Lt. Col. Bill Burkett, Texas National Guard, retired, caused a firestorm in September, 2004, when he was involved in a 60 Minutes segment which dealt with President Bush 's service in the National Guard. While CBS ultimately retracted their story, the basic truth of the revelations is unchallenged. Peabody Award winner Mary Mapes, who produced the segment of 60 Minutes and was fired after CBS apologized for it, maintains the authenticity of the documents and claims that the attacks against her were orchestrated by a right-wing Internet smear campaign. She wrote a book, Truth and Duty: The Press, the President, and the Privilege of Power about the scandal. Lt. Col. Burkett has been attacked and maligned for his involvement in this episode. In my eyes, Lt. Col. Burkett served his country honorably and in this instance tried to do the right thing, at great personal cost. He is a true 'local hero ' in a time sorely lacking many. This OpEd piece is in response to my request that he write about why he did what he did. Below is his reply.
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