Monday, September 13, 2004

CBS News Transcript 9/13/04

[ed: on behalf of, we're hosting the transcript of tonight's CBS News discussion about the Bush ANG documents that may be fraudulent.]

DAN RATHER: Coming up on the "CBS evening news," more on the controversy the president's national guard record. It's tonight's "inside story." [commercial break]

Besides checking on John Kerry's service record, CBS has been checking president Bush's service in the national guard, including whether or not he did or did not fulfill his commitment. We're gathering information, asking questions and probing. CBS is also addressing questions about documents used to corroborate some of the information in our reporting. Documents used to corroborate some of the information in our reporting. Some of these questions come from people who are not active political partisans. It is tonight's inside story. At a democratic national press conference today, some of the shots fired at military men were aimed at president Bush's national guard service.

But official records showed he skipped a physical and was grounded. Do you know how hard it is to get your annual physical? I took 37 of them in a row.

RATHER: There has also been criticism of the new documents obtained by CBS. But CBS used several techniques to make sure these papers should be taken seriously. Talking to handwriting and document analysts and other experts who strongly insist that the documents could have be created in the 70s.

Everything in those documents that people are saying can't be done, as you said, 32 years ago, is totally false. Not true. Like I said, proportional spacing was available, superscripts was available as a custom feature. Proportional spacing between lines was available. You could order it any way you like.

RATHER: Richard Katz, a software designer found other indications in the documents. He noticed the lower case l is used in documents instead of the actual numeral one. That would be difficult to reproduce on the computer today.

If you were doing this a week ago or a month ago on a normal laser jet printer, it wouldn't work. The font wouldn't be available to you.

RATHER: Katz noted the documents have the superscript "th" and a regular-sized "th". That would be common on a typewriter, not a computer.

RICHARD KATZ: There is one document from may of 1972 which contains a normal "th" at the top. To produce that in Microsoft word, you would have to go out of your way to type the letters and then turn the th setting off or back over them and type them again.

RATHER: CBS news relied on an analysis of the contents of the documents themselves to determine the contents authenticity. It is in line with is known about the service and dates.

For instance, the official record shows that Mr. Bush was suspended from flying on august 1, 1972. That date matches the one on a memo given to CBS news, ordering that Mr. Bush he be suspended. Shortly after "60 minutes" broadcast the new documents last week, "usa today" obtained another new document. In the memo dated February 2, 1972, Colonel Killian asked to be "updated as soon as possible on flight certifications, specifically Bush." That appears to be in line with newly released white house documents that indicate changes in Mr. Bush's flight certification in early 1972. An analysis shows that instead of exclusively flying the f-102 he'd been certified in, the president began additional training in a lower level plane and flight simulators.

CBS news asked the White House today to answer a number of questions: Did a friend of the Bush family use his influence with the Texas house speaker to get George W. Bush into the National Guard? Did Lieutenant Bush refuse an order to take a required physical? Was he suspended for failing to perform up to standards? And did he, in fact, complete his commitment to the guard?

In reply, a White House spokesman told CBS's John Roberts: "As you know, we have repeatedly addressed these issues, including during the interview you conducted on behalf of Mr. Rather last Wednesday." The White House and the Bush-Cheney campaign always point out President Bush received an honorable discharge.

What is in the "60 Minutes" report CBS news believes to be true and believes to be authentic. Straight ahead on the "CBS Evening news," they're supposed to inspect your bags, not steal from them. He got caught red handed.


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