Kenneth, What Is the Point Size?

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Broadcast news punching bag Dan Rather says what history will no doubt call Cover Your Assgate are "authentic," which might be the surest sign yet that they are fakes. As Drudge likes to say, developing…

Maybe this is Dandy Dan's payback for the tongue-lashing Poppa Bush gave him way back when?

Or maybe it's just a precursor to a flood of "Kenneth, What Is the Point Size?" t-shirts flooding the streets of America.

Either way, it seems we all win.

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  1. Heh, “Cover Your Assgate”. That’s a great name for a scandal.

    Hell, that’s a good name for almost every scandal, now that I think about it.

  2. I’m sick of “gate” being the suffix of every freaking political scandal that rolls down the pike! We should crucify the uncreative bastards that keep doing this to us.

  3. For those of you who left Occam’s razor on your sink this morning or those of you who just want a great laugh, take a look at these morons try and convince themselves that these hidiously lame fakes are real.

    Check out the best documentation so far on exactly why these documents are utter rubbish.

  4. Hank,
    “Gate” is a four-letter word beginning with a hard consonant. Surely that beats “scandal” and “brouhaha”.
    “Flap” suffers from beginning with a wimpy, wispy “f.”

  5. What is important is the content, if the content was fake, the Bush camp would have come out fighting.

  6. Uncreativegate?

  7. Hey, ‘these morons’ are no more moronic than those who swallowed the Swiftie claims without a second thought. What, exactly, is the difference?

  8. Matthew Cromer,

    Should we just take your word for it? Or are you going to actually explain why they are fakes. After all, we’ve seen a lot of posturing from you on this point, without much explanatory commentary.

  9. Steve M,

    The Swifties are tearing down a Demorat, as opposed to a Repuglican. πŸ™‚

  10. Whatever pritesh. What flavor is your coolaid?

    That’s the problem with hawking fake documents and putting convicted fraudulent compromised liars on the air. Nobody believes you anymore, with good reason.

  11. Dumb question:

    I was under the impression, when I watched the 60 Minutes report, that CBS possessed the actual documents, not just copies of them. If so, then — as various people have pointed out today and yesterday — it ought to be very obvious whether they were produced by a typewriter or a computer printer: All you have to do is examine the back of the paper. I know virtually nothing about the history of fonts or the capabilities of ancient typewriters, but I do know that much.

    So: Does CBS have the documents? If they do, it should be pretty easy to clear up at least that part of the argument. And, beyond that, it would be useful if some of these independent experts could look at the documents themselves, as opposed to a scan of a fax of a copy.

  12. Gary, glad you asked!,

    The underlined words are called hyperlinks. If you move that funny rounded shape on your desk with a cord running from it called a mouse, you can move an arrow pointer over the hyperlinks and click them. This will take your browser to another web page with the information you requested.

    For those who cannot figure out how to click hyperlinks, the most damning evidence that these are fake is the kerning and the smooth right margins.

  13. I like orange flavor coolaid. Why is the White House silent? Call out the liars. By the way, I am not a citizen of the US.

  14. Coining every scandal GATE is actually a not so subliminal technique to remind everyone that the real crook was Richard Nixon. Those few years way back when really fucked up the minds of today’s media elite, and for that matter, left wing political advisors.

  15. Matthew: But is there kerning in the documents? Last I saw that was being disputed. Has it been resolved one way or another?

  16. Steve,

    Which Swift Vets for Truth claims are you saying are proven false? Kerry is the one who keeps changing his story after their accusations came out and he is the who keeps dodging the media, unlike the swifties.

  17. Jesse,

    Follow my links with your Occam’s triple-blade from the first post, and come back and tell me what you think.

    I’ve got to run home now and go grocery shopping but I’ll be back later tonight with more on the kerning.

    But the weight of evidence is damning, damning, damning that these memos are utter BS.

  18. I can’t believe I’m seeing all these REASON readers who believe these documents are real.

    Arguments for creation have a lot more meat behind them.

  19. Matthew Cromer,

    Quit ducking the question.

  20. Matthew Cromer has claimed expertise in these matters, so its not particularly strange for me to ask him to display this expertise. Instead, he refers to some hyperlinks that he states are damning. I’m asking for him to make his argument here; given his earlier claim of expertise (on another thread), this is a legitimate request.

  21. Argh! Against my will, I have sucked into the time wasting vortex of the blogosphere, and rendered judgement. Fake. Obviously, completely totally, fake. Forgeries. Poor ones. Anyone still clinging to the possibility that the document here:

    http://littlegreenfootballs.com/weblog/?entry=12526_Bush_Guard_Documents-_Forged

    is not a forgery, must get over it, and take up a new position. Claim that it doesn’t matter. Claim that they were planted by Rove. Claim that they are reproductions of genuine originals. But don’t pretend that they are genuine, or that it is beyond the capacity of a non-expert to sort through the evidence and come to a conclusion.

    Maybe Bush never showed up for Guard duty because he is Hitler, and therefore too old to serve, but for the sweet love of Jesus, a punch drunk monkey could figure out that Dan Rather got his hands on some forgeries.

  22. Matthew: I’ve seen those links. I don’t know what to think, because the questions that seem the most significant — the history of typography, military procedure in the ’70s — are topics on which I’m almost completely ignorant. I figure we’ll know for sure whether they’re forgeries within a week; in the meantime, I’m just enjoying the show.

  23. Gary,
    Repuglican is right up there with Asscroft and Dumsfeld. utterly witty, keep it up. how bout demoncraps, ha ha. aren’t i just cute?

  24. Ammonium,

    I’m not arguing for their authenticity. I am calling out Matthew Cromer.

    Matthew Cromer,

    Which Swift Vets for Truth claims are you saying are proven false?

    They claimed – by omitting the context of Kerry’s remarks at the very least – in one of their commercials that Kerry qouting the Winter Soldiers statements were Kerry’s own remarks. On a number of points the Swifties haver overstated their case (one of their purple heart accusations is an example of this), omitted material which undermines their position, etc., in an effort to tear down Kerry. I am no fan of Kerry and I am not voting for him, but I am also not willing to be bullshitted.

  25. “…this is a legitimate request.”

    leave it to lib to take something as efficient as the internet and hyperlinks and demand that someone reinvent the wheel on this board. yes, i did call you a lib

  26. Can anybody prove that Kerry is not a fake? The Dems have shown they don’t mind wooden nominees…

  27. Matthew Cromer,

    BTW, by claiming said expertise, you opened yourself up for the very question I asked you; don’t blame me for your foolishness. πŸ™‚

  28. I thought you could only suffix a scandal with “gate” if it involved a setting politician. At this point, it looks like no politicians are directly involved. If true this is a media scandal.

    Given the frequency of media scandals of late perhaps we need a dedicated suffix just for media scandals.

  29. Daddy, quit flirting with Matthew. We all know you’re the expert. Now let’s play catch.

  30. I find it simply fascinating that the Swift Boat people are accepted as truth-tellers, despite all documentary evidence to the contrary, while these memos are immediately labelled as fakes. Why not have an ‘open mind’ about this issue. Only time will tell if they are real or fake. Incidentally, the fonts and typesetting used in the memos were available well before the 1970’s. Why is the Powerline analysis correct and the Daily Kos wrong? Because of partisanship? I expect the next effort will be to tie them to the Kerry campaign, just as Democrats tried with the Swifties (and succeeded to only a minor degree). As far as the whole Cambodia thing with Kerry, he may have been off by a month or two in when he was there. We will never know. But Calhoun was off by the same amount of time in his claims about Bush in Alabama. Is he a liar then?
    As to Barnes, the Frontpage link provided by Matthew claims Barnes cannot be trusted because the only evidence is his word. Isn’t that the only evidence the Swifties had? And really, Barnes is no worse than Neil ‘I don’t know why hookers would show up at my door’ Bush as far as being involved with Savings and Loans.
    If the memos ARE fake, and they very well could be, then hey, maybe we can finally get past this Vietnam crap and move on to real issues, such as Iraq, the economy,Iran, and reducing the stress on our military in some way.

  31. “-gate”, as the troll might say, sux. It does seems primarily a political descriptor, that has become part of the popular lexicon.

    “Enrongate” would have been funny. Pidgin male enhancement?

  32. I don’t know whom to believe. I keep hearing that key features of those documents were impossible on typewriters back then, but then I hear that they weren’t.

    I can understand the concepts quite well, but I don’t know whom to believe. It isn’t just a simple matter. Knowing whether typewriters back then had certain features (some of them things I’d never heard of before, like kerning) requires a geek. Sort of like knowing colors that El Caminos were originally available in or knowing which American League player hit the most home runs in away games in the 1980 season. These aren’t hard concepts to understand, but you need a person steeped in the trivia who has that info available at his fingertips and can point to the appropriate reference.

  33. Judge-

    Wow! How did you dig that up?

  34. idiots,

    Leave to someone who claims expertise in an area to dodge a query and send me to a hyperlink instead. Look, if Matthew Cromer had not been so foolish as to claim expertise in this area I would not be asking him that query; but his statement has left him legitimately open to this line of questioning.

  35. Jesse, on the kerning, you are being a little obtuse. Look at how the “t” and “o”, or the “m” or “n” and “y” intrude on each other’s space. That is kerning.

