Lead Expert Retained By CBS Says He Never Authenticated Bush National Guard Memos
New questions continue to surface about the authenticity of documents challenging President Bush's National Guard Record. The Washington Post reports this morning that the "lead expert retained by CBS News to examine disputed memos from President Bush's former squadron commander in the National Guard said yesterday that he examined only the late officer's signature and made no attempt to authenticate the documents themselves." In a telephone interview with the Post, Marcel Matley said of the controversial memos, "There's no way that I, as a document expert, can authenticate them." The main reason, he said, "is that they are 'copies' that are 'far removed' from the originals." CBS executives had pointed to Matley "as their lead expert on whether the memos are genuine, and included him in a 'CBS Evening News' defense of the story Friday."
Meanwhile, more experts yesterday suggested the documents are forgeries. The new analyses include a "detailed comparison. . .of memos obtained by CBS News with authenticated documents on Bush's National Guard service," conducted by the Washington Post. The comparison "reveals dozens of inconsistencies, ranging from conflicting military terminology to different word-processing techniques." The analysis "shows that half a dozen Killian memos released earlier by the military were written with a standard typewriter using different formatting techniques from those characteristic of computer-generated documents. CBS's Killian memos bear numerous signs that are more consistent with modern-day word-processing programs, particularly Microsoft Word." Joseph M. Newcomer, an "author of several books on Windows programming, who worked on electronic typesetting techniques in the early 1970s," said, "I am personally 100 percent sure that they are fake." Moreover, "the CBS memos contain several stylistic examples at odds with standard Guard procedures, as reflected in authenticated documents."
On Fox News' Special Report, Richard Williams, former document examiner, said, "In all probability the signature on the questioned document is a forgery, what is referred to as a simulated forgery." Sandra Ramsey Lyons, a forensic document examiner, said on Fox News' Special Report, "Something in my mind struck me that these were computer generated. So I tried to do it on a computer and lo and behold, I was able to produce the documents using Word and the wrap-around or line-for-line ended the exact same way as in the default system of word, the spacing an everything. I thought that was interesting. And then I did see the superscripted in there."