Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Sandra Ramsey Lines

Of course, it’s now common knowledge that there is mounting evidence that the memos CBS used to challenge the president’s Air National Guard record were clumsy forgeries. Instead of trying to rebut that evidence--a difficult task, I admit--some Bush-haters are choosing the ad hominem route by attacking the credibility of Sandra Ramsey Lines. Lines is an accomplished forensic scientist, a fellow of the American Association of Forensic Scientists; in fact, she is editor of a scholarly journal put out by the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners (yes, there is such an organization). Surely she is qualified to offer a judgment on the authenticity of the documents in question.

But wait! It turns out that Sandra Ramsey Lines has also donated money to a Republican organization called the WISH List. Aha, the left-wing blogosphere has exclaimed, Lines is a Republican, and therefore cannot be considered an independent expert. This is just another part of the vast right-wing conspiracy, right?

Well, not so fast. There is evidence that she has given money--$345, to be precise--to the WISH list. But is this some ultra-right-wing group, dedicated to God, guns, guts, and runnin’ out th’ lib’rels? Hardly. At its website it bills itself as "America’s largest fundraising network for pro-choice Republican women candidates." And have a look at the list of contributors--it includes Planned Parenthood of Arizona.

Damn, I’ll be glad when this election is over. My blood pressure can’t handle much more of this.

Discussions - 3 Comments

Is there any other evidence besides the statement by Sandra Lines?

Just the statements of several other guard members, and the wife and son of Killian, who claim that this is out of line with what they knew about Killian and his feelings toward Bush. Then there’s the fact that the memo doesn’t follow military format, or even use the standard acronyms and other technical details. Plus the fact that Staudt, the one supposedly doing the pressuring, had retired months before the memo had allegedly been written.

But isn’t this enough to suggest that CBS needs to come forward and prove the authenticity of the document? For instance, can they produce even one other memo by Killian, one that is undeniably genuine, that uses the same font? This would help make believable the claim that a Texas Air National Guard unit in the early 1970s would own a state-of-the-art IBM system. I have close friends in the ANG (not Bush supporters, in case Larry Bailey’s reading this) who find this idea ridiculous.

I haven’t followed this very closely, but thanks for highlighting the issues.

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