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September 13, 2004
Dan Rather: Lower-Case 'L' Means We Win has an instant transcript of Dan Rather's latest evasion of the charges that he used forgeries in a crude attempt to smear George Bush. After noting, finally, that not all of the critics of the documents are "political partisans", Rather latches onto a very arcane defense in order to establish their authenticity:

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.

Really? I could also note that the Selectric had a number 1 as well as the lower-case l, unlike some other typewriters of the time. If you think that authenticates the documents, then consider the non-typographical issues in them:

1. CBS says the documents came from Killian's personal files, which Killian's family says he never kept.
2. CBS "authenticated" these documents with retired General Bobby Hodges by telephone, who now says he was misled and the documents are probably forged.
3. One of the documents -- the "CYA" memo -- references improper influence by a general who had retired 18 months before the memo's date.
4. None of the memos use standard format for the Air Force or Air National Guard at the time.
5. Colonel Killian didn't like to type, and would be unlikely to have typed any personal notes, to file or anywhere else, again according to his family and to the personnel director (Rufus Martin) with whom he worked during Bush's TANG period.

There are so many holes in these documents that trying to plug them with a 1 or an l is laughable. Rather continues to fiddle while CBS burns. (And do you see any difference between the two here? I'm not using any exotic font for my blog!)

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at September 13, 2004 6:42 PM

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Tracked on September 14, 2004 1:59 AM

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