Saturday, September 25, 2004

Why the sudden change of heart?

Seems to me they had this one lined up to go to use against Bush as well. We can only speculate why it was pulled:
NEW YORK - CBS News has shelved a "60 Minutes" report on the rationale for war in Iraq because it would be "inappropriate" to air it so close to the presidential election, the network said on Saturday.

The report on weapons of mass destruction was set to air on Sept. 8 but was put off in favor of a story on President Bush's National Guard service. The Guard story was discredited because it relied on documents impugning Bush's service that were apparently fake.

CBS News spokeswoman Kelli Edwards would not elaborate on why the timing of the Iraq report was considered inappropriate.

Replacing faiths

LGF points out that the new socialist government in Spain is cutting ties with the Catholic Church while increasing funds for Muslims. Pulling out of Iraq was just the first step, it seems. Looking at this combined with the actions of France, it would appear that Europe has a dark future ahead.

Another AP editorial disguised as news

Check this one out: How stuff like this piece entitled "Bush Twists Kerry's Words on Iraq" gets out on the wires is beyond me. It has "it was not unlike the spin that Kerry and his forces sometimes place on Bush's words, " in the second graph. It is not the call of the reporter to state such things. This belongs on an editorial page, not the news section. Pathetic...simply pathetic, and crap like this gets put in papers nationwide everyday.

UPDATE: More than a few Freepers have pointed out that Jennifer Loven, the author of this piece, "is married to Roger Ballentine, who is president of Green Strategies, a consulting firm specializing in energy and environmental issues, and was previously deputy assistant to President Clinton for environmental initiatives and chairman of the White House Climate Change Task Force. He also sits on the board of directors of Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) along with actors Ed Begley, Jr. and Larry Hagman." Why am I not surprised by this?

UPDATE#2 Another Freeper has made an observation:

Here is an excerpt of a (biased) report from the AP
Campaigning by bus through hotly contested Wisconsin on Friday, Bush sought to counter recently sharpened criticism by Kerry about his Iraq policies:
_He stated flatly that Kerry had said earlier in the week "he would prefer the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to the situation in Iraq today." The line drew gasps of surprise from Bush's audience in a Racine, Wis., park. "I just strongly disagree," the president said.

And yet, when I went to look up a transcript of the speech, this is what I found:
And the way to prevail, the way toward the successful conclusion we all want, the way to secure Iraq and bring our troops home is not to wilt or waver or send mixed signals. (Applause.) Incredibly this week, my opponent said he would prefer the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to the situation in Iraq today.

I mention this because I recall the time they were caught in the act of replacing applause for boos. Now it seems they are replacing boos for "gasps of surprise"
UPDATE#3: Power Line has a good piece on this, as does Polipundit and please note that the article has been retitled, but we all know that the damage has already been done..the story will no doubt run tomorrow in countless papers and accepted as fact.

Saturday Article round up

Bob Novak points out that a 60 Minutes producer, "is a former staffer for New York Democrats who was still making political contributions while on the network's payroll."

Mark Steyn says that
Kerry's looking for American failure -- and he's it:
What a small, graceless man Kerry is. The nature of adversarial politics in a democratic society makes George W. Bush his opponent. But it was entirely Kerry's choice to expand the field, to put himself on the other side of Allawi and the Iraqi people. Given his frequent boasts that he knows how to reach out to America's allies, it's remarkable how often he feels the need to insult them: Britain, Australia, and now free Iraq. But, because this pampered cipher has floundered for 18 months to find any rationale for his candidacy other than his indestructible belief in his own indispensability, Kerry finds himself a month before the election with no platform to run on other than American defeat. He has decided to co-opt the jihadist death-cult, the Baathist dead-enders, the suicide bombers and other misfits and run as the candidate of American failure. This would be shameful if he weren't so laughably inept at it.
Over at the Washington Post, Colibert King takes another look at Kerry's detractors.

The other paper in the district, The Washington Times, looks at a possible smoking gun involving Joe Lockhart.

John Podhoretz talks about Dan Rather's Day of Reckoning.

Other wisdom on Mr. Rather's problems comes from Victor Davis Hanson.

On the subject of media bias, the Knight-Ridder blog asks if Dumb Women are for Bush.

And Iran is telling the UN, that America is the cause of terrorism.

Surprising support

Mark O. Hatfield, who served as a U.S. senator from Oregon from 1967 to 1997 has quite the anti-war record. As that state's governor, he was the only governor who refused to sign a statement supporting President Johnson's Vietnam War policy, he joined with the anti-war George McGovern to try end that war. He was the only senator who voted against both the Democrat and Republican resolutions authorizing the use of force in the 1991 Gulf War. He was even against Clinton's decision to send American troops to Bosnia and never voted for a military appropriations bill. So reading this is a bit of a shock:

Having seen atrocious loss in World War II, I understand the devastation of armed conflict. We have paid dearly with American and Iraqi lives for our commitment, but we cannot afford the alternative. Nor can we afford a president who puts a wet finger in the air and turns over his decisions to pollsters.

