, 2004 05:25 PM

"Foolish?" Try "dishonest." This is about THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, not some local Mayoral candidate. A REAL professional news organization takes no chances here. If they get this wrong, they might as well be named "Arthur Andersen."

Posted by: Andy at September 9, 2004 05:26 PM

Here's the information from the CBS article on their document expert. This information is not available in the current website document.

But 60 Minutes has obtained a number of documents we are told were taken from Col. Killian's personal file. Among them, a never-before-seen memorandum from May 1972, where Killian writes that Lt. Bush called him to talk about "how he can get out of coming to drill from now through November."

Lt. Bush tells his commander "he is working on a campaign in Alabama…. and may not have time to take his physical." Killian adds that he thinks Lt. Bush has gone over his head, and is "talking to someone upstairs."

Col. Killian died in 1984. 60 Minutes consulted a handwriting analyst and document expert who believes the material is authentic.

Robert Strong was a friend and colleague of Col. Killian who ran the Texas Air National Guard administrative office in the Vietnam era. Strong, now a college professor, believes these documents are genuine.

"They are compatible with the way business was done at the time. They are compatible with the man that I remember Jerry Killian being," says Strong. "I don’t see anything in the documents that is discordant with what were the times, what was the situation and what were the people involved."

"He [Killian] was a straight-arrow guy," adds Strong. "He really was. I was very fond of him, liked him personally. Very professional man, a career pilot. He took his responsibilities very, very seriously."

Posted by: kurtz38 at September 9, 2004 05:27 PM

It's not just one guy but now it's two experts including Bruce Webster who say that is is a forged document

http://bfwa.com/litigate/

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 05:29 PM

Selectric may be out as a contender.

It might. The executive could be a candidate, but I don't know what its font base was. Then again, could not be an IBM at all. Or, as many here want to argue, it could be a 2004 MS Word...

Dave's point is right on: look for similar contemporary documents.


And lay off What, he's doing a good job raising questions. thats how you find answers after all.

Thanks. I'm trying not to be confrontational...

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:29 PM

Oh, and Dave, SMASH has a link to other TANG documents through a site dedicated to Bush-was-AWOL.
http://www.indepundit.com/archive2/2004/09/dirty_tricks.html#

Running _those_ documents pas the document expert would also be very interesting.

Posted by: Al at September 9, 2004 05:31 PM

Is Robert Strong a document analysis expert?

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 05:31 PM

The analysis said that there were no *proportional* fonts with closed 4 and no foot. So I don't think the expert (or his database) is impeached unless that combination is found.

Posted by: Who Knows? at September 9, 2004 05:31 PM

Mark,

Air Force is two words and both are capitalized. We're a little touchy about that.

A proud Airman

Posted by: Dale at September 9, 2004 05:31 PM

Pay attention, people.

All the Selectric font GIF's linked to are NOT proportional fonts. The Selectric did not offer proportional font spacing. These memos absolutely did not come from a Selectric.

Dr. Bouffard was comparing the 4 with a closed top and no foot to the proportional-spaced fonts that were available at that time. Apparently, none of those proportional fonts had a 4 that matched.

Posted by: Eric James Stone at September 9, 2004 05:32 PM

My summary so far:

CONTENT:
-there are glaring inconsistencies with the body of this document. Staudt retired a brigadier general in 1972, a year before this Saturday memo was written.
-4-digit years not commonly used in 1970s headers
-CYA not likely to be used as a header in an official doc

FONT, ETC
-same exact margins, wordwrap, tabs, kerning, superscript (when printed, not on screen as some here noted) as MS Word in 2004 (Look at Charles' MIcrosoft Word version superimposed on the "memo" at LGF http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=12526_Bush_Guard_Documents-_Forged It is clearly Times New Roman on Microsoft Word with default tab settings and margins. It would be very difficult to create a document in any other format or with any other font that would match up this well.)
-different th on different documents
-"smart" apostrophes instead of straight
-space from bullet numbers to sentences, space between bulleted items identical to default 2004 settings
-proportional fonts (rare, esp in military apps)
-superscripting of "th", while non-superscripted "th" in other places in docs are one space away from #, exactly as one would do in Word if you didn't want Word to auto-correct to superscript
-"square end" on Killian signature said by expert to be impossible (CNS story: http://www.cnsnews.com//ViewPolitics.asp?Page=\Politics\archive\200409\POL20040909d.html)


-(?)wrong size paper - NG did not use 8 1/2 x 11

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 05:33 PM

I worked for IBM in the period from 67-85. For a while I was an FE (Field Engineer), and had to work on Selectrics attached to the CPU operator consoles.

I noticed that some of the characters in the May 4th document were raised above the line (I noticed the letters 'a' and 'e' in particular). This may be an artifact of the copy/fax process, but it looks suspicious to me.

The tilt/rotate adjustments on a Selectric didn't tend to allow raised letters. The detent's forced smears and partial characters.

So, I would conclude the document was done on a non-IBM ball typewriter, where raised letters are very common.

But, that can't be either. The 'th' makes that impossible. I think someone went to a lot of trouble to create this 'messy' document, and still didn't get it right.

(Once upon a time I worked with a guy named Rick who programmed a dot matrix Epson to drop pins out of printout. On a trip to SF he forgot to get a receipt. The one he printed was a work of art. Much better than the CBS fakes.)

Posted by: Derick Moore at September 9, 2004 05:33 PM

What's not doing anything wrong, but at this point it's a waiting game to see what the Dr and any other analysts say. I'd say that this will all be hashed out shortly.

Posted by: Bill INDC Journal at September 9, 2004 05:33 PM

From the National Review

IT'S MORE THAN JUST THE 'TH' [09/09 04:54 PM]

The usually-brilliant Jonah is a bit off in his statement in the Corner that so much hangs on the ‘th.’ The problems with this document, so far, are as follows:

* The font does not appear to match any available at that time.

* No letterhead.

* Did the typewriters at the time have the ability to make curved apostrophes, and the elevated, smaller-font ‘th’ at the end? Why does the document appear to shift between straight-line apostrophes and curved-line ones? For that matter, why does one document refer to “1 st Lt. Bush” with a rather glaring space between the numeral 1 and the ‘st’? Could this be an effort to overcome a modern word processor’s setting to bump up the ‘st’?

* The size of the paper should be 8x10.5, not 8.5x11. Where is the line on the photocopy?

* Is it mere cooncidence that typing the same words into Microsoft Word results in spacing and line breaks, if left to Word's defaults, are identical to those in the CBS document?

Yet another observation from a Kerry Spot reader: “IBM did have a ‘custom element’ option available for the Selectric, that did make special symbols like logos, copyright symbols, super and subscripts like the "th" used in the August 18 memo in question, but these were VERY rare and VERY expensive because it required special tooling at the IBM typewriter plant in Lexington, Kentucky.”

Would this be used at an Air National Guard base in Texas or Alabama during that time period?

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 05:34 PM

I'm not a big conspiracy buff, but in addition to what others noted (those dot patterns, for example: I never saw so many on any copy, from that era or any other; and shouldn't the May '72 patterns match?), a few other things struck me as odd:

1) the military usually abbreviates dates. "01 August 1972" would be rendered 01AUG72.

2) Same memo: who is "Harris"? No rank given. Odd in an official document.

3) 19 May 1972 header: "Bush, 1st LT Bush"? Sounds normal in a movie script -- "Bond, James Bond" -- but odd on a military memo. It would be "Bush, 1LT" or "1LT Bush".

4) same doc: "memo to file"? What file? Not MilParlance.

5) Ref to pt. 3, Killian would more commonly have put his rank (in abbreviated "LTC" form) on the same line as his typewritten signature line. Equally odd is the absence of his identification of his position, e.g. "CDR, 111th F.I.S., TexANG" or something like that.

6) 01AUG72 memo, lines 1 and 2: verbal orders? Suspending someone from duty? Not done. Especially over the phone (point 2)? And how does point 2 ("I conveyed...request for orders of suspension") square with point 1 ("I ordered [Bush] be suspended from flight status")?

7) Does anyone else with military experience find it odd that the 04MAY72 "memo" would say, verbatim, "not later than (NLT)"? I never had anyone explain "NLT" to me. Hell, they rarely explained anything to me...

8) Post office box as sending address for a military unit? And P.O.B. "34567"? Why not "CDEFG"? An amazing coincidence? A lazy forger? An inside joke? Does anybody know the address of the 111th?

I'm not a big conspiracy buff, but in addition to what others noted (those dot patterns, for example: I never saw so many on any copy, from that era or any other; and shouldn't the May '72 patterns match?), a few other things struck me as odd:

1) the military usually abbreviates dates. "01 August 1972" would be rendered 01AUG72.

2) Same memo: who is "Harris"? No rank given. Odd in an official document.

3) 19 May 1972 header: "Bush, 1st LT Bush"? Sounds normal in a movie script -- "Bond, James Bond" -- but odd on a military memo. It would be "Bush, 1LT" or "1LT Bush".

4) same doc: "memo to file"? What file? Not MilParlance.

5) Ref to pt. 3, Killian would more commonly have put his rank (in abbreviated "LTC" form) on the same line as his typewritten signature line. Equally odd is the absence of his identification of his position, e.g. "CDR, 111th F.I.S., TexANG" or something like that.

6) 01AUG72 memo, lines 1 and 2: verbal orders? Suspending someone from duty? Not done. Especially over the phone (point 2)? And how does point 2 ("I conveyed...request for orders of suspension") square with point 1 ("I ordered [Bush] be suspended from flight status")?

7) Does anyone else with military experience find it odd that the 04MAY72 "memo" would say, verbatim, "not later than (NLT)"? I never had anyone explain "NLT" to me. Hell, they rarely explained anything to me...

8) Post office box as sending address for a military unit? And P.O.B. "34567"? Why not "CDEFG"? An amazing coincidence? A lazy forger? An inside joke? Does anybody know the address of the 111th?

9) As noted (item 8) in PowerLine Blog ( http://www.powerlineblog.com/
) , "the signatures on the CBS documents do not appear to be authentic. Check out the two signatures below. The one on the left is an actual signature of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. The one on the right is from one of the CBS documents. It's not even close; in fact, it doesn't even look like the person who signed it made any attempt to copy Killian's signature."

10) Looking at the same signatures, note that Killian seemed to have a perfectly normal, non-proportional space typewriter for Bush's discharge. Not the same typewriter? Hmmm.


Posted by: zumkopf at September 9, 2004 05:35 PM

My apologies Dale. Thanks for the correction.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 05:35 PM

Sorry 'What?'...

The numeral 3 in the memo's does not match either of the selectric fonts you linked to.
It does, however, match the numeral 3 in Times New Roman font using MS Word.

Posted by: Dan B. at September 9, 2004 05:39 PM

Excellent work Bill.

Posted by: Val Prieto at September 9, 2004 05:39 PM

Thanks zumkopf, your list has lots more stuff than mine.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 05:40 PM

What,

I think that the good Dr. was referencing the 4 in context with all the other characters. Not that the whole 4 itself is intrinsically rare, but the combination with that paritcular 4 is rare.

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 05:41 PM

What,

I think that the good Dr. was referencing the 4 in context with all the other characters. Not that the whole 4 itself is intrinsically rare, but the combination with that paritcular 4 is rare.

Thanks for that. I'll go back and re-read his analysis.

Again, all of this is very interesting. I'll be interested to see if the media folk do further discussion/rebuttal of these points. Some comparison with contemporary documents would be in order, or 60 minutes will be flogged.

G'night, all

Posted by: What at September 9, 2004 05:43 PM

Don't understand all of the focus on things alleged to have happened over 30 years ago. Especially when there is so much scary shit that Bush & Co. have been up to recently.

Posted by: Thor Dreisser at September 9, 2004 05:44 PM

Brian Dupri claims that Ben Barnes was convicted for fraud and offered a site for proof. The site (Mother Jones) has nothing concerning any conviction whatsoever. Here's the text:

Barnes was once a rising star in Texas Democratic politics, becoming a state representative at age 21. Later, he was elected lieutenant governor with 2 million votes, a Texas record. After he was involved in a bribery and stock fraud scandal in the early 1970s, however, he never held public office again. He was involved with a number of banks and thrifts that were mentioned during the S&L crisis, and forced into bankruptcy when the Texas thrift industry cratered in the late 1980s.

Posted by: dongiller at September 9, 2004 05:44 PM

"Don't understand all of the focus on things alleged to have happened over 30 years ago. Especially when there is so much scary shit that Bush & Co. have been up to recently."

Did I just see a trial balloon go by?

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 05:45 PM

What does you expert say on the fact the kerning matches? Did the devices of that era do kerning?

Posted by: Rich at September 9, 2004 05:48 PM

I knew it would come to this. Or something like this anyways. You fascist wingnuts never let up.

For what it is worth, the typewriter in question was developed and sold to clients in 1941, far well enough in advance for the military to use it in 1972.

http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_1941.html

God you reepers are so desperate. Tick, tock, only a few months and we pull the plug.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen at September 9, 2004 05:49 PM

LOL we're in the Washington Times. They just broke the story. Wait-that sound...it must be the last bit of the air going out of the Kerry campaign. Game, set, match.

http://washingtontimes.com/upi-breaking/20040909-040052-8114r.htm

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 05:50 PM

We can put the P.O. Box 34567 to bed. I saw it on a legitimate document.

Posted by: Rich at September 9, 2004 05:50 PM

Did CBS take the documents off their website? and if so why?

Posted by: David DeLorenzo at September 9, 2004 05:53 PM

Concerned Citizen,

It goes beyond simple proportional spacing.

Read the post again, and take off your Lib glasses...

Posted by: Nick Queen at September 9, 2004 05:54 PM

Excellent research of these questionable documents. I note that CBS also says they had the documents examined for authenticity but offers no evidence. It's obvious that you and a few smart blogger/volunteers are worth more than the highly compensated big guns who call themselves journalists.

Posted by: Penny at September 9, 2004 05:54 PM

Concerned Citizen -

The forensics expert has no partisan motivation to lie. Your comment puzzles me.

Posted by: Bill INDC Journal at September 9, 2004 05:55 PM

You wingnuts are so full of shit. You kooks are being DEBUNKED:

http://www.thetalentshow.org/archives/001216.html

YOu digital brownshirts need to get your shit together. I smell SLANDER lawsuites to you and your right-wing blogger pals!

Posted by: Right Wing Lies at September 9, 2004 05:55 PM

SOMETHING INTERESTING...

P.O. Box 34567 in Houston is listed as Ashland Chemical (a division of Ashland Oil).

Sound familiar to anyone?

Posted by: gophergas at September 9, 2004 05:56 PM

Does anybody smell a hint of panic in the air?

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 05:58 PM

Bill,
Your site got mentioned by a caller on Sean Hannity's radio show at about 4:55 pm EST.

Welcome back!

Posted by: Gordon at September 9, 2004 06:00 PM

CNS News has three experts that are suspicious. Boy, it looks to me like Slick Willy set Kerry up for a fall here. Bubba's campaign managers take over the Kerry debacle and now a sloppily forged document shows up.

http://www.cnsnews.com//ViewPolitics.asp?Page=\Politics\archive\200409\POL20040909d.html

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 06:00 PM

Especially when there is so much scary shit that Bush & Co. have been up to recently.

Too true.

Especially scary to Saddam, Al Quiada, the Taliban and the Iranian Mullas.

Posted by: skipkent at September 9, 2004 06:01 PM

After typing and printing the text of "18 August 1973" in MS Word, OpenOffice, and Wordperfect, these are the results:
-Lines break after the same words in all three, but only in MSWord are the final 'g' in the third line of the first paragraph nearly directly below (only very slightly ahead of) the final 'g' in line two, as in the CBS document; in bith WP and OO the lower 'g' was further forward.
-The superscript. In OO, the superscript does not extend above the top of the number '7'. In WP, the horizontal line on the 't' is about even with the top line of '7'. In Word, the superscript is higher, just as in the memo.
My conclusion: MS Word/Times New Roman were modeled after the same model typewriter/font combination used by the TANG in 1973.

Posted by: Doc Crane at September 9, 2004 06:02 PM

I didn't think this fake document would be very important but based on some of the apparently far left posts here it must be hitting a nerve. When they have to throw around words like fascist and try to hide behind lawyers it usually means they have no other valid arguments.
This might get interesting.

Posted by: Urako at September 9, 2004 06:02 PM

"Right Wing Lies",

perhaps you should read my post before you post something that does not address the points made by a forensics expert. Your refutation has nothing to do with the evidence presented by my source.

Posted by: Bill INDC Journal at September 9, 2004 06:03 PM

Right Wing Lies-There are NO typewriters that superscript a "th" Maybe if you had a real candidate you liberal jackasses wouldn't have to resort to these kinds of tactics.

Posted by: who at September 9, 2004 06:04 PM

Bill, hope you have a suit ready for Hannity and Combes. Good luck!

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 9, 2004 06:05 PM

Hmmm.

"My conclusion: MS Word/Times New Roman were modeled after the same model typewriter/font combination used by the TANG in 1973."

Man. I really wish I hadn't been drinking a Coke when I read that!! :)

lol!

Posted by: ed at September 9, 2004 06:05 PM

Fox is reporting on the docs now. They're reporting on the problems, including the signature discrepancies and font issues.

FINALLY!

Posted by: gophergas at September 9, 2004 06:11 PM

"Especially scary to Saddam, Al Quiada, the Taliban and the Iranian Mullas."

Touche Skippy, very witty indeed...yawn.

Posted by: Patty Melt at September 9, 2004 06:12 PM

congrats, Bill. I suppose you'll soon be too big to come on NRAnews.com :)

Posted by: Cam at September 9, 2004 06:14 PM

scare as trueth? IRAFUTABAL CLICK

Posted by: Puce at September 9, 2004 06:15 PM

Boy, it looks to me like Slick Willy set Kerry up for a fall here.

Ka-CHING!

These people are being played like fiddles. Un-freaking-be-LIEVABLE!

Posted by: skipkent at September 9, 2004 06:15 PM

"Otherwise, the font is very indicative of Times New Roman, the font that is only available on computer word processing programs."

Times New Roman was created in the 1930s, for the London Times.

That was rather before computer word processing programs.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 06:18 PM

Think of what all this *really* says about the current White House . . . that they would take these documents, accepting the word of CBS that they are valid, and address them at face value.

On one hand I'm appalled, but on the other . . . I almost want to cry it's so damn beautiful!

Posted by: skipkent at September 9, 2004 06:19 PM

Thor:

Is Bush's "scary shit" as scary as torturing and murdering men, women and children in a small Russian town on the first day of school? Is Bush's "scary shit" as scary as bombing embassies in Jakarta and night clubs in Bali? Is Bush's "scary shit" as scary as hijacking four planes and killing 3000 people with them? Is Bush's "scary shit" as scary as running a brutal kleptocracy for 30 years, using poison gas on your own people, housing children of murdered dissidents in jail, randoming disappearing whole towns, invading neighboring countries, etc.? Is Bush's "scary shit" as scary as an Iranian mullah hoisting a 16 year old girl by her neck from a crane for a sexual daliance we would laugh at if we saw it on an episode of Friends? Is Bush's "scary shit" as scary as your and the rest of the "offended left's" intollerable ignorance and myopia? Not by a long shot.

Posted by: sligobob at September 9, 2004 06:20 PM

BTW, that bit about P.O. Box 34567 being the same as for the Ashland Oil company was just a coincidence. I thought it was a bit ironic that a PO Box # that had been associated with Bush would later be used by an oil company (with which Bush/Cheney apparently had some loose ties).

Posted by: gophergas at September 9, 2004 06:21 PM

"perhaps you should read my post before you post something that does not address the points made by a forensics expert."

Your *forensics* expert doesn't know crap if he's saying that Times New Roman is only a computer font.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

"Among the modern faces whose design Morison supervised were Eric Gill's Sans Serif, which enjoyed a wide vogue in advertising and avant-garde book typography; Gill's Perpetua, based upon his stonecut letters; and Times New Roman, designed by Morison himself for The Times (London), whose staff he joined in 1930. The last has been called the most successful type design of the 20th century, a result of its economy and legibility when used on high-speed presses."

"In 1929 Morison joined the staff of The Times, for which he designed a new face, Times New Roman, which appeared for the first time on Oct. 3, 1932. "

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 06:25 PM

Concerned Citizen is spamming that same message from website to website.

Posted by: addison at September 9, 2004 06:29 PM

I didn't read all of the posts... BUT

Quote: Odd too that the May 4 memo has the P.O. Box being "34567" (could be a coincidence).


According to the USPS website:

The following errors were found:

The ZIP Code you entered could not be found in our database. Please confirm the ZIP Code and try again.

Without a post office locality map in front of me, the best match ZIP I could find was 34220: PALMETTO FL. A little far from Texas, no?

Lysander

Posted by: Lysander at September 9, 2004 06:29 PM

Uh, Lysander, that wasn't a Zip code, it was a PO Box.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 06:30 PM

I'm just taking a guess here, but perhaps what he means is that TNR is not found on any typewriters, rather than that it is literally only used on computers -- that, pre-computer word processing, it was used only by typesetters rather than as a typewriter font. I don't know that this is true, however -- perhaps someone could confirm or provide a link to a typewriter that uses TNR.

I'm sure some clarification will be available later.

Posted by: cwp at September 9, 2004 06:31 PM

Regarding the small "th" after the date . . . [it] wouldn't make a lot of sense in a military setting.

Right. The military never needs to use "th" for things such as the "111th" division or whatever and rarely has any documents with dates like the "7th" of December.

Of all the settings where "th" might be used frequently, the military would seem to be one of the more likely ones.

Not that this means the documents are genuine, but that is a pretty pathetic argument from an "expert."

