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(From the diaries -- kos)

Against my own better judgment, but because I believe that the more rapidly charges are countered, the better, I spend a goodly portion of the last day researching -- shudder -- typewriters of the '60s and '70s.  As everyone on the planet no doubt knows by now, the hard-right of the freeper contingent -- specifically, LittleGreenFootballs, a site which frequently is cited for eliminationist rhetoric and veiled racism, and PowerLine, a site linked to with admiration by such luminaries as Michelle Malkin and Hugh Hewitt -- discovered that if you used the same typeface, you could make documents that looked almost -- but not exactly -- like the TANG documents discovered by CBS News.  This qualifies as big news, of course, so from those two sites, the story has spread into the mainstream media through the usual channels, most notably Drudge, NRO, etc.

I do not believe there is any truly "new" information here, but I hope to condense it in one easy-to-digest reference.

So here are some point-by-point findings re: the "forgeries".

First Claim (LittleGreenFootballs): "The documents can be recreated in Microsoft Word".

What the LGFer did to "prove" this was to type a Microsoft Word document in Times New Roman font, and overlay it with the original document.  As he says:

Notice that the date lines up perfectly, all the line breaks are in the same places, all letters line up with the same letters above and below, and the kerning is exactly the same. And I did not change a single thing from Word's defaults; margins, type size, tab stops, etc. are all using the default settings.

We're going to make this simple.

First, of course, in order to do this, he first had to reduce the document so that the margins were the same, since the original PDF distributed by CBS is quite a bit larger.  Then he superimposed the two documents, such that the margins on all sides lined up.

What he then discovered is that Times New Roman typeface is, when viewed on a computer monitor, really, really similar to Times New Roman typeface.  Or rather, really really similar to a typeface that is similar to Times New Roman typeface.

Um, OK then.

You see, a "typeface" doesn't just consist of the shape of the letters.  It also is a set of rules about the size of the letters in different point sizes, the width of those letters, and the spacing between them.  These are all designed in as part of the font, by the designer.  Since Microsoft Word was designed to include popular and very-long-used typefaces, it is hardly a surprise that those typefaces, in Microsoft Word, would look similar to, er, themselves, on a typewriter or other publishing device.  That's the point of typefaces; to have a uniform look across all publishing devices.  To look the same.  You could use the same typeface in, for example, OpenOffice, and if it's the same font, surprise-surprise, it will look the same.

So kudos on discovering fonts, freeper guy.

Next, however: do they really match up?  Well, no.  They don't.

If you shrink each document to be approximately 400-500 pixels across, they do indeed look strikingly similar.  But that is because you are compressing the information they contain to 400-500 pixels across.  At that size, subtle differences in typeface or letter placement simply cannot be detected; the "pixels" are too big.  If you compare the two documents at a larger size, the differences between them are much more striking.

For instance:  In the original CBS document, some letters "float" above or below the baseline.  For example, in the original document, lowercase 'e' is very frequently -- but not always -- above the baseline.  Look at the word "interference", or even "me".  Typewriters do this; computers don't.  Granted, if you are comparing a lowercase 'e' that is only 10 or 12 pixels high with another lowercase 'e' that is only 10 or 12 pixels high, you're not going to see such subtleties.  That doesn't prove the differences aren't there; it just proves you're an idiot, for making them each 12 pixels high and then saying "see, they almost match!"

"This typeface -- Times New Roman -- didn't exist in the early 1970s."

There are several problems with this theory.  First, Times New Roman, as a typeface, was invented in 1931.  Second, typewriters were indeed available with Times New Roman typefaces.

And third, this isn't Times New Roman, at least not the Microsoft version.  It's close.  But it's not a match.

For example, the '8' characters are decidedly different.  The '4's, as viewable on other memos, are completely different; one has an open top, the other is closed.

So yes, we have proven that two typefaces that look similar to each other are indeed, um, similar.  At least when each document is shrunk to 400-500 pixels wide... and you ignore some of the characters.

"Documents back then didn't have superscripted 'th' characters"

That one was easy.  Yes, many typewriter models had shift-combinations to create 'th', 'nd', and 'rd'.  This is most easily proven by looking at known-good documents in the Bush records, which indeed have superscripted 'th' characters interspersed throughout.

"This document uses proportional spacing, which didn't exist in the early 1970s."

Turns out, it did.  The IBM Executive electric typewriter was manufactured in four models, A, B, C, and D, starting in 1947, and featured proportional spacing.  An example of its output is here.  It was an extremely popular model, and was marketed to government agencies.

"OK, fine, but no single machine had proportional spacing, 'th' characters, and a font like that one."

No, again.  The IBM Executive is probably the most likely candidate for this particular memo.  There is some confusion about this, so to clear up:  the IBM Selectric, while very popular, did not have proportional spacing.  The Selectric Composer, introduced in 1966, did, and in fact could easily have produced these memos, but it was a very expensive machine, and not likely to be used for light typing duties.  The proportional-spacing Executive, on the other hand, had been produced in various configurations since the 1940's, and was quite popular.

(Note: However, it is not immediately clear that the Selectrics and Selectric IIs could not in fact emulate "proportional" spacing.  There is skepticism in some circles that these memos really show "proportional" spacing.  Looking at the blowups, it appears pretty obvious to me that there is, but still researching.)

Did they have a font that looked like Times New Roman?  Unclear; they apparently were manufactured in a range of configurations, and with different available typefaces.  Note that these were not "typeball" machines, like the Selectrics; they had a normal row of keys.  But it is worth noting that IBM had what we will call a "close" relationship with Times New Roman:

Courier was originally designed in 1956 by Howard Kettler for the revolutionary "golfball" typing head technology IBM was then developing for its electric typewriters. (The first typewriter to use the technology was the IBM Selectric Typewriter that debuted in 1961.) Adrian Frutiger had nothing to do with the design, though IBM hired him in the late 1960s to design a version of his Univers typeface for the Selectric. In the 1960s and 1970s Courier became a mainstay in offices. Consequently, when Apple introduced its first Macintosh computer in 1984 it anachronistically included Courier among its core fonts. In the early 1990s Microsoft, locked in a font format battle with Adobe, hired Monotype Typography to design a series of core fonts for Windows 3.1, many of which were intended to mirror those in the Apple core font group. Thus, New Courier--lighter and crisper than Courier--was born. (In alphabetized screen menus font names are often rearranged for easier access so now we have Courier New MT in which the MT stands for Monotype Typography.)

Courier's vanquisher was Times New Roman, designed in 1931 by Stanley Morison, Typographical Advisor to the Monotype Corporation, with the assistance of draughtsman Victor Lardent. The Times of London first used it the following year. Linotype and Intertype quickly licensed the design, changing its name for their marketing purposes to Times Roman. Times Roman became an original core font for Apple in the 1980s and Times New Roman MT became one for Windows in the 1990s. (Ironically, at the same time IBM invited Frutiger to adapt Univers for the Selectric Typewriter, they asked Morison to do the same with Times New Roman.)

So, as you can see, both IBM and Microsoft specifically obtained the typeface "Times New Roman" from the designers of that font; neither was the creator of it.  And, as we said before, typeface includes not just the "shape" of the letters, but the size and spacing between those letters.

One of the differences between the Times New Roman as implemented on the IBM machines, as opposed to Microsoft Word?  The IBM machines apparently had the alternative '4' character that matched these memos, while Microsoft Word's TNR does not.


Now, would the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron have extravagantly purchased typewriters that contained the th superscript key?  Would the military want or require typewriters with the 'th', 'nd', and 'rd' characters?  Hmm.  Ponder, Ponder.  What would the 111th need with a th character... I'll leave that to the enterprising among you to deduce.

This is not the final word on this, and it is certainly possible that any documents are forgeries.  But the principle argument of the freepers -- that it would be impossible for a TANG office in 1972 to produce documents that look like these -- is simply false.  Within a few days, however, we should know for sure either way; these typewriters still have a following, and type samples should be forthcoming.

Update [2004-9-10 4:26:25 by Hunter]: Also see kj's diary just after this one, for evidence on the IBM Selectric Composer, first marketed in 1966. This machine definitively had all the features necessary to produce these documents. Because it was apparently very expensive and difficult to use, the argument is that a TANG office would never have had one. Unclear. Nonetheless, it strikes down the theory that a 60s-70s era machine could not have produced these docs.

Update [2004-9-10 5:48:19 by Hunter]: Here is an excellent article explaining the recent history of Times New Roman in particular. Note that Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, and other firms redesigned their "Times [New] Roman" typefaces in the 80s-90s specifically to more accurately match the original design of Times New Roman:

When Microsoft produced its version of Times New Roman, licensed from Monotype, in TrueType format, and when Apple produced its version of Times Roman, licensed from Linotype, in TrueType format, the subtle competition took on a new aspect, because both Microsoft and Apple expended a great deal of time and effort to make the TrueType versions as good as, or better than, the PostScript version. During the same period, Adobe released ATM along with upgraded versions of its core set of fonts, for improved rasterization on screen. Also, firms like Imagen, now part of QMS, and Sun developed rival font scaling technologies, and labored to make sure that their renderings of Times, licensed from Linotype in both cases, were equal to those of their competitors. Hence, the perceived quality of the Times design became a litmus for the quality of several font formats. Never before, and probably never again, would the precise placement of pixels in the serifs or 's' curves etc. of Times Roman occupy the attention of so many engineers and computer scientists. It was perhaps the supreme era of the Digital Fontologist.
So as you can see, it has indeed been a primary design goal of Microsoft and other firms to make their Times New Roman font match the original 1930's typeface design as closely as possible.

Update [2004-9-10 6:47:49 by Hunter]: Here is an actual manual for an IBM Selectric Composer, circa 1966, itself created using a Composer.

Update [2004-9-10 14:26:41 by Hunter]: This is from a commenter at Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly site:

Kevin, I worked in the IBM Office Products Division field service area fixing typewriters in NYC for over 13 years in the 70s. I can tell you that the Model D can produce those documents, not only did it do proportional spacing, you could order any font that IBM produced AND order keys that had the aftmentioned superscripted "th." Also you could order the platen, thats the roller that grabs the paper, in a 54 tooth configuration that produced space, space and a half and double spacing on the line indexing, this BTW was popular in legal offices. The Model D had to be ordered from a IBM salesmen and was not something that was a off the shelf item, typical delivery time were 4-6 weeks. Also, typewriter keys were changed in the field all the time, its not that hard to do. I wish I had saved my service and parts replacement manuals to backup this claim but I'm guessing a call to IBM with a request for a copy of their font and parts replacement manuals would put this to rest ASAP. Posted by: BillG NYC on September 10, 2004 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK
FYI, but I have found nothing that contradicts this information. It would appear you could order the humble IBM Executive with a wide variety of typestyles and characters, especially if you were a large, important client.

Update [2004-9-10 22:43:41 by Hunter]: An update to this post can be found here; it contains summaries of the new information, and a little about the media reactions in all of this.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:37 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sigh. Hope that was useful, (3.99)
    ... because confirming some of these things took a hell of a long time.

    One moral of this story:  If you put a picture of a chimpanzee next to a picture of George W. Bush, line them up exactly, and shrink them down to only a few pixels across, they'll look pretty much the same, at that resolution.  Whether you think that proves anything depends on your point of view.

    If this post has served any useful purpose, recommend it, and we'll start updating it with new information as it comes up.  (We need a clearing-house thread for this crap?)  Otherwise, we can let it die.

    •  Reward Hunter (none)
      Recommend this diary.  Give Hunter mojo.  Reward and encourage this kind of work!

      Funnier than anything on Air America: Listen to The Stephanie Miller Show online, tape delayed 6-9pm PT/9-Mid ET!

      by Michael D on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:02:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm recommending (4.00)
        Good job.  We know that CBS is probably double-checking right now to Cover Their Asses, so we'll know the truth soon enough.

        Even if these things are bogus we still have some key undisputable facts to fall back on:

        1. Bush skipped a required physical
        2. Bush skipped five months of duty
        3. Bush failed to sign up with a Boston unit
        4. Bush is still a wimpy chimp
        5. Bush lied in his first run for office by claiming he was in the Air Force
        6. Osama Bin Laden is still on the run
        7. North Korea is building nukes like crazy
        8. Bush has yet to create a single job in his first term
        9. Still no WMDs in Iraq
        10. Mission is not "accomplished"
        11. Health care and Medicare premiums are exploding
        12. Budget deficit is exploding

        Even without these documents, we'll be okay. Unlike the freepers, we don't need lies to win an election.
        •  KOS, I WILL WAGER YOU: (none)
          More will be written about the forgeries than what is on hte doc itself.  This is exactly the way they planned it-the whole weekend talking about forgeries and dem dirty tricks and the liveral media.  Where is the dems Karl Rove?
          •  I've said this before but.... (none)
            Repubs pay no price for thier lies.  Some other examples of Democratic wimpery:
            Decmocratic Mistakes:

            1.    Lieberman saying that late votes should count.
            2.    Gore not asking for a total recount
            3.    Gore conceding the elections
            4.    Daschle embracing Bush
            5.    Daschle not going to NY as the leader of the Dems to meet bush after 911.  there is a reason people associate Bush and Giuliani as the saviors of 911
            6.    Dems rolling over for the tax cuts
            7.    Dems loosing control of the Homeland Security debate, even though it was them who came up with the idea
            8.    Gephardt making a Rose Garden appearance with Bush supporting the Iraq war.
            9.    Kerry voting against the 87B.
            10.    Kerry not going for the Jugular at the end of July
            11.    Kerry not defending himself in August
            12.    Kerry telling people not to attack Bush at the convention.
            13.    The Dems refusing to point out Bush' repeated Flip-Flops, instead, letting Kerry get stuck with the flip-flopper label.
            14.    Not going nuclear on Bush earlier.
            15.    Not hiring Carville/Begala until things were problematic.
            16.     I could go on, but the main problem is that Dems will not do what is necessary to win; they would rather lose than stoop.
          •  Dems Karl Rove (none)
            I'm praying that her name is Kitty Kelley.
    •  Graphic designer still outraged at 1 am (4.00)
      Take a look at the "M" in MEMORANDUM. Notice how the center of the cap "M" in the pdf memos does not fall as low as the character's baseline. In New Times Roman is does. This is not New Time Roman.

      It is also not Georgia or Palatino. New York also does not jive as in that the descender in  cap "J" falls below the regular baseline.

      Sorry to be pendantic but these experts are offending everything I know about type.

      Okay I will try to let this die now.

      "The military and the monetary... Get together whenever it's necessary" - Gil Scott Heron

      by zane on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:07:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Someone in another diary says (none)
        that the font is "delegate".

        Me, I have no clue.

        •  maybe (4.00)
          The IBM font lists (Delegate or maybe one of the Prestige variations) look more likely. It's hard to tell without the full alphabet sample. These are in the last pages (175 or so) of the IBM manual kj posted on her diary. (I'd link but I have got to get some sleep soooon.)

          I was trying this with the standard PC and MAC fonts, and since they don't match I don't believe the computer type theory.

          "The military and the monetary... Get together whenever it's necessary" - Gil Scott Heron

          by zane on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:13:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Air Force tests IBM Selectric Composer in 1969 (4.00)
      From Air Force Data Systems Design Center:
      690400 (Ed. - Date 4/69?)
      A Service Test was completed for the International Business Machines (IBM) "Selectric" typewriter and Magnetic Tape "Selectric" Composer.

      The same document lists the Air National Guard so I would imagine the Air Force handled procurement for the ANG as well. This at least confirms the Selectric Composer was in use by the Air Force in 1969.

      I also found an anecdotal reference (scroll down to yellow highlight) to Selectrics in use by the Air Force by Neil Franklin, Group Historian, Maxwell AFB, Gunter Annex, Alabama:

      At the time of the AFSCOASO's birth, creating printed matter on paper was called typing. If you were really fortunate, your office had an IBM Selectric and plenty of correction ribbon.

      This Neil Franklin is an Air Force Historian specializing in documents and technology and some intrepid reporter should contact him about the use of Selectrics in the Vietnam Era, presupposing the Selectric Composer could have typed the Bush TANG documents.

      •  Don't concede the 'too expensive' point (none)
        Because it was apparently very expensive and difficult to use, the argument is that a TANG office would never have had one (Selectric Composer). Unclear.

        All it took was that there be one year some time after 1966 when there was some leftover money at the end of the fiscal year.  A primary maxim of any government organization is not to have any money leftover because it makes next year's budget smaller.  In fact, end of fiscal year splurges are a common joke in the military.

        And this was the colonel's secretary, one of the bigwigs in the secretarial staff.  (Remember that back in the 60s and 70s, extremely talented and competant women did not have the career choices of today, so she may well have been both an extremely hard worker and a genius.  It seems she was the kind of person who would switch out the ball to make the superscript 'th').

        So at the end of one of these fiscal years, they had a few thousand dollars to get rid of, and the colonel decided to get his secretary the best typewriter on the market.  Hell, she deserved it!  And this would have the ancillary benefit of letting them produce documents that appeared typeset if necessary (for letters to the generals!)

        •  Air Force used Selectric Composers (none)
          I never said it was too expensive. You excerpt from someone else's post (kj, hunter?). My post immediately above confirms the Air Force was testing Selectric Composers as early as 1969. If they are testing them then they intended to buy them. The first memo is from 1972.

          Cost and complication are irrelevant. If the Air Force bought these typewriters (proven above) then they surely had personnel skilled enough to use them. They were buying million dollar fighter jets during wartime - I'm sure a topline IBM typewriter was within the grasp of the TXANG.

          •  oops (none)
            My header should have been:

            "And don't  concede the too expensive point"

            My comment was meant to further support your points not argue them.

            The quote is from Hunter's diary.

            •  Photo of Selectric Composer (none)
              This is the typewriter that the NYT "expert" says is too big to have been in an office.


              Looks like a regular damn typewriter to me...

              •  Texas connection for IBM Selectric Composer (4.00)
                The IBM Selectric Composer was the first typewriter produced in IBM's Austin, Texas production facility.

                "When IBM announced plans for its new Austin manufacturing plant in the 1960s, city leaders began to see real potential to complement Tracor's high tech presence. IBM's first 30 or so employees, who had to wait to move into the new facility, spent their first couple of months tearing down fences and building work benches and file cabinets. They operated out of a farm house, using a dairy barn for storage.

                "It was in the country. There was nothing there but grass and grass and more grass," Wormley says.

                IBM's first product was the Selectric Composer, a typewriter with memory. That was followed by the Magnetic Tape Selectric Composer and the Magnetic Tape Selectric Typewriter in 1968.

                •  What do you suppose (none)
                  are the odds that the TANG would want typewriters made in Texas?

                  If nothing else than as a political favor to the powers that be?

                  After all political games are played with major weapon systems, why not office equipment?

          •  Selectric composers, no big deal (4.00)
            In 1976, as a graduate student at a state university, I had the use of an "excess" IBM Selectric typewriter, which was mostly used for making class handouts, and writing term papers (because I preferred typing with the carbon ribbon provided by the department to using the cloth ribbon used on the typewriter at home.)

            The point being that if an underfunded state university in 1976 had excess IBM selectric typewriters to provide junkers/beaters for the use of grad students, it's entirely likely that the Air National Guard in 1972 had them available for a Colenel's secretary.

            •  1973 - Mom's employer had them, a small wholesaler (none)
              In 1973, I would go into work with my Mom when my Grandmother was visiting relatives. My mom was working for a fairly small (one warehouse) tobacco and candy wholesale company in Richmond VA. They only had 8-10 panel trucks delivering cigarettes and candy to retail businesses in Richmond. This company had no need for fancy typesetting. Like I said, they sold candy and cigerettes and still used IBM Selectrics.

              My mom's whole office had IBM Selectrics. I know this because my mom would sit me down at one to keep me busy and out of her hair for the day. I know they couldn't have been all that expensive, because they allowed a bookkeepers kid to sit down at their IBM Seletrics and play all day. They all had the interchangeable ball typing unit that you are all mentioning.

              "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right." - John Edwards

              by nyetsoup4you on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 05:39:05 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Killian might have exercised another option (none)
              I have no reason to doubt that TANG might have had the typewriter that produced the document, but any analysis should no be limited to TANG typewriters. If I had been in Killian's shoes, I would have been sorely tempted to seek legal council before typeing these memoranda. In fact, I would have been tempted to have my lawyer draft the memos for my initialization. I would be, after all, saying some very damning things about someone from a very powerful family.
          •  well... (none)
            When they say expensive, they are saying that it would be the equivalent of a $15,000 machine in today's dollars.  Its something that would be used in a printshop, not for a personal typewriter.
            •  Bullshit. (none)
              No little kids are allowed to play on $15,000 typewriters. No little tobacco/candy wholesaler that  had to net less than a million a year is going to needlessly fill their office with $15,000 typewriters for every employee for memos and letter writing.

              That's ridiculous.

              "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right." - John Edwards

              by nyetsoup4you on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:51:29 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Also... (none)
                My mom was a bookkeeper. In 1973, all the books were done by hand. My mom had no typing whatsoever in her job description, and only used a typewriter for inter-office memos.

                Then why did my mom have an IBM Selectric at her desk in 1973 if they were so rare and outrageouly priced?

                "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right." - John Edwards

                by nyetsoup4you on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:56:03 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  kj's diary :IBM Selectric, poor ol' me had one (4.00)
                  kj's diary shows that there was a machine that could produce this font. The IBM Selectric Composer.  In addition he found the fount that closely matches it that was used by these machines. it's a relative of Times New Roman called Bembo.  You have to go to his post and it's in a pdf file . I have already checked a lot of it wuth the CYA Aug. 18,1973 document and it does seem to match. Link to Aug. 18 doc

                  Link below with some of his material.


                  The IBM Selectric Composer, first marketed in 1966, is capable of producing a scalable memo in the particular font we see.  The memos are available here:

                   The manual for that typewriter can be found here:

                   The manual for that typewriter can be found here:

                  The font available for that typewriter that is used in the memo is called "Aldine Roman".  See a replication of it here called Bembo (you have to scroll down a bit):  You'll see that it better matches the font in the Killian memos.  Times Roman in Word has too fine of serifs for what is created in the memos.  The fonts are very similar however.  If you go to page 168 (173 of the pdf), you'll see that Aldine Roman is available in three sizes: 8, 10, and 12.  The superscript is made with the 8-point size element font ball.

                  I went to college in the mid to late sixties.  The first year I had a used manual typewriter.  Cost $40. I worked that summer I bought an IBM Selectric.  It cost either a couple hundred dollars but less then three hundred.  I had it for many years.  By 1973 they could easily have been bought new ones for much less or used ones for even less than that.  The military could easily have afforded one.

                  Recommend kj's diary; it's a good supplement to this one.  And it seems to be proof that there was such a typewriter.  The papers should have waited and gotten their facts straight before they jumped the gun.  They sure hop to it for Republicans while it took a couple of weeks for them to get data about the Swift Boat Liars

                  PS I posted a version of this at kj's. forgive me!

                  •  What about other documents? (4.00)
                    I don't know if someone brought this up already, but:

                    If that's the typewriter he used to type up the Bush documents, chances are there are plenty of other documents produced by him, with the same font, and from the same time period, floating around out there. I mean, I'm sure he typed a lot of things for his job and not just these particular docs in question.

        •  Childhood selectric (none)
          I don't buy the too expensive line.

          From my earliest childhood (which would be around 1972 or 1973) I remember my family having a Selectric. Not sure what model, but it was pretty swank, and I think it had a lot of these featres.

          We weren't poor and the folks both worked for IBM. But honestly, if this thing was so expensive, there's no chance we would have had one stuck in our basement getting rusty.

          •  Late comment (4.00)
            Just reading this diary mid-morning so very late to the converstion.  I went to bed angry at this whole this of being a forgery.

             But to add my useless knowledge, I was a legal secretary from 1964 to 1993.  One of the first machines I used was the IBM selectric with "executive" typface.  It was a KILLER to use.  You really needed to be an excellent typist because to make a correction on those beasts took much skill and experience.

            If I remember, the "i" had 1 point of space, the "e" and most other letters had 3 points of space, and the "m" had 5 points of space.  Heaven forbid you tped an "i" where an "m" should go -- erase the whole word and try again but you would still have to squeeze the word in a smaller space.  

            Any evidence of typos on this memo?  Really really good typists could do that, no typos I mean.  If this memo was typed by a military man, I would expect typos.  If this was typed by his clerk, I would expect none.    

