Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Criminal Phase Heats Up...

Well, the criminal angle to Memogate has commenced.

Hopefully, I've posted enough legal background here to give you some inside legal guidance.

Newsmax and each claim the Texas Department of Public Safety Rangers division is in the process of deciding on whether an investigation into the CBS forgeries should be mounted.

It is a crime in Texas to bribe an official or exert undue influence over a public official as s/he discharges his/her duties, so don't go crazy stalking the Texas Rangers.

But the letter template below is a copasetic way to inform the Texas Rangers that CBS (not just Burkett) has possibly committed a crime in Texas:

Email Addresses of Texas Rangers: and

Letter Template:

Texas Department of Public Safety
Company "E"
2405 S. Loop 250 West

Midland, TX 79703

I am writing to you to bring to your attention a potential criminal matter relating to events currently in the national spotlight.

As you are likely aware, the CBS program 60 Minutes II broadcast on Wednesday, September 8, 2004 a program concerning four memos purportedly related to President Bush’s service in the Texas Air Guard. Those memos are available at the CBS News website:

CBS broadcast its 60 Minutes program in Texas via several affiliate stations. The producer of the segment is a Texas resident. Since that broadcast, the authenticity of the memos has come into doubt. In short, the memos are increasingly being recognized as forgeries.

It has been reported in the national news that CBS’s own document experts warned CBS, prior to broadcast, of the doubtful nature of such documents. It has also been reported that the memos were faxed to CBS from a Kinko’s store located in Abilene, Texas.

It appears to me that CBS has committed one or more felonies under the Texas Code pertaining to publication of forged government documents, that Texas has jurisdiction, and that Taylor County is one relevant venue.

The Texas Penal Code (Sec. 32.31) governs forgery. "Forgery" includes publication of a forged writing. I assume that under Texas law, a television broadcast constitutes a publication. Code Sec. 32.21 defines the requisite criminal intent for forgery as, "an intent to defraud or harm another."

Significantly, the Penal Code provides that a person is presumed to intend to defraud or harm another if the person acts with respect to two or more writings of the same type, and if each writing is a government record.

Here, there are four forged memos, all purportedly government file memos, at the heart of the CBS program. Under the Penal Code, CBS’s intent is thereby presumed, by the very nature of the multiple forged government documents it published.

On its face, it appears that CBS, with knowledge of their falsity, published the four forged government memos, and thus violated the Texas Code pertaining to forged documents. If so, the act was a felony.

CBS’s broadcast in Texas, the Texas residency of the segment producer, and the news reports of the Abilene Kinko’s as being the location of the transfer and publication of the forged memos, would seem to establish Texas jurisdiction.

I hope these observations are helpful to you in your duties. I have no independent information on the matter, other than what has been reported in the media.

Very truly yours,

Texas Ranger Contact Information:

The Field Office for Abilene (Taylor County):

Texas Department of Public Safety
Company "E"
2405 S. Loop 250
West Midland, TX 79703

P.O. Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0600

Company "A"
12230 West Road
Houston, TX 77065

Company "B"
350 W. IH 30
Garland, TX 75043

Company "C"
1302 6th Street
Lubbock, TX 79401

Company "D"
6502 S. New Braunfels
San Antonio, TX 78223

Company "E"
2405 S. Loop 250
WestMidland, TX 79703

Company "F"
102 Texas Ranger Trail
Waco, TX 76706

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Driving 80 with a '40 and a Blunt in the CBS News Chevy

[update: I'm dark 'til next week. Ciao.- bummerdietz]

Driving 80 with a '40 and a Blunt in the CBS News Chevy.

I had a roommate some time ago, got popped for drunk driving. Three weeks later, he got popped again.

CBS just got popped for a second time, in three weeks.

Update: For its second offense, CBS News members are taken out back to the woodshed and INDCently fisked, flogged and bitchslapped.

Very publicly.

Let's swap in a Ween epilogue for the previous Molly honor the nice CBS propagandist who cut short her fisking by INDCJournal; and for the segment producer who still insists with a straight face that she thinks Fake but Authentic is OK:

"Baby, baby, baby bitch
For words I am at a loss

Baby, baby, baby bitch
I’m better now please phuck off"


Safire Likes His Immunity, Dammit

William Safire weighs in, and he’s having none of this crap from BummerDietz.

Safire is a lion, but he is of a different generation. A week after suggesting that CBS and/or others had committed a felony in Memogate, he retreats into journalistic fantasyland, where indictments of felons just magically happen, without any government subpoenas. Safire:

"The fundamental right of Americans, through our free press, to penetrate and criticize the workings of our government is under attack as never before."

Not to insist that the MemoGate "MSM-tries-to-swing-a-wartime-election" story is a bit more germane this month, but shouldn't the old war horse's words read more like this:

"The protections which directly flow from the balance of power among three branches of our free republic, and a fourth estate of the free press, are under direct attack as never before, as the objectives of the conglomerate-owned MSM/"free press" are no longer a free republic but rather their own corpolitical power."

Safire suggests that the application of ordinary criminal investigation techniques to the “press” – the same threats that hang over your head and mine – is an unwise encroachment on the press which endangers our free society. (I alerted you that this was coming, last week.) The press' sources will dry up -- and our Republic will thereby be put at risk -- if we tamper with their claims of absolute immunity.

Mr. Safire says don't mess with his - or Dan Rather's - confidential source immunity and reporter shield laws. Just relax, and leave them alone.

Mr. Safire, look what inane blather your cat dragged in. Please, please snap out of it.

I'm not buying it. It’s a wolf cry. CBS and our Republic didn’t collapse when CBS recently (wrongfully) burned a whistleblower in a high-profile case.

And we have a full smorgasbord of whistleblower protection and related laws that protect sources from retaliation. And new anti-SLAPP laws protect against the public debate being silenced by litigation threats by deep-pocketed opponents. Those laws weren't enacted and used when Rather and Safire went to the Clarke Kent reporter school. The paradigm is different, now.

Absolute power still corrupts, absolutely. So absolute MSM power....remains absolute, when you break it down. Bloggin' is no substitute for subpeona power.

So what am I missing?

Let the debate continue. What is the correct balance between immunity-wielding thuggery and the tools needed for a free society?

Am I crazy to suggest that the MSM press corps is less inclined to expose prosecutorial abuses and governmental over-reaching, when corps members themselves hold immunity cards?

Isn’t that sorta like expecting UN diplomats to rise up in anger over New York parking fines – laws they are immune from?

By this blog, I am now in the press corps. Can I get one of those cards, too?

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

CBS and the Growing Evidence Tampering Checklist

CBS Legal Dept: Evidence Tampering Checklist

[10.5: see the updates throughout, and specifically near the bottom of this post]

As Memogate moves out of the journalistic fiasco phase and into a more legalistic phase, the strength of CBS Legal’s Felony Abatement Plan (also known to prosecutors as ‘tampering’) will be put to test.

There is ample evidence of criminal intent by CBS both pre-broadcast and post-broadcast. One as-yet unrealized consequence (other than to CBS Legal) is that communications between a lawyer and client are no longer privileged when the subject matter is furthering a crime or a fraud. The Texas forgery code provides that publication of two or more fake government documents is a felony. Hence, discussions between CBS Legal and CBS producers are fair game – they are not privileged.

Dick Thornburgh should scream loudly and publicly when CBS refuses to allow its attorneys to cooperate in the investigation. (Update: call me crazy, will ya?

Three earlier articles detail some of the more egregious actions by CBS Legal.

You want preponderance, Dan? OK.

I’ll start here a checklist of CBS Legal Department Evidence Tampering, which I will update from time to time.

I am defining evidence tampering in two ways: 1) the alteration of a thing with intent to change the thing in a manner material to a foreseeable investigation, or 2) tampering with the likely testimony of someone who is fairly identifiable as a material witness in a foreseeable criminal or official investigation.

[Update: If I defined tampering more broadly to include the merely 'unethical', the list would be longer. Ernest Miller has penned the definitive fisking of CBS's actions, from a stupidity and ethical viewpoint.]

Pre-Broadcast: Known Intentional Acts (so far)

1. CBS Legal inserted a made-up “personal files” tag into original story, in an effort to sidestep Texas felony forgery law.

2. CBS Legal terminated the involvement of its outside experts Emily Will and Linda James, when the experts cast doubt on the story. Notably, CBS Legal terminates Will when she begins internet research to provide CBS with futher backup of her opinion that the memos are not authentic. Nixon fired Archibald Cox, remember? Same thing.

3. CBS Legal crafted the scope of its engagement of its outside experts, to what CBS Legal determined was a sufficiently narrow and irrelevant role so as to not impart clear evidence of a “guilty mind” (mens rea) on CBS. It's like intentionally asking for a library card to check someone's age, knowing that the person was underage and their library card contains no date of birth, but then later claiming that you have "fully checked their ID."

