Letter, FYI


Jim K
September 21, 2004, 02:15 PM
FYI, I sent the following letter to several papers and TV news organizations. You might find it useful in any discussions on the subject.

"In conversations with people who have been following the CBS "document" story, I find many who believe that retired Lt. Colonel Bill Burkett, usually described as a "National Guard officer" or a "National Guard official", was in the Texas Air National Guard (ANG) and was then-Lt. George W. Bush's superior officer. But Mr. Burkett was in the Texas Army National Guard (ARNG), a different organization, and would probably have had little or no contact with the Texas Air National Guard or its personnel.

While it is technically correct to refer to the Army National Guard as simply "the National Guard", it is misleading in this context. I believe you can do a service to the public by making clear Mr. Burkett's former affiliation."


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September 22, 2004, 12:14 PM

Thanks for posting. You point out an important detail that is missing in most if not all media reports.

Old Fuff
September 22, 2004, 02:15 PM
How interesting .... Thanks Jim.:D

Jim K
September 22, 2004, 08:33 PM
I almost laughed when I saw those documents. It took all of 3 seconds to recognize that they were fake, and I could hardly believe my eyes.

Times New Roman is the default font for MS Word, and probably the most commonly used font in the Roman alphabet world. But PC's did not exist in 1973, the first patent date for MS Word is 1983, and no matter what the "experts" say, no typewriter in existence in 1973 could have produced those documents. (I spent 35 years in DoD, and much of that time was the documentation expert for a software division; we always had the latest equipment and I used it all.)

But aside from technical details, the wording of the documents is not right. I doubt any officer would use "CYA" in a written document, though he might well think it. And the "Memorandum" using the word "ordered" is very suspect. Military orders are not identified as memoranda (which means "reminders") but as orders.

In spite of the beliefs of civilians that the word "order" is common in military documents, it is in fact quite rare. To see it used in a memo from a squadron commander (who would be on a first name basis with his officers) to another officer is startling, especially in something so routine as taking a flight physical. Wording like "I have scheduled you...let me know if you can't make it" or "It is time for your yearly physical, please make an appointment..." would be more along the lines of what I would expect.

If for some reason, an order had to be given to an officer as if he were a "Beetle Bailey" private, the military wording would have been "You will report to..." That military "YOU WILL" would be instantly recognized by any service member as a direct order.

But, civilians would not necessarily read it that way. And the writer of the phony "memo" had to use that word "order" to prove to civilians that Lt. Bush disobeyed a direct order; the writer was either a civilian or was writing for a civilian audience.

Just one of several glaring mistakes that would cast doubt on the documents even if we could somehow ignore the fact that a 1973 writer would have needed not a word processor but a time machine.


Standing Wolf
September 22, 2004, 08:45 PM
I had no idea. Thanks, eh?

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