President Bush has indeed taken heat for his resolve in pursuing the war on terrorism and efforts in Iraq. His steadfastness and resolve in the face of his critics are deserving of praise.

As terrorists continue to plot against our country and our interests, the American people must choose between action and inaction, between security and insecurity.

I believe the choice is clear. I will proudly cast my vote for President George W. Bush.

How did Moore know?

Apparently, the attack upon the president over those National Guard memos was quite well known in liberal circles. Take a look at this blog posting over at Michael Moore's site, on Sept. 7--one day before the CBS broadcast was made:
Later today (Wed.), the Boston Globe, the A.P. and Dan Rather all present new and damning information about how George W. Bush got moved to the front of the line to get in the Texas Air National Guard, and how he then went AWOL. I am putting every ounce of trust I have in my fellow Americans that a majority of them get this, get the injustice of it all, and get the sad, sick twisted irony of how it relates very, very much to our precious Election 2004.
How did you know, Mike? Sounds like everybody in those circles had a heads up.

Friday, September 24, 2004


Kristol nails it:
There is some chance, after all, that John Kerry will be president in four months. If so, what kind of situation will he have created for himself? France will smile on him, but provide no troops. Those allies that have provided troops, from Britain and Poland and Australia and Japan and elsewhere, will likely recall how Kerry sneered at them, calling them "the coerced and the bribed." The leader of the government in Iraq, upon whom the success of John Kerry's Iraq policy will depend, will have been weakened before his enemies and ours--and will also remember the insult. Is this really how Kerry wants to go down in history: Willing to say anything to try to get elected, no matter what the damage to the people of Iraq, to American interests, and even to himself?
As usual, read the whole thing.

What got bumped for the memo story

How ironic. 60 Minutes bumped this piece to air the now discredited Bush National Guard report:
The displaced item was to have criticized the Bush Administration for its alleged reliance on forged documents - specifically, forged documents provided by Italian sources purporting to show Iraqi efforts to purchase uranium from Niger. I have not seen the displaced item, but Newsweek's description suggests it was to have falsely asserted that Mr. Bush's State of the Union Address relied on the Niger uranium forgeries:
[T]he story, narrated by "60 Minutes" correspondent Ed Bradley, asked tough questions about how the White House came to embrace the fraudulent documents and why administration officials chose to include a 16-word reference to the questionable uranium purchase in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union speech.
Read the whole thing.

More Retractions

Not a good day for some in the MSM, the Fort Worth Star Telegram had to make a retraction about their report that Bill Burkett claimed that Joe Lockhart "tried to convince [Burkett] to give them the documents."
This article has been corrected from the version published in the newspaper and online Friday morning to reflect that Bill Burkett was referring to conversations with CBS when he said, "They tried to convince me as to why I should give them the documents." The earlier version incorrectly reported that he had discussed the documents with Joe Lockhart of the Kerry campaign.
That must have hurt. Meanwhile, the writer of John Kerry's bio fired off a press release that said The New York Times messed up his quote in their piece:
Author and historian, Douglas Brinkley, issued the following statement to correct a report by the New York Times today:

"A story in the September 24 New York Times leaves the false impression that I think John Kerry was not 'the war hero we thought he was.' Nothing could be further from the truth. He was a great American fighting man in Vietnam and deserved all of his medals. Over the past year I have vigorously defended Kerry's military record and will continue to do so.

"My comment was meant to be about the political consequences of the anti-Kerry Swift boat attacks vs. the anti-Bush National Guard ones. I was speaking about public perceptions not my personal beliefs."

Haven't seen a retraction from the Times yet. If anybody spots it, let me know so I can post it. At least the Star-Telegram didn't take two weeks to admit their mistake like some major television networks we know.

Who's scruffy lookin'?

Boy, I make one observation about John Kerry and a certain droid from a 27 year old movie, and everyone jumps on the bandwagon.

First, Instapundit links to me, which brings in another surge of web hits, and now James Taranto with OpinionJournal Best of the Web Today has taken my little piece and expanded on it with "Let the Wookie Win".
A blogger called "bkm" has come forth with one of the most inventive insights of the 2004 campaign: John Kerry may actually be C-3PO, the neurotic, English-sounding metallic droid, who by the way served in the Clone Wars. We weren't about to take the word of some jammie-clad no-name, so we went out and bought the "Star Wars" DVD box set, released just this week (Karl Rove must've had something to do with the timing), watched the first movie, which is now called "Star Wars IV" for obscure reasons, and jotted down a bunch of Threepio quotes:
"Some jammie-clad no name" huh? James then takes my idea and comes up with a bunch of other Star Wars quotes along with some of the comments posted by my readers for his piece.

"Some jammie-clad no name"...James, for the record, I'll have you know that I was fully clothed when I wrote that little piece.

Who's scruffy lookin'?

Guess who's supporting Bush?