Posted by: Advocate for God at September 9, 2004 06:31 PM

Jon H:

While you are correct about the existence of the Times font, you are incorrect if you are trying to imply that the documents in question are NOT forgeries.

They very clearly are forgeries, so it really doesn't matter if there was a font called 'Times New This' or 'Times New That'.

That's not really what's being argued here and you know it, so please save your breath, okay?

The only questions that remain are 'who dunnit?' and 'why?'

Someone has already pointed that out:

The Klintoons!

They were NEVER going to let Kerry win if they could help it, because that would ruin Hill's chance of running 4 years from now.

El Retardo Republicano Conspiracy?

Maybe! You better hope so!

Posted by: skipkent at September 9, 2004 06:32 PM

I saw posted at Powerline the diffinative answer; the documents are forgeries. Its called "kerning" and typewriters (of any era , make or model) do NOT kern. That is, they can't adjust the individual characters to fit closer together, something a word processer does automatically. The forgeries are clearly "kerned". Game, set, match.

Posted by: david at September 9, 2004 06:33 PM

sligobob,

Fine argument. After many years of being a member of 'the offended left' I have just switched my political affiliation due, in no small part, to your scintillating logic.

Seriously, do you really believe that one's destructiveness should be ignored just because it is not as atrocious as someone else's? Should we condone corporate fraud because it does not seem as evil as ritual murder?

Posted by: Thor Dreisser at September 9, 2004 06:33 PM

Which typewriters used Times New Roman?

Posted by: Angus Jung at September 9, 2004 06:35 PM

Jon,

'Your *forensics* expert doesn't know crap if he's saying that Times New Roman is only a computer font.'

If you read the paragraph in question a bit more closely and apply some generic reading comprehension, you'll find that Dr. Bouffard is not saying that at all.

'Dr. Bouffard ran this number and could not find a match in his entire database of over 4,000 typewriter fonts that have been maintained and collected into his computer database since 1988. Otherwise, the font is very indicative of Times New Roman, the font that is only available on computer word processing programs.'

Dr. Bouffard is referring to typewriter fonts, not the typesetting process used by the Times - another technology entirely.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at September 9, 2004 06:36 PM

You expert is, frankly, an idiot. Times New Roman was not invented for computers, and typewriters could do both proportional spacing and super/subscripting before computers could. Look here: http://www.ibmcomposer.org/SelComposer/description.htm for the first Selectric that could do proportional type. This was in 1966. These were common enough that my father used one as an economics professor in the late sixties and early seventies.

Times is one of the most common fonts in existence, being used extensively in newspapers around the english speaking world. Good heavens people, at least try and use google--and pray to god your expert never runs into a decent lawyer.

Posted by: NotAMoron at September 9, 2004 06:38 PM

Uh, Lysander, that wasn't a Zip code, it was a PO Box.
Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 06:30 PM

The first mention of it had it as a ZIP; it's close enough to one I grew up with, so I went looking. *shrug* Didn't cost much to check, though.

Lysander

Posted by: Lysander at September 9, 2004 06:39 PM

Slightly off-topic, but re Barnes, he's never been convicted of a felony. He is, however, the very caricature of a roguish, bankrupt, slick, fast-talking, high-rolling, fund-raising lobbyist and disgraced politician. Details and links on my blog.

Bill from INDC, my hat's off to you, and to your excellent commenters.

Posted by: Beldar at September 9, 2004 06:40 PM

I saw posted at Powerline the diffinative answer; the documents are forgeries. Its called "kerning" and typewriters (of any era , make or model) do NOT kern. That is, they can't adjust the individual characters to fit closer together, something a word processer does automatically. The forgeries are clearly "kerned". Game, set, match.

The kerning argument clearly contradicts the default settings argument, since kerning is not turned on by default.

LOL harmonizing those two arguments.

Posted by: Advocate for God at September 9, 2004 06:41 PM

"Times is one of the most common fonts in existence, being used extensively in newspapers around the english speaking world."

Are those newspapers typed out on a typewriter? What kind?

Posted by: Angus Jung at September 9, 2004 06:42 PM

You guys are way off base here. This is sounding like the OJ Simpson defense 'the bloody glove must be fake'. Bad move, force the other side to prove the documents are genuine, the claims being made that they are fake are simply wrong and will quickly be falsified.

First you claim that proportional fonts were not invented, oops the IBM Executive had them in 1941. Next you claim that IBM Selectric typewriters were rare, oops no they were one of the most successful machines of the time. Next you go on to hairsplitting distinctions due to a catalog of only 4,000 fonts maintained by a guy whose principal expertise is computer typesetting.

A Colonel is a pretty elite officer, only one step below General. What is 'rare' in the military is irrelevant. What is significant is what is common for senior officers, the commander of a regiment is a very senior officer, exactly the type of person who would have their correspondence typed out on an IBM electric typewriter.

Non-IBM typefaces were very common, there was a whole industry producing them. A good forensic typewriter typeface library has 80,000 entries.

Face it guys, Bush failed to show up for his medical. This is exactly what you would expect his commanding officer to do, give him a direct order to take the missed medical and make sure that a record was kept to cover his ass in case someone came round to ask why a pilot had been allowed to stop flying after training costing over a million dollars.

Posted by: Phill at September 9, 2004 06:42 PM

. . . he's never been convicted of a felony. He is, however, the very caricature of a roguish, bankrupt, slick, fast-talking, high-rolling, fund-raising lobbyist and disgraced politician.

Very good description of George Walker Bush.

Posted by: Advocate for God at September 9, 2004 06:42 PM

NotAMoron?

I *beg* to differ.

From the very site you posted:

The basic task of the IBM Composer was to produce justified camera ready copy using proportional fonts.

"Corporal, type up this memo pronto. And make sure it's camera ready!"

"Yes-sir!"

And, again from the site, and much more damning:

Since it has no memory, the user was required to type everything twice.

Oh. I'm sure that's the feature which made it such a popular choice for military note-taking!

Posted by: skipkent at September 9, 2004 06:45 PM

Your "expert" loses all credibility when he made that utterly absurd claim about Times New Roman font. IBM has had Times New Roman font on their typewriters since the 60's.

Posted by: Geek, Esq. at September 9, 2004 06:45 PM

On EBay someone's selling an IBM Executive typewriter ad, which has what may or may not be a sample of the type. And it's not necessarily in Times New Roman.

http://www.cd-outlet.com/pics3/ibm55exeelectyp.jpg

I think what people are calling 'kerning' may just be the effect of using a proportional font, instead of the monospace font used by most typewriters.

As the ad says, "Because of the exclusive IBM "proportional spacing," executive letters look as if they were printed."

Also "You can choose from a wide range of distinguished type faces..."

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 06:47 PM

IBM, okay. Should somebody with an IBM typewriter from the era try to reproduce the document?

Posted by: Angus Jung at September 9, 2004 06:47 PM

Well I guess since Al Gore invented the internet that makes all you left wing nutjob dope smokers more qualified to analyze this document than several of the nation's foremost experts in this area. Nice try though. Like I said, if you hadn't nominated a turd like Kerry you wouldn't have to resort to these types of Clinton-esque tactics. Good day!

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 06:48 PM

Advocate, that's pretty snarky, but untrue.

Barnes really did go bankrupt. Bush never did.

Barnes really is a disgraced politician who was thrown out of office by disgusted voters after the Sharpstown Scandall. Those same homestate voters decisively re-elected Bush as Governor and continue to support him for President.

Barnes is a registered lobbyist. The post I linked on my blog talks about the high-roller banquet he threw at the DNC, where he bragged that everyone there was good for $25k. He's raised over $400k for Kerry. Yet it's almost all behind the scenes, where the fat cats meet and greet. Yes, there are Republican fat cats and lobbyists and rogues too. But that's not Dubya, much as you wish it might be.

(Sorry for straying further off topic -- I was taunted by someone claiming to be holy who's actually holey.)

Posted by: Beldar at September 9, 2004 06:48 PM

No typewriter could do kerning. Period. Kerning and proportional spacing are NOT the same thing at all, but these documents show signs of kerning.

Posted by: Beldar at September 9, 2004 06:50 PM

You make a very convincing argument Phill. Of course, to believe you, we would also have to discard the growing list of other discrepancies with these 'official' memos: such as the lack of true military parlance and total lack of regard for "Tounge & Quill" (or whatever it's prdecessor would have been at the time) type of inter/intra-office correspondence.

Also, given the fact that a Guard member who was NOT on active duty orders at the time, could not possibly be considered AWOL (legally impossible), your whole AWOL meme kind goes right down the tubes with all the previous iterations of this non-starting, de-bunked slimball tactic. Doesn't it? Sorry to burst your bubble like that.

Posted by: The Truth Hurts at September 9, 2004 06:50 PM

'A good forensic typewriter typeface library has 80,000 entries.'

Um, no. Dr. Bouffard is talking about fonts and typewriters. You are confusing characters with fonts.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at September 9, 2004 06:51 PM

Just to throw in my two cents:

Does anyone agree that the vertical spacing between the lines seem a bit too regular to be the product of a typewriter? In every typewriter I've ever used, the paper tends to slip just a bit as it goes through the platen; the slips are very noticeable in single-spaced documents (you tend to get space-and-a-half rather than single-space on some lines).

Posted by: Monty at September 9, 2004 06:51 PM

Advocate for God: You miss the point. NO typwriter ANYWHERE can kern characters. The forgeries show fonts kerned (the "o" in the word "To" is tucked under the overhanging cross of the "T") That's impossible, default or no. Typwriters can't do that!!!

Posted by: david at September 9, 2004 06:51 PM

Kerning......
Kerning......
Kerning......
Kerning......
Kerning......

All you left libdems need to explain the kerning....

How is it possible that the memo's had kerning, and superscript....

Oh I know.... The London Times sent an entire 1930's typeset machine to Killian to use to type ANg memo's in 1972... I mean how big could the machine be??????

So libdems, explain the Kerning.... If you can.....

Regards,
Sonar5

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 06:53 PM

I looked through the docs linked by Smash / Indepundit, and the PO Box 34567 is used as an address for Killian multiple times in at least one of them, so I think that can be ignored.

But I urge everyone to look at the typed documents from that same time period, regardless. Not the least bit similar to these CBS memos. Which should surprise precisely no one.

Posted by: Scott Chaffin at September 9, 2004 06:54 PM

Just a word on the followong comments that appeared while I was googling to find data for my last answer.

Times New Roman is a computer typeface due I believe to Adobe. But it is a variation of a much older font called Times Roman which is one of the most widely used and copied fonts of all time. If you try to claim that there were no typewriter fonts that had Times Roman in 1973 its not going to stick.

I don't see the claimed kerning in the copies, admittedly the copies are poor but these do not look like computer typesetting to me.

This is an easy issue to sort out, just release the microfiches and the whole issue is settled. Failing that lets take a look at other correspondence from the Colonel from the same time.

Posted by: Phill at September 9, 2004 06:54 PM

the doctor's analysis looks pretty convincing to me, but i think it behooves all of us to stop ragging what here. the question he's raising are the very ones that the kerryistas will be hurling in the msm once this thing starts drawing blood and until we're sure we know what we're talking about then we should welcome hardhitting questions. remember, folks, if this turns out to be a forgery then the msm will have done what apparently a lot of people in this thread want to do: use flimsy documents to beat a political opponent over the head with. let's not do that. it looks to me that the blogosphere has caught two major msm outlets peddling false info, info they didnt bother to check because it didnt fit their agenda. let's make sure this is the case first; we can always celebrate later.

Posted by: akaky at September 9, 2004 06:55 PM

News has been good today, nice to wake up to. (I work nights)

The so called bush book is a flop.

Kerry's VVAW fraud futher exposed by Steve Pitkins affidavid.

And this 90 minutes fraud.

As they say at MacDonald's...

Ba-da-bup-bup-da! I'm lovin' it!

Kerry, the DNC and the media are completely corrupt. This is THE national wide scandel of the century.

Great article btw.

Posted by: Nathan at September 9, 2004 06:56 PM

INDISPUTABLE PROOF!!!

from powerline

------
Another aspect of the type on [the August 18, 1973 memo] suggests, perhaps proves, forgery.
1. The type in the document is KERNED. Kerning is the typsetter's art of spacing various letters in such a manner that they are 'grouped' for better readability. Word processors do this automatically. NO TYPEWRITER CAN PHYSICALLY DO THIS.

To explain: the letter 'O' is curved on the outside. A letter such as 'T' has indented space under its cross bar. On a typewriter if one types an 'O' next to a 'T' then both letters remain separated by their physical space. When you type the same letters on a computer next to each other the are automatically 'kerned' or 'grouped' so that their individual spaces actually overlap. e. g., TO. As one can readily see the curvature of the 'O' nestles neatly under the cross bar of the 'T'. Two good kerning examples in the alleged memo are the word 'my' in the second line where 'm' and 'y' are neatly kerned and also the word 'not' in the fourth line where the 'o' and 't' overlap empty space. A typewriter doesn't 'know' what particular letter is next to another and can't make those types of aesthetic adjustments.

2. The kerning and proportional spacing in each of the lines of type track EXACTLY with 12 point Times Roman font on a six inch margin (left justified). Inother words, the sentences break just as they would on a computer and not as they would on a typewriter. Since the type on the memo is both proportionally spaced and kerned the lines of type break at certain instances (i.e., the last word in each line of the first paragraph are - 1. running, 2. regarding, 3. rating, 4. is, 5. either). If the memo was created on a typewriter the line breaks would be at different words (e. g., the word 'running' is at the absolute outside edge of the sentence and would probably not be on the first
line).

3. The sentences have a wide variance in their AMOUNT of kerning and proportional spacing. Notice how the first line of the first paragraph seems squished together and little hard to read but the last line of the first paragraph has wider more open spacing. Even the characters themselves are squished in the first line (as a computer does automatically) and more spread out on the last line where there is more room.

There's no way a typewriter could 'set' the type in this memo and even a good typesetter using a Linotype machine of the era would have to spend hours getting this effect.
-------

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 06:57 PM

Fox was reporting that they had FBI specialists look at the documents and they all concluded they were forged.

Posted by: who at September 9, 2004 06:58 PM

So...does this mean that W. was a War Hero after all?

Posted by: My Pet Goat at September 9, 2004 06:59 PM

It's even getting better. Now the leftists are picking one idea that they misread and ignoring all the other facts.
God, this is fun for those of us who don't care who gets elected. (America won't really wake up again until there is another attack, bigger than 911, no matter who is President)
The only one I want to see lose is the media.

Posted by: Urako at September 9, 2004 06:59 PM

Why should anyone have to disprove the documents-- shouldn't CBS have to prove they are real? They're the ones making the accusation. They've offered nothing beyond "trust us". What is the chain of possession of these documents? Who was their expert and how did he decide they were probably legit? If CBS is unwilling to tell us, I'm not willing to believe these are anything but forgeries.

Maybe Microsoft will sue for defamation -- a modern Word document should look much better than something banged out on a typewriter 30+ years ago, not identical or even nearly so.

Posted by: Kevin Murphy at September 9, 2004 07:00 PM

'The kerning argument clearly contradicts the default settings argument, since kerning is not turned on by default.

LOL harmonizing those two arguments.'

Easy. The type of 'kerning' being referred to - putting the O slightly under the T in TO for example - is the default setting for word. As a matter of fact, it is the default for any word processor just as it appears in this comment. Specialized kerning does need to be selected, but you should have looked a bit closer at the claims before trying a rebuttal like that.

All in all, the weight of evidence is for forgery and getting more reliable confirmation as time goes on. I have yet to see a counterclaim for authenticity bounced against the evidence of forgery that stands up to minor scrutiny on any site. This goes for sites posing the questions like this one, and the sites that right now are shrilly and desperately trying to salvage the authenticity of the memos.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at September 9, 2004 07:01 PM

Take a look at:

http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/doc27.gif

There are many differences between this (Bush's application and acceptance for discharge) including the fact that the signiture is completely different!

Other things: "Ftr Intcp Gp" not "Ftr Intrcp Gp", correct identification of LtC Killian as
"JERRY B. KILLIAN, Lt Col, TexANG,
Commander"
three character month names, 2 digit years, the correct use (for that time of FROM/SUBJECT/TO titles), and a completely different font! Try getting this one to line up in Word (Allahpundit tried and failed)...

Posted by: Grahame at September 9, 2004 07:01 PM

This is the smartest political move Karl Rove has ever made: use forged docs to invalidate _any_ debate of Bush's service.

Posted by: Mike at September 9, 2004 07:06 PM

Sorry, but it isn't kerned.

Look at the Y and A in "CYA".

If it was kerned, the A would start underneath the right arm of the Y. That isn't the case. If you draw a line from the end of the right arm of the Y, you don't hit the A.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 07:06 PM

Okay, CBS News has what appears to be the complete .pdf you were talking about here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/BushGuardaugust18.pdf

I still don't see any 4.

Are we talking about the same document?

Posted by: Spoons at September 9, 2004 07:07 PM

"Um, no. Dr. Bouffard is talking about fonts and typewriters. You are confusing characters with fonts. "

No I am not, 80,000 typefaces. The number of typewriter models produced is in the thousands. After the introduction of the Selectric and later the daisywheels one machine could write in as many fonts as the owner wanted. There were hundreds of fonts produced by IBM alone and there were many third party suppliers. In many cases a single font was available in different sizes.

The selectric was intended to be an international model and so the golfballs could carry up to 88 or 96 characters to allow for accented characters in european languages. That left plenty of room for multiple glyphs like 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, st, rd, th etc.

If you think that 4,000 typefaces is a large number for forensics then that is very definitely not your field.

Posted by: Phill at September 9, 2004 07:08 PM

No mention of the forgery allegations on CBS Evening News tonight. Big surprise!

Posted by: Rick at September 9, 2004 07:09 PM

Check here spoons

http://wid.ap.org/documents/bush/040908xfer.pdf

Posted by: who at September 9, 2004 07:10 PM

I really don't see any examples of kerning in any of the documents.

No glyph overlaps into the space of an adjacent glyph.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 07:11 PM

Okay, thanks who.

That's a completely different document than the one most people are focusing on, though.

Posted by: Spoons at September 9, 2004 07:14 PM

Bush supporter here.

What about the situation that the origional document was type-writer writen but scanned and OCR software was used to convert the scanned image to text.

This is often done to archive paper documents into the computer and to make them searchable.

Any ideas regarding this?

Josh

Posted by: Josh at September 9, 2004 07:16 PM

Mike said:
"Sorry, but it isn't kerned.Look at the Y and A in "CYA".
If it was kerned, the A would start underneath the right arm of the Y. That isn't the case. If you draw a line from the end of the right arm of the Y, you don't hit the A."

*******

Hey Mike, look at the my in "doing my job"

Blow it up in Adobe any where from 800% to 1600%. And CYA in Capitals didn't kern on mine either.... lol


Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 07:20 PM

"What about the situation that the origional document was type-writer writen but scanned and OCR software was used to convert the scanned image to text."

The handwritten signatures are a problem with that.

What might be causing trouble is that it looks like the documents were scanned at some point at relatively low resolution. That might make them *look* more like they're
from a word processor than from a typewriter.

The thing is, though, they don't *look* like they
were laser printed or inkjet printed. If they were forged,
they look more like screen resolution, or maybe dot-matrix.

Were the documents faxed? That would explain a lot.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 07:21 PM

Sorry, the above should have been addressed to Jon H instead of Mike...

There is my Retraction, something I doubt we will ever see form CBS..... lol

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 07:21 PM

skipkent,

I was just linking to the earliest available model. By the early seventies the Selectric II was out, and the features of proportional spacing, super/sub script, and event a choice between pica and elite typing were standard on all models. They had 88 characters, many were used for curled quotes and fractions, or international characters.

As I say, I would love to meet Dr. Bouffard in a court of law. At least as presented here he makes multiple errors of fact that can be easily shown. This throws the rest of his credibility out the window.

And by the way, which printer is it that prints the lower case e slightly higher than all the other letters? That's very common for a typewriter, but no printer could do it. It's very evident on all the memo's and could probably be used by a real expert in typewriter to match the exact machine.

Still, it's enough for you people who still somehow believe there are WMD's in Iraq somewhere--or maybe buried in Syria.

Posted by: NotAMoron at September 9, 2004 07:22 PM

'No I am not, 80,000 typefaces. The number of typewriter models produced is in the thousands.'

No again. The question here is unique typefaces, not the number of typewriters. Different models did not necessarily have different typefaces. They used common type mechanisms across models in a line of manufacture.

The number and form of unique typefaces commonly used by forensic experts is listed in the Haas Atlas. Dr. Bouffard very specifically references the Haas Atlas as the basis for the 4000 unique typefaces he programmed into his software. The link is in the main post of this thread.

There are very few typewriters where the font pattern is unique to just that make and model. A forensic expert usually needs a sample from the original machine to match a letter to it with any certainty. Often the best he can do is say the the sample in question is consistent with one from a particular make and model.

All beside the point.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at September 9, 2004 07:25 PM

Oh and ummm Jon H...

Please explain the curly quote as well...

I'd really like to hear the explanation on that one.....

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 07:26 PM

"Hey Mike, look at the my in "doing my job""

I think that's just distortion from the scan, making the y look fatter.

And my name's not Mike.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 07:27 PM

http://wid.ap.org/documents/bush/040908xfer.pdf

No way is this document kerned. Look at the space between the H and the Y in Phyiscal. This is exactly what kerning is meant to take care of. Also, the V,E, A and I characters all wander off the baseline in a way characteristic of typewriters or other impact printing devices.

The pixilation you see when you zoom in is the result of the document being faxed, and also makes the serif's extremely inconsistent--and hence the font very difficult to identify, but certainly consistent with many available fonts.

It's not Times New Roman though. The 4 actually have a small gap being disguised by the pixilation.