    Hey, ‘these morons’ are no more moronic than those who swallowed the Swiftie claims without a second thought. What, exactly, is the difference?

    The provenance of the Killian memos is completely unknown. The Swifties back up their allegations with signed affidavits.

    The overwhelming weight of expert testimony on the memos, not to mention your own lying eyes, is on the forgery side. The overwhelming weight of testimony is on the side of the Swifties. In legal terms, the preponderance of the evidence is on their side.

    The “documentary” evidence contradicing some Swiftie claims is based, to an unknown degree, on after-action reports filed by Kerry himself.

    The Swifties have already forced (implied) retractions from the Kerry camp on significant issues – Christmas in Cambodia, for one.

  36. Thoreau,

    I am not Jean Bart.

  37. OK then, Jean Bart is Gary Gunnels.

    Do I get a prize?

  38. I’d say the most damning evidence in favor of those documents being faked is the demonstration of a nearly perfect correspondence with a document created in MS Word.

    While it can be reasonably argued that some typewriters of the era were capable of all (or nearly all) of the font and typeset characteristics, it is highly unlikely that any typewriter would produce a text virtually identical to an MS Word document.

    While the above isn’t absolutely definitive, it is certainly meaningful.

  39. Or maybe you are neiter, but the same person posts under both names.

  40. thoreau:

    I don’t know whom to believe. I keep hearing that key features of those documents were impossible on typewriters back then, but then I hear that they weren’t.

    Don’t worry too much about it. Sit back and see if CBS can convince you these documents are genuine.

    The burden is on CBS to prove these documents are genuine. Not that they could be genuine, or could possibly have been produced on a $20,000 cold type machine (which is about the only possible machine that could have done this). In evaluating their claims, consider the following questions:

    What is the provenance? Where did it come from? Who did they get it from and what is the chain of custody?

    Where is the original? What they posted looks like an nth generation copy?

    Where are the contemporaneous documents with identical characteristics that they claim to have seen?

    If they can answer these questions to you satisfaction, then can ignore the typographical minutiae with a clear conscience. If not, well . . . .

  41. As hard as this might be to believe, the real JB would be even more pompous than Gary. At least Gary doesn’t usually front off about his superior socio-ethnic heritage.

  42. joesux-

    Maybe Gary is simply a milder persona adopted by the same person.

    Gary-

    The evidence in that link provided by “The Judge” is very interesting. Any thoughts on the matter?

  43. foobie,

    It’s more than meaningful. It is beyond conceivable that the two would line up in some places along one line, then not line up in the middle then line up again the near the end. This sort of thing cannot be caused by variances in type pitch or spacing. It is the result of the imperfect optics of a photocopier, warping the image around their imperfections.

  44. R.C. Dean,

    The Swifties back up their allegations with signed affidavits.

    These signed affidavits don’t back up anything. This is some of the worst circular logic I’ve seen in some time here. Your argument goes something like this: “They are telling the truth because they a signed an affidavit; they signed an affidavit, therefore they must be telling the truth.”

    The overwhelming weight of testimony is on the side of the Swifties. In legal terms, the preponderance of the evidence is on their side.

    No! You completely misconstrue how preponderance of the evidence and other allied burdens of proof work if by weight you mean x units of evidence; weight also refers to believeability, and with regard to some issues – like the thirdhand account of the man who stated that he treated Kerry but whose signature is not on his treatment slip – believeability is zero (indeed, if you want to stretch the analogy further, much of the evidence the Swifties have would be INADMISSABLE in a court due to the hearsay rule, etc. – indeed, I’m skeptical as whether they could make the prima facie case).

    The Swifties have already forced (implied) retractions from the Kerry camp on significant issues – Christmas in Cambodia, for one.

    Actually, that’s the only one to my knowledge; and you are committing a tu qouque if you are arguing that one inconsistency means that all his statements are inconsistent.

  45. Jesse

    If you want to know why I think they are fakes (and you might, since I am a personnel officer for the National Guard and have seen memos like these) it’s because of three reasons:

    A Lt. Col. would never type his own memo, and there are no initials on the memo to indicate who did.

    Orders are never given in memo form (i.e. LTC’s orders to report as given to Bush) they have to be on official DOD letterhead for authority.

    The signatures from ONE to the other don’t match, let alone the fact that an authentic signature from the Colonel has been located and neither of the other two match.

    That’s just my two cents

  46. Speaking of proof – really, any idiot could post with the e-mail going back to thymbra@earthlink.net.

  47. Gary Gunnels,

    I do have some professional experience in this regard and I think that it is largely impossible to say for certain whether the documents exhibit kerning using the document scans available on the web.

    Kerning is very subtle in many cases. A low grade laserwriter and even inkjet printers output in excess of 600 dots per inch. Kerning causes the shifting left or right of one or more dots (I’m simplifying). Gifs and Jpegs will not present enough detail to really tell for sure.

    Worse, these documents are distorted most likely by a circular scanner bed like those used in fax machine. There is definite shearing in some of the memos. This will distort the letters and make determination of kerning very difficult at low resolution.

    If I had a PDF I might could tell for sure but with the quality of images I have seen online so far I can’t say for sure.

  48. The text isn’t virtually identical to what Johnson whipped up on MS Word – it is identical. When he superimposed one over the other, there was no overlap.

    The superscript th in the bogus memo doesn’t look like the th in the known-to-be-genuine memos. And, please, look at “my” in the second line and “any” in the fourth line. They are kerned. Typewriters don’t kern.

    If CBS is so convinced of the document’s authenticity, why not come out and state who gave them documents from Killian’s “private files?” Why not name the experts who examined the memo? “Cos it’s a secret!” will not suffice.

  49. thoreau,

    All you can do is take my word for it.

  50. If the crap is true, GWB used favors to duck service a few years before JFK dumped on his own military service. Seems a wash. I don’t see how Bush’s record of (non)service can be more damning than Kerry’s post-service antics. What have either done for us lately?

    Ultimately I see the Bush-haters crying about GWB’s second term as illegitimate, frustrated that nobody seemed to care about decades past, and ignoring their blunders in nominating a weiner then bungling his campaign. This “forgery” episode will be another point for them to bitch about as they grumble over their beers until they can campaign for Hillary.

  51. Why is the White House silent? Call out the liars.

    Why should the White House not be silent? They’ve scored a big PR coup here without lifting a finger — the Kerry camp *and* the most left-wing of the major news networks both got hit with a forgery scandal without the Bush folks having to make a single accusation. From now on every time the press or the Kerry folks try claiming Bush weaseled out of going to ‘Nam, Bush spokesmen bring up the fact that both the press and Kerry’s supporters have been caught faking evidence.

    What would Bush gain from denying the accusations in phony documents? Nothing. People will automatically assume the accusations are fake just because forged documents claimed they were true. If you need proof of that, just look at how many people made the completely irrational leap from “there were forged documents showing Iraq tried buying uranium from Niger” to “the entire claim that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Africa is a sham”.

  52. Shannon Love,

    Thanks.

  53. R.C.: I’m not being obtuse. I’m being agnostic. I’ve seen claims that the documents are kerned, with references like the ones you just gave me. I’ve seen claims that they aren’t kerned, pointing to other parts of the docs. I’ve seen claims that with the scans we’ve got, it’s too hard to tell. And, just to make matters more confusing, I’ve seen claims that the Little Green Footballs demonstration on MS Word isn’t kerned either.

    It’s all very interesting, but since I have no expertise at all in this I have no idea which side is correct. All I can go by are gut feelings based on extraneous information (e.g., “How come CBS won’t identify their experts?”). Now, being a journalist & all, I could call sources and try to educate myself quickly and draw my own conclusions, but since half the media and three quarters of the blogosphere are now chasing this story, I figure the truth will come out pretty soon without my intervention. I agree that the burden of proof is on CBS to demonstrate the documents’ authenticity, and that so far they haven’t risen to the challenge. But I also don’t expect CBS to operate on Internet time. So I’ll give them a couple more days to process the questions being fired at them and come up with their best answer.

    In the meantime, like I said before, I’m enjoying the show. Especially since I know it’s gonna end either with Bush looking bad or with Dan Rather looking bad. Either way I’m happy.

  54. Why doesn’t CBS or any lefty blogger just find the models of typewriter that they claim could reproduce this, and just reproduce it?

    JB,

    The linked post is dated 2003. Long before the JB/GG controversy started. Is the whole site a forgery?

  55. A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network’s sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents’ alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said that a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone, and that Hodges replied that “these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time.”

    ….

    The official said the network regarded Hodges’s comments as “the trump card” on the question of authenticity, as he is a Republican who acknowledged that he did not want to hurt Bush. Hodges, who declined to grant an on-camera interview to CBS, did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine in Texas.

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5955784/

    The article also has something of a run down of the doubts raised by experts.

  56. Any idiot-

    Sure, anybody could post a message with the screen name “Jean Bart” and the same email address that Gary’s using here.

    The timing is what’s interesting. Some googling shows a handful of posts by Gary prior to August of 2003. I didn’t review every single post by Gary prior to then, but in the sample that I perused he didn’t have an email address listed (email addresses, fake or otherwise, weren’t required on H&R back then).

