Sunday, September 23, 2007

Moore on Memogate

James Moore confirms the critique I have made in the past of the blogstorm that surrounded the Rather story alleging that George W. Bush had gone AWOL during his National Guard service.

According to the bloggers the damming evidence was forensic, the memos have various features that did not exist on typewriters of the day. Only as it happens, yes they did and at least one of the memos produced by the Whitehouse and accepted as genuine does indeed have a superscript.

The real flaw in the story was the source of the memos. Bill Burkett had been peddling his claim that he had seen files relating to Bush's service deliberately destroyed for several years. When someone in that situation suddenly appears with a smoking gun just before an election, the correct response is extreme skepticism. Even if his original claim were true the temptation to 'replace' the documents he believed destroyed would be overwhelming.

Regardless there is a significant chance that we will now discover the truth of the matter. The US army keeps complete microfiche copies of all its records, if the Rather suit reaches the discovery stage the Rather team are certain to attempt to obtain them.

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