Posted by: NotAMoron at September 9, 2004 07:30 PM

Well, it seems that IBM began selling proportional space typewriters in 1941! Maybe your expert isn't the guru that he claims to be. Also, compare the "E"s in SUBJECT. The vertical spacing is clearly different & this is significant because those are only letters easily compared in the two documents.

Sorry, time to take off the tin-foil hat. Not forgeries, Bush just wasn't a very good reservist.

Posted by: Jake at September 9, 2004 07:31 PM

"Please explain the curly quote as well..."

I would expect a typewriter, with a proportional typeface, marketed to executives, would include curly quotes rather than or in addition to, the rather pedestrian plain quotes.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 07:31 PM

Sorry:

All beside the point. It does not take an expert to view a memo from Killian taken from official archives side by side with the recent releases purported to be from his private files to see immediate and striking discrepancies in format, style, signature, paper etc etc even given the poorer quality of the recent releases.

This is going to backfire badly. The forgeries will put the questions about Bush's guard service to bed for good and will be linked to Kerry deservedly or not. Whoever concocted this did Kerry's campaign a grave diservice when they sent it to CBS. It won't be fatal, but it will remove Bush's guard service from Kerry's armory.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at September 9, 2004 07:32 PM

I have do my own comparison, overlaying the Times New Roman screen capture from Word with the orginal PDF file.

The match is perfect. I don't see how it the documents could possibly be produced on any platform other that Microsoft word. Forget all the other arguments--even if there had been a Times New Roman typewriter with proportional fonts and kerning, the odds of having two documents produced on seperate systems match so well must be trillions to one.

I have no doubt that this document was created in Word.

Someone I talked to raised this posibility:

Coult the original 1970's documents have been scanned, OCR'd and put into Word later?

The military does such things from time to time. I see this as the only possible way that the content of this docuement is genuine.

I would stake my life on the fact that the docuement itself is NOT authentic.

Posted by: erik at September 9, 2004 07:36 PM

Jon H

try to deflect and defend with OCR Scanning, and ANG Officers getting $20,000 typewriters....etc....

You are too funny..... Nice Try though...

See you on November 3rd where you will be wallowing in defeat....

And ummmm Jon H, I unlike CBS corrected my post to you by retracting it above, scroll up for my name and you will see I corrected my mistake...

Will CBS do the same....?

You see that is what seperates me from them... I have integrity to admit when I screw up... Pathetic hypocritical war atrocity criminals like kerry, and his minions like cbs and dan blather HAVE NO INTEGRITY...

See the difference.... I doubt it... But hey enjoy your version...

I suggest you call Air America, and have Al Franken have you on as a guest. I hear they are looking for a third listener there... ;)

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 07:40 PM

Even if they did, there's several other problems with the format, terms used, dates and the signiture...

Posted by: Grahame at September 9, 2004 07:41 PM

erik,

Can I see your comparison of how the lower case E glyph is raised from the baseline? Cause that's damn hard to do on a monitor.

Posted by: NotAMoron at September 9, 2004 07:42 PM

09DEC69 was a big day for me. I became a 2LT. A year later, I was a 1LT. Then on 08OCT71, I left active duty.
One might tell somebody in English--as opposed to military--that somebody else was a first lieutenant, but in any kind of reference it was the 1LT format.
Besides, in those days without the easy correction, the less you typed, the less chance for making a mistake. Things have gotten prolix since then.

Posted by: Richard Aubrey at September 9, 2004 07:42 PM

Why don't you dems eat shit and die.

I suppose every expert in the world that says this is a forgery must be taking secret bribes from Haliburton. Now we even have a Kerry supporter saying this is 99% a hoax.

http://weeklystandard.com/Utilities/printer_preview.asp?idArticle=4596&R=9FCD2F192

Posted by: Who at September 9, 2004 07:43 PM

Joh H,

As far as the signature goes, it is common for OCR software to recognize areas in a document which are not type-face / interpretable and to leave them as scanned.

I am by no means an OCR expert and am be interested in hearing more about this line. It seems obvious to me that some of them at least were from a word processing program and the OCR explanation is the only feasible answer to that.

As far as your scanned question, I think they were faxed, at least the ones released by the WH; CBS faxed them over.

Posted by: Josh at September 9, 2004 07:43 PM

Oh and Jon H....

You said:
"I would expect a typewriter, with a proportional typeface, marketed to executives, would include curly quotes rather than or in addition to, the rather pedestrian plain quotes."

I CALL BS..... PROVE IT OR RETRACT IT.....

Come on Jon H...

Like CBS you can't prove the authenticity of these documents where others have proved they are FORGERIES....

yeah, I'm sure the TexANG had all kinds of money for the technology needed to produce these...

Even Killian's son has said he thinks these are not right..

Link here:
http://abcnews.go.com/wire/Politics/ap20040909_1710.html

SO step up Jon... Prove all these claims you are making about OCR, scanning, etc.... Curly Quotes, etc....

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 07:44 PM

Sonar5,

A Selectric II did not cost 20,000 dollars and was one of the most successful pieces of office equipment ever made. Most other brand had models that competed feature for feature. Quit whacking that straw-man would you?

Posted by: NotAMoron at September 9, 2004 07:45 PM

Sonar5,

The selectric II did curly quotes as well.

Posted by: NotAMoron at September 9, 2004 07:46 PM

The documents need to be checked for mechanical variarions. i.e. letter spacing, position, strike force etc.

Posted by: M. Simon at September 9, 2004 07:49 PM

NotAMoron.
Enjoy the Kool-Aid. Deny, deny, deny while those of us who really aren't morons wait for the truth.

Posted by: Toastie at September 9, 2004 07:50 PM

CBS will do like kerry does and some libdems here....

deflect and spin out of denial...

Kerry hasn't answered Press questions in over a MONTH....

How long will CBS deny all of this...

And Jon H, it is CBS who has to prove these are 100% Accurate and not forgeries...

It is not up to the ones questioning it to prove they are fake... heck, anyone with SM Word can apparently do that....

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 07:50 PM

Kerning. Typewriters didn't do kerning.

Posted by: M. Simon at September 9, 2004 07:51 PM

Maybe I'm naive, but why would a maniacal forger use a modern word processor for his evil deeds? Lord knows there's enough vintage typewriters lying around. And since this is a copy, there's no "age dating" of the paper or ink to worry about. In short, if you're trying try to pass something off as type written, wouldn't you use a TYPEWRITER for the fake? Isn't that the SIMPLEST and most LOGICAL route to take?

Posted by: brendan at September 9, 2004 07:54 PM

M.Simon: "Kerning. Typewriters didn't do kerning."

It's not kerned.

There's one "my" that looks like it might be kerned, but that's because the letters are kind of blobby from the fax.

But nowhere else does it even come close to looking like it was kerned.

Posted by: Jon H at September 9, 2004 07:56 PM

M. Simon....

Yes but Jon H says the kerning is because of OCR scanning technology, which he cannot prove to us or anyone else....

the left will do anything to deflect from their continued lies, a stalwart of the kerry campaign....

watch them spin this as I've seen other places...

They drag out Harkin, and his pathetic attempt at smearing today, and that will backfire as well.

I'll tell you what, lib dems, we'll concern the topics to President Bush and his performance as CIC, and we'll let you talk about Kerry's 20 years in the senate... Deal... :)

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 07:58 PM

brendan,

Excellent question.

I blame the French.

Posted by: M. Simon at September 9, 2004 07:58 PM

brendan

lib dems are too dumb to think that far ahead....

They only had time enough to get these into Barnes hand and call Dan Blather who will believe anything if it fits his warped agenda....

Posted by: Sonar5 at September 9, 2004 08:02 PM

Sonar5,

One of the officers who was supposedly pressuring Killian was retired at the time the memo was written.

That seems like a pretty big hole.


--==--

Why did John Kerry meet with the representatives of the Viet Cong and Communist North Vietnam on his honeymoon in Paris?

I guess selling out his home country was more exciting than his new wife.

New Soldier html

What is the War Hero Afraid of?
Form 180. Release ALL the records


Posted by: M. Simon at September 9, 2004 08:05 PM

http://www.ibmcomposer.org/

http://www.ibmcomposer.org/SelComposer/justification.htm

My Canuckistan elementary school had one of these for the secretary. This would have been circa 1979-1981. No way they would have bought a $20k typewriter.

As well check the examples from the 2nd link. Look familiar? Looks like Times New Roman to me, looks EXACTLY like what was printed.

And don't get "Justification" and "Proportional" confused, only the former required typing twice.


They also advertise new fonts can be installed in 5 seconds and have many different sizes and faces available.

Read the brochure, they advertise that the entire brochure was writen with a selectric typwriter. Looks like typesetting to me!

Going to check Ebay to see if i can buy one of these guys.

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 08:09 PM

Cut&Paste from me at Anti-Idoltarian...

I was a 70250 UASF Administration Specalist for the Washington ANG from 1988 to 1994. I trained on pre 1990 702X0, meaning before PC. I had to memorize how documents, letters, orders, memos, talking memos, etc were produced, stored, retained and recored.

I saw the PDF version of the memo. My thoughts:

The SUBJECT heading is missing. I can't ever recall when this was the case EXEPT if the letter was of general nature to non military parties.

The date is wrong. All dates are directly accross from the TO: line.

Pre 1990 headings were meant to be done w/o electronic tabs; they look like this

TO: Date: August 16, 1972
FROM:
SUBJECT:
(if this formats right, the : all line up)

Signature blocks are centered on non official and on official are (if i recall) on a left hand lineup, 3 carriage spaces past the last line of entry.

Any letter written that is LESS than 1/2 page is double spaced.

Signature block typicaly looks like this:

Bill Smith
Lt. Commander USAF
(unit line if needed )


There are no file markings. All corrispondance MUST have a visible file mark, when placed into archives. ANYTHING written and issued falls under certian standards for retention. The filmark was written by hand in the upper (right?) corner of the document, prior to being physically placed in a file cabinet. (I once got written up for this).

There are no typist initials on the bottom of the memo. This was standad practice.

My conclusion: If this document is authentic, it was not done by any admin spec, which I find amusing since I have never seen an officer type up ANY official order them self.

As I understand it, CO's don't issue official "Sugestions" to lowly Lt.'s. This may very well have been written by this guy, but it was never placed into proper file dispenation, and does not appear to be of official AF corrispondance. We were allowed NO margin of error for anything we typed up. PERIOD.

PS... I have an IBM Selectric II in my office RIGHT NOW and I looked at the ball... No little 'th' on it. The standard issue typewriter since they came out was the IBM Selectric II (adopted by USAF in 1975) and before that the the IBM Selectric I since 1967 (ish, don't recall) but I have used logged many flight hours on both models.

Posted by: useless at September 9, 2004 08:11 PM

The IBM "Model A Executive" typewriter introduced in 1949 offered proportional spacing.

http://www-1.ibm.com/ibm/history/history/year_1949.html

A 1955 ad:

http://www.cd-outlet.com/pics3/ibm55exeelectyp.jpg

Posted by: Dave at September 9, 2004 08:12 PM

Let's be realistic about this...CBS couldn't possibly prove the documents to be real.
Who would ever believe them?

Good catch of the kerning. Physically impossible for any mechanical device (i.e. typewriter)

Posted by: Rookwood at September 9, 2004 08:15 PM

Regarding the alleged dispute over whether the document is kerned:

THERE CAN BE NO DISPUTE!!

Look, if it wasn't kerned exactly the way MS Word does it in 2004, THE OVERLAYS FROM LGF WOULDN'T MATCH!!

http://www.littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/

Clearly, they match EXACTLY.

So you're left with 2 possibilities: the alleged 1970s documents are kerned exactly the way MS Word does in 2004, or MS Word doesn't kern.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 08:15 PM

Gutenberg's press provided proportional spacing.
So what. That doesn't explain all the other "coincidences".

Posted by: Urako at September 9, 2004 08:16 PM

The "fe" in "feedback" looks very kerned to me.

Posted by: Jeff R. at September 9, 2004 08:17 PM

There is a reason the OpenOffice does not match. There are parts of TrueType known as tipping that are patented and cannot be replicated completely. So, we have a Proportional Font Selectric with TrueType technology!

Posted by: Rich at September 9, 2004 08:18 PM

Dave.... the USAF and by proxy ANG had STANDARD ISSUE typewriters. See, that's the military. They do the same thing now with PC's in that we had standard issue or "Milspec" as it might be called. I can say with 100% assurancy that they would not by any off the shelf typewriter. Infact as an AF Admin we trained on the IBM. It was part of our training. Specificaly the IBM Selectric II. Like a the standard issue rifle is the M-16, the typewriter was an IBM.

Posted by: useless at September 9, 2004 08:18 PM

If its TNR from Word, how come the numbers are completely different?

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 08:19 PM

Hey John,
Re: your stuff on the composer... absolutely right, the brochure was written on a Selectric Composer... released in *1975*...

http://www.etypewriters.com/history.htm

Guess your going for the old time-travel explanation then? :-)

Posted by: Grahame at September 9, 2004 08:19 PM

Whoops... my bad... that was the electronic selectric composer... Well, I too admit my mistakes (unlike CBS!)

Posted by: Grahame at September 9, 2004 08:21 PM

That brochure was released in 1975 .... but if you cared to read a bit you would have come upon this...

"The first IBM Composer was the IBM "Selectric" Composer announced in 1966."

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 08:22 PM

You know, in researching these typewriters... and btw, we are ONLY looking at IBM typewriters, ignoring Smith Corona and the other manufacturers... you have to admit, they were damn sofisticated for their times.

Electronic storage in 1964?

I wouldn't doubt it that somehow they found out how to do kerning (which the quality of the faxed document makes it tough to prove is there)

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 08:26 PM

Dear Phil,

You obviously work in a service business and have little or no idea how things work in the manufacturing sector. While there may be 80,000 type faces, hell there may be 1,000,000, it don't mean they gonna make em all. What the expert said about 4,000 type faces is probably about right. If it takes $10,000 to develop a product how much does it retail for if customers only buy 12? I can say that it would be far more expensive to purchase the specialized equipment to produce this document, at the time it was purportedly promulgated, than the FANG would be willing to pay. Your argument fails the economy of scale test. If I have told you once, I've told you a million times, stop exaggerating.


Posted by: thirdfinger at September 9, 2004 08:27 PM

You know, one thing that is bugging me about this whole thing.

If i wanted to forge these documents, I'd just find an old IBM selectric typerighter and whip them out.

I WOULDN'T use Microsoft Word.

Posted by: john at September 9, 2004 08:29 PM

No, it is totally impossible for a 1970s typewriter to do kerning, regardless of how clever they were.

Besides which, the overlays prove there MUST be kerning in the fake documents. If there wasn't, you would see all sorts of drift which would get worse and worse toward the end of each line in the overlay.

So either Killian had access to a time machine or someone forged these.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 08:30 PM

John. What part of "Standard Issue" don't you get about the typewriter? The military didn't go and pull any old rifle off the shelf and hand it out. They didn't pull any old typewriter off the shel either.

Also: Documents kept over a certian time frame (7 years for official docs) should have been placed on microfiche. If this document is authentic, it should have the file code WRITEN on it. I once got written up in my yearly evaluation just because there were documents mis-filed out of order in my TEMP file, much less having a document retained with no filemarking. This document may have been written in 1972, but it was not done by AF regs, wich means that it was not official and therefore "Does not exist" as far as I wold be concerned.

Posted by: useless at September 9, 2004 08:31 PM

John,

No one said they were SMART forgers. Probably just something that sounded good with the bong smoke wafting around.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 08:32 PM

I looked at the IBM composer documentation and I compared sentences typed with Microsoft Word. They didn't line up. None of the other extant documents on George Bush had proportional type.

Furthermore, the comparison copy that is going around the net with a different signature is in a monospaced font. If you type that memo in Microsoft Word it doesn't line up but does if you change it to a monospaced font like Courier.

How come only one person has a proportional font typewriter and only for part of his correspondence? How come this memo is double spaced and not the other one? How come one memo has pre-Y2K dates and not the other one? How come one identifies Col. Killian as TexANG but not the other one? How come the signatures don't match?

ABCNews is reporting the son doesn't believe these are legitimate either because the Colonel didn't bring his work home.

Posted by: Rich at September 9, 2004 08:33 PM

One last very delicious bit of irony is the comparison document is hosted by BushAWOL.com. God bless you.

Posted by: Rich at September 9, 2004 08:35 PM

TallDave

When I do overlay the pdfs from Word and the Typewriter, I do see drift to and from. Its not an exact match.

Plus I say HUGE differences in the numerals.

18 August 1973

is completly different when examined at the individual character level.

Here is what I see...

the 8 on the Word doc is on the same line as the 1, on the typewriter it is higher.


the 9 is larger then the 1 on the typewriter, it is exactly the same size on the Word.

The 7's are different, in the typewriter it curves down much more then Word's perfectly straight line.

The 3 is different, the middle point is much higher on the typewriter then the Word font.

The 8's top and bottom loops are symeterical on the Word font, on the typewriter the botton loop is bigger.


As far as initials, on the 19 May 1972, there is what apears to be BART writen on the bottom, and Hff? writen on the top.

As far as microfiche... aren't micohiche codes but outside the document plane as to not alter the original. In all of my documentation days, you never add something ontop of the original if your archiving.

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 08:37 PM

John,

Insubstantial differences. Look at the LGF overlay. The numbers line up pretty well (many of them exactly) and are so close that any differences are negligible enough to attribute to xeroxing error.

Kerning differences, however, would be MUCH larger, would appear quite often, and would tend to add up along the length of each line. Since there are no kerning difference between the 2004 and alleged 1970s versions, the alleged 1970s memos are kerned. Kerning could not have been done on a 1970s typewriter, so the memos are fake.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 08:42 PM

This is the most entertaining discussion I've seen all day!

On the purported discrepancies between the style/language in these memos and official military documents, it would make sense if Killian was typing them himself for his own personal purposes. I know his son says that he "didn't bring work home", but this was not just "any work" -- he was (allegedly) being pressured to break the law on behalf of the son of the CIA director. First, what he put in the CYA memo doesn't necessarily reflect what he really said, second there is no way he is going to put a CYA memo like that into any kind of official file, or even store it in a military office; third, he probably wouldn't have asked some loud-mouth company clerk to type such a sensitive document...he didn't get to be colonel by being dumb. I think it is likely that he wrote this later, and typed it himself (or had someone non-military type it), which would explain the lack of military language/format etc.

I'm not saying the messages AREN'T fakes, the overlay with MS Word is very suspicious (heck, I can't even match line breaks between the same version of Word used on different operating systems!), but if they are fakes it still remains to be seen who made them, and for what purpose. The whole thing is laughable.

Posted by: automandc at September 9, 2004 08:42 PM

Listen. I have absolutely nothing of substance to add except this; on the off-chance the phrase "John F. Kerning" becomes an internet joke - I would like the satisfaction of knowing I wrote it first. :)

If not - nothing lost.

Posted by: steve at September 9, 2004 08:43 PM

Y2K was caused by people "SHORTENING" the way they expressed dates to take up less room in teh computer when storing the data electronically.

Since we're dealing with typewriten documents, the proper way to write your dates is 4 characters. I never was allowed in school to write down May 4, 82 on anything. it HAD to be May 4, 1982.

How come one person used a proportional typewriter? Who knows... he probably gave it to his secretary to type.

As far as the different signature, its not soo different, my own signature varies day to day. In this case it looks like someone condensing their signature in to a shorter horizontal space.

The Jerry looks very similar, Big J, erry all compressed, up high.

On the 04 May 1972, there is no kerning on You (Y and o is very common kerning locations). The th nicely fits into one character width.

Plus, the biggest give away that it is a typewriter, its not perfectly positioned on a horizontal line, but shifts up and down. Pray tell, how the hell does that happen with a laser printer or even an inkjet?

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 08:45 PM

Isn't it possible to turn off Kerning in MSWord? Would be interesting to see a deKerned version for comparison to the two we've seen.

Posted by: Jeff R. at September 9, 2004 08:50 PM

>>>On the 04 May 1972, there is no kerning on You (Y and o is very common kerning locations).

Then MS Word didn't kern them, because they match exactly with the MS Word version.

There is simply no way to explain how a 1970s document can match the 2004 version that closely when the 2004 version is kerned. The documents MUST be forged.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 08:50 PM

None of the online versions are really of sufficient quality for any of us "experts" in type authenticity to draw real conclusions, but since we all have our tinfoil hats on:

One factor in favor of it being a typewriter is that the density (darkness) of the characters change within a single line -- an artifact of a typewriter ribbon having not-quite-exact consistency throughout. A laser printer (or inkjet) is much more likely to have the same amount of "black" (toner or ink) distributed for each character.

In the online versions of the memos some letters are clearly lighter than others, and some (particularly lower-case "n"s) have blobs on the serifs that could result from over-inked ribbon.

Posted by: automandc at September 9, 2004 08:52 PM

Ok, so your basing your opinion on whether the docs are kerned, based on how they match up to a supposed Kerned word doc?

Hey, how about just looking at the docs and telling me where you see kerning?

Plus, your avoiding the shifting of the horizontal line. Laser printers and injets won't do that, only typewriters.

Posted by: john at September 9, 2004 08:52 PM

automandc

Also notice how much darker punctuation is, since there is more force put on characters with less surface areas, that is exactly what you'd expect from a typewriter.

Laser printers and injets should do the oposite, make those characters lighter.

