After the jump, a FBvian takes issue with me calling Rather reckless:
I have a copy of the CBS-commissioned report of the affair by the retired President of the Associated Press, Louis D. Boccardi, and Richard Thornburgh, former Attorney General under the first President Bush. I would suggest to you, in all modesty, that it represents the only credible source on this whole matter.
There are two things that jump out from the report. The first is that the memos by young Bush’s commander have never been declared fake, even to this day. They were never confirmed as real beyond a shadow of a doubt, and for that reason they remain problematic and were relied upon too strongly. The old lady who was the commander’s personal secretary, and who typed up those memos for her boss, came out of the woodwork to say they didn’t appear real to her, but she insisted that everything written in them was accurate about young Bush and about what her boss had said and felt at the time. Sounds to me like they may have been reproductions. But the commission did not issue a confirmatory declaration on this issue one way or the other, and nobody else has, either.
Here’s my deal with Rather. First off, I like him. The man over the years has done great stories. But just as he gets the credit for those pieces, he should take the blame for this one.