    Moreover, I didn’t hear anybody proposing that Gary and Jean Bart are one and the same until May or June of this year.

    So, how is it that in August of 2003 somebody knew what email address Gary would use on H&R in the future?

    I think there’s a person using the names “Jean Bart” and “Gary Gunnels” at various times, and in August of 2003 he slipped and posted under one alias using an email address for another alias.

  57. Actually, the best examination of the whole issue yet is here.

  58. If anybody is interested in what all the noise is about this page at Apple gives a good overview of the terminology along with graphics.

  59. JDM,

    I was posting here in the summer of 2003 (I can’t give you an exact date however, because I never expected it to matter). BTW, I had no idea I was part of a “controversy.” πŸ™‚

    People engaged in these discussions about typewriters, swift boats, etc., ought to really watch the movie Rashomon.

  60. STD: Thanks for the comments. I tried to e-mail you privately but the message bounced. Could you drop me a line?

  61. Last I checked (10 seconds ago), kerning was off by default in Microsoft Word. Open a blank document, pull down the Format menu, select Font, switch to the Character Spacing tab, and note the checkbox labeled “Kerning for fonts”.

    I’ve looked at three different versions of Word, and it was off by default in all of them. To the best of my knowledge, it’s always been that way.

    -j

  62. Let’s start with a completely naive (in the statistical sense) assumption that we have no reason to favor computer vs. typewriter as the source of the memos. Since the document matches the computer-generated document essentially perfectly, the relevant question is “how likely is it that this document, if typed in 1972, would exactly match a default MS Word formatted document?”

    Probability that the typewriter used proportional spacing exactly as MS Word does? Low (not in common use on typewriters yet).

    Probability that the typewriter kerned letters exactly as MS Word does? Very low (not known to have been used on typewriters at the time). Incidentally, the memo font is kerned – it matches the MS Word kerned font, and would not do so unless it were too.)

    Probability of perfect centering of multiple lines? Very low (Impossible, really, given the kerning and proportional spacing).

    Probability that the typewriter had Times New Roman font? Very, very low (it is not known to have existed as a typewriter font at the time).

    There’s more, but so far the relative probability that this was typed in 1972 (versus forged on MS Word) is very, very, very, very, low, low, low, low. Do we need to continue? You can substitute your own judgement regarding the probabilities (e.g. .001, .05 etc.) at each point, and multiply to see what you estimate the chances are that this was typed.

    The document is a fake, produced on a computer using Times New Roman or a very similar font with kerning and spacing identical to Times New Roman.

    ***For the statistically literate – yes, I know, the probabilities of each of the previous are probably not completely independent. I think the point stands.

  63. thoreau,

    I have to ask, does it really matter that much?

    I think there’s a person using the names “Jean Bart” and “Gary Gunnels” at various times, and in August of 2003 he slipped and posted under one alias using an email address for another alias.

    Well, my real name is Gary Gunnels; my name is not Jean Bart; I am not French. It appears that the only way I can actually prove that I am Gary Gunnels is for you to call me on the phone. So e-mail me and I’ll e-mail you back my phone number.

  64. My $.02 as someone who has worked in publishing and associated areas for about 30 years: fake, fake, fake. Charles Johnson’s recreation of the one memo using default Word settings is conclusive.

    The protests that proportional fonts and kerning were available in ’72-’73 is true, but not important. Nobody, certainly not a military officer, would sit down at what was basically a typesetting machine to write a memo. Typesetting machines of the day were large, expensive, complex, and not simple to operate. And the odds that the output would perfectly match a document done in Word 30+ years later? Zero.

    The other problems with the memos: anachronistic language (“feedback”), non-standard military formatting and abbreviations, non-matching signatures, “pressure” coming from an officer who retired the previous year, etc., etc. Also note that bloggers have found various document experts who question their authenticity. The only experts who support their authenticity are CBS’s, and they are staying anonymous. Hmmmmm….

    One final point: the CYA memo doesn’t really make sense on its own terms. A real CYA memo says something like: “On date X I was ordered by Y, against my recommendation, to do Z.” This one says: “I’ll backdate but won’t rate.” Who confesses to wrongdoing in a CYA memo? It sounds more like a plea bargain.

  65. PapayaSF,

    That was sort of comment I was asking our expert Matthew Cromer for. Thanks.

  66. JB & GG claimed to be living in the same house for a time, sharing access.

  67. “Well, my real name is Gary Gunnels; my name is not Jean Bart; I am not French.”

    All true, no doubt. But it is also true that you have posted here under the name Jean Bart. No one can dispute that any longer. A journalist like Jesse Walker may even be able to make an unequivocle declaration about it.

  68. Gary-

    I don’t think you’re French. I think you’re somebody who’s posted under 2 different names with different biographies. It’s possible that one of those names is indeed real, and that the biography associated with that name is real, while the other bio and name are fake. Or maybe both are fake. I don’t know.

    Can you point to a post prior to August 14, 2003 in which you included the email address “thymbra:earthlink,net”? (I’ve substituted “:” for “@” and “,” for “.” to confuse any spam bots collecting email addresses.) That would open up the possibility of a prankster using your address and Jean Bart’s name.

    Anyway, I find this more interesting than who did what during the Vietnam War.

  69. The whole JB = Gary Gunnels controversy is actually more interesting then whether or not the documents are a forgery!

    A few months back on a string, I had asked what happened to JB, being that I didn’t see anything posted by him in quite some time. I think fyodor responded that JB = GG. (Sorry fyodor if I am incorrect in remembering it being you.)

    So GG, I think the Judge provided some interesting evidence. And who is, The Judge?

    I thought at first that maybe the Judge was Tim Cavanaugh. However, my imagination running amuck, I picture this multiple identity poster with alternating identities dancing in their head only to be exposed by a grandmaster and authortarian identity referred to as The Judge!

    Sorry Gary, JB and The Judge, I don’t mean to be offensive, its Friday after all.

  70. Or “unequivocal.” Whichever.

  71. STD, from my own military experience I agree with you. The protocols are not there. Also in my own experience with the production of military documents in the Regular Army (RA) in the 70?s we had manual typewriters, in the 80?s we used the erasable typewriters, in the 90?s we had very simple word processors. The Air National Guard was even father behind in this medium than the RA was.
    Great point shown above, if CBS has the original documents it would be obvious if they were composed on a typewriter. They could look for the ?hanging chads? on the reverse side. /R

  72. For those of us bored to tears by typewriters and fonts, will Reason post something non-rude, non-cynical, and non-condescending about, I don’t know, the third anniversary of 9/11? Just a suggestion.

  73. It’s not just a matter of kerning. Different programs will render text of the same font and point size quite differently. You simply cannot line up text as in the LGF example that originated in different software, much less between software and a typewriter. Lay out the same text in Photoshop, Fireworks, Word or in HTML in a web browser and they simply will not line up perfectly. My daily experience as a web designer confirms this.

  74. I post regularly under several names. It’s almost as much fun as internet dating.

  75. “The Swifties have already forced (implied) retractions from the Kerry camp on significant issues – Christmas in Cambodia, for one.”

    Actually, that’s the only one to my knowledge; and you are committing a tu qouque if you are arguing that one inconsistency means that all his statements are inconsistent

    It has also been demonstrated that Kerry’s first Purple Heart was for a self-inflicted wound, and therefore undeserved. Which means that his early exit from Vietnam was undeserved.

    They claimed – by omitting the context of Kerry’s remarks at the very least – in one of their commercials that Kerry qouting the Winter Soldiers statements were Kerry’s own remarks

    The transcript is here, so people can judge for themselves without having to endure your ridiculous spin.

    Kerry was not quoting any of the Winter Soldier testimony. Now, he was *summarizing* it, and presenting it as true — but the problem is that he knew it wasn’t true. You can’t knowingly pass along false claims and then blame the people who told them to you.

    So the worst thing you could accuse this ad of is that it suggests that Kerry made a lot of wild and false accusations against American troops, while in reality Kerry was merely knowingly passing along *other* people’s wild and false accusations against American troops with callous indifference to the harm he was doing to the soldiers fighting in Vietnam.

    Finally, let’s examine the double standard you’re using here. You claim that many of the SVBT claims have been proven false — yet the only proof that they’re false is that the official records contradict them. Well, the official records contradict everything Kerry said to Congress. So you must concede that either the SVBT have not been proven wrong, or that it has been proven that Kerry lied to Congress.

    If you need any help deciding, reflect on the fact that Kerry himself claims to have falsified battle reports.

  76. JDM, thoreau, etc.,

    You are all quite wrong I am afraid. But I’ve stated that as there is nothing I can do to change your opinion, its rather pointless for me to challenge your statements.

    Can you point to a post prior to August 14, 2003 in which you included the email address “thymbra:earthlink,net”? (I’ve substituted “:” for “@” and “,” for “.” to confuse any spam bots collecting email addresses.) That would open up the possibility of a prankster using your address and Jean Bart’s name.

    Ahhh, no; I never had any idea that I’d have to keep records on my internet musings. Anyway, you can continue to think what you want to; there’s nothing I can do about it.

  77. Those interested in true identity and provenance might enjoy my film “F for Fake”.

  78. thoreau,

    I don’t think Gary Gunnels is Jean Bart. Jean Bart had a much more refined snottiness.

