Well, the "Bush Guard Memo," piece, which aired on "60 Minutes II" last week purporting to present newly discovered documents refuting some of what President Bush has claimed and previous documents have supported about Bush's record in the Texas Air National Guard, seems to be crumbling at an exponential rate. Earlier today, Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd and one of the sources that CBS News claims helped them authenticate the documents is crying foul.
Here is what ABC News is reporting:
Retired Maj. General Hodges, Killian's supervisor at the Grd, tells ABC News that he feels CBS misled him about the documents they uncovered. According to Hodges, CBS told him the documents were "handwritten" and after CBS read him excerpts he said, "well if he wrote them that's what he felt." [emphasis mine]
Hodges also said he did not see the documents in the 70's and he cannot authenticate the documents or the contents. His personal belief is that the documents have been "computer generated" and are a "fraud".
CBS responds: ""We believed Col. Hodges the first time we spoke with him. We believe the documents to be genuine. We stand by our story and will continue to report on it."
This statement jibes with statements made by family members and associates who claim that Lt. Col. Killian was not a typist and never kept copious notes. Killian had no home office and his son, who also served in the National Guard until 1991 pointed out that creating such memos was something that "noone in their right mind would do in the military."
What Killian's son was referring to was the fact that the military reserves the right to audit personnel files at any time for any reason. Finding documents such as these in an audit would like have ended the Colonel's career.
Byron York, of National Review Online also points out that it was Killian's habit never to type up the evaluation documents. Instead, his habit was to simply sign off in this manner: "I concur with the comments and ratings of the reporting official," and then would sign his name.
So why would Killian go to all the effort to type up four additional memos when he never liked to type in the first place? And why would these "recently discovered" memos contradict the reports that went into Bush's official records?