Posted by: john at September 9, 2004 08:54 PM

As to the signature elements shown on PowerLine and referencing another poster who was also a 702X0 in the USAF. I ended my Air Force career as a 70270. We did have IBM electric typewriters in the mid-1970s but they were few and far between; the ones I used were manual typewriters. What struck me though was that the first signature element shown has the writer's name in all capitals (the correct format), followed by the rank of Lt Col (the correct format), and the branch of service all appearing on the same line, all of which follows the correct format. The second line correctly shows the position or title of the person signing the document. The second example shows the signer's name in all capital letters but on a line by itself. This is an incorrect format. The second line has the rank as Lt. Colonel. The Air Force did not at that time, nor at any time up until my 1997 retirement, abbreviate the rank of Lieutenant Colonel as Lt. Colonel with a period and Colonel spelled out. Something smells. The only remaining question is what is causing the smell: CBS, someone in the Kerry campaign, or both.

Another thing. Admin training in the Air Force still used manual typerwriters in technical training as late as the spring of 1981.

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 08:56 PM

>>>Hey, how about just looking at the docs and telling me where you see kerning?

It doesn't matter. I probably wouldn't know without being told. But I'm not a coin expert either, and I can tell when two coins are identical through overlays.

Even without the kerning, it is simply not possible for the documents to match that closely 30 years later when one is a MS Word document with default Times New Roman settings and the other a typewritten document produced on a standard-issue military typewriter. Doesn't pass the laugh test.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 09:00 PM

Since these docs were either verified by the Whitehouse, or released by them.

And

Since CBS only got theirs by court order from the Pentegon, if there was a forger, it would be an Administration one.

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 09:01 PM

From the selectrix website about the documents

Sorry, but due to excessive hits, this page is temporarily out of service. 

Please check back after the election.

For those who want my opinion...the documents appear to be done in Word, and then copied repeatedly to make them "fuzzy".  They use features that were not available on office typewriters the 1970s, specifically the combination of proportional spacing with superscript font.  The IBM Executive has proportional spacing, but used fixed type bars.  The Selectric has changeable type elements, but fixed spacing (some models could be selected at 10 or 12 pitch, but that's all).  The Selectric Composer was not an office typewriter, but apparently did use proportional spacing.  These were very expensive machines, used by printing offices, not administrative offices.

At least my low opinion of TV news remains intact.


In other words, the Site dedicated to the selectrix has called it a forgery. Looks like its going to be time for DNC Chairman Terry, to go under the spotlight and tell us exactly who he got to forge these documents.

Posted by: Brian Cavanagh at September 9, 2004 09:01 PM

I was a 70250 from 1975-1979, before getting commissioned, and would point out a few other points:

1. Correspondence prepared for documentation purposes (and not addressed to someone else) used MEMO FOR RECORD instead of the TO line, not MEMO FOR FILE. MFR is a widely-used acronym in the Air Force, just as CYA is... Memo for Record (MFR) is the official title of such items, and is used in other regulations such as those covering training documentation, counseling of individuals, etc. Commanders would certainly have been familiar with this terminology -- I became a commander later, and I certainly prepared many of them. I've never heard of the term MEMO FOR FILE.

2. I went through 70230 tech school in late 1976, and IBM Selectrics were still quite rare in those days. My typing classroom, for example, had about 25 manual Remington typewriters, but only about 3 Selectrics -- I remember this vividly (I won't say it was "seared" ) because the only way I was able to pass the end of course typing test was on one of the electrics -- I couldn't get enough speed & pressure (combined) with my "pinky fingers" to make the grade for legibility.

3. Dates were in the format using the day of the month first -- always -- not the month first. Either of these date formats was acceptable -- 16 Aug 72 or 16 August 1972, but not a combination of them, such as 16 August 72.

4. If typed by someone else, the typists initials and the date typed should be on a line down below the signature block -- but only on the file copies, not on the original. We're talking in the days of carbon copies, folks, not copying machines.

5. Letterhead was NOT used for MFRs, only for official correspondence going to someone else. However, preprinted letterhead was not required for outgoing correspondence. If it was addressed to someone else, it must have the full organizational address typed in the heading, centered, OR use pre-printed letterhead with an official seal and the full address of the unit.

IMO, this is a poor forgery of an official document.

Posted by: Kent at September 9, 2004 09:04 PM

Run any document through a copier for a number of generations and you will get precisely the sorts of distortions that occur in the CBS documents.

Another unaddressed issue is the layout of the words from line to line. If the standard paper size for the Navy was 8 x 10 1/2 and not the 8 1/2 x 11 we use today, then how, pray tell, could the lines possibly match up with those of an automatically formatted 8 1/2 x 11 Word document? The column widths would have been different.

Posted by: Roy at September 9, 2004 09:10 PM

Anyone here remmember the famous Alger Hiss Underwood with the flying w (or whatever it was) that Whittaker Chambers used to proves HIss was a Communist spy?

History repeats itself, apparently. Now I suppose we begin the search for the Killian typewriter with the "th" superscript and magical ability to perfectly match MS Word 2004.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 09:11 PM

TallDave

Its completely possible that these docs scanned so that the characters are mearly 8 pixels by 8 pixels, would be identical.

Monotype, who provided Microsoft their font, does not jerk around with their typefaces.

When you use a computer typeface, you are recreating EXACTLY what you could do with lead.

The widths, spacings of a 12 point font are SET IN STONE, down to the 1/10000 of an inch.

The "Advance Width" is the distance set between characters, it is set for each character of each font. If you are a Times font, you would use the Exact same values as any other Times font, otherwise you wouldn't really be a Times font.

Btw, the overlays between what Word produces and the PDFs aren't exact. They vary 1 to 2 pixels over the course of the line.

Considering a 12 point font is sized to the 1/10000 of an inch, that could only be the result of the kind of mechanical play inherient in a typewriter.

Posted by: John at September 9, 2004 09:12 PM

>>>Since these docs were either verified by the Whitehouse, or released by them

Actually John, CBS says they came up with the documents, and faxed them to the White House.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 09:12 PM

I think arguing about whether the word "kerning" is correct here is missing the point. (If you want to be particularly pedantic, the document looks like it's "pair kerned," which word processors do automatically based on metrics embedded in the font, but it's not kerned the way a desktop publishing program would do kerning). The typographer's quote marks, the subscripted "th" -- all of these things are, in fact, things Word does for you automatically when you don't remember to click the "beat paperclip to death" option in the preferences.

The question isn't whether the document was typed in Word. It's clearly been processed *through* Word, and while there may be a slim chance it's a reconstruction of an OCR-read scan of a 1972 original, at this point that seems very unlikely. The question, I would suggest, becomes:

Who would stand to gain from doing a forgery like this so *badly* that it would immediately be discovered?

Posted by: Watts at September 9, 2004 09:13 PM

Since CBS only got theirs by court order from the Pentegon, if there was a forger, it would be an Administration one.

So, let me get this straight: The Administration forged (purposefully incompetent) documents to make Dubya look bad, knowing that they would be detected as fakes, thereby making Bush look... what exactly?

Wow, that's... that's... words fail me.

Wasn't this the plot of a Deep Space Nine episode?

Posted by: Big Brother at September 9, 2004 09:13 PM


>>>Monotype, who provided Microsoft their font, does not jerk around with their typefaces.

Yeah, too bad Times New Roman didn't exist back then.

>>>When you use a computer typeface, you are recreating EXACTLY what you could do with lead.

Yeah, that's actually another problem: no typewriter ever constructed was perfect enough to replicate what Word does. If the documents were genuine, there would be cumulative drift from top to bottom and right to left because of mechanical imperfections.


Again: it is impossible for a 30-year-old document to match anywhere near that closely.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 09:17 PM

Watts,

I agree with your points, the fakery is obvious. But I think you overestimate the intelligence of the forger. I see these poorly-thought-out schemes on C.O.P.S. all the time.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 09:20 PM

"Yeah, that's actually another problem: no typewriter ever constructed was perfect enough to replicate what Word does. If the documents were genuine, there would be cumulative drift from top to bottom and right to left because of mechanical imperfections."

Yeah, carefully and expensively constructed electric typewriters of fourty-fifty years ago JUST HAVE TO BE so much more mecahincally imprecise than the averge budget inkjet or laser printer of the last 10 years. Sure. Having used both, I say bullshit.

Posted by: ShortDave at September 9, 2004 09:27 PM

Kerning is turned off by default in MS Word. You have to go enable it. Look on the Character Spacing tab.

Posted by: Rich at September 9, 2004 09:31 PM

Outstanding bit of journalism, Bill. Kudos.

Posted by: Ironbear at September 9, 2004 09:55 PM

>>>>Yeah, carefully and expensively constructed electric typewriters of fourty-fifty years ago JUST HAVE TO BE so much more mecahincally imprecise than the averge budget inkjet or laser printer of the last 10 years. Sure. Having used both, I say bullshit.

Mechanical versus laser (LGF did not use inkjet). Simply not possible for them to match that closely.

Anyway, none of this matters, because the experts have weighed in, and they have NUKED the memo. They told Stephen Hayes at the Weekly Standard that the documents are almost certainly forgeries.

Chief among their concerns: The docs are in Times New Roman. Times New Roman is not a typewriter font, now or in the 1970s.

Posted by: TallDave at September 9, 2004 09:55 PM

John,
With all due respect, I haven't seen an argument that stupid since the last time I heard a creationist try to mathematically prove that evolution was impossible.

Nice touch adding the big number in there for verisimillitude.

Posted by: moptop at September 9, 2004 10:01 PM

Dan Blather strikes again! What an idiot!

Posted by: Michael Meyer at September 9, 2004 10:18 PM

John - it is my understanding that the White House got their copies of these documents from CBS. CBS gave the WH these documents before the story ran - not the other way around. There was confusion about this earlier Thursday, which was subsequently cleared up.

In addition, it is my understanding that CBS didn't get these documents from the Pentagon, but from the "personal files" of Killian.

Posted by: michaelt at September 9, 2004 10:22 PM

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

I'm clearly not a forensic expert on document analysis. So I don't have any way of knowing or even coming up with a reasoned opinion about the authenticity of these documents published by CBS.

But one point of criticism doesn't seem as clear as many are presenting it. I'm talking about the suggestion that a superscripted "th" marks these as clearly the product of a word-processing program.

In an article today in Weekly Standard, for instance, Steve Hayes writes that ...

... in some references to Bush's unit--the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron--the "th" is a superscript in a smaller size than the other type. Again, this is typical (and often done automatically) in modern word processing programs. Although several experts allow that such a rendering might have been theoretically possible in the early 1970s, it would have been highly unlikely. Superscripts produced on typewriters--the numbers preceding footnotes in term papers, for example--were almost always in the same size as the regular type.
If you look at this document from
Advertisement

the official Bush records it shows a list of descriptions of various times Bush served. Thus, we can assume that the same document was typed on by different people and different machines over time. This document has one entry with a superscripted "th" and another further down on the page with a non-superscripted "th" -- which of course suggested that both kinds of typewriters were being used in the Texas Air National Guard system at the time.

(Click here to see the document on the USAToday website. Then scroll down to page three of the .pdf document -- which is the first vertical document. If you look at the second entry on that document -- dated "4Sep68" you'll find a superscripted "th".)

This debate has quickly spiralled in so many different directions that I can't keep track of all the different points of suspicion folks have raised about these documents. But this suggestion about the superscripts at least seems not to add up.

-- Josh Marshall

Posted by: duh at September 9, 2004 10:39 PM

There's a story that ABC News just put online that states that Killian's widow does not believe her husband wrote the memos. Also they state that several experts that they consulted doubts as to the authenticity of the memos. One of the things mentioned in their story is that the spacing between the lines is 13 point -- which was not available until the advent of word processing.

Posted by: Vic Vogt at September 9, 2004 10:40 PM

In looking at the May 4, 1972, memo purportedly by Jerry Killian, I notice that the 3-line heading is centered perfectly one line on another. The typist must have been exceptionally skillful to do this with proportional fonts. What did he/she do, count the widths of each letter on each line and then determine how many backspaces from center to set the starting point for each line?

I don't think so, but I'd like to hear from an expert about the challenges and likelihood that someone could center three lines of proportional font text so well. Amazing or amazingly stupid.

Posted by: Mike Young at September 9, 2004 10:51 PM

ATTABOY!!

Excellent work! Really outstanding. How can I have missed your brilliance before??? Into the links you go!

Posted by: Arnold Williams at September 9, 2004 10:54 PM

To Rich,

'Kerning is turned off by default in MS Word. You have to go enable it. Look on the Character Spacing tab.'

No. You are referring to the custom kerning functions. Look at the Character Spacing tab again. Standard kerning of the type being questioned in the documents is the default for Word and appears exactly the same in Times New Roman done with word. A 60 experiment will confirm this to anyone willing to spend the time.

The forgery theory has not yet even come close to being debunked. The parsing and spinning going on on so many sites is getting shriller by the minute, but the theory that these documents are forgeries is about 4 business hours from becoming an accepted fact.

Posted by: Just Passing Through at September 9, 2004 10:58 PM

Can anyone check ZIP codes changes? The zip in the address for Bush in Houston (77027) is different than the one for that address now (77056).

Posted by: Gitarfan at September 9, 2004 11:13 PM

I think you guys may be falling into your own obsessions. If you look here, at one of the absolutely undisputed Bush service records http://www.usatoday.com/news/bushdocs/9-Miscellaneous.pdf

you can see a superscript th-- it's on the first page that's horizontal. Later down in the page, there's another th, non-superscript. So, evidently, some typewriters at that era had it, and some didn't. There's no point in arguing about whether or not they had it-- unless you want to claim that all of Bush's National Guard records were forged.

Posted by: Obdicut at September 9, 2004 11:22 PM

Okay I'm horning in with a question. In the early part of this year, there was an article about Bush being awol and could be proved because he missed out on a physical. The response was, he was scheduled for a physical outside of the posted loop of when physicals were given. This means the date of his physical couldn't be met because the physicians giving them weren't scheduled to give them at that time.
Does anyone remember this article?

Posted by: mshyde at September 9, 2004 11:56 PM

Hey I'm a Kerry supporter but I feel these documents are fake. However you have to be careful not to discredit your analysis with incorrect information.

The "matched Word output" does not match. It is pretty obvious that the starts of words line up much better than the ends of words, except the last word in the line where the end matches up. I think this is the result of horizontal microspacing to get it to line up. Using such fake proof is not a good idea.

Other problem argument is about the curly quotes. Office typewriters at that time certainly did have open and close single and double quotes. You are probably confusing this with early ASCII-base teletype machines. The single character for quote is an ASCII/Teletype/Baudot invention.

The other arguments do make sense. I remember using an IBM proportional typewriter at that time (my Mom had a job typing on one) but this document seems to lack some of the attributes I remember. The letter spacings were selected from a very small set of widths (1-4 (or 5?) units where the numbers were 3 units). This resulted in much more vertical aligment than seen here. Also the fonts looked a lot more like typewriters, with just a few characters like the capital letters and small m and i adjusted. The serifs were huge and closed shapes were large to avoid ink-filling.

OCR arguments make no sense. Why was the Word printout then faxed/copied many times to dirty it up?

The "th" is also suspicous. Certainly such characters existed but they would have not looked so much like a scaled-down version of the normal th letters. I seem to remember popular design was to make them much narrower yet the same height, though that may be from fixed-width typewriters where this was a requirement.

I would remove the bogus "red/blue" comparison image, since that is obviously a different font, due to the words changing length while magically the spaces between them change in the opposite way so they remain lining up. This is either an astronomical coincidence, or a deliberate forgery by somebody trying to prove the forgery. Also printing red and blue and putting the multiplcation into green really hides any differences well, I can post a document that shows that Arial and Times Roman are the same using this method if you want.

Posted by: Bill at September 10, 2004 12:05 AM

Let us all not forget a VERY important point... this morning CBS were saying they had had a document expert validate these things, this evening they'd back off and were saying that they had his contemporaries authentic... which is it!

This is a sign that they ran with the story without proof... I think they talked to some folks (maybe partisan, maybe not) and typed up some docs hoping that they'd scare up something...

Posted by: Grahame at September 10, 2004 12:08 AM

Never Mind.

VIA Allah in the House

"Time to start yet another thread. If you missed the video of Brit Hume and Byron York talking about the memos on Fox, the Daily Recycler has it here. Meanwhile, Dr. Sanity can't figure out what the hell's going on in the May 4, 1972 memo where Killian allegedly orders Bush to undergo his annual physical examination by May 14th. Quoth the Doctor:

Regarding the "new" May, 72 Memo to Bush from his commanding officer ordering him to get a flight physical: I am a former NASA flight surgeon. I did physical exams on members of all the military services, including ANG. People report normally for a PEX (physical exam) by the last date of their birth month. Bush's birth month is July (DOB July 6, 1946). WHY WOULD HIS CDR ORDER HIM TO REPORT OVER 2 MONTHS EARLY FOR HIS ANNUAL PEX? Especially since we know that GWB was flying in April (he had 7 flight days according to the records).

If Bush was already aware that he would be going to Alabama--where they did not have the jet he was trained in and where the CDR of the Alabama unit had already told him they had too many pilots, but that he was "welcome" to come--Bush would have allowed his flight status to lapse in July, since NO pilot willingly will permit a physician to do a PEX if he didn't have to. Nothing in these new memos makes sense.

Any thoughts, readers? Perhaps the policy was different thirty years ago? "

Posted by: mshyde at September 10, 2004 12:21 AM

All Hail The Internet!!! Especially Powerline and LGF. The Democrats' and Liberal Media's Worst Nightmare. Clearinghouse for the Copious Effluence of lies, distortions, total BS and Political Nuance.

Your First, Last And Only Line of Defense Against The Scum Of The Universe! (Apologies to 'Men In Black')

Posted by: Jack Deth at September 10, 2004 12:23 AM

Just a personal, non-canonical view, but I think Rove & Co. knew this was rubbish and let it fly... (they obviously wouldn't have created the stuff, but if they saw it and knew it wasn't true...)

If so, good job lads, good job!

Posted by: Grahame at September 10, 2004 12:24 AM

Coult the original 1970's documents have been scanned, OCR'd and put into Word later?

Yes, certainly - but what would be the point of releasing the document? You would have to have an original or a copy of an original to authenticate it. And CBS claims that authentication happened with these documents. These supposedly came from a personal file (one which the widow claims never existed, by the way.)

Anyway - I wrote a software manual for one of these document scanning systems. They don't need to do OCR. When they save the docs as 1 bit TIFFs, they're tiny. And they have the original document image with the original stamps, signatures, folds, and all original features of the doc visible. They then index the doc by date, author, whatever in the database.

Of course, there may be such a system in place in the military, but who would have gone back 30 years into someone's personal files (not found at the Pentagon) to scan these files when they have reams of new paperwork to scan into archives every day?

Sorry, the OCR thing is a huge, huge stretch.

The MS Word overlays are what convinced me that these docs are a hoax. What are the chances?
All the line breaks line up exactly
All the tab stops are in the same place
All the margins are identical
Both docs have the same font face AND font size
A National Guard unit has specialized "golf balls" containing a superscript "th" and curly quotes.(for no apparent reason)

The chances are incalculably minute. In short, impossible.

Posted by: Dan Lovejoy at September 10, 2004 12:28 AM

This is pretty straightforward. On the one hand you have the simple fact the document closely matches the default characteristics of the most widely used word processing program on the planet (MS Word, proportional Times New Roman type face, superscripting, etc.) On the other hand you have the equally simple fact the document does not match the default characteristics of the most prevalent typesetting mechanisms of the age it is alleged to be from (which would have used mono spaced fonts, and would have lacked superscripting). Just on the basis of these two simple observations the starting assessment, sans provenance, should be that the document is not authentic.

Posted by: Robin Goodfellow at September 10, 2004 12:28 AM

Obdicut:
Actually, the typewritten stuff shows exactly the opposite. Courier font, no superscripting, no space.

Argue about font all you want, Courier was THE font used in all govt correspondance until this year when Times New Roman became the font. EVERY other govt document I've seen is composed in Courier, because it was REQUIRED. A memo in a personal file would HAVE TO MEET THOSE REQUIREMENTS!


Brett

Posted by: Brett at September 10, 2004 12:31 AM

Guys, it's more than just font size, spacing and hyperscript. Check out all the STYLE errors pointed out in the retired Air Force officer's letter posted at Powerline.

Posted by: brendan at September 10, 2004 12:43 AM

Isn't it just a little too convenient that the original is missing? After all, if you had the original, you could approximate the age of the ink and paper. Hmmm.

Posted by: brendan at September 10, 2004 12:47 AM

I think applying Occam's Razor to this debate pretty much settles the argument that an unknown secretary with a non-standard, non-existing typewriter used non-standard terminology to type an obscure memo for "file" (not "record") and that these memos could be precisely replicated by MS Word in default settings 32 years later. Forget all the crap about "thousandsth of an inch" font replication... a typewriter has NO WAY OF PREDICTING WHAT THE NEXT LETTER TO BE TYPED IS and, therefore, cannot "kern" the spacing. I work in an industry where we use kerning functions in CAD work... these sci-fi arguments about "what if...?" "maybe they...?" "surely...?" just doesn't pass the laugh test. People, kerning is what you see in professional typesetting or computer word processors... we're not talking about "proportional type". I think the overlay comparisome, in my experience with photo overlays, pretty much shuts the door on the authenticity of these memos. They are BS. Was it Clinton's operatives? It seems fairly obvious Clinton and Co. want Kerry to lose, opening the door for a HILLARY2008 run. It wouldn't take much, beyond a court order, to track down the source of the memos... if it's "anonymous" then CBS is more blinded by ideological fervor than even I imagined!

GOOD WORK!!!! this is fascinating!

Posted by: Mistercalm at September 10, 2004 12:50 AM

We have a name for the scandal, courtesy of the Kommissar (http://acepilots.com/mt/):

Fontgate

Posted by: Grahame at September 10, 2004 12:56 AM

IBM introduced a typewriter with proportional spacing a few decades before these documents were alleged to have been written. If you're patient, you'll find it a few pages into this document.

http://www.research.ibm.com/journal/rd/255/ibmrd2505ZH.pdf

Now kerning, and superscripts, that's a different story.

