Forged Memos and “Karl Rove

Democrats — By on September 16, 2004 at 3:44 am

In my last post I noted that Bill Burkett, the man suspected of passing forged memos to CBS, was represented by David Van Os, a labor lawyer from San Antonio. In a recent article in the New York Times, Van Os makes some peculiar statements about his client and the alleged documents:

Mr. Burkett declined to return telephone calls to his home near Abilene, Tex. His lawyer, David Van Os, on Tuesday repeatedly refused to say in a telephone interview whether the officer had played a part in supplying the disputed documents to CBS. Mr. Van Os said “the real story is and should be, where was George Bush?” and that Mr. Burkett “is not the proper object of attention.”
Mr. Van Os called Mr. Burkett “a man of impeccable honesty who would not permit himself to be a party to anything fake, fraudulent or phony.” He also said, in response to questions, and stressing that he was speaking only hypothetically, “If Bill Burkett were to later discover that something he was a party to were fake or phony, as a man of honor who lives by a code of honor of the military, he would not permit the falsity to continue.” But, the lawyer hastened to add, “This is not intended to be any kind of specific statement.”
Asked what role Mr. Burkett had in raising questions about Mr. Bush’s military service, Mr. Van Os said: “If, hypothetically, Bill Burkett or anyone else, any other individual, had prepared or had typed on a word processor as some of the journalists are presuming, without much evidence, if someone in the year 2004 had prepared on a word processor replicas of documents that they believed had existed in 1972 or 1973 – which Bill Burkett has absolutely not done” – then, he continued, “what difference would it make?”

The fact that a lawyer would think that there is nothing wrong with passing off ‘



  • http://www.thebrendancenter.com/ J. Michael Matkin

    I’m sorry, but there’s just something funny in the water down in Texas. Is possible that they could just back out of the union and become their own little country again. Lord knows, they live like that’s the case.

  • http://www.thebrendancenter.com J. Michael Matkin

    I’m sorry, but there’s just something funny in the water down in Texas. Is possible that they could just back out of the union and become their own little country again. Lord knows, they live like that’s the case.

  • eff ewe

    “Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency has fewer experienced case officers assigned to its headquarters unit dealing with Osama bin Laden than it did at the time of the attacks, despite repeated pleas from the unit’s leaders for reinforcements, a senior C.I.A. officer with extensive counterterrorism experience has told Congress.”

  • eff ewe

    “Three years after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and the Pentagon, the Central Intelligence Agency has fewer experienced case officers assigned to its headquarters unit dealing with Osama bin Laden than it did at the time of the attacks, despite repeated pleas from the unit’s leaders for reinforcements, a senior C.I.A. officer with extensive counterterrorism experience has told Congress.”

  • Mr. Moderate

    Just goes to show you can’t trust those texas politicos. It’s a shame they are running the white house and the congress. The deceit from the Republican politicos from Texas is well documented. Now it looks like there is some dishonesty from the Democrat politicos from Texas. I’m shocked. Of course we are talking about the four personal memos that talked directly about Killian’s opinion of Bush. The GOP has spun that into a great smoke screen against the bigger revelation from the irrefutably true NG documents–Bush failed to live up to the terms of his contract and thus should have been shipped off to Vietnam or given a dishonorable discharge. Having a powerful family sure has its advantages…

  • Mr. Moderate

    Just goes to show you can’t trust those texas politicos. It’s a shame they are running the white house and the congress. The deceit from the Republican politicos from Texas is well documented. Now it looks like there is some dishonesty from the Democrat politicos from Texas. I’m shocked. Of course we are talking about the four personal memos that talked directly about Killian’s opinion of Bush. The GOP has spun that into a great smoke screen against the bigger revelation from the irrefutably true NG documents–Bush failed to live up to the terms of his contract and thus should have been shipped off to Vietnam or given a dishonorable discharge. Having a powerful family sure has its advantages…

  • Puzzled

    Any indications that ol’ snakehead was in Texas recently? Near that Kinko’s?

  • Puzzled

    Any indications that ol’ snakehead was in Texas recently? Near that Kinko’s?