4. CBS makes incomplete and misleading statements to General Hodges (according to Hodges) in order to obtain some appearance of backup for the story from an old Texas Guard vet. Mapes has been working the story for 5 years and had come up empty handed, and certainly had ample time to speak with Hodges. Why the late, incomplete interview of Hodges? CBS then includes Hodges' reactions to the partial, misleading story told to him over the phone. (Hodges claims that CBS led him to believe that it was in possession of original, authenticated handwritten notes of Killian, and CBS paraphrased the content and asked for Hodge's thoughts.). CBS includes his reactions to CBS's "fake but accurate" half-truths as bona fide backup for the story. This is a boot-strap. The Dallas Observer has published an important fiskdown of the Hodges malfeasance. CBS's own words are cited by CBS as coming from a third party. CBS presumably had reasons for doing so, most of which appear unethical and/or even criminal.

Post Broadcast Tampering

5. CBS falsely claimed, in writing, that CBS’s reporters had "verified the authentication of the the documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written. These individuals were close associates of Colonel Jerry Killian and confirm that the documents reflect his opinions at the time the documents were written." This outright fabrication is code for, "We have two eyewitnesses." CBS pre- and post-broadcast malfeasance in claiming Hodges as an authenticator is laid out by the Dallas Observer. Note that this false CBS claim also warned other media to avoid writing anything negative, lest the writer get embarassed by CBS's bluffed ace-in-the-hole.

6. CBS requested and obtained written reports from two of its four experts (Pierce and Matley) after the fact. However, due to its termination of the other two experts, it was not able to obtain written reports from them. However, one expert's report does not address authentication. It says only that the same person signed each document. This is consistent with a single forger creating all documents. It is irrelevant. Yet, CBS claimed this expert (Matley) authenticated the memos. Matley went public a few days later, repudiated his work as supporting the claims made by CBS. The other expert report was incomplete on its face, and was later repudiated by the expert as to the purpose CBS was claiming. Query, what were the direct or implied understandings about payment of fees to experts Pierce and Matley, in relation to CBS asking for the after-the-fact written reports? What pressure was used by CBS to affect the experts' opinions? Did CBS threaten to not pay? To pay more?

7. [Removed; I spoke with Marcel Matley this morning, and clarified a matter that was inconsistent and therefore suspect. ]

8. CBS demanded that its experts not speak publicly.

9. CBS refused to name its experts publicly, as that might allow other media to detect CBS's false statements about the experts' work. (Rotten to the core comparison: Compare this to the securities laws applicable to Enron, Global Crossing, Worldcom and Adelphia - for public companies, no expert opinion as to company matters can be referenced in any investor document, unless the expert is identified and its report filed with the SEC. )

10. CBS intentionally misrepresented the substance of its experts' opinions, basically by falsely claiming that its experts had authenticated the forged documents. All four experts have come forth and stated that they did not authenticate the forged memos in any manner, or in the manner claimed by CBS.

11. CBS edited the Matley interview tape. CBS knew it had problems with all experts, and Matley later repudiated CBS's use of his limited work, but CBS rebroadcast the edited tape, as a false eaffirmation of what Matley had done. Matley has since stated that CBS acted wrongly. (So what? Check the physical evidence [the tape] alteration statute….)

12. CBS tampers with witness Knox (Killian’s secretary) by flying a crew to Texas and massaging her story and memory. 50+ years of veteran interviewing skill, teamed up behind closed doors and targeted at an 86 year old lady. CBS released only a few seconds of the interview - a highly edited tape with overdubs by CBS telling viewers what Knox was supposed to have said, rather than Knox's actual words, qualifiers, etc. The transcript - even the tiny portion broadcast by CBS - is textbook leading of a witness, also known as witness tampering when not done in front of a judge. (Irony alert: CBS, don't erase the raw footage... we believed Rose Mary Woods, but never again.) (Check the witness tampering statute...) [update: The Washington Post writes a few paragraphs about Mapes - yes, Mapes - doing the edit/tampering on the Knox transcript.

13. CBS edits the Knox interview tape. Mapes takes a lead role. [Update: From the Washington Post:

CBS decided that Rather should interview Knox for another segment on "60 Minutes." Mapes would be the producer. She flew from Dallas to the New York headquarters, arriving at about 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 15. The interview itself took about 45 minutes, finishing around 5. That left just three hours to do the work required to incorporate it into that night's segment, airing at 8. It was Mapes's job to make that happen. "Everyone was getting little nervous and hysterical," says Howard, the executive producer. "She sat there with a highlighter, going through the transcripts." It was yet another example of what Howard describes as Mapes's ability to be "remarkably unflappable under pressure."
Note: The date is September 15. As of this date, CBS, Rather and Mapes knew that three of CBS's four "experts" have gone public, either declaring the memos to be forged, or denying they authenticated. Further, General Hodges (Killian's boss) has told Rather and Mapes directly- the very team assigned to do the Knox interview and tape editing - that the memos are fake. Further, the Knox interview/ tampering is prompted by other media having interviewed Knox and reporting that she thinks the memos are forged. CBS Legal is in a felony panic attack. Rather and Mapes make one last, desperate push with Knox. That's tampering, folks.

14. CBS’s tampering with Knox is intended to establish a few defenses for CBS under the Texas forgery statute. The ridiculous “fake but accurate” claim planted by CBS with the old lady makes sense when you read the statute - it is an attempted defense under the statute. Further, at 86, her ability to testify in a criminal trial a couple years down the road is iffy, adn thus under a hearsay exception, the tape - even the cooked, edited portion - might be admitted into evidence, despite its hearsay nature and tampered status. Also, CBS has planted its story in her mind - "gotten to a witness" before the tribunal officers can; that is the essence of witness tampering.

15. CBS first criticized skeptics due to their lack of having the source material, then CBS disavowed any handling of the original memos. The turnabout is an attempted defense under the Texas forgery statute.

16. CBS falsely accused General Hodges of lying, after Hodges came forth and stated that CBS tricked him over the telephone and then misused his statements.

17. CBS falsely stated that its experts vetted the memos, then claimed its experts were not relevant, then accused its experts of violating their nonexistent confidentiality obligations, then stated the experts were lying about their work for CBS.

18. Days after damning evidence was public, CBS, knowing of its falsity, again claimed that it had verified the authentication of the forged documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written.

19. CBS News Head Andrew Heyward made the legal claim that at the time of the broadcast he saw zero possibility of forgery. This false statement – directly contary to expert written opinions provided to CBS pre-broadcast -- is an attempted defense under the Texas forgery statute. (Irony alert: Compare to retired Don Hewitt's alternate mathematical universe: "I'm 99 percent sure that there were some terrible goofs made" Hewitt said on 9.29.)

20. CBS falsely stated that it would not name its experts due to confidentiality issues. This was false - there was no confidentiality agreement, and all four experts had, or soon thereafter did, speak publicly. The “confidentiality” referred to by CBS was, in fact, the attempt by CBS Legal to keep the experts’ opinions secret, under the umbrella of attorney client privilege. (Irony Alert: the motion picture, “The Insider”…Gina Gershon, folks. That's CBS Legal, in a tight skirt.)
21. CBS claimed that the “content of the report” was backed up by evidence and people. Other than the tampered 86 year old lady, it was not, it was all CBS bootstrap. Again, “Fake but Accurate.” This is a legalistic and tortured attempt to avoid the Texas forgery statute by invoking a highly technical defense that the copies faithfully represent some lost originals, and therefore are not forgeries - they were just bad recitations of real facts or real documents, since lost.

22. CBS’s Betsy West falsely claims that experts Will and James raised no substantive objections to the memos. In fact, they issued written objections, pre-broadcast, and were promptly terminated by CBS.

23. CBS falsely claimed that an expert, pre-broadcast, had assured CBS on the specific issue that the superscript “th” was an authentic 1970’s typestyle. No such opinion was given; in fact, CBS was warned by its experts.

24. CBS’s Genelius falsely stated that in giving their opinions, Will and James were relying upon, and then deferred to, the opinions of Matley. All experts dispute that; it was an intentional lie by CBS.


25. On September 10, General Hodges spoke with Mary Mapes and Dan Rather and read them the riot act. He specifically told them that not only did he not "authenticate"the documents as claimed by CBS, in fact he believes they are forgeries. Yet the next day, September 11, CBS News (anchor: Russ Mitchell) runs the following piece:

This week, a "60 MINUTES" report raised new questions about President Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard some 30 years ago.... The questions grew out of interviews with new witnesses and four documents obtained by CBS News, written by then Lt. Bush's squadron
commander. The documents were authenticated for CBS News by outside experts... On the Internet and elsewhere, some are have questioned the documents' authenticity, focusing on the type styles of the, suggesting the memos are fake. Today one document expert, Philip Bouffard, who had expressed suspicions about the documents, told the "Boston Globe" and CBS News that he now believes the documents could have been prepared on an IBM Selectric Composer typewriter, available at the time.

But Hodges specifically informed CBS, the day prior to this broadcast, that the documents were not authentic, and that CBS was wrongly implying that he had authenticated them. m. The broadcast is a textbook example of CBS Legal and the CBS News team, in action, real time, in cover-up and tampering mode.

