Rather says CBS wouldn't allow him to do a follow-up story on Bush's
Texas Air National Guard (TANG) files. Speaking at the National Press
Club on September 26, former CBS News anchor Dan Rather responded to a question
posed by moderator Marvin Kalb concerning the controversial TANG files of George
W. Bush. Kalb asked Rather why he did not return to the story and investigate
those who created the guard files, passed them off to a former TANG officer
and hence to CBS's 60 Minutes, and tipped off right-wing bloggers before the
airing of the pre-2004 election exposé by 60 Minutes. Rather responded,
"You'll have to ask CBS that question."
Rather stated it was his desire to continue to delve into the story
and the set-up. According to CBS insiders, the original TANG files were scanned
by GOP dirty tricks operatives using a sophisticated text scanner that changed
the original IBM typewriter Courier font to a Times Roman font, automatically
created a "th" superscript for date numbers, and created margins and
pagination. An independent panel commissioned by CBS and headed by former GOP
Attorney General Richard Thornburgh never concluded the documents were bogus.
In fact, the GOP operatives had to be very careful in their dirty tricks operation:
forging or counterfeiting official government documents is a felony. However,
scanning original documents technically does not fall under the category of
counterfeiting. Nevertheless, the GOP quickly tipped off right-wing bloggers,
including Free Republic.com, that the CBS documents were forgeries. In doing
so, Karl Rove and his team successfully refocused attention away from Bush and
his AWOL status in the Guard and on to Dan Rather and 60 Minutes. People like
Karl Rove and, as reported by The New York Post, long time GOP dirty tricks
operative Roger Stone, got away with the entire caper, thus eliminating Bush's
phony military record as a campaign issue
The "other" Karl Rove, dirty tricks operative
Roger Stone -- New York Post reported his involvement in "Rathergate"
caper. The National Enquirer in 1996 had another salacious story about Stone.
Rather reiterated his recent comments at Fordham University that a
fear mentality has gripped news rooms across the nation. He partly blamed the
government for instilling fear among America's journalists.