            •  Military used to typing with carbons without error (none)
              You can't make mistake when you are typing up a stack of forms with carbons. You can't fix carbon copies. So you slow down your speed and make sure you do not make mistakes the first time.

              "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right." - John Edwards

              by nyetsoup4you on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:59:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  suggested that Killian was not a typist (none)
              It's been suggested elsewhere that Killian was not a typist, and hated doing it. If that's true, then this was probably typed up by a secretary or clerk.
          •  You're missing the point (4.00)
            Nobody is saying a Selectric was too expensive.  Selectrics were about the most common office typewriter out there.  Lots of families had them too.  Yours was one of them.  It's not a big deal.  A new Selectric cost maybe what, $300 or $400 back then, the equivalent of a midrange office PC today, plus there was a healthy market for used ones, so they were all over the place.

            "Too expensive" refers to a different machine, the Selectric Composer.  The Selectric Composer cost more like $3000, something like the price of a new car back then.  I promise that your family didn't have a Selectric Composer.  It wasn't an office typewriter.  I've used one a few times because the company I worked at had one for doing sales brochures for publication.  It's overclaiming to say that it was too big to put in an office, but it was a lot bigger than a normal Selectric.  It had extremely tight mechanical tolerances and therefore it needed maintenance all the time if you used it a lot.  It needed special typeballs that were bigger than Selectric typeballs.  It may have needed special ribbons.  We used special paper with it for doing the brochures, but that can't have been mandatory.  

            In my opinion, believing that Killian would have used a Selectric Composer for that memo borders on conspiracy theory.  Yeah, it's theoretically possible.  But it would have been completely bizarre.

            I'm just about certain that Kevin Drum's commenter got it right.  If the memos are real, they were done on an IBM Executive that was equipped with the superscript "th" and whatever font those memos are done in.  I had wanted to spend part of today researching whether such machines existed (see my comments in the typewriter threads last night), but Kevin Drum's commenter, for my purposes, has put the matter completely to rest.  The Model D Executive could be ordered that way, and in my mind it's just about certain that the earlier Model C which would have been more common at the time could also be ordered that way (there was nothing exotic about those features).  

            So, if you ask me, the "specially-ordered IBM Executive" theory is about 100 times as plausible as the "Selectric Composer" theory.

            •  Leaving out the Selectric Composer, (none)
              the "regular" Selectric was, compared with all other typewriters on the market, were the cadillac of typewriters.

              And in 1972-73 when I had opportunity to use one, they were, new, as said, about $3-400, used $150.  I recall as I wanted one.

              (I shortly settled on an electric Smith-Corona -- with  new thingy called a "cartridge") which cost about $150 new.  [It's been in the closet, unused, since 1987, when I got my first computer -- for word processing, the idea being to save paper and ribbons ("You wouldn't know it to look at me now" -- Firesign Theatre) -- a Commodore 64.

              (But, yes, the non-Composer Selectric was sweet, and lusted after by anyone worth their secretarial abilities or writer's dreams.

              (Gad, I still have a number of letters and draft poems typed on the thing from early 1973 . . .)

              •  The Selectric to die for (none)
                was the Correcting Selectric II with the correctable film ribbon and built-in lift-off tape.   You could erase all your typos by just pressing a button, and they'd vanish as if you'd never made them.  No more of that white overstrike crap or correction fluid all over your paper.  Oh man.  It was heaven.
        •  "And this was the colonel's secretary" (none)
          I don't suppose the colonel's secretary is still around and could confirm the memos.  Anyone in a position to check?
      •  Wouldn't there be an inventory, somewhere? (none)
        Wouldn't there be an inventory, somewhere, that would list the office equipment owned and operated by the Guard Unit where these reports were composed?  The typewriter was government property, and one would assume that the government kept an inventory of its property, no?
    •  9/10 7:20AM (none)

      Don Imus has been reporting all morning that the wife of this colnel, and several officer's that worked for/with him are denying he wrote the memo. Imus is an RNC media hack so I guess people should take it with a grain of salt.

      •  again (4.00)
        how could the wife or son possibly no what memos the father dictated in his job?

        this is a colonel for chrissakes, not Leave It To Beaver.  

        I seriously doubt the wife or son have any idea of any memo that the colonel, in a culture notorious for memos to cover ass (and other reasons), may have drafted with his secretary.

        they may not know that the colonel was banging his secretary either.

        free the information

        by freelixir on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 04:29:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you. (none)
          What amazes me is how easily these people smash everything that might hurt shrub, even memos that are almost assuredly true. Hence our guy, a true war hero, gets creamed, while chicken-shit coward gets a pass. We definitely need a quick response team.
          •  It's not just nice (none)
            It's not that Democrats are to nice to play mean. But it's hard to play as dirty as we'd have to. You can't keep thinking of yourself as a good person after lies and intellectual dishonesty unless you are a psychopath or other pathological case.

            Bush/Cheney - Four More Months -or- John Kerry is a Soldier. George Bush just plays one on TV

            by pellucidity on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:42:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thank You -- and Heaven /Forbid/ . . . (none)

            First, thanks for that comment, I've been waiting to see such -- even if way down in some comment thread in some blog . . .

            Second, I write letters and memos all the time in my work.  I'm trying to think of any reasonable circumstance where my wife, or hypothetical child (we've no children yet), would be able to say in 20 or 30 years whether I did or did not write something work-related.  I say "reasonable" circumstance:  sure, if a letter of memo attributed to me surfaced 10 years after my demise evidencing that I lead a secret, double-life as a CIA operative posing as a Sicilian fishmonger who'd recently returned from a "wet-job" in East Buddha, Equador, then, O.K., I can see my wife doubting the authenticity of such a document (but you never know . . . ), but, c'mon, a 1-page memo about some clown-of-a-subordinate who's skipping work, um, I don't think my wife would have too much insight into the authenticity of such a document.

          Third, heaven forbid a host of Democratic surrogates flood the cable channels to SLAM this stupid thing with words substantively akin to yours /and TURN THIS AROUND on Bush to show, once again, how this cowardly fraud is able to almost magically conjure up a bunch of thugs, half-wits and other sorts of "protectors" to try 'n' pull his wussy self out of the fire.  Heaven forbid!

    •  You da man n/t (none)

      "This...this is the fault of that Clinton Penis! And that powermongering wife of his!"

      by CaptUnderpants on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 04:56:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HUNTER -- YOU ARE GOD!!!! (none)

      Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

      by pontificator on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 06:35:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Great job Hunter! But... (none)
      Unfortunately, the Republikkans have already fully succeeded in their goal.

      By getting this 'forgery' BS retort into the media, people have begun to either dismiss the charges or withdrawn interest. They knew that by the time their empty charges were proved hollow, most people would have lost interest.

      Plus, the Republikkans favorite lapdogs - the media - enjoy spouting out Jerry Springer-esque charges full of 'gotcha!' sensationalism rather than actually research & determine fact from fiction.

      It's not like its their job to investigate the journalism they produce. It's our job now. Welcome to the new ownership society.

      Hunter, you did an utterly amazing job in researching this, and I appreciate your efforts greatly. Thank you!

      •  There is a difference here (4.00)
        This controversy seriously jeapordizes the credibility of CBS, which has one of the biggest bullhorns at the circus.

        Both the Associated Press and the Washington Post have published stories now with experts making demonstrably false statements.

        When CBS lays this to rest, they are going to do so in a prominent way, and they are going to demand that AP and the Washington Post prominently correct.

        AP and Washington Post have attacked CBS' reputation very strongly, and it is obvious that they did not conduct proper research.  CBS will surely demand that they eat what they have shat in the punchbowl of their profession.

        •  Has anyone (none)
          made the info in this diary available to CBS? They may have parts of the argument, but this is clear, concise, and convincing, AND comprehensive.

          Just a suggestion, mind you...

          "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce." -Karl Marx

          by Lainie on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:38:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I urgently make the same suggestion -- (none)

            As CBS is currently standing alone and conspicuous with this, it would likely apprecite the information.  "Help".  Might even create a convenient openning for someone here with the skills to accomplish that.

            And, defeinately, it should be submitted to Washington Post, NY Times, and any other malingering media organization who prefers "Gotcha!" to journalism.

            CBS has it right.  So whoever can accomplish, give them the help and support they deserve in this instance.

            I'm sure a few there will appreciate that, and the good faith of it.

            Also get copy to the DNC, or whatever element of that Politce society Club likely to make most aggressive use of it.

    •  My only complaint (none)
      Typography in general is a fascinating subject, but typewriters in particular are VERY cool machines.  

      IMHO typewriters sit alongside steam locomotives, Linotype machines, and variable pitch propellers as things which no normal human being would ever think could work, but which some set of people continued beating on until they WERE made to work.  A true testament to human ingenuity.


    •  not one of their accusations, but... (none)
      please explain this one to me, if you can. Just looking at the May 4th and August 18th memos, you'll notice a row of dots going down, maybe a third of the way across the page. You can also line these dots up without too much trouble.

      Now I'm no expert, but usually what this means is that there's a spot on the drum of your printer, and each time it goes around, it leaks a bit there. Or something.

      I count about 5 distinct sets of these, so I'd estimate that it makes a complete cycle every 2 inches or so? Haven't tried printing it out yet.

      Anyhow, unless office equipment did this in 1973, it screams "printer" to me, which can't be good. At least for those two documents.

      •  Is it the original? (4.00)
        Obviously, when CBS got the document, they made copies of it.  I'm sure you aren't looking at the original.  The one you are looking at may be a copy of a copy of a fax.
        •  good point, but... (none)
          Faxing might explain it, I guess, but the artifacts I'm referring to only appear on two of the documents. So if it were due to faxing, then they weren't all faxed. I've never seen a copy machine leave marks like this, but maybe a cheap all-in-one sort of thing might.

          I guess we'd need to see scans of the originals to make sure, which is what I'd hope those PDFs would be. For that matter, I'd think you'd want the originals (if possible) for the document experts to verify it.

      •  Dots on paper coming out of typewriter (none)
        Ummm ... yeah, you can definitely get a spot rolling out of a typewriter.  Three possibilities.

        1.  Those dots are very close-spaced, and so most likely came from a small roller which holds the paper against the main platten.  This is definitely something you can see in a type-written document, as those rollers tend to get slightly misshapen with time and "deposit" their residue at similar locations of the paper each time you put a new sheet in.  As to what the residue might be:  possibilities range from carbon-paper debris to oil to jelly doughnut :)

        2.  I'm not sure of the specific 1973 IBM typewriter platten designs, but some fancier typewriters use a dual-platten system instead of a single platten and smaller rollers on the "front" side of the paper.  The rear platten would generally be smaller than the front platten, but still you'd get those widely-spaced front-of-paper splotches if the rear platten was dirty.  We had such a typewriter a-way back when.  The sucker never jammed like the platten+roller models would tend to do every once in a while (because it held the paper dead flat with no chance of bunching up or binding), but you have to make sure both plattens were kept clean (and one platten with ink on it would definitely dirty the other one when you ripped the paper out).  The specific row of closely-spaced dots wouldn't match this scenario, though, as this would cause a dot to appear about 4-5 times per page, not 4-5 times per line of text.

        3.  If a spot of ink gets on the main "backside" platten of a typewriter it will sometimes "soak through" to the front.  The primary characteristic of such spotting, however, is one large and dark splotch, followed by significantly smaller blotches at regular intervals.  This again doesn't match what is shown on the Aug 18 document.

        As previously commented, the more likely explanation here is that you are not looking at the original document scanned in, but a copy of the original (most likely a faxed copy of the original) scanned in, just as CBS has said.  The most likely source of front-of-paper print blotches is in the fax machine or photocopier used to print out the document.
    •  In my early teen years I studied/learned (none)
      hand lettering ("Speedball"/India ink), and through high school studied typefaces and fonts and the like.  (I've forgotten more than I ever learned on the subject!)  And by the last two years of high school and some years thereafter was designing my own.

      So your presentation is lovely, "pretty"!  The love and respect for detail (and skills at research, and drawing up the results) is obvious.

      As for keeping it?  I think it should be updated when/as necessary -- shouldn't take long over a few days/weeks, until the nonsense blows over -- and brought to fruition, and kept for future "demolition work".

      Might even forward such to CBS, and other media outlets. And media mavens who sit on their asses playing with their microphones and daydreaming instead of doing fact checking.

      Appreciated, and thank you! for the aesthetics!

  •  Hunter (none)
    Did you try the Delegate font?

    "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Wes Clark (hopefully in the future J. Kerry)

    by Armando on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 12:58:04 AM PDT

    •  Not yet. (none)
      I also have not been able to track down a manual or picture of an Executive that clearly proves the "th" capability.  From several sources, I have been told that they exist -- and that different Executive models were produced with different typefaces and "special" keys -- but the only way to really put this to rest is to find the exact specific sub-model used with this face and characters.  Knowing the font name isn't enough, we need a physical example.

      Indications are that there may be numerous variations of the Executive, but we need more info on what numerous means.  Ten?  Fifty?  Custom models for large customers?

      Also note that this doesn't necessarily have to be the most modern and top-of-the-line "D" model.  It could have been a C, which at that point had been around for a number of years.

      •  Probably tons (none)
        Somewhere I saw that its been around since 1947.
      •  Superscripted "th"s (none)
        The Democratic Underground forums have a couple of images of Bush's military record (produced by the USAF/ANG via the WH) that show the 'th's superscripted in some of the entries.  The doc I saw was one of those where new entries are periodically typed on the record as events occur, and there were some superscripted 'th's on a face that looked like Times Roman.

        It is clear that at least some of the typewriters in Bush's unit had the ability to do the superscripted 'th's.

        "pay any price, bear any burden"

        by JimPortlandOR on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:11:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Here's a link to a document with the 'th' (none)
          from this thread, this is the document I mentioned.  

          Note the second entry, from 111th at Ellington - the same base where Bush was stationed.  

          Clearly this base had the capability of doing superscripted th in routine documents.  A colonel would be even more likely to have a secretary (civil service) with this kind of typewriter.


          "pay any price, bear any burden"

          by JimPortlandOR on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:24:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Another "th" possibility... (none)
        Poking around google, I came across a couple of references to creating special characters by snapping a removable key over a regular key.

        These are just anecdotal, but perhaps someone else here has heard of this or used it before?

        It would make finding a specific typewriter that could have typed the memos easier... less "specific".

        This link calls them "typits" and refers specifically to the IBM Executive.

        It's 1975 and six months since I completed my previously postponed English degree. Not having received that Fortune 500 junior executive offer I was waiting for, I get real and take a job as a technical secretary in an environmental consulting company. I type proposals and reports on my old idiosyncratic friend, the IBM Executive. But how in the heck am I going to type all those Greek letters and funny math symbols?

        I am presented with a briefcase-sized wooden box filled with rows and rows of "Typits". Each one of these 3-inch-long plastic sticks has a metal-type letter or symbol stuck to one end. I find the right character, jam the Typit onto a bracket on the typewriter, and then ram the Typit with any other key to make the Typit strike the paper. Voilà, I have a µ <<Greek mu>, <<Greek capital sigma>, <<integral sign>, or whatever. Now I am typing about one word every 50 minutes! Tedious, tedious.

        And here's another reference:

        Also, as part of a job that I held for several years in the early 60s, I typed technical documents that frequently contained page long equations.  We had standard electric typewriters, but the outside key on the right and left could be removed and replaced.  Each typist had a big board containing our extra keys so that when I had to insert an [sigma], for instance, into the equation, I would remove one of the end keys, attach the [sigma] key, strike it, remove it, reinsert the standard key, and continue with my work.
        •  Removable Keys (none)
          I'm not sure about IBMs from personal experience, but I had a typewriter with two removable key faces (and corresponding removable key caps on the keyboard) when I was a kid. If whatever our brand of typewriter was had it, you can bet that IBM made at least one model of typewriter which had that feature.
          •  The Smith-Corona I noted buying (none)
            had a pair of keys/"characters" that could be changed.  I replaced whatever the originals (don't recall -- I have them somewhere) with a pair of square brackets -- "[]".  Cost was $5.00.

            Funky and primitive compared to the potentials of the IBMs.

  •  I did the same thing (none)
    Check out my diary immediately following yours.  I spent my time linking the IBM Composer to the memos.  I even found the font.  Take a look.  

    Great Job by the way.  I recommended yours.  Feel free to add any of my research to yours.  I agree that we need a single place to counter the evidence.

    •  Which is it? (none)

      "We're not criticizing Bush for going after terrorists, we're criticizing him for NOT going after terrorists." - Wes Clark (hopefully in the future J. Kerry)

      by Armando on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:05:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Composer (4.00)
        ... was apparently a much more difficult to use machine, and much more expensive.  But they had been around since 1966, so it is possible that this was the machine used.

        I am betting personally on the Executive, since it seems to be the most popular typewriter that would have these features.  But the Composer is an absolute lock: it did have all these features.  And it used the typeballs of the other Selectrics, so there were a wide variety of available fonts for it, including Times New Roman.

        Also could be another machine, but doubtful; the IBM Executive was "the machine" with proportional spacing.  Don't know of any others with similar sales.  Not saying there weren't, just that they're not coming up so far.

        •  It's Not "Impossible" because... (4.00)
          ...because TANG used the same style typewriter, making the superscript "th" on Records that Bush himself released earlier in the year - probably during the Feb Document drop.

          Either that or the Docs bush released also have an "Authenticity problem."

          You can't have it both ways - The freepers/right/SCLM can't claim the "Killian" docs are frauds, yet the "WH" docs are legit when they each suffer from the same "Flaw."

          •  This is a key point. (none)
            The superscript "th" bugged me. If previous "good" documents from the same TANG office, indeed, have the identical superscript "th" in them, ipso facto deado wingnuttoes.
        •  typeballs (none)
          FWIW, my father used a Selectric back in the 70s, and, as a linguist, had multiple typeballs with every letter variation, superscript, subscript, schwas, umlauts, glottal fricatives, you name it.  I can't imagine that a typeball with something as widely-used as a superscript "th" wasn't readily available.
    •  Thanks, (none)
      ... I added an update to link to yours.  Great stuff.
  •  I have to admit... (4.00)
    ...I'm already bored with the forgery question. But all this font stuff is pretty interesting.  :)
    •  To me it's an interesting mystery (3.50)
      like Sherlock Holmes.  The Freepers have their experts, we have ours, everyone gets to study the evidence themselves.  I typed up the CYA memo on Word using Times New Roman.  Many similarities in spacing to the memo, but the font is slightly different.  Also, when you zoom into the memo you see that the letters are slightly uneven and smudged, similar to what you'd see on a typewriter as opposed to a printer.

      CBS is the only one with high quality copies of the memos, not PDFs, so hopefully they'll provide some answers soon.  Somebody should drive down to IBM and check out their old typewriters if they still have working copies around.

      The raised, half-sized "th" is the one thing that seems most suspicious to me.  But I've heard people say some typewriters did include that special key.  I guess we'll find out.

      It seems strange that someone would make such master forgeries that could fool CBS and Killian's co-workers and yet would be so dumb as to print them out on Microsoft Word.  Even I would know to buy an old 1960s typewriter for this.

      •  Logic? Reasoning? Deduction? Syllogism? Brain 101? (none)
        Exactly right!

        Even if you could reproduce an original vintage 1970s typewritten document (and as we have seen there are several discrepancies) with MS Word or another word processor, it does not follow then that any document which looks like that could only have been produced in such a way.

        Are people stupid or what?


      •  Raised, half-sized th (4.00)
        The "th" is actually a key indicator that it's not Word. Look at the way it's printed. The bar of the 7 touches the middle of the "th" on the typewritten one, while the bar is just about at the top of the "th" on the Word-created one.

        Just try to get Word to draw a 'th' that far outside the ascent of the font without going way out of your way ... you won't be able to do it, because modern font-rendering systems are much more strict about that stuff.

        Also, it's hard to tell definitively at such crappy resolution, but it sure looks like the typewritten "th" is thicker - which is of course a characteristic of a typewriter font where the glyphs are formed by metal striking paper. A minimum thickness is required so that it doesn't break. Screen rendering / laser-printing, of course, can create arbitrarily thin glyphs.

        It's worth noting the obvious, btw, and pointing out that the smaller "th" is something you'd have to type manually on the typewriter. Even on documents typed with the exact same typewriter, whether it appears on any given document is really up to the typist. I'd say that the superscript 'th' is the handiwork of someone who wasn't churning out reams of paper every day, and had the type of personality that pays attention to detail -- which might happen to fit a Lieutenant Colonel.

        •  I tried too. (none)
          you are absolutely right. God resides in details. This case in the "th". Can't be MSWORD.
        •  good point, and to add to it (none)
          The raised "th" is only in the last memo -- all of the ones before have it typed in a regular font. everyone's making really great points. the only frustrating thing is WHY SHOULD WE HAVE TO CARE?!?!

          reduce polarization -- hug a republican

          by golightly21 on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:37:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i don't think these are forgeries, but (none)
            unfortunately, when i print out my msword version of the "cya" memo, the superscripted "th" does in fact rise well above the top level of the number it follows.  i'm sorry to say this, but that's what happens.  however, the superscripted "th" looks noticably different, even though it rises to approimately the same level, and, moreover, in the cya memo, the 7 in 187th dips below the lower level of all the other type, whereas it does not do this in my word version.  

            the thing that stands out to me the most is that the memos released by the white house contained two more documents than those provided by cbs, and one of the documents that the white house released that was also released by cbs is noticeably different.  the white house version does not black out the address where bush resided at the time, and it contains significantly less spots and junk, aka noise.  at least one other blogger has suggested the memo in question, the may 4th memo, probably all of them in fact, were sent to the white house prior to their release by cbs, and cbs subsequently crossed out the address, which the white house did not do, thus explaining why the white house version is visibly different.  bush and co had the memos for at least a day prior to their release.  some have raised the suggestion that the memos are modern reproductions of legitimate and credible memos which were either hand written, illegible, or contained other information that cbs or its source were not willing to release.  

            i say: find the secretary.  or, perhaps she is one of the credible sources dan rather says they used to vet these documentsm but of course dan hasn't named who their source is yet.  though i disagree with michael dobbs' reporting in the WaPo, mainly because i think they may have jumped the gun a bit, i do agree with what he said on cnn today: cbs should release the names of their sources and their experts.  that's the only way we can resolve all this speculation, and unless we do that, we risk this foolish nonsensical debate over 30 year old typewriters obscuring the message john kerry needs to be hammering home loudly and clearly.

            •  Not a Secretary, but an Airman (none)
              In this sort of unit, typing for the commanding officer would have been done by an airman or non-commissioned officer (sergeant) with clerical duties.  In 1972-3, this would almost certainly have been a man rather than a woman.
      •  Test the paper... (4.00)
        which is a sure sign as to its age.  If it was made or purchased within a certain length of time, then it could pinpoint when the memos were typed.

        I'm duping this from another comment I made on the overnight thread.

        "I was a secretary typing on an IBM Selectric Correcting II, what I believe to have been the best typewriter EVER before computers in the late Seventiess.

        "I remember what I called the little font balls, especially the Letter Gothic and the Symbol, because they were the ones we used in the electrical engineering department at Stanford in the late 1970s.  (By that time, few Selectric I's were around, big heavy clumsy lumbering things they were.) They were in 12- and 10-points, however, I am not sure whether lesser points could be had.  I think, however, that a Helvetica th looked different than a Times Roman th.  Sometimes, of course, the font points were nothing compared to the font size.

        "I know that whenever I was forced to do the "th," I simply rolled the paper up an eighth, did my thing, and rolled it back down."

        Okay. Now here is something I just remmembered.  Maybe someone else has said this, but if not:

        Plus with the Selectric Correcting II, there was a lever where you could pull a trick: squeeze type into a space if you had forgotten a tiny word or symbol.  Those memos look to me like someone who was squeezing something extra onto the paper.  That's someone who would know a thing or two about these kinds tricks secretaries did.

        I think someone typed them up alright, off of Killian's notes on NG type stationary.  Someone probably independent of TANG.  And Killian signed them.

        Okay, moving right along:

        "I'm with Kurtz when he restates for the record that when CBS asked a superior of Killian's about the authenticity of the memos, the superior replied that he and Killian had talked about the exact same issues in the memo before.  In other words, Killian may have left a paper trail to protect himself in case a whistle was blown.  

        "However, I have a problem with how and where CBS found Killian's personal papers. An independent researcher has pieced together the events leading up to Bush's leaving the NG; that's the real paper trail, imho.  (Some guy whose name escapes me, but it begins or ends with the letter K.)

