Friday, October 15, 2004

Excellent 47-minute Democracy Now! video about Bush's National Guard dereliction

Democracy Now!

As controversy swirls around the authenticity of documents used by 60 Minutes last week, we play an excerpt of a new documentary 'Bush Family Fortunes' by investigative reporter Greg Palast that examines Bush's military duty and includes a rare interview with former Texas Air National Guardsman Lt. Col. Bill Burkett. [includes rush transcript] ...

Watch complete documentary at Information Clearing House or get your own DVD at

Previously posted 9-18-04

Update 10-16-04:

CBS and Dan Rather suffered humiliation over the documents used in their reporting that Bush was viewed as a problem in the Guard and had refused to follow an order to get a physical. Marian Carr Knox (the former secretary of Bush's National Guard commander, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian), who examined the document copies, attested that she had not typed those particular memos, but that their content nevertheless was in fact true.

Lt. Col. Bill Burkett was the source of the documents to CBS and later admitted he had lied to CBS about how he had come to possess them. Because of that lie, Burkett's general credibility has been cast in suspicion and therefore arises again regarding his testimony to Greg Palast. However, just as the truth of the CBS memos was attested to by Marian Carr Knox, the evidence is also clear that a large amount of George Bush's National Guard records are in fact missing from the files, including everything in one particular large critical period of time. In both cases, the bottom line facts do indeed match the charges, even though the source of the charges has been drawn into question.

What may be happening here is allowing the truth of the matter to enter into the public domain in such a manner as to be able to deny its credibility by discrediting the source. This is a strategy known as "damaged packaging" and has been used sucessfully before by Karl Rove against Jim Hatfield, author of unpublished Fortunate Son in 2000.

We may never really know the details of Col. Burkett's involvement in this matter, whether he is in fact a GOP plant — a sleeper cell of one put in place long ago for just such a mission — or whether he is just a victim in a scheme to discredit the accurate information he delivered.