It’s a start…

Expert Cited by CBS Says He Didn’t Authenticate Papers

In the WaPo, who must be smelling blood in the water:

A detailed comparison by The Washington Post of memos obtained by CBS News with authenticated documents on Bush’s National Guard service reveals dozens of inconsistencies, ranging from conflicting military terminology to different word-processing techniques.

The analysis shows that half a dozen Killian memos released earlier by the military were written with a standard typewriter using different formatting techniques from those characteristic of computer-generated documents. CBS’s Killian memos bear numerous signs that are more consistent with modern-day word-processing programs, particularly Microsoft Word.


Of more than 100 records made available by the 147th Group and the Texas Air National Guard, none used the proportional spacing techniques characteristic of the CBS documents. Nor did they use a superscripted “th” in expressions such as “147th Group” and or “111th Fighter Intercept Squadron.”

And near and dear to my own heart:

In a CBS News broadcast Friday night rebutting allegations that the documents had been forged, Rather displayed an authenticated Bush document from 1968 that included a small “th” next to the numbers “111” as proof that Guard typewriters were capable of producing superscripts. In fact, say Newcomer and other experts, the document aired by CBS News does not contain a superscript, because the top of the “th” character is at the same level as the rest of the type. Superscripts rise above the level of the type.

I pointed this out right after the CBS telecast and have a screenshot of the comparison. Dan Rather and CBS News thought we were idiots.

Apparently, they still do:

In its broadcast last night, CBS News produced a new expert, Bill Glennon, an information technology consultant. He said that IBM electric typewriters in use in 1972 could produce superscripts and proportional spacing similar to those used in the disputed documents.

Any argument to the contrary is “an out-and-out lie,” Glennon said in a telephone interview. But Glennon said he is not a document expert, could not vouch for the memos’ authenticity and only examined them online because CBS did not give him copies when asked to visit the network’s offices.

By Friday afternoon, after refusing to name sources or authenticating experts and claiming that the questions raised in the memos were more important than the authenticity of the memos, CBS News had reached the bottom of the hole. Friday evening, Dan Rather broke out the shovel and began digging. Over the weekend they reached bedrock. Apparently not deterred, CBS News is now working to blast their way through even that.

The more they deny that these are forgeries, the more egg they’re going to have to clean off their face when they admit that they are.

And all because of a bunch of us sitting around in our pajamas.


  1. Glennon posted on a few leftist blogs. It got noticed and CBS called him. He used to repair typewriters. The ‘technology consultant’ appears to be self awarded. Google has nothing, which is odd for a man in his ‘profession’.

  2. In any event, it is an argument from authority, without any evidence whatsoever, and therefore absolutely useless. However, his expert opinion is the perfect starting point for a demonstration. If he is correct, he should be able to specify all the hardware requirements for a successful demonstration.

  3. VR: ‘It is an argument from authority, without any evidence whatsoever’. That’s exactly what’s got my goat about this whole thing. I DO believe that all of this input from experts and ‘experts’ is useful to the discussion, and it’s certainly informative, but the answer lies in the documents themselves. To be honest, I don’t really care if this guy CAN cobble together a working typewriter that can reproduce these formats. If the other documents from that office from that time don’t match, what does it matter if it was possible. The comparisons the WaPo notes (and thanks for the tip, BTW) hold a lot more water with me that anything some alleged expert says was possible or impossible. Chuck: This ‘expert’ shows the depths to which CBS is digging. They trot him out, even though he clearly states he’s not a document expert and that he only looked at the memos online because CBS wouldn’t let him look at the real things. I don’t understand how they think this helps them at all, but then I don’t really understand how much of anything they’ve done about this helps them at all.

  4. I agree a demonstration wouldn’t be sufficient, but it would change the argument and bolster CBS’s position greatly. Right now, it has not been demonstrated that it was EVEN POSSIBLE to create these memos at that time. It is pointless to argue about how common an IBM Composer (or whatever) might have been when it hasn’t even been established it could do the job. If the mythical typing equipment is so rare that none exist for a demonstration today, that alone is enough to say these memos are almost certainly fake.

  5. Agreed 100%. In fact, I wasn’t trying to debate your comment at all. I think that right now the onus has been shifted to CBS to prove that the memos are authentic. If they can demonstrate that it’s at least theoretically possible to have typed them in 1973, then the onus might shift back to the forgery-theorists (like me) to prove that they’re fakes. I guess it would depend upon how difficult it would have been to put together a machine capable of typing them and how likely it was that such a beast, in fact, might have been used on that base at that time.