It isn’t pretty. Over the next few days, we’ll be commenting on the significance of the mainstream media’s frantic effort to drag John Kerry over the finish line. In the meantime, following the 60 Minutes story is like watching a train wreck. Tonight, the Associated Press weighed in:
The authenticity of newly unearthed memos stating that George W. Bush failed to meet standards of the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War was questioned Thursday by the son of the late officer who reportedly wrote the memos.
“I am upset because I think it is a mixture of truth and fiction here,” said Gary Killian, son of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian, who died in 1984.
News reports have said the memos, first obtained by CBS’s “60 Minutes,” were found in Jerry Killian’s personal records. Gary Killian said his father wasn’t in the habit of bringing his work home with him, and that the documents didn’t come from the family.
The personnel chief in Killian’s unit at the time also said he believes the documents are fake.
Independent document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines said the memos looked like they had been produced on a computer using Microsoft Word software, which wasn’t available when the documents were supposedly written in 1972 and 1973.
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.
When you can’t even fool the Associated Press, you’re in deep trouble.
Thanks to reader and fellow blogger Ryan McGrath for the AP link.