Color me shocked:

With the scandal at CBS still festering, questions are being raised about whether a felony was committed when the network broadcast apparently forged memos in an attempt to discredit George W. Bush. Yesterday, the chairman of CBS's parent company chose Hong Kong as a place to drop a little bomb. Sumner Redstone, who calls himself a "liberal Democrat," said he's supporting President Bush.

The chairman of the entertainment giant Viacom said the reason was simple: Republican values are what U.S. companies need. Speaking to some of America's and Asia's top executives gathered for Forbes magazine's annual Global CEO Conference, Mr. Redstone declared: "I look at the election from what's good for Viacom. I vote for what's good for Viacom. I vote, today, Viacom.

Not the war hero we thought

You know, you really have problems when your own biographer starts doubting your word:

"Every American now knows that there's something really screwy about George Bush and the National Guard, and they know that John Kerry was not the war hero we thought he was," said Douglas Brinkley, the historian and author of a friendly biography of Mr. Kerry's war years, acknowledging that Mr. Kerry's opponents had succeeded in raising questions about his service.

"It's kind of neutralized itself, just by tiring everybody out," Mr. Brinkley said.

Is he telling the truth this time?

Bil Burkett is now spinning another tale about those memos. But the problem is, who's going to believe him? He has really shot holes in his credibility as of late:
Former National Guard commander Bill Burkett has become the first player in the CBS forged document scandal to implicate John Kerry's presidential campaign, telling the Fort Worth Star Telegram that top Kerry aide Joe Lockhart pressed him to turn over damaging evidence on George Bush.

During a single phone conversation with Lockhart, Burkett told the Telegram that he suggested a "couple of concepts on what I thought (Kerry) had to do" to beat Bush.

In return, he said, Lockhart tried to "convince me as to why I should give them the documents."

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Meanwhile, in the land of fun

You know, when Team America--World Police comes out, Kim Jung Il is really going to be ticked off...but then again, he doesn't seem too sane as it is:
SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korea threatened Thursday to turn Japan into a "nuclear sea of fire" if the United States attacks it with nuclear weapons.

The threat -- one of the most searing against Japan -- followed a report in Tokyo North Korea's military appears to be preparing to test-fire a missile that can cover most of Japan.
Japan sent two destroyers and a surveillance airplane to the Sea of Japan on Thursday, American and Japanese government officials said, after the United States and Japan detected signs that North Korea was preparing to test a ballistic missile capable of reaching the main islands of Japan.

Wrong Sci Fi series

After reading about John Kerry's reaction to Iraqi interim prime minister Ayad Allawi's speech before congress today, I found that I was wrong. The democratic candidate isn't from a galaxy far, far away...he's from an entirely different universe...probably this one.

Take a look at what Allawi said as opposed to the reaction from Kerry.
We Iraqis are grateful to you, America, for your leadership and your sacrifice for our liberation and our opportunity to start anew. Third, I stand here today as the prime minister of a country emerging finally from dark ages of violence, aggression, corruption and greed. Like almost every Iraqi, I have many friends who were murdered, tortured or raped by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Well over a million Iraqis were murdered or are missing. We estimate at least 300,000 in mass graves, which stands as monuments to the inhumanity of Saddam's regime. Thousands of my Kurdish brothers and sisters were gassed to death by Saddam's chemical weapons. Millions more like me were driven into exile. Even in exile, as I myself can vouch, we were not safe from Saddam. And as we lived under tyranny at home, so our neighbors lived in fear of Iraq's aggression and brutality. Reckless wars, use of weapons of mass destruction, the needless loss of hundreds of thousands of lives and the financing and exporting of terrorism, these were Saddam's legacy to the world. My friends, today we are better off, you are better off and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. (APPLAUSE) Your decision to go to war in Iraq was not an easy one but it was the right one.
And now, from the man who wants to be your next president
QUESTION: Prime Minister Allawi told Congress today that democracy was taking hold in Iraq and that the terrorists there were on the defensive. Is he living in the same fantasy land as the president? (no media bias there, huh?)

KERRY: I think the prime minister is, obviously, contradicting his own statement of a few days ago, where he said the terrorists are pouring into the country. The prime minister and the president are here, obviously, to put their best face on the policy. But the fact is that the CIA estimates, the reporting, the ground operations and the troops all tell a different story.

Great, John. Just great. You tried to totally screw up our relationship with the interim leader of Iraq, a key ally in the War on Terror, all in the name of your dying campaign. What a diplomat. What an idiot. I mean, this is what going out on the wires now.
Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry said Thursday that Iraq's Ayad Allawi was sent before Congress to put the ``best face'' on a Bush administration policy that has gone wrong...
Allawi told a joint meeting of Congress Thursday that democratic elections will take place in Iraq in January as scheduled, but Kerry said that was unrealistic.
``The United States and the Iraqis have retreated from whole areas of Iraq,'' Kerry told reporters outside a Columbus firehouse. ``There are no-go zones in Iraq today. You can't hold an election in a no-go zone.''
And here's the Bush campaign response:

"His attacks on the veracity of the Iraqi Prime Minister's historic address to Congress reveal a stunning propensity to take political cheap shots for his own benefit by denigrating our allies in this important struggle against a global terror network. President Bush is proud to stand with Prime Minister Allawi while John Kerry attacks progress and resolve and advocates a policy of retreat and defeat in the face of terror.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

These aren't the Droids I'm voting for

I've been under the weather for the past few days, and with all the political crap flowing through the news wires, conversations and my head, I'd thought I'd take time to check in on some old childhood friends--namely the Star War Trilogy which just came out on DVD. The old films never looked better. Yeah, Lucas has done some more digital tweaking here and there (Han and Greedo both shoot first now) but it's just good, old fashioned story telling, which is a switch from the countless remakes and sequels being churned out these days.

But as I tried to get into those stories again, my mind kept going back to the spin I'm faced with on a daily basis. Something was nagging me. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but then it dawned on me. Threepio, with his constant negativity and bitching, was starting to sound like John Kerry.

A whole lot like John Kerry.

I'm not kidding...check this out and see if this doesn't sound familar:
THREEPIO: We'll be destroyed for sure. This is madness!
We're doomed!

Secret mission? What plans? What are you talking about? I'm not getting in there!
Are you sure this things safe?

How did I get into this mess? I really don't know how.
No more adventures. I'm not going that way.
That malfunctioning little twerp. This is all his fault! He tricked me into going this way, but he'll do no better.

I'm only a droid and not very knowledgeable about such things. Not on this planet, anyways. As a matter of fact, I'm not even sure which planet I'm on.

I told him not to go, but he's faulty, malfunctioning; kept babbling on about his mission.
And from The Empire Strikes Back:


THREEPIO: Captain Solo, this time you have gone too far. (Chewie
growls) No, I will not be quiet, Chewbacca. Why doesn't anyone listen
to me?

HAN: (to Chewie) The fleet is beginning to break up. Go back and stand
by the manual release for the landing claw.

Chewie barks, struggles from his seat, and climbs out of
the cabin.

THREEPIO: I really don't see how thats going to help. Surrender is a
perfectly acceptable alternative in extreme circumstances. The Empire
may be gracious enough...

Leia reaches over and shuts off Threepio, mid-sentence.

HAN: Thank you.


Wouldn't you know it? The latest e-mail hoax has suddenly turned into a John Kerry speech:

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, citing the war in Iraq and other trouble spots in the world, raised the possibility Wednesday that a military draft could be reinstated if voters re-elect President Bush.

Kerry said he would not bring back the draft and questioned how fairly it was administered in the past.

Answering a question about the draft that had been posed at a forum with voters, Kerry said: "If George Bush were to be re-elected, given the way he has gone about this war and given his avoidance of responsibility in North Korea and Iran and other places, is it possible? I can't tell you."

Lies. All of it.

Mullahs for Kerry

Why isn't this a shock? Part of the Axis of Evil pulling for their boy:
Some of the well known, US based, Islamic regime's apologists and lobbyists have mobilized in order to boost Senator J. Kerry's Presidential Campaign among the Iranian-American community. In that line, paid interviews with their controversial leaders or TV advertisements for Mr. Kerry, with two of the Los Angeles based TV networks, such as "Tamasha" and "Channel One", and "Radio 670 AM" have started since mid-September. But contrary to these three non scrupulous and money oriented networks, all the others, who have a sense of integrity, have rejected the substantial offers made to them.

It has been reported that Tamasha's offices were searched, last week, for an un-revealed reason, by several FBI agents, and that its manager, the money thirsty and a well known Khatami promoter named Farzan Deljou, is under investigation.

More evidence of collusion

Hugh Hewitt talks to Ben Ginsburg, who lays it all out on the memogate thing:
There certainly is an interesting concurrence of events that occurred from the time that CBS arranged for Bill Burkett to call Joe Lockhart and Joe talked to him apparently on the Saturday before the CBS segment ran. ... The Boston Globe got a document dump that was critical of the president's national guard service on that Thursday, the day after the broadcast. Nicholas Kristof, the liberal columnist for the New York Times, faithfully wrote a column on that Thursday all about the president's national guard service. Also on that Thursday, Texans for Truth began running its ads. That group got its initial funding from, and of course is represented by the Democratic National Committee attorney, and their pollster was Stanley Greenburg, who has now gone to work for the Kerry campaign. And lastly, Terry McAuliffe, DNC Chairman, had the press conference on that Thursday to allege that the president was AWOL. That's a lot of events at the same period of time, all a smear campaign, all centered on the forged documents, and those are the questions that the media really should be asking about the role of the Kerry campaign and the Democratic National Committee."
Coordinated. Smear. Job.

Another e-mail fraud

I spoke about this latest scare tactic that MSNBC pushed last week, now there's an e-mail making the rounds that's trying the same thing:
There is pending legislation in the House and Senate, S89 and HR 163,to reinstate mandatory draft for boys and girls (ages18-26) starting June 15, 2005. This plan includes women in the draft, eliminates higher education as a shelter, and makes it difficult to cross into Canada.
But what the e-mail does not tell you is who is sponsoring it. So let me repeat it again:

Bill Summary & Status for the 108th Congress S.89. Hollings (D-SC) sponsored it. It has no other sponsors. The Republicans have kept it bottled up in committee for nearly two years.

Bill Summary & Status for the 108th Congress H.R.163. Sponsored by Rangel (D-NY). All the co-sponsors are Democrats. Not one Republican. It's been held up since March 2003.

Michelle Malkin is on this too.
Here's a reality check from Excerpt:
"A draft? It's just not going to happen," said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., a member of the House Armed Services Committee.

Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, the senior Democrat on the Senate Armed Services personnel subcommittee, agreed: "There is very little support in Congress for reinstating the draft."


Perhaps those comments will help steady the nerves of many Americans apparently rattled by an e-mail that is circulating nationwide. It says that legislation is pending in Congress that would reinstitute the draft for the first time since 1973, starting as early as next spring. It also says that the administration is "quietly trying to get these bills passed now, while the public's attention is on the elections."

There is a kernel of truth to the allegation -- there is a bill pending that would restart the draft. But the Bush administration opposes it, as do Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry and the leadership of both the Democratic and Republican parties in Congress. Everyone remotely in a position to know is quite sure that the bill is going nowhere.

"I don't know anyone in the executive branch of the government who believes that it would be appropriate or necessary to reinstitute the draft," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in April.

The bill's primary sponsor is Rep. Charles Rangel, a liberal Democrat from New York who represents Harlem. Even he admitted that his bill won't pass. He said he introduced it to get people to discuss who is doing the fighting in Iraq...

So tell the kids to wipe their noses and stop worrying about getting drafted.

Not. Gonna. Happen.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Kerry's plan to surrender

Via Blogs for Bush. This man must not become president.

Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do...

This is getting so convoluted that it's giving me a headache. Allah has the details:
The bombshells keep going off. Only a few hours after publishing its story about Burkett's quid pro quo with CBS, USA Today outs him as its source and demonstrates in excruciating detail just how "unimpeachable" he really is.
Read the whole thing.

Over at Power Line, questions are being raised:

Yesterday you stated that CBS originally approached Burkett for the story, that Burkett did not seek you out. Who directed you to Burkett? Was it a member of the Kerry campaign? Why have you not identified the name of the person who directed you to Burkett?

Did any member of the Kerry campaign have a hand in the story? Did the campaign direct you to any of the "unimpeachable sources" you used for the story? What members of the Kerry campaign did CBS speak with about the story before it aired? Is it a sheer coincidence that the Kerry campaign unrolled its "Operation Fortunate Son" attacking President Bush's Air National Guard service the same week that you broadcast the 60 Minutes story?

Of course, we all remember what happened when an attorney for the Bush campaign had given legal advice to the Swift Boat Vets. Yep, charges of collusion and conspiracy. But CBS thinks there's nothing wrong at all for the producer of a hit piece on the president to give the Kerry campaign a call about the upcoming story, nope, nothing wrong with that....

Monday, September 20, 2004

And for tonight's democratic thug installment...

Here's another example of the tolerance our liberal friends have:
Foster Barton, 19, of Grove City, received a Purple Heart for his military service in Iraq. He almost lost his leg last month after a Humvee he was riding in ran over a landmine.

Barton said he was injured again Friday night in a crowded parking lot as he was leaving the Toby Keith concert at Germain Amphitheatre. The solider was injured so badly that he can't go back to Iraq as scheduled."I don't remember getting hit at all, really," said Barton, a member of the 1st Calvary Division. "He hit me in the back of the head. I fell and hit the ground. I was knocked unconscious and he continued to punch and kick me on the ground."Barton and his family said he was beat up because he was wearing an Iraqi freedom T-shirt."It's not our fault," Barton said. "I'm just doing a job."According to a Columbus police report, six witnesses who didn't know Barton said the person who beat him up was screaming profanities and making crude remarks about U.S. soldiers, Burton reported.
Feel the love.

Kerry connection to Rathergate confirmed?

This didn't take long to get out:
At the behest of CBS, an adviser to John Kerry said Monday he talked to a central figure in the controversy over President Bush's National Guard service shortly before disputed documents were released. The White House accused Kerry's campaign of fanning the controversy over Bush's military service.

