Most uniform way of dating documents
In an interview with World Net Daily, CBS News spokesperson Kelli Edwards said, "CBS verified the authenticity of the documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written." The Associated Press reported, "Document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines..she was 'virtually certain' [the documents] were generated by computer.Lines said that meant she could testify in court that, beyond a reasonable doubt, her opinion was that the memos were written on a computer." Also on September 10, The Dallas Morning News reported that "the officer named in one memo as exerting pressure to 'sugarcoat' Bush's military record was discharged a year and a half before the memo was written.Accordingly, on the September 9 morning after the "60 minutes" report, the broadcast was front-page news in the New York Times and Washington Post.Additionally, the story was given two-thirds of a full page within USA Today's news section, which mentioned that it had also obtained copies of the documents.Mapes and Smith made contact with Burkett in late August, and on August 24 Burkett offered to meet with them to share the documents he possessed, and later told reporters from USA Today "that he had agreed to turn over the documents to CBS if the network would arrange a conversation with the Kerry campaign," During the last week of August, Mapes asked Josh Howard, her immediate superior at CBS, for permission to facilitate contact between Burkett and the Kerry campaign; Howard and Mapes subsequently disputed whether such permission had been given.Two documents were provided by Burkett to Mapes on September 2 and four others on September 5, 2004.
General Hodges later asserted to the investigatory panel that he told Mapes that Killian had never, to his knowledge, ordered anyone to take a physical and that he had never been pressured regarding Lieutenant Bush, as the documents alleged.Mapes and her colleagues began interviewing people who might be able to corroborate the information in the documents, while also retaining four forensic document experts, Marcel J. Pierce, Emily Will, and Linda James, to determine the validity of the memos.On September 5, CBS interviewed Killian's friend Robert Strong, who ran the Texas Air National Guard administrative office.CBS News producer Mary Mapes obtained the copied documents from Burkett, a former officer in the Texas Army National Guard, while pursuing a story about the George W. The papers, purportedly made by Bush's commander, the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B.
Killian, included criticisms of Bush's service in the Guard during the 1970s.This should be pursued aggressively." and broke into mass media outlets, including the Associated Press and the major television news networks.