The Associated Press has obtained an email sent by Bill Burkett to a group of Texas Democrats on August 21. The email recounts Burkett’s conversation with Max Cleland, representing the John Kerry campaign:
I asked if they wanted to counterattack or ride this [the Swift Boat Vets’ ads] to ground and outlast it, not spending any money. [Cleland] said counterattack. So I gave them the information to do it with.
It has been widely speculated that Burkett was the forger and Cleland was the “unimpeachable source” who passed the fake documents on to Dan Rather. Burkett’s email is certainly consistent with that scenario, although it must be remembered that Burkett is a highly unreliable witness. In any event, it shouldn’t be long before the facts come out. If the Kerry campaign was, indeed, behind the forged memos, the election could be over.