Joe Lockhart denied any connection between the presidential campaign and the papers. Lockhart, the second Kerry ally to confirm contact with retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, said he made the call at the suggestion of CBS producer Mary Mapes.
Mary better get a lawyer. At once.
"He had some advice on how to deal with the Vietnam issue and the Swift boat" allegations, Lockhart said, referring to GOP-fueled accusations that Kerry exaggerated his Vietnam War record. "He said these guys play tough and we have to put the Vietnam experience into context and have Kerry talk about it more.
That's the AP's way of saying the Swift Boat Vets...which is total B.S...
"The fact that CBS News and a high-level adviser to the Kerry campaign coordinated a personal attack on President Bush is a stunning and deeply troubling development," said White House communications director Dan Bartlett. He urged Kerry to hold accountable anybody involved in helping CBS obtain the documents.
That's an understatement...
Earlier, Lockhart said he thanked Burkett for his advice after a three- to four-minute call, and that he does not recall talking to Burkett about Bush's Guard records. "It's baseless to say the Kerry campaign had anything to do with this," he said.
Really, Joe? Why is that?
Lockhart said Mapes asked him the weekend before the story broke to call Burkett. "She basically said there's a guy who is being helpful on the story who wants to talk to you," Lockhart said, adding that it was common knowledge that CBS was working on a story raising questions about Bush's Guard service. Mapes told him there were some records "that might move the story forward. She didn't tell me what they said."
Why would you be even talking about this with Lockheart as an objective journalist, Mary? A similar agenda, perhaps? So what we have is this: Mapes was helping the Kerry campaign by putting them in touch with Burkett, who had conversations with at least two senior Kerry officials - Lockhart and Cleland. Just a few days later, 60 Minutes airs the fake memos, while the DNC launches its “Fortunate Son” attack ads at the same time. And ol' bug eyed Joe says there's no connection...riiiiight. I mean, does anyone else find it just a little bit inappropriate for a CBS producer to compare notes with the Kerry campaign just prior to 60 Minutes running a hit piece against Bush?

Now this from USA Today!

Burkett told USA TODAY that he had agreed to turn over the documents to CBS if the network would help arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign.

The network's effort to place Burkett in contact with a top Democratic official raises ethical questions about CBS' handling of material potentially damaging to the Republican president in the midst of an election. This "poses a real danger to the potential credibility of a news organization," said Aly Colón, a news ethicist at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

"At Burkett's request, we gave his (telephone) number to the campaign," said Betsy West, senior CBS News vice president.

CBS would not discuss the propriety of the network serving as a conduit between its partisan source, Burkett, and the Kerry campaign. "It was not part of any deal" with Burkett to obtain the documents, West said, declining to elaborate.

But Burkett said Monday that his contact with Lockhart was indeed part of an "understanding" with CBS. Burkett said his interest in contacting the campaign was to offer advice in responding to Republican criticisms about Kerry's Vietnam service. It had nothing to do with the documents, he said.

"My interest was to get the attention of the national (campaign) to defend against the attacks," Burkett said, adding that he also talked to former Georgia senator Max Cleland and Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean during the past 45 days. "Neither the Democratic Party or the Kerry campaign had anything to do with the documents," he said.

But wait! There's more!
[If I heard correctly,] Tony Coehlo stated on MSNBC's Hardball that the DNC had the Burkett documents before the CBS broadcast. But that the DNC said they looked fake to the DNC. That was his reason for why the DNC wasn't involved. (This after speculation on the same show that Karl Rove might be behind this fakery.)

This of course begs the question why did Operation Fortunate Son, a campaign to discredit Bush's TANG service produced by the DNC, start the day after the 60 Minutes II ran the bogus documents. Hhmmmm.

Still pushing Operation Fortunate Son

The DNC must have already invested too much time into this plot...amazing that they are still going with it:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The top Democratic Party official accused US President George W. Bush of lying to the American people about his National Guard service during the Vietnam War, even though CBS News said it had erred in using dubious documents about the matter.

"The American people already know that strings were pulled to get President Bush into the Guard; and while in the Guard he missed months of service and was grounded," Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe said in a statement.

"We know that George Bush was a fortunate son, a child of privilege, who refuses to admit that he used his connections to avoid fulfilling his requirements," he continued. "But what we still don't know is why Bush didn't fulfill his duty to his country or why he has continued to lie to the American people about it."

McAuliffe seems to have released this statement just minutes after the CBS broadcast. Hmmm....

Swift Boat Vets about to fire torpedo #6

According to Redstate, Kerry's about to take another ad hit from the Swift Boat Vets...on a point we've talked about before:
Word is, they're in the studios right now cutting a spot that looks at Kerry's exploits in Paris when he met with the North Vietnamese (read: THE ENEMY) while he was still a naval officer.

Rather fingers Burkett, but....questions remain.

OK, on the Rather interview with Burkett, (transcript here) which was just broadcast along with Dan's mea culpa, CBS claimed that they went to Burkett and asked him for the documents, not the other way around as has been reported. Burkett initally said he got them from one source, but now he says he got them from a second unverified source.

"I was pressured to provide the information," he claims...

...and Rather still can't get it right, Burkett was not in the Air National Guard but in the Army National Guard.

Burkett did supply CBS with a name in the first place. Now he claims that he lied about who that person was. Why did CBS approach him? Who tipped them to Burkett? Was it Max Cleland? They now say Burkett has a history of attempting to target Bush, why didn't they know this before...a few minutes on Google would have revealed everything.