Posted by: denton at September 10, 2004 01:12 AM

Denton -

Did you read the post? Where does it say that there were NO IBM typewriters with proportional spacing in 1972? The post I wrote says that there were 6 or 7 models.

What's notable is that the fonts on these models do not match the discovered documents.

Posted by: Bill at September 10, 2004 01:16 AM

As mentioned before, I did not believe the claims until I tested it myself. I have a Word Doc which I typed matching the text, and I have used photoshop to overlay them. I don;t have a web site to put them up right now, but if anyone here requests I will mail both the image and the word doc.
Send a request to: erik144@gmail.com

I didn't really believe it until I tried it myself.

Posted by: erik at September 10, 2004 01:17 AM

If you are trying to do the Word match up be aware that you must actually print the Word document and scan it back in. The reason the superscript "th" won't match up on a Word doc on your screen is that a typeface really has two parts. One is a screen font for display on your computer and the other is a TrueType or PostScript font. Not to get too technical but one is what is called a "raster" and the other is a "vector." As raster is like a bitmap or jpg image. Vector is based on a mathematic formula and scales sharply.

In order to make typefaces appear smooth on your computer screen a process called "anti-aliasing" is used to blur the edges of the font to smooth out the "jaggies" caused by the pixels. The result is when type gets very small it becomes difficult to read. It is common practice in many word processing applications to make some type that is small, like superscript, a bit larger than when it prints to make it more "readable.' When type is printed you do not have the problem of pixels that you have on a computer screen... unless of course the typeface is only a "screen font" and not intended for printing, which is not the case with Times New Roman.

Posted by: Bryant at September 10, 2004 01:18 AM

I am hosting erik's matchup here:

http://www.bonzy.net/images/eg_natgardcopy.jpg


Zoom in, if your browser allows..

Posted by: bonzy at September 10, 2004 01:40 AM

Thanks Bonzy.

The only thing I forgot to do was turn off my Spell Checking, so you can see it flaging the non-english words, like Staudt and Grp. But I think the point gets across. This issue practially finished from an investigative point of view. Great job all you guys. This may be a bit of a landmark day, when CBS was defrocked in less than 24 hours by the Blogging world.

Times they are a changin.

Posted by: erik at September 10, 2004 01:45 AM

Brett--

Um, no. Read the document, where I specified. You'll see superscripting. It's there.

I'm from a military family. Saying that everything had to be written on courier is just wrong. You wrote on whatever you had lying around, which was highly variable.

Posted by: Obdicut at September 10, 2004 01:52 AM

Obdicut -

"I think you guys may be falling into your own obsessions. If you look here, at one of the absolutely undisputed Bush service records http://www.usatoday.com/news/bushdocs/9-Miscellaneous.pdf you can see a superscript th-- it's on the first page that's horizontal. Later down in the page, there's another th, non-superscript."

Wrong. The th in the listing of service is not a superscript but a special symbol for a fixed-space typeface. Different from the forged memos where there are true superscripts, raised "above the line," with proportional spacing to boot.

Posted by: twisting at September 10, 2004 02:44 AM

It's a little ridiculous to refer to "the forged memos" before they've been proved to be forged. I mean, you've got to realize that this is still very much up in the air.

CBS isn't very likely to have been fooled on this.

Posted by: Obdicut at September 10, 2004 02:51 AM

I just read through all the messages about memogate. It represents some pretty impressive scholarship, and I'm impressed that the general tone was one of objectivity (as opposed to vituperation). I am impressed that the evidence that this is a forged document is very compelling, as you all explain it.

But I have a huge problem with the basic premise. I mean, it doesn't take a genius to recognize proportional fonts and superscripts and to realize that these documents look like they came from a Word processor, rather than from a military typewriter. What idiot would be clever and resourceful enough to create the false memos, insert them into the relevant collection of records, get them into the hands of the proper (near the top of the political/journalistic food chain) people, and be such a bonehead to create the documents on a word processor, rather than on some old typewriter?

And the 60 Minutes people may be lib/Dems, but certainly they are not stupid, either. I'm no expert, but the documents in question do not look at all that they were created with early 1970s typewriter technology. My first question would be "are these really genuine?" I'm sure they asked themselves that question. Surely they knew the stakes.

I don't know what's going on here, but nothing adds up. There is much more to this than simply some lib/Dem news organization trying to crucify Bush and then being a willing stooge in a sloppy, low end confidence game.

Posted by: Larry Weisenthal at September 10, 2004 03:25 AM

Actually this was so obvious to me I had to laugh. I am a typographer and have worked in the graphic arts since 1966. I have used an IBM Executive with a Times like font, a Selectric I & II, and a Selectric Composer with Times Roman fonts. I have also set type on a hot metal Linotype machine, a Lynotype VIP, Linotype 202, various Compugraphic machines and various PostScript devices over the years. I love good typography and am well known in my company as the typeface guru. If there is one thing that has dogged me throughout the years it is Times Roman. The big problem with it is that every time they recut the font for a new generation of machines it would set slightly differently. I work for a newpaper and I had to transition our company through three generations of typesetting equipment. I never got exactly the same spacing from one generation to the next. I always had to fudge things to make them fit the same. The fact that I was able to sit down and without any fudging exactly duplicate the 04 May 1972 memo in MS Word on my MacG4 using all standard settings and Times New Roman was the dead giveaway. No typewriters of that era used Times Roman, though it was available on the Composer typesetter. The Executive could never have spaced characters so finely. It was limited to a 4 unit em space. The VIP phototypesetter couldn't match it even, since it was limited to an 18 unit em, but it didn’t come out till later. The Selectrics of the day could not do proportional spacing at all. And the Selectric Composer which I used would never match up either, due to the crudeness of its spacing system. Yeah, Times Roman has been around for a long time. But don't let anyone tell you it is exactly the same on all systems. Trying to get it to be the same on each system has been the biggest PIA of my life. And that superscript "th" thing. Matches perfectly to MSWord's spacing and PostScript’s 4096 unit em. No way that would have happened with anything else, even if I tried, and I have. No way would that have happened with any other font either. All fonts have different widths. No two set exactly the same. And even if the dearly departed had used a Selectric Composer, used only by typesetting houses in the day, making that "th" would have been a royal PIA. Swapping golf balls and diddling with the baseline just for a “th”? What would be the point? The characters are distorted, but the spacing says it all. Nothing could be that dead on. When I printed both versions out and took them to the light table, they lined up perfectly. Odds of that happening approach infinity. There’s absolutely no doubt. Personally I think this smacks of Carville. He’s just stupid enough to think that a simple forgery could pass muster. Seems it fooled CBS, but then they haven’t been about real reporting for years. I would suspect that he would expect them to swallow it. Maybe they figured that no one would ever question the documents after CBS had “verified” them. Too bad.

Posted by: Gil at September 10, 2004 03:28 AM

Obdicut,

I read the documents posted at the link you provided and saw not one single instance of a typed superscript. I also saw lots of dates, all typed in the same style, which was DDMMMYY, not the one used in the disputed memos.

Posted by: Lionel at September 10, 2004 04:01 AM

YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST!
I've got four Selectrics and more than 20 balls, have been using (before computers) them for years and years, but learned more about them in this past half-hour of reading these letters than I have in over thirty years! I've even added a new word to my vocabulary, kerning. And, I used a Varityper to typeset my Sales Bulletins in Seattle in 1956, and electric typewriters by IBM to type my letters. In fact, the first typewriter I ever used (in 1941) had a 26" carriage, and it was on board a ship, possibly a Royal. Try typing with that when the ship is rolling!

Congratulations to all you amateur sleuths; this country is in good hands. The Vets can rest easy.

Now you'll have me getting out those old ball fonts and checking them for a small "th". But, with all the free help to disprove the authenticity of those documents, CBS is going to have to fight hard to uphold their honor (what honor?) now. They've got a tiger by the tail, and it's the Internet. Half a dozen back-room researchers and checkers can't beat you guys. Congratulations to you all! And...Good night.

Posted by: Howard EM at September 10, 2004 04:17 AM

WHOOPS
I cut short and missed Gil's letter just above. Yes, I watched Linotype operators (real nut cases, those guys, about punctuation, etc.), and yes, I had Selectric I and II, and changed fonts to get different effects, such as Italics. But, right there you're reading the testimony of a real expert, and if he'll pardon me for saying so, a Super Nut Case, a perfectionist, a guy who knew what he was doing and when I'd proof-read one of them, hey, what a pleasure. It's hard to find men like Gil today, some, but rare. Bet he went to an auction and bought an old Linotype when the paper switched to computers, and now has it in his basement or garage.
Good Night again.

Posted by: Howard EM at September 10, 2004 04:29 AM

Please read the entire link here the documents were obtained from THE WHITE HOUSE, they handed them over So if they are circulating forgeries against BUSH (and I doubt that)
Man people are blind!

Read the FIRST PARAGRAPH here Ive givin you the source!

Funny because the White House is who released the documents to the public as seen here. (also check out the poll on this page awsome, we will win in Nov)

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5952072/


of memos on Bush's suspensionThe Associated Press

Updated: 12:14 p.m. ET Sept. 9, 2004WASHINGTON - Here are the texts of four memos indicating George W. Bush was suspended from flying during the Vietnam war because he failed to meet Texas Air National Guard standards and did not take his annual flight physical as required. Copies of the memos were provided by the White House.

Posted by: Wake Up at September 10, 2004 06:22 AM

FAKE!?

What a load of BS!

You Bush cheerleaders are getting desperate!

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 10, 2004 06:32 AM

There's a comfortable percentage (over 90% by several experts) that these memos are fakes... and poor ones at that. I have another conspiracy theory to float for your amusement: what if VIACOM itself is the culprit? What if the parent company of CBS wants to put the final nail in the coffin of an overly expensive and low-rated white elephant so they can concentrate on "reality" TV shows (how ironic?) With network news ratings in the toilet and viewership at an all-time low (evidence more people watched FOX coverage of the RNC than on any one of the FREE networks, despite not being as widely available as any one of the "Big 3") I could see VIACOM deciding to put an end to their newsgathering days to concentrate solely on entertainment, the spirits of Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite's glory days as the gatekeepers of information notwithstanding. Hey... no more gate... no more gatekeeper.

Just a thought.

Mistercalm

Posted by: Mistercalm at September 10, 2004 06:51 AM

Whatever gets you through the night. I dont think its wise this late in the election for Bush to pick a fight with the press. But Im for Kerry so go for it!

Posted by: Wake up at September 10, 2004 06:58 AM

Haha! Way to go Wake Up and BWAHA. Keep ignoring the mounting evidence. You have several different subject matter experts: Air Force 702x0's, type-face gurus, and experienced military folks in general (including yours truly), saying this memo stinks to high Heaven. In a court of law, the preponderance of evidence given by these experts would present a pretty damning case.

Oh, and 'Wake Up'...you've got it da udder way around in revoise: The WH obtained the docs from CBS. The question is: where did CBS (emphasis on the BS) get them? It sure as hell wasn't from the Air Force I belong to.

Denial....it's not just a river in Egypt.

Posted by: The Truth Hurts at September 10, 2004 07:20 AM

Oh, and one more thing...if you check out Drudge, you see the story about CBS doing an investigation into the documents.

Now, if the docs were authentic, why would CBS need to do an "investigation?" Perhaps to do a ham-handed "CYA?"

If CBS had done their job correctly, these docs wouldn't be in question right now. It's obvious they didn't foresee this level of scrutiny.

If the memo wasn't a forgery, then the CBS execs wouldn't be 'filling their Depends' right about now.

Oh, and Bush isn't "picking a fight with the media." AFAIK, the WH has said jack-squat so far, in re the authenticity (or lack thereof) of the CBS fakes. It's the media that has been picking a fight with Bush for the last three and a half years.

Nice try...go back to your patchouli now.

Posted by: The Truth Hurts at September 10, 2004 07:29 AM

Here is a question I have been asking myself:

Why would an obscure memo be copied so many times?


Joe

Posted by: Joe at September 10, 2004 07:39 AM

I'm a senior noncommissioned officer in the USAF and I certainly would never put my signature on a "memo" so poorly formatted. The signature block alone is enough to convince me the "memo" is a hoax. USAF signature blocks have a specific format that must be adhered to.

Properly formatted signature block, found on Bush's request for discharge from the Guard:

JERRY B. KILLIAN, Lt Col, TexANG
Commander

Improperly formatted signature block found on hoax memo:

JERRY B. KILLIAN
Lt. Colonel
Commander

NO Lieutenant Colonel I have EVER worked with in my 18 years in the USAF would sign that. He'd kick it back for correction and probably kick his admin specialist in the butt for sending it to him that way. There are NO periods in USAF rank abbreviations, for one. USAF signature blocks are two lines, not three (exceptions for certain very high levels of command NOT generally occupied by Lt Col types). And the branch of service is not specified as it should be (just because the document purports to come from a USAF unit doesn't mean a USAF officer signed it--there are plenty of joint-duty officers out there).

The rest of the memo is just as bad, but I don't have time to get into all that and it's been adequately explored elsewhere. I just know if one of MY troops sent me something like that to sign, I'd be sending it right back, covered in red pen.

Posted by: Michelangelo at September 10, 2004 08:28 AM

Anyone here remmember the famous Alger Hiss Underwood with the flying w (or whatever it was) that Whittaker Chambers used to proves HIss was a Communist spy?

Yeah, but you obviously don't know of the White House tape where Nixon admitted that he framed Hiss.

People, you are really hopeless.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at September 10, 2004 08:29 AM

Keep grasping at straws. I notice that everyone is focussed on whether the documents are fake rather than the substance *which hasn't been denied by the White House*. I can find a bunch of experts that will swear up and down that these aren't fake (computers do not easily shift the baseline of text so irregularly and there were many typewriters in 1972 that had both Times New Roman and proportional spacing) but if they are, why doesn't the White House just come out and refute the facts point by point? Because, as usual, they like to walk the razor's edge of the truth: if they come right out and say " President Bush never received preferential treatment and wasn't grounded because he failed to obey orders and failed to meet the standards of the Air National Guard" then something might be found that would show they were lying. If, on the other hand, the just have their surrogates spreading the rumor that the documents are fake, that becomes the story. This is just like Bush's non-condemnation of the Swift Boat ads -- once the smear had done it's damage he stopped focussing just on 527's and admitted that John Kerry served with greater distinction that he did, but the damage had been done. Thanks also must go out to the "liberal" press for their fine, fine coverage.

Posted by: Tim Swan at September 10, 2004 09:33 AM

Folks: None of this matters. Don't you get it? Bush supporters already refuse to listen to facts about Bush that have already been PROVEN (misleading the US into Iraq, Halliburton, ignoring the 8/01 memo entitled "bin Laden determined to strike US", WMDs, etc etc etc).

If Bush supporters are OK with the things I've listed above, why is some little thirty year old document that may or may not have been doctored make any difference this November? Face it, this country is populated largely by ignorant people. The numbers tell the story. I weep for the future.

Posted by: Duppy Conqueror at September 10, 2004 09:39 AM

Tim, if the documents are fake, then isn't the "substance" of the documents by definition ALSO fake? Why take the time to deny the "substance" of hoax documents?

The point of proving the documents fake is to show that Lt Col Killian DID NOT WRITE THEM and therefore did not "order" Bush to take his physical and was not pressured to "sugar-coat" Bush's record.

Isn't it convenient that these "memos" magically prove the Left's every point re: Bush's service? Isn't it convenient that they suddenly appear less than 60 days before the election rather than at any other time in the 30-odd years after they were allegedly written? And..isn't it convenient that the alleged author of the alleged memos is very un-allegedly dead and therefore cannot be asked "Did you write these?" Why aren't there any "memos" from actual BREATHING commanders?

Finally, after reading and re-reading the online copies of the memos, I am convinced they were not written by any military person. They simply are too wrong in format and style.

Posted by: Michelangelo at September 10, 2004 09:59 AM

Hilarious. These documents may be fake, the guy calling out Bush may be a proven liar who has changed the story he told under oath, but that isnt whats important. Whats important is the substance of their lies, how will Bush address that?! Ok, yeh, we agree they are lies, but how do you respond to them? What, ducking the question? Look, just because they are lies doesnt mean they arent true, right?

Isnt this the equivalent of a prosecutor having his DNA test proved false, and then demanding the defendant explain how his fake DNA got on the knife?

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 10, 2004 10:26 AM

We all know that the problem is with the Bush Administration. Sure, some political operative, likely with the Kerry campaign, gave the forged documents to a major media outlet. And sure, said outlet rushed to trumpet the documents without, it appears, vetting them at all and likely lying about that.

And sure, when one considers this sort of skullduggery combined with sloppiness and ideological bias, it does seem a little dangerous. And un-democratic. Borderline illegal, too, and certainly actionable.

But the problem, as we all know, is with the Bush Adminstration.

Posted by: spongeworthy at September 10, 2004 10:55 AM

The argument that the author of the memos used spaces between numbers and "st" to suppress automatic superscripting is bogus. There are examples of "111st" and "1st" in the memos with no space between the number and the "st", with no superscripting. Other ordinals on the same memo have the space, with no superscripting. Clearly the spaces are not necessary to avoid a superscript, because in the absence of a space superscripting is not automatic.

Posted by: Joe G. at September 10, 2004 12:17 PM

"You Idiots! ...Didn't you check this out before we aired it? Am I surrounded by brain dead Zombies, or what?"......

Maybe there's still a few Eskimo's in the Yukon that any longer believe this whole Liberal press driven stink bomb is anything more than a sloppy hit job by the DNC pundummies, but no one with a working brain cell is buying this crap. And some of the bloggers are right on correct that at this point the questions should be spear tip focused on the AH's that propagated this mess and why. That old fart Harkin is standing there up to his flabby ass braving the onslaught of truth in advertising with a continued stream of indefensible talking points and outright lying inflammatory statements.

My question is where is the non-liberal media on this one. FOX is limp wristedly covering it, but very very cautiously, almost timidly. Someone in the major media needs to make as big a deal out of this obvious attempt to manipulate a National election with outright fraud, as the DNC was going to try to make out of the fraudulent charges in the first place.

We bloggers need to just keep after this and hammer and hammer till the press deals with it. We also need to keep asking where the hell is that form 180 release from Kerry for his full set of journals and war records. His own biographer now says he thinks that Kerry should quit hiding behind his staff and face the music. The Kerry campaign attack dogs keep turning a cold shoulder to all attempts to get this done. If we don't pick at the scab it will slip through the cracks.

The WH for their part is loving it. From the very beginning the Kerry fun bunch used the worst possible basis for Kerry's run, and Rove and company have kept them immersed in the non-issue quagmire. A textbook case of how to not win an election against a sitting incumbent. "W"rong candidate, "W"rong platform, "W"rong strategy.

At this point the evidence is overwhelming. Can't wait to see Ann "GOP hit gal" Coulters take on all this. ... Apparently this time around ..."The devil is in the superscript...."

Posted by: Hunter at September 10, 2004 12:28 PM

You can get rid of the superscript by adding the space befor the TH and then going back and deleating it later. Word doesn't force the superscripting until you hit the spacebar after the TH.

Posted by: DGKnipfer at September 10, 2004 12:35 PM

Maybe Mike Wallace will be investigating Dan Rather this Sunday...

Posted by: JWong at September 10, 2004 12:39 PM

DGK: So the author left some plain, some with a space, and some superscripted, while attempting to hide superscripting?

Posted by: Joe G. at September 10, 2004 12:51 PM

Kerry is doomed:

http://www.electoral-vote.com/index.html

I'm very depressed about this.

Posted by: Mandrake at September 10, 2004 12:51 PM

Maybe I'm naive, but why would a maniacal forger use a modern word processor for his evil deeds?

Good question.

(choose one)

1. The forgers were stupid.

2. The forgers wanted their work to be 'exposed'.

3. The documents are 100% real. ; )

I personally choose number 2. Clearly Dan Rather is known for 'running' with items of dubious but otherwise sensational value. He was specifically targeted as the most likely 'entrance point' for this bomb.

So who profits?

Karl Rove? Maybe, but I personally doubt it.

Hillary? Surely not! Surely she wants nothing more than to support the Kerry campaign with all her heart and soul. Her track record clearly shows that she is a warm-hearted and compassionate slave to all things Democratic.

Right?

: )

Posted by: skipkent at September 10, 2004 12:56 PM

I’m in no way defending the document, which looks to be a forgery.
I just want to point out that when making the case that the forger put a space between the numeral and the "th" in order to prevent Word’s superscript--what they should have done was type the "th", hit the space bar, then simply "undo" (ctrl+z) and it would undo the autoformat that created superscript and they could continue typing...

Posted by: Jamie at September 10, 2004 01:25 PM

Lets remember that the WhiteHouse has not questioned the authenticity of the documents...

Posted by: George at September 10, 2004 01:38 PM

KARL ROVE BUGGED HIS OWN OFFICE to smear the competition in a tight race for some lowly bureaucrat in Texas, so I wouldn't put it past him to try something like this!!

If you think about it, it's ingenious. Release fake documents alleging what is in fact THE TRUTH about Dubya, that he deserted in 72, and when the documents are found to be false, as they are designed to be, people will believe the lies.

No wonder 1984 is Karl Rove's favorite book.

On the otherhand, the documents are more than likely completely legit, and you pathetic Bush cheerleaders are shaking in your boots that this race is so close.

