Why the Killian Memos are Fake But Accurate

washingtonpost.com: The Paper Trail

As Kevin Drum says, this is a devastating page for the authenticity of CBS's Killian memos.

However, I'm going to take issue with their four "content" points, because there are several people who verify the content of these memos.

First, the forged 19 May 72 memo claims Bush is going to work on another campaign for his dad. The Post notes:

Bush was working on the campaign for family friend, not his father.
This doesn't take the recent testimony of the widow of the family friend, who says that Bush's father asked her husband to find Bush a place on the Alabama campaign. Since Bush's father was the initiator, this is a perfectly understandable statement from Bush under the circumstances.

Bush had already worked on one campaign while being in the Guard - this is reflected in the use of the word "another". The memo conforms in content here with the actual circumstances.

Second, the 1 August 72 memo uses Bush's service number to identify him, not his Social Security number. This is a stylistic error and not a content error as the Post indicates. The service number is correct, after all.

Third, the 18 August 73 memo has Staudt pressuring Hodges about Bush. The Post notes:
Staudt retired in March 72, 17 months before memo was written.
This is something that Killian's secretary, