September 16, 2004

Media Behaving Badly > C BS. C BS Run. Run, C BS, Run (Part 6)

Is Bill Burkett the Source of the Forged Memos?


The must-read article today is by Michael Dobbs at the Washington Post.

Robert Strong, who was one of three people interviewed by "60 Minutes," said he was shown copies of the documents by CBS anchor Dan Rather and producer Mary Mapes on Sept. 5, three days before the broadcast. He said at least one of the documents bore the faxed header "Kinko's Abilene."

There is only one Kinko's in Abilene, and it is 21 miles from the Baird, Tex., home of retired Texas National Guard officer Bill Burkett, who has been named by several news outlets as a possible source for the documents.

Suspicions that Burkett could have been a source for the CBS documents first surfaced earlier this week when Newsweek magazine reported that Mapes flew to Texas to interview him over the summer. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that a CBS staff member, speaking on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Burkett was a source for the "60 Minutes" report but "did not know the exact role he played."

Radio host Kevin McCullough discovered that Bill Burkett has a standing account at that Abilene Kinko's.

A September 12th USA Today article stated that USA Today got their copy of the documents "independently soon after the 60 Minutes segment aired Wednesday, from a person with knowledge of Texas Air National Guard operations."

Another reason to suspect Burkett, from The Kerry Spot:

Marion Carr Knox, the secretary to Col. Jerry Killian, President Bush's National Guard commander, this evening, during her interview with Dan Rather: "And there are words in there that belong in the Army, not to the Air Guard. We never used those terms."

From the Veterans for Peace web site: "Lt. Col. Bill Burkett completed 28 years of decorated service and was medically retired from the US Army National Guard in 1998."

Burkett has previously alleged that he had overheard conversations about destroying Bush's guard records, though those allegations seem largely discredited.

If Burkett is also behind these documents, he starts to look like a one-man conspiracy machine. Jane Galt:

If Burkett is involved, it begins to challenge his credibility on his earlier allegations that he had personally witnessed people "sanitising" George Bush's military record. Until now, I had regarded that story much the same way I regarded the Juanita Broderick story about Clinton raping her: certainly possible, but given that each was the sole witness of the events in question, I felt the stories were impossible to verify, and thus the respective presidents deserved the benefit of the doubt. But now, he seems more like a man obsessed . . . as if Juanita Broderick had claimed Clinton raped her, and then turned up as the main complaining witness in the Whitewater investigation.

Posted by lesjones

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