Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Phony Memos, Accurate Info 

We have made a conscious effort to stay away from the Killian memo controversy, because one night last week we looked at the clock and the clock said 3:30 AM and we thought: this way lies madness. But here's a story that's just too juicy to pass up; make of it what you will:
The former secretary for the Texas Air National Guard colonel who supposedly authored memos critical of President Bush’s Guard service said Tuesday that the documents are fake, but that they reflect real documents that once existed.

Marian Carr Knox, who worked from 1956 to 1979 at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, said she prided herself on meticulous typing, and the memos first disclosed by CBS News last week were not her work.

“These are not real,” she told The Dallas Morning News after examining copies of the disputed memos for the first time. “They’re not what I typed, and I would have typed them for him.”

Mrs. Knox, 86, who spoke with precise recollection about dates, people and events, said she is not a supporter of Mr. Bush, who she deemed “unfit for office” and “selected, not elected.”

“I remember very vividly when Bush was there and all the yak-yak that was going on about it,” she said . . . .

She said the typeface on the documents did not match either of the two typewriters that she used during her time at the Guard. She identified those machines as a mechanical Olympia, which was replaced by an IBM Selectric in the early 1970s.

She spoke fondly of the Olympia machine, which she said had a key with the “th” superscript character that was the focus of much debate in the CBS memos. Experts have said that the Selectric, and mechanical typewriters such as the Olympia, could not produce proportional spacing, found in the disputed documents . . . .

Mrs. Knox said she did all of Lt. Col. Killian’s typing, including memos for a personal “cover his back” file he kept in a locked drawer of his desk.

She said she did not recall typing the memos reported by CBS News, though she said they accurately reflect the viewpoints of Lt. Col. Killian and documents that would have been in the personal file. Also, she could not say whether the CBS documents corresponded memo for memo with that file.

“The information in here was correct, but it was picked up from the real ones,” she said . . . .

She also said the memos may have been constructed from memory by someone who had seen Lt. Col. Killian’s private file but were not transcriptions because the language and terminology did not match what he would have used.
UPDATE: Glenn Smith, founder of Texans for Truth, has just quintupled the Doonesbury Challenge. That means a total of $60K cash on the barrelhead for anyone who can prove that Bush fulfilled his duty requirement in Alabama in '72.

UPDATE II (via Josh Marshall): Paul Lukasiak of the AWOL Project has procured another hitherto-unreleased document that popped up unannounced in Bush's records:
I desire to enter undergraduate pilot training as an officer of the Air National Guard and, in consideration therefore [sic] (including the expenditure of extensive public funds) do hereby agree that on successful completion thereof I will serve with my parent ANG unit as directed by the unit commander, unless sooner relieved by comptetent military authority, for a minimum period of five (5) years. I do hereby further agree and consent to my being assigned to active duty for the remainder of any unfulfilled portion of such minimum obligation as may be determined by my unit commander or the Secretary of the Air Force to be in the national interest.

Signed, George Walker Bush, 29 May 1968.
UPDATE III: Also from Paul Lukasiak, a logical conundrum.

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