Captain’s Quarters shuts off another avenue of escape for CBS and its “secret memos” by Lt Col Killian:
The [Washington] Post even forced CBS to reveal that the documents were “authenticated” via a phone conversation with retired Major General Bobby W. Hodges, Killian’s superior:
A senior CBS official, who asked not to be named because CBS managers did not want to go beyond their official statement, named one of the network’s sources as retired Maj. Gen. Bobby W. Hodges, the immediate superior of the documents’ alleged author, Lt. Col. Jerry B. Killian. He said that a CBS reporter read the documents to Hodges over the phone, and that Hodges replied that “these are the things that Killian had expressed to me at the time.”
“These documents represent what Killian not only was putting in memoranda, but was telling other people,” the CBS News official said. “Journalistically, we’ve gone several extra miles.”
The official said the network regarded Hodges’s comments as “the trump card” on the question of authenticity, as he is a Republican who acknowledged that he did not want to hurt Bush. Hodges, who declined to grant an on-camera interview to CBS, did not respond to messages left on his home answering machine in Texas.
I don’t think that anyone doubts that CBS went several extra miles, but in what direction? How does the Tiffany Network account for the fact that the 1973 memos reference purported pressure from an Col. Buck Staudt, who had retired in 1972? Did Hodges and Killian invent a word-processing system to write these memos that escaped the notice of document experts, with an ability to produce type-set documents?
So now we have documents typed in a way that was impossible for the time they were made, sourced from personal files of a dead ex-officer whose family angrily deny he ever had, and authenticated by another ex-officer who never actually saw them. Is this journalism?
UPDATE: Could this be the Robert Hodges from Texas that claims to be a Republican — the one who donated $250 to Howard Dean?