  79. Dan,

    It has also been demonstrated that Kerry’s first Purple Heart was for a self-inflicted wound, and therefore undeserved.

    We went over this once before, so let me repeat: self-inflicted wounds can garner a purple heart.

    Kerry was not quoting any of the Winter Soldier testimony. Now, he was *summarizing* it, and presenting it as true — but the problem is that he knew it wasn’t true. You can’t knowingly pass along false claims and then blame the people who told them to you.

    Even at that, the commercial presents his statements as if they were his own and from his own experience. The only one spinning here is here Dan.

  80. thoreau,

    Actually, it really doesn’t matter who Gary Gunnels “really” is. The providence of an idea is not important. That is double true on the internet.

  81. Well, it wouldn’t be any fun if you admitted it anyway, Creosus.

  82. I’m no font or typewriter expert, but I know a little about the English language, and I highly doubt a National Guard officer in the early 70s would use a modern bureaucratic term like “feedback.”

    Plus, there’s the signature issue. The signature on these docs looks nothing like Killian’s signature on the other, definitely genuine, documents.

  83. thoreau,

    I want to say it was in May – I have forgotten, to be honest – GG answered a posting directed toward JB as if he were JB, having forgotten which role he was playing. When called on it, he gave the proximate excuse of “heh, heh, ol’ JB and I live in the same house, yeh, that’s it.”

    Now, a tip of the hat to GG: I always thought that he was very creative with the JB persona – it was very believable until he took his finger off the trigger. On the other hand, it wouldn’t take much effort at all for JB (or anyone else) to create a GG.

  84. A journalist like Jesse Walker may even be able to make an unequivocle declaration about it.

    I could, actually, but I don’t want to spoil all ya’ll’s fun.

    By the way, JDM, as long as we’re talking about multiple identities — ever hear of this guy?

  85. Shannon-

    The identify of JB/GG may not matter, but it’s still fun to guess about.

    As to JB’s refined snottiness, there’s no denying that the JB persona was truly a masterpiece. Kudos to Jean Gunnels for creating such an interesting persona.

  86. Steve wrote, “I highly doubt a National Guard officer in the early 70s would use a modern bureaucratic term like “feedback.” “. Great point, wish I had thought of it. /R

  87. Steve: The signature is a very legitimate question. But I’m pretty sure “feedback” was common currency in the Self-Help ’70s.

    Maybe not in the military, I suppose.

    All: The way I got drawn into this a while back, aside from having some time to kill at the end of the day, was by posting a question about whether CBS actually possesses the original memos. No one’s answered it yet. Does anyone know?

  88. Google is a wonderful thing. I found the message that “It’s all so hazy now” is referring to.

    https://reason.com/hitandrun/005286.shtml

  89. Dan,

    Here is the Swift Boat ad:

    John Kerry: ?They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads. . .?

    Joe Ponder: ?The accusations that John Kerry made against the veterans who served in Vietnam was just devastating.?

    [So what? If they are truthful, whether they were “devastating” is beside the point.]

    John Kerry: ?. . . randomly shot at civilians. . .?

    Joe Ponder: ?It hurt me more than any physical wounds I had.?

    [So what?]

    John Kerry: ?. . . cut off limbs, blown up bodies. . .?

    Ken Cordier: ?That was part of the torture, was, uh, to sign a statement that you had committed war crimes.?

    [So what?]

    John Kerry: ?. . . razed villages in a fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan. . .?

    Paul Gallanti: ?John Kerry gave the enemy for free what I, and many of my, uh, comrades in North Vietnam, in the prison camps, uh, took torture to avoid saying. It demoralized us.?

    [Again, if these allegations are true, one must ask so what?]

    John Kerry: ?. . . crimes committed on a day to day basis. . . ?

    Ken Cordier: ?He betrayed us in the past, how could we be loyal to him now??

    [If his statements were truthful, one must ask again, so what? Is this some sort of play for loyalty to the military no matter what? Note here how badly the military has treated confirmed whistle-blowers.]

    John Kerry: ?. . . ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.?

    Paul Gallanti: ?He dishonored his country, and, uh, more, more importantly the people he served with. He just sold them out.?

    [So what? Like all of the above comments by the Swift Boat group, this is mere opinion.]

    Announcer : ?Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is responsible for the content of this advertisement.?

    _____________

    Note that the Swift Boaters do not in fact indicate that Kerry is drawing from the remarks of the Winter Soldiers in his statements. Ommitting this fact is dishonest on their part. Why would they omit this fact one might ask?

    Furthermore, NONE of their comments actually directly question Kerry’s remarks; they merely prattle on about how Kerry betrayed people.

    So in the commercial we are presented with remarks by Kerry which are drawn not from his own experiences, but that of OTHER soldiers, but we are not told this; and his remarks are rebutted not by claims that he was wrong, but with emotionally driven personal opinions of the man.

    I’ll state this again: I am no supporter of Kerry, but this ad is bullshit.

    Shannon Love,

    And I think you’re a cunt. We’re even.

  90. “By the way, JDM, as long as we’re talking about multiple identities — ever hear of this guy?”

    No, but what about her:
    http://www.jodeemessina.com/home/

    I may just be a female country singer. I am known to be partial to David Allen Coe.

  91. Jean Bart was more pretentious. Gunnels is a bit of a redneck, lefty style.

    Say, where’s joe anyways?

  92. Holy shit, GG, that’s totally uncalled for.

  93. Just saw Rather’s defense. It seems to boil down to:

    (1) Everybody who doubts us has sinister and improper political motives. Woe is us. (That’s about %75 of the argument including the technical expert)

    (2) Our single expert, who is the only person who has seen the “originals” thinks they are real. You should also trust the experts we choose peasant.

    (3) Times New Roman dates from 30’s. Some typewriters did proportional fonts. Superscript “th” appears in other Bush documents.

    They didn’t answer any of the substantive arguments: Times New Roman not used on Typewriters, proportional spacing rare, superscripting of that type rare or nonexistent according to several nationally recognized experts. They did not explain were the documents physically came from. Purportedly they came from the personal files of Killian but he died in 1984 and his family says he had no such records.

    We just have to find a single typewriter that uses Times New Roman AND does proportional spacing AND did a superscript “th” I suspect the superscript “th” in other documents actually occurs in typeset forms and not in the typewritten sections.

    CBS really needs to let independent experts have access to the originals. Until they do, nobody is going to trust them.

  94. H&R historians may recall that JB posted as “The Merovingian” for a short while.

    JB also claimed a Jewish wife.

    The GG persona is less developed. I bet JB had way more hit points.

  95. Well this is cute.

    It’s like a little reality show where we all get to play detective. And now it’s even spread to figuring out unverifiable posters’ identities!

    The entire controversy will, of course, disappear entirely without resolution because the point of these things isn’t to find any answers. The purpose the story serves is more akin to the headphones one puts on when visiting the dentist for a root canal. Except the root canal is more akin to anal rape.

  96. GG, “And I think you’re a cunt. We’re even.” referring to Shannon. Tsk, tsk GG.
    If I remember correctly Bart has a lot more class than GG just exibited. Not that GG has no class it’s just that all of GG’s class is low class. /R

  97. Props to Shannon Love, for never betraying a gender, as far as I remember.

    I always figured Shannon was male, simply because there are so few libertarian women.

    …or maybe I’m Shannon…

  98. Or “appropriate.” Whichever.

  99. JDM,

    Creosus? Croesus was the last King of Lydia (according to Herodotus) before it was swallowed up by the Persians. Anyway, I ain’t Croesus; though I would like to have been as rich as he was. Croesus was an early advocate of free trade, though he had some problems with interpreting the predictions of oracles. πŸ™‚

    thoreau,

    I am not snotty; I would have to be a physicist to be snotty.

    Jesse Walker,

    Re: “feedback” your statement seems reasonable.

  100. Secret identities without superpowers? Who cares.
    Worst thread, ever!

  101. “And I think you’re a cunt. We’re even”

    That is completely uncalled for. One of the reasons I enjoy posting and reading these comments is that the tone is so much more civil than other places on the internet. I rarely agree with any of your posts but they are at least a contribution to the discussion. Now you’ve thrown that out the window.

    Thanks for dragging the mud in here, thanks a lot.

  102. thoreau,

    I get the feeling, probably completely misguided, that you are The Judge and The Man Behind the Curtain. I think it’s a nice touch for you to post two messages in the same minute and then respond to one of them. πŸ™‚ Please keep it up. πŸ™‚

  103. Steve, Rick, etc.,

    Why is it uncalled for? Oh wait, its not PC to use words like that, however it is PC to call me snotty? πŸ™‚ *chuckle*

  104. Danger, Will Robinson! Danger, Danger!

    Gary Gunnels is melting down!

  105. Shawn (or whoever you are), open two windows on the same thread and you can be several people at once. I think that’s how God handles the Christ/Holy Ghost thing, too.

  106. Why is the White House silent??? How is it that the saying goes? When your enemy is commiting suicide, don’t stop them..?

  107. I was going to say, one overwhelming piece of evidence against the GG=JB argument, is that GG did not have the same level of antagonism towards Shannon Love that GG possessed. However, in the thread regarding Jake Sollum’s article bashing JFK and GWB, GG goes after Shannon, albeit with less vitriol than JB would.