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 10, 2004 01:56 PM

http://ratherbiased.com/news/content/view/208/2/


Ok, Dan Rather is basically giving all of us the finger. The documents are true, end of discussion as far as he's concerned. Worse, the jagoff has the brazenness to make the same insane, guilty because we said so argument we are already seeing with the crazies here:

"that this story is true, and that more important questions than how we got the story, which is where those who don't like the story like to put the emphasis, the more important question is what are the answers to the questions raised in the story, which I just gave you earlier. "

This ass is outright saying that where the story came from, and if its a forgery or not is immaterial. Whats important is how Bush adresses the allegations in the lies. That way lies madness, friends. We have just seen one of the most powerful journalists on earth tell us that what he wants us to believe is all that matters, truth be damned. Anyone interested in journalistic ethics, if there is anyone anymore, should be suffering apoplexy at this moment. I've never seen anything like it.

Posted by: Mark Buehner at September 10, 2004 02:45 PM

Lets remember that the White House has not questioned the authenticity of the documents...

They must be living in some 1950's dream-world where a major new media figure like Dan Rather can, for most intents and purposes, be taken at his word.

Those were the days . . .

Posted by: skipkent at September 10, 2004 03:33 PM

Someone needs to let the proper authorities know that BWAHA! has escaped, yet again, from the asylum.

Posted by: Rich at September 10, 2004 03:41 PM

I guess Dan Blather wants to go out with a bang. He's due for retirement anyway... good riddance. I hope that the pressure of independent media, AKA Blogs, can have the right effect... "You Can't Hide Any More MSM!"

Posted by: Amer-I-Can at September 10, 2004 03:57 PM

Lets remember that the White House has not questioned the authenticity of the documents...

As the Washington Post explained the White House was skeptical but since it looked too good to be true they decided to let the press (and us) look into it instead. This is because -- listen CBS -- most things that are too good to be true aren't. Bernie Goldberg explained that this filter doesn't exist for his liberal colleagues. That is, they wanted it to be true, so they didn't properly check it.

Kerry's people didn't do it because it was so stupid? Maybe Nixon didn't either. If Kerry's people were smart they would find out who did this and expose him. Otherwise, they will be making Nixon's error. Yet, I haven't found that there are really anybody there that has such an elevated intelligence because they believe in the likes of Michael Moore.

You know this just gets better and better. John Kerry reporting for duty, single-handedly taking down the Democrats and MSM. Give the man another Silver Star (with Combat V!).

Posted by: Rich at September 10, 2004 04:11 PM

At this point, why should the WH get involved in the controversy.

The smart thing to do is to let CBS, Dan Rather, and the Blogosphere fight it out. Stay clear of the Kerry/Vietnam issue, stay clear of the Bush/Killian issue.

They both have too many more important issues to put before the American public that are the crux of the election, and those who are taking sides in these other problems have already made up their minds as to the veracity of the Swift Boat Vets or the Killian episode, so what's the use? IN DC has given those in doubt plenty to think about and made an excellent case for a Hoax in progress. Rather would rather...yep, escape this one as quickly as possible, I'm sure.

Posted by: Howard EM at September 10, 2004 04:18 PM

in response to:

Maybe I'm naive, but why would a maniacal forger use a modern word processor for his evil deeds?

Good question.

(choose one)

1. The forgers were stupid.

2. The forgers wanted their work to be 'exposed'.

3. The documents are 100% real. ; )

I personally choose number 2. Clearly Dan Rather is known for 'running' with items of dubious but otherwise sensational value. He was specifically targeted as the most likely 'entrance point' for this bomb.

So who profits?

Karl Rove? Maybe, but I personally doubt it.

Hillary? Surely not! Surely she wants nothing more than to support the Kerry campaign with all her heart and soul. Her track record clearly shows that she is a warm-hearted and compassionate slave to all things Democratic.

Right?

: )

on that note it is intresting that all this happend AFTER Clinton's people joined Kerry's compain....

Posted by: mm at September 10, 2004 04:26 PM

Hehe I just noticed that http://defeatjohnjohn.com/, one of the earliest blogs to document and detail the forgeries, is offering $10,000 to any individual or company that can find a typewriter available in 1972 which could have produced the CBS documents. That should raise the bar a bit!

Posted by: Jason Simons at September 10, 2004 04:35 PM

I urge everyone to go back and read the post by "Gil" from 3:28 AM Sept. 10. This man knows typesetting and typography from 1966 on, and he knows the Times Roman font in all its variations. He says that if you use today's microsoft word and type in and format the same words and layout etc. of these documents, print them, and compare the print-outs to the supposed "real" documents, there is no way any proportional space machine of 1972 could produce documents that so closely match the 2004 microsoft word print out. He closes this case and proves the forgery as solidly as can be.

Posted by: sissoed at September 10, 2004 04:57 PM

It's curious that your Doctor Bouffard would state that use of "Times New Roman" pegs this as a computer font.

IBM licensed Times New Roman for use on typewriters c. 1939, and it was available on their Executive line from 1941.

Methinks that your Dr. Bouffard has been giving false testimony....

Posted by: eric at September 10, 2004 05:12 PM

Every passing moment of this rather entertaining situation, the Democrats become less like a serious political party and more like a UFOlogist convention. Karl Rove conspiracy, indeed...I'm looking forward to having a few more laughs at this.

Posted by: Big Dog at September 10, 2004 05:15 PM

http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/superscrptth.jpg

shows a Bush document of undisputed provenance that shows a typed superscripted "th" from 1968. So much for the superscript "problem".


Posted by: Joe G. at September 10, 2004 05:27 PM

I just duplicated the body text of the 04 May 1972 document on a Pentium PC running Windows 2000 and Microsoft Word 2000.

Try it yourself.

I used Times New Roman font, set at 11 pt. I used the default margin settings. You must disable the always-annoying auto-format settings like numbering. Just click the "Numbering" icon in the toolbar to disable.

The result is EXACTLY like the document reported on cbsnews.com website. EXACATLY, down to the superscript "th".

I then printed it out on a laser printer, and did about eight generations on a photo copy machine. (Make a photo copy, then make a photo copy of the photo copy, and so on, about eight times).

Compare the CBS "original" with the one I created. IDENTICAL, even down to the suspicious dots all over the page.

Dan Rather, you have been with your PANTS DOWN.

Posted by: Mark at September 10, 2004 05:40 PM

I went here:

http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/superscrptth.jpg

notice the th is underlined...

But why in the May 04 document does he use 111th in one area but 111 with the superscript in another area?

Also...who blacked out the address?...obviously it wasn't done years ago, cuz a photocopy of a photocopy wouldnt pick that up where its completely readable...ie CIA copies.

I May 19th...would he say, bush, 1st Lt. Bush?

Also..if the F-102 was being phased-out and they didnt want to retrain him on a new plane cuz he was close to being done anyway...why would it be such a big deal in August 72?

Posted by: GoPack at September 10, 2004 05:53 PM

Just had a look at
http://users.cis.net/coldfeet/superscrptth.jpg

So where is the superscript in this doc? There is a "th" key with an underline. It's on the standard line of level type. It is not above it. It is, therefore, not superscript.

Clutching at straws. So undignified. So pathetic.

I'll check this comment thread in a few days days when the fraudsters have been exposed and write a big "I TOLD YOU SO!"

Posted by: jonT at September 10, 2004 06:02 PM

That's it? That's the superscript th? Hm. Monospaced type. Pre-Y2K dates. A black marker that is really black.

Times New Roman may have been around for a long time but IBM Composer uses Press Roman, not Times New Roman. Press Roman has a foot on the 4's. Times New Roman does not. The documents in question do not have the feet on the 4's.

Here's a look at what 4's look like in IBM Composer, the document in question, and Microsoft Word.

Posted by: Rich at September 10, 2004 07:01 PM

Every passing moment of this rather entertaining situation, the Democrats become less like a serious political party and more like a UFOlogist convention.

Yeah, very funny indeed. UFOlogist convention! Hahaha. Those cranks!

Look s like your expert has some UFO connections, too.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at September 10, 2004 07:21 PM

"Keep grasping at straws. I notice that everyone is focussed on whether the documents are fake rather than the substance *which hasn't been denied by the White House*. I can find a bunch of experts that will swear up and down that these aren't fake (computers do not easily shift the baseline of text so irregularly and there were many typewriters in 1972 that had both Times New Roman and proportional spacing) but if they are, why doesn't the White House just come out and refute the facts point by point?"

Well, some of us don't give two craps about what Bush or Kerry did 30 years ago. I didn't pay attention to the SBVfT, either. But I think the emergence of forged smear documents is incredibly interesting. It's one thing to bring up dubious witnesses, but actual forged documents? That is news, my friend.

Posted by: Skim at September 10, 2004 07:21 PM

Nice analysis, very informative. Thanks!

BTW, did you know that the Democrat candidate served in Vietnam?

;-)

Posted by: Florin at September 10, 2004 07:27 PM

florin writes: "...BTW, did you know that the Democrat candidate served in Vietnam?....""

Yes. I read, in the New York Times #1 Best Seller "Unfit for Command" how Kerry got got his medals, and how he stabbed in the back his fellow comrades in arms when he came back stateside.

Posted by: Mark at September 10, 2004 07:46 PM

[...] in the New York Times #1 Best Seller [...]

Well, those bulk buys must be good for something.

If you can't give them away for $1 each in addition to a WND subscription, you can still pulp them.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at September 10, 2004 08:12 PM

EVERYBODY has this story about the proportional font -- also not noted in this story is that IBM selectrics of the time DID have proportional fonts (the one with the ball) and th's superscripts. This is not new, and the politics of the "analysts" is very plain to see, even though everyone PRETENDs to be impartial. If the documents are actually read rather than ANALYZED, then it becomes obvious about who is telling the truth and who is making up stories.

Posted by: JustSayNoToIraqWar at September 10, 2004 08:40 PM

There is indeed much fine scholarship going on here... and plenty of hyperventilating, too. Of the later comments, I think Robin's and Gil's sum things up the best. I know a lot about typesetting and desktop publishing, and my wife's knowledge of fonts is encyclopedic, but what both of us know together pales in comparison to what's been trotted out here. To me, though, the Gestalt is in the notion that, given enough input in the form of characters and lines, the output from two different systems will be noticeably different due to the accumulation of very tiny differences inherent in those systems. This makes printed documents much like fingerprints, in the sense that if you have a print from the scene, and you have the print from someone who had motive and opportunity, and they match, then you've found the culprit. Likewise, if you can open the world's most popular word processor with default settings, type in the text of a multi-line memo, and they match to within thousandths of an inch, then you've found the tool used to create the memo.

I also wanted to chime in on two issues that address the psychology behind this, and that is:

1) Having worked in a control room on TV news in the past, during which I had all-day-every-day contact with news people, if I learned one thing it is this: They are the not the smartest people you'll ever find. Nowhere near all of them have journalism degrees, and even fewer get their degrees from quality schools. TV especially is a performance business, which means you see a lot of former used car salesmen and pageant queens who become reporters and anchors. This is not a recipe for strict journalistic practice. The joke about Ron Burgundy reading anything that appears on the teleprompter is far closer to reality than some might imagine. Plus, not everyone who moves "up-market" does so because of their journalistic prowess - it's much more about good hair, good looks, and good technique, if you know what I mean. Thus, it's easy to find yourself in NYC or LA, with no more talent or smarts than the weekend weather guy in Topeka. Are big-time news people dumb enough to fall for such obviously forged documents? Damn straight they are.

2) Having worked extensively over many years with the top plastic and reconstructive surgeons in the world, people who invented all the major procedures and devices in use today, I am amazed at how often I had to explain, for example, the data-vs-picture difference between an email and a fax, or the concept of "caching." I have to believe it is like this at the top level of most professions: You can be a highly-paid, sought-after consultant like Carville, who helped elect a man to the White House, and be entirely ignorant of the difference between Word 2004 and a 1972 Selectric. Even with my highly-educated, wealthy-beyond-my-dreams clients, I'm no longer surprised by those who *don't* know such things - I'm surprised by those who *do*. Combine that kind of ignorance of technical matters with the arrogance that allows someone to assume that with no special training in document technology, they can crank out a few "memos" and expect to pull the wool over the public's eyes, and you have people like James Carville, or Terry McAuliffe (a safer bet, I think, because of all the weasels in the DNC, he's by far the most desperate). So can highly-placed, well-paid, well-connected political operatives be so arrogant as to think their Word-generated "memo" would be swallowed not just by easily-duped anchors, but by the public at large? Damn straight they are.

Posted by: Greg Griffith at September 10, 2004 09:04 PM

Hmmm.

Now this is funny! The guy running the http://www.selectric.org website has taken his fonts page down because of too many hits.

On the other hand he's written something really interesting!

For those who want my opinion...the documents appear to be done in Word, and then copied repeatedly to make them "fuzzy". They use features that were not available on office typewriters the 1970s, specifically the combination of proportional spacing with superscript font. The IBM Executive has proportional spacing, but used fixed type bars. The Selectric has changeable type elements, but fixed spacing (some models could be selected at 10 or 12 pitch, but that's all). The Selectric Composer was not an office typewriter, but apparently did use proportional spacing. These were very expensive machines, used by printing offices, not administrative offices.

Posted by: ed at September 10, 2004 10:09 PM

Karl Rove 'did' bug his own office in order to smear the competition! I don't expect you Bush cheerleaders to acknowledge that, because then you would have to question your very existence.

http://www.commondreams.org/views04/0901-11.htm

What is clear is that the right-wing noise machine has been directed to attack the authenticity of these documents, at all costs, because there is nothing else the Bush gang can do to defend Bush's non-existent service to his country. The Smear Boat Veterans for Bush has backfired, and now the only thing left to do, besides trying to duck the debates, is to try and make the Kerry campaign appear as if they would try to stoop as low as the Bush campaign has in attacking Kerry.

Didn't happen, and no matter how many times the machine yells "it's a fake!" on Foxnews, Hannity, Limbaugh, O'reilly, Scarborough ..etc.. people will retain the truth. They know Kerry served his country honorably, and Bush is lying punk.

Have a nice day.

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 10, 2004 11:08 PM

I agree with BWAHA! This is something that Karl Rove is capable of, but that is besides the point, because...

THE DOCUMENTS ARE 100% AUTHENTIC!

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/11/politics/campaign/11guard.html

Posted by: the3rdoption at September 11, 2004 01:17 AM

I'm 71, served this country in Korea and Vietnam for 24 years,I left the service in 1975. If anyone in the USAF had an IBM Selectric in 1975 it would not be in a Reserve or Guard Unit, to damn expensive. The only place I ever saw one of those machines, at that time was in headqurters. In some general officer's office. I don't think that that machine would have been used at the squadron level. I typed many performance reports in my day on an old Royal, and had to use carbon paper for copies.
MSgt Joseph S. Cotillo, USAF, Retired.

Posted by: Joseph S. Cotillo at September 11, 2004 01:37 AM

Pretty much anyone who was in the USAF or ANG in the pre-PC era, who had to crank out hundreds of documents on Selectrics or old manual typewriters, can spot these papers as BS in a second just by looking at them. Period.

Posted by: Rusty the Crusty Curmudgeon at September 11, 2004 02:31 AM

Also, since when do squadron commanders hand out notifications for mundane things like flight physicals? That's the job of some poor A1C in the medical squadron to crank out the appointment letters for all the physicals and other medical appointments. A Lt Col wouldn't even bother with that kind of thing.

Posted by: Rusty the Crusty Curmudgeon at September 11, 2004 02:50 AM

Greetings:

I am lost. I followed so many links that I cannot find something I found before.

In Dan Rather's defense, he said that the small Superscript can be found in some other contemporary Bush Guard documents. Where I read that, they had a link to those documents in PDF form.

While reading them, I did find one document that had something added and it had a small superscript "th." It was 5 or 6 lines of 4-5 words each and then a line that was to be signed or initialed. It is obvious that this was added later, so it is not part of the original form.

However, this added part is at a slight angle. Instead of being typed on the form with a typewriter that had small superscript ability, it looks much more like these words were added with a "Rubber Stamp."

If this is the document that Rather is basing his claim, "There are other documents that have a small superscript," I think it fails to support him because it looks like that writing was added to the original form with a Ruber Stamp, not a typewriter.

Posted by: mike at September 11, 2004 04:37 AM

Does anyone know how lowly guard units are regarded? Hand me down furniture, office equipment, broken chairs and long, narrow benches with no back is what I'd expect to see in a guard unit. They get the older trucks, uniforms, transports. Can't believe COL Killian was provided some new, unusual model of typewriter. I'd even be surprised he had a clerk!!
If these came from Killian's personal files, why does his widow and son know nothing of this? Unless he archived his records at some public repository, who else could have access to his personal files?
Good work, guys! My first visit to this site but won't be my last.

Posted by: Sharon Schocke at September 11, 2004 06:24 AM

I've been looking through old papers and I see that my IBM selectric in the late 70s and early 80s used Times New Roman and that it did not have proportional spacing. Every letter on one line is wholly beneath an other letter regardless of the letter, so that a "w" would be over an "i" for instance. The only time I see proportional spacing is when I "moved up" to a computer word processor. I've looked at letters I received from others and I see the same thing.

Posted by: Robert Villegas at September 11, 2004 07:35 AM

One CAN type a number immediately followed by a non-superscript "th" in Microsoft Word. First, type it with a space, then back up and delete the space. The "th" will remain on the baseline, adjacent to the number with no space.

Posted by: Bruce Wedlock at September 11, 2004 10:17 AM

I've been up all night reading this stuff. WOW! One blogger, who just posted a good synopsis of LGF's Comments section, is at the Sope-Bocks (http://sopebocks.blogspot.com/).

FWIW, I used a Selectric back in the day. I remember the two spacebars and the irritating fact that I could never get my words and spacing as exact as I wanted it.

Posted by: UpAllNight at September 11, 2004 11:30 AM

Robert (Villegas):

If your typewriter did not have proportional spacing, it did not have Times New Roman. Times New Roman is a proportional font.

The Composer issue seems to be resolved here, at least to my satisfaction:

http://shapeofdays.typepad.com/the_shape_of_days/2004/09/the_ibm_selectr.html

Posted by: YouGottaBeKidding at September 11, 2004 12:41 PM

The great thing about all of this was reflected by Rush yesterday. He said not one aspect of this scandal will produce a single vote for Kerry.

Posted by: fboygan at September 11, 2004 12:41 PM

Bouffard retreats.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2004/09/11/authenticity_backed_on_bush_documents?pg=2

"Bouffard, the Ohio document specialist, said that he had dismissed the Bush documents in an interview with The New York Times because the letters and formatting of the Bush memos did not match any of the 4,000 samples in his database. But Bouffard yesterday said that he had not considered one of the machines whose type is not logged in his database: the IBM Selectric Composer. Once he compared the Bush memos to Selectric Composer samples obtained from Interpol, the international police agency, Bouffard said his view shifted.

In the Times interview, Bouffard had also questioned whether the military would have used the Composer, a large machine. But Bouffard yesterday provided a document indicating that as early as April 1969 -- three years before the dates of the CBS memos -- the Air Force had completed service testing for the Composer, possibly in preparation for purchasing the typewriters.

As for the raised ''th" that appears in the Bush memos -- to refer, for example, to units such as the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron -- Bouffard said that custom characters on the Composer's metal typehead ball were available in the 1970s, and that the military could have ordered such custom balls from IBM.

''You can't just say that this is definitively the mark of a computer," Bouffard said."

Posted by: Joe G. at September 11, 2004 01:21 PM

From the same article:

"Flynn said his doubts were also based on his belief that the curved apostrophe was not available on electric typewriters at the time, although documents from the period reviewed by the Globe show it was."

Posted by: Joe G. at September 11, 2004 01:24 PM

A number of intersting issues raised here:
http://www.glcq.com/

Posted by: Joe G. at September 11, 2004 01:30 PM

"Bush would have allowed his flight status to lapse in July, since NO pilot willingly will permit a physician to do a PEX if he didn't have to."

The opposite is true- no pilot would miss their physical and lose flight status. Perhaps no pilot with drugs in his system would willingly permit a physician to do a physical if he didn't have to.

Posted by: Joe G. at September 11, 2004 01:34 PM

Uh, Joe...
Don't look now but Boufard has mad it very clear that he was misquoted by the Globe. Imagine that, the Globe, you know, the paper that printed torture photos that were actually internet porn? Yeah, that Boston Globe.

You guys should take your lumps and move on. By hanging on to such a ridiculous story, you are damaging a big asset if squandering the credibility of the partisan media for a loser like Kerry.

Posted by: moptop at September 11, 2004 02:32 PM

I can't believe you people are taking what is written on Little Green Footballs seriously. They are a bunch of Arab-hating racists, who want to see naked fascism take root in Washington.

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 11, 2004 02:33 PM

COME ON! Get serious! You can open up Mircosoft word and type the memo exactly. The whole thing on default settings wraps at exactly the same places! The letters from the top sentences line up to the lower sentences in exactly the same places. Are the left SO blinded? Let's get real. If a Selectric Composer would match this perfectly to a modern day MS Word doc. than a monkey COULD type Shakespeare. This was not done on a Selectric composer or any other typewriter by a military official whose family says he hated typing. This was done on a computer. Open up MS Word and type it yourself. It's plain as can be. I hope Rather goes down in a ball of flame for this incompetent pathetic reporting job. And people still clinging blindly to these doucuments "authenticity" should be friggin' ashamed of themselves.

Scott

Posted by: scott at September 11, 2004 03:07 PM

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2004/9/10/213416/348

Posted by: rjw at September 11, 2004 06:30 PM

Please note in 01 August 1972

Font size changes in the middle of sentence – IMPOSSIBLE on a type writer

Memo “USAF” It would have to read “USAF” one can only change font size in the middle of sentence on a computer.

Posted by: Gary Tripp at September 11, 2004 06:33 PM

I downloaded the four CBS PDF documents to see for myself the actual "evidence".

One thing immediately struck me was the patterns in the snow-like dots covering the pages. While I know nothing about forensics, I do have some experience using copiers.

