Was the Kerry campaign the source of the Killian forgeries? The Prowler says there is evidence that it was. (The Spectator site is currently down because of a Drudge link–the same thing happened to us yesterday–so the link is to a cached version):
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.”
A CBS producer, who initially tipped off The Prowler about the 60 Minutes story, says that despite seeking professional assurances that the documents were legitimate, there was uncertainty even among the group of producers and researchers working on the story.
“The problem was we had one set of documents from Bush’s file that had Killian calling Bush ‘an exceptionally fine young officer and pilot.’ And someone who Killian said ‘performed in an outstanding manner.’ Then you have these new documents and the tone and content are so different.”
The CBS producer said that some alarms bells went off last week when the signatures and initials of Killian on the documents in hand did not match up with other documents available on the public record, but producers chose to move ahead with the story. “This was too hot not to push. If there were doubts, those people didn’t show it,” says the producer, who works on a rival CBS News program.
Now, the producer says, there is growing concern inside the building on 57th Street that they may have been suckered by the Kerry campaign.