You see journalist lapses, bad judgment and the like? OK. I see criminal intent.

Check the codes; it's all there.

More to come.


Mark Stuertz, the author of a Dallas Observer article about Memogate and Major General Bobby Hodges, pours more gasoline on the CBS fire. The article is a must-read. Some highlights relevant to the evidence tampering timeline:

- Hodges was first contacted by CBS on the evening of September 6, two days before the 60 Minutes broadcast. Hodges says that during a telephone conversation 60 Minutes producer Mary Mapes read him small excerpts from the memos, among them portions relating to Bush's missed physical. "I said, 'Yes, I remember talking about his physical, that he missed his physical,'" Hodges says. "Everybody knew he missed his physical...I agreed that we had talked about the physical, which gave her authority to say that I authenticated all four memos."

- Mapes also read Hodges portions from a May 1972 memo relating to Bush's missed drills…. Hodges says he confirmed to Mapes that Bush was gone from May to November 1972 to work on a campaign in Alabama, and that officers in the Guard discussed it and gave him permission to go.

- When CBS cast his confirmation of contemporaneous conversations as document authentication, he protested. In a September 12 article, The Dallas Morning News quoted CBS News anchorman Dan Rather stating that CBS offered to show Hodges the documents. "We wanted to take the documents to him and do an interview, and he declined to do that," Rather said, adding that Hodges "said that the documents were--quote--familiar to him, and that Killian did indeed feel the way that the documents expressed."

- Hodges says Rather is not being truthful -- CBS never offered to show him the documents. [That is important, because Hodges believed the memos to be handwritten; had they shown him the memos, Mapes’ verbal obfuscation over the phone, as to the character of the documents, would have backfired, and Hodges would have disavoved the documents, pre-broadcast.]

- Hodges claims that CBS offered to interview him on the air for the Wednesday 60 Minutes broadcast, which he declined.

- Hodges also disputes Rather's contention that the documents were familiar to him. "They say I'm familiar with them because they read them to me," he says. "To me, they wanted somebody to say yes to something so that they could say they were authenticated."

- Hodges takes issue with another Rather quote that appeared September 11 in The Washington Post. "In an interview, Rather stressed that CBS had talked to two people who worked with Killian in the Texas Guard--his superior, retired Major General Bobby Hodges, and his administrative assistant, Robert Strong--and both described the memos as consistent with what they knew of Killian," wrote the Post's Howard Kurtz. "Hodges, who told CBS he was 'familiar' with the documents, is an avid Bush supporter, and 'it took a lot for him to speak the truth,' Rather said." Hodges claims that CBS invented these “facts.” "I do not know Robert Strong," Hodges insists. "Never met him." Hodges also insists that he never told CBS that he was a Bush supporter.

- On September 10, Hodges had phone conversations with Mapes and Rather during which he expressed his belief that the Killian memos were fakes. But what astounded him, he says, was that neither Rather nor Mapes probed further. "Neither one of them, neither Dan Rather nor Mary Mapes...they never asked me why I thought they were not authentic," he says.

[Update: The Criminal Statute Scorecard for CBS (so far)]:

The Texas crimes:

Texas Penal Code 32.21 – Forgery

Penal 36.05 – Tampering with Witness

Penal 37.09 – Tampering with or Fabricating Physical Evidence

The Federal crimes:

18 USC Sec. 1341. - Frauds and swindles

18 USC Sec. 1342. -Fictitious name or address

18 USC Sec. 1349. - Attempt and conspiracy

18 USC Sec. 1343. - Fraud by wire, radio, or television

47 USC Sec. 508 – [Payola] Disclosure of payments connected with broadcasts

18 USC Sec. 1512. - Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Wife Beating Bruises Left by CBS Legal

My previous article, "Tampering and Fake ID's for Old Ladies," implied that CBS's propaganda tool Kelli Edwards lied in an attempt to spike the nascent forgery crisis, when she emailed a news website on September 9th, with the false statement that CBS's reporters had "verified the authentication of the the documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written. These individuals were close associates of Colonel Jerry Killian and confirm that the documents reflect his opinions at the time the documents were written."

Hmmmm. Let's drill in...

CBS spoke with Bill Burkett, and Burkett (alone or with others) is odds-on-favorite for a felony forgery indictment for faking the memos in early 2004. So CBS's statement that it verified the documents with "individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written," just might be partly accurate, in a Clintonian, technical way, as CBS spoke with Burkett, and he had seen the documents when the forgery team wrote them in early 2004.

Lucky break for CBS, thanks to some fancy word editing by CBS Legal to Edwards' email statement? No, it's just another cute trick by CBS. And it will come back to haunt them.

You see, the CBS statement made claim to having directly vetted with "individuals," and CBS made such claim five times (i.e., it used the plural noun 3 times, and a plural verb conjugation twice). It was not a "typo" - don't buy that crapicola when it gets floated.

Two witnesses are far more credible than one. (Article III. Sec. 3 of our Constitution establishes it as a gold standard to prevent unfair trials for treason.)

We can surmise that CBS Legal approved Edwards' written statement before it was sent, with any changes demanded by CBS Legal.

So CBS and CBS Legal thus have created another problem, this one of the "When did you stop beating your wife?" variety. A second (or third?) witness was admitted. Or, invented.

1. Was there ever a second witness? If so, who is it?

2. If there never was a second or third source, then what specific representations were made internally by Rather and Mapes (and others?), about such additional sources, sufficient to convince CBS Legal to approve the claim of a direct vetting by CBS with several individuals who were witnesses to the memos' creation?

3. And if there were no such representations, did CBS Legal just change "individual" to "individuals," knowing how important that change would be? If so, did CBS Legal tamper with a press release, as part of its Felony Abatement Program?

So which is it, CBS?


Saturday, September 25, 2004

Warren Zevon, Rathergate and The Fat Man

Short post.

If you didn't get introduced to the music of Warren Zevon prior to his recent passing, do it. Grab a greatest hits album and dive in. A lot of good folks played with him, and he with them. Pretty much all of the Fleetwood Mac crew; Jackson Browne; etc.

Linda Ronstadt - back when she was under 120 lbs - did too. Her cover of Warren's "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" helped put her on the map. She still gets radio checks off that.

Of course, she is now a corpulent vapid cow. She recently got tossed out of a Vegas venue, for talking smack to some dirt farmers and weekend bingoheads. She must be an awfully bitter women. 150 lbs. of added weight will do that to a person. Getting tossed out of Vegas an hour after a bad show is a real feat. No one remembers that her 1980 tour got cancelled, when it came out that she was secretly claiming her tour was a political fundraiser. Tax fraud, basically. She was certainly free to give money to her candidate; it were her undisclosed attempt attempt to do so, without paying taxes on the money she earned from those concerts, that was the problem.

So in addition to the indignity of having been forced to pay Carter-era taxes (70% marginal bracket, now there's a good idea) like the rest of us, 25 years ago, the Slim Fast endorsement deal went elsewhere, and radio won't play her songs, except for ones she sang three decades ago.

Just one look, that's all it took. B-i-t-t-e-r.

So her new smack is in support of the propaganda of Fahrenheit Jew-Hater, Michael Moore.

How dare that vapid cow sully Warren by establishing two degrees of separation between Moore the Goebbels Jew Hater, and Zevon the man.

Mind you, back when Warren let the then-calf Linda and her rollerskates into the studio to do backups, her brain chemicals had not yet gone bad. She was sleeping with the Governor and acting like a good little pop star with straw in pocket. Warren sang of lawyers guns and money, and even tipped his to Veracruz, African mercenaries, splendid isolation and a wacked gorilla, and he let the cow-to-be participate.

And look how she repays his departed soul.

Its seems as good a paragraph placement as any to remind all to never, ever forget Warren's obscure ode to the Spaceman, which was more than it seemed:

You're supposed to sit on your ass and nod at stupid things
Man, that's hard
to do
And if you don't, they'll screw you
And if you do, they'll screw
you, too...

How dare that mad cow Linda sully the memory of Warren. I protest.

There is no connection between the Fat Fahrenheit Michael Goebbels Moore, and Zevon.


So let's ingore the banal ditties of a pop star from three decades ago, and focus on some worthy stuff.

These guys' efforts are serious, important and trustworthy, but you won't find them on any Top 40 Countdown.

Check 'em out":


French Connection: Memogate and the 1921 d'Yquem

Uncovering A French Connection to Memogate

The French, who did not invent faulty provenance but who elevated it to an art form via their military exploits (see, provide a curious and strong link between the CBS Memogate affair, and 1921 Château d'Yquem.

In my mind, anyway.

You see, there was this bottle of 1921 Château d'Yquem sauternes wine. (For any reader who is not familiar with what d'Yquem is, imagine a glass of 30 proof honey...Except a glass costs about four hundred bucks.)

It had been trapped for decades in that bottle. So long, in fact, that some people began to question if it really was what its label purported. There is profit, and sometimes political reward, to be made, faking such things.

