Proportional Outrage; There's No Substance to the Outrage over CBS's Memo Gaff
By Anthony Wade
As we continue to track the course of the media slant for Bush toward the election we have the story about the CBS memos allegedly written by the now deceased, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. Dan Rather, respected journalist for three decades ran with a story about memos that came into his possession confirming what all Americans already know, that George W. Bush did not serve honorably in the Air National Guard. The investigation into these memos has been going on since 1999. As soon as the story broke, the Bush emissaries were unleashed to spin as much disinformation as possible and more importantly to switch the focus of the story. We started hearing the following:
The font of the memos was Times New Roman, which is a computer based font, not available in the 1970s.
The spacing on the memos was indicative of a computer, again, not available when the memos were supposedly written.
There was the usage of a superscript "th " which is a default setting on Microsoft Word, again, not available on the 1970s.
Fake! The memos are fake! This was the shrill cry from the right as they desperately tried to frame the debate not about Bush 's service but about Dan Rather. At the behest of Karl Rove, this became "Rathergate ", a ridiculous attempt to smear the messenger instead of dealing with the issue. All the lead stories were about the memos themselves, not about the content or the substance. Unfortunately the truths about their concerns soon were made public as well:
Times New Roman font was actually introduced in the 1930s. Not that this matters since the memo is NOT written in TNR font.
The spacing was not indicative of a computer, as the lines were not proportionately spaced.
There were many brands of typewriters in the early 70 's which did use superscripts, including the "Selectra " series. More importantly, the superscript was not present in all available spots in the memos, which it would have been if the memos were written on a computer with default settings.
Never to be discouraged, the pundits for the president persisted and now we hear:
The secretary from the 1970 's said she did not type them!
The part they are leaving out is that she did say that the memos correctly expressed the concerns that Killian had about Bush. Did you get that? Here is her exact quote:
"The information in here was correct, but it was picked up from the real ones," she said.
Isn 't that the salient point? The key witness the GOP is relying on has CONFIRMED that the memos were indeed written and contained the content in the Rather memos. That is not all though. The supervisor of the now deceased Killian also agrees that this is how Killian felt back then. He felt that Bush had been given special privilege and that he was being asked to sugarcoat his evaluation. I do not see the talking heads addressing these points instead they pontificate eternally about how Dan Rather is now the story and the problem. Never mind that this is all conjecture. Never mind that the true story is this president and his lack of service. Instead the American people are doused with rhetoric that this was dirty politics in an election year so they can paint their guy as a poor hapless victim. Maybe if GW had bothered to tell the truth from the beginning about his lack of service, this would not still be an issue to begin with. The worst though was yet to come.
Now that Rove has the story off of his guy and onto Rather, the envelope gets pushed:
"The biggest question I have -- and I think the American people have -- is where did the memos come from? We're dealing with the alleged forgery of government documents to influence a presidential race during war. This isn't politics as usual. It's dangerous. It's possibly criminal. This is really serious stuff." - House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas)
Let me see if I got this straight. Tom Delay is this upset because of a journalist who refuses to reveal his sources about four memos that have no relevance to anything but where exactly was he about Robert Novak refusing to reveal his sources when he outed CIA agent Valerie Plame? You remember Plame don 't you? A couple of years back Plame 's husband, Joseph Wilson wrote an op-ed piece criticizing Bush for saying that there was intelligence about Saddam Hussein trying to negotiate to buy yellowcake from the Niger for use in nuclear weaponry. Wilson had some knowledge of this because he was sent to the Niger to investigate and came back with confirmation that it was patently false. Bush, undeterred, went ahead and not only used it as intelligence but referenced in his State of the Union speech. Because of Wilson 's gross act of honesty, Bush had to send a message loud and clear that disloyalty to him, even in support of the country, would not be tolerated. Immediately, right-wing journalist Robert Novak released the fact that Wilson 's wife was a covert CIA operative, exposing her to possibly being killed. THIS is criminal activity. Novak was pressed hard to divulge his source, which everyone knows came from the administration; he refused citing that as a journalist he did not have to reveal his sources.
Speaking of Novak, he had the NERVE to weigh in on this matter and said that Rather should give up his sources. When his hypocrisy was pointed out to him he actually said that he was correct in the Plame case for not revealing, but Rather still should. This is the mentality of those on the right. A federal crime was committed in the outing of an undercover CIA agent. There is no crime in the Rather memo story. Where is the proportional outrage? Are we saying that 4 obscure memos which are factually correct are MORE offensive than nearly killing one of our CIA operatives as political retribution?
Here is the truth. We all knew that George W. Bush did NOT serve honorably in the Texas Air National Guard before the CBS story. We did not need the memos for proof. Bush was confirmed AWOL last month. This fact was corroborated by Lawrence J. Korb, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower, Reserve Affairs, Installations and Logistics under Ronald Reagan from 1981-1985. Korb also dismissed the nonsense put out by the Bushies that the Guard was lenient back then about service time by stating, "At that time they were very strict about fulfilling their obligations -- and we don't like to say it -- because this was a way to avoid the draft and going to Vietnam."'
There are also now a group of veterans who are saying Bush never showed up in Alabama where he was supposed to sign up with another unit after his transfer from Texas . There is Ben Barnes who now admits that he pulled strings for Bush to jump him head of hundreds of more qualified applicants for that Guard slot. There is Bush 's former professor who states that Bush BRAGGED about his father getting him his Guard slot. There is his former roommate who states that Bush did not fulfill his obligation to the Guard. The very secretary that the GOP trots out to discredit Rather has ADMITTED THAT THE CONTENT IS ACCUARTE. The former supervisor of Killian also expressed that the content is accurate. How much more proof do we need?
Here is all you need to know about the Killian memos. It has been nine days since their release and the White House has yet to answer the question about them. They have yet to say they are fraudulent. This is the pattern of Karl Rove and George W. Bush. Realizing that they have no ground to stand on they frame the debate about someone else, in this case Dan Rather. They send out their media army to talk about the memos the memos the memos. The more you concentrate on the memos, the less likely you are to look at the cold hard truth, that George W. Bush never served honorably. More importantly, you concentrate on a war from 35 years ago instead of Bush 's War, going miserably now in Iraq . They send out blowhards like Delay and Novak who have no credibility to stand on because of the Valerie Plame incident, which was a true crime. Their outrage has no proportion, because it has no substance.
Anthony Wade is co-administrator of a website devoted to educating the populace to the ongoing lies of President George W. Bush and seeking his removal from office. He is a 37-year-old independent writer from New York with political commentary articles seen on multiple websites. A Christian progressive and professional counselor, Mr. Wade believes that you can have faith and hold elected officials accountable for lies and excess.
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