"From this hour I ordain myself loos'd of limits and imaginary lines, going where I list, my own master total and absolute, Listening to others, considering well what they say, Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating, Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me."
Walt Whitman (1819-92)
"When I look back now over my life and call to mind what I might have had simply for taking and did not take, my heart is like to break."
Akhenaton (d. c.1354 BC)
And now, the current weather, from some random person we pulled off the street:
Saturday, September 11, 2004
If It Looks Like a Skunk, Smells Like a Skunk, Walks Like a Skunk...
ig-nore Function: transitive verb
Etymology: obsolete ignore to be ignorant of, from French ignorer, from Latin ignorare, from ignarus ignorant, unknown, from in- + gnoscere, noscere to know -- more at KNOW
1 : to refuse to take notice of
2 : to reject (a bill of indictment) as ungrounded
3 : apparently, Dan Rather's preferred method of handling forged documents
Looks like we're not done with the forged memo debacle at CBS, at least if Dan Rather has anything to say about it. Faced with overwhelming data supporting the assertion that the documents he presented on "60 Minutes" are all forgeries, he stands firm and demands that they just aren't. Now, remember, these four memos are not from the Archives, but supposedly from the "personal file" of the late Col. Jerry Killian, who died several years ago.
Dan Rather claims that superscripted text, one of the major problems with the documents and the first to call attention to their potential forgery, occurs in some documents already released in earlier packets. I examined each and every one of the documents today using the USAToday archive, and as far as I could tell, the only superscripts were within the text of typeset forms. No text produced by office typewriters in the entire set of documents had a single superscript. So, I guess one could say that superscripts do in fact occur, but the statement is very misleading since they only happen on preprinted forms and are not produced from typewriters.
The Dotted Line
Many experts are also now claiming that the signatures on the alleged Killian memos are forged. Just to see what turned up, I wanted to compare the signatures on those 60 Minute memos with some actual, verified signatures from Jerry Killian. I also wanted to pay special attention to the fonts used in documents that were produced on his typewriter, since as we have seen in my previous post the 60 Minutes memos use a proportional font.
If the memos are forgeries, there are certain things I would expect to find:
1. All of the signatures by Jerry Killian in verified documents will be almost identical. Any signatures attached to the potential forgeries will be substantially different.
2. All of the signatures by Jerry Killian in verified documents will be in close proximity to text from his typewriter, which will produce text in a fixed font without superscripting, ever. All of the memos that may be forgeries will be in a different font.
Fair? I think so. Let's dive in.
Here are all of the signatures by Col. Jerry Killian in the entire record that has been previously released, save one which was very degraded (but essentially identical):
A couple of things become very obvious as soon as we see these side by side. The first is that there do happen to be some distinguishing characteristics common to all of his signatures.
1. He always signs with his full name, never an initial. (There are two instances where documents are signed with a "signed" stamp which I haven't included here.)
2. The "J" in "Jerry" terminates in an ascending line that forms a guide for the rest of his first name signature. Compare these. They are all at precisely the same angle.
3. The "K" in "Killian" always has a descender on the far leg that arcs inwards.
4. The dots over each "i" are situated to the right.
Now, lets look at the typewriter fonts. Aside from signature #2, every single one appears to have been produced on a typewriter using the Courier fixed font. The second signature was on a document produced using the Orator font, a common font on the IBM Selectric machines at the time, and the document was not produced in Killian's office.
These documents were produced over a period of several years spanning George Bush's service in Texas. Therefore, it would be a reasonable assumption that Col. Jerry Killian had at his disposal a typewriter that produced documents in the Courier fixed font.
I know that sounded overly simplistic, but bear with me here. It becomes really important.
Sign Here. Or Not.
Now, let's look at the four memos that Dan Rather is so adamantly defending as genuine.
First, the memo that was supposedly written on May 4, 1972.
As soon as we look at this, we see that this signature is very, very different. Go ahead, scroll up and down, have a look. It's not the same signature. Even the dot on the "i" is wrong. Not only is the signature clearly forged, but the text on this memo is in a proportional font, not a normal fixed font, and is Times New Roman, not Courier, the typewriter font used on all of the verified Killian documents!
The only way that this memo could be legitimate is if Col. Killian suddenly got it into his head to go to a machine that he never used, type his memo using techniques that would have taken hours to accomplish, then have someone else try to copy his signature.
Sorry Dan, that's a stretch in my book.
Now, let's examine the alleged May 19th memo:
We can't compare signatures here, there aren't any. We can compare typefaces though, and again this one is proportional Times New Roman. And what's with the catty tone?
How about the August 1 memo, does it fare any better?
No, it doesn't. First of all, look at the signature. One thing that Col. Jerry Killian was apparently consistent about was his signature. He never just initialed. Yet here we have just that, an initial. Why would he initial this, and only this?
Needless to say, its in proportional Times New Roman yet again. Catty too.
Only one more memo to review, the August 18 memo:
I reproduced the entire text of this one because it was so unbelievable. This memo is unsigned. The catty tone is bad enough to raise every hounddog in a thirty mile radius.
And it's in Times New Roman, proportional font.
I think that between the last post on this blog and this one, we can make the following conclusions without a shadow of a doubt.
1. These memos are forgeries and cannot possibly have been from Col. Jerry Killian.
2. The only reason for producing these documents is to harm the re-election chances for President George Bush.
3. The determination that these documents are forged can be accomplished easily, as we have seen. I did it from my living room. Even CNN has investigated these memos and reached the same conclusions that we have here.
4. Dan Rather and the staff at CBS would necessarily have known this, and chose to go ahead with this anyway and demand that it be taken seriously even after others questioned it.
Propaganda is one thing, and a lot of political rhetoric is just that, but it should never masquerade as a legitimate news story.
Shame on you, Dan Rather.
I smell a skunk.
Americans detest all lies except lies spoken in public or printed lies.
Edgar Watson Howe
US journalist (1853 - 1937)
(UPDATE: Since the time this post was written, more news wires have picked up on this story. Not only CNN, but Reuters and the Associated Press and others have brought in their own experts to examine them. The opinion is unanimous that these documents are forgeries, and the expert for the Associate Press said that she was certain "beyond a reasonable doubt and would testify to that in a court of law." In further developments, the Dallas Morning News published an article stating that they had copies of documents proving that Col. Stoudt, mentioned in the last memo, had been discharged 18 months earlier! Stay tuned.)
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