So a close friend - who also happens to be its owner - opens it. Being a bit out of control that night, we also popped open the '00 (as in, 1900) Chateau Margaux (Nicholas Cellar), and the '28 Cos D'Estournel.

With take out roasted chicken. Not too shabby.

The d'Yquem was a gem. Sweeeet ! (Here it here:

Unfortunately, though, we all paid more attention to the '00 Margaux. So that poor little gem of a '21 d'Yquem got upstaged, as sweet as it was.

Kinda like this story , today, from the NY Times. It is a d'Yquem of a story. But being buried in the back pages, on a college football weekend, it will likely pass without comment.

But, that doesn't take away its immutable character as a 30 proof glass of honey:

New York Times
September 25, 2004

'60 Minutes' Delays Report Questioning Reasons for Iraq War

CBS News said yesterday that it had postponed a "60 Minutes" segment that questioned Bush administration rationales for going to war in Iraq. The announcement, in a statement by a spokeswoman, was issued four days after the network acknowledged that it could not prove the authenticity of documents it used to raise new questions about President Bush's Vietnam-era military service. ...

"We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election," the spokeswoman, Kelli Edwards, said in a statement.

The CBS statement followed a report in the online edition of Newsweek that described the frustration of CBS News reporters and producers who said the network had concluded that it could not legitimately criticize the president because of the questions about the National Guard report.

According to the Newsweek report, the "60 Minutes" segment was to have detailed how the administration relied on false documents when it said Iraq had tried to buy a lightly processed form of uranium, known as yellowcake, from Niger. The administration later acknowledged that the information was incorrect and that the documents were most likely fake.

The Newsweek article said the segment was to have included the first on-camera interview with Elisabetta Burba, the Italian journalist who was given the fake documents and who provided them to a United States Embassy for verification. ...

Missing from the story is the full mental thought, expressed here as a quote (of suspect provenance) of CBS's Minister of Tampering PsyOps, Kelli Edwards, who has established an unparalleled two week streak of making on-record representations of fact that prove to be complete fabrications within 72 hours of passing her lips:

"We now believe it would be inappropriate to air the report so close to the presidential election, because recent experience has demonstrated that our agreements to provide coordinated, hard news legitimacy to mendacious corpolitical advertising campaigns, end up blowing up in our faces," CBS News' bullet-taker Kelli Edwards thought* to herself.

"We here at CBS News have no objection to taking a hit for the cause, but we draw the line when our story will likely result in our Goebbelian techniques being exposed to the masses by a bunch of punk-ass pajamadeen," thought* Ms. Edwards, who wondered if her CV posting on had gotten any hits.

Drink it up. Nothing better.

*FTR, these thought quotes are fictional, for entertainment purposes only.

Friday, September 24, 2004

In Defense of Mapes and Rather et al

A Pompous Breather: In Defense of Mapes’ and Rather’s Behavior

Don’t flame me. Read through. I want to establish my fair and balanced, non-Koolaid intellectual creds.

With intellectual acknowledgement of Gilligan’s quandary* recounted in the header to this blog page, there is a fissure that exists. Memogate is a perfect storm of sorts, exposing this fissure. it is the seam where a free press meets its own tools being put to nefarious use.

On the one hand, a free press (and the tools that define a free press) is a needed and desireable device, which a free and open society must be vigilant to protect and maintain.

On the other hand, the tools of the free press created for a given time in history can become the most powerful enemy of a free society, i.e. when personal power and/or money is at stake.

On other appendages, one finds the reality that it’s hard to draw lines and discern objective truths.

And that good old catch all: When do the ends justify the means?

All these good topics hang in the air of a college dorm or coffee house or hash bar. And elsewhere. Some places will even give you credit for talking about these things, albeit you have to speak in Pentacostal tongue.

Over the decades, I’ve sometimes thought about the issues, particularly when seated in a dorm, cafe or hashbar. Then I got busy with other things; so many shades of grey down deep in the fissures.

Two notions do come back to me, though, repeatedly.

First, we may not be able to precisely define where the fissure is, or should be - the boundary of a free press, that is. But when a ball lands way out of bounds, it's best to call it out of bounds, loudly.

A guy named Potter Stewart said it frustratingly well, in an important Supreme Court pornography case a few decades ago. “I know it when I see it.”

Second, for evil to triumph, it is necessary that good men do nothing. Burke got original credit for the notion, but he borrowed well from a thousand years of writings. Reagan popularized it with a modern generation as, “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

BummerDietz, what the hell are you rambling about?


I. The Memogate affair is an instance of “out of bounds” behavior. We know it when we see it. Don't fight it.

II. If good people – people of standing and intellect and the like – refuse to call this a clear foul, they have left the door open for evil.

III. There are good and necessary issues regarding the “fissure” I mention above. Sometimes, a clear out-of-bounds call is the most effective way to spark a wide and healthy debate on fissure issues.

So why does my caption, above, purport to defend Mapes and Rather?

Because CBS's defenders will argue that CBS and crew are true believers - the soldiers of a different sort who stand guard, fervently defending a free press. They see any incremental intrusion upon the tools of the press (the reporters' shield laws; lack of any real legal liability for libel, etc.) as an assault upon our free society.

See how fair and balanced I can be? I just transcribed, accurately, the best defense that any of their supporters could mount.

However that defense might be argued by some, it is irrelevant. It is like asking why a dog is rabid. Was it society's fault? Does the dog know wrong from right? Is...oh shut up. The dog is rabid. Shoot it.

You see, when one set thinks 2+2 = 4, and another insists that 2+2 = 6, someone is wrong.

And when good people take the easy way out and decide that "5" is a good compromise answer, we all lose.

So screw "5" as an answer. This CBS team lost their way. Meaning, by this afffair, they have shown that they did not have our best interests - the interests of a free society -- at heart.

Perhaps they never had our best interests at heart, at all. That continues to be a fair question.

It's irrelevant, though, to the issue of whether the acts and omissions of Memogate establish CBS's culpability here. They do. CBS is culpable. We know it when we see it.

Apologists for CBS worry that the affair will reflect badly on the continuing debate of whether CBS in particular, and the MSM in general, has a liberal bias. So they obfuscate CBS's bad intentions, as a defense. But fighting that fight, by inventing possibilities that CBS had good motives here, is transparent. Let it go, and let the chips fall.

A foul needed to be called. And it was called.

And since the CBS players responded by cursing the umpires, and then denying that the umpires - any umpires, other than the CBS players themselves - had any right to call a foul, the crowd needed to curse the players involved, loudly.

Loud enough for the message to vibrate for a generation.

Consider this blog as a contribution of a crowd member, booing the CBS players.

That’s one of many ways for good people to stand up.


* -- Gilligan never uttered any such quote. Have I misused the power of this medium? Will some Googling, culturally immature junior high school student assigned a book report for English class take the quote at face value and just dump it into his Greek literature book report?

CBS Has A Payola Problem [update 1]

[Note: This post will make more sense if you first read the earlier “Tampering and Fake ID’s for Old Ladies,” and "Tampering Statutes," both in the archives from the past 2 days.]

The federal payola statute - 47 USC 508 - requires that TV and radio stations disclose when they have paid, or been paid, in connection with broadcast subject matter. It also requires station employees to disclose payoffs to their boss, so the boss can comply with the law.

A few days ago, the story broke that Mapes had told CBS about the Burkett deal, and that CBS told her not to use the material, but she did anyway.

Smells like CBS Legal, deploying its Felony Abatement Plan?

If having Lockhart call Burkett is deemed to be "valuable consideration" under the statute, them Mapes and CBS have a payola problem. They paid for content and did not disclose it.

Similarly, if CBS received consideration, in exchange for running the story, they have a payola problem. Burkett's vouching for forged memos might be "valuable consideration." (Maybe he can licence his services via a "Priceless" Masterard campaign...)

[Update: Spelled out simply, both ways:

1. Burkett and the people who are running him (he claims to be a patsy, after all) want their product - the multi-million dollar Favorite Son campaign - to be carried by 60 Minutes as a hard news story. (Just like Burger King would like a 60 Minutes story about its food tasting better than Mcdonald's, just as BK launches a "Tastes Better" ad campaign.)

2. CBS won't carry the story.

3. Burkett et al pay something of value to CBS to carry the story. That something of value is the creation of, and provision of, the "memos."

4. CBS runs the Favorite Son campaign as a hard news story.

5. That's payola, folks. CBS was paid to carry the story. To do so, and not disclose in the 60 Minutes piece that CBS was paid something of value in connection with the story - the old "promotional consideration paid by" tag line - is what violates the law. Just like a record promoter, paying a DJ to play a certain song.


A. CBS wants to run a story. CBS needs something it has been trying to get, but cannot obtain. "Documents."

B. CBS (or in a nefarious version, CBS "and others") contact Burkett, asking for documents.

C. Illegal things, like a kilo of coke or good counterfeit hunskies or fake passports or forged government documents backing up a Favorite Son campaign, have value. CBS thinks they are valuable.

