Smoking Gun

Here’s a big, loud dog that didn’t bark in what CBS’s Rathergate report.

So, putting aside the typos, the superscripts, the signatures, the wrong header and address, and all the previously dissected items susceptible to subjective interpretations, how do I prove this memo is a fake? Easy— for the weekend that 1st Lt. Bush was supposedly ordered to report for his physical, May 13-14, 1972, the Ellington Air Guard Base was closed. It was Mother’s Day. Except for emergencies, Air Guard units never drilled on Mother’s Day; the divorce lawyers would be waiting at the gate.
If George Bush showed up at the clinic that weekend, he would have had to get the key from the gate guard.

The drill weekend for May 1972 was the following weekend, May 20-21. A survey of the pay and flight records of several of the Texas Air Guard members of that period shows no activity for May 13-14, but drill pay vouchers and flights for May 20-21. Guard flight physicals were normally conducted on the drill weekends, because that is the only time all the required clinic personnel were on hand to complete lab work and flight surgeon consultations mandated for aircrew. Does anyone think that Jerry Killian, squadron commander and one of the drill-schedule planners would not know on May 4 that the clinic was closed the next weekend?

As the author, William Campenni, notes elsewhere in his piece, those facts, all by themselves, shatter any lingering credibility in the Mapes/Bullock memos (which can no longer be referred to in any honesty as “Killian memos”). One would think that had either CBS News or “the Panel” of Richard Thornburgh and Louis Boccardi known the other officers from then-Lieutenant George W. Bush’s squadron hadn’t logged a single hour during the weekend when Bush was allegedly ordered to report for a flight physical, that would have been the last step needed to determine the memos were fraudulent.

Except that they did have that information:

While CBS, in its rush to judgment, might have missed this fatal flaw in the Burkett memo, its investigative law firm, Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP, cannot be excused. Why? Because one of their investigating lawyers was informed of this fact on Nov. 15 and given a list of seven witnesses who worked in the same offices with Jerry Killian every day in 1972. (Disclosure statement: I was the source.) The panel report makes no mention of this, and a canvass of most of the witness list reveals no contact attempt by Kirkpatrick & Lockhart.

As John Podhoretz noted last week, Thornburgh and Boccardi were not an ‘independent panel.’ They and their law firm were hired by CBS–and following the ethical standards of lawyers in this country, their first duty was protecting their clients. They did so in true lawyerly fashion by simply not mentioning inconvenient facts, and without any adversarial attorneys on the other side, they may well have assumed that nobody would ever call them on it.

Wrong guess. Information is no longer the sole property of the MSM–or their law firms.

The report is a whitewash. The memos are frauds–and CBS still won’t admit it. So we’ll just have to go on doing the job they’re supposed to be doing themselves.

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12 Responses to “Smoking Gun”

  1. rosignol Says:

    It was Mother’s Day.

    [jaw hits ground]

    Of all the insignificant minor details to turn up…

  2. Joan Says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, for pointing out yet another logical error in the so-called Killian memos.

    It irks me no end that people consistently ignore the fact that TANG policy was for flight physicals to take place in the month of the officer’s birthday. It is highly unlikely that Killian would’ve ordered Bush to report for a physical 2 months before he was really due for it.

    Knowing that the base was closed on the day Bush was supposed to have reported? BWAHAHAHAHA! Busted — yet again! But it won’t matter a bit to the rabid Bush-haters, the memos will remain “fake but accurate.”

  3. caltechgirl Says:

    holy cow! I can’t believe we were all so het up about the format of the dates that we overlooked the actual date! That was the easiest thing to look up. Damn….

  4. Not Exactly Rocket Science Says:

    Sometimes the simplest things are the easiest…

    Will Collier over at Vodkapundit points out an eentsy-beentsy little detail we all overlooked in our exhaustive analysis of the See BS Rathergate memos: the Date.

  5. RandMan Says:

    One more nail in the coffin of the TANG story.

    After reading the post and the comments, I began to think back about other agenda driven stories of the last few years:

    Food Lion — ABC had producers working undercover to document violations. ABC didn’t disclose it was their operatives committing the violations. Turns out the producers had been union activists upset with Food Lion, a non-union shop.

    NBC — Remember the exploding trucks that wouldn’t explode? After several unsuccessful attempts, incindiary devices were fitted to the truck, an accident was staged and finally BLAMMO!! NBC had its video of the story.

    I could go on as other stories pop into my head, like Peter Arnett and chemical weapons in Vietnam, CNN’s recent admission that they didn’t report truthfully about Iraq/Saddam in exchange for access, etc. There are others but I’ll stop.

    I shudder to think how many stories, big and small, are out there that have been misreported and we don’t even know.

  6. M. E. Says:

    Here’s another one, albeit a small one: The AP story back in September that said the crowd at a Bush rally “booed” when hearing that Pres. Clinton was hospitalized. There were no boos. I know; I was there, and I blogged about it. Other bloggers spread the truth, too, but the lie was still out there, and although AP changed the story, they never really admitted they were dead wrong in the first place.

  7. triticale Says:

    Funny thing about the Milwaukee area rally story M.E. mentioned. Later versions of the news report, minus the allegation of booing, appeared without a byline.

  8. Rod Stanton Says:

    Viacom engineered the report to be a coverup. They hired Dick because he has been fighting the Bushes for 12 years. Viacom knew Dick would lie to hurt Bush and coverup the smear. Dick set out to NOT find political motives; so he found none. He lied but got a small win against his enemy Bush. Viacom and the MSM got their coverup and they are happy.

  9. Yippee-Ki-Yay! Says:

    Awww, Holy @#$!!

    Will Collier links yet another tiny little detail that makes the whole Rathergate memo hoax simply impossible to defend. Exposing CBS William Campenni It's time to drive a stake into this continuing saga lest it become the new grassy knoll for …

  10. McGehee Says:

    Seems the only times I hear about this Bush-Thornburgh feud is reading Rod Stanton’s comments.

  11. Baseball Crank Says:

    POLITICS: Why Didn’t Someone Check This Before?

    A story that won’t die: Will Collier links to a Washington Times piece that points out yet another reason to regard as a fabrication the claim that Bush refused to take a National Guard physical when ordered to do so:…

  12. Notes & Musings Says:

    Zealotry, Meet Calendar

    Oooops Oh, my, this seems so … unfortunate … for those who continue to insist that those “Killian memos” are not forgeries. So, putting aside the typos, the superscripts, the signatures, the wrong header and address, and all the previously…

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