Florida Pilot

A compendium of random thoughts from a former Washington Beltway insider who is now having a lot more fun flying small airplanes in Central Florida.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

lawyerly conclusions

Jonathan V. Last, posting at the Daily Standard, provides some additional information from the Rathergate panel report regarding "proof" that the Killian memos were fraudulent.

The panels, own expert states:

". . . the documents appear to have been produced in Times New Roman typestyle. . . . Times New Roman was only available on typesetting and other non-tabletop machines until the desktop publishing revolution in the 1980s. Therefore [Tytell] concluded that Times New Roman could not have been available on a typewriter in the early 1970s and the Killian documents must have been produced on a computer."

Last adds

"Which brings us back to Joseph Newcomer. After all of his examinations, Peter Tytell had reached exactly the same conclusion as Newcomer. And, like Newcomer, Tytell's judgment to the panel could not have been more forthright. The panel reports, "Tytell concluded that the Killian documents were generated on a computer."

So how did Thornburgh and Boccardi manage to walk away from their own expert's decisive verdict? The answer is hidden in footnote 16 on page 7 of Appendix 4:

Although his reasoning seems credible and persuasive, the Panel does not know for certain whether Tytell has accounted for all alternative typestyles that might have been available on typewriters during that era."

The panel's conclusion regarding the validity of the documents is troubling in light of the work of their own expert. In addition, the failure of the panel to put the issue of the validity of the documents to rest has rekindled the anti-Bush moonbat community (evidently including Dan Rather) who are so anxious to believe that the story is true and the documents are real.

But is was up to CBS to make any conclusion regarding the validity of the documents and not the panel it hired. The panel report was prepared for CBS not for the public and, like any document prepared for hire, one can be sure that CBS provided specific ground rules and provided itself an opportunity to view and modify the text before any general release to the public. Is CBS worried about litigation as some commentators have said? I don't think so but that might be a possibility. What is more likely is that CBS was simply unwilling to go so far as to admit the totality of the fraud perpetuated on the public by their news division.

Given the panel's criteria, it would be impossible to come to a negative conclusion regarding the documents absent a confession by their creator. There is no accepted repository of "all" available typewriter fonts any more than there is an official reposity of all words in the English language.


At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course they are bogus. But to admit that would require admiting that there was a "political motive". Dick was hired by Viacomn to coverup up the smear, not to expose it! Dick lied. Lawyers frequently lie, ever hear of Johnny Cochran?
Rod Stanton


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