Just As I Thought

Lies and the media who tell them

What’s the deal with this National Guard document that CBS released the other day? I can’t quite get my head around this one.
Let’s assume for the moment that it’s a forgery — because it certainly wasn’t typed on a 1972-era typewriter at a Guard post. The question becomes why. Not why would someone forge a document that reflects poorly on Bush, but rather, why would someone forge such a document use the default settings in Microsoft Word? Laziness?
Some conspiracy theorists are beginning to formulate a scenario where the Bush campaign created an incredibly obvious forgery in order to implode the left’s arguments from the inside.
Of course, in the end, the real question is why CBS released this document. It looks like an obvious forgery, so that should have been enough of a warning signal to take a closer look. They said that it had been “authenticated” by typewriter experts and handwriting experts who authenticated the signature. Well, at my office, I have scans of the signatures of the officers of our organization, and I can plunk them into any document. And they’d be authentic.
I’m just saying.

Meanwhile:

In a telephone interview from her Texas home, Killian’s widow, Marjorie Connell, described the records as “a farce,” saying she was with her husband until the day he died in 1984 and he did not “keep files.” She said her husband considered Bush “an excellent pilot.”

“I don’t think there were any documents. He was not a paper person,” she said, adding that she was “livid” at CBS. A CBS reporter contacted her briefly before Wednesday night’s broadcasts, she said, but did not ask her to authenticate the records.

What do you think?

1 comment

  • The document was not typed using Microsoft Word, and certainly not using the default settings.

    1) To reproduce the formatting I had to turn off both the smart quotes and the auto-list features. I suppose it’s possible someone would think to turn these features off and *not* the auto superscripting, but unlikely.

    2) The alignment of the superscript is significantly off. The superscript in the CBS document has the midline of the “th” aligned with the cap height of the preceeding text. The superscript in MS Word is much lower, with the cap height of the superscript only a point or so higher than the cap height of the preceeding text.

    It is true that the spacing and typeface look very similar, at least when low-res versions are compared. This is probably because *both* the proportional type ball and the MS version of Times New Roman were designed to mimic the original Times New Roman. One of the designers of Times New Roman was, in fact, hired by IBM in the early sixties to adapt his design for their lines of typewriters.

    Typewriters capable of doing this kind of thing were not as common as the selectrics — in part because you had to use an em chart when you wanted to do corrections — but they had been in production by IBM for over thirty years at this point.

    Low-res comparisions of a poorly scanned document with a screenshot of Microsoft Word does not a forensic analysis make. Given that the technological capability existed and was common at the time, I want to see the documents scanned at 600dpi and set side-by-side with appropriately zoomed MS Word documents before anyone makes a conclusive case for forgery. A 450px overlay where slight differences are blamed on “the poor quality of the source material” just doesn’t cut it.

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