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Election 2004

…and Splines.

“Now, would the 111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron have extravagantly purchased typewriters that contained the th superscript key? Would the military want or require typewriters with the ‘th’, ‘nd’, and ‘rd’ characters? Hmm. Ponder, Ponder. What would the 111th need with a th character… I’ll leave that to the enterprising among you to deduce.” So, as expected, the Bushies are pushing back hard on the 60 Minutes memos, and seem to have successfully managed shifting this news cycle from Dubya’s whereabouts to questions of possible forgery. Well, first off, The Daily Kos (quoted above) has written up a pretty good blow-by-blow explaining how all this new wrangling over font-technology adds up to less than its seems.

Regarding the documents’ authenticity, I think it’s entirely possible that somebody tried to “frame a guilty man” here, particularly given the depths to which we’ve already seen the Swift Boaters stoop. But, for now, I’m still thinking the docs are legitimate, as (a) CBS is strongly standing by them, and have a corroborative witness in Maj. Gen Bobby Hodges, Col. Killian’s (Republican) commanding officer, (b) unlike the Swift Boat allegations, they conform to what we already knew and to other information in the public record, and (c) Dubya’s White House, who knows the full story, certainly didn’t act like these could be fake documents when the story broke. At any rate, remove these Killian memos from the picture and the original question still stands: Where was Dubya, and why did he skip out on a required medical exam? Update: Experts in today’s Boston Globe back up the authenticity of the documents, including one examiner, Philip Bouffard, who had earlier suggested doubts to the NY Times.

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