        "I disagree with Killian's widow when she states that her husband never wrote anything down and kept it in his head.  Ya know, hon?  The right hand doesn't always know what the left hand is doing.  I also dispute her claim that Bush was some kind of wonderful pilot and Guardsman. Like Mintz said regarding Bush, he didn't see him.  I doubt whether she saw Bush, too.  Even at parties.

        "I also disagree with Killian's son.  There is something funky here.  Who is he protecting, his father or Bush?  He supposedly served in the same unit with his father and Bush.  Again, he may not have been watching his father's left hand."

        My two cents.

        We never got the 40 acres. We didn't get the mule. So we decided we'd ride this donkey as far as it would take us. - Reverend Al Sharpton

        by blksista on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 10:41:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hooray for the fonts! (none)
      by Caleb Gilbert
      Hooray for the fonts! Hooray for the fonts! Horray for the fonts!

      Let's keep talking about this thing for as long as we can and wherever we can do it. I mean what a fun thing - sit there and watch people, who apparently, just can't get over ever admitting that they're irrefutably wrong for once ("irrefutable - what the hell's that - you some kinda commie or something, boy"). But really don't let me ruin the fun here - what's important for your funny bone is to let these motor mouths bury themselves with explanations that would make Oliver Stone bashful (explanations that the White House itself hasn't even alleged, mind you).

      Finally, when all looks lost, and the beat-red maniacs seem out of breath - just tweak and ridicule them a little bit for more fun and games. It doesn't have to be much, just throw 'em a bone - some "red meat" if you wil. Tell them this proves once and for all that the war in Iraq is not linked with the War on Terror, and then just step back so that the wild-monkey-flailings and spittle will not hit you directly...

      ...and in the meantime have a glance over at how those undecides are reacting to Mr. or Mrs. Angry-Puss.

      "All intelligent people in this country will vote for you,"
      "That's not good enough. I need a majority" - Adlai Stevenson

      by cgilbert01 on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:39:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Here's another point (none)
    This document released from the WH has a similar look.
  •  RE (4.00)
    What I find more than a little bit frightening  is how quickly this nonsense story went from LGF to Washington Post and NYTimes, who would appear to be the ones who got punk'd out.

    What liberal media?

    ... now watch this drive.

    by jg on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:15:52 AM PDT

    •  Yeah, funny ain't it? (none)
      The Swift Liars get three weeks to spew their garbage before the major papers start to debunk them, and even then they give them "he said, she said" treatment.  But something comes along to destroy Bush's credibility and within 24 HOURS they are already trying to strongly debunk it.

      I have no problem with quickly debunking lies, if that's what these turn out to be.  But do it quickly for both sides for godssakes.

      •  Absolutely. (none)
        In fact, the bigger story here is: Rove wins again.  Because all he needed to do was generate some (probably phony) controversy about the "legitimacy" of the documents, and thus throw up some smoke, to defuse the issue.  And with this "debunking" line of stories, he has achieved his goal.  You know, I can understand Fox, the Washington Times, and right-wing blogs advancing this garbage, but I have to say: I was surprised and pretty disappointed to pick up today's Washington Post and see the "debunking" story on their FRONT PAGE.  Does Rove have the numbers of every editor of every major media outlet in his speed dial?  And -- more to the point -- do those folks take his calls?

        "We're turning the corner . . . on Armageddon."

        by Doofus on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:01:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rove has "achieved his goal"? (none)
          If he did, perhaps too quickly, eh?

          Temporarily.  The story is still new: nice to get the lies refuted early, then get to the facts underlying.

          And, having no evidence that Rove is behind the smoke, I will not concede that speculation as being a "fact".

          The White House has not challenged the facts, even if they are holding their breath in hopes the fortuitous "controversey" lasts long enough to outrun attention and interest.

  •  Kerning (4.00)
    Please also note that the allegation of kerning is bogus.  A good counterexample is the May 4 memo.  Notice the acronym "IAW".  Kerning would overlap the A and the W so that the parallel slants were closer together.  But no.  In places, some serifs show smearing, but definitely no kerning.
    •  Good point (none)
      ...because if the alleged forgeries were kerned, that would be good evidence of forgery. I can buy PS in a 60's vintage typewriter, but not kerning.

      "Did I say 500 tons of sarin and 25,000 liters of anthrax? I meant 'weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.'"

      by Mathwiz on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 12:29:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  More on kerning (3.50)
      Atrios has posted that LGF's "forgery" doesn't even have kerning turned on! So if it really does closely match CBS's document, it would show that CBS's document isn't kerned either, which would mean it could have been typed.

      Another nail in the coffin of the "forgery" claim.

      "Did I say 500 tons of sarin and 25,000 liters of anthrax? I meant 'weapons of mass destruction-related program activities.'"

      by Mathwiz on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:22:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CBS should have determined this (none)
    CBS should have insisted that, for its experts to verify the documents as being from the early '70s, they knew exactly which brand and model of typewriter produced them. Maybe CBS did insist on this, and if so, now is the time to say so and state the brand and model of typewriter, in order to uphold the credibility of CBS. Doesn't this seem logical?
    •  They certainly... (none)
      ... need to come forward with the originals, if the originals are in their possession.  And if all they have is copies, then they need to explain damn clearly why they think the copies are from a legitimate source, and/or explain more clearly their own experts' analysis.

      I will say, also, that I am disappointed that several "experts" seem to be coming forward to say that Times New Roman-like fonts weren't available then, or proportional spacing, or superscripts, etc.   (See TPM)  This is clearly disprovable, and these two "experts" shouldn't be saying it.

      I suspect that within a day or two, a "real" expert -- by which I mean someone too professional to give his opinion over faxed copies and a telephone call -- will give us a definitive answer.

      •  Google the names of the "experts".... (none)
        ...and see what you get. I did that earlier for one (his name slips my mind now) and found out that he was virtually invisible on the Web -- except as an expert witness for some typed document used by a nutty UFO conspiracy freak.

        What I'm curious about is how they chose the "experts" that they went to. Did someone in the RePukes give them a list of "reliable" people?

        "Salvation is by way of the truth, not by way of the fatherland" -- Chaadaev

        by sagesource on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:10:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bingo! (4.00)
          The fellow I was speaking of above is Philip Bouffard. He's the (rather obscure looking) expert who shows up on the Web only in a UFO case and as the writer of a program to compare font faces (not a very well known one, either).

          For the main "expert" the Washington Post relied on, I am content to reproduce the comment of an anonymous poster at Steve Gillard's blog:

          WaPo quotes forensic expert William Flynn

          THIS William Flynn?
          The guy who claimed John Demjanjuk was a victim of Soviet forgery?

          more on John Demjanjuk

          That's quite a roster of "experts." One works for UFO nuts, and one for Nazi war criminals. Why am I not surprised?

          If Media Whores Online was still running, I think I can guess who would get Whore of the Week honors this week!

          "Salvation is by way of the truth, not by way of the fatherland" -- Chaadaev

          by sagesource on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:26:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  try again (none)
            Maybe the problem is that Bouffard is generally called "doctor" instead of his first name.  Search Bouffard and typewriter and the very verst link you get is a link to download his fontstyle classification database.  This guy sure seems to be legit.
          •  try again (none)
            Maybe the problem is that Bouffard is generally called "doctor" instead of his first name.  Search Bouffard and typewriter and the very first link you get is a link to download his fontstyle classification database.  This guy sure seems to be legit.
            •  An alien hunter is your big expert, huh? (none)
              "Dr." Bouffard's only research on the net prior to this week was in the Billy Meier alien abduction case


              I submit that the only field "Dr." Bouffard could be considered an expert in (through life experience) is psychopharmaceuticals.

              "Dr." Bouffard is one of the people who really wears  tin foil hats.

              "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right." - John Edwards

              by nyetsoup4you on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:40:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Check my post on another thread here -- (none)
                or Corrente.

                One of the "experts" is a Ms. Lines, of AZ.  And a Republican.

                And the "expert" I heard interviewed on NPR was from --- AZ.

                So the "experts" are what?  A Republican, a probable Republican associate, a UFO looney, and a Nazi defender.  (Which one was it that wrote the "font identifier" database?  Does it include swastikas?)

  •  im amazed (4.00)
    at how many people out there are so well versed in typewriter history. today my eyes have been opened.

    i was starting to believe the ms word theory, but you have dispelled that. the "e's" being out of line is enough for me, besides what else you've shown. and i'll add that even the superscript "th's" are not at the same height.

    if it's a forgery, it wasn't done by ms word.

    •  and oh yeah, i forgot my wtf! (4.00)
      wtf is anybody taking charles johnsons seriously for?????
      Charles Johnson has written to let us know that he has resolved the issue: "Bush Guard documents: Forged."

      ok then, charles johnson has resolved the issue! everyone can pack up and go home and be with your families. charles johnson is on the case.

      HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAA! im cracking myself up.

      well they were right about one thing - the blogs being on the top of this better than the mainstream news, but they just got the wrong blogs.

    •  The 'th's being at different heights (none)
      ... sadly doesn't prove much either way, as it turns out.  It can be theoretically explained by the fact that different implementations of Times New Roman indeed put them in different locations.  Using some PostScript printers, they apparently do line up better than is shown in their original image.

      But the 'e's and similar typographical "irregularities", and the fact that they are comparing these documents at such coarse resolution in order to claim they "match"; those are pretty damning.

  •  ATTN Hunter (none)
    Have you contacted this guy yet:

    I imagine someone has, but you never know.  Since you seem to have a good handle on the precise questions that need to be asked to determine WTF is going on, maybe you could forumlate them and e-mail him?

    For example, is it or is it not true that IBM executives were sometimes made to spec for larger clients, and could have (or were) made with both proportional spacing and superscripted characters... etc.

    Also may know something about the fonts.

    •  I have seen the site, (none)
      but alas, he seems to specialize in much earlier, non-electric models.  Some other possibilities too; people sell a lot of these things.  Still investigating...

      Just so everyone knows, there is only one big find; to find the exact model and type variation.  It's probably an IBM, it may not be. We know typewriters existed with all these features, but until someone comes up with an actual type sample that matches, nothing is proven.

      For example, IBM Executive typewriters were even produced in Braille versions.  So there may be a bloody lot of variations out there; it's like looking for a needle in a haystack.

      Granted, it doesn't really matter.  I set out to prove the freepers were wrong in their "debunking", that's all.  But it would be particularly damning to find concrete proof of the actual model used.

      •  worth asking (none)
        I think it's worth asking guys like this anyway, because people who collect obscure stuff tend to know and correspond with each other if they've been in it for awhile (like this guy has).  If one doesn't know, he's likely to know exactly who would know and how to contact him.
      •  I grew up on Air Force bases (none)
        In the 1960s and visited them frequently to take advantage of my juvenile dependent "perks" through the mid-1970s.  One thing I recall is that the Air Force always had military-specific versions of various familiar machines/office furniture/clothing/etc.  In fact, I remember thinking how odd it seemed when the military would use a regular commercial version of a product - it was far more common to find a military version, usually in a boring color with a little metal plate or label attached to it that might say something like, for example:

        Typewriter - Electronic
        U.S. Air Force
        Model - Composer, Selectric  2NAF69
        Stock No. 2-45434X   Lot No. 0103
        Contract No. AF130-56972434A
        Manufactured By
        International Business Machines Corp.
        Rochester N. Y.

        Given the size of the US Military as a customer, you can imagine any number of suppliers, from General Motors, to IBM, to Kraft Foods, would be more than willing to modify a civilian product to meet DOD procurement requirements.  The requirements might include such things as color, minimum performance standards, general construction requirements, and military-specific features (like, for example, the ability to type superscripts such as "nd", "rd", "th" and so forth, since those are commonly used in military communications).

        In fact, although I'm hardly an authority, I would be surprised if the Air Force, or ANG, was using a stock civilian version of a typewriter in the mid-60's through mid-70's era.  If my memory serves me well, I think it would be far more likely that they used a military-specific model procured by the Air Force Logistics Command at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

        ...not that I know anything specific, you know

        •  This may be a dumb question (none)

          But hasn't anyone thought to check TANG procurement records for typewriters to see what they bought or had shipped?  Military's sticklers for keeping paper trails of their expenditures.
        •  another avenue for procurement (none)
          another place to check would be NASA.  this guy was at ellington, which is the local airfield for johnson space center.  it's where the astronauts do their flight training in normal and special-purpose aircraft (armstrong crashed a LEM mock-up there in '68).

          some of the air force and reserve folks there do support duty for the astronaut corps as well.

          anyway, IBM was the big contractor for computer and presumably office equipment there up through the mid-80s.  so if NASA did a big block-buy of IBM equipment, they probably got some of the really good stuff from big blue at a discount.  and i'm sure the boys at ellington would have gotten in on that action.

          also - was killian fulltime ANG? or did he have a regular job too? and if so, what and where was it?

          get US troops out of iraq and into sudan

          by zeke L on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 05:36:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Go to Lukasiak's website (3.66)
    look at the orignal documents released previously by the Bush White House and by the Pentagon.

    Find the one with superscripted "th"'s...


    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:10:07 AM PDT

    •  link please (none)
      been looking, haven't found any yet.
    •  AHA....They're ALL Forgeries! (none)

      This must mean that all the documents relating to Bush in the TANG are forgeries. In fact, Dear Leader served in the USAF in Vietnam, flying 666 missions and nearly winning the war singlehandedly, until he was shot down and tortured as a result of John Kerry's treasonous testimony.

      After returning from 'Nam, Col. Bush was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the Nobel Prizes in Medicine, Peace, and Literature.  After successfully making Texaco one of the nation's leading oil companies, he purchased the Texas Rangers, and led them to six consecutive World Series titles as owner-manager-pitcher.  But then his country called and he became our Dear Leader.

      We do not yet have the documents handy to prove this.  We expect the White House to release relevant issues of the Washington Times from the '60s and '70s that show that all of this happened. This will in turn prove that all those issues of other papers from the '60s and'70s available in microfilm and online are, in fact forgeries (never fear, we'll just ban them to preserve all our beautiful minds).

      Doubting any of this is double-plus ungood.


      In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

      by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:22:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  BUSH: THE MISSING YEARS (none)
        You might be referencing this, but if you haven't read it yet, here you go...

        Ever since George W. Bush entered politics, he has been dogged by questions about his whereabouts during a twelve-month period from May 1972 to May 1973. It has been alleged that Bush, then a 26-year-old pilot in the Air National Guard, hardly ever reported for duty. The president has strongly denied this charge, and the White House has provided records it claims prove that Bush fulfilled his Guard obligations. Still, Bush's service record remains murky. Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, has repeatedly made reference to the president's unexplained absences. Filmmaker and activist Michael Moore has gone so far as to label the president a "deserter."

        But an eight-month investigation by GQ has yielded a stunningly different portrait of Bush's "missing year." This magazine's findings contradict allegations that Bush avoided military service but also explain why the president has remained vague about his activities during those twelve months.

  •  it's sad, really (4.00)

    that these little trolls know nothing besides their shitty Microsoft world, and therefore have to take this ridiculous and easily debunked avenue for "proving" "forgeries".

    No knowledge of history, typesetting or anything at all.

    •  Knowledge is their enemy. (4.00)
      That's why they are constantly flailing: they need knowledge to make connection with reality, but they constantly reject the connection because "Librul," so . . . they constantly flail.

      They imagine it is a genius' independence from So-shul-ist/statist public edjumacation.

      If your TeeVee suffers static it's because there's at least one freeper living near by, flailing away, causing friction between his functional autism and the air.

    What does Killian's son mean that it would not be in his father's best interest to keep notes on his job, or specifically about Bush?

    Answer this question, and in relation to the Bush family, and you get to the bottom of this quagmire.

    free the information

    by freelixir on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:49:58 AM PDT

  •  I said it before...and I'll say it again (4.00)
    the moment'kerning charactistics of 70s era typwriters' became a critical issue in this campiaign... jumped the shark

  •  What Gives This Story Legs (4.00)
    The media is falling all over themselves to push this story.  That indicates to me that the typewriter forgery part is not true.

    They are bolstering their case with a denial from Killian's wife, saying that he was not a memo writer--contrary to the fact that military culture is memo mad.

    They are bolstering their case with a denial from Killian's son, saying that his dad was not the kind of guy to cave--contrary to the fact that, based on Bush's military records, someone did not follow standard operational procedures.

    They are trotting out fellow veterans in his unit who are saying that the documents have to be forgeries.

    It's a lot like the Swifties in reverse.  The friends argue, against the military record, that nobody lied about Bush using his connections to avoid real service.

    This cover-up has legs because CBS hit pay dirt.  If the evidence did not get muddied, people would realize that Bush did not serve honorably and would be clamoring for the separation documents to see why he was released.  The rest of the press is punishing CBS for breaking ranks in the bias toward Bush.

    Forgery is much too crude for Karl Rove; spin works just as well.  Especially when you have a bunch of kept attack poodles.

    •  That's a key behavior (4.00)
      Why wasn't ABC and cable falling over themselves to report the original CBS story.

      Part of this is payback - CBS and 60 minutes had a very good year -  being the first to expose Abu Ghraib.

      Not only that, the various big time interviews - Clarke, Clinton, Woodward, etc.

      And they just got the Major Story from the FBI on the Pentagon Spy case.  You don't think this fries Koppel,

      Still when the swift liars were exposed, whether it was the Nixon tape, various documents, various soldiers, or when William Rood of the Chicago Tribune came forth, there wasn't this type of repeat reporting.

  •  more food for thought (none)

    The newly released records also showed that while Bush says he was in Alabama training with another Guard unit in 1972, his home unit in Texas was participating in the air defense of the southern United States by keeping two jet fighters constantly ready for launch within five minutes' notice.

    Democrats said that meant Bush passed on a chance to defend his country. Bush flew the F-102A jets his unit kept on alert but was grounded in August 1972 because of the missed medical check.

    "When his unit was placed on a 24-hour alert mission to protect our country from surprise attack, why did George Bush not report for duty?" Democratic National Committee head Terry McAuliffe said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

    Small world.  

    The very duty that Bush shirked in his National Guard service is what has been so carefully scrutinized and greatly critized about our response to 9-11.

    We were not ready.  In 5 minutes, 15 minutes, or even 60 minutes to shoot down hijacked planes that would strike crucial targets.

    For shame!

    free the information

    by freelixir on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 03:42:37 AM PDT

  •  More info: (4.00)
    A long comment from a poster at Kevin Drum's site.  I cannot vouch for the validity of these statements, I merely pass them along:


    The Forensics people don't seem to know much about typewriters, much less what they have or don't have in common with computerized word processing. (I used them for 45 years or more during the great evolution). Secondly, they don't seem to know much about technology including the dates of introduction. Maybe because most of it is mechanical, but more likely because it helps them juggle their dates for the Great White Flight Suit.

    The Type Face of the documents, at least on most of it, was IBM's Prestige Elite or an immediate relative, I haven't compared the typewritten stuff to the PDF but reasonably sure the size is Elite, not Pica. I have the Prestige Type ball in front of me, along with Courier 10 and Script 12. Somewhere else in the House I have the Selectric II that I haven't used since I addressed an envelope with it 15 years ago. It has yet another type ball. Elsewhere I have another 7 or eight type balls. There were a lot more including some aimed at Scientific and others at military.

    Soemwhere else in the House I have a mid 1950s IBM electric (not a type baller) which produces stuff just about like this, a lot of variety. And you could easily change a type ball in Mid-Sentence to make a change (You'd want to be careful it would look right, but that came with experience).

    It's very simple to do either superscript or subscript on the Selectric II, just flip a lever, then place it back. There's nothing weird about either the size or the "th" super. It was an available feature. You could get several types of script. The self-correcting Selectric II from 1971 looked a lot like the Selectric I (later called that) that was introduced about 1963.

    For what it's worth, I've owned one mechanical typewriter with a (c) with the full circle on the keyboard for copyright. Have seen them with special news service keys from the 50s, UP, AP and INS. Big companies sometimes did these unique or unusual keysets to make their employees more efficient. Or just look fancy. The UP predated 1958 when it got an I.

    Sommeone elsewhere suggested the copies were done repeatedly to make them look authentic.DUK this was the 1970s. In those days and on into the 1980s, we used copy books of varying numbers. Type the top copy and a good IBM (even the old ones) would clang out 8-10 copies no sweat. But they were clearly copies. A lot like a traffic ticket, just cleaner. Equivalents are still used in a lot of places. Yes, there were ways to make copies before XEROX became commonly used and affordable. And Selectrics did just fine at prep for memeographs and all that other ancient technology, as well as a lot of new stuff. What we're look at in the PDFs are good Xeroxes of a upper carbon copy.

    Someone has the proportional thing completely screwed up. The Selectrics I and II did not justify, but it would manage characters with different widths, i.e. the l took less space than the w -- and MEMORANDUM all caps would take more space than a combination of caps and small letters. You simply flipped (I;'m not look at the Selectric) to tell it whether you were doing 10 or 12 and it acted accordingly.

    Later models could be used as computer printers, although other things made more sense. But a letter produced on a Selectric II with a nice type face gave you a very clean, proportionate lettered look, side to side and up and down.

    What it was most famous for was the unproportional, unjustifiable but easy to read Courier, which is one reason Courts required it for many years. You needed a full size 10 or 12 shoe for each character, unlike those in the Prestige.

    When we were using Selectric I's (and other high quality electric typewriters, including even older IBMS--we had more secretaries.. If you were making a carbon book document, i.e. multiple copies, it didn't matter too much which one you used. The look might change a bit.
    I had one of the first Selectric IIs which I bought to use at home in 1972. The Selectric II was adapted faster in Government offices than most people think -- although it wouldn't be unusual for different letters in this office to come from more than one. Buying some nice electric typewriters is a good way to get rid of end of the Fiscal Year money, even if there isn't a full replacement program in place. But it wouldn't matter that much. For this, using a Selectric 1 was fine up to a given number of copies and you didn't really want to make erasures on Carbons because they had to be done manually below the original.

    I've read these "forensics" specialist and they're full of it. I suspect you'd get a better answer from some old line FBI or other investigative agent who worked with actual typewriters and early word processors. Computers made some things easier and other things possible. There aren't any reaches in these letters. These letters look exactly as the stuff I'd get from my Selectric if I retyped them from it.


    Posted by: jackl on September 10, 2004 at 3:40 A


    •  One other detail about copies (none)
      In the Naval Investigative Service Office in 1967, you were NOT ALLOWED to correct things in some circumstances, because the recipient could not be sure the carbons were the same as the original.  You had to type the whole thing over.

      Xeroxes did not exist in 1967, everything was carbons, mimeograph machines, and the disgusting wet copy copier.  By 1970, I'm not sure. Does anyone know whether Xerox (dry copy) machines were in common use in the military in the early 1970's?

      It doesn't bother me that the fancier machine was the Colonel's private stock for writing to generals with.  Typical forms were done by the typing pool, it was the personal secretary to the boss who had the best machine.

      •  I remember the Xerox commercials (none)
        that ran during the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" that had the monk using a copying machine to produce his manuscript.  I think they ran in the early 1970s.

        "Nothing carries the spirit of this American idealism more effectively to the far corners of the earth than the American Peace Corps." - John F. Kennedy

        by Khun David on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:18:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Xerox 90 (none)
          The Xerox 90 was a lumbering stand-alone machine that seemed a wonder in its time. You filled a reservoir with chemical fluid and it took only 60 seconds to make a complete copy of onepage! I had a summer job in an office in the summer of 1969 and it was the latest and greatest office machine available.
      •  The first Xerox machine (none)
        I ever saw was in the Law School Secretariat's mimeograph shop at Columbia in 1967. It was leased from Xerox (none were sold) and there were only two at Columbia. The other was in the Journalism school.  We charged people by the copy to use it. The preferred copy method was mimeograph. Incidently, both mimeo stencils and offset litho plates (up to folio size) were composited on IBM Selectric wide platten machines.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:27:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I work for Xerox (none)
        What are you talking about?

        The Xerox 914 was the first plain paper office copier and was
        introduced in 1959, by Haloid (which became "Xerox" that same year when they bought out the worldwide patents on xerography).

        Not saying that TexANG had one specifically, but Xerox copy machines have been around offices since the 50s.


        Mitch Gore

        No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

        by Lestatdelc on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 10:15:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Unfortunately it doesn't matter that we're right (none)
    The Washington Post put on page A-freaking-1 this morning that the papers are forged.  Well, the actual story is "some dispute" but they included everything about how the font didn't exist in the 1970s - they took the wingnut conspiracy line and bought it hook, line, and sinker.  With swift liars they didn't do this.  Now this will become an anti-Kerry story because it looks like Kerry supporters have grasped at straws to try to come up with something negative about Bush but it failed.