    In GGs defense, the kind of condescending arrogance of JB is hard to fake or hide and you would see far more signs of it peek out. Or maybe JB is GG with a goatee.

    Before I get accused of navel gazing, I would like to say this has as much relevance to who I’m voting for president as the entire forged documents scandal.

  108. Why is the White House silent??? How is it that the saying goes? When your enemy is commiting suicide, don’t stop him..?

  109. 1. CBS has *copies*. They do not have the original documents.

    2. CBS tonight just highlighted the problems. Yes, some typewriters could do super-scripting of a sort, but it was a far different animal than the sort of super-scripting that something like Word can do. Just look at a screenshot of the two documents that I’ve got on my web site below. If they can find a 1970s-era typewriter that can produce a super-script like the new document example, then I’d be more likely to believe that the docs are authentic:

    http://brian.carnell.com/articles/2004/09/000018.html

  110. Todd Fletcher,

    If Shannon feels safe to hold forth with insults against me, then I have no reason not to respond in kind. Or should I not respond similarly because Shannon is female (I assume such because she uses a nick that in female, and she has referred to herself as female in the past)? If anyone drug mud in here, it was that bitch Shannon.

  111. CBS has *copies*. They do not have the original documents.

    Thanks, Brian.

  112. Mo,

    I went after her after she went after me.

  113. And note that according to CBS, these superscripts are actually *identical*:

    “Critics claim typewriters didn’t have that ability in the 1970s. But some models did. In fact, other Bush military records already released by the White House itself show the same superscript ? including one from 1968.”

  114. Shawn-

    Nope, not the judge. Can’t prove it, but what similarities can you point to?

    As to differences in personality between GG and JB, I suspect that the same person is using 2 similar but somewhat different personas. Anyway, a few months back I posted my own thoughts on the similarities but conceded that it could all be coincidence.

    But now there’s the thing that “the judge” found, and that message from May where GG claims to be sharing a house with JB. That’s much more concrete than any speculation based on similar personalities.

    I realize that none of this matters in the end, but it’s interesting in a fun way nonetheless.

    GG seems to be ramping up the insults in this thread. Maybe a final hurrah?

  115. Hey, Chuckles – ALL of us are going after you.

  116. Who is Jean Bart?

    Long have the rumors flown of the man who’s founded a Francophile utopia, where, powered only by their self-reliance and some subsidies from the French government, they live in a secluded valley, producing wine, cheese, Citroens, and body odor.

    “I weel stop ze motor of ze world – for lunch!”

  117. >(2) Our single expert, who is the only person who has seen the “originals” thinks they are real. You should also trust the experts we choose peasant”

    Of course, some experts also thought the Hitler diaries were genuine.

  118. “And I think you’re a cunt. We’re even”

    Ok, never mind. GG has now exhibited JB’s hatred of Shannon (from his “Shannon you ignorant slut days,” which if I recall was shortly before the French Marines called him back or whatever reason he siappeared). It’s all coming together now.

    [steeples fingers]Excellent.

  119. My pet theory is that GG is JB on meds. He has claimed to suffer from bipolar disorder as both.

    (I don’t intend any insult by that. Which is rare for me.)

  120. thoreau,

    Ramping up the insults? What the hell? What sort of bizarro universe do you live in? Look, Shannon insulted me; I insulted her in return. Whether I used the term cunt or not is relatively meaningless; she got what she should have expected for insulting me in the first place. Now we have PC ninnies running about screeching about my use of the term “cunt.” Look, Shannon is an adult; she knows what she is doing; and if she chooses to insult me, then she should realize that one of the consequences of said action is that she might get called something nasty in return.

    I claimed what? Let’s see here; you have a bunch of anonymous postings and you conclude from this that I am a man of multiple personalities? I’m still waiting for your e-mail. πŸ™‚

  121. I guess you’re nobody around here without an alter ego or archenemy. I’ll spend some time this weekend working up my counterpart: Oralonia. Look for her next week.

  122. BTW, on the CBS has copies issue. This is what Dan Rather said tonight, courtsey of Drudge:

    “HE SAYS HE BELIEVES THEY ARE REAL…BUT IS CONCERNED ABOUT EXACTLY WHAT IS BEING EXAMINED BY SOME OF THE PEOPLE QUESTIONING THE DOCUMENTS….BECAUSE DETIORATION OCCURS EACH TIME A DOCUMENT IS REPRODUCED…..AND THE DOCUMENTS BEING ANALYZED OUTSIDE OF CBS HAVEBEEN PHOTOCOPIED, FAXED, SCANNED AND DOWNLOADED…. AND ARE FAR REMOVED FROM THE DOCUMENTS CBS STARTED WITH WHICH WERE ALSO PHOTOCOPIES. ”

    So they photocopied and scanned them again and again before posting those PDF scans?

  123. er. disappeared

    GG,
    I kinda like you, you usually make the conversation pretty interesting, but the difference between cunt and snotty is leagues away. If I called one of my roommates snotty, I’d get called a dick, if I called one a cunt, I’d have to reconstructive surgery on my twigs and berries. From what I hear from my female friends, cunt is the worst of the worst insults to throw at a woman.

  124. Mo,

    Oh yes, because someone calling Shannon a cunt or slut is so rare. πŸ™‚

    CTD,

    That was pretty funny. πŸ™‚

  125. I admit to being empathetic to Dan Rather, he being a fellow Marine and Southerner.
    Thus I was excited to see him make a professional defense tonight against charges of skulduggery.

  126. Mo,

    It was more than appropriate for me to call her a cunt. Maybe your friends are more sensitive than mine.

  127. Seems we have a three-way meltdown going on simultaneously — Dan Rather, John Kerry, and Gary “whatsisname” Gunnels. Will they make it through the weekend?

  128. Ruthless,

    Thought Rather was from Texas? πŸ™‚

  129. We went over this once before, so let me repeat: self-inflicted wounds can garner a purple heart

    They can’t earn a purple heart unless they are received in combat, which Kerry’s weren’t. His own journal, the surviving crew, and the available official records all indicate that he hadn’t seen combat yet at the time he received the wounds.

    Even at that, the commercial presents his statements as if they were his own and from his own experience. The only one spinning here is here Dan

    Heh. Ok, Gary. Kerry passed along slanderous statements that he knew to be slanderous. If you want to claim that the SVBT were “wrong” to imply that he himself had slandered soldiers, you go right ahead. It’s a distinction without a difference as far as I’m concerned. I can see the headlines now: “Kerry Falsely Accused of a Grotesquely Immoral Act Slightly Different from the Grotesquely Immoral Act He Actually Committed”.

  130. Douglas Fletcher,

    Meltdown? Me? Hardly. I admit that its fun to watch people whip themselves into a frenzy over my identity; but that hardly constitutes a meltdown.

    As to my weekend, it will be spent writing a prospectus for an article comparing how the court has inconsistently dealt with the various abstention doctrines and implied rights of action.

  131. Shannon is an adult; she knows what she is doing; and if she chooses to insult me, then she should realize that one of the consequences of said action is that she might get called something nasty in return.

    And if she wears something provocative, and turns you on, one of the consequences is that she might get raped?

    If you call me a jerk, and I call you a child-fucker, you don’t find that a tad disproportionate?

  132. Then there’s the problem, that the content of the memo indicates that the group commander concurs – although the named group commander had been retired for nearly a year.

    Whatever. Objective truth has no place in politics anyhow. If you want to hate Bush, then you will believe the memos are truer than any mathematical principle and nothing normal humans call “facts” will sway your opinion.

  133. More on topic, what are the odds that anyone as unstable as Rather will kill himself over this? I’m betting he pulls a revolver out from under his desk while signing off sometime next week.

  134. Are we getting pre-9-11 anniversary jitters here?

    Here’s a suffix for media scandals: “sheet”
    Thus this topic should have been titled:
    Cover your Asssheet.
    Yes/No sheet.

    For scandals in the accounting industry, I recommend “bean”… Four letters beginning with a strong consonant.

    Have there been any scandals among old farts glued to their computer monitors? Never hurts to be prepared.

    Which reminds me, I’m trying to lure an underage Japanese girl to Guam, but there would be no scandal as I couldn’t bear to be absent from Hit and Run that long.

  135. Marcel Matley was CBS’s expert witness.

    Interestingly enough — “In 1995 Matley was part of a national commission that determined the authenticity of the suicide note of President Clinton’s former White House counsel, Vince Foster.”

    Cool! Kerry’s new advisors at work?

  136. <completely-off-topic>

    thoreau,

    No real evidence. Just the JB == GG thread being brought up. The first post I READ claiming that connection was authored by someone claiming to be thoreau. And the admission you made later to being Sen. Santorum.

    James Randi,

    Yes, I’m aware of opening multiple browsers. Thanks for the advice, anyway. You can go back to being The Judge, now. (You both use .net TLDs with descriptive email/domain names, which is interesting only to me, probably.) Hope to see you at TAM!3.

    </completely-off-topic>

  137. Gary Gun,
    RE Tejas
    Wasn’t it on the side of the Confederacy?

  138. Ruthless: It’s all good as long as you don’t try to buy her used underpants. And underage for what…?

  139. SteveM: “I find it simply fascinating that the Swift Boat people are accepted as truth-tellers, despite all documentary evidence to the contrary, while these memos are immediately labelled as fakes…. Why is the Powerline analysis correct and the Daily Kos wrong?”