Rather Reaction

Where to begin, where to begin...the reaction to the news, which everyone on the Blogsphere has been waiting for with baited breath, that those memos that CBS staked their reputation on were not credible has lit a fire under the Pajamahadeen. Most everyone is saying that Rather's statement is not enough.

Hugh Hewitt sez:

Rather's statement is a pathetic attempt to save face, a "limited, modified hang-out," a contingent apology that contains nothing of remorse or any promise of reform much less of resignation.

CBS is blaming Bill Burkett.

Meanwhile, Ed Gillespie is asking questions that many of us have already been posing for weeks. Mainly, what did the DNC know and when did they know it:

...but questions remain surrounding who created the documents, who provided them to CBS and if Senator Kerry's supporters, Party committee, or campaign played any role.

“Did Bill Burkett, Democrat activist and Kerry campaign supporter, who passed information to the DNC, work with Kerry campaign surrogate Max Cleland? Did Bill Burkett's talks with ‘senior’ Kerry campaign officials include discussions of the now discredited documents? Was the launch of the Democrat National Committee's Operation Fortunate Son designed with knowledge of the faked forged memos? Terry McAuliffe said yesterday that no one at the DNC or Kerry campaign, ‘had anything to do with the preparations of the documents,’ but what about the distribution or dissemination?

“In an effort to regain the trust of the American people CBS should not only investigate the process that led to the use of these documents but they should identify immediately those engaged in possible criminal activity who attempted to use a news organization to affect the outcome of a Presidential election in its closing days.”

Indeed, now even the White House has questions for CBS they would like answered:

'There are a number of serious questions that remain unanswered and they need to be answered,' says White House spokesman Scott McClellan.

'Bill Burkett, who CBS says now was their source, is not an unimpeachable source, as CBS has claimed.'

'There are news reports of Burkett having senior level contact with the Kerry campaign. That raises questions.'

'What were those contacts and what was discussed? Who is the original source of the documents?'

'Who is responsible for forging these documents?
And if this report by Carl Cameron of Fox News is correct, the Kerry campaign is going to have an awful lot of spinning to do.
Carl Cameron was just on Fox saying Maxie confirmed there was contact with Burkett. He also said that Kerry was pushing this 60 Minutes piece as a "must see" to his traveling press for several weeks PRIOR to it coming out. Carl Cameron, as we all know, is one of them traveling with Kerry. Max Cleland had made statements (didn't catch the timeframe) that he had the goods on President Bush's National Guard Service.
Also on Fox's website is this:
Adding more fuel to the fire, Burkett, who lives in Abilene, Texas, has now also said that he passed the documents on to former Sen. Max Cleland, a Georgia Democrat and triple amputee from Vietnam, who is working with the campaign of Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry. Burkett also has urged Democratic activists to wage "war" against Republican "dirty tricks."
CBS has also going to have to explain this photo which is posted at LGF.

And why does the DNC web site still cites the forged Killian memos: DNC News: Bush Lied?

Statement from Dan Rather

Via Drudge:

Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question—and their source—vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where—if I knew then what I know now—I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.
Not good enough, Dan. Time to hang it up.

Now we're "scumbags"

Too bad there can't be a debate between the First Lady and Mrs. Heinz Kerry. John's walking wallet has done it again:
Hot-tempered would-be first lady Teresa Heinz Kerry has once again lashed out at her critics, this time during a Pittsburgh television interview where she called them "scumbags."

The ugly outburst, revealed nationally for the first time in a lengthy profile in the Sept. 27 issue of the New Yorker magazine, is the most outrageous so far by the billionaire ketchup heiress, and pushes the bounds of behavior voters might accept in a first lady.
No further comment is needed...

On the Hunt

According to a post at Free Republic, Matt Drudge reported on his radio show last night "that the Secret Service is on the trail of several people intent on assassinating President Bush."

"Drudge said the news story is not his, but that "those in the know" know what he's talking about."

Not good. Not good at all. The first place I'd look is here. They talk about this stuff all the time.

Then there's people like this.

Grave Doubts

Boy, top flight news organization like CBS takes nearly two weeks to figure out what the Blogsphere uncovered in a matter of hours:
After days of expressing confidence about the documents used in a "60 Minutes'' report that raised new questions about President Bush's National Guard service, CBS News officials have grave doubts about the authenticity of the material, network officials said last night.

The officials, who asked not to be identified, said CBS News would most likely make an announcement as early as today that it had been deceived about the documents' origins. CBS News has already begun intensive reporting on where they came from, and people at the network said it was now possible that officials would open an internal inquiry into how it moved forward with the report. Officials say they are now beginning to believe the report was too flawed to have gone on the air.

But they cautioned that CBS News could still pull back from an announcement. Officials met last night with Dan Rather, the anchor who presented the report, to go over the information it had collected about the documents one last time before making a final decision. Mr. Rather was not available for comment late last night.

I'll believe it when I see it. By the way, here's a good overview of that Trail Of Connections between CBS and the DNC.