  • http://www.leanleft.com/ Kevin T. Keith

    I don’t get what you’re criticizing.
    Van Os represented Burkett in more than one case? Isn’t that what laywers are for?
    Burkett appealed his case and lost? That happens all the time – it doesn’t reflect badly on Burkett that he insisted on pursuing what he thought he was entitled to, or (necessarily) on Van Os that he lost the case.
    Burkett endorsed Van Os in his electoral campaign? Isn’t that a natural thing to do, if he’s satisifed with Van Os’s representation?
    Van Os’s supporters see his election as part of a general anti-conservative strategy? That’s perfectly ordinary politics.
    The only odd thing about the case is, as you note, the lawyer’s speculative remarks about forgery. He made it clear that he was speaking only hypothetically about an unwitting mistake, and categorically denied that Burkett had done anything wrong. It’s a good example of a time when he should have kept his mouth shut, but it doesn’t say anything about the actual facts of the case.
    Finally, you complain that he “think[s] that there is nothing wrong with passing off [forgeries]“. But he doesn’t say that. He asks “what difference would it make?” if someone did. He seems to me to be echoing a common theme in the discussion over the CBS documents – that whether the documents were forged or not is a tempest in a teapot, a dispute over one piece of evidence about a much larger point that has already been well established, namely that Bush repeatedly violated regulations regarding his military service and failed to complete much of it appropriately. That’s the issue that matters (to the extent that it does), and that fact has been well documented. That a new piece of evidence about it now appears to have been forged does not alter the facts about the real issue, and so it makes no difference – to the question at issue – whether that particular piece of evidence holds up or not. I’m sure Van Os would agree that it’s bad to commit forgery – but it doesn’t make Bush innocent.

  • http://www.leanleft.com Kevin T. Keith

    I don’t get what you’re criticizing.
    Van Os represented Burkett in more than one case? Isn’t that what laywers are for?
    Burkett appealed his case and lost? That happens all the time – it doesn’t reflect badly on Burkett that he insisted on pursuing what he thought he was entitled to, or (necessarily) on Van Os that he lost the case.
    Burkett endorsed Van Os in his electoral campaign? Isn’t that a natural thing to do, if he’s satisifed with Van Os’s representation?
    Van Os’s supporters see his election as part of a general anti-conservative strategy? That’s perfectly ordinary politics.
    The only odd thing about the case is, as you note, the lawyer’s speculative remarks about forgery. He made it clear that he was speaking only hypothetically about an unwitting mistake, and categorically denied that Burkett had done anything wrong. It’s a good example of a time when he should have kept his mouth shut, but it doesn’t say anything about the actual facts of the case.
    Finally, you complain that he “think[s] that there is nothing wrong with passing off [forgeries]“. But he doesn’t say that. He asks “what difference would it make?” if someone did. He seems to me to be echoing a common theme in the discussion over the CBS documents – that whether the documents were forged or not is a tempest in a teapot, a dispute over one piece of evidence about a much larger point that has already been well established, namely that Bush repeatedly violated regulations regarding his military service and failed to complete much of it appropriately. That’s the issue that matters (to the extent that it does), and that fact has been well documented. That a new piece of evidence about it now appears to have been forged does not alter the facts about the real issue, and so it makes no difference – to the question at issue – whether that particular piece of evidence holds up or not. I’m sure Van Os would agree that it’s bad to commit forgery – but it doesn’t make Bush innocent.

  • dashiki jim

    KTK – Explain to us how, if the forged doscuments don’t matter because the “larger point has already been well established,” CBS thought that this was such a gigantic scoop that it went with the story despite numerous cautions from its own experts. If the “new piece of evidence” that you concede to be forged “does not alter the facts,” why did CBS hype it so?

  • dashiki jim

    KTK – Explain to us how, if the forged doscuments don’t matter because the “larger point has already been well established,” CBS thought that this was such a gigantic scoop that it went with the story despite numerous cautions from its own experts. If the “new piece of evidence” that you concede to be forged “does not alter the facts,” why did CBS hype it so?

  • Rob Smith

    a much larger point that has already been well established, namely that Bush repeatedly violated regulations regarding his military service and failed to complete much of it appropriately.
    I imagine if this were as cut and dried as you claim, CBS or the Kerry campaign would not have to resort to forged memos and partisan hacks to prove it.

  • Rob Smith

    a much larger point that has already been well established, namely that Bush repeatedly violated regulations regarding his military service and failed to complete much of it appropriately.
    I imagine if this were as cut and dried as you claim, CBS or the Kerry campaign would not have to resort to forged memos and partisan hacks to prove it.

  • Rob Smith

    I think Dan Rather is rapidly becoming the Grandpa Simpson of network news.
    Bart Simpson: “Wow Grandpa how do you know so much about history?”
    Grandpa Simpson : “I pieced it together from the back of sugar packets mostly.”

  • Rob Smith

    I think Dan Rather is rapidly becoming the Grandpa Simpson of network news.
    Bart Simpson: “Wow Grandpa how do you know so much about history?”
    Grandpa Simpson : “I pieced it together from the back of sugar packets mostly.”