    In each case, the truth-tellers make numerous, detailed, specific, and falsifiable claims, while the falsehood-tellers avoid the bulk of the claims and resort to ad hominems in preference to refutation.

    There is no way of coming to an independent conclusion except by doing your homework. For example, an ignoramous would listen to Dan Rather tonight and be convinced that because some typewriters could do superscript well before 1970, and because one general says they’re convincing, therefore the documents have no problem.

    One who has done his homework, in contrast, knows that the superscript is at issue mostly because of its smaller type size, which is not a feature on such typewriters, that Killian’s widow, son and personnel aide all say the documents are implausible, and that the documents have numerous typological and language giveaways, including crude attempts to avoid the automatic superscript on Microsoft Word in most of the “th” and “st” examples.

    Further, the fact that Dan Rather does not address or refute such issues, but pretends they do not exist, leads the knowledgeable person to conclude that Rather is hiding things because he knows his case is weak.

    In the case of the Swiftvets: they make numerous falsifiable claims, they testify to them often, they print them in a book. In contrast, Kerry avoids the press, sends out spokesmen who have no claim of the details, but rather resorts to ad hominems and threats against TV stations.

  140. “More on topic, what are the odds that anyone as unstable as Rather will kill himself over this? I’m betting he pulls a revolver out from under his desk while signing off sometime next week.”

    Whoa! There’s a potential thread-killer.

    I hope that doesn’t happen, but it’s possible.

  141. One way to end this debate forever is for a Reasonite (if they so desire) to look at a JB/GG thread IP log and figure out if they have the same IP. Just a simple yes/no and the thing is over. Of course, since this is a libertarian organization, the invasion of privacy thing is probably touchy (then again it is their privacy and well within their rights).

    Of course, then the fun of the guessing game would be over.

  142. Scat (perfect name for our little subject),
    Seems we discussed the thing Japanese men have with the soiled skivvies of virgins like mine own there.
    She attributed it to the hellish working conditions of the culture: makes ’em kwazy.

  143. All: The almost-certainly-forged memos are also almost-certainly not kerned. I know Gary thinks the Swift vets are all liars (the list of allegations they have proven s impressive, beginning w/ Xmas in Cambodia), but the most vehemnt opponent of the kerning thesis I have encountered is one of the Swiftees in the “Geedunk and Scuttlebutt” section of their message board. Heteaches this shit, and was one of the first to show that if one types a bogus memo in MS Word using ALL default settings, it super-imposes PERFECTLY over the Rather fake. He has gotten testy with those who keep prattling about kerning.

    Krning is turned off by default — most folks don’t even know what it is, much less how to turn it on. Further, he says if you DO turn it on the perfect super-imposition is destroyed. Power Line and InDC are also waxing skeptical about kerning.

    The reasons these memos are fakes are multiple, and the many experts who have weighed in in WaPo and elsewhere explain why. But kerning does not appear to be one of the reasons.

    –Mona–

  144. Keeeerist. This thread is generating a lot of comments.

    Ok, I’m weighing in on several points. And wading in, too.

    Here’s the dillyo.

    CBS News:
    “This report was not based solely on recovered documents, but rather on a preponderance of evidence, including documents that were provided by unimpeachable sources, interviews with former Texas National Guard officials and individuals who worked closely back in the early 1970s with Colonel Jerry Killian and were well acquainted with his procedures, his character and his thinking,”

    Ok. Fair enough. What is CBS saying here? They’re basically saying “Let’s not focus on the documents, it’s the larger picture we’re concerned with”.

    My response: Fine. Question Mr. Bush’s service. Question the quality of his service. Question whether he got out of Vietnam through deferred svc to the Natl Guard. Use interviews, eyewitnesses, use all that. But by God(tm), if you produce a physical piece of evidence such as a written document, you had better f’ing make sure all the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted.

    I can, for instance, get a piece of company letterhead of almost any major company, print something on it like, oh, “Memo: Make sure all illegal activities are covered up, and stonewall the SEC!!!”.

    Who gives a shit.

    CBS continues:
    Critics claim typewriters didn’t have that ability in the 1970s. But some models did. In fact, other Bush military records already released by the White House itself show the same superscript ? including one from 1968.

    Good point. But how were the documents produced? For instance, look at Mr. Bush’s pay records. These were PRE-PRINTED forms, not produced on typewriters. They are apt to have all kinds of sophisticated font features, such as kerning, superscript, proportional fonts. But these documents MUST NOT be confused with hand-typed memos.

    POint to ponder: It’s conceivable that since CBS admits that these were copies of faxes of originals from copies from faxes from originals from copies… then is it possible that there WERE hand typed documents that someone simply transcribed into Word(tm)? I say yes, that’s possible. However, to place ORIGINAL signatures on those transcriptions is highly dubious.

    CBS Continues:
    Document and handwriting examiner Marcel Matley analyzed the documents for CBS News. He says he believes they are real. But he is concerned about exactly what is being examined by some of the people questioning the documents, because deterioration occurs each time a document is reproduced.

    Handwriting expert. Uhh, no one is disputing that the signatures aren’t those of the people who claim to sign the documents. Those can be scanned from originals and pasted onto any document, meaning that a handwriting expert will only verify that YES, in fact that is Mr. X’s signature, because, it is in fact Mr. X’s signature.

    I personally dispute the ‘many generations’ theory. Many generations would certainly mask some features, put not entirely produce new features out of whole cloth, or create proportional fonts etc.

    Anyone who’s done professional work in the computer industry for an excess of fifteen years, and worked extensively with printers is, in my opinion, qualified to make judgement on these documents. those of us who know and have followed the evolution of typographic systems know things like fonts, proportional spacing, kerning, daisy wheel printers, hard copy terminals, the first dot matrix printers, the introduction of the concept of TRUE DECENDERS and lack thereof in some equipment. I could go on.

    CBS News very fairly and rightly indicates that there WERE typewriters which produced proportional fonts and superscripting (the superscripting I question to some degree). However, A does not equal B in this case. In 1972 there did exist an automobile called the Ferrari, but this doesn’t mean everyone had one. Again, working for a major defense contractor on a military base, using standard military computers, typewriters and equipment ONLY fifteen years ago, I can tell you that it’s highly unlikely that the Texas Air National Guard had these specific typewriters in 1972. It’s possible, but unlikely.

    And going back to the superscripting– one could superscript with an IBM selectric but it involved moving the platen up a half line and typing a lower case ‘th’, for one example. However, the font size was the same font size and type as the rest of the document.

    the point is here, is this has decended into a Bush Vs. Kerry issue, when I believe that these documents can be held in a vacuum, and up to scrutiny, and in my opinion, they don’t stand up to that scrutiny.

    And pointing out that there did in fact exist a typewriter which did some of the features pointed out in these documents does not mean that one was used to produce these documents.

    My original question remains the same: Produce a set of ‘KNOWN ORIGINAL’ documents from the SAME typing pool that supposedly produced these, and if they’re the same, then that will lend great credibility to these documents. But until that happens, I believe these documents to be fakes, and incredibly poor ones at that.

    Paul

  145. Scat,
    Weekly she FedEx’s me “Thursday.”
    At least I think it’s Thursday. Can’t be sure as it’s in Japanese.

  146. Scat,
    Why does Mona always remind me of one of Helen Keller’s hands?

    Pardon me. I have begun sinking into my sake cups.

  147. Whether or not the documents use kerning, is easy to prove. Take a slip of paper, put it on the document, and line up the letters vertically against the edge of the paper. There should ALWAYS be a single line of letters that ALWAYS match up vertically on the page, for every column. One letter per row, for each column.

    There aren’t in that document.

  148. “”Flap” suffers from beginning with a wimpy, wispy “f.””

    I don’t know. Cover your Assflap has nice ring to it.

    CiT

  149. deanj,

    “Whether or not the documents use kerning, is easy to prove. Take a slip of paper, put it on the document, and line up the letters vertically against the edge of the paper.”

    This is incorrect. The experiment you propose will check for proportional spacing, not kerning.

  150. CiT,
    Did you see the original George of the Jungle where he explained the “butt flap” to his “Jane” (or Zelda)?
    Sorry to break it to you, but “Cover your Assflap” is redundant.

    Maybe the Republicans can mix Assflap into their flip flop?
    Otherwise, you’re back to the drawing board.

  151. CORRECTION! Apparently, there may be TWO kinds of kerning, because the Swiftee who insisted it had to be turned on is backing down from that now, and a guy at InDC says “paired” kerning, ofte seen on word processed docs, is not the same as the kind that must be switched on away from default. Anyway, I’ve now read several experts cite the Rather memos as fakes based on many points, including kerning. One of them is from Rice University and his argument is found at Hugh Hewitt’s site: http://www.hughhewitt.com/index.htm#postid877

    Damn, this is all confusing. I agree with whoever posted (was it Jesse?) that it may be a week before all the reasons why these memos are fakes (or not, but I deem this unlikely) are sorted out.