UPDATE: But those grave doubts aren't stopping the New York Times from hawking this line of smear: Portrait of George Bush in '72: Unanchored in Turbulent Time, seems to want promote those “essential truths” that the memos were suppose to report. Even though its been exposed as a hoax, they have all this material they've probably had in the works for months...and they don't want all that work to go to waste. Fake but accurate, indeed.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Kerry illegally conducting foreign policy

From the Captain's Quarters: In a move that should shock both American and Australian voters, John Kerry's campaign has sent Kerry's sister Diana down under to tell Australians that their American alliance makes them less safe...
Does John Kerry care more about grabbing power than he does about the United States? It certainly appears that way. Who gave the order for Diana Kerry to interfere with the Australian election? Who told her to act in a manner that is calculated to undermine the American-Australian partnership on the terror war? Frankly, not only should this disqualify him for the presidency, it should disqualify anyone involved in his campaign from ever holding public office. Those who condone this interference in a wartime alliance must be punished at the polls, and their party as a whole should be blocked from any power whatsoever until they atone for their actions.

Web of connections

Uh, oh...

Here's a rare look at a secretive Brotherhood in America. Read the whole thing and tell me if this doesn't give you the shakes.

Also, "unnamed assailants had killed his dog and threatened to rape his wife."

No wonder Dan flew back to Texas:
A source who worked with CBS on the story said Burkett was identified by a producer as a conduit for the documents. Three days before the broadcast, Burkett e-mailed a friend that there was "a real heavy situation regarding Bush's records" about to break. "He was having a lot of fun with this," said the friend, Dennis Adams. Burkett told a visitor that after the story ran, Rather phoned him and expressed his and the network's "full support."

It's the socialism, stupid!

Tick, tick, tick...

Poor Dan. I bet he never thought it would end this way. An entire career is stained by his obvious attempts to get that story...apparently not caring if it was true or not. From the Washington Post:

An examination of the process that led to the broadcast, based on interviews with the participants and more than 20 independent analysts, shows that CBS rushed the story onto the air while ignoring the advice of its own outside experts, and used as corroborating witnesses people who had no firsthand knowledge of the documents. As CBS pushed to finish its report, it was Bartlett who contacted the network -- rather than the other way around -- at 5:30 the evening before to ask whether the White House could respond to the widely rumored story.
Later, Bartlett would explain why he did not challenge the documents with a question: "How am I supposed to verify something that came from a dead man in three hours?"
Other questions abound: How could a program with the sterling reputation of "60 Minutes," which created the television newsmagazine during the Johnson administration, have stumbled so badly? And how could Rather, at 72 the dean of the network anchors, have risked his reputation on such a story in the heat of a presidential campaign?

And now, Dan has flown back down to Texas:

Several people involved in the reporting process said Mr. Rather and Ms. West flew yesterday to Texas, where they were to meet with at least one man who has been identified as a source for the report, a former Texas Air National Guard officer named Bill Burkett.
An executive involved in the investigation said the network was leaning on its initial sources to come forward and help resolve the questions, preferably by speaking publicly about how they got their hands on the documents.

(Actually, Burkett was in the Army National Guard, but we can't expect the New York Times to get everything right now, can we?)
One person at the network, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that Mr. Burkett had been at the very least a go-between for the documents, but that very few people at the network know from whom he might have obtained them, if anyone.

Meanwhile, the L.A. Times has a scoop of their own that really reorders the timeline and raises some interesting questions:
Although CBS News notes that Mapes had been chasing the National Guard story for five years, it only came back on the active burner in mid- to late August.
That's when executive producer Howard got a call from her, telling him "she was on to something" and wanted to put her other projects aside.
Over the next couple of weeks, he said, "she would call from time to time, telling me she was getting closer, not closer, something that she was looking up that was a blind alley — those kinds of things that reporters do when tracking a story. There was nothing definitive" until he got the call from her on Sept. 3, Howard recalled.
On that Friday, just before the Labor Day weekend, Mapes excitedly phoned her bosses from Texas to report a breakthrough in the document quest. "I've got them," she told Howard.
As excitement spread through CBS offices on West 57th Street, there was a rush to get the pieces in place...
On Sept. 5, Will sent notations on the memos to CBS via e-mail and also voiced her concerns to a producer over the phone. The producer said they had more material to send her, but Will said those additional documents never arrived....
"We knew it was a rush job. They wanted to air [the story] by Wednesday night," James said.
This totally screws up what we've been told before: Remember that CBS said that they had been checking out the memos for six weeks. According to this, it was several weeks September. Burkett already has claimed that he gave the info to the Kerry campaign on Aug. 21. If this is true, then the Kerry campaign had Burkett's stuff before CBS got the memos from their "mystery source."

Also, remember that Cleland said in the Post that Burkett contacted him in mid-August and Cleland told him to send it to the Kerry campaign. So Mary Mapes started really digging back into this at the same time the Kerry's people were getting stuff from Burkett.

Interesting, yes?