D. CBS pays for the forged documents, by giving Burkett "access" to the Kerry campaign.

E. That's payola, folks. Burkett was paid to provide material to the program. CBS can pay for its content, but it has to disclose that it did so. The failure to disclose is what violates the law.]

47 USC 508 - Disclosure of payments to individuals connected with broadcasts

(a) Payments to station employees

Subject to subsection (d) of this section, any employee of a radio station who accepts or agrees to accept from any person (other than such station), or any person (other than such station) who pays or agrees to pay such employee, any money, service or other valuable consideration for the broadcast of any matter over such station shall, in advance of such broadcast, disclose the fact of such acceptance or agreement to such station.

(b) Production or preparation of programs

Subject to subsection (d) of this section, any person who, in connection with the production or preparation of any program or program matter which is intended for broadcasting over any radio station, accepts or agrees to accept, or pays or agrees to pay, any money, service or other valuable consideration for the inclusion of any matter as a part of such program or program matter, shall, in advance of such broadcast, disclose the fact of such acceptance or payment or agreement to the payee's employer, or to the person for whom such program or program matter is being produced, or to the licensee of such station over which such program is broadcast.

(c) Supplying of program or program matter.

Subject to subsection (d) of this section, any person who supplies to any other person any program or program matter which is intended for broadcasting over any radio station shall, in advance of such broadcast, disclose to such other person any information of which he has knowledge, or which has been disclosed to him, as to any money, service or other valuable consideration which any person has paid or accepted, or has agreed to pay or accept, for the inclusion of any matter as a part of such program or program matter.

(d) Waiver of announcements under section 317(d)

The provisions of this section requiring the disclosure of information shall not apply in any case where, because of a waiver made by the Commission under section 317(d) of this title, an announcement is not required to be made under section 317 of this title.
(e) Announcement under section 317 as sufficient disclosure

The inclusion in the program of the announcement required by section 317 of this title shall constitute the disclosure required by this section.

(f) ''Service or other valuable consideration'' defined

The term ''service or other valuable consideration'' as used in this section shall not include any service or property furnished without charge or at a nominal charge for use on, or in connection with, a broadcast, or for use on a program which is intended for broadcasting over any radio station, unless it is so furnished in consideration for an identification in such broadcast or in such program of any person, product, service, trademark, or brand name beyond an identification which is reasonably related to the use of such service or property in such broadcast or such program.

(g) Penalties

Any person who violates any provision of this section shall, for each such violation, be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both

Thursday, September 23, 2004

4 CBS Experts Recanted Authentication

All four experts paraded out by CBS as having authenticated the forged memos are now present and accounted for in the "DID NOT AUTHENTICATE" column.

The last holdout, James Pierce, apparently recanted a week ago in an unnoticed interview.

So CBS's Felony Abatement Program included tampering with experts' examination results by instructing the experts not to speak to the public, while CBS continued to falsely claim that the experts had authenticated the forged memos.

Collection of Expert Retractions/Criticism

CBS has identified four document or handwriting “experts” who were consulted prior to the broadcast. The following are quotes, or media reports, regarding either the fraud concerns each professional rendered to CBS, or the limited scope of their review, rendering their opinions somewhat irrelevant to the issue of forgery. This is all sourced off of internet research; I have provided all sources.

Emily Will.

Emily Will is a professional document examiner in North Carolina consulted by CBS to help assess two memos related to Bush's military service. Will was first contacted by CBS News on Sept. 3.

"They said they had some documents, some sensitive documents, and would I mind
working over the Labor Day weekend," Will said in an interview. "They wanted
to know whether the signatures were genuine and the documents were genuine."
She said her copies showed a fax footer with a time stamp that read 6:41 p.m. Sept. 2. The header of the fax, which presumably showed information about the sender, referred to a Kinko's shop near Abilene, Texas.

Will said she found "serious problems" with the documents. She isolated five ways in which the Killian signature on a 1973 memo did not match up with the other provided samples of his handwriting. She also wondered whether the memos contained superscripts and proportional spacing that existed in 1972 and '73, although she emphasized that her expertise mainly concerned handwriting and signatures and not the finer points of typography.

On Sept. 5, Will sent notations on the memos to CBS via e-mail and also voiced her concerns to a CBS producer over the phone. The producer said they had more material to send her, but Will said those additional documents never arrived.

All these discrepancies "looked like trouble to me," Will said, adding that she told CBS this "in a resounding way."

Asked about Will's written concerns, CBS News Senior Vice President Betsy West said: "The only e-mail we received raised some preliminary points about the handwriting, which [CBS's] other experts addressed and ruled out." CBS began to doubt Will because she started expanding her role and doing Google searches about Bush's whereabouts at the time, said an executive who insisted on anonymity because the network did not want to go beyond the official statements.

But Will said she was merely doing research into whether superscript existed in 1972.
When time passed and Will heard nothing, she called CBS News the night of Sept. 7. She said she told her contact — whom she declined to name — "If you run this story, you'll get all sorts of questions from hundreds of document examiners." Will declined to say what if any reply CBS gave to her warning.

The Washington Post phrased the same story as follows: "What I was finding was a lot of red flags.” She said she listed five concerns in an e-mail three days before last Wednesday's broadcast and that in a call to a producer the day before the program, "I repeated all my objections as strongly as I could." Will said she told the producer: "If you air the program on Wednesday, on Thursday you're going to have hundreds of document examiners raising the same questions."

CBS News Senior Vice President Betsy West was quoted in the Washington Post saying, "I'm not aware of any substantive objection she [Will] raised. Emily Will did not urge us to hold the story. She was not adamant in any way. At one point she raised a concern about a superscript 'th,' which we then discussed with the other experts we hired to examine all four of the documents we aired. We were assured the 'th' was consistent with technology at the time, an assessment that has since been backed up by other experts."

Will disputes the contention by CBS that she deferred to the judgment of other document experts. Will said she could not be 100 percent certain about her findings and had recommended other analysts.

[Emily Will sources: Washington Post, and LA Times ]

Linda James.

Linda James of Plano, Texas, was first contacted by CBS News on Sept. 3. James said she examined two disputed Killian memos and found "they were structurally different" from a Killian document released by the Pentagon. James said she questioned differences in the signing of the "J" of Killian's first name, to the point of wondering whether the lieutenant colonel had health issues that would have affected his writing. She said she also told CBS that she questioned whether the superscript could have been produced on a Vietnam War-era typewriter.

In a telephone interview [with the Washington Post] , Linda James said that she told CBS the documents "had problems" and that she had questioned "whether they were produced on a computer."

James told CBS producers she was troubled that she was looking at only copies and not originals. "[I] described what I needed in order to go ahead with the examination," James said. CBS promised it would send more paperwork, but according to James it never arrived.
Given these concerns, James said, she was surprised that "60 Minutes" went ahead with the story.

James disputes the contention by CBS that she had deferred to the judgment of other document experts. James said she could not be 100 percent certain about her findings and had recommended other analysts.

"We knew it was a rush job. They wanted to air [the story] by Wednesday night," James said.
Asked whether CBS took her concerns seriously, James said: "Evidently not."
CBS News Senior Vice President Betsy West was quoted in the Washington Post saying, "As far as I know, Linda James raised no objections. She said she'd have to see more documents to render a judgment."

[James Sources: WaPo and LA Times ]

Marcel B. Matley.

Marcel B. Matley, a handwriting expert from San Francisco, signed a letter saying he found "nothing about the documents that could disprove their authenticity."
But, he told The Washington Post on September 12 that although he vouched for the signature of Bush's former squadron commander, the late Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian, there was "no way" he could authenticate Killian's purported memos because they were copies.
Matley’s written opinion letter, dated a week after the broadcast, does not authenticate the documents, nor that Killian wrote them. It states, “The preponderance of the available handwriting evidence is that one writer made all signatures examined.”

This curious, too-narrow letter seems to certify that a single forger made the documents.
Matley italicized one phrase in his opinion: “the available handwriting evidence.” An obvious signal that his review was incomplete?

[Matley source: WAPO ]

James J. Pierce.

James J. Pierce, a forensic examiner from Newport Beach, also signed a letter to CBS, vouching for the signatures and typeface in the documents. The letter is the strongest opinion in favor of the “authenticity” of the documents. He opined that the “signatures are consistent”, the type face used are strongly similar to samples, and that the documents are authentic.

Pierce later recanted his letter in an interview with columnist Gary Moon:
"Pierce reiterated that he really could not share more details with me on his
analysis of all the documents, but he concluded by saying there is a great
"misrepresentation of findings" associated with the "60 Minutes II"

According to Pierce, his 'Professional Opinion' letter was only a preliminary opinion, not a final judgment. 'They didn't inform me that they were using it for that purpose,' Pierce said, referring to the "Professional Opinion" memo. 'CBS is wrong.'

