Tuesday, September 14, 2004

CBS Memos and Mr. Bush's Texas Air National Guard Record

For all of you who still may be wondering whether the CBS Texas Air National Guard memos are forgeries, prepared using Microsoft Word, or are genuine, see Opinion: Bush's Exam Doc -- Real or Fake? at PC Magazine. It will not offer a definitive answer to the question, but will enlighten you somewhat.

Aside from the typeface, superscript and other details pointed out by critics of the documents as forgeries, one of the latest is the reference to Col. Walter "Buck" Staudt — who supposedly was exerting pressure on Lt. Col. Jerry Killian to sugar coat Mr. Bush's activities as a member of the Guard in the early 1970s — had been honorably discharged before the date of the memo referring to Staudt purportedly written by Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. According to most, the fact that Staudt had retired means that he could not have exerted any sort of pressure or influence. Oh, really? How naive have we become that we cannot imagine a retired Col. Staudt having some clout and being able to exert pressure or influence on someone else? It does not have to be the sort of pressure or influence where he is threatening with doing something, but can be perhpas merely the asking of a favor for a friend, Poppy, for his boy.

While we may never find out the truth of all of this, I find it surprising that so many have jumped to the forgery conclusion so easily. I know Dan Rather makes it easier for many to do so, but Bush makes it harder for me to do so, at least so easily. I would like a really good question and answer session with no limits in which Mr. Bush explains to the nation his service in the Texas Air National Guard and answers all questions forthrightly, including the ones related to any drug use by him. I also would like him under oath, but know that would be asking too much. Until then, I will view him with a suspect eye.