Bush Memos may be false BUT the content is true

If you have followed the “news” in the past couple of weeks, the “media” has been beside itself on yet another side show to the Presidential elections of 2004. The cause of the commotion was the broadcast by Dan Rather on 60 Minutes that included memos detailing what we all have known for months, that President Bush got a free ride in the Texas National Guard in the early 1970’s.

The main issue was the use of memos that proved Bush was suspended from flying because he refused to take a mandatory physical and pressure on Bush’s commander to white wash the problem.

It seems now the memos can’t be verified as authentic and CBS and Dan Rather have backed off defending the use of the memos.

As Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) reported on September 16, the information in those memos is true even if the memos themselves may not have been produced during that time.

In an interview, also broadcast by CBS during their defense of the story, Marian Carr Knox, Bush’s commander’s secretary supported the information in the memos:

Marian Carr Knox is a compelling witness who provides substantive reasons to doubt the authenticity of the memos bearing the signature of Lt. Col. Jerry Killian– forcing CBS News to run an interview with her (CBS Evening News and 60 Minutes II, 9/15/04) that cast doubt on aspects of its September 9 reporting on the Bush Guard story. At the same time, she debunked several of the specific reasons other news outlets had given for questioning the memos that were featured in that report.

But while Knox greatly undermines the documentation of the CBS reporting, it is important for critics to recognize that she corroborates the substance of that reporting. “The information in them is correct,” she told the New York Times (9/15/04).


Of course the whole story is a big fire about nothing in the scheme of things. Bush has run on being a “war” President while his challenger, Sen. John Kerry is the only one of them that actually fought in a war. It has been common knowledge that President Bush, like other sons of prominent Americans were able to avoid going to Vietnam by joining the National Guard.

It is ironic that such ducking of service isn’t possible today because the National Guard is a front line unit that has been sent to hot zones around the world like Iraq and Kosovo. Those part-time soldiers are used to save the government money they would have to spend on a large standing military.