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com/ Jim Anderson

    Meanwhile, back at the war on terror…

  • http://decorabilia.blogspot.com Jim Anderson

    Meanwhile, back at the war on terror…

  • http://www.gryphmon.com/ Patrick

    “…if someone in the year 2004 had prepared on a word processor replicas of documents that they believed had existed in 1972 or 1973 – which Bill Burkett has absolutely not done” – then, he continued, “what difference would it make?”
    You’ve already convicted Burke of forgery and his attorney of being unethical. Shame on you.
    His words demonstrate nothing of the sort. He is correct, it would make no difference, if you recreated documents that you know formerly existed, and presented them as exactly that, reproductions, not originals, then there is no problem. It’s only if you presented them as originals that you would have a ethical problem.
    You don’t know how the documents were presented to CBS. You don’t even know at this point if Burke is the source of the documents at all, regardless of how they were presented to CBS.
    And even if Burke is the source, it doesn’t prove anything. He could have received the documents from someone else with the reproduction in with the other originals. He may not have known it was a reproduction.
    For all you know, the document could have been re-typed in the 80′s by Killian himself, after he spilled coffee on the originals.
    The quote in the article sounds cut-off, as if there is more to it. I suspect it has been taken out of context by the NY Times, edited for space.
    I used to make fun of Iraqi’s and frankly the Muslim world for their indulgence in conspiracy theories. I’m going to have to take another look at whats going on in the USA and eat a little crow.

  • http://www.gryphmon.com Patrick

    “…if someone in the year 2004 had prepared on a word processor replicas of documents that they believed had existed in 1972 or 1973 – which Bill Burkett has absolutely not done” – then, he continued, “what difference would it make?”
    You’ve already convicted Burke of forgery and his attorney of being unethical. Shame on you.
    His words demonstrate nothing of the sort. He is correct, it would make no difference, if you recreated documents that you know formerly existed, and presented them as exactly that, reproductions, not originals, then there is no problem. It’s only if you presented them as originals that you would have a ethical problem.
    You don’t know how the documents were presented to CBS. You don’t even know at this point if Burke is the source of the documents at all, regardless of how they were presented to CBS.
    And even if Burke is the source, it doesn’t prove anything. He could have received the documents from someone else with the reproduction in with the other originals. He may not have known it was a reproduction.
    For all you know, the document could have been re-typed in the 80′s by Killian himself, after he spilled coffee on the originals.
    The quote in the article sounds cut-off, as if there is more to it. I suspect it has been taken out of context by the NY Times, edited for space.
    I used to make fun of Iraqi’s and frankly the Muslim world for their indulgence in conspiracy theories. I’m going to have to take another look at whats going on in the USA and eat a little crow.

  • jim johnson

    Desperate people do carless things. Thank you Dan for demonstating this so clearly!

  • jim johnson

    Desperate people do carless things. Thank you Dan for demonstating this so clearly!

  • Wannabe

    I think Patrick and Kevin miss the point
    why is Van Os even bringing up the scenario gosh gee if someone had typed those memos in the honest belief they were replicas of real documents would that be so bad oh and by the way that is not what we are saying happened here……
    I’m sorry there is still a huge ethical problem here, that is not the way CBS presented the documents and if you can’t verify the originals, you should not be using the documents on air to boost your dubious story, especially when your own experts tell you not to……
    otherwise we could all go, oh, this is just a replica of a real document that once existed, please….yeah I got a replica of an old bank book that says I got a million dollars in my bank account……..
    would not stand up in any court of law
    come on, sounds like someone is doing Phase I in damage control…….

  • Wannabe

    I think Patrick and Kevin miss the point
    why is Van Os even bringing up the scenario gosh gee if someone had typed those memos in the honest belief they were replicas of real documents would that be so bad oh and by the way that is not what we are saying happened here……
    I’m sorry there is still a huge ethical problem here, that is not the way CBS presented the documents and if you can’t verify the originals, you should not be using the documents on air to boost your dubious story, especially when your own experts tell you not to……
    otherwise we could all go, oh, this is just a replica of a real document that once existed, please….yeah I got a replica of an old bank book that says I got a million dollars in my bank account……..
    would not stand up in any court of law
    come on, sounds like someone is doing Phase I in damage control…….

  • Steve Hewitt

    I’m amazed at the infectious nature of the Dan Rather disease. How anyone could defend Rather’s partisan stubbornness after this debaucle simply demonstrates why the Democratic ship will sink.

  • Steve Hewitt

    I’m amazed at the infectious nature of the Dan Rather disease. How anyone could defend Rather’s partisan stubbornness after this debaucle simply demonstrates why the Democratic ship will sink.

  • Larry Lord

    [quote]Desperate people do carless things. [/quote]
    Yeah, like when a news anchor gets all teary-eyed when speaking about supporting President Bush on national TV.

  • Larry Lord

    [quote]Desperate people do carless things. [/quote]
    Yeah, like when a news anchor gets all teary-eyed when speaking about supporting President Bush on national TV.

  • David

    Patrick:
    I’m going to have to buy more stock in that Straw company. It’s sure to go up with all the straws you are grasping at.
    Occam’s Razor is going to bite you on the behind in a BIG way.
    You LLL’s just keep coming up with new theory after new theory to try to explain away the fraud that was attempted on the American people.

  • David

    Patrick:
    I’m going to have to buy more stock in that Straw company. It’s sure to go up with all the straws you are grasping at.
    Occam’s Razor is going to bite you on the behind in a BIG way.
    You LLL’s just keep coming up with new theory after new theory to try to explain away the fraud that was attempted on the American people.

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