Is Sixty Minutes Trying To Use “Fake Memos” To Smear George Bush On His National Guard Record?

Well, well, well, it looks like the “new” 30 year old memos from Bush’s squadron commander, Col. Jerry Killian’s “personal file” that “Sixty Minutes” came up with are fakes!

To the best of my knowledge, Power Line originally broke the story and then things picked up from there.

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs pointed out that the memos, which are supposed to be more than 30 years old, appear to have been designed using the default settings of Microsoft Word!

Bill at INDC Journal tracked down a “rather notable Forensic Document Examiner named Dr. Philip Bouffard”, and his conclusion was that he was “At Least” 90% Positive They’re Fake”.

The folks over at Cybercast News Service also had some experts take a look at these memos and,

“Three independent typography experts told they were suspicious of the documents from 1972 and 1973 because they were typed using a proportional font, not common at that time, and they used a superscript font feature found in today’s Microsoft Word program.

…The typography experts couldn’t pinpoint the exact font used in the documents. They also couldn’t definitively conclude that the documents were either forged using a current computer program or were the work of a high-end typewriter or word processor in the early 1970s.

But the use of the superscript “th” in one document – “111th F.I.S” – gave each expert pause. They said that is an automatic feature found in current versions of Microsoft Word, and it’s not something that was even possible more than 30 years ago.

“That would not be possible on a typewriter or even a word processor at that time,” said John Collins, vice president and chief technology officer at Bitstream Inc., the parent of”

Folks, the questions raised by this are absolutely fascinating.

For example, which “experts” looked at documents that anybody in America with Microsoft Word and access to a copy machine could produce and pronounced them genuine? Were there any dissenting opinions? Did “Sixty Minutes” let their obvious ideological bias towards Kerry override their judgement in this case? Who gave these documents to “Sixty Minutes” and are they affiliated in any way with the Kerry campaign?

Boy, it should be a blast watching where this goes and seeing “Sixty Minutes” receive the same sort of anal exam on this issue that they regularly administer to everybody else. I wonder how they’ll like their turn under the Microscope?

*** Update #1***: Lookie, lookie, lookie, The Weekly Standard has been running these documents past a few experts and they all seem to be reaching the same conclusion…

“(A)ccording to several forensic document experts contacted by THE WEEKLY STANDARD say the Killian memos appear to be forgeries. Although it is nearly impossible to establish with certainty the authenticity of documents without a careful examination of the originals, several irregularities in the Killian memos suggest that CBS may have been the victim of a hoax.

“These sure look like forgeries,” says William Flynn, a forensic document expert widely considered the nation’s top analyst of computer-generated documents. Flynn looked at copies of the documents posted on the CBS News website (here, here, here, and here). Flynn says, “I would say it looks very likely that these documents could not have existed” in the early 1970s, when they were allegedly written.

Several other experts agree. “They look mighty suspicious,” says a veteran forensic document expert who asked not to be quoted by name. Richard Polt, a Xavier University philosophy professor who operates a website dedicated to typewriters, says that while he is not an expert on typesetting, the documents “look like typical word-processed documents.”

….So can we say with absolute certainty that the documents were forged? Not yet. Xavier University’s Polt, in an email, offers two possible scenarios. “Either these are later transcriptions of earlier documents (which may have been handwritten or typed on a typewriter), or they are crude and amazingly foolish forgeries. I’m a Kerry supporter myself, but I won’t let that cloud my objective judgment: I’m 99% sure that these documents were not produced in the early 1970s.”

Says Flynn: “This looks pretty much like a hoax at this point in time.”

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