    –Mona–

  152. HOLD THE PRESSES!

    After painstaking examination of the documents using all the computer skill at my command I have definatively proved the documents are forgeries!

    In addition to all the items mentioned so far I found one key overlooked fact…

    They’re printed on “Dukes of Hazard” stationary.

  153. Ruthless,

    Well, yes, it was part of the CSA; however, many Texans I have met seemed to have the attitude that they a country seperate and part from both the South and the rest of the US.

    Mona,

    I know Gary thinks the Swift vets are all liars…

    I have never stated that and you know it Mona. Indeed, I went to great pains with you some weeks ago to state that I find elements of the stories of both sides to be quite fishy. Furthermore, when I stated that your unwillingness to be critical of the Swiftees was disconcerted, you answered back essentially “so what.” You – as I recall – argued that it primary basis for going with the Swiftees wasn’t so much their truthfulness, but because they tend to drag down Kerry – who you view as lacking a properly aggressive attitude.

    …(the list of allegations they have proven s impressive, beginning w/ Xmas in Cambodia)…

    I am afraid that Cambodia is the extent of their de-bunking; this is why everyone who hates Kerry mentions this, and then trails off … mumbling. Mona, Kerry was clearly in error regarding that claim, but its a tu qouque to state that this means that all of statements are in error.

    Dan,

    They can’t earn a purple heart unless they are received in combat…

    Well, now that you’ve corrected yourself, let me also remind you that this is the second time I’ve had to tell you that a purple heart can be awarded even if it is self-inflicted.

    His own journal, the surviving crew, and the available official records all indicate that he hadn’t seen combat yet at the time he received the wounds.

    Bill Zaladonis and Pat Runyon state that Kerry was in combat on that day with him; and Runyon states that he saw Kerry wounded on that day during a firefight, though he does state it was a self-inflicted wound. As to the records issue, as I understand it there is a three-month gap to be contended with. As to the diary it clearly conflicts with the recollections of Runyon and Zaladonis. What we have here is a classic example of the Rashomon effect.

    Kerry passed along slanderous statements that he knew to be slanderous.

    How were they slanderous? How did he know that they were? I’d really like you to demonstrate these two points. You’ve repeatedly claimed this after all. Were the Winter Soldiers being untruthful?

    Also, as I stated before, the ad itself never directly contradicts Kerry; instead of attacking his assertions they cast about with several arguments from emotion. If they were so upset about these statements, and felt that they were truly inaccurate, one would expect them to attack with something more intellectually interesting than what they did state.

    If you want to claim that the SVBT were “wrong” to imply that he himself had slandered soldiers, you go right ahead.

    They were wrong; it was an important omission and they should be rightfully slammed for it. Indeed, one wonders they were not completely truthful on the matter – was it because the ad would have less impact if they had been? I think so. Hiding details and facts does not speak well of their cause in other words.

    It’s a distinction without a difference as far as I’m concerned.

    Well, you’re a rabid Bush-supporter, so that’s to be expected. Its a bit like expecting a rabid Kerry-supporter (if such a thing exists) to question his statements regarding Christmas in Cambodia.

  154. Shannon Love,

    This is wrong. All these assertions describe physical events that can be tested for in some fashion.

    Actually, you’re the one who is wrong; many historical events will always carry a measure of significant doubt and enough wiggle room so that competing theories will never be proven (short of time travel that is – but that seems like an unlikely possibility given what little I know of modern physics). Take the Burr v. Hamilton duel – we will never actually know how Burr ended up shooting Hamilton: did he slip? did he mistake Hamilton’s faux-effort to kill him for a real one? did he actually mean to kill Hamilton? Historians as a rule understand that their knowledge of past events is often quite provisional and that even the clearest answers to some questions will always stay muddled and reasonably contested.

    Shorn of reason and empiricism we become monsters of faith incapable of changing our own minds or of tolerating those who believe differently.

    Faith in the sort of absolute empiricism you argue for is as dangerous as any religious faith can be.

  155. “From what I hear from my female friends, cunt is the worst of the worst insults to throw at a woman.”

    CUNT!? Why, it is just an acronym that means:
    Can’t Understand Normal Thinking!

  156. Gary,
    Firefight? Are you speaking of the firefight Kerry had with someones rice? I suppose destroying food could be considered a form of combat…

    Or perhaps I have my purple heart events mixed up? (I haven’t been taking notes)

  157. Mona, pair kerning is what’s being controlled by the option that is off by default in Word.

    Pair kerning refers to extra information in the font on how to adjust the spacing between specific pairs of letters, such as a capital “W” followed by a lowercase “a”. If this option is off, the visual space between the two will appear larger than the space between, say, “N” and “a” (note: appear; this is a matter of correcting for human perception, not geometry). If it’s on, the space between the two will be reduced slightly to make it appear consistent with other combinations.

    Want to see it in action? Open a blank document in Word, zoom in to 500% or so, type “Wa”, select it, and then turn on kerning (pull down Format menu, select Font, switch to “Character Spacing” tab, check “Kerning for fonts”, click OK). The space between the two characters will instantly shrink, overlapping them slightly, which can be confirmed by placing the cursor between them.

    The charitable way to put it is that the people who originally dragged kerning into this debate were so excited by the results of the visual comparison that they overstated their case, including an irrelevant claim.

    -j

  158. bigbigslacker,

    If you want to call the aforementioned individuals who served with Kerry liars, so be it.

  159. “Did you see the original George of the Jungle where he explained the “butt flap” to his “Jane” (or Zelda)?”

    No, I never care much for that cartoon. Actually, I was never into cartoons that much after Clutch Cargo went off.

    “Sorry to break it to you, but “Cover your Assflap” is redundant.’

    Maybe. I still like the way it rolls off the tongue.

    “Maybe the Republicans can mix Assflap into their flip flop?
    Otherwise, you’re back to the drawing board.”

    Nah! It isn’t that important to me.

  160. “Did you see the original George of the Jungle where he explained the “butt flap” to his “Jane” (or Zelda)?”

    No, I never care much for that cartoon. Actually, I was never into cartoons that much after Clutch Cargo went off.

    “Sorry to break it to you, but “Cover your Assflap” is redundant.’

    Maybe. I still like the way it rolls off the tongue.

    “Maybe the Republicans can mix Assflap into their flip flop?
    Otherwise, you’re back to the drawing board.”

    Nah! It isn’t that important to me.

  161. “Did you see the original George of the Jungle where he explained the “butt flap” to his “Jane” (or Zelda)?”

    No, I never care much for that cartoon. Actually, I was never into cartoons that much after Clutch Cargo went off.

    “Sorry to break it to you, but “Cover your Assflap” is redundant.’

    Maybe. I still like the way it rolls off the tongue.

    “Maybe the Republicans can mix Assflap into their flip flop?
    Otherwise, you’re back to the drawing board.”

    Nah! It isn’t that important to me.

  162. Terribly sorry for the triple post, but the cgi script seems to have a few bugs.

  163. The fact that I typed up one of the memos in Word today, with all the default settings on and without playing with any spacing, is all the evidence I need. Laying it over the CBS document, they were about as identical as you can get when something’s been photocopied that many times.

    I was a graphic artist for about 6 years in the late 90’s, and often had to exactly match typesetting from the 1970’s to make clients happy. Never was I able to match a proportional font document by simply typing into Word — the spacing never came out quite right, and generally I had to spend hours just playing with the stretch and the spacing (horizontal and vertical) to get what a typewriter created. Never could I just type away with the default settings and get a match… until today, that is.

    CBS must think we’re idiots. Either that, or they are idiots.

  164. Dan Rather,
    If you need help kickin’ some ass her on H&R, just let me know.

  165. JDM,

    I am bi-polar, but bi-polar people are not prone to hallucinations or split personalities. If you are implying either are common for the bi-polar, then I suggest you consult the DSM-IV.

  166. Gary,
    Right now…
    as we speak…
    Are you on the North Pole or the South?

    Whichever, Dan Rather and I are coming!
    … for a little chitchat.

  167. Ruthless,

    I’ll be waiting with my .357 and a nice Cotes du Rhone. πŸ™‚

    Here is a nice blow for blow on the aforemention documents concerning Bush’s time in the Texas Air Guard:

    http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/TheNote/TheNote.html

  168. GG, took a respite to entertain some friends for a cookout. If you don’t know the difference between snotty vs. cunt then you are beyond help. It has nothing to do with being PC. You owe Shannon a apology. If you don’t I, for one will ignore your posts. It is called being shunned. get it? /R

  169. Shawn-

    Other than my standard screen name of thoreau, the only names I’ve ever posted under have been fun ones. e.g. Senator Santorum. Or I posted as Al Gore the other day “I invented proportional fonts.” I’ve done a few humorous “Ann Coulter” posts (but I’m not the only one doing them). But I’ve never posted for any extended period of time under any screen name besides thoreau. Well, there were quite a few posts as Sen. Santorum, but it was pretty clear to everybody that Sen. Santorum was a joke.

    Although I suppose it could always turn out that he is in fact a closet homosexual with an affinity for beagles. Although there’s no evidence for it, he certainly hasn’t done anything to prove otherwise. I’m just saying… πŸ™‚

  170. who is this Cromer person and what is his experience with typewriters? I have in my possession three IBM Selectrics circa 1970-1977…all perfectly capable of creating superscripts, different typefaces, varying kerning (depending upon the typeball you use), etc.