On all four documents, there are groups of dots in straight lines. This is evidence of someone intentionally making a copy of a copy of a copy on the same copier. It occurs when there is dirt / dust on the platen (glass). The 1st copy will show one dot. The 2nd copy will show two dots when it picks up the original mark on the glass plus the copied mark on the previous copy. And each new generation will add a new dot to the sheet. However each new dot will be slightly offset due to parallax of the copier scanner and possibly a slight shift in the copier feeder, if one was used.

It appears that these PDF docs were run thru the same copier 6 to 7 times in rapid sequence. Two possibities come to mind.

1. CBS innocently ran its prized "first generation copy" (their claim) several times through the same copier making multiple generations of this document on this machine and then decided to post the oldest, least readable copy on the web.

2. Someone wanted to "age" the document by serial copying.

Posted by: dg at September 11, 2004 06:38 PM


http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/040920/usnews/20guard.htm

"Guard service during the Vietnam War shows that the White House used an inappropriate--and less stringent--Air Force standard in determining that he had fulfilled his duty. Because Bush signed a six-year "military service obligation," he was required to attend at least 44 inactive-duty training drills each fiscal year beginning July 1. But Bush's own records show that he fell short of that requirement, attending only 36 drills in the 1972-73 period, and only 12 in the 1973-74 period. The White House has said that Bush's service should be calculated using 12-month periods beginning on his induction date in May 1968. Using this time frame, however, Bush still fails the Air Force obligation standard.


Moreover, White House officials say, Bush should be judged on whether he attended enough drills to count toward retirement. They say he accumulated sufficient points under this grading system. Yet, even using their method, which some military experts say is incorrect, U.S. News 's analysis shows that Bush once again fell short. His military records reveal that he failed to attend enough active-duty training and weekend drills to gain the 50 points necessary to count his final year toward retirement.


The U.S. News analysis also showed that during the final two years of his obligation, Bush did not comply with Air Force regulations that impose a time limit on making up missed drills. What's more, he apparently never made up five months of drills he missed in 1972, contrary to assertions by the administration. White House officials did not respond to the analysis last week but emphasized that Bush had "served honorably."

Some experts say they remain mystified as to how Bush obtained an honorable discharge. Lawrence Korb, a former top Defense Department official in the Reagan administration, says the military records clearly show that Bush "had not fulfilled his obligation" and "should have been called to active duty.""

Posted by: Joe G. at September 12, 2004 01:18 AM

Complete 1 st sentence of above quote:
"A review of the regulations governing Bush's Guard service during the Vietnam War shows that the White House used an inappropriate--and less stringent--Air Force standard in determining that he had fulfilled his duty."

Posted by: Joe G. at September 12, 2004 03:39 AM

USMCR and ex-IBM'er here...with observations:

1. Rather is a skunk...claims he was a Marine but never made it through boot camp...NOT a Marine ... so credibility problems have been part of Dan for a long time...

2. MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD of 01Aug72 bothers me because of the apparent service number in the Subject line: Office pinkies--was that common?

3. Richard Nixon once said the proof is always in the typewriter....every one strikes differently depending on the typist....and each typewriter has its own peculiarities. Perhaps an expert can attest to the commonality of idiosychracies amongst the four documents....and others from the so-called file, and

4. Check for Chester James Carville's and Ben Barnes fingerprints.....lol

Posted by: Rod at September 12, 2004 04:38 AM

"While I know nothing about forensics .."

That just about sums up this entire thread.

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 12, 2004 04:43 AM

I served a total 9 1/2 years of active and inactive reserve duty...missing meetings was common with no problem if make-up meetings were scheduled...after all, some of us were students and held jobs. Rather, Carville and Bush would have gone through the same thing. My problem is with Kerry...6 1/2 year committment...served about three...where are his records for reserve meetings? Any one think a naval officer with long hair would be tolerated? Or, did he get permission to negotiate with the Viet Cong in Paris?

Posted by: Rod at September 12, 2004 04:49 AM

Who would gain from this forgery?

The forgery is so laughably inept, I have to consider that it wasn't done to get at Bush, but to get at Dan Rather. It's almost as if some guys stayed up nights drinking beer, figuring out how to make forged documents so stupidly bad that the victim would not just be embarassed, but destroyed. The only challenge was to make them barely good enough to be swallowed.

Karl Rove? It seems too risky. But let's say it was, and he gets caught. When Dan Rather complains, it just sounds like "wah, wah, he hit me back first." Karl just says "we thought his reporting was so distorted, we decided to prove it." No one ever was wrong by underestimating the intelligence of a "mainstream 'journalist'".

I say Dan Rather gets the "Shameless Scum Sucking Shill" award. I'd bestow it for the century, but he'll probably do something else before November that will dwarf this (if he lasts long enough to pull off another.)

Posted by: Ken at September 12, 2004 07:17 AM

Fascinating.

As a journalist (print), the controversy over what certainly appear to be faked docs - and if not faked, then obviously questionable - is incredibly interesting, both because of the implications and the role of the bloggers.

But there's another part of this story that seems equally outrageous to me. CBS apparentlly interviewed Killian's son and widow and chose NOT to use their comments. We're talking about the only living family relatives of a deceased man whose alleged memos are about to become a national story. How could any fair reporter choose not to tell his audience that important sources disagree with the authenticity of these memos? As well, the son says CBS told him they didn't want to use comments from Bush's old roommate because he was too pro-Bush. Since when does a journalist vet comments from people directly tied to a story because of the nature of those views?

The audience should hear from all sides with a legitimate part in the story and be allowed to make up their mind. That's journalism 101.

The lapse in basic professionalism becomes more outrageous when you add the fact that CBS interviewed Ben Barnes at length - a Democratic fundraiser and member of the Kerry campaign - on Bush's service. Why was Bush's roomie considered too pro-Bush when they were okay with someone obviously not only anti-Bush but with partisan written all over him? Barnes' daughter has already publicly her dad was not telling the truth.

The memos, if proven fakes, are damaging. But one could plead being duped. The shoddy journalism, however, is inexusable from a major news organization.

Posted by: Paul at September 12, 2004 09:52 AM

We're talking about the only living family relatives of a deceased man whose alleged memos are about to become a national story. How could any fair reporter choose not to tell his audience that important sources disagree with the authenticity of these memos? As well, the son says CBS told him they didn't want to use comments from Bush's old roommate because he was too pro-Bush. Since when does a journalist vet comments from people directly tied to a story because of the nature of those views?

Because they can make no statements on the memos.
What they have to offer is not even hearsay.

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at September 12, 2004 10:37 AM

COME ON! Get serious! You can open up Mircosoft word and type the memo exactly. The whole thing on default settings wraps at exactly the same places! The letters from the top sentences line up to the lower sentences in exactly the same places.

Because the font is nearly (NOT exactly) the same, and MS Word was DESIGNED (default margins and all, that accounts for the wrapping) to act like a typewriter.

What kind of ass-backward logic is that?

Posted by: Felix Deutsch at September 12, 2004 10:42 AM

"Because they can make no statements on the memos. What they have to offer is not even hearsay."

Huh? They can certainly speak on whether the memos sound legitimate. If they're fake, of course they'd have no direct knowledge of them. If they're real, they may. Besides, their opinions on the man who allegedly wrote them are also on point.

As for the hearsay argument, journalists have never operated under the rules of evidence in a court of law. You ignore the question of balance. CBS certainly had no qualms about adding "hearsay" opinions from people who struck the appropriate line. Or didn't you notice?

Posted by: Paul at September 12, 2004 11:26 AM

Here's something interesting.

In the same week:
A)The "Texans for Truth" organization launches ads about the President's Guard service.

B)The DNC launches a "Fortunate Son" campaign aimed at the President's Guard service.

C)"60 Minuntes II" puts out a story based on some "newly discovered" memos casting new light on the President's Guard service. Also, the story focuses on former TX LT-GOV Barnes' (now a major strategist in the Kerry campaign) revelations that he helped the President get into the Guard.

Soooo...now that the 60M-II memos have been found to be almost certainly bogus and it turns out that Barnes was not LT-GOV when the President entered the Guard, we have another question:

To what extent was CBS News manipulated by the Kerry campaign? To what extent were they willing and knowing participants?

Posted by: Crush T. Velour at September 12, 2004 11:46 AM

He was Speaker of the House in Texas. That office probably comes with some political influence.

Posted by: Joe G. at September 12, 2004 12:10 PM

"Never-before-seen" memos, what in the world does Dan Rather mean by this? Is this just a boast, or a Freudian slip?

Posted by: Jim at September 12, 2004 01:55 PM

I think Bush is horrid, and so are these forgeries. I'm tickled that anyone thinks only an expert can pass judgement on these ridiculous hoaxes. The instant I saw them, admittedly after reading initial opinions that they were hoaxes, I believed them to be either fakes or copies of originals designed to look like fakes. I'd guess the originals are in the hands of Karl Rove and Karen Hughes, the result of their pilfering through Mr. Bush's files. But the CBS memos are fakes, period. It's absurdly easy to duplicate them in MS Word. Of course, a faker with an agenda to discredit Bush would have used the font that's appearing on my screen right now, the typewriter-style font we all use in the "Comments" window while we type messages. A faker with an agenda to dupe and discredit critics of Bush would use Times New Roman.

Posted by: mark at September 12, 2004 09:00 PM

Mark-

Tsk tsk. If what you say is true, then Karl Rove must have had remarkable faith in the bias of CBS News, right? He must have been certain that they would not pause for an instant to authenticate these docs with a genuine expert. He must have been 100% certain that they would read them, wet themselves, and do a whole story on them.

What's more likely is that these documents were originally created by Bush conspiracy-believers as parody or "likely scenario" mock-ups, and were never meant to be taken seriously. Later, they fell into the hands of persons who had no knowledge of their original context and believed them to be genuine. Since the 60M-II story coincided with a DNC ad campaign and the "independent" Texans For Truth campaign, it was likely coordinated with connections in the DNC. Which is MOST likely where these docs came from.

Of course if I'm wrong then Dan Rather can prove it by revealing where he got the docs. I'll bet my last pair of pants, Dan is not covering for Karl Rove.

Posted by: Crush T. Velour at September 12, 2004 09:46 PM

The alleged forger assigns the date "13 August 1973" to one of the suspect memos. How could he be sure that Killian was on the base that day? What if, in reality, Killian had been in Yosemite on vacation with his family? Unless he knew about Killian's movements that August (highly unlikely), wasn't he taking a big chance by assigning ANY date?

Posted by: brendan at September 13, 2004 01:37 AM

Interesting comments. I don't have a lot to add but I think I side with Gil the typesetter and call them forgeries. The other interesting question is who and why. I know that some will disagree with me but I think they came from within the Kerry campaign but not to discredit George Bush. I think the same brillant minds that came up with the Kerry War Hero Strategy came up with this idea. Lets look at the WAr Hero Strategy for a minute regardless of what you believe about his medals and service, his anti=war activities are a matter of public record. So why focus on an issue that will assuredly alienate a large percentage of likely voters? Bad strategy or intentional destruction? I think it is the latter and that John Kerry & John Edwards are suppossed to lose the election. It is a well known fact that Hillary Clinton wants to be the first woman president and 2012 is a long time to wait. Now if Kerry/Edwards win in 2004 they would basically have the nomination tied up in 2008. But if George Bush wins in 2004 then he would be finished in 2008 and Hillary Clinton would not be running against an incumbent president. I realize this may sound Machivillian but If you look at the progress of the Kerry campaign not as far fetched as you might think. The SBVT issues is winding down so you slip some obviously forged documents to a media figure who is known to run first and verify later. As has been pointed out by many people regardless of his involvement John Kerry takes a big hit behind this story. As the Sopranos would say Bada Bing Bada Boom... Hillary has a clear path in 2008.

Posted by: Jim at September 13, 2004 03:27 AM

Posted by: Raven at September 13, 2004 06:28 AM

Ben Barnes has a long and colorful political history in Texas. He was a State Representative from the early 60's to 1969, a real boy wonder. While enrolled at UT Law School, someone introduced a bill that allowed any person who had graduated from law school and served two (or maybe 3) terms in the Leg to become a lawyer without the necessity of passing the bar exam. Some other member thereupon introduced a bill in response allowing anyone who had passed high schol biology and chemistry in a Texas high school to become a doctor!

Barnes was the guest of honor at a bar-b-q at the LBJ Ranch, and introduced by LBJ as a future President of the United States. Needless to say, he had not lived up to his potential. He served as lieutenant governor and got involved in the Sharpstown banking scandal and has not held office since.

He says he influenced the TANG to allow W into the Guard while Lt. Governor, but W joined in 1968, before Barnes' election. I don't know why anyone would need influence to get into the guard or reserve in those days. I introduced 5 or 6 of my acquaintances to the Navy Reserve recruiter at the USNR Training Center in Austin in 1966-68, no other influence needed.

Posted by: Texas Slim at September 13, 2004 08:01 PM

you know, the paper that printed torture photos that were actually internet porn? Yeah, that Boston Globe.

You know, the paper that printed a photo of lots of people holding up torture photos, one of which had been printed off the fake site? Try fact-checking yo' own ass, numbnut, rather than mainlining Freeperville.

Posted by: ahem at September 14, 2004 04:44 AM

Raven might have something if that memo had superscript, smaller letters for superscript, Times Roman font, etc. That is the issue. I think that thus far no one has found any typewriter that had Times Roman typeface. That the font was introduced to the typesetting world in 1931 means nothing!

CBS thinks it can ride out this storm because the New York Times has not put this on their front page. The fact is that CBS makes it's sponsors look like supporters of liars by not releasing the facts. Dan Rather ought to be fired for so doing. Like Nixon, he was ok till he began covering for the incompetence of his subordinates. Mr. Rather needs to go now, and we need to begin a campaign to make it happen by listing and contacting their sponsors, IMO. What say you?

Posted by: Lou at September 14, 2004 08:56 AM

There is some interesting information posted here regarding the font issues (I haven't bothered to personally investigate and didn't see the news broadcast). I suggest people read the page 1 article (front section) of the Chicago Tribune (September 14, 2004) as it points to an interesting problem I have observed. My e-mail to the Tribune (sent to the writers of the article) follows outlining the problem:

[NOTE: The June 24, 1973 'memo' mentioned below and in the Chicago Tribune article is apparently a genuine document that has to do with the death of some other serviceman and nothing to do with President Bush EXCEPT it is also signed by Jerry B. Killian.]

[--- Start Letter ---]

Gentlemen:

This morning I read your page 1 story in the September 14, 2004 Chicago Tribune regarding the alleged Bush service memos with great interest. I am personally unsure about the authenticity of the memos, but did notice something that may help resolve the issue. I offer the following observations:

1. Your article cites Katherine Koppenhaver, president of the National Association of Document Examiners, as questioning the authenticity of the signatures.

2. Your article includes a copy of the June 24, 1973 signature of Jerry B. Killian, against which the signature on the Bush memos is being compared by Ms. Koppenhaver.

3. I make the assumption that no one questions the authenticity of the June 24, 1973 signature or the memo upon which the signature appears.

4. You will note that the same proportional font is used on the June 24, 1973 memo, suggesting that, in fact, Jerry B. Killian did use a type writer or word processor with these capabilities.

These observations in no way prove or disprove the authenticity of the Bush memos. However, in my personal opinion, they severely undercut the strongest support for claims of fraud while calling into question the competence of Ms. Koppenhaver for failing to notice this obvious evidence.

[---- End Letter ---]

I am interested to hear what people have to say as there seems to be no conclusive answer to if these are fakes or what happened to the 'real' records if they are fakes

Posted by: Observer at September 14, 2004 10:24 AM

Your analysis of the supposedly "faked" documents used in the CBS report seems to be very thorough and logical. But I believe that you are mistaken.

All of your arguments are based on the false assumption that the documents could not have been prepared on a regular typewriter since your "experts" claim that there were no typewriters available in the early 1970s that could use the special typefonts, proportional spacing, superscripts and other features that are evidenced in the Killian letter.

You conclude that this letter, therefore, must have been "faked" more recently on a computer.

The National Guard letter was definitely not produced on a typewriter. It was, however, produced on an electronic word processor.

Remember those highly specialized typing machines?

The first of these automated word processing machines, the IBM MT/ST [Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter]was introduced by IBM in 1964. It was followed by the IBM Mag Card and IBM Mag Card II in 1969 and 1973 respectively. These specialized word processors used changeable fontstyles [a wide selection of different fonts was available from IBM] and could do proportional spacing as well as superscripts and other unique word processing capabilities. Pre-typed documents could also be stored on magnetic cards for subsequent modification or reprinting.

By the early 1970s word processors were sold by IBM and several other vendors [including Lexitron, Vydec and Wang].

The IBM word processors were actually developed at the IBM development facilities at Waco, Texas. Thousands of these word processors were sold in the US and other countries between 1964 and 1975, particularly to corporate offices and government departments [the US Defense Department bought hundreds of these word processors]. They were especially popular for retyping form letters, lengthy reports, and often reused documents such as employee files or evaluations, pre-designed forms and tables, etc.

The National Guard documents mentioned in the CBS report could very likely have been produced on one of these electronic word processors [probably an IBM Mag Card or possibly an IBM Memory Typewriter or Composer] rather than an ordinary typewriter. All of these machines were in wide use during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the US military was certainly using them by the point when the Bush letter was prepared and signed by his commander in the National Guard.

So your arguments that the documents used in the CBS Dan Rather report are "forgeries" or "fakes" don't really hold much water as far as I can see.

Posted by: DeeJay at September 14, 2004 10:41 AM

DeeJay -

This post you commented on was an initial analysis that is nearly a week old. You are way behind.

Read the rest. And even your analysis of the post is wrong - it's not merely capabilities of a typewriter it's exact matching characteristics of fonts.

Posted by: Bill at September 14, 2004 10:52 AM

Another item worth looking into is the official case usage for military rank. When I was in the service in the mid- to late-60s (about the time of Kerry and Bush), the customary type for rank on a signature line was all caps. For example, first lieutenant would be FIRST LIEUTENANT or abreviated, 1LT (no period). Likewise, lieutenant colonel would be LT COL, again no periods. One of the CBS documents uses "Lt. Colonel", which would have been incorrect on several points.

Posted by: GORDON at September 14, 2004 03:29 PM

This has been incredible reading. I went into the Army on active duty in May of 1971, and got out in Oct, 1976. The entire military service issue, as a part of the campaign, has been ridicules, in my opinion. While I was in the Army I received a check every month and enjoyed the benefits. It was a job! I met a lot of good people and enjoyed their companionship. The Vietnam War ended while I was serving and because of the reduction in force I was sent to Germany.

What I would like to see, in regards to the documents, are the originals. That would resolve everything. I have read enough that I am convinced that they are fake. The typewriters that we used in 1971-76 were some that were also used in WWII. They were old. None were electric. They were all manual. Therefore, there were always a few mistakes on each and every page, which meant that they had strikeovers and corrective fluid or ribbon. I can’t remember all that we used but I spent hours upon hours typing. I hated that part of the work. All I know is that the documents are far to clean and even. Too perfect for the old style equipment that I remember using.

Thanks for all of the information that you all have put on this site. I have been fascinated with all that I have learned.

Posted by: Steve at September 14, 2004 06:48 PM

Time to put the 4 to rest.

Times New Roman with the footless Four has been available as a font since it was introduced by Linotype designer Stanley Morison in 1932.

See complete history of the font.

http://www.linotype.com/7-510-7/stanleymorison.html

The 4 in Times New Roman has never had a foot and was available as a font for IBM Selectrics, Executive D model (proportional spacing, and superscript) as well as the 1965 Composer model which could do things many people would have difficulty doing today with MS Word such as wrap photos, pyramid text, justified text and yes the much mentioned superscript. While expensive in 1965 it was a old technology in 1972 and headed for the scrap heap.

Just think about this for a moment please. The whole purpose of the IBM Selectric models was to introduce "printing" style fonts to the typewriter. Since almost all printers fonts are proportional, the IBM had to have this feature as well, and did since 1961. IBM did have some non proportional fonts... the reason? For filling in forms. Forms in those days were set up as non proportional documents.

Typography has been my work for over 30 years. I know type. I care less about the authenticity of these memos then I do about the huge amount of bad information being spread about the art of typography. Many of the "experts" are a down right embaressment, including the one noted on this site. Let the typographers do the work, the pretenders can go back to whatever it is they do during daylight hours.

Posted by: Pinstripe at September 14, 2004 08:23 PM

You heard it here first! Old Dan has been ordered to fall on the sword! He has known from the gitgo the TANG memos were forgeries. Too crude to be anything else. The question is -- who gave him the order and why. Old Dan will probably retire (with a golden parachute) still claiming he believed the memos were real. factual.

Posted by: ICU at September 14, 2004 11:23 PM

REMINDER:

SOME OF YOU (like Pinstripe above)

ARE WWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY BEHIND

the initial analyis posted here. Read the rest of the damn blog, will ya?

Posted by: Bill at September 15, 2004 07:39 AM

Response to Pinstripe:

What narrow mindedness! There's lots of disagreement about the footed 4's, but anybody that ever looked twice at a MS Word document would immediately recognize the TANG memos as word processing generated. Mr. Pinstripe, please peruse the INDC comments that illustrate ADOBE overlay of the CBS memo with a MS Word generated facsimile. Perfect matches, even animated!!

Footed or not, the 4's have little bearing an the authenticity of the memos. Get a life and quit worrying about how your topographical expertise is being insulted. Truth be known, I doubt if anyone is fully qualified to make to make a comprehensive assessment of the topography, fonts, superscripts, etc., involved in the memo's composition. But there are literally millions of us who instantly know a MS Word document when we see one.