[Pierce Sources: Cary Pierce with ]

Tampering Statutes (Update 2)

[Update: Fifty-one Congress members request a criminal investigation; Rep. Lamar Smith wants a "tampering" analysis.]

[Update: I can't help but post this research I did this morning...the federal payola statute - 47 USC 508 - requires that TV and radio stations disclose when they have been paid in connection with broadcast subject matter. I did a full post on this.
Statute at: .
A few days ago, CBS announced that Mapes had disclosed the Burkett favor, and was told NOT to use the material, but Mapes did anyway. CBS Legal, worried about the Payola Statute?...]

Texas Laws Applicable to CBS’s Evidence Tampering

Penal Code 37.09 might govern the interview tape of Knox. CBS’s editing of the tape technically is an altering of a thing under the statute, and any loss or destruction of the raw footage after the editing and broadcast would trigger the statute.

(a) A person commits an offense if, knowing that an
investigation or official proceeding is pending or in progress, he:
(1) alters, destroys, or conceals any record,
document, or thing with intent to impair its verity, legibility, or
availability as evidence in the investigation or official
proceeding; or
(2) makes, presents, or uses any record, document, or
thing with knowledge of its falsity and with intent to affect the
course or outcome of the investigation or official proceeding.
(d) A person commits an offense if the person:
(1) knowing that an offense has been committed,
alters, destroys, or conceals any record, document, or thing with
intent to impair its verity, legibility, or availability as
evidence in any subsequent investigation of or official proceeding
related to the offense... .

Penal Code 36.05 is the classic witness tampering law. Some bribe or benefit would have to be shown; I don’t know how Texas case law has defined that over the years. Maybe giving someone their "15 minutes of fame" would be enough. This Section won’t likely apply to the Knox interview, unless other facts come out. BUT…just wait until Burkett sues CBS in the near future. We already know CBS promised him a call from the Kerry campaign...If any CBS person ever swore him to secrecy, or the like, then this statute will come into play:

[Update: Burkett now says Rather interviewed him for 3 ½ hours last week but used only portions of the tape that made Burkett look bad.

Gosh, I thought the on-camera petite mal seizure bolstered his credibility....In any event, Burkett lays the foundation that CBS's editing was pursuant to a nefarious design. Correct on that point. Too bad Burkett is a such a man-goat patsy.]

§ 36.05. TAMPERING WITH WITNESS. (a) A person commits
an offense if, with intent to influence the witness, he offers,
confers, or agrees to confer any benefit on a witness or prospective
witness in an official proceeding or coerces a witness or
prospective witness in an official proceeding:
(1) to testify falsely;
(2) to withhold any testimony, information, document,
or thing;
(3) to elude legal process summoning him to testify or
supply evidence;
(4) to absent himself from an official proceeding to
which he has been legally summoned; or
(5) to abstain from, discontinue, or delay the
prosecution of another.
(b) A witness or prospective witness in an official
proceeding commits an offense if he knowingly solicits, accepts, or
agrees to accept any benefit on the representation or understanding
that he will do any of the things specified in Subsection (a).
(c) It is a defense to prosecution under Subsection (a)(5)
that the benefit received was:
(1) reasonable restitution for damages suffered by the
complaining witness as a result of the offense; and
(2) a result of an agreement negotiated with the
assistance or acquiescence of an attorney for the state who
represented the state in the case.
An offense under this section is a state jail felony

Hey CBS: Don’t “erase” the raw footage of the Knox interviews. Evidence Code 106 and 615 allow those outtakes to be called into court. You’re on notice that destroying it will be evidence tampering.

Federal Law

18 USC Sec. 1512. - Tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant
[subsection (a) has been redacted - murder and the like]

(b) Whoever knowingly uses intimidation, threatens, or corruptly persuades another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in misleading conduct toward another person, with intent to -
(1) influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding;
(2) cause or induce any person to -
(A) withhold testimony, or withhold a record, document, or other object, from an official proceeding;
(B) alter, destroy, mutilate, or conceal an object with intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding;
(C) evade legal process summoning that person to appear as a witness, or to produce a record, document, or other object, in an official proceeding; or
(D) be absent from an official proceeding to which such person has been summoned by legal process; or
(3) hinder, delay, or prevent the communication to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States of information relating to the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation [1] supervised release,, (FOOTNOTE 1) parole, or release pending judicial proceedings; shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

(c) Whoever corruptly -
(1) alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object's integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or
(2) otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,
shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

(d) Whoever intentionally harasses another person and thereby hinders, delays, prevents, or dissuades any person from -
(1) attending or testifying in an official proceeding;
(2) reporting to a law enforcement officer or judge of the United States the commission or possible commission of a Federal offense or a violation of conditions of probation [1] supervised release,, (FOOTNOTE 1) parole, or release pending judicial proceedings;
(3) arresting or seeking the arrest of another person in connection with a Federal offense; or
(4) causing a criminal prosecution, or a parole or probation revocation proceeding, to be sought or instituted, or assisting in such prosecution or proceeding;
or attempts to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

(e) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, it is an affirmative defense, as to which the defendant has the burden of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, that the conduct consisted solely of lawful conduct and that the defendant's sole intention was to encourage, induce, or cause the other person to testify truthfully.

(f) For the purposes of this section -
(1) an official proceeding need not be pending or about to be instituted at the time of the offense; and
(2) the testimony, or the record, document, or other object need not be admissible in evidence or free of a claim of privilege.

(g) In a prosecution for an offense under this section, no state of mind need be proved with respect to the circumstance -
(1) that the official proceeding before a judge, court, magistrate judge, grand jury, or government agency is before a judge or court of the United States, a United States magistrate judge, a bankruptcy judge, a Federal grand jury, or a Federal Government agency; or
(2) that the judge is a judge of the United States or that the law enforcement officer is an officer or employee of the Federal Government or a person authorized to act for or on behalf of the Federal Government or serving the Federal Government as an adviser or consultant.

(h) There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section.

(i) A prosecution under this section or section 1503 may be brought in the district in which the official proceeding (whether or not pending or about to be instituted) was intended to be affected or in the district in which the conduct constituting the alleged offense occurred.

(j) If the offense under this section occurs in connection with a trial of a criminal case, the maximum term of imprisonment which may be imposed for the offense shall be the higher of that otherwise provided by law or the maximum term that could have been imposed for any offense charged in such case.

(k) Whoever conspires to commit any offense under this section shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense the commission of which was the object of the conspiracy

It's Over. The Fat Man Sang

No, not that Cannon detective on CBS.

I refer to Michael Moore, who is another very fat man living in the United States; he made a film called "Fahrenheit 911. "

The previous sentence should not contain any information you were not already aware of.

Mr. Moore occupies several seats at what can be called the "far left" of the American political dinner table. With the release of his film, and its great popularity with French film critics and other folks of the far left, Mr. Moore has become a political celebrity in leftish political circles.

The film also turned Mr. Moore into the newly rich Mr. Moore.

Mr. Moore attended lots of parties (with appetizers) at the 2004 Democratic Convention, and was in the limelight. He was also given a press card by USA Today to the Republican Convention, and he was booed by the delegates after Senator John McCain referenced him in a speech. Moore responded by calling the Republicans "losers."

Why did he do that? Who knows or cares.

But as you might not be aware, in connection with his film, Mr. Moore was the subject of one of the most ruthless intellectual bitchslappings in American history, not seen since the Scopes Monkey Trial. Since that bitchslapping was not reported in the MSM, for reasons you might like to contemplate, I will give you the link. Set aside an hour:

A beautiful thing.

The bitchslapping was so bad (basically, Dave Kopel deconstructed the film frame by frame, with overlain timelines and false edits pointed out, revealing the film to be a complete fabrication of pretty much everything, albeit an emotionally satisfying one for people of the leftish bent) that Mr. Moore had to announce that his film would not be put up for an Oscar nomination as a documentary.

What? What did you just say?

Yes, there is a fast developing law practice here in California, whereby plaintiff attorneys sue big companies for class action damages under a Calfornia "consumer fraud" law, all linked to false advertising. The attorneys - mostly of the leftish bent, but not always - have done a thorough job developing the attacks.

You see, it is illegal in California to engage in false advertising. Legions of attorneys scour ads and commercials, looking for instances of false advertising. The attorneys then bring class action lawsuits against the rich companies, win awards, and get big fees for protecting the public from such scum.

That's where the problem arose.

You see, Mr. Moore, who is now a rich man, has a partner on the film who is also a rich and fat man, and who has perfected the art of spending millions of dollars on what are now called "Academy Campaigns." The idea is to spend lots of money to encourage folks to nominate the film for an Oscar, and then use the film's Oscar nomination as a mass market advertising campaign theme to make even more money off the home video, cable and TV rights to the film.

But if his film were to be nominated for "Best Documentary" by the Academy, millions of dollars of Oscar campaign ads would run, and the film would use those ads to make more money from the buying and renting public.

And that would be a problem under California's aggressive "false advertising" laws.

You see, Mr. Moore and his partners would get sued. For falsely advertising the film as a documentary. And they would lose millions of their own dollars. They might even lose all their dollars.