    I’m happy for him to come around and verify these facts without resorting to petulant name-calling, a holier-than-thou attitude or self-congratulatory hints concerning the operation of hyperlink technology.

  171. I just read Howard Kurtz’s description of Rather’s counterattack. It sounded awfully weak — too many points left unaddressed, too much offered on faith. If CBS wants people to accept these documents as real, it’s going to have to provide a detailed rebuttal (not necessarily on-air, but on its website) and allow independent experts access to the documents.

    Has anything like that been promised? I haven’t heard anything about it, but perhaps I missed it.

    Also, I didn’t see the broadcast itself. I’d like to, in case anything was lost in translation. Is it online?

  172. Slap, I believe that although you may have one at this point in time the fact is that the Air National Guard (ANG) did not have access to them in the ’70’s. I know, I was in the military during this period and I was at the Pentagon, J2 and if we did not have one the ANG sure didn’t./R

  173. Well, the Dallas Morning News says this in a story for tomorrow:

    “The man named in a disputed memo as exerting pressure to “sugar coat” President Bush’s military record left the Texas Air National Guard a year and a half before the memo was supposedly written, his own service record shows.

    An order obtained by The Dallas Morning News shows that Col. Walter “Buck” Staudt was honorably discharged on March 1, 1972. CBS News reported this week that a memo in which Staudt was described as interfering with officers’ negative evaluations of Bush’s service, was dated Aug. 18, 1973.

    That added to mounting questions about the authenticity of documents that seem to suggest Bush sought special favors and did not fulfill his service.”

    CNN just did a piece the memos with a typewriter expert who says you might be able to get a typewriter to superscript and center like the memos, but it would take several steps. And Killian’s family insists he ddin’t even know how to type.

    ABC’s The Note runs this:

    “Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian’s supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were “handwritten” and after CBS read him excerpts he said, “well if he wrote them that’s what he felt.”

    Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70’s and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been “computer generated” and are a “fraud”. ”

    In a pretty skeptical story, Washington Post says the handwriting expert CBS claims confirmed the signatures on the memos was authentic says CBS has asked him not to give interviews.

    Saturday isn’t shaping up to be a good day for Dan Rather.

  174. I haven’t hooked it up on a Windows box, but I tried to reproduce one on a Mac with the Mac versions of the fonts, and while I could get very close with Times New Roman, it was not the same.

    So if they’re forgeries, they weren’t done on a Mac with standard fonts.

    BTW, Word automagically indented my list, which I notice did not happen on the memo. I could get around it, but I had to work. If the guy was as inattentive as people say and used default settings (mine only worked once I restored the hated curly quotes), it really seems odd that he’d go to that trouble.

    Still I couldn’t say definitively either way. I think Stoudt’s retiring seems more suspicious than anything else.

  175. Wow! This thread must be some kind of record!!

    Anyway, here are my two cents.

    I served in a National Guard unit in the late 80’s and NONE of the officers or senior NCOs could type.

    Out of 200 men in our company, I was one of the few who could (I was studying computer science in college).

    What really convinces me that the document is a fake is the superscript. IMHO, no officer in the early 1970’s would have had the inclination no the knowlege to put the ‘th’ after 187; as in 187th whatever squadron it was.

    Thank you for your time. I will now go back to drinking.

  176. Rick Laredo,

    An insult is an insult. I stand by my statement. Furthermore, I suspect your threat to ignore my posts is about as realistic as Alec Baldwin’s claim that he would leave the US if Bush won the Presidency. πŸ™‚

    thoreau/judge,

    I don’t know if you’re being truthful about this multiple persona issue. πŸ™‚

    Jesse Walker,

    There ought to be a transcript of the broadcast, correct? My question is why you would expect Rather to be the pointman on this to begin with? Why isn’t Sixty Minutes handling this football by tacking on a 2-3 minute statement about their authenticity?

  177. Alkurta,

    I think the record is over two-hundred posts.

  178. slap maxwell,

    The proprietor of the following link is offering $10,000 to anyone who can exactly duplicate the memo in question with a typewriter that was available in early 1972. If you’re so certain about the capabilities of the instruments in your possession, you should go for it.

    Go here

  179. RDale,

    My typing teacher in highschool was right when he said typing knowledge would “pay off” some day. πŸ™‚

  180. I’ll be watching the unfolding story with interest, however, it won’t change the now validated fact that GWB was jumped ahead to gain entry into the TANG and a large chunk of time cannot be accounted for. You may say it doesn’t matter, but it certainly does if you have any connection to one of the 58,000 that weren’t so lucky and lost their lives. A “Fortunate Son” indeed.

  181. I’ll be watching the unfolding story with interest, however, it won’t change the now validated fact that GWB was jumped ahead to gain entry into the TANG and a large chunk of time cannot be accounted for. You may say it doesn’t matter, but it certainly does if you have any connection to one of the 58,000 that weren’t so lucky and lost their lives. A “Fortunate Son” indeed.

  182. Newsflash: George Bush and the GRAND FUNK RAILROAD—is there a connection?

    Even more disturbing, was he present during the riotous Arkansas stop-off that inspired “We’re An American Band”?

    Ticket stubs are being analyzed for DNA…

  183. LR,

    …and a large chunk of time cannot be accounted for.

    Are you saying that Bush was abducted by ETs? Is he an ET clone? πŸ™‚

    thoreau,

    I have no means to explain it. I think I made that point clear some time ago. BTW, if Shannon is fond of Jean Bart, then I definately don’t to be associated with this guy. πŸ™‚

  184. Cletus Nelson,

    I have never seen Bush deny that he was a back-up singer for P-Funk. I’m not saying that its true, but, you know, he’s never denied it either. πŸ™‚

  185. Nick and Jesse are clearly, well, drunk.

    If they’d just finish eachother off, I’d step into that editor in chief spot, and then we can really watch things go down the tubes.

  186. GG:

    I’ve always heard that P-Funk were big fans of the MC5 who directly inspired…GFR [sudden exhale]

    It’s ALL coming together! πŸ™‚

  187. Paul,

    Nick and Jesse clearly need to get rid of some sexual tension. πŸ™‚

  188. Let’s be honest we ALL know the forgeries are the sinister doings of Karl Rove and the Bush mob. They enticed CBS with the documents and now they’ve gained perfect political leverage to slam perhaps one of the finest contemporary political statesmen since TJ.

    Just kidding. πŸ™‚

  189. On the subject of JB=GG, why don’t you people just ask Tim to check the IP addresses of the two of them? It won’t automatically be conclusive (since one person could post from multiple computers), but if they have the same IP address then the mystery is solved.

  190. Cletus Nelson,

    Sure. πŸ™‚

  191. HOLD THE PRESSES!

    After painstaking examination of the documents using all the computer skill at my command I have definatively proved the documents are forgeries!

    In addition to all the items mentioned so far I found one key overlooked fact…

    They’re printed on “Dukes of Hazard” stationary.

    Man, those Samoans are a surly bunch.

  192. Jack,

    “why don’t you people just ask Tim to check the IP addresses of the two of them”

    I don’t want to know. I have such fond memories of Jean Bart that I would be crushed to find out he is really Gary Gunnels.

  193. Gary-

    I’m not judge. I had actually concluded that you and JB were different people. Sure, I’d occasionally say things like “Paging Jean Gunnels!” when France was mentioned, but I always said it was a joke. I was surprised by the judge’s post.

    However, having examined the judge’s post, and having examined your post in May when you said that you and JB were sharing a place, well, it’s suspicious now.

    Care to explain some interesting comments in the link below?

    https://reason.com/hitandrun/005286.shtml

  194. Dan Rather apparently told a rather transparent lie on Friday:

    http://brian.carnell.com/articles/2004/09/000024.html

  195. Unfortunately it’s not a transparent lie, Brian. Most people don’t read the Los Angeles times, and most of those who do won’t bother reading the article you cited.

    So Rather will probably get away with that lie; even when, eventually, he is forced to concede the memos were fake, odds are he won’t be accused of lying to cover up the forgery.

  196. “Or maybe it’s just a precursor to a flood of “Kenneth, What Is the Point Size?” t-shirts flooding the streets of America.”

    Like these?

  197. I don’t really care if that old privateer, Jean Bart, is Gary, or if GG is JB. I’ve had it up to the gunwales with the whole business.

    Kevin

  198. When Kerry returned from Vietnam I believe he was required to spend 4 or 6 years in the Naval Reserve. Anyone know if he fullfilled his obligation? /R

  199. When Kerry returned from Vietnam I believe he was required to spend 4 or 6 years in the Naval Reserve. Anyone know if he fullfilled his obligation? /R

  200. Comments have been removed from this thread. Our editors are redacting. Everything is under control.

    Be seeing you.

  201. What if Gary killed Jean and took over his identity? Who shall be next, one of us?

    Has there ever been a blogging serial killer? Almost as scary as a necrophillic with pedofilic tendencies!

  202. Pritesh –

    Think of it this way, CBS gave the White House the docs before the show. Now if anybody at the WH is sharper than a butter knife they noticed that the docs were fake. So, seeing that their enemy was about to shoot themselves in the feet…they simply let them do it.

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