Mary Mapes’s hell

Yesterday reader Randy Porter wrote in response to our post on Mary Mapes’s letter to the editor of the Times Book Review. Porter wrote:

I was reading your latest Mapes post and was struck by the irony of the situation she has manufactured for herself — anyone who buys her story (hence her only daily company of friends and followers) is a fool. And she is quite aware of that fact. It seems a special kind of hell on earth.

Colonel William Campenni (ret.) served with then-Lieutenant Bush in the same unit of the Texas Air National Guard. He wrote some key columns debunking Mary Mapes’s fraudulent 60 Minutes story on President Bush’s service. After we posted a message from Colonel Campenni on Power Line, we received an inquiry from a literary agent asking Colonel Campenni to write a book on Rathergate and seeking to represent him. It appears that our matchmaking efforts have paid off. Colonel Campenni has been hard at work writing the book and updating us on Mapes’s continuing pratfalls. Yesterday Colonel Campenni wrote regarding Mapes’s letter:

This woman is really funny. In her letter she says:

Alter can question our source, as I have, but here’s what nearly everyone missed: The overhyped typeface criticisms ingeniously hijacked the story and created a false controversy, which media competitors gleefully exploited as proof that CBS had fallen short. In fact, ALL the evidence supported the documents’ genuineness and that holds true today. We carefully vetted their every detail, matched them with official records and corroborated their content with a former commander. Our document analysis has been completely misconstrued by reporters, pundits and the panel: two analysts validated the documents’ typing and signatures and two others deferred to them before our broadcast, despite their later characterizations.

I just sent off the book proposal draft for the agent who is going to shop it around. In the chapter dedicated to the fake memos, I gave her a pass on stuff like the typos, fonts, etc., because you guys and others have already proved that. Instead I went against her new defense, repeated ad nauseam, and in bold italics in the above excerpt; that ALL the evidence supports the documents. I was running out of paper in tearing apart her own arguments and exposing glaring errors. One example: Twice in the 6 fakes one finds Bush’s service number. Problem here for Mary is that these memos are in 1972 and 73. The Air Force stopped using service numbers on July 1, 1969, and switched over to social security numbers, 3 and 4 years prior. All of Bush’s released records had the SSNo blacked out as required by law. But old service numbers from Bush’s earlier documents were not redacted…

[The fabricator] grabbed the service numbers from released records, not realizing that they would never show up on a 72-73 document. Irony is, he put the anachronistic service numbers in the wrong format – the FG had to be a prefix, not a suffix, like FG 1234567…For a while we used to put the two letter code FG (means Air Guard; FR means Air Force Reserve, FV means active duty Air Force) as a suffix to the new SSNo ID, as in 987 65 4321FG. Later we dropped the two letter code entirely. [The fabricator’s] personal experience was with the 987-65-4321 FV format (actually, the Army Guard used different codes), so when he grabbed the service number from files to add a hint of authenticity to the memos, he probably reverted to habit. Stupid, because if you look at Bush’s real records, you will see the letters FG as a prefix – he couldn’t even plagiarize correctly!

It’s fun tearing apart this delusional woman’s aberrant thought processes. I hope to meet her some day to talk about this stuff.

PS: I have never met Mapes and she never called me. She doesn’t even know I exist. But in her radio debate with John last week, she launched into a tirade about how I was a Bush insider when Scott Henner simply mentioned my name (he had me on his show in February and September 2004). Now my wife wants to know why we aren’t invited to White House dinners if I am such a buddy.

Colonel Campenni describes this item of his analysis as a “tidbit” that will be disclosed in his forthcoming book together with many other previously unrevealed flaws in the bogus documents. His book should make a signal contribution to understanding the fraud Mapes continues to peddle.