And they would be bitchslapped, very publicly, in court, and TV and the MSM would carry the trial, gavel to gavel.

And Mr. Moore might not be the darling of the Left afterwards, as he would be responsible for a terrible public expose concerning the propaganda of the Left.

So, BummerDietz, what was your point, again?

It is the ruthless bitchslapping that Mr. Kopel delivered to Mr. Moore, in showing the film to be a work of fiction and fantasy, rather than a documentary, that caused the rich partners to cancel plans to market the film for a Best Documentary nomination.

Kopel's bitchslapping was so severe, and was so thorough that it would likely be admissible point by point in a court of law, that Mr. Moore and his partners would be deemed as a matter of law to be "legally on notice" that their film was fictional. (Moore responded to Kopel for a while, at the posted website, and then went radio silent when he figured out the legal ramifications of taking part in the logical debate.)

So, if monies were to be spent in California, falsely claiming that the film was a "documentary," then all those lawyers looking for a rich man to sue, would get their wish.

And Kopel had already made the case for them, AND documented that Mr. Moore was on notice of the falsity, because Mr. Moore had tried, for a while, to go toe-to-toe with Kopel.

And under California law, a movie is exempted from the false advertising statute only if advertised "without knowledge of the advertisement's false, deceptive or misleading character."
So, Kopel's bitchslapping took away that defense.

Kopel deserves some prize, that is for sure.

So, Mr. Moore and his partners, who have lots of dollars, didn't want to risk losing those dollars, nor risk being called into a forum where actual rules of evidence apply.

So Mr. Moore announced a few weeks ago that the film would be nominated only in the "fiction" category. Where it belongs.

The response of the MSM to Moore's admission that the film was a fake was ... well, actually, this little blog is likely the only place the real story - the legal one, anyway - will be told.

Go figure.

But I digress. Today's story is about Mr. Moore's continuing inability to keep his thoughts to himself:

Mr. Moore, the rising star of the far left and the US Democratic Party, apparently had 24 hours advance notice that Dan Rather, the Boston Globe, and the Associated Press would be launching the coordinated attack on President Bush. The attack included Memogate as well as the "Fortunate Son" attack ad.

Mr. Moore, who was well advised about the legal perils of trying to advertise his movie as a "documentary," was not so well advised about the legal perils of writing down your Bush Attack plans, in advance. But he did.

He sang, like a nervous little boy, unable to contain his glee. Thanks, Mr. Moore, for spilling the beans.

Here is his posting from his September 7 letter. (The CBS 60 Minutes story ran on September 8th):

"Later today (Wed.), the Boston Globe, the A.P. and Dan Rather all present new and damning information about how George W. Bush got moved to the front of the line to get in the Texas Air National Guard, and how he then went AWOL. I am putting every ounce of trust I have in my fellow Americans that a majority of them get this, get the injustice of it all, and get the sad, sick twisted irony of how it relates very, very much to our precious Election 2004.
posted by Michael at 11:12 PM "

Thanks, rich man. I wonder if any of the crafty lawyers here in California will figure out a way to take you back to your days of just being an overweight man.

CBS Will Burn A Source...If He Looks Republican

How CBS Has Treated Hot Evidence in the Past

Apologists for CBS’s evidence tampering in Memogate point to the self-interest – scratch that, I meant the sacred duty -- of a journalist to protect his sources.

Let's examine that lofty claim.

A few years backs, when TWA Flight 800 was shot down* outside New York, an NTSB investigator became alarmed at unusual FBI interference with and takeover of the investigation. One worried investigator took a sample of a seat cushion that showed suspicious residue, and gave it to a lab for testing. (Yes, it tested positive for missile fuel residue). The other sample was routed through a Mr. James Sanders, to CBS in New York, for independent lab testing for missile residue.

For what it is, or isn't worth, the White House was occupied by a Democrat at the time.

CBS wanted no part of it, despite plausible federal whistleblower protection applicable to the secreting of the evidence out of the FBI Evidence Destruction Chamber. Instead of doing a 60 Minutes piece of the type I remember 30 years ago, CBS instead turned the evidence and its source Sanders over to the FBI, and Sanders was indicted. (Unfairly, I might add).

So, did I miss an A.P. story a few weeks ago, that CBS turned the forged Killian memos, along with Burkett and Mapes, over to the FBI?

Perhaps some sources passing hot evidence, you see, are just more worthy of being protected, per CBS.

To CBS, it's all a matter of whose ox is getting gored.**

* - Most convincing evidence to date is that our own military shot it down during experimental littoral warfare exercises - i.e., a handheld missile mistakenly locked onto the airliner. I want to believe that islamo-fascists were responsible, but the current evidence suggests otherwise. Cf. - Most of the evidence is still under government lock and key.

** - My second Stockman quote in 24 hours.

UPDATED:Tampering and Fake ID's For Old Ladies

[Parts 1 and 2 combined here]

The assumption of most covering this story is that CBS made a mistake due to bad judgment, negligence or perhaps even recklessness, caused by its partisan fury.

But, under that jurisprudence, any crime is just “bad judgment.”

I’m not buying it. I smell criminal intent. And unfortunately for CBS, they seem to have splattered their DNA all over the crime scene. It’s all gonna be about the bogus claim of the “personal file” provenance.

What CBS Wanted

CBS wanted a story about the Fortunate Son – the Bush military records being sanitized, and favors being done by bigshots. (As if we needed to be convinced, again.) Mapes is said to have worked the story for 5 years; she wanted Bush’s head. Every investigative journalist fiber at 60 Minutes II was into this.

What CBS Broadcast

So why did the original September 8th 60 Minutes broadcast include the curious claim by CBS that the file memos were from a “personal file?” The exact CBS statement was, “But 60 Minutes has obtained a number of documents we are told were taken from Col. Killian's personal file.”

This “personal file” bit takes away some of the thrust of the story that it wanted so badly. Rather and Mapes wanted the most blistering story possible, about privileged malfeasance by republican country club phucks. Thus, breaking a story about 60 Minutes having gotten hold of documents from a sanitized military file would have been more to their tastes, and in line with their journalistic and political objectives.

So why did CBS use the “personal file” claim?

CBS Legal Gets Involved

CBS Legal was involved in shaping the story, pre-broadcast:

“Asked about a report in The Los Angeles Times yesterday that network officials were questioning the documents' authenticity at a meeting several hours before the start of the "60 Minutes" broadcast, Mr. Howard said: "We were sitting there with the lawyers, asking ourselves a million questions….’”

It is no leap to surmise that CBS Legal inserted the claim into the orignal story, that the files “we are told were taken from Col. Killian's personal file.”Dan Rather certainly didn’t want to dilute his piece with that kind of milquetoast. Nor Mapes.

CBS Legal Discovers a Funky Texas Law

But some diligent lawyer in CBS Legal did what any good media lawyer would do, and took a look at the statutes. Knowing that two experts hired by CBS – Emily Wills and Linda James – had both warned CBS, prior to broadcast, that they thought the memos were forgeries, the good attorney punched up the Texas statute on forgery.

S/he didn’t like what s/he found.

Texas, you see, has a truly bizarre forgery statute. It is Penal Code 32.21 , and two provisions amounted to a flashing red light for CBS Legal.First, the Texas statute provides that the “transfer” or “publication” of a forged document, is itself forgery. That’s bad news for a television network, not to mention for the CBS guy faxing the hot copies to New York from the Abilene Kinko’s. Even worse for a network wanting to broadcast a story through its Texas stations. And really bad for the segment’s producer, Texas resident Mary Mapes.

It gets worse.

The second feature of the Texas statute is a strict liability “malum, in se” provision. For ordinary forgeries, like faking your birth certificate so you can go drinking with your pal Jenna, the statute says you commit the offense if you forge “with intent to defraud or harm another.” But not so when two or more government documents are involved - the statute kicks up to a felony, and most troubling to the eyes of the CBS lawyer reviewing the statute, intent to harm or defraud is presumed to exist, by the very fact that two government documents are involved. See Penal code 32.21(f).

CBS Legal Pits Its Shants

Holy Black Rock. If CBS publishes two or more forged government documents, it and its involved employees commit a felony. And criminal intent is presumed, sorta like being caught in bed with a 13 year old. Your protestations that “she looked 25” are irrelevant. Trip upriver, and you lose your country club membership.

So the CBS lawyer screams bloody murder. Yeah, maybe the strict liability provision could get struck down as unconstitutional, but who among us wants to stake a felony conviction and jail time in Texas, on a constitutional defense?

CBS Legal “Fixes It”

We can surmise that CBS Legal lays it out for Dan and Mary. We can surmise that Dan, who some say is a bit of a prima donna, starts telling war stories and insists that “He has a deadline” and “He is the managing editor of this division” and “We pay you lots of money to fix these things, so fix it !”

So the CBS lawyers, scared stiff by the Texas forgery statute and worried that two CBS experts have declared the memos to be forgeries, did what lawyers do.