    SCLM my ass.


    •  The sad thing is... (4.00) doesn't even pass the sniff test. Why forge documents from the '70s with modern computer word processing programs when you could do it much more convincingly by just finding an old typewriter? The Post totally fell for this, and CBS should immediately refute it because it's the credibility of CBS that is being sh1t on.
      •  they're bought off (4.00)
        The correction tomorrow, this weekend, or next week that the document likely is not a forgery will be on Page 16.

        This is nothing new.  It's standard, and, as much as y'all hate to hear it, Noam Chomsky has already broken it down in depth and detail for the past 20 years.

        The only difference is that now you're concerned because it's against our candidate.  If our candidate wins, our vigilance about media lies will likely ebb as usual, and as normal, as for the past 30-40 years.

        free the information

        by freelixir on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 04:41:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Melinda Gates (none)
      I note that Melinda Gates joined the Board of Directors of the Washington Post Company as announced in the Post this morning.  
      •  Not likely connected. (none)
        I wouldn't read too much into that. For any number of reasons I kind of doubt anyone in the Gates family is a big Bush supporter.

        For one thing both Bills (Sr. and Jr.) have come out in favor of taxing themselves more to pay for things like education.

        For another the Gates' are big supporters of population control and family planning.

        True some current and former Microsoft execs are big GOP fundraisers, but some are also big funraisers for the Democrats.

  •  If the NY Times or WaPo can't... (4.00)
    ...get ahold of an IBM Selectric Composer or IBM Executive or whatever the hell typewriter it was from the '60s or earlier, type in the "CYA" memo using the correct font, scan the page and print it in the newspaper as proof that "Yes, indeed, the memos obtained by CBS are legitimate documents from the early '70s," then I fucking GIVE UP.
    •  don't you get it? (3.66)
      They're fucking liars.  They don't care.  They're bought by the plutocrats, and have been for a long time.  Nixon was a f'in anomaly, because of the turmoil of the JFK assassination, which Nixon seems to have knowledge of in retrospect.

      You have to beat the monopoly.  Guys like Hearst were the devil incarnate, influencing not only legislation but our leaders.

      The model of the past, i.e. J. Edgar Hoover, was to snoop and collect images of people that embarassed them (like sexual pictures).  Martin Luther King, for instance, was apparently prodded to commit suicide due to pictures Hoover, the head of the FBI, was threatening him with public exposure.

      Guess what?  The FBI building is named after that supreme scumbag J. Edgar Hoover, when the guy should be exercised and condemned, and his body ground into chicken feed.

      I'm not fucking around anymore.  Many of you are in denial or ignorance of what was going on in the 60's, and preceding and during Vietnam.

      We can't let it happen again, or you'll see more strange and unexpected deaths of those speaking out against the powers that be.

      free the information

      by freelixir on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 04:47:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  IBM typewriting in the military 1960/1970's (4.00)
      Thanks for the visit to the 1960/1970 military office.  It makes me feel young again.  Just to add another voice to the throng of evidence, here's what such an officer was like, and why a lot of the 'it's a forgery' stuff doesn't ring true.

      I worked for the Naval Investigative Service Office in 1967.  We used the IBM Selectrics.  Here's why:

      1.  You needed the extra power to do the 6 to 10 carbon paper copies that Every Military Document requires.

      2.  All such machines were indeed specially produced by IBM Federal Systems Division.  They had a  special feature required by military security where the ribbon was a single use.  You typed until you ran out of ribbon and put the ribbon in the burn bag.  This avoided having some spy able to pick up the ribbon and read what had been typed.  They were purchased in bulk and therefore the idea that a obscure office wouldn't have a fancy machine does not fly.

      Getting a good machine was done by how politically connected your commanding officer was, and how important security was in your area.  I would wager that you couldn't get more politically connected than TANG.  They would have had whatever was Air Force Most Impressive, just as part of the commanding officer Strut.

      3.  Special characters are no sweat on the Selectric series.  You simply order the new ball. The balls were relatively cheap, compared to buying a specialized machine.  In '67 I didn't have a machine with th on it, but they were available on a separate ball.  During the entire period however, everything was done on printed forms.  To fit long phrases and names into the little boxes on the forms, these kind of abbreviations (and hence the balls) were all over the place.

      That's why machines that didn't need balls or special keys to produce fancy characters were built.

      And why it is no surprise that they were used.

      4.  Although secretaries are an endangered species today, at the time in question the commanding officer would certainly have had an airman of some flavor with a security clearance(in the Navy called a yeoman) who typed exclusively for him.  If the commander wanted a CYA memo, he would have had his 'yeoman or whatever' type it, because he needed a witness to Cover Your Ass--otherwise the CYA memo could not have been proved later to be concurrent with the event he needed to cover himself for.  

      The idea that Killian would have written it himself either by hand or on a typewriter (and that the fact he couldn't type or didn't do memos himself) is laughable.  The way this is done is that Killian sez, "Yeoman, take this memo, and says what he wants to say."  The yeoman types it, thus providing a firm date and a witness.

    •  WoodStein had IBMs in All the Presidents' Men (none)
      Go look at the movie. The whole floor WoodStein worked on at the Washington Post had IBM Selectrics.

      "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right." - John Edwards

      by nyetsoup4you on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 05:50:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does anybody get the feeling... (none)
    maybe somebody working for Bush was the source of these documents.

    I never really thought that they were that damning for Bush anyway.  How many people really believed his getting into the TANG had nothing to do with his father's connections?  The public just doesn't really care.

    The person who backed up these documents for CBS was a Republican who supports Bush.  I believe he is refusing to speak publicly now.

    I thought it was odd yesterday that the only response from the White House was to make sure everyone knew Kerry was behind this.  They even released copies to the press.

    Fair or not, I think this is going to hurt Kerry worst than Bush.
    To most American, (who do not spend tiem researching fonts from 1972) this is going to look really dirty.

    I wonder were CBS got these documnets from?

    •  No (none)
      That was my reaction at first, also, but a little research has found that there's still no evidence at all that the documents are fake. The typewriters were around back then that could produce the memos, and there's even a post in this thread with a link showing that the Air Force was testing out such typewriters in 1969.

      CBS hasn't backed off its stand that they had experts check them out thoroughly, so let's see what CBS has to say now that others are questioning their credibility.

      •  I guess my point is... (none)
        that it doesn't matter that there is no real evidence that the documents are fake.

        On my way to work this morning, I heard on two different stations that the documents CBS released were a "hoax".

        What really matters in politics is not the facts, but the public preception of the facts.

        •  True (none)
          And if CBS won't stand up for itself and its credibility, then all they had to do was tell a couple of more lies to cover up all the other lies.
          •  False (none)
            What matters in politics MOST are facts.

            What matters most in PROPAGANDA is public perception of facts.

            If you're seeking to control people, you want to control their perception. If you're seeking to educate and enlighten the polity, you seek facts.

            The corporate media has an agenda. They are NOT your friends. Even CBS is not.

            •  If CBS lets this go... (none)
     might as well just cancel "60 Minutes." Do they have an agenda? Sure, and it includes selling ads on their shows, which isn't going to be very easy to do if nobody is watching because nobody believes them anymore.
              •  To the public, the lies matter more than (none)
                the facts lied about.

                But the lies matter: we are in a time of insecurity -- largely induced and manipulated by the liar/s.  In times of insecurity the public needs, to the contrary, trustworthy word.

                The issue is lying and trust. And the public is already wavering on whether Bushit's word (and judgment) can be trusted.

                "It isn't the facts, it's the lies."

  •  BREAKING - Documents Case! (3.00)
    Retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the man who allegedly authored recently uncovered documents now in question by republicans, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, was found dead in his Texas home today, the victim of an apparent escaped Kimodo Dragon from a nearby zoo.

    Maj. Gen. Hodges, who confirmed the authenticity of the documents to a CBS reporter who read them to him over the phone and who replied that "these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time." was 71.

    The Kimodo Dragon is a member of the reptile family and is known for it's bone crushing jaws capable of inflicting serious damage.  How a Kimodo Dragon was able to escape and ultimately end up in Mr. Hodges home is still a mystery as is how the Kimodo Dragon was found in Mr. Hodges bedroom, on the second floor.

    Local zoo officials at first did not report the escaped Kimodo Dragon, but later recanted their story saying that they did in fact notice something was strange, but only after a call was received from the White House expressing interest in that zoo's Kimodo Dragon exhibit for an upcoming presidential visit.

    Karl Rove was unavailable for comment.

    [/satire...or is it?]

  •  The way it works. (none)
    The Republicans have supporters/operatives who are willing to say anything.

    The Democrats don't.

    Journalists often do a lousy job at factchecking, and will report what is fed to them.

    Result: Republican spin dominates the headlines, see the WaPo headline about this.

    The choices to resolve this are, then, to get better journalists, or to get some Democrats who are willing to just say things to make the headlines.

    It's pretty sad that the 2nd option seems to be the best one short-term.

  •  Please (4.00)
    The documents are clearly not forged.

    His CO backs them up.

    His wife? Just stop. It's embarassing.

    His son? Ditto. What the fuck would he know?

    These idiots spend too much time watching CSI. Forgers would not use computers to replicate a widely available typewriter.

    The WAPO is a bullshit paper. Watergate WAS an aberration, notable for the sole time a paper went after a powerful politician when it had the goods on him. Why? Because it was privately owned at the time and could. And still took a lot of heat for it from the corporate media.

    The WH accepts them as genuine. They came from Killians files, and I'm sure CBS did not get the originals. Ergo, they are still in his files, and can be verified.

    Unless people are claiming an elaborate evidence planting and forgery scheme, in which case you're just fucking crazy.

    I've said it all along: They could see with their own eyes Bush snorting coke off a hookers tits and they would deny what they had seen.

    They simply do not care. They are against John Kerry because:

    He's for treating gay people equally, and they aren't.
    He's against insane cutting of taxes for rich people.
    He's against uneccessary wars.

    They do not care what Bush did in the past, or what he continues to lie about today. He is STILL preferable to Kerry for them, because he's an intolerant bigot just like they are.

    That's my position and I'm sticking with it.

  •  You might want to tell the SCLM this (none)
    because the forgery story is gaining traction, it is part of this AP story that is on the front page of Yahoo.

    Independent document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines said the memos looked like they had been produced on a computer using Microsoft Word software. Lines, a document expert and fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, pointed to a superscript -- a smaller, raised "th" in "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron" -- as evidence indicating forgery.

    Microsoft Word automatically inserts superscripts in the same style as the two on the memos obtained by CBS, she said.

    "I'm virtually certain these were computer generated," Lines said after reviewing copies of the documents at her office in Paradise Valley, Ariz. She produced a nearly identical document using her computer's Microsoft Word software.

    "Reality" is the only word in the English language that should always be used in quotes.

    by LionelEHutz on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 05:39:05 AM PDT

  •  uh oh- these memos came from the DNC? (none)
    The spectator is reporting that these memo's were originally uncovered by the opposition researcher for the DNC.  

    More than six weeks ago, an opposition research staffer for the Democratic National Committee received documents purportedly written by President George W. Bush's Texas Air National Guard squadron commander, the late Col. Jerry Killian.

    The oppo researcher claimed the source was "a retired military officer." According to a DNC staffer, the documents were seen by both senior staff members at the DNC, as well as the Kerry campaign.

    "More than a couple people heard about the papers," says the DNC staffer. "I've heard that they ended up with the Kerry campaign, for them to decide to how to proceed, and presumably they were handed over to 60 Minutes, which used them the other night. But I know this much. When there was discussion here, there were doubts raised about their authenticity.

    The concerns arose from the sourcing. "It wasn't clear that our source for the documents would have had access to them. Our person couldn't confirm from what file, from what original source they came from.""

    If these do turn out to be fake, this is how it is going to get tied back to Kerry.  Read the whole thing.  There is plenty of interesting information in this article I hadn't seen anywhere else.  But so much of it is "off the record" type stuff it is hard to know how legit it is.

    •  Again, if these were forgeries... (none) alleged in the Washington Post article -- made with computer word processors -- why would the Democrats make such sucky forgeries when they could have just found an old typewriter?
      •  I think the democrats got fooled (none)
        I think that someone handed these to the DNC, and since it take a real font nerd to know the difference it didn't raise any eyebrows.  The democrats just handed off the material to real reporters and figured if they were fake then 60 minutes would find it, but if they were real they would run with it and blow it up.  But of course this is all speculation.  But the source of these documents has always been a mystery.  Some said they came from a FIOA request and some said they came from Killians family.  This is the first statement I have seen about the source and if they were uncovered by the DNC that is going to make the story seem much bigger.
        •  Handed it off blindly to '60 Minutes'? (none)
          So then if CBS determines that they are forgeries, they report that Democrats are trying to pass off forged documents?

          At, they're now reporting the questions about the documents but still saying that CBS News stands by its story. Apparently they aren't convinced by Sandra Lines or whatever her name is and her 10 minute analysis.

        •  Aren't you reading the diaries? (3.50)
          You seem to be arguing from eight hours ago.  

          The following now seems established:

          1.  The font is not Microsoft Times New Roman

          2.  The character offsets in the baseline are consistent with typewriting

          3.  An IBM Selectric Composer could have produced the memos.

          4.  IBM Selectric Composers were in common use in the military because a custom security feature (nonreversible ribbons) and the power to penetrate a stack of carbons.  A comment above establishes the military of the period as a bulk purchaser of these typewriters.

          I think we're about to put the forgery angle to bed, so it seems premature, at best, to spin conspiracy yarns.
          •  errr.... (none)
            At the beginning it was amatuers who were saying the documents were fake. Now the experts have weighed in and said that they don't beleive them with only the amatuers who are still saying they are definately real.  The diaries are crap because they don't understand the full scope of the problem.  There are multiple issues here, and the diaries attack one at a time.  And when the guy who developed the type font database comes out and says that no font like this was ever available on the IBM executive typewriter then until I hear someone more authoratative than him I need to beleive him.  Many experts have gone on the record at this point and none of them have said they thought the documents were real.  Several of them have at least claimed they were voting for Kerry.  And if you are an expert in this field who really thinks that the documents are real, this would be a really good time to come forward.  When it was diaries vs the right wing blogs then the diaries were a great source.  As this point its the diaries vs the experts in this field and the diaries just don't come close in my opinion.
            •  Well CBS had "experts" verify them (none)
              Unless they just made that part up.
              •  absolutely (none)
                But now they won't say who they checked these documents out with, and those experts certainly haven't come forward to dispute the claims being made.  PLus CBS had a statement out saying they verified that the claims were consistent with what Killian thought at the time.  I am certainly open to hearing from a typefont expert who says they are sure the documents are real, but that person hasn't come forward yet, even off the record.  And when the top experts in the field are coming forward on the record (and apparently the guys being discussed are the top experts and not cranks) that holds a lot more weight to me than a vague claim by CBS.  
                •  MeanBonII and Damon are Trolls -- (none)
                  the "experts" so far identified are not credible.  One is a Republican, a second is a probable Republican, one is an "expert" on UFO abductions, and one is a Nzi apologist.

                  And the "American Spectator" is a Reich Whine wingnut rag.

            •  The problem I have (4.00)
              Is that every expert who has weighed in so far has said that the capabilities to produce the memos did not exist in a single machine possibly existing at the TANG in the early seventies.  

              Although there is work still to do, I think the discussion above is sufficient to judge this basic supposition to be false.  The Selectric Composer did have the capabilities these 'experts' have denied existed, and it supposedly was in wide use in the military.

              At some point you have to step back from credentials and judge the quality of the arguments themselves, especially when factual assertions are made that are clearly not true.

            •  Wrong... a few neo-con created "experts" (4.00)
              Like the neo-cons "experts" that testify that there is no such thing as global warming... or the neo-con "experts" that testify that there are massive stockpiles of WoMD in Iraq...

              Remember... the neo-cons don't know jack about forgeries. Neo-cons were completely buffaloed by the  Sudan yellowcake forgeries.

              The letters in the text of the documents fall way short of the uniformity of the text produced by word processors. The artifacts of transference of ink from ribbon to paper are all over these documents. These artifacts do not appear in computer generated documents.

              "President Bush now says his Iraq policy is a catastrophic success. He's half right." - John Edwards

              by nyetsoup4you on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 06:37:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Now the Post has a GRAPHIC ... ooooohhhh (none)
    Wow, look at this. We already know the typewriters from that time DID have superscripting (the little 'th'), and other Bush documents unrelated to these also have superscripting.

    I don't see any "unevenly distributed horizontal spacing" but of course I'm not an "expert." Anybody see any uneven spacing? Aside from maybe a double-space after the period.

    And the 4 doesn't have a base. Holy sh1t.

    •  weak, WaPo, very weak. (none)
      Interesting--the "th" on the header is NOT superscripted, while the one in the text is.

      Microsoft Word produces automatic superscription whenever "th" follows a number.  If you're familiar with Word, you know how much of a hassle it is to override its AutoFormat feature.  Easy, however, for a typewriter user to elect not to use the superscript.

      Not a smoking gun, but something I noticed immediately upon pulling up the WaPo image.

      "Our struggle is not with some monarch named George who inherited the crown. Although it often seems that way."

      by erinya on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 10:54:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My take (none)
        We had a typewriter in the 1970s with the superscript key for "th."  I was not much of a typist back then, and sometimes I used it the "th" and sometimes I didn't.  The inconsistency makes it seem rather more genuine than a forgery.
  •  What's SO interesting, is how .. (none)
    all this media let the Swiftie Liars go on for weeks without any challenge..hell, they were egging them on.  Meanwhile, 1 day of Bush smearing and they are all over it.

    I can't stand it!

    27 criminal investigations in Iraq and counting

    by CalDoc on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 06:21:45 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (none)
      I think now one will ever be able to prove these are forgeries, but the damage has been done.
      Unlike the Shifty Liars, which went on for weeks unanswered, the TANG records have already been successfully "de-legitimized" because of the short time before they've been questioned.
      We, Kerry supporters, know Bush shirked his duty.
      Freepers think he "served honorably"
      And the insipid "undecided voters" probably think the whole thing is just "dirty politics"
      So while I think we shouldn't sweat the veracity of documents (come on guys, one wingnut "expert" from the wealthy suburbs of Phoenix doesn't make a "slam dunk" debunking), I am pretty sure that the truth of the allegations (remember that there are only 2 memos of the several documents that are questioned) have been extremely blunted in the public's mind already.
  •  Now, CBS can do a whole 60 minutes (4.00)
    program devoted to how the documents were produced on a 1972 typewriter. They can have the typewriter and typist and an expert right there and produce the document in front of the whole nation. Does Bush really want more of this publicity? Not so bad for us!
  •  Selectrics (none)
    I put in many, many typing hours during the Vietnam era, and I promise you that IBM Selectrics, especially Selectric IIs, were widely used in offices ca. 1971-1973. I suspect they were the most commonly used typewriter in America at the time. IBM Executives, in my experience, were a less common but certainly not rare. IBM Composers were special-purpose machines, however, and it's unlikely anyone would use one just to knock off a file memo.
  •  This will be a "battle of the experts" (4.00)
    I can see where this is going.

    CBS will come up with a respected documents expert who will review the report and produce a professional expert opinion that the documents are genuine.

    Some Republican connected organization will come up with a respected documents expert who will review the report and produce a professional expert opinion that the documents are fake.

    And it'll be just like a trial with a "bottle of the experts."

    All the wingnut Repubs will believe the Repub experts.

    And we'll believe CBS's experts

    And this TANG documents issue will become just another one of those deeply divisive issues that casues extreme partisans to want to kill each other.

    And swing voters will think, "well maybe the documents aren't all true, but there must be some truth to them."

    And that's where things will stand.

    Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

    by pontificator on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 06:50:44 AM PDT

  •  There are forensics experts for documents (none)
    Because the K/E campaign has been accused of generating forgeries to get at Bush, they would be well-justified in hiring a professional document forensics specialist and publicizing the results.
  •  I knocked this together myself (4.00)
    And it took me what, 20 seconds using MS Paint to highlight a clear fallacy.

    CBS document:

    Word document:

    Look at the 187th.  HOW LONG did these morons spend looking at Word?

    When you overlay Word on top of the original, you obliterate the subtle differences instead of highlighting them.

    •  What am I supposed to be looking at here? (none)

      Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

      by pontificator on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:05:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  187th (none)
        Every element of "187th" is different.

        Really obviously different.

      •  Hmm (none)
        I thought it would be obvious.  But I did crib it somewhat excitedly from a post on another forum.

        Look at the top of the superscripted th following 187.

        Word aligns the tops of character symbols fairly closely.

        Yet in the CBS memo, the TH is not aligned with the top of the 187 characters.  In fact, it's vertically offset about half of it's height above the top of the 7.

        Try doing that with Word.

        •  Now I see (none)
          The "1" especially looks completely different on Word and on the original document.

          Good find.

          Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

          by pontificator on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:14:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Also (none)
            Look at the 8 character (as stated in this diary's text).

            In the CBS document it is CLEAR that the top loop of the 8 is smaller than the bottom.

            Again, in Word, they are the same size.

            Again, this is something that is lost when you overlay.


            •  The Fix is in (none)
              And we have out do Sysaphus in effort to elect Kerry to be successful.
              I've been scanning the cable news this morning, and the breathelessness with which their reporters (the whole lot of them) are "questioning" the veracity of the memos is stunning.
              I wish they debunked the shifty liars with the same zeal. But that would be like wishing a Bull could give milk.
              Oh yeah, once again score one for the SCLM and 0 for Truth and -5 penalty to common weal.
            •  Good find (none)
              As you say, comparing the elements of '187th' in the two does definitively rule out MS Word Times New Roman, which is the basis of the Yahoo News story above.

              If Atrios and Kos both frontpaged this graphic with circles highlighting the differences, that would effectively rule out the idea that these were created with MS Word Times New Roman.

              •  Here ya go (none)
                I decided to make it really easy.

                Once again, these are banged up in MS Paint.



                CBS - highlighted by me:

                Word - highlighted by me:

                Conclusion: Word != CBS

                Take copies of these if you want.  It's just imageshack.  In fact, we should get these off imageshack ASAP.

                ph34r my l33t paint skillz.

                •  Important (none)
                  Note this post:


                  Don't want people reading this, not going any further, and thinking this is a total solution.  It isn't.

                •  another thing... (none)
                  The bottom of the numbers is slightly above the base of the other letters... except for the 7.

                  I learned how to type on a typewriter... Selectric II in fact.  This document, while it certainly wasn't created with a Selectric II does have a lot of things consistent with a typewriter.

                  It also appears to me as though the 8 is slightly at an angle

                  The fact is, not even Republicans like Bush. The only reason any of them are talking a bout voting for him is because he's not Kerry. Pass it On.

                  by Steve4Clark on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:17:22 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  there's more (none)
                  Nearly every element in Alabama is different, too.

                  The capital A appears to have some kind of stem at the top of the capital in one but not the other, though I can't be sure. The top of the "l" in the CBS document definitely has a stem that's not in the second font. The "b" in the second font has a stem the first doesn't have. The other letters are too blurry to tell, but might be subtly different. To my eye, they are different, but the difference for these other letters could be resolution artifacts.

                  For too long, politicians have told [us] what's really wrong with America is [Them]...But this is America. There is no Them; there is only Us. -- Bill Clinton,

                  by seaprog on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 11:25:26 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Small L and 1 (none)
            Especially if the airman typed it, he might have used the small l as a one, rather than the actual letter 1.  On the Selectric I had, they were not identical, depending on the font I was using.  From time to time, as I wasn't a great typist for numbers, I would use the small l since I couldn't get the real number one without looking at the keys.  
    •  the baselines are different (none)
      To me the most apparent difference is in how there is a clean baseline with the MS Word but not so with the typewritten lines.
    •  About the superscript's position (none)
      Unfortunately, if you print your Word document, you'll notice that the superscript 'th' is slightly higher in the printout than on your screen. Apparently the screen font isn't the same as the print font.
      •  Which begs the question.. (none)
        Did they print the documents out, overlay them, then scan them back in and is that what they posted?

        If not, the overlay is totally misleading, as you have just proven that printout differs from visual appearance.

        Do 8's appear different when printed too?