Get on board with the rest of us. CBS and Dan Rather are committing a fraud on the American public. Analyze the full content of the document using your topographical skills of what existed in the early 1970's and make an assessment accordingly. If you agree that the document(s) is a forgery, you're in tune with the vast majority of us. If you don't then that's OK provided you can make an intelligent argument.

Posted by: Andy at September 15, 2004 09:25 AM

The overwhelming response by the Internet community, television talking heads, and even tne MSM is that the TANG memos aired by CBS are clearly forgeries. There is little doubt in my mind that old Dan was fully aware of what he was doing when he committed this fraud. He had to have known the memos were forgeries, or at least have enough doubt to really "vet" them.

Why then did he purposely go public with such absolute nonsense that will forever label him as a yellow journalist after so many years being a top level and respected newscaster?

Some food for thought:

1. He was about to be let go (fired, retired, or demoted) and in a fit of anger decided to bring down the whole CBS News organization.

2. He wanted to reinvigorate the Bush National Guard controversy. To some extent he has succeeded, but I doubt if it will have any effect on the election.

3. He is falling on the sword for some unknown reason involving a big scandal at CBS news.

4. He has blind hatred for the Bush family.

5. He has delusions of grandeur and actually believes he can pull this fraud off.

6. He has become insane!, Lost his mind!, Gone completely beserk!, etc.

Posted by: ICU at September 15, 2004 10:20 AM

I agree with O'Reilly -- Dan Rather probably wasn't intentionally lying when he presented the original story- he just screwed up big time, was totally had, and now has egg all over his face. The fact that CBS is stonwalling -- circling the wagons -- sticking by the "story," when it is so obvious that these docs are fake -- that's the big news. The Bush National Guard issue is now irrelevent. This has TOTALLY backfired on hapless CBS and hapless John Kerry. Can anyone speculate where these docs came from? The DNC? Was CBS fed these obvious fakes by the Republicans, as bait, and did CBS take the bait hook line and sinker? Who can criticize Fox News now -- after CBS has been shown to be so obviously biased? DAN RATHER IS FINISHED. He should be fired. He is a disgrace, he is a sloppy journalist -- and he's a shill for the Democrats. ISN'T THAT UNETHICAL?

Posted by: mark at September 15, 2004 04:35 PM

I'm going beserk!! Now Dan Rather implies the documents may not be authentic (implication of the interview with Killian's secretary of 30 years ago) but the contents are!! Am I going nuts or has old Dan lost all sense of reason. But there is some hope, albeit a small one, that his boss, Mr. Heward may actually try to admit the forgeries in some obscure way.

But the problem facing CBS is becoming clear. Revealing the source of the documents would be catastrophic to the Kerry campaign. CBS and the Democratic party are in big trouble. Republican members in the House and Senate are smelling blood and are threatening to investigate. Lots of fun to follow!!! Watch Fox and listen to Rush.

Posted by: ICU at September 15, 2004 07:54 PM

"I'm going berserk....watch Fox and listen to Rush."

It'll happen.

Posted by: Joe G. at September 15, 2004 08:00 PM

But why did W stop flying? Was it a consequence of the Human Reliability Program?

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/breaking-news-story.asp?submitDate=200431401040

Posted by: Joe G. at September 15, 2004 08:03 PM

From that story:

"When pressed by the national media during the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush said he quit drinking in 1986 and hadn't used any illegal drugs since 1974.

The White House records revealed for the first time that as a teenager, Bush had four citations on his driving record for speeding and collisions, which would have required a special enlistment waiver for him to get into the Air Guard. No waiver, however, was found in the records released by the White House, USA Today reported."

Posted by: Joe G. at September 15, 2004 08:05 PM

Did Killian type up memos at a day job?

Posted by: Joe G. at September 15, 2004 08:26 PM

Sorry, Bush's guard service is not the issue any more.
Try as they might, CBS/DanRather keep trying to change the subject back to the Bush/National Guard controversy -- but hardly anybody cares about that.
What everyone wants to know is -- where did the fake documents come from -- and they are fake, and who gave them to CBS?
Yet another catastrophy for John Kerry, on top of his horrible convention. When is someone goiong to tell John Kerry and the DNC (and their willing accomplices in the Media, like CBS), that bringing up the Vietnam era is killing John Kerry's chance of getting elected? Oh well, let them commit "hari kerry."

Posted by: mark at September 15, 2004 08:31 PM

Bush's faked guard duty and ensuing lies about it are the story. Just like Clinton- not the sex, the lies.

Posted by: Joe G. at September 15, 2004 08:45 PM

But you (and the Kerry camp) don't seem to get it, Joe G. Very vew voters seem to care about the Bush National Guard story. That's really, really old news. It was old news in 1999.

Everyone is focused on the fake documents story.

It's killing Kerry. But, if that's what he and the DNC want to focus on, be my guest. This tactic is certain to ensure a Bush victory in November.

Posted by: mark at September 15, 2004 08:59 PM

Got to the http://drudgereport.com ... sure looks like a retired National Guard officer has a big ole you know what for Bush.

Seems Bill Burkett is the guy to suspect because of a screwing he thinks he got. Also, apparently his lawyer David Van Os is a long-time democrat activist... extremely active...AT LEAST THAT IS HOW IT LOOKS FROM HERE AT 3AM.....if true, the warring Kerry groups will be devasted even more than now.

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE BLOGGERS.

It looks like the development of news is now a bottom up process (search for the truth) as opposed to mainstream media looking down on everyone and deciding what they want to let us know. The days of the big lies of the Rathers of the world are dying....I call it FREEDOM OF INFORMATION.....and I love it...the big guys are on the run.....

And oh, how do ya like Teresa Heinz Kerry's comment about aid to the Hurricane victims..."let them go naked"...(let them eat cake)....Wonder how hard the Republicans will go at that one albeit the quote is out of context......but that doesn't bother politicians.

Posted by: Rod at September 16, 2004 02:57 AM

Seems that in addition to only "vetting" the story with "sources" that were foaming-at-the-mouth pro-Kerry people, and ignoring anyone who was "pro-Bush", it seems that SeeBS hired several document experts, were warned by those experts BEFORE they ran the story that the documents were obvious fakes, ignored that advice, and ran with them anyway.

Now, perhaps it is possible that SeeBS was blinded by their own rabid partisanship and were eagerly and easily suckered. But, if you are going to operate on the assumption that there is someone working in their newsroom with an IQ over 80, it is going to be very hard for them to make the case that they were innocently "duped", and that this is not deliberate slander.

However, this may be a case where adding another layer of tin foil to ones hat may be appropriate. Considering the obviousness of the forgeries, and SeeBSs absurdly clinging to the story, it certainly smells at though there could be something else afoot.

Then again, maybe they really are that biased and stupid.

"The difference between rascality and stupidity is that rascality has limits."
-Napolean

Posted by: Biff at September 16, 2004 03:37 AM

Desperate fools! The documents have NOT been proven fake .. NOT AT ALL! In fact, the evidence is vastly in favour of the documents being 100% legit, and of course, the information contained within the documents, fake or not, has not been refuted or denied by the White House, only by crude, disinforming Bush propagandists, like Rush and O'reilly.

This presidency is a total and utter disaster. Bush is not going to be remembered well, not even Nixon was as hated as Bush is! Polls be damned, this loathing is everywhere, you can feel it in the air! Americans can't wait to cast their vote and flush this failure, along with all the feelings of sickening embarrasment at having this proto-fascist as their President.

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 16, 2004 03:55 AM

Sorry BWAHA, the issue is not the hatred of Nixon or Bush, but the obvious document forgeries and the lack of integrity by CBS/Dan Rather.

Since you obviously lack the interest to examine some of the fine work presented in the Little Green Footballs Blog, I put you into the same category with Mr. Rather. Anyone with any common sense can see the light. Your far out left, preconceived notions are robbing you of intelligent discernment.

Posted by: ICU at September 16, 2004 01:23 PM

HAS DAN RATHER GONE INSANE?

There is no way Dan Rather believes that the TANG memos are genuine. Yet he continues to exhort that he does. Is he trying to fool an intelligent public or is he engaging in self delusion?

Even if you forgive old Dan for refusing to acknowledge the obvious forgeries, What's his reasoning to keep up the charade when his own witnesses are jumping ship whenever they come under the slightest scrutiny?

Then there is the ridiculous suggestion that we should believe the contents of the documents, even if they are fake!! Then why bother with documents. Just parade out a bunch of Bush haters, have them spew out predetermined balderdash, and announce that such is proof of Bush's failure carry out military orders.

Yesterday (September 14th), CBS Announced there would be a statement at noon. That was delayed until 3:30 P.M., then til 5:00 P.M. When that didn't occur, the listening public had to wait until the 6:30 P.M. CBS News. The broadcast segment relating to the documents yielded nothing new. What is the reason(s) for the delays and the eventual inconsequential broadcast? That's easy! The lawyers, old Dan, CBS management, and senior staff are having a big bruhaha trying to put a good face on an impossible situation. They can't do this because old Dan's ego is standing in the way and this mess has gone too far to back up. This is a real crisis that can only be solved if CBS house cleans CBS News, which at a minimum means that old Dan has to go.

If old Dan doesn't go, CBS News will probably survive, but at great cost to their credibility.

Enough for a while, whew!!

Posted by: ICU at September 16, 2004 03:21 PM

Poor Dan. Poor BWAHA. They are sticking to their absurd reasoning that -- even if the documents are fake (they are, the evidence is overwhelming) -- it doesn't matter, because what the fake documents SAY is allegedly true, and that's the real "story" here.

Pathetic. Bye, Dan. You have brought everlasting shame on CBS. You are dragging the network down with you. The network brass should cut you loose before you sink the entire CBS News division.

Posted by: Mark at September 16, 2004 07:07 PM

The removal of government documents is a crime. The FBI should be all over this like a Cheap suit because of the interstate transmittal of stolen government documents. Cbs hasn't been known for integrity and I don't care what happens to Dan Rather. He will be left hanging by his own petard. I do want to see the thief who took government documents brought to justice. I am a WWII and Korean Air Force vet and would be wild if someone got my records and used them against me; and I ain't got nothing to hide.

hebegb

Posted by: George Booth at September 16, 2004 10:58 PM

I find it comical that all these echo-chamber-headed parrots of Carl Rove, Grover Nordquist, et al, are so neatly passing on this week's talking points, raising hell and calling for commercial armageddon over Dan Rather, who's evidence still hasn't been proven wrong, when Fox News has a history of outright lies and distortion since its inception. Any of you guys ever call O'Reilly or Hannity, not to mention Rush, to rant about their flagrant exaggerations and blatant misinformation? Lets have some integrity, please. Or at least cut the melodrama.

As for the facts, if any one bothered to read the Boston Globe's "Authenticity backed on Bush documents," you would have read Dr. Bouffard state that he had dismissed the . . .documents. . .because the letters and formatting of the Bush memos did not match any of the 4000 samples in his database." After presented with the notion that the IBM selectric composer fit the characteristics, he stated in the NY Times that he questioned whether the military would use such a large machine, until he provided a document indicating that as early as April 1969 the Air Force had completed service testing for the Composer, possibly in preparation for purchasing the typewriters. Do you not think that the military, with its history of pork-barrel spending, would spring for a high end typewriter with all the delux options, therefore capable of superscript 'th' and proportional spacing?

Now Dr. Bouffard is absolutely an expert, but for him to base his claim that the documents are frauds on the fact that there are no samples of matching fonts in his database makes him unreliable. His presumptuous claim was disproven, and his professional ego given a dose of reality, he still wants to stand by his original assumption, yet still hasn't proved anything.

Furthermore, I find it funny that a few seem to think that getting a fax from kinko's proves the document is a forgery! DO you think the source is gonna mail the original document? Just because it was faxed from Kinko's doesn't mean it was typed there. Bouffard admits analysis would be inconclusive until he sees the original memo. CBS's website has document experts givng their analysis which supports their authenticity.

And do the serious lapses in Bush's service NOT anger any vets out there? I can see vets being angry at Kerry for, form their perspective, lumping everyone together as a war criminal, magnified by the harsh reception they received upon return from Vietnam. In that context, it's easy for Vets to feel wronged by him, though it's important to understand he wasnt naming names for the sake of indicting anyone. Kerry was trying to highlight to congress the fact that soldiers were ordered to commit wrongful acts in a wrongful war. Kerry was in the middle of the fighting, both in combat, and fighting FOR he troops in order to secure an end to the killing of our troops in what was Brown and Root's war since the 40's (they had been building infrastructure in Vietnam long before the questionable Gulf of Tonkin incident that propelled the US into increasing deployment to Vietnam. And yeah, the same Brown and Root that's now owned by Halliburton. This is not a partisan argument, it's big business. Bush family and Halliburton, LBJ and Brown and Root. Same story, different war.

Posted by: ed at September 16, 2004 11:57 PM

Wasn't my point clear enough for you? It's absolutely irrelevant if the documents are genuine or not because the information they contain ARE THE UNDISPUTED FACTS!

I don't give a crap about Dan Rather. One minute he's weeping on a late night talk show in support of a fascist war of choice and the next he's trying to put the noose around Bush's neck? He's an old whore, like most of the talking heads you see on the corporate mass media!

No, the ISSUE is why hasn't Bush been forced to defend his non-existant service record when Kerry is forced to defend himself against an unfounded smear campaign, waged by Bush operatives!?

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 17, 2004 04:08 AM

If these documents are fake, why doesn't someone come forth with evidence otherwise? Like, documetation proving that he fulfilled all of his obligations and complied with all the orders that were given at the time he served in the national guards? I feel if they can track down the so called forged document to kinkos, they can prove these aligations to be false!

Posted by: Angela at September 17, 2004 10:30 AM

That's right, Kerry supporters. Keep harping on the Bush National Guard service record -- a tired old issue that NOBODY cares about. The man has been Commander in Chief for four years -- and that is what voters are paying attention to. They want to know how Kerry would do a better job NOW. Voters don't give a damn about Kerry's Vietnam record of 30 years ago. You are assuring a Bush victory in November. BE MY GUEST.

Posted by: Mark at September 17, 2004 03:26 PM

Famous last words.

Bush is not going to win in November because the American people have seen what kind of Commander-in-Chief he is; one that will lie to the American people to launch an unnecessary which has resulted in over 1000 American deaths, god knows how many greviously injured, and approximately 20000 dead Iraqis .. and counting.

Posted by: BWAHA! at September 17, 2004 05:36 PM

I NEED SOME ASSISTANCE AND/OR CORRECTION ON THIS:

The F-102 that GWB flew was difficult to fly and not very good in a fighter bomber role. In fact it was known the "THUD" in Viet Nam where its principal role was to run interference for F-4's and other aircraft more suited to bombing missions.

The interference role consisted of flying to the target first and drawing SAM and other anti-aircraft fire away from the bomber aircraft that followed. As a result "THUDS" took a terrible beating in their sacraficial role.

Surely GWB was aware of this and in training to fly F-102's he had to be aware of the great danger he would face if called up to serve in Viet Nam.

My name is not Dan Rather. I would especially appreciate comment/correction from Viet Nam "THUD" pilots.

Posted by: ICU at September 17, 2004 05:53 PM

I STAND CORRECTED!!

F-105's were "THUDS"!!!
As I said, my name is not Dan Rather!!

Posted by: ICU at September 17, 2004 06:06 PM

Has anyone wondered why our illustrious President has never stepped forward to deny the substance of what is in these "disupted" memos? As some here have observed, what difference does it make it the memos are forged if their content is accurate. And ..... that being true .... why would someone need to forge a document bearing the truth?

Posted by: Zebra at September 17, 2004 08:36 PM

http://www.nationallampoon.com/nl/05_av/cbs/CBSrather.asp

Posted by: Look at this at September 17, 2004 08:44 PM

I used Word 97 and the results looked exactly like Mr. Newcomer's overlay demonstration. There seems to be some discussion about the source's version that was used to create the forged memos. We will only know this when the forger (Burkett?) is identified and his PC is examined. However this is unlikely barring a court issued search warrent.

It is interesting to note that the proponents of the MS Word assertion have produced numerous examples (using overlays) of how the forged memos were created. I have yet to see an example of any typewriter produced recreation of the memos by those who believe the memos are valid!! Nor do expect to!!

Posted by: ICU at September 18, 2004 10:42 AM

From the LA Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-buckhead18sep18,1,1674359.story?coll=la-home-headlines

"Reached by telephone Friday, MacDougald, 46, confirmed that he was Buckhead but declined to answer questions about his political background or how he learned so much about the CBS documents so quickly.

"You can ask the questions, but I'm not going to answer them," he said. "I'm just going to stick to doing no interviews."
"

Curious.

Posted by: Joe G. at September 18, 2004 12:37 PM

How competent IS our Commander in Chief? The military weighs in:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,1305360,00.html


"Far graver than Vietnam

Most senior US military officers now believe the war on Iraq has turned into a disaster on an unprecedented scale

'Bring them on!" President Bush challenged the early Iraqi insurgency in July of last year. Since then, 812 American soldiers have been killed and 6,290 wounded, according to the Pentagon. Almost every day, in campaign speeches, Bush speaks with bravado about how he is "winning" in Iraq. "Our strategy is succeeding," he boasted to the National Guard convention on Tuesday.

But, according to the US military's leading strategists and prominent retired generals, Bush's war is already lost. Retired general William Odom, former head of the National Security Agency, told me: "Bush hasn't found the WMD. Al-Qaida, it's worse, he's lost on that front. That he's going to achieve a democracy there? That goal is lost, too. It's lost." He adds: "Right now, the course we're on, we're achieving Bin Laden's ends."

Retired general Joseph Hoare, the former marine commandant and head of US Central Command, told me: "The idea that this is going to go the way these guys planned is ludicrous. There are no good options. We're conducting a campaign as though it were being conducted in Iowa, no sense of the realities on the ground. It's so unrealistic for anyone who knows that part of the world. The priorities are just all wrong."

Jeffrey Record, professor of strategy at the Air War College, said: "I see no ray of light on the horizon at all. The worst case has become true. There's no analogy whatsoever between the situation in Iraq and the advantages we had after the second world war in Germany and Japan."

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W Andrew Terrill, professor at the Army War College's strategic studies institute - and the top expert on Iraq there - said: "I don't think that you can kill the insurgency". According to Terrill, the anti-US insurgency, centred in the Sunni triangle, and holding several cities and towns - including Fallujah - is expanding and becoming more capable as a consequence of US policy.

"We have a growing, maturing insurgency group," he told me. "We see larger and more coordinated military attacks. They are getting better and they can self-regenerate. The idea there are x number of insurgents, and that when they're all dead we can get out is wrong. The insurgency has shown an ability to regenerate itself because there are people willing to fill the ranks of those who are killed. The political culture is more hostile to the US presence. The longer we stay, the more they are confirmed in that view."

After the killing of four US contractors in Fallujah, the marines besieged the city for three weeks in April - the watershed event for the insurgency. "I think the president ordered the attack on Fallujah," said General Hoare. "I asked a three-star marine general who gave the order to go to Fallujah and he wouldn't tell me. I came to the conclusion that the order came directly from the White House." Then, just as suddenly, the order was rescinded, and Islamist radicals gained control, using the city as a base.

"If you are a Muslim and the community is under occupation by a non-Islamic power it becomes a religious requirement to resist that occupation," Terrill explained. "Most Iraqis consider us occupiers, not liberators." He describes the religious imagery common now in Fallujah and the Sunni triangle: "There's talk of angels and the Prophet Mohammed coming down from heaven to lead the fighting, talk of martyrs whose bodies are glowing and emanating wonderful scents."

"I see no exit," said Record. "We've been down that road before. It's called Vietnamisation. The idea that we're going to have an Iraqi force trained to defeat an enemy we can't defeat stretches the imagination. They will be tainted by their very association with the foreign occupier. In fact, we had more time and money in state building in Vietnam than in Iraq."

General Odom said: "This is far graver than Vietnam. There wasn't as much at stake strategically, though in both cases we mindlessly went ahead with the war that was not constructive for US aims. But now we're in a region far more volatile, and we're in much worse shape with our allies."

Terrill believes that any sustained US military offensive against the no-go areas "could become so controversial that members of the Iraqi government would feel compelled to resign". Thus, an attempted military solution would destroy the slightest remaining political legitimacy. "If we leave and there's no civil war, that's a victory."

General Hoare believes from the information he has received that "a decision has been made" to attack Fallujah "after the first Tuesday in November. That's the cynical part of it - after the election. The signs are all there."

He compares any such planned attack to the late Syrian dictator Hafez al-Asad's razing of the rebel city of Hama. "You could flatten it," said Hoare. "US military forces would prevail, casualties would be high, there would be inconclusive results with respect to the bad guys, their leadership would escape, and civilians would be caught in the middle. I hate that phrase collateral damage. And they talked about dancing in the street, a beacon for democracy."

General Odom remarked that the tension between the Bush administration and the senior military officers over Iraqi was worse than any he has ever seen with any previous government, including Vietnam. "I've never seen it so bad between the office of the secretary of defence and the military. There's a significant majority believing this is a disaster. The two parties whose interests have been advanced have been the Iranians and al-Qaida. Bin Laden could argue with some cogency that our going into Iraq was the equivalent of the Germans in Stalingrad. They defeated themselves by pouring more in there. Tragic."

Posted by: Joe G. at September 18, 2004 12:53 PM

The discussion of the authenticity of these documents focusses on typewriters vs. word-processors. That neglects the fact that the Wang wordprocessing system was widely used by the military, probably as early as the date on these memos. They look a lot like my progress reports that I printed on a Wang daisy-wheel printer in 1984. I thought proportional spacing was pretty slick... Granted, there was 12 years between 1972 and 1984, but the Wangwriters of 1972 probably used the same fonts. It's a question I haven't seen raised or answered anywhere.

Posted by: Lyle S at September 20, 2004 12:47 AM

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