They fixed it.

You see, if there is no government file, there is no strict liability and no felony under the Texas statute. CBS Legal will get to claim all its usual defenses to such things, and they can tell Dan and Texas resident Mary Mapes that they won’t be going upriver back in Texas.

So the 60 Minutes storyline changes a little bit. The provenance of the Killian memos changes, courtesy of CBS Legal, or some would say thin air. The memos are now to be known as, “taken from Col. Killian's personal file.”


The whole affair goes to hell. Worse than worse case.And now, CBS Legal has a problem. They left their fingerprints on the story, and they cannot erase them.

Why is that important? Because it shows the mens rea, or “criminal mind,” that existed at the time of the broadcast. And the Texas statute is triggered, even without the strict liability, malum in se provision.

In other words, they knew she was 13, and they got her a fake ID, just in case... .A little too cute, though. How can you claim that you thought she was 25, but you got her a fake ID?

The same way CBS claims good faith... just an honest hardworking mistake. Except for the part that they invented about the personal file, to sidestep the Texas felony forgery statute.

Perhaps even worse, what if CBS Legal temporarily prevailed over Dan, and said that the story could not be broadcast, unless the reporters could come up with someone to state to CBS that the provenance was not from government files?

Burkett, who now claims he is a victim, not to mention a patsy, obliges.

Were Rose Mary Woods still with us, running the phone tape, it might go: “Bill, I’m afraid we cannot run with the story, and we cannot use your memos. See, they appear to be government documents. So unless you can assure us that these are not from government files, that’s the way it is.”

And Burkett calls back. “My source tells me that these are from personal files, not from government files."

CBS says, “OK. Thanks for the courage, Bill.”

Tamper Fi with Special XRay Glasses

CBS’s post-broadcast behavior appears stupid and ineffective to most. For example, Ernest Miller has posted an excellent post-forgery timeline complete with color commentary on the minute-by-minute journalistic lapses by CBS.

I don’t buy it. It was intentional and knowing criminal behavior.

If I am correct that CBS Legal inserted the phrase “from personal files,” it is the smoking gun of CBS’s criminal intent, like the guy who provides his 14 year old date a fake ID in case the vice squad were to bust them, and then later insists that he “swears he thought she was 25, sir.”

So let’s put on the Personal File XRay Goggles and review what otherwise seemed like mere unethical post-broadcast spin by CBS. It all starts to make sense, when you see the felony stakes that are really at issue.

Felony Abatement Plan

CBS Legal realized that it needed to frustrate the Man’s attempt to establish a few facts under the Texas forgery statute. Texas law says that “ 'Forge' means: to alter, make, complete, execute, or authenticate any writing so that it purports:

(i) to be the act of another who did not authorize that act;
(ii) to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case; or
(iii) to be a copy of an original when no such original existed.

(It also provides that publishing forged documents is also forgery; I've already written about that.)

Remember some of those strange, non-sensical claims being bandied about by CBS’s operatives in the early days of Memogate? Talking heads floated trial balloons on TV and in articles (please, post examples in the comments here, I didn’t memorize them all…). These memos were “someone’s retyping of originals” so that “the source wouldn’t get into trouble.”

Yeah, right. And when you heard their lame-assed words, you thought, “Is that the best they can come up with?”

After you get done laughing, though, your new goggles will reveal that such odd claims are defenses under the forgery statute. E.g., a true copy is not a forgery, etc. And that is why the spinmeisters were tossing them into the mix.

See, already at this early stage, your heart and mind were not the object of CBS’s desire and spin. Instead, CBS was already looking down the tracks, wanting to derail the felony train before it got out of the station. Begin the CBS Felony Abatement Plan

Dan Gets Taken to the CBS Legal Woodshed

In the ensuing 48 hours following the broadcast, questions about memo authenticity arise. We can surmise that CBS Legal remains involved. And I can surmise that CBS Legal gives Dan Rather a lecture delivered at high decibels. "You and Mary are Texans, Dan, you wanna do time in a Texas prison?" Dan comes to realize the stakes of this debacle.

Two days after the broadcast, Rather takes to the airwaves.

RATHER: “The 60 Minutes report was based not solely on the recovered documents, but on a preponderance of evidence…If any definitive evidence to the contrary of our story is found, we will report it. So far there is none.”

When did Dan Rather start parsing criminal evidence codes, and speaking like a prosecutor?

He was still raw from his little pow-wow with CBS Legal, and his language shows it. Dan doesn’t like the idea of felony forgery. He wants to derail the Felony Train.

But Dan’s broadcast only fans the flames, and over the next couple of days, the MSM revs up. So CBS steps up its Felony Abatement Plan

Witness Tampering All Dressed Up as Protecting a Source

While Dan was getting his Stockman-esque whipping out in the woodshed by CBS Legal, the Felony Abatement Plan was rolled out.

The Washington Post’s September 10 article provided a snapshot of Pawn to Queen 4:

“CBS News released a statement yesterday standing by its reporting, saying that each of the documents ‘was thoroughly vetted by independent experts and we are convinced of their authenticity.’ The statement added that CBS reporters had verified the documents by talking to unidentified people who saw them ‘at the time they were written.’

“CBS spokeswoman Kelli Edwards declined to respond to questions raised by experts who examined copies of the papers at the request of The Washington Post, or to provide the names of the experts CBS consulted.”

Protecting its sources, like any good journalist? Or, trying to buy time to build a credible coverup?

We now know that CBS’s two experts, Emily Will and Linda James, had warned CBS of the forgeries, pre-broadcast. Now, CBS was asking its experts “not to grant interviews” and to “maintain confidentiality.”

Over the objections of CBS, and to avoid having their reputations ruined, the experts spoke with the MSM and rebutted CBS’s claim that the experts had authenticated the memos.

CBS’s responded by accusing its own experts of changing their stories. But since the experts had advised CBS of their concerns in writing, CBS’s hope that this would stick, was not fulfilled.

Protecting its sources, or tampering with witnesses?

Witness Tampering on The Little Old Lady

This 86 year old broad is a better distraction that Mo Dean!

Remember how nutty that Dan Rather interview with 86 year-old Knox was (Killian’s secretary)? Read the interview again, with all this in mind.

What will jump out at you is the brazen coaching and leading the witness. (And all we get is the edited version.)

And….witness tampering.

Old lady Knox is coached and led by Dan and his staff, as they deploy the Felony Abatement Plan on each of the three forgery items from the statute.

(Note that CBS did NOT speak with Knox, pre-broadcast. Her statements to CBS, a week after the broadcast, could not have been CBS’s source for claiming the memos were “personal files.”)

RATHER: Knox says her boss, colonel Jerry Killian, started what she calls acover-your-back file, a personal file where she stored the memos about theproblems with Mr. Bush's performance and his failure to take a physical andthe pressure Killian felt from upstairs. She addressed this memo and areference to retired general stout pushing for a positive officer trainingreport on lieutenant Bush. And stout is pushing to sugar coat it. Does thatsound like colonel Killian? Is that the way he felt?
KNOX: That's absolutely the way he felt about that.
RATHER: And she talked about this mental moment. She doesn't believe thememo is authentic, but she says the facts behind it are very real. He didwrite a memo like this?
KNOX: Yes.
RATHER: So he did write a memo like this, not this one is your contention, but one like it?
KNOX: It's just like a personal journal. You write things.
RATHER: Is that what he was keeping, more or less a personal journal?
KNOX: It was more or less, that yes.
RATHER: These memos were not memos that you typed and you don't think theycame directly out of his files?
KNOX: The information, yes. It seems that somebody did see those memos, andthen tried to reproduce and maybe changed them enough so that he wouldn'tget in trouble over it.
RATHER: I understand.
KNOX: Could deny it.
RATHER: I understand.
KNOX: That's all just supposition.
RATHER: I understand.

Look, I'm no black helicopter guy, but Rather just used 50 years of reporter skills to have little old lady Knox state (without any pesky cross-examiner or Rules of Evidence in the room) that:

-The "personal files" sourcing was possible.
-Underlying original memos existed.
-They were written at the time purported.

So, we all took the bait. We howled with derision that CBS has just invented a new concept – “Fake but Accurate.”

But Dan Rather and CBS were not playing for our hearts and minds. Nor did they care about "Fake but Accurate" entering the lexicon.

They were tampering with a witness, using a checklist of the Texas felony statute, coaching and leading her to derail a train they feared.

Some enterprising and pissed off DA could make mincemeat of CBS on a tampering charge, with that Knox tape.

So you see, with the right pair of XRay goggles, CBS’s odd behavior starts to appear rational.

UPDATE: Normally, what was said between CBS Legal and any CBS employee is not admissible in a court of law, under evidence rules.

But the attorney-client discussions are fully admissible, "If the services of the lawyer were sought or obtained to enable or aid anyone to commit or plan to commit what the client knew or reasonably should have known to be a crime or fraud." Texas Evidence Code 503; every state has a similar clause.

You can run, but you cannot hide.....