        •  Printed version (none)
          The rest of the numbers in my printout look to my untrained eye more like the numbers in your version. (I don't have a scanner here so I can't post a link.) The '7' doesn't dip below the other characters and the top of the '8' is bigger than on the CBS documents. I wonder, though, whether the differences could be the byproduct of photocopying a printout enought times.

          The wingnuts started out, as far as I can tell, by comparing the CBS documents to screen captures. Some of them have been printing out the documents and scanning them back in - largely because of the 'th'. But their efforts are largely flawed, of course, because superimposing small characters only serves to hide any differences, not to bring them forward. Your blow-up approach seems better.

  •  Follow the trail (none)
    Let's step back for a minute and look at this from a different angle.

    Accept, hypothetically, that these documents are forgeries.

    Accept, hypothetically, that they got to CBS via the trail that was outlined above: unnamed retired military figure to DNC to Kerry to 60 Minutes.

    Will the DNC do what it takes to unmask the source of these documents? Who is he? What are his political connections? Do I smell a Rovian twist?

    What better way to discredit the DNC and Kerry than by planting faked "explosive" documents, knowing that you can then expose them as fake as soon as they're unveiled.

    Doesn't this smack of the "stolen debate notes" scam that Rove almost pulled off on Gore in 2000?

    Find the source of the documents and I guarantee there's a link to Rove there.

  •  Is this superscript? (none)
    Note the "147th" near the top.  Does that count as superscript?

    From here:

    Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

    by pontificator on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:26:13 AM PDT

    •  superscript on fixed width (none)
      Superscript on a fixed width font is not an issue.  If the memo we are talking about were written in fixed width courier font like almost every other military memo then the superscripting would have never come up at all.  
  •  Am I The Only One? (none)
    All this talk of typewriters reminds me of Cronenberg's Naked Lunch (1991)

    You have left the Clark Nova at home?

    It's doing alright without me.

    In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

    by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:34:37 AM PDT

  •  Blowing Off Steam to the AP (none)
    This morning Yahoo is featuring an absolutely ridiculous story on its main page called Questions Surface About Bush Memos". It's another case of recycling nutcase theory as legitimate news.

    Everyone with a Yahoo account should go rate this story a "1". If you don't have a Yahoo account, take a minute and set one up.

    I also used some of the sources presented in this diary to write a fairly nasty letter to the AP about their complete failure to fact check this story as this diary writer has done. Bravo on your research, you oughta go work for the AP or a TV network.

    As Al Franken said, if George Bush declared the world was flat, the AP would run a story headlined "Views of Shape of Earth Differ."

    "9/11 was not a triumph of the human spirit. It was a fuck-up by a guy on vacation." -- Bill Maher

    by bramish on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:35:55 AM PDT

  •  sigh (none)
    I see on the righty blogs that they are advancing the theory that even though a typewriter existed that could have produced the memos, it was unlikely that TANG had one.  Ergo the documents are forgeries.

    I wish they could apply the same reasoning to the following chain of events:

    1.  Bush trains with TANG.
    2.  Bush requests a transfer to AL.
    3.  No one sees him in AL.
    4.  He is not paid for any drill time in AL.
    5.  He missed a required physical in AL.

    2), 3), 4), and 5) indicate that it is unlikely that Bush did any guard duty while  in Alabama.
    Ergo, Bush did not fulfill his National Guard service.
    •  Except It's Not Unlikely (4.00)
      The Texas Air National Guard was the called "the champaign unit." There's a reason for that: it was politically influential.

      Flash back to the late 1960s. Lyndon Johnson, from Texas, was President. The Vietnam War was in full swing. The Pentagon was awash in money (due to the War). Every vendor, especially IBM, was doing its patriotic duty to supply exactly what the U.S. Government wanted, including special keys for diagraphs like "th" so commonly used in military forms. (We've seen that in fixed pitch documents in Bush's file.)

      We've also seen records that the Air Force tested -- and almost certainly procured -- the IBM Selectric Composer in 1969.  The Selectric Composer was capable of doing this sort of work easily. In a military establishment awash in cash, it's totally believable that they picked up many of IBM's Selectric Composers for senior secretaries. There were hundreds of typing elements ("golf balls") available for the Selectric Composer, including typefaces like Times New Roman, Delegate, Prestige family, etc. In point sizes ranging from 3 to 12.

      But you don't even have to go that far. IBM also sold vast numbers of IBM Executive model typewriters -- in any typeface the government wanted, including proportional, including popular diagraphs. The Executive Model D would have been the most likely for that era. In fact, Richard Nixon's official resignation letter was almost certainly typed on an IBM Executive. No self-respecting senior officer's secretary, especially in Texas, would have been caught dead using a mere IBM Standard, the base model. It was at least the Executive.

      If you forced me to decide, I'd vote for the IBM Executive typewriter, military issue. Occasionally the secretary would remember to use that "th" key -- perhaps with a carriage roll for full effect -- but would often forget. It would be the machine that generated beautiful documents compared to the fixed pitch machines that were also common. (IBM salesmen of the era were remarkably effective at persuading ambitious secretaries they needed more than the base model. Sales commissions were set to encourage upselling, and the IBM model range was established precisely for that purpose.) The document has that mechanical quality to it that's a little more "lively" than the Selectric technology.

      The burden of proof is on those who challenge the authenticity of these documents, particularly since CBS News established provenance with the commanding officer's superior (who happens to be a Republican).

      Support our troops. Let's not repeat Vietnam in every detail.

      by sipples on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:10:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What astonishes me (none)
    Is that these 'experts' testify in trials.

    I hope CBS News is looking in on this thread because there's a lot of good stuff here.  

    From the number of experts in the field of document analysis that have already been shown to have made demonstrably false statements, I think the possibility exists that the experts used by CBS also don't know what the hell they're talking about.

    The special superscripted 'th' ball in the particular font for the particular Selectric (or other typewriter) used may no longer exist.  Then CBS will have to redevelop their basis for the authenticity of the documents that responds to these criticisms.  Their slowness in responding to this story tells me that they did not thoroughly research the typography, or that they confronted their 'experts' and got a deer in the headlights look regarding the issues being raised.  Other evidence may have been used to establish the authenticity of the documents, and so they have been caught off guard.

  •  Two Points (none)
    • If CBS has the originals, they can easily determine by looking at the document under a microscope whether the letters were created by a typewriter, inkjet printer, or laserjet printer. It doesn't have anything to do with fonts, kerning, or superscripts. It has to do with the different ways these devices lay ink on a page. And I'm pretty sure they did just that, because they wouldn't go with a story based on easily faked copies.
    • The WaPo article is by Howie Kurtz. 'Nuff said.

    "That's W and that's Wrong. Wrong choices, wrong direction." - John Kerry

    by Blue the Wild Dog on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 07:49:25 AM PDT

  •  Here's some identical font from Bush Records (none)
    Take a look at line two after Pilot Trainee, found on page 13 here
    linked to from
    USA Today (see 14. 2000 Personnel file)

    This from documents released in 2000 which have never been disputed.

  •  Hold on a minute... (none)
    Didn't CBS News report that these documents were released BY THE WHITE HOUSE?  

    "I am a Democrat without prefix, suffix or apology." - Sam Rayburn

    by sandra1113 on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:07:39 AM PDT

  •  Sigh... (none)
    ...this is what it's come down to...this is all they got?
    And you thought Vietnam was an outdated arguement.
    I thought Bush was "living in the future"?


    George W. Bush unelected, false leader. Your days are numbered.

    by MichaelPH on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:08:03 AM PDT

  •  I just sent a letter to the NY Times. (none)
    "You people are idiots.  Lazy, stupid idiots.
    Someone did your job for you.  Please read it, and maybe tomorrow you can report on the real world, rather than some wingnut fantasy you so lazily parrot."

    Then a link here.  I'm tired of their shit.

  •  Proof Theory (1.18)
    Wow, you guys are delusional.
    1. There is a huge weight of evidence bringing pressure on the MSM, otherwise you wouldn't see the transition from the blogverse to the carbon-based realm going down so fast-- 12 hours to initial credibilty?
    2. Also, Charles Johnson's work is being cited in the MSM, and all over the blogs, not just "righty" ones.  Even confirmed dems at Winds are creditting it.
    3.  As a mathematician, isomorphism is the strongest proof.  Charles Johnson's word-generated memo is isomorphic with CBS's memo.  Quod erast demonstrandum.
    •  Ummm ... (4.00)
      As a former mathematician, I knew how to spell "quod erat demonstrandum". And I knew how to abbreviate it, as well. And, in particular, I knew the definition of "isomorphism". But don't let me interfere in your delusion of being a mathematician.

      "That's W and that's Wrong. Wrong choices, wrong direction." - John Kerry

      by Blue the Wild Dog on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:49:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, and (none)
      a true mathematician would not abuse the meaning of the word "proof". Moron.

      "That's W and that's Wrong. Wrong choices, wrong direction." - John Kerry

      by Blue the Wild Dog on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:54:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Proof theory (none)
        Again, why not refute my postualtes?

        Prove that--

        1. The forged memo story did NOT cross the blood-brain barrier into the MSM in twelve hours-- Don't think you can-- Belmont club compared the timestamps.
        2.  Other "non-righty" blogs do NOT agree about the credibility of Johnson's work-- sorry. already quoted WindsofChange.
        3.  Charles Johnson's recreated memo is NOT isomorphic with the CBS memo-- so, you tell me-- USING the definition of isomorphic, can you disprove ANY of my postulates?
        •  Yawn [n/t] (none)

          "That's W and that's Wrong. Wrong choices, wrong direction." - John Kerry

          by Blue the Wild Dog on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 10:15:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yawn (none)
          1. why does the timeframe matter at all? Also the first posting at freerepublic contained several falsehoods re existence of this kind of typewriter

          2. why does that matter? He's still wrong, even if others are not ready to dismiss him outright

          3. for an isomorphism, it should be possible to perfectly overlay the shapes of characters from the memo to MS Word using transformations such as resiszing, moving, rotating (in a 2D world) etc.
          You need only one counterexample to disprove it.
          Case in point: the "8" in the memo has a smaller upper circle.
          Another one: the "4" which is open in the memo and closed in MS Word

          What Johnson did with his overlay was to distort the very small differences in font, so that they actually appeared to be the same.

          •  precisely (4.00)
            Glyphs in fonts are defined by tiny, minute details. There are sometimes big and obvious differences, but you of COURSE have to examine the originals in high resolution to tell definitively if they are the same.

            Shrinking a font down to 10 or 12 pixels high is an absolutely foolish way to compare two typefaces. Hell, if you shrink it down to NINE pixels you can make ANY two serif fonts look the same! Observe:

            And in the limit, if you shrink to ONE pixel high, ALL fonts look identical! Why, if I were stupid I'd think it was like magic!

          •  Proof theory (none)
            Here is a link to an affine transform which fulfills your criteria, I believe.  Charles Johnson's methods are pantagraphic proofs, actually.


            •  no, it doesn't (none)
              It does not make the stupid mistake (or willful obfuscation) to scale down the samples, that's true.

              Which, as I said, makes it even more obvious that several characters DO NOT match. Just look at the "8", with the smaller upper circle in the CBS memo.

              Ergo, no isomorphism.

              The animation makes it actually harder to compare features side-by-side and only serves to fool, um, fools.

              •  Proof Theory (none)
                But I disagree with your "eyeball" analysis!  That is a subjective judgment.  They appear to be isomorphic to me.
                Perhaps there should be a formal survey of the blogverse to see how many are convinced by Charles Johnson's proofs, and how many are convinced by Marcos Zuniga's refutation of them.  Sensing's proof is pased on content, and soon there will be proof based on chain of evidence.  I think the body of evidence will subsume any fragile hypotheses that these memos are not forgeries. I counted over 170,000 hits on LGF Thursday.  :-)
                •  that's your suggested method of verification? (none)
                  A friggin' poll?

                  You know, many people once believed the earth was flat.

                  There's an antidote to such idiocy, it's called the scientific method. It put man on the moon.

                  The fragile hyphothesis once was that no such typewriters existed.

                  The fragile hyphothesis once was that no superscripts were possible.

                  All the feeble, obfuscating attempts to "prove" that they only could have been done by MS Word has since been shot down.

                  What if there was a wordprocessor which emulated a 1970s typewriter even more than MS Word (including jittery baselines, smudging and the REAL font)?

                  Could you then "prove" by recreating an exact match (hard because the randomness of erratic typewriter behaviour) that any typewriter document was "forged"?

                  Your method is totally ass-backwards.

                  If you graphics application has rulers, then just measure the diameter.

                  Of course, if you're just interested in dominating the discourse by sheer volume of lies instead of the truth, a poll might suffice.

                  •  Proof theory (none)
                    Felix, I offer a "body of evidence" proof.  I have seen much more pro-forgery evidence than anti-forgery.  Actually this analysis^^ is the only one I've seen that attempts to refute the pantagraphic proofs and the affine transform.  I have not read whatever is at Atrios, he can no be reguarded as impartial.
                    I will gladly concede that the memos "could" have been typed by Killian on some sort of esoteric typewriter, if you will concede that the Bayesian probability that he actually DID is approaching negative infinity.  
                    •  aaaargh! (none)
                      Again with the numbers argument!

                      A bunch of people all screaming the same bullshit (based on the same defective arguments) does not "a body of evidence" make!

                      You're supposed to be a mathematician? That's not even funny anymore.

                      Oh, and LGF is impartial?

                      Look, there is something called facts: The fonts do not match. The Press Roman font is a much closer one than MS Word New Times Roman.

                      And Press Roman was not only available for the Composer but also for the Executive.

                      The Executive wasn't "esoteric" at all. it was THE typewriter in the 60s and early 70s. It was introduced in 1954 for god's sake.

                      Your continuous, repeated introduction of doubts relating to proven, long established facts makes you look like the intellectually corrupt asshole you are.

                      The FUCK will I concede anything.

                      •  Proof theory (none)
                        Sorry, Felix, I was always taught the first one to resort to profanity looses.  Don't worry, I expect my comments will be deleted soon.
                        Ta, jinnderella

                        BTW I am not as intellectually corrupt as Atrios, who took money from Soros and told no one.

                        •  what has this got to do with anything? (none)

                          Ever consider that whoever taught you that was wrong, dipshit?

                          I don't know about Atrios receiving funds from Soros (for what, his blog operation? I don't think so), but he states quites explicitly that he's a senior fellow at Media Matter for America.
                          Possble that MMFA received money from Soros. Maybe that's what you're talking about. Yet, as a private citizen running his blog, this doesn't mean anything.
                          But who cares? He's free to donate what he wants to whoever he sees fit.

                          FYI, "intellectually corrupt" only makes sense when referring to a discussion or presentation of arguments, nothing else. Another non-sequitur.


                          •  end of transmission (none)
                            Felix, i can't waste the few comments I have remaining here on someone who argues in profanity.  

                            As for Atrios, I care not a whit if Soros gives him millions, so long as he is open about recieving it.  He is not.  Even you do not know the true story.

                          •  typical (none)
                            You didn't care to answer for the serious holes in your arguments regarding the differences of font and your ludicrous "body of evidence" point.
                            This behavior kind of raises my ire.

                            As for Atrios, I care not a whit if Soros gives him millions, so long as he is open about recieving it.  He is not.  Even you do not know the true story.

                            So what is it?
                            Spouting vague accusations doesn't cut it.

    •  What it proves (none)
      A typeface involves a whole series of definitions including word and letter spacing.  When the first typefaces were adapted for MS Word, Microsoft said they were preserving the old definitions, so that businesses could rest assured that their correspondence could preserve its traditional look.  Johnson's example proves is that Microsoft did what they said.
    •  Oh wow... (none)
      I can't believe you posted here.

      If this is your example of 'drinking the wave,' you ought to take a moment and reorient yourself: it turns out you're floating off the sewage treatment plant in bringing CJ's 'expertise' into this matter.

      I'm a designer. You might not have known that. I do broadcast graphics. If you've watched ESPN, you've seen my work. Design involves detailed work with type. Nothing that Charles has posted is in the least bit compelling when weighed against people who actually work with type as a career (as I and my cohorts do) or who--more importantly--are trained document forensic experts. To call a five-minute experiment by CJ, a hack web coder, evidence is laughable. Charles' entire output on this issue is irrelevant. But he's on a roll right now; he's getting attention; and that's apparently all that matters to him and his goofy lot.

      Wow... Anyway, nice to debate you again after all these months. But of all the things to bring you out onto the world of light from the pits of LGF sludge, why this dumb issue?

      •  Proof theory (none)
        Djangone, how very exquisite to see you again.  Perhaps you can yet turn me to the darkside if you can convince me your democratic maths are superior to our neo-con maths. :-)  
      •  Proof theory (none)
        djangone, if you are going to debate me you should hurry.  I expect to achieve troll status rapidly.
        So, this is your tribe?  I did not know.  
        This is an old login for me, dating from the time of Marshall the Mouse Slayer.  He deleted my comments instantly.
        Reguarding our "old" debate, I will have to concede you the Music, after attending the Vans Warped Tour.  Many bands I liked have become sadly partisan.
        •  Twisterelizard (none)
          Point-by-point I couldn't do any better than either Hunter or Drewthaler just above. In fact, despite being a designer, this particular issue is just not interesting for me. I'm too busy to keep up with it, especially when I expect the Kelley book (for good or bad) and the Hersh book (for better), which come out today, to push this non-issue onto the shelf. The entire Bush-AWOL debate is not interesting. People know by now that he was a wastrel and fool. The point in contention is whether he's a wastrel and fool now. I say absolutely.  

          But I'll tell you that the minute I saw Chuckie's 'proof' using overlays, the red lights went off in my head. Why he (1) cried PROOF! after using a photocopy of a fax of the original and (2) cried THEY'RE THE SAME! after using point size so small as to make the type appear the same is completely beyond me.

          It's idiocy wrapped in stupidity putting itself behind a spurious argument. Times (1970s version) looks like Times (2004 version), what a shock! I bet, gasp, that Jansen (1790) looks like Jansen (2004) also! These faces were intended to be accurate to historical 'looks.'

          About Kos, I come here frequently, but I didn't start until well after my appearance at LGF. I'm not as far left as many people here. But I've never seen a worse president in my own lifetime, Nixon included, and so I'll do anything within my extremely limited power to get him out. I also happen to really like Kerry--one look at the BCCI case will convince nearly anyone.

          You know, of course, that I was joking about the 'hate watch group,' right? I'm really sorry about that because it wasn't intended to go beyond your eyes. I had to laugh at Charles making it into a thread though. I mean, he knows I was joking. He knows my IP, and other 'dissenters' IPs were probably very far from mine, making an aggregation or planned visit tactic highly unlikely. He knows these things, yet he seems to have lied about them in order to bring together the flock against a perceived outside threat. Well, I'm flattered. I've also noticed his habit of filtering out unwelcome stories that disagree with his world view. What you think of as the 'wave,' is more like urban runoff.

          I've gone back rarely and never tried to post, so if I'm banned, it's without my knowledge. Frankly, I get a little sick to my stomach being there, with Ploome and Iron Fist and Powderfinger and the way they turn everything good in the world into shit. It's a filth-filled, evil place; how you or anyone with sense can spend a second there is beyond me or anyone to whom I've shown the site. Charles himself is grindingly third-rate except for a passable wit and some nice connections. He wouldn't stand a chance in an open debate. He's simply not impressive once the light shines on him. This is his moment in the sun, and in my eyes, as a user of type, his moment consists of zero elucidation.

          On the whole, it'd be better for Charles to just go back to defiling the grave of a dead girl. He's good at that. It appears to be his true calling in life.

          •  tribal allegiance (none)
            Tch, tch.  You will not turn me to the darkside by dissing my Lizardoid Master.  I await His voice on KRLA even as we speak.  I thought you were far more subtle and cunning than that.

            So, what is your tribe then?  
            Do you have a blog somewhere that I can read?
            I saw praktike has commented on your writings.  He is a favorite of mine at Winds.

            I got a new name when Charles instituted registration, I am called Jinnderella most places.  I even have a blog!  Since I am now a half-demon (like Inuyasha) perhaps I am more susceptible to being turned into a "demoncrat"!

            •  The DJ in your name...nice (none)
              Dj.....inderlla. Okay.

              So you're waiting on that monotone, eh? I've seen Chuckie, as you know, though I was really in the audience to catch Kevin Drum and Kaus and because I could walk to the event. CJ is like Don Henley on valium. Snoooze.

              No, no blog, no tribe. I'm too busy. I had down-time back in March and that was when I discovered the existence of blogs. My post history here at Kos starts in June or July.  

              But it's all a boondoggle, eh? I've decided that the time I would spend on a blog (or here), I'm instead going to devote to actual work for the KE campaign in my home state of Nevada. My October downtime couldn't be timed more perfectly.

              Praktike, I run into that guy everywhere. His musings are routinely superior to mine in every way (especially brevity). Politically I think we're similar.

              Okay, I'll take the musicians. CJ is the exception, you can have him and his guitar back.

              •  tribe of the djinn (none)
                Lol, I had not thought of that!  djinnderella is one way to spell it!  I came by it thru the accident of a lightning strike, a silly cat, and my new Iraqi dictionary-- in iraqi dialect I am half jinnilyyah, and I am one of the jinnuum.  They do not use the 'd'.
                That is too funny!
                •  I've gotta answer this one from today (none)
                  OK. Now that we have "dispensed" with the proportional type theory, the question remains: how likely is it that multiple photocopies of a monospaced document would deform it in such a way that it precisely matches the line spacing, character spacing, line breaks and tab stops in a document created with Microsoft Word?

                  Charles misses the point. Barbara O'Brien rightly says (as does Hunter) that it's invalid to judge anything at such a small point-size. A lot of dissimilar fonts will appear to match using such a specious comparison. From a mile away, a collie might resemble a German shepherd. To say it 'precisely matches' is an absolutely idiotic statement.

                  Charles has a point later, a small one at best. Are those who dismiss his 'proof' saying that it has proportional spacing or not? Neither. We're saying:

                  (1) It's not out of the realm of possibility that it has proportional spacing, because typewriters had that capability.

                  (2) You can't tell anything useful to serious analysis from this double-photocopied, faxed, pdf'ed copy. You can't say much about letter-spacing, you can't say much about x-heights, you can't talk about their registers or baselines, and you can't tell  whether there's kerning or not. You just can't tell. I'm not convinced that the memo is real, but Charles' analysis goes into the amateur-hour category. It's not helpful either way. It's completely spurious. He's embarrassing himself, actually, but with rooters on the right egging him on, his newfound popularity seems to be going to his head.

                  •  Mahablog (none)
                    Oh no, djangone, that poor lady just got filleted at LGF-- you must do better!
                    The "meteorite" argument on KRLA was splendid-- you should have listened!
                    Charles' detractors put all this effort into proving the POSSIBILITY the memos could have been generated, and devote none to the PROBABILITY the memos were generated in that fashion.  It is both Occam's Razor and Bayes Theorem (use of a priori data). :-)
                    Hmm, perhaps I should cultivate a Mr. Hyde personality and call it djinnderella.
                    •  Burden of proof (none)
                      I actually read Charles' 'font geek bonafides' (sigh, I'm getting sucked into this issue I really don't care about). Now I know that he does probably know what he's doing, so it's not ignorance at work but dishonesty. Yeah, I kinda guessed that.

                      Okay, here's the deal. All along, the right has acted as if the originators of the memo have the burden of proof. Wrong. This is where reputation steps in. CBS has been around for years and they're no lefty megaphone. Charles has essentially been around since his reincarnation in 2001. Regardless of his type bona fides, Charles is not a document forensics expert, however nice the teddy-bear prints on his Bayesian nightclothes or how sharp his Occam-brand razor.

                      CBS brought the memo to light. It's up to others to prove it's forged. IOW, the burden of proof weighs on Charles and his buddies. I'm not just saying that; it's the way things are actually playing out. If nobody who matters is listening to him it's because they've seen his proof and, like me, found it vacant.

                      Again, let me stress, that there are troubling things about the memo. I'd be convinced it was a forgery if three conditions were met:

                      (1) reputable people were working on the case;
                      (2) they were working on an original;
                      (3) they concluded it was a forgery.

                      It's just not a case unless you have the originals. You can't become a type or document forensics expert by snapping your fingers. I'm not blind to the possibility that the memo is a forgery. Charles' proof is simply worth nothing in the argument either way.

                      •  Shifting burden (none)
                        But, djangone!  CBS denies having the originals!
                          1.  If Killian's family denies the existence of the memos, AND CBS has no original memos, doesn't CBS owe the public an explanation of origin?  Can anyone just bring them a memo purporting to be about something and have them put it on 60 minutes?
                          2.  Hodges, the CBS witness who originally vetted the memos OVER THE PHONE has retracted.
                          3.  Charles has not owned pajamas in 20 years.  He said so.  He blogs in Armani.
                        How can you not care about the epic battle between the MSM and Kid Internet (props to Belmont Club)?
                        •  muahaha (none)
                          1.  If Killian's family denies the existence of the memos, AND CBS has no original memos, doesn't CBS owe the public an explanation of origin?  Can anyone just bring them a memo purporting to be about something and have them put it on 60 minutes?

                          Whatever Kilians family says, they don't have any direct knowledge to which they can testify. If they have anything to offer, it's not even hearsay, but things like "I can not imagine blablabla". That's bullshit.

                          2.  Hodges, the CBS witness who originally vetted the memos OVER THE PHONE has retracted.

                          Hodges confirmed the CONTENT of the memos in the light of the situation at the time and his conversations with Kilian. Whether they were handwritten or not doesn't mean anything besides an irrelevant argument to weasel out of his original statements.

                          3.  Charles has not owned pajamas in 20 years.  He said so.  He blogs in Armani.
                          How can you not care about the epic battle between the MSM and Kid Internet (props to Belmont Club)?

                          It's not the Internet, it's bloviating, self-aggrandizing WWWweenies.

                          •  font wonks (none)
                            Felix, djangone, here is the ultimate, definitive font wonk link--

                            I have imposed on your charity too long for an issue that doesn't interest you. :)
                            It is time to return to our regularily scheduled programming, which for me is the WoT.  There is an uberexcellent discussion going on at Winds right now!
                            I subscribed your diary for as long as I persist here.  See yah!
                            Best Witches, djinnderella

                          •  Racing to catch up (none)
                            No, no, I actually wish I had time for this, but I'm caught between trying to catch up so I have any credibility at all and actually doing work. How does anyone else do this?

                            I'll print out that Newcomer thing and see what I think. Again, none of us are experts, and what's really a shame is that we're getting into that legalistic world where experts-for-hire are coming into play. Muddied waters are no good for anyone.

                            Regardless, Kitty Kelley and Sy Hersh are going to knock this right out of the news tomorrow.

                          •  The day after (none)
                            So, what do you think now?  And BTW, Newsweek has declined to carry Kitty Kelly.
                            What is Sy Hersch?
                            And did you see Tim Blair's blog on Kos?
                          •  font wank, more like (none)
                            Lot's of obfuscation and verbal goo, but the memo's font still doesn't match New Times Roman.

                            He's right about one thing, though: There's no kerning apparent in the CBS memos.

                            So will the screaming about this stop? Not likely, since these people seem to be perfectly capable of holding several conflicting opinions and arguing them in a round-robin fashion.

            •  Oops (none)
              'Djinderella,' sorry.
  •  unfortunately, it's irrelevant... (none)
    Great work examining this issue but since we live squarely in Bizarro Bushy World, it doesn't really matter.

    The media will spend an inordinant amount of time examining the possibility that these documents were forged. (The amount of media coverage of this will far outweigh the amount of time they spend actually discussing the evidence against Bush and what it means.... this, of course, being exactly the inverse of the amount of time spent legitimizing the Swift Boat Fucks for the Devil vs. discussing the LACK of evidence corroborating any of their claims.)  

    Only in the fucked-beyond-recognition world of mainstream media does it HELP Bush that there is documentary evidence of his malfeasance.  The "undecided" public will either tune this whole story out or blame the Dems for faking documents to try to hit back against the wingnuts.

    I swear, I'm moving to Canada.

  •  Understand the purpose (none)
    The purpose here is not to prove anything. It's to rationalize in the press.

    And now the whole Bush Guard thing has been thrown into the rationalization bit bucket thanks to their minions in the press.

    It's disgusting.

  •  asdf (none)

    Recent graduate searching for work as a patent attorney. Know someone hiring? Please drop me an email. Thnx!

    by JoelK in AZ on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:28:41 AM PDT

  •  IBM (none)
    I admit the memo's look weird.  The centering of the Squadron heading is just strange.  It wasn't until WordPerfect 10 that I figured out how to do this and I'm a Nerd.  A hot shot fighter jock Colonel would not center memo's he was typing to himself.   I'm so old that I remember when all my letters at work were sent to a contract typing pool.  We had a few IBM electric "ball" typewriters around but I only used it for quadruplicate forms needed by Personnel.  So I never got proficient but I do sort of remember pushing a knob to move the paper to get superscripts.

    On the other hand, the memo's look like they were made with an impact type head printer.  The bottom line are not perfectly straight like inkjet or laser printers.  I challenge the mightier Nerds than me to describe a computer system with Microsoft Word that will print out these memo's on a impact printer.

    The only scenario I can come up to explain the memos is that this champagne unit had a champagne Michael Dell enlisted Nerd typing up the memos for his boss.  He was desperately learning all he could about the fancy new Air Force typewriter so he could move up in the civilian world.

    •  Impact vs Ink Jet (none)
      Assuming the examiners are working from the original, one of the easiest determinations should be whether the type was imposed on the paper by impact stroke or by surface application. Either one will have a telltale structural (and chemical) signature.

      If it's impact (original or carbon), the index of authenticity is raised enormously because (as demonstrated in the controversy to date) it would take an impressive bite of museum research and reconstruction to assemble a fake-kit with all the demonstrated features.

      If it's inkjet, it's clearly not an authentic original. Could be an outright fake, could be an after-the-fact (recent or older) transcription (for whatever reason) of an authentic document.

      If it's neither (a photocopy, for instance), the examination gets more tedious, but still ought to permit a conclusive determination.

    •  sigh (none)
      First, centering is, like, lesson 2 in standard typing class, and that doc would have been typed by a secretary.

      Second, the unevenness is entirely an artifact of theses being FAXES.

      We're focusing on these minutiae when the real story is that Bush went AWOL twice and Ben Barnes helped get him into the guard.  The wingnuts just love that the discussion is on their terms -- was their beloved president smeared by a dastardly forgery?  On that issue, all we have is "maybe not".

  •  Hunter, I hope you don't mind... (none)
    ... but I sent the link to your diary to the New York Times and the Washington post with the following letter:

    To whom it may concern:

    I was a little surprised at the reporting of the alleged forged Bush National Guard records. The allegations of forgery were basically repeated verbatim, but a little more research would have revealed that it's entirely possible that a document from 1972 would look like this.

    First of all, it's not surprising that it looks a lot like a document set in the same font in MS Word. That's what fonts are supposed to do, make things look a certain way!

    Secondly, typewriters that had this (proportional) font, and superscript capablility, were available at the time.

    Someone did the actual research, and came up with the following:

    This is from, a forum on which mostly Democratic people post, but that doesn't take anything away from the quality of this research.

    Regardless of  what these documents turn out to be, I hope the media will be more careful in adopting theories next time. And, isn't the basic issue still that there is no record of George W. Bush showing up for duty for long periods of time?


    xxxx x. xxxxxxx

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- George Santayana

    by Page van der Linden on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

  •  superscripted (none)
    i think they're worried about ligatures too...combination of characters such as "th" and "ff" to save space and whatnot.
    you can see it in printed materials if you look closely.
  •  CBS Memo and Word not "isomorphic" (none)
  •  I think you're rejecting too quickly... (none)
    the possibility that it was made on an IBM Composer.

    Although it might be unlikely that he had one for use at home, unless he had one for some extracurricular activity like a church newsletter, there is the possibility that they had one in the office for some extraordinary reason, important reports, perhaps.

    It was noted in a post by Matt Y. that this should be easily resolved by comparing these memos to the rest of the memos in Killian's personal file.  If there are many more unquestionable documents in the same type, it becomes hard to dispute the genuine nature of these docs.

    •  the problem with the composer (none)
      The problem with the composer is that in order for it to use the proportional spacing shown in these memos it would require you to type out the letter twice.  The first time you type it you would mark down a dial setting for every line, the second time you would go through to adjust to that same setting to that same dial setting to get the correct spacing.  It just isn't possible that someone would do this for an order or a memo.
      •  Are you sure that was needed? (none)
        According to a description of the process I read somewhere, with the Composer one needed to type lines twice if one wanted the text right-justified. The machine had no memory, so it needed the first pass to do its calculations. These memos aren't right-justified, of course, so it's unclear to me why one would have needed to type them twice.
        •  my source (none)
          The first IBM Composer was the IBM "Selectric" Composer announced in 1966. It was a hybrid "Selectric" typewriter that was modified to have proportional spaced fonts. It is 100% mechanical and has no digital electronics. Since it has no memory, the user was required to type everything twice. While typing the text the first time, the machine would measure the length of the line and count the number of spaces. When the user finished typing a line of text, they would record special measurements into the right margin of the paper. Once the entire column of text was typed and measured, it would then be retyped, however before typing each line, the operator would set the special justification dial (on the right side) to the proper settings, then type the line. The machine would automatically insert the appropriate amount of space between words so that all of the text would be justified.

          This is the only link I have seen describing the process of using the composer for doing proportionally spaced documents.  If you have something else I would love to see it.

          •  Exactly: retyping 4 justification NOT proportional (none)
            Thank you for taking the time to find the link.

            "[T]he operator would set the special justification dial (on the right side) to the proper settings, then type the line. The machine would automatically insert the appropriate amount of space between words so that all of the text would be justified."

            This is not the same as proportional spacing, which refers to the spacing between letters. To make this perfectly clear, with the "justification dial," you can justify any text, monospace or proportional.

            As "the farmer" from Corrente shows, you can discount any expert who first claims that proportional fonts weren't widely available in 1972. Not saying you can discount their entire analysis, but you can throw the term "expert" out the window.

            (switch ve-riz-on and ace-pumpk-in and remove dashes.)

            by Ace Pumpkin on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 10:58:40 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's what I read too (none)
            My interpretation of it is that the retyping was needed for (right-)justification: " that all of the text would be justified." If the text is not right-justified, then there's no need to adjust the space between words.
          •  That's for "right justified". (none)
            It does proportional spacing automatically. The dial changed how much space would be between words, so the lines would all be the same length.
          •  Check out the Composer manual I linked to... (none)
            ... in the "UPDATE" for the full info.

            The double-typing was only needed if you were attempting to create "justified" lines; that is, lines of text in which both the right and left margins lined up on every line.  For non-justified text, the machine was used just like a normal typewriter.

      •  No, dialing/retyping for justification (none)
        The dial was for use in justifying lines, not in proportionally spacing them.
        I have been reading so many sites I can't remember where the link is for this one.

        (switch ve-riz-on and ace-pumpk-in and remove dashes.)

        by Ace Pumpkin on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:41:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Not enough information here. (none)
    It can depend upon the printer. I don't know about the latest and greatest, but we've used printers in the office with preinstalled font sets as well as older ones with font cartridges (real old). I point this out because just saying "when you print it out" doesn't give enough information. There are also issues of printer drivers.

    Good general point raising the issue about the difference between screen display and a printed product. They often ARE different.

    I HATE MS Word.

  •  Perhaps a correction: (4.00)
    You write,

    There is some confusion about this, so to clear up:  the IBM Selectric, while very popular, did not have proportional spacing.

    Are you positive of this?  I've seen a few sources online that agree with you.

    However, I've got one irrefutably compelling piece of evidence: I own a proportionally-spacing Selectric!  I inherited this from my father, and I don't know how he acquired it.

    I'll admit:  It's possible that the typewriter was a prototype that never made it to market (my father was once an IBM employee, though only for a few years); and it's also possible that the machine is refurbished and has 'Executive guts' in a Selectric case somehow.  

    But I've got it.  Next time I'm in NC, I'll have to take a picture of it -- until this week, I had no idea I was sitting on something that supposedly doesn't exist!

    •  umm (none)
      its in his last update
      The basic task of the IBM Composer was to produce justified camera ready copy using proportional fonts. It has the capability of using a variety of font sizes and styles

      but maybe he should put the correction up at the top of the post rather than a link.
      •  My apologies. (none)
        Sorry I wasn't more clear on the point I was trying to make.

        The Composer is a more advanced typewriter than the Selectric.  As far as I know, all Composer models featured proportional spacing.  

        The Selectric, supposedly never did, although later models -- such as the Executive and the Wheelwriter -- did.

        My contention is that I own a Selectric that has a switch that allows the operator to choose 10-point, 12-point, or proportional type.  I posted extensively about it in another diary yesterday, but I'm beginning to believe that the machine I have is somehow anomalous and not something that was widely available.

    •  Typewriters (none)
      I believe my Grandmother owned such a beast as well.

      It might have been some other IBM model as I didn't really pay much attention to the thing. However it did have a ball for the type element and no dial like the composer. It might have been a late 70's model since I don't recall her having it before 1980.

      I do know it had superscripts of various sorts as well as proportional spacing since she used it to produce the camera ready copy for the newsletter my grandfather published and I still have copies of that newsletter.

      I also know IBM made a whole heck of a lot of different typewriter models so I wouldn't doubt that IBM might have made a proportional spacing selectric.

      With all of the focus on IBM people seem to be forgeting that there were a whole lot of other typewriter makers back in 1972. Some of them even made fancy business models with superscripts, special characters, proportional spacing, and Times Roman like typefaces.

  •  CBS' Dan Rather Unexpectedly Claims a Fact (4.00)
    "Retraction? Not even discussed.... Let me make it clear to you, if I didn't earlier, that this story is true. "

    He also said the real question is not the false attacks but the motives of those want our attention shifted away from the facts.

    We should organize a bet on the right's response.

    • None, just continue pushing alternative reality.
    • Attack Rather for "injecting opinion into reporting."
    • Rather is Smothers-Brothered by CBS
    • ??

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King, "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:02:07 AM PDT

  •  CBS & Ammo (4.00)

    ... Holy hell. WaPo and ABC and all the other twits jumping on this story just gave CBS the ammunition they need for the most explosive 60 minutes ever. All they need to do is analyze this story and how it evolved from the Freepers to the White House to gospel fact in the rest of the media... And compare it to how the rest of the media handled the Swift Boat Liars story. Spin it as the right-wing media trying to get Bush elected - despite the fact that he's a deserter and a total failure - and you've got an explosive ratings-grabber. Sure, the Republicans blacklist you, but you've just destroyed their campaign, so does it matter?

  •  Good call promoting this to the front page (none)
    Someone should grab the wire writers by the lapels and force them to read this before they file another story.

    Excellent, excellent, diary - if there was a "best of the blogs" awards, this certainly is up there as best of the day.

    "Freedom is Everyday Low Prices" Graffiti 2003, Anonymous

    My newsgroup.

    by dbratl on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:03:25 AM PDT

    •  I, for one, condemn the dragging in of the (none)
      Reich Whine wingnut rag "American Spectator".

      That was the action of trolls, or irresponsible idiots.

      If not trolls, they are assigned to do homework on the history of the "American Spectator" -- especially during Clinton's eight years in office.

      GAD I'm fed up with the credulous conspirabunkers!  Even when not trolls, they undermine sanity and reasoned analysis with lurid vapidity.

  •  go to atrios and amygdala: additional nfo (none)

    amygdala link on history of typewriters with proportional spacing

  •  If you have the originals (none)
    wouldn't it be easy enough to tell if they were produced by a typewriter (a key hit the paper hard) vs a laser printer (if it came from Word)?  Wouldn't the inks be different?  Aren't those just physical tests that could be objectively settled one way or another?

    "We cannot out-psycho Al Queda" -- Jon Stewart

    by sendtoscott on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:07:24 AM PDT

  •  Chicago is a nice font and a great city (4.00)
  •  Focus on Bush Lies & Flip-Flops!!! (none)
    I think this research is great, but we need to avoid getting into squabbles over details that cloud the more damning issue.

    Most people don't care what Bush did (or did not do) 30 years ago.  And it is beginning to look like a partisan He Said / She Said anyway -- because that is how the media is reporting it.

    We need to emphasize instead Bush's repeated lies & even flip-flops on all this.  How many times has he released all the records?  Didn't his campaign say in 2000 that he did serve in Boston area?  Didn't he say they worked out an arrangement so he could go to HBS?  (Yes, they did.  But Bush did no follow it.)

    Shift the focus to what Bush has done more recently -- his lies and cover-up -- and connect this with his other lies (e.g., Iraq).  Make this about Bush's character TODAY -- not his character 30-years-ago.  

    We need a consistent message on this.  And we need to stop letting Bush get away with his own flip-flops.  I think ads to this effect would be more effective than TANG ads that look too much like Swift Boat pay-back.  

    There are, after all, so many flip-flops and potential for so many ads here:

    1.  Releasing his records stuff.
    2.  Homeland Security.  Against it.  For it.
    3.  9/11 Commission.
    4.  Global Warming Treaty.  For it in campaign.  Against it after "elected."
    5.  Gay Marriage.  Wanted to leave it to states in 2000.  Now wants amendment.
    6.  $87 billion -- we have to point this out.  He threatened veto (against it) before he was for it.  He only supported a version that increased our debt and did not really pay for it.  (Kerry:  pay for our troops NOW.  Bush:  pay later -- let our children pay for my screw ups)
  •  Here are my problems with the docs... (none)
    The things that still bother me are the following:

    • The Executive had proportional spacing, but I've seen no evidence that the typeface Aldine Roman (the font this seems to be) was available on the Executive.

    • The Selectric had multiple typefaces (including Aldine Roman) and was reportedly widely in use in the military, but it couldn't do proportional facing, let alone kerning. Despite the report of a proportional-spacing Selectric above, this site notes:

    Although IBM had produced a successful typebar-based machine, the IBM Executive, with proportional spacing, no proportionally-spaced Selectric office typewriter was ever introduced. There was, however, a much more expensive proportionally-spaced machine called the Selectric Composer which was considered a typesetting machine rather than a typewriter.

    There remain a number of outstanding issues than must be cleared up by CBS and their experts who validated the docs, IMHO.
    •  Those memos didn't need to be typed twice (none)
      You only had to type twice if you wanted to produce fully justified text (text extending the complete line width from left to right margin).

      To produce proportionally spaced left justified text, such as in the memos, you only had to type once with the Selectric Composer.

      The advanced and difficult to use features you mention, though, might have seemed useful enough to TANG to justify burning through some end of fiscal year money.  Every office wants to be able to produce extremely polished correspondence or publications (invitations to the General's Ball!).

    •  Take that with some NaCl (none)
      There are reportedly multiple formatting and protocol errors in the memos.

      I read as far as his first point, and decided it wasn't worth reading any more.

      He claims that the date is in a format not used by the Air Force until "the very late '80s or early '90s."  I know for a fact that is not true.  I was an Air Force ROTC cadet in 1981, and I was taught to write dates that way.

  •  Wow! Terrific job tracking all of this down. (none)
    Awesome work, Hunter. This took a lot of time and effort to research. Plus, you put it in words that anyone, even the media, can understand!

    It still amazes me that people believe that Bill Gates and MSWord helped create the world as we know it. sigh

    Truly, great work. Thank you.

  •  Awesome work. (none)
    We need to fight this nonsense.

    However, the more time we spend on this is the less time for Kerry to lay out his agenda.

    This issue is a loser in the long run. Sorry but it is.

    I know Dubya skipped out on his duties then and now but this argument is not helping Kerry win.

    California Uber Alles

    by joeesha on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:24:33 AM PDT

  •  Keys (none)
    I bet these "forgeries" were typed up using the computer keys the Clintonites "stole" from the White House during the 2001 transition.
  •  Courier (none)
    You missed one key point which is discussed here. If you were really going to forge a document that you wanted to look like it was typed on a typewriter, you would use Courier font, not Times New Roman! Anyone using a computer with half a brain, or even an eighth of a brain, knows that.

    Also, distinguishing between typewritten output and laserwriter or inkjet output is difficult looking at reproductions. It's nearly trivial looking at an original, which is what (I believe) CBS has.

    •  using Courier instead of Times Roman (none)
      would make sense if you were a forger that want to do an effective forgery.

      I think the documents are fake, and the person who forged them intended them to be discovered. That is why they did such a shitty job. This was a "Hail Mary" dirty trick from the Rove operation, and CBS bungling (not spotting the crude forgery) is now allowing this to play out.

      I think we need to connect the dots back to the real source of this.

      The reason I say it is a crude forgery is that I worked as a typist and typesetter in the early 70s (using the IBM Selectric Composer). It was a pain to use and it would be extremely unlikely to use that machine for this kind of small task. (I did not work in the military, so perhaps procedures are different there, but I doubt it).

  •  I can accept that these may be genuine (none)
    but if CBS is going to maintain its credibility, I think they may have to provide more info. Such as:

    • other documents from the era with the same typeface
    • an example of a similar-looking document produced by a 1970's typewriter
    • further details on how the memos were obtained and what sort of analysis was done
    •  Why? (none)
      So far no one has raised a credible explanation that they are fakes. Lots of obfuscation (aptly debunked here and elsewhere), but nothing credible yet.  

      Power is perception. If you have to fight, you've already lost the first battle.

      by No One No Where on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:12:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    I thought that when Dan Rather asked whether the White House was disputing the authenticity of the documents, they said "NO."  Didn't they?
  •  Wow! (none)
    So you think drudge might link to your story claiming that the "hoax" isn't so much on solid ground!


  •  Typewriters (none)
    As i have written elsewhere, for those of you who are hyperventilating about typefaces, this is all irrelevant if the documents were not produced on a typewriter.

    Why, you ask?  Because typewriters indent the paper, inkjets and laserjets don't.  I don't recall dot matrix printers or Spinwriters that really looked the same as a typewriter.

    Hence, if these were produced on atypewriter,the issue of typefaces is moot.  If not, it is still moot.  If it was produced on a typewriter, it may still be a forgery, though.

    •  Your right (none)
      Determining if these documents were produced on a typewriter vs. laser or ink-jet should take about 10 seconds if the originals are available.  Even if they are not, lasers and ink-jets make the letters using small dots.  Enlarging the copy enough should show this.  CBS should put an end to this quickly.

      If it turns out they are fakes then CBS has set us up.  There is no way their "experts" should have missed this.

      Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter - Martin Luther King

      by Do Something on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 10:03:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  DOTS: inkjets yes, lasers no (none)
        •  Re: DOTS (none)
          All digital graphics ultimately comes down to pixels, i.e., dots. That's why the resolution of laser printers as well as ink-jet printers is measured in dots per inch.

          I agree with Do Something. All this discussion has gotten completely out of hand: it is absurd to speculate on the basis of PDF files contained scanned images. CBS should go public about the quality of the photocopies it obtained.

          Another angle: it is not that difficult to dig up old typewriters. So anyone who used a word processor to produce copies would have wanted to get caught. Also, the people at CBS, having the "original photocopies" at their disposal, would easily be able to determine that the documents were digitally produced if that were indeed the case.

          Therefore, the claim that the documents were produced by a word processor is absurd on the face of it, and the media's taking this claim at all seriously is but one more example of its utter idiocy.

          To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel

          by Alexander on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 11:00:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, but (none)

            The measurement refers to the resolution, not the application technique.

            The magnified images of characters made of sprayed ink vs. thermally applied toner which adheres to a static (laser-induced) electric charge on a rotating drum is quite different.

            •  You have a point... (none)
              and I must admit that I haven't compared under a magnifying glass how the same text file looks printed with an ink-ject printer and with a laser printer. But I do know that even with a 600 dpi laser printer say, if you look at something it prints, you can see that the individual letters are rasterized. To make the rasterization hard to see, you need to get into high-end typesetters, which have resolutions in the neighborhood of 2400 dpi.

              In any case, with originals or high-quality photocopies, the usual imperfections of the output an ordinary output a typewriter produces will become visible, such as certain spots in certain letters being chipped etc., or (in the case of non-Selectric typewriters) certain letters appearing either too high or to low on the line. This kind of stuff used to be standard fair on TV detective shows, but evidently freepers are to young to know about it.

              To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel

              by Alexander on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 11:40:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A typewriter leaves an impact impression (none)
                in the paper.

                One can see it by looking at the back side of the paper.  (Exactly as one would with handwriting: turn the paper over.)

                Dot matrix does also, but not as one piece characters.

                Laser is on the surface; no impressions.

                Inkjet: no impressions.

  •  How Come Josh Marshall... (none) so far off the reservation on this?

    This is really a compact way of asking two questions:

    1. Why is he so willing to give credence to the forgery argument?

    2. Even if he does believe these might be forgeries, why doesn't he just help himself to a steamin' cup of STFU until we know for sure?  We're inna war, ya know!

    In a "safe" state? Consider a vote for David Cobb, the Green Party's candidate for President.

    by GreenSooner on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 09:56:48 AM PDT

    •  He's on vacation (none)
      and he's a journalist, not a typeface "expert" or forensics expert.   Expect he'll issue a "my bad" when he finds this kos topic.  

      Also, journalist's sometimes get bitten by the "I must get it out there before someone else does" bug.  There are too few skeptics in the media these days...

      Power is perception. If you have to fight, you've already lost the first battle.

      by No One No Where on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:25:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I posted an email or two to Josh (none)
        this afternoon requesting that he PLEASE go to Atrios' site and see the 1941 -- yes, 1941 -- IBM ad hyping its Executive typewriter on the grounds that it typed proportional fonts.

        (What's this about 1947?)

      •  He's also got a Ph.D., I believe... (none)
        which means he should apply a certain amount of intelligence, instead of taking seriously every utterly implausible theory that the freepers come up with.

        To make abstractions hold in reality is to destroy reality. -- Hegel

        by Alexander on Sat Sep 11, 2004 at 07:32:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The Culture of The Copy (none)
    I love this book.  Thought I'd recommend:
    Considering how many tricky ethical and legal questions there are with various electronic reproductions, The Culture of the Copy is a timely book. Our fascination with copies, replicas, and reproduction is explored in this unusual and engaging historical and cultural survey. While it isn't solely about electronic copies, the historical review of the technology of reproduction sets our current debates over copyright and intellectual property in the digital age in perspective. In fact, Schwartz suggests that the ethical dilemmas in many fields have become inseparable from our pursuit of copies. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    The New York Times Book Review, Francis Kane
    If God is in the details, then this book is surely divine or, at least, demonic. Siamese twins and doppelgangers, parrots and apes, decoys and mannequins, robots and clones, impostors and pretenders are but a few of the stops on this dizzying and dazzling tour de force of every conceivable trompe l'oeil ... not every book on popular culture makes for popular reading.... I found this ... at once illuminating and maddening, exciting and tedious, pretentious and forced, brilliant and funny....... read more --This text refers to the Hardcover edition

    (this is a copy - posted elsewhere)

    <"Do not seek the treasure!" >

    by moon in the house of moe on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 10:07:03 AM PDT

  •  Who would have typed these memo's? (none)
    I just read that Killian's wife is saying that he wasn't much of a typist, which got me to thinking....

    Is it possible that Killian had a secretary, sombody who typed out hand written notes?  If so, could this person varify these documents?  Could they be the source?

    •  is it possible that his wife is full of shit? (none)

      And a fanatical Rethug too boot?


    •  Commanding Officers had personal Clerks (none)
      In the military office I was in in 1967, we had:
      1 Lt. Commander running the show
      2 His personal clerk (a seaman/yeoman) who had the best typewriter in the unit, which we were really annoyed about, because he didn't do much work except be the personal secretary for Number One and he had the best equipment
      1. One office manager, civilian
      2. 3 Stenos (including me)
      3. One file clerk
      4. 3 investigative agents
      5. 1 first class petty officer that handled getting supplies and such

      You will notice how many people there were that did typing for the 1 commander and the 3 agents...

      The anciente office is just not the way it is today.

  •  JEEZ (none)
    I have held off weighing in on this dispute for two reasons.

    1. Why go into endless rounds of rationalization when all that is required is to compare the documents with the hundreds of other pieces of paper produced from Killian's office in that time period? CBS must be very motivated to do this and I am sure will. Since even the White House acknowledged the memos I think we have way over-reacted. Just responding to the freepers to do just that and report back would have shut them up.

    2. This is exactly the kind of non-news story that the right wants to have chew up news cycles and muddy the waters.
    •  Typewriter Man (none)
      In the Nov 97 Atlantic Monthly Ian Frazier wrote an article about a typewriter repair man in lower Manhattan who knows basically everything there is to know about typewriters.  And who worked for the military creating customized machines with special characters.

      If you subscribe to The Atlantic Monthly, here is the link:

      Typewriter Man

      If you have access to EBSCO Host (mosts public and academic libraries allow online access), you can get a copy of the article here from the Academic Search Premier database:

      EBSCO Host Database

  •  Salon's War Room cite's Hunter (none)
    Geraldine Sealey, over on Salon says:

    At Daily Kos, blogger Hunter rather exhaustively addresses each of the claims made on Powerline and in the Standard

    and then provides an extended quote.

    Great work Hunter!

  •  Why Rove or Dems did not fake it. (4.00)
    If Rove is diabolical enough to plant forged "evidence" against his own candidate, would he also be dumb enough to do it relating to an issue that would get tongues wagging regardless of the authenticity of the document?
    I mean, because of this, MORE potential voters are thinking about Bush almost certainly being given preferential treatment. It's so consistent with his character that many will believe it whether the document holds up or not.

    If Rove wanted to plant a fake Democrat smear, it would be about either something stupid ("Bush claims Columbus discovered bread!") or something so outrageous that people would be shocked that it was even suggested ("Bush shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die!").  In either case, the allegation itself wouldn't bite Bush, and the smear would be something easily proved false, just like the TANG rumors aren't.

    Similarly, if the Democrats wanted to forge a document, they would want it to stick. They're not retarded; they would have used an old typewriter.

    It's a genuine document, and the Republicans are responding the way they always do, by denying everything. If there's a smoking gun, tell people it's really a lit cigar.  From Cuba. That the Democrats are smoking in a no-smoking area.

    They're playing to their base, which is so fanatically partisan, that they'll accept and chant the flimsiest of excuses, if it helps them believe what they want to believe.

    I am not part of your nutritious breakfast--I am a Free Man!!

    by AdmiralNaismith on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 11:00:29 AM PDT

    •  aeou (none)
      How about a forged note directing Kerry's people to bug his office.... oh wait.

      Bush/Cheney - Four More Months -or- John Kerry is a Soldier. George Bush just plays one on TV

      by pellucidity on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:29:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Agreed. (none)
      Hunter's research, and the pragmatic critical analysis and reasoning related to and supporting that is solid.

      That's the foundation, and the first of only two really necessary steps.  1. Establish the actual facts; 2.  Review the wingnut horseshit for anything not refuted by the foundation.

      If there's any nuttery still left standing, final research will refute that.

      The Who House has not challenged the contents of the docuuments.  Even if they didn't agreee they are true, their silence is assent on that point.

      That being the essential, the unfounded speculations that the documents are forgies evaporate.

      And (except for te "American Spectator" sort of trash), as someone above siad, this, mostly because of Hunter, but also because of solid additions by a number of others, should qualify as a Blog of the Month.

      Excellent and careful work the media should have done -- it isn't that difficult, plus they have the human and financial resources to do it.  And, as CBS is standing alone with the story, and their credibility is being challenged, it has two options: back down, or stiffen spine.  They will do the latter.

      And the information done here will be worth their while as to both solid foundation and additional research ideas and leads to pursue.

      Some of those leads:

      1.  Who was in around Kellin at the time tjhe memoes were written?  If one or more could be identified, they could provide informatin about any number of elements: who else knew the rfacts in the memoes; what sort of typewriters were used, etc.

      2.  Research on typewriters by independent experts.

      3.  Document forensic experts -- on which I doubt CBS lacks the qualified.  I doubt they would go with an unvetted "expert" who, on cursory backgrounding, is found to be a Republican and member of a 527.  Another probable Republican who mistakes the facts about typewriters.  A UFO abduction hunter.  A Nazi apologist who is an "expert" on fonts.

      4.  Anything else I don't think of.
  •  Missing the point. (none)
    We could go on for weeks and weeks talking about what technology was potentially present back in that office at that time.  You could go out and find some selectric or whatnot in a museum somewhere, and type up the memo, but I think we are really missing the point here.

    To me it seems sufficient to compare these documents to others that would have been typed in the same office at roughly the same time period, and which are acknowledged by all to be genuine documents.  This will help to sidestep the next arguments from the wingnuts where they will simply say that this office didn't have such-and-such a typewriter.

    Any typographic ideosynchocies seen in one should be seen in both documents (although one does need to allow for the possibility that there were multiple typewriters in that office at that time).

    It appears that others in dKos have already done some of this - the raised "th" in particular evidently also appears in documents released by the White House.  Any other potentially unusual details in these documents should also be found in documents released by the White House.

    Just push this theme over and over.  No need to get all worked up about what model typewriter, or what type of golfball might have been in the typewriter at the time.  Those types of discussions just help to divert attention from the real issue, and would lead to arcane arguments between the wingnuts and ourselves about 30 year old typewriter technology.

    •  well.. (none)
      the other document that people have found from Killians office (with both his signature and GWB's) uses a standard fixed width courier font and looks nothing at all like the memos in question.  I am not aware of any other memo's that have come out that are reported to have been from killians office.
  •  Another Update: (4.00)
    Again, from Kevin Drum's Washington Monthly, a commenter writes:

    Kevin, I worked in the IBM Office Products Division field service area fixing typewriters in NYC for over 13 years in the 70s. I can tell you that the Model D can produce those documents, not only did it do proportional spacing, you could order any font that IBM produced AND order keys that had the aftmentioned superscripted "th."  Also you could order the platen, thats the roller that grabs the paper, in a 54 tooth configuration that produced space, space and a half and double spacing on the line indexing, this BTW was popular in legal offices. The Model D had to be ordered from a IBM salesmen and was not something that was a off the shelf item, typical delivery time were 4-6 weeks.

    Also, typewriter keys were changed in the field all the time, its not that hard to do. I wish I had saved my service and parts replacement manuals to backup this claim but I'm guessing a call to IBM with a request for a copy of their font and parts replacement manuals would put this to rest ASAP.

    Posted by: BillG NYC on September 10, 2004 at 12:24 PM | PERMALINK


  •  OH FOR FUCKS SAKE!!! (4.00)
    These are a scan of a FAX that has been PDFed at 200 pixels per inch resolution.

    The faxing is where the vertical "line" of noise and the dot noise comes from.

    But at this resolution you can't tell shit as far as precise character placement or even character form from this. The image (scan of a fax) to PDF conversion (done on a Windows platform BTW according to the document properties) so degrades and interpolates the values at 200 pixel per inch (which is shit resolution btw) as to make it almost meaningless when it comes to making precise determination of character placement and shape. This made all the more problematic in that the fax on an off axis sheet fed document source is already fucking up the baseline via the shitty scan head quality of a fax machine.


    Mitch Gore

    No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

    by Lestatdelc on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 11:18:46 AM PDT

    •  Exactly... (none)
      ...all this confluence of intermediary technologies is like a big game of electronic "telephone".

      Until CBS's experts lay out the analysis of the originals, this whole discussion (pro and con) is just an interesting exercise proving nothing.

      "When you're a Democrat, you win when people think." - Bill Clinton to Jon Stewart

      by Mountain Don on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:25:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Basic question (none)
    Maybe there's a good answer to this, but if someone was going to bother going to such lengths to forge documents - and given the content of the documents, someone would have had to at least thoroughly researched the story in order to fool 60 Minutes - why use a word processor at all?

    How hard would it have been to just go on eBay, buy an old electric typewriter that was in use at the time, and then produced the bogus documents?

    Off all the parts of an elaborate hoax like this, that one would seem to be one of the easier ones to cover.

    •  You are absolutely correct... (4.00)
      And I can not BELIEVE that any intelligent person would believe that such a major-league "hoax" would be printed using Microsoft Word. 60 Minutes has not built its reputation by blithely publishing whatever arrives in the morning mail. And there's not a document expert alive who couldn't instantly distinguish between a document created by Microsoft Word and a decades-old typewriter.

      However, you know what I can believe? I can believe that uncurious people and conspiracy-lovers would swallow this whole without a second thought. It's the "Microsoft Word" bit that actually makes the meme so potent for that type. "You know how stupid the Democrats are? They printed those fake memos using MICROSOFT WORD!" It's tawdry, it's funny, and it's the perfect joke about lame-ass Democrats trying to play hardball in the wrong league.

      It's also stupid and wrong. This gambit stinks like Karl Rove from a million miles away. And I promise you, to the absolute 100th percentile, that the White House would have decried these documents as forgeries if they had any hope of making that charge stick, or even of permanently muddying the waters. (You think the Bush team can't afford honest handwriting experts, let alone dishonest ones?)

      Now it's up to CBS. Will they decide to remain "above" this libel, or will they dare offend Bush by counterattacking? One statement by Dan Rather won't cut it. And the reputation of one of their flagship shows will be irreparably damaged if the "forgery" meme is the last word on the subject. It's time to find out whether CBS values its reputation more than the patronage of the Republican Party.

      We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are. - Anaïs Nin

      by Valentine on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 12:30:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you. (none)
    Thank you for this hard work.  I referred to your research in my letter to the editor, which I hope they will print.  You're an unsung hero!
  •  here's my letter to the editor (none)

    Bush's supporters are up to more dirty tricks.  To hear them tell it, government-issued FOI documents are forgeries, and government military records are full of lies.  The latest spin that the Bush memos are forgeries has been thoroughly debunked.  An analysis of Vietnam-era typewriters (see ) proves that they produced the typeface, proportional font and superscript in question.  The dropped E's are clearly characteristic of a typewriter, not of a computer, and superscript appears on previously released Bush documents whose authenticity are not in question.  And if the docs were forged, why is no one questioning how the government (under Bush's leadership) came to issue a forged document?  Isn't that a gaping security breach?   Even without the memos, Bush has failed to demonstrate through his military records that he fulfilled his service obligation.  In fact, records indicate that he didn't show up for his physical, he stopped flying, and he didn't show up for his training (see - the AWOL Project) .  All other questions aside, training and flying planes in Texas compares poorly to getting shot at in Vietnam.  Bush's supporters hope that we will get lost in typeface and dropped E's, and forget this telling fact.


    •  Not FOIA (none)
      I was confused myself but it appears the memos weren't from a FOIA.  I'm not sure exactly where they came from, as CBS has taken the typical hack-journalist "trust us" approach to the critical details of the story.
      •  Its called protecting your sources (none)
        and its a good thing to do if you want to be trusted by future sources.

        "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral

        by Christopher Day on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 12:57:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is that a joke? (none)
          Unless you have a very good reason to keep someone's identity a secret (e.g. their life or career would be potentially threatened) it shouldn't be done.  And if it must be done, as much identifying information as possible should still be  disclosed if it won't reveal the identity of the source.  For instance, saying where the docs have been sitting probably wouldn't reveal the source.

          If someone honestly fears retribution for disclosing the memos then that should be part of the story.   Simply having a preference to not go on the record is not a good enough excuse given the potential for people to use journalists to make anonymous smears.

          And why can't CBS reveal the identity of the experts?  Presumably publicity would be a good thing.  Why would they not want their identities revealed?  Again, fear of professional retribution?  That seems like a pretty big deal and should be part of the story.  In any case, as much information as possible should still be given ( e.g. "An expert with a background working for the FBI for over 10 years and a former IBM engineer.").

          Why is it that journalists have a tremendous fear of scaring away lying and manipulative sources but seemingly no concern that readers/viewers like myself will justifiably find their stories to be utterly worthless?  

          •  Mr. Fugitive (none)
            How about instead of just giving my post a "marginal" you explain why you disagree.  Are you a journalist who just doesn't like to hear much contempt many people have for that profession?  Or do you just not think that the rampant use of anonymous sources undermines the credibility of news stories?
            •  No I'm not a Journalist (none)
              and frankly think CBS and all the other network news outfits are whores for corporate profit
              It seems clear to me that people who make documents of this sort available are often willing to do so only on condition of anonymity and that we are more likely to see more disclosures of the misdeeds of the powerful when that anonymity is respected.

              This view does NOT however extend to the opinions of experts used to certify the legitimacy of a document or whatever. On this score I think you are absolutely right. If the experts CBS uses are unwilling to attach their names to their opinions then CBS should find other experts.

              "Tell no lies. Claim no easy victories." -- Amilcar Cabral

              by Christopher Day on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:47:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  It's not a matter of disagreement ... (none)
              it's more a matter of encouraging you to tighten up your contentions. Ratings are subjective (as are mine) in the same way grades are in school. You can legitimately disagree with my judgement, but better to shove it in my face with more airtight arguments.

              My main disagreement is with what I perceive as a failure to competently address the point that protecting sources NO MATTER WHAT is a good way to encourage more people to talk to you (the journalist). I think Robert Novak is absolutely a scumbag for outing Valerie Plame, but I defend to the death his right to keep his sources confidential. We should attack the Novak's for being  idiots, but recognize it's a good idea to allow the concept of protection of sources as good for journalism in general.

              If I rated you again? I'd bump you up one notch. My apologies for that.

              •  The problem with the Novack example is (none)
                at least twofold:

                1.  He hurt an innocnet person -- Valerie -- and is protecting the law-breaking scumbag behind it.

                2.  The First Amendment doesn't include an exemption for journalists who violate criminal law.  Novack, by refealing Plame's identity in order to assist a vendetta, himself violated the law.

                I'm for the First Amendment protecting journalists.  I am not for journalistic irresponsibility -- which is rampant -- just because they aren't in most instances violating other laws.

                If you and I could be prosecuted for violating the same criminal statute, then so should Novak.  The First isn't intended to be a blank check for anyone, let alone for a particular profession of elitists who are often enough irresponsible without also being told, "As long as you wear a press badge, you're exempt from the rule of law."

  •  Thanks (none)
    for getting into the hard work of countering this stuff.
  •  Limbaugh Assumes Letters Are Forgeries (none)
    I listened to some minutes of Limbaugh's show this afternoon.  He did occasionally slip in an "if" into what he was saying, but for the most part he seemed to assume the letters are forgeries.  

    He was also gleeful that Democrats are saying Rove may have done it.  He said that, if that is true, the fact that the Democrats were suckers for such a trick discredits them, not Rove or the Republicans.  He also said anybody in the RNC who dreamed up such a trick deserves a medal.

    Seems to me what he was saying has interesting implications, if the letters are indeed forgeries.  If, on the other hand, they are not, he really went out on a limb on this one.

  •  Any more Killian files from this typewriter? (none)
    Clearly these weren't the only four memos in Killian's "files".

    We could put this whole thing to bed if the same "source" of the four CBS documents would also produce a pile of unrelated documents from Killian's files that were made with the same typewriter.  It would seem to be in the interest of CBS, as well as of their source to release this.

    Sure it's easy to forge four documents about somebody whose AWOL status has been researched in depth.  But it would be a lot harder to forge a hundred pages of miscellaneous memos about less well-known individuals from a dead man's files, if they came from the same typewriter.

  •  What Could Definitively End This Freeper Idiocy (none)
    Every government branch that creates documents (which is to say all of them) has a style manual on documents.  One of the common components of a style manual is a brief section on ordinal numbers, such as first, second, third, or 11th, 12th, 13th.

    A fairly common rule is that two digit numbers, or sometimes numbers 11 and above, are typed as digits, while single digit numbers (or 10 and below) are spelled out.

    One thing that is very common is for superscripting to be used for military units.  The 111th whatever.  You will rarely see a military document without this.

    A style manual would not specify a way of typing a document that was not possible with the typewriters they had, so a style manual used by the Air National Guard of the time would put the kibosh on this freeper idiocy.

  •  Hate to go back to vintage typing arcana but . . . (none)
    This from Altercations seemed fairly authoritative to me:

    The first IBM Selectric typewriter came out over 40 years ago, in 1961 and used the interchangeable font "golfball" typing element, better known as a typeball.  Additionally, the IBM Selectric "Composer" was a hybrid that came out in 1966 and had proportional spaced fonts.  The IBM Selectric I and II had the following fonts available to these models:

    10-pitch type:  Advocate, Bookface Academic 72, Delegate, Orator, Courier 72, Pica 72, Prestige Pica 72

    12-pitch type:  Adjutant, Artisan 12, Courier 12 Italic, Scribe, Prestige Elite, Courier 12, Elite 72, Letter Gothic

    Special Type:  Light Italic, Script, Printing ANSI-OCR, Symbol 10, 108 OCR, Manifold 72, Symbol 12

    Even if superscript had not been available under one of the special type font "golfball" elements, all a clever typist had to do was change the ball to a smaller pitch font, roll the carriage roller backward one half-line, hold it there and type the two letters, "th", to achieve the superscript "look," and there were many fussy officers who desired these things in their correspondence.  

    The person who wrote this says she was a clerk-typist and secretary for the Federal Government Civil Service and U.S. Army command in St. Louis, MO in the early 1970's, and had to use these tools.

    Anyway, it seems that the documents could be totally authentic.

    •  Interesting the number of military (none)
      coming forward to corroborate Hunter's facts, and each other, about equipment and procedurtes at the other.

      And all the better that they weren't all in the same office, thus objectively demonstrate a cross-bureaucrazy uniformity.

  •  CBS ain't backing down (none)
    From their "60 Minutes" page:

    (CBS) EDITOR'S NOTE: In response to controversy over this report and questions about the authenticity of documents in the story, CBS News has issued this statement:

    "For the record, CBS News stands by the thoroughness and accuracy of the 60 Minutes report this Wednesday on President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard.

    This report was not based solely on recovered documents, but rather on a preponderance of evidence, including documents that were provided by unimpeachable sources, interviews with former Texas National Guard officials and individuals who worked closely back in the early 1970s with Col. Jerry Killian and were well acquainted with his procedures, his character and his thinking.

    In addition, the documents are backed up not only by independent handwriting and forensic document experts but by sources familiar with their content. Contrary to some rumors, no internal investigation is underway at CBS News nor is one planned. We have complete confidence in our reporting and will continue to pursue the story."

    •  Wake up CBS! (none)
      Nobody gives a shit if you stand by it or not.  It is time to clearly and comprehensively list all the reasons why the documents should be trusted.  Anything that won't blow a (legitimately) confidential source should be put out there.  What documents did they use as a comparison?  What are the credentials of the "experts."  The old-school gatekeeper of information b.s. no longer applies.
      •  I give a shit if CBS stands by it. (none)
        Especially while all the other majors are falling all other each other to report the wingnut nuttery.

        CBS will see it through, and all the other majors are gonna have the egg on their face.

        You want constant unresolved "controversey" over fake, distrating bullshit?  Or do you want the story to be shown not only have legs but also to be certain, solid, and true?

        It's time Bushit was unequivocally nailed for the strutting fake "veteran" he is while pretending to be a "leader" and "war president"*.

        *Right: he doesn't claim that anymore since flip-flopping into being a "peace time president" -- then shutting up altogether about being either when that didn't go anywhere either.

    •  Bushit is BUSTED! (none)
      And fuck and forget his "base": they are not the entire electorate.  In fact, they are a minority of the electorate.  They don't matter.

      And note the "world" poll which found only three countries supporting Bushit, a couple split, and the vast majority overwhelming supporting Kerry for president.  Some will spit on that; but the more conscientious will recognize that what the world thinks of the US matters, and they will take notice of it.

      Bushit is BUSTED.  TOAST.

      And it's about damned time that petty, vindictive little prick got his "comes around".
      Over 1,000 troops dead because all that matter is getting elected.  Abu Ghraib, all because all that matters is getting elected (and venting his bullying sadism on the weak).

      That sick prick and his War Crimes Family is finally finished.

      This was to be Rove's last election.  And it is.

  •  This just in (none)
    CBS announced about 45 minutes ago that they will address the document issue tonight on the CBS news. Here is the website where I found the article.
  •  Superscripted "th" (4.00)
    I still have the electric typewriter my parents gave me when I graduated from high school in 1968. It has the super-scripted "th". (I just now took it out and checked.) If anybody wants to come over and see it, they are welcome.

    Never misunderestimate the power of a pissed off Democrat!

    by Len on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 01:32:14 PM PDT

  •  word wrap cue on IBM Selectric? (none)
    i took the ms word challenge as well and have to say that, correct or not, it will convince most people that the CYA doc was written in word. you can indeed just fire up word with factory defaults, start typing and (provided you double space between sentences in the next to last line) end up with something that looks, to a casual observer, identical to the CBS doc.

    others have pointed out many minute differences. without having examined them in full, it seems that the noise in the CBS doc from photocopying and/or faxing and/or aging, and/or deliberate manipulation could account for this. no point for either side.

    of particular interest to me is that the computer automated word wrap (with default margins) matches the allegedly manual word wrap in the CBS doc.

    i seem to remember from using my mother's 70s era typewriter as a kid that the machine would ding as soon as you passed the right margin. assuming word took its default margin from existing typewriter conventions, its plausible that an electric with the "ding feature" would produce exactly the same wrapping.

    for whatever flavor of IBM Selectric is the current leading candidate, does anyone know whether it had a word wrap cue, and what the default margin would have been?

    •  You do notice that the letters... (none) the document do not sit evenly on a baseline, right? They go up and down slightly, clearly indicative of a typewriter.

      Also, notice that the date does not go all the way to the right margin, as it does in Word if you hit the "align right" button. This looks more like it was tabbed over, which is how it would be done with a typewriter.

      In any case, if you start off with the same margins and a font that is almost identical, using proportional spacing, and the same size type (12 point), the lines will of course break in the same spots.

      •  clearly (none)
        clearly indicative of a typewriter

        or an artifact of faxing, no?
        (i'm just asking)

        •  I'm looking at the ones... (none)
          ...from the CBS Web site. I see nothing that says that those were faxed. Photocopied, undoubtedly, and scanned in. The type looks like the kind you get from a typewriter, not a modern printer.
          •  Try reading your own linked articles next time (none)
            From the article you yourself cited:
            Document and handwriting examiner Marcel Matley analyzed the documents for CBS News. He says he believes they are real. And he is concerned about exactly what is being examined by some of the people questioning the documents, because deterioration occurs each time a document is reproduced. And the documents being analyzed outside of CBS have been photocopied, faxed, scanned and downloaded, and are far removed from the documents CBS started with. (emphasis mine)


            Mitch Gore

            No one will change America for you. You must work to make it happen.

            by Lestatdelc on Sat Sep 11, 2004 at 10:49:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  oh please (none)
      Don't give me that "casual observer" shit.

      You're not one of those, right?

      So you can see for yourself all the discrepancies described here.

      The default margins in Word only matter insofar as they are probably the same as a regular typewriter would have, resulting in what? RIGHT, the same layout as the typewritten memo.

      You got cause and effect mixed up.

      Just because MS Word and other wordprocessor try very hard for the output in the default setting to resemble a typewriter very closely (but are NOT identical to the memo) does not mean that the memo was written in MS Word.

      •  no shit given (none)
        Just because MS Word and other wordprocessor try very hard for the output in the default setting to resemble a typewriter very closely (but are NOT identical to the memo) does not mean that the memo was written in MS Word.

        yeah the very same thing occured to me, though i guess it didn't come across in my post. but as i said, it won't occur to the "casual observer" who takes the ms word challenge, or even to "experts" cited in major newspapers apparently.

        in any case, i've yet to hear anyone verify whether the selectric (or whatever) does in fact have the same default margin and whether it had any mechanism that would encourage (or enforce) a word wrapping based on that margin.


    •  Ding! (none)
      of particular interest to me is that the computer automated word wrap (with default margins) matches the allegedly manual word wrap in the CBS doc.


      The term - "word wrap" combined with the word typewriter is an oxymoron.

      The word wrap feature was in the operator's brain. The bell was the clue to the typist that he/she had to make a decision as to how to end the line. Typing was an entire subject in business schools and classes. I know, I barely passed my typing class.

      •  right (none)
        that's just how i remember it working.

        so if the typical margin on a selectric was the same as what ms word uses now, we would not expect the line breaks to match. because the human using the ding as a cue would hang words over the margin, while the word processor always bumps the hanging word down to the next line, right? then again, maybe the ding sounds a certain number of characters before the margin.

  •  Wow (none)
    and I thought I needed to get lai a life.

    No offense Hunter, but Good Lord, people.

    I must not think bad thoughts. --John Doe

    by Joan McCarter on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:16:14 PM PDT

  •  Republicans reached too far (none)
    CBS News seems ready to go to the mat over this. Their competencies as a news organization have been called into question by what appears to be an orchestrated campaign from Rove and the Republicans. Assuming the documents are real (?), Rather and the other geezers at CBS are going to take this all personally. It should be interesting to see what a full court press by reporters with clout will make of Junior's strange military career. Think what you will of today's empty suits masquerading as journalists. Rather, Wallace, Schieffer and others represent the old guard- newspeople who learned the job when Murrow and Cronkite set the standards. I think CBS is going to be very aggressive from now till the election and Rove is going to be sorry he picked this fight.
    •  That is a best case scenario (none)
      And I think it more likely than not, but we'll have to see.
      More than any sensationalistic news story, what Iraq and the US economy looks like in late October will determine who wins.
      That and the debates.
      •  Oh, I don't think exposing Bushit (none)
        as the fraud he is will hurt.

        Kerry, that is.

        Ya know, there have got to be some veterans who became journalists who are pissed at the attacks on Kerry.

        And there may be a few, in addition, who are as frightened as we, and think things have gone way beyond too far.  There are certainly many in the Pentagon, military, CIA, FBI, etc., who have been working to do the final smackdown on the Bushit War Crimes Family.

    •  A big can of whoop ass (none)
      I do truely hope that Rather, Wallace, and the rest unleash the full power of the CBS News organization on the GOP.

      There are some indications this might very well be the case beyond just questioning the integrity of Rather and 60 Minutes. For one Wallace and Rather both have incredible power within the CBS News organization and are about as untouchable as you can get. Wallace is close to retirement and Rather is rumored to be thinking about it so neither have much to lose. In addition Summer Redstone and the Viacom board are far more hands off with their properties and far less openly partisan than is the case at Disney, GE, News Corp, or Time-Warner.

      If nothing else remember that CBS and 60 Minutes were the ones that broke the pictures of the Abu Graib scandal.

  •  NPR (none)
    They just had on an "expert" who claimed the memos had to be forgeries because at the time only a very expensive IBM typewriter could have created them.  I swear this is what he really said.  The NPR grunt's response?  Nothing.

    Maybe I'm just out of touch with reality, but I've never known the military to balk at equipment because it costs too much.  Like I said, I'm out of it, so maybe the military really does penny pinch as a matter of policy.  

    "One god, one market, one truth, one consumer. Just a quiet peaceful dance, for things we will never have." --Zack De La Rocha, "Down Rodeo"

    by Subterranean on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 02:57:54 PM PDT

    •  hahaha (none)
      They're still peddling this storyline?

      At first they claimed that any proportional typewriter would have been prohibitively expensive.

      Then they said the Executive was the expensive one and it wasn't widely used (it was introduced in the mid-50s, fer god's sake!).

      Then they said only the Selectric Composer could do it. Now this was expensive, but the other Selectrics (still a bit unclear on this) and especially the Executive could easily produce the memos.

    •  I wrote about that in another thread (none)
      The "expert" interviewed is another from AZ.

      And he stated a bunch of falsehoods.  (Proportional typewriters were introduced in the 1950s is one of them.)

  •  NPR Report - and a Question (none)
    National Public Radio has a segment on All Right-Wing Things Considered tonight about the alleged Bush document forgery. For the most part the reporter, Brian Naylor, merely repeats the claims of Fox News. (No surprise there. NPR management is now firmly in the grip of wingnuts and staff who don't lick the boots of the White House are shown the door, ala Bob Edwards. Then, of course, there's also Fox News double-agents Mara Liasson and Juan Williams.) Naylor's report contains nothing new to readers here, not even when he digs up some document examiner by the name of William Flynn who is a long way away from the original documents, in Phoenix, AZ. Here's my question: Naylor's report says near the very end that the first "doubt" about the documents' authenticity was raised by "a blogger" who alleged forgery a minute before 60-Minutes ended the story . Naylor also says -- I'm paraphrasing -- that it's hard to see how the blogger could have identified all the 'tricky' typeface stuff when the documents only were 'flashed' across the screen for a brief moment.) Who is this blogger? Where is the blog? Naylor doesn't say, so I have to assume it's a right wing blog and for some reason NPR decided not to identify it.
    •  The FReepers, I believe (none)
      I have read that the first doubts about the documents were expressed on Free Republic.
      •  correct (none)

        And he raised all the since thoroughly debunked claims as to non-availability of the typewriters.

        The media ate it up, of course.

        Fuck you NYT, WaPo and NPR!

        •  I think he's the same "journalist" (none)
          who, talking about Kerry and black voters, said pejoratively that, essentially couldn't possibly relate to them sincerely to blacks because "there aren't many minorities in Massachusetts."

          I emailed local NPR about that demanding a rebuttal, because its a double lie.  (Or an ignoranct's editorializing.)  Look at the photo of Kerry and his crew in Viet Nam.  The black dude in the crew is now a minister, and spoke at the DNC.  Kerry may be something of a prig, and square, but he's a decent guy.  That is shown in his decisive resolve (take that, Bushit) in uncovering Contra-cocaine, Iran-Contra, and BCCI against stiff and determined resistance from both parties.

          Kerry is a good man.  Perhaps uncomfortable in crowds.  But he's not racist.

          And MA -- eastern, central, and western, have large minorites populations.

          Perhaps the reporter was thinking of or extrapolating from NH, ME, and VT.  He's certainly wrong about MA.

          Sometimes NPR really burns my ass.

          (I also emailed them a number of pages on the memoes issue, including Atrios' with the IBM ad.)

        •  Free Republic Suspiciously Fast (none)
          Here's the Free Republic thread on which the doubts about the authenticity of the documents were first expressed.  They were first expressed while 60 Minutes was still on the air.  Isn't that awfully fast?
          •  Pacific vs. Eastern (none)
            The timestamp on freerepublic is 09/08/2004 8:10:56 PM PDT.

            I believe there was some confusion in the timeline given by ABC's "The Note" (since scrubbed), because they identified it as EDT (during the end of the CBS broadcast).


      •  they're always first (none)
        when a conspiracy theory is needed.
  • supporting Right Wing? (none)
    So, if you use, you know that the Blogger News section on the dashboard usually talks about new features.

    The name on these posts is always "Biz" and there is no contact info that I can find.

    Anyway, today they make a post telling us to read the post at Tech Central Station (Blogs v. 60 Minutes) all about how eager Bloggers want to know why CBS is smearing President Bush.


    Isn't Tech Central Station a right-wing blog posing as a technology site.  I mean, if you go there (I will not link to it, just google it) read the comments and decide.

    But this is promoting this?

    Shouldn't he also link, say, to this post as a counterpoint?

    •  Tech Station (none)
      I had never heard of Tech Station until today. Now I know why. It's not a true blog. Here's what two have to say about it:


      "Started in 2000 by James K. Glassman [of "Dow 30,000" infamy], TCS is published and funded by Republican lobbying firm DCI Group and its clients. During the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, Kendra Okonski wrote an article for the TechCentralStation web site, stating that "Africans are sacrificed on the altar of trendy green delusions." Okonski works as co-ordinator for the London-based IPN and as the press contact for the SDN. She formerly worked with the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). [1] Paul Georgia writes on climate change issues, but gets basic physics wrong, indicating that either Tech Central Station's editors do not know basic science or that they do not review submitted pieces."
      Nicholas Confessore in Washington Monthly:
      As a writer and public figure, Glassman has, over time, aligned his views with those of the business interests that dominate K Street and support the Republican Party; he has also increasingly taken aggressive positions on one side or another of intra-industry debates, rather like a corporate lobbyist. Nowhere is this more apparent than on TCS, where Glassman and his colleagues have weighed in on everything from which telecommunications technologies should be the most heavily regulated to whether Microsoft is a threat to other software companies. But TCS doesn't just act like a lobbying shop. It's actually published by one--the DCI Group, a prominent Washington "public affairs" firm specializing in P.R., lobbying, and so-called "Astroturf" organizing, generally on behalf of corporations, GOP politicians, and the occasional Third-World despot.
    •  Blogger and Google (none)
      I doubt Blogger is doing anything deliberate either overt or covert.

      If nothing else it isn't in Blogger's intrest to be seen as overtly partisan one way or another. After all they risk offending roughly half their users if they openly shill for one side.

      I suspect their take on this is more one of blogs vs. traditional media.

      Due to the amount of BS out there I don't blame them for not being aware that the bloggers claims are mostly bogus.

  •  WTF is wrong with some people here? (3.00)
    First of all, I plan on voting for Kerry, not because I'm a big fan of his, but because I don't think our economy can withstand another Bush term.

    Having said that, why do people need to resort to calling people who doubt the documents wingnuts and freepers? Please get a grip, this smells of desperation.

    I'm very suspicious of these docs, as I am of most of this stuff! Funny thing is, EVERYBODY KNOWS Bush pulled strings to not go to Vietnam. Everybody knows this people, even Bush supporters, so this is kind of a moot point. But just because you believe Bush cowardly weasled out of service doesn't mean you have to go nuts and start coming up with conspiracy theories and calling people names.

    The doubts of this were started on the internet, this is great! It's regular internet posters raising questions and challenging the big media, that's a positive for me. Let's see how this turns out, I love the research people are putting into this, but please get a grip people.

    There's no need to start mocking the wife and son of the memo writer, or accuse them of being "RNC" agents. Their opinion does matter, they knew the guy, you didn't.

    Anyways, this reminds me of the fake X-Box screenshots of the Amped game. Others and I exposed those and I remember the ridicule we got from X-Box fanatics until MS admitted to foul play. Keep researching, but don't go overboard, and don't have egg on your face at the end of the day.

    •  You're in a 2002 mindset (4.00)
      Look, we played the 'nice guy" routine already, where you don't call anyone names and you don't accuse somebody of being a partisan.

      That didn't work.  So we're playing hardball now.

      The people questioning the authenticity of these documents ARE freepers and wingnuts.  These are the same people who think Kerry faked his war medals, these are the people who thought Clinton was a KGB spy in the 1960s, these are the people who think Moore faked that Pet Goat video in which Bush sat like a dumbass for seven minutes after learning thousands of Americans were dead.

      Killian's ex-wife and son don't know what they are talking about. His wife says he kept everything in his head, never wrote anything down, and loved Bush more than God himself. Sorry, i don't believe her.  What kind of National Guard commander never writes anything down?

      So quit complaining about your fellow Kossacks are keep complaining about Bush.  They don't spend time cannibalizing themselves, we shouldn't either.

    •  Dems aren't this stupid (none)
      Just how stupid do you think the democrats are?  Ok, ok, I know, they're very stupid, but they are not utterly stupid!  Even the most ham-handed democratic strategist (including Donna Brazil) would know that using forged documents to attack Bush would blow up in their face instantaneously.  

      I'll add a caveat to my assertion, however, by saying that there is one political thug I can think of who would use forged documents in a smear against his own man in an attempt to discredit and humiliate his opponents.  I think we're all well acquainted with this political operative, who is referred to by some Kossacks as an idiot, and by others including myself as a genius.  

      "One god, one market, one truth, one consumer. Just a quiet peaceful dance, for things we will never have." --Zack De La Rocha, "Down Rodeo"

      by Subterranean on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 08:54:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's no desperation in it -- (none)
      I've called them freepers (denizens of, which they call themselves, and wingnuts for years.

      It's what they are: Reich Wing extremists for whom truth, facts, standards (such as rule of law) are the enemy, and all that matters is achieving their anti-American goal by any means they see as being necessary.  Core to that is constant lying, smearing, and hate-speech -- even against those who are minding their own business and being polite.  They are, in essence, brown shirts, storm troopers.

      They are a collection of violent racists and neo-nazis.

      Sorry you're offended that we call them what they are.  But I think it's healthier to recognize that a stop sign says "Stop!" than it is to pretend it says something more to your liking like, "Hello!"

  •  Just watched CBS news (4.00)
    I hope that Dan Rather and CBS get even more pissed and decide to devote a whole hour of 60 minutes to examining Bush's ANG record.  Even without the memos, his record shows that he failed to meet his obligation to the National Guard.  Gimme a break.  He went to Harvard and "worked out a deal with the military"?  That's what he says.  I bet there are plenty of National Guard members that would've liked to work out a deal with the military rather than have gone to Iraq.  Especially the ones that never came back.  Now Bush has a back door draft in place to extend the service of those that were about to retire.  I read somewhere that close to 40% of the service people in Iraq are members of the National Guard.  Bush is the biggest fricking hypocrite.  
  •  Rather's doing the right thing (none)
    It's Real. If anyone has definitive proof that anything in the '60 Minutes' report is false, let's see it.

    [b]OTHERWISE[/b] address the issues raised in the report. Who urged a family friend to pull strings to get Bush into the Guard? Why did he ignore a direct order from his commander to take his physical? Why didn't he show up for duty in Alabama? Why didn't he fulfill his military obligations to the Guard? Why has he lied about it all this time?

    And why should members of the U.S. military report for duty now when their commander in chief failed to report when he was in the military? What makes him better than them?

  •  NPR (none)
    I just dashed off yet another angry email to "all things considered."  Their lead story on the 4 p.m. news was that "Bush supporters" doubt the veracity of the CBS report.  They then reported that the Executive typewriter was rare and required specialized training.  WTF?!?!? The gist of my email was, Where was this kind of lightning-fast investigative reporting when it came to the Swift Liars' charges?  Is skepticism a single-edged sword, directed solely at Democrats, at NPR?The double-standard is breathtaking.
    •  NPR (none)
      The next time NPR has a fund drive phone them and tell them, "sorry, not this time" and tell them that you're not interested in supporting National Wing Nut Radio.
      •  I informed them that I know people who stopped (none)
        contributing to National PUBLIC Radio because of its pro-Bush bias, and turned to contributing elsewhere, in fact to Kerry.  They correctly believe they should not be contributing to National PUBLIC Radio's support of a candidate not of their choosing.

        I also in no uncertain terms suggested -- re. the Bushit military "service" records and the bogus attacks on them -- that they put some of the listeners' contributions to National PUBLIC Radio into interns who know how to fact check (what little is left over after the excessive salaries are paid to NPR's Royalty).

        Note how they say Bush "made his case" on invading Iraq?  I've repeatedly corrected them on that point: The Un, and 98 per cent of the world said to Bushit: "We saw your evidence and you failed to make your case."

        They persist in refusing to correct their Bush-boosting mistatement of the fact.

        I used to enjoy Dick Gordon, but he's one of the worst offenders.  (Another is Princess Robin Young -- nasty as they come.)

        I do like and respect Gail Harris; she actually called and thanked me for a FAX to her refuting the NRA's Second Amendment lie, and said that's one she's keeping.  (No one else at local NPR has had any response to the same FAX.)

        They do infuriate with their condescension and insularity.

  •  Surprise, Surprise... (none)
    AP expert document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines donated to GOP fundraising group.

    Here's the AP article, CBS Defends Report on Bush Guard Memos by Matt Kelly.

    That superscript, however, is in a different typeface than the one used for the CBS memos. Document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines of Paradise Valley, Ariz., who examined the documents for the AP, said she was "virtually certain" they were generated by computer.

    Lines said that meant she could testify in court that, beyond a reasonable doubt, her opinion was that the memos were written on a computer.

    Google Sandra Ramsey Lines.

    First hit in Google:

    The records contained in this file come from electronic data released by the Internal Revenue Service and is provided by the Center for Public Integrity on an as-is basis. It does not contain records from filings submitted to the IRS on paper, although those records are part of the Center's database. Committees that have only filed on paper will show no records in this file. If you are interested in paper-based records, please contact Derek Willis ( or Aron Pilhofer ( via email or by calling 202-466-1300.


    The WISH List    22-3145929    Sandra    Ramsey    Lines        Paradise Valley    AZ    85253    Self    Forensic Document Examiner    25.0000    20030724   

    Google The WISH List.

    First hit in Google:

    The WISH List--Your Partner In Politics!
    The WISH List - America's Largest Fundraising Group for Pro-Choice Republican Women

    Took me less than a minute.  Is it really too much to ask that AP reporters Google their (ostensibly) independent "experts" before they decide quote them?

  •  Killian's Secretary (4.00)
    Back in the 1970's and the early 1980's, most professionals didn't do their own typing, but rather dictated memos, letters, etc. to their secretaries, who would type them up themselves.

    Jerry Killian, the author of the four disputed memos is dead.

    I don't know if executive-level military officers typically had secretaries in the early 1970's?  Does anybody out there know if they did?

    If they did, did Jerry Killian have a secretary in 1972/73?

    If so, is she alive?

    If she's alive. . . . .

    Will James R. Bath reveal the secret behind George Bush's National Guard Service before it's too late?

    by pontificator on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 05:14:19 PM PDT

  •  10,000 to anyone who can reproduce the document (none)
    (on a typewriter)

    mmmm 10,000 dollars

    Someone do this please!  Take those bastards money!!

    For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong. -- H. L. Mencken

    by contrapunktus on Fri Sep 10, 2004 at 05:19:32 PM PDT

  •  Okay, this is simply brilliant (none)
    '60 Minutes,' on CBS, broadcasts a story about Ben Barnes and his favor for the Bushes back in the day. The viewers total x number.

    The typical GOP response goes 'nucular' online and the general media pick up the story that the documents' authenticity is being questioned. There are rumors that CBS is conducting an internal investigation. Dan Rather is reportedly apoplectic about the possibility he was using forged materials.

    CBS waits most of the day before issuing a statement that they are standing behind their original story. They promise to clear the air on their Evening News.

    The online communities, and the general media, continue their 'nucular' ways. The controversy growsexponentially.

    CBS does what it promised and backs up its original story. The original x number of viewers are joined by the biggest Y number imaginable. CBS blows the other evening news broadcasts right out of the water. Everyone is talking about this particular story and everyone has given CBS their full attention -- for over an entire day.

    Brilliant. Bloody brilliant.

    Dan Rather is now on my hero list.  

  •  You've Done A Brilliant Job Here (none)
    I cannot congratulate you enough.  I added my "4" to what has to be a record number of them that you've received.  You should be in Mojo Heaven forever, and deservedly so.

    Fanstastic job, thank you.

    Naderite is to America what Kryptonite is to Superman - fatal.

    by JJB on Sat Sep 11, 2004 at 09:02:06 AM PDT

  •  Updates for latecomers (none)
    Since this diary is getting linked to from all over, here's an update for latecomers. If you've actually read this far down, there's more.

    Additional and more recent diaries, chronological order:

    Key news stories referenced by the above:
Meteor Blades, Felix Deutsch, Mathwiz, David Nir, pontificator, Michael D, kimo, jaydfwtx, Thad, Al Rodgers, reef the dog, sampo, RedDan, PeWi, Jeff in PA, Paolo, NC Progressive, No One No Where, 7Line, claude, Ottoe, Narched, pyrrho, acaben, zach, cdreid, Baseballgirl, TKSO KCMO, havah, easong, Armando, KeithH, zane, thsisnotanexit, DonBinTN, DaveOinSF, SWicklund, Nathan in MD, aw, freelixir, sagesource, andrewboho, Socrates, centurysux, mbc, Jaime Schulte, skaiserbrown, Scott Shields, stonedown, awol, SMucci, rexumbrarum, lanshark, godotnut, Bri, hyperbolic pants explosion, Bryan in CT, drduck, aimlessmind, assyrian64, jandsm, brooklyndem, Subterranean, uberblonde, PoliticGeek Pro, jsavage, AlanF, payingattentionandappalled, Caelian, misha, joejoejoe, miasmo, firenze, Greenkermie in AZ, lutton, wph, Neil Sinhababu, Safron, dbratl, GreenSooner, DeanorBust, frankNcleve, glibfidget, Raybin, 2pt5cats, Moacir, jimG, NoDissentAllowed, harry xing, pq, ground, markymarx, get ready, Unstable Isotope, LSdemocrat, existenz, jsundman, RINO, Winger, Maryscott OConnor, pogo, kaelamantis, Elizabeth D, kolors, Carla, ImeldaBlahnik, wu ming, Cathy, egoldstein, CaptUnderpants, EricInTexas, lysias, Attorney at Arms, Dr Dive, gaff98, martianchronic, Jackson, Smedley Hirkum, jdld, ems174, tryptamine, northsea, drewthaler, GoKeever, andgrun, Peregwyn, glow dog, Steve Tornio, BinaryDaisy, roarkdc, freelunch, elfling, DreadPirateKing, red moon dog, gypsy, kj, FreedomFighter, Muboshgu, Newsie8200, smithsp, twistandshout, Headache, bumblebums, logickal23, zeroooo, madwayne, Fleischer, sharkyl, flyfishr64, MikeRayinBerkeley, hatter, zeitshabba, StevetheWeave, Wendela, HStewart, cafl, nyetsoup4you, humbucker, rina, DJ Adequate, GT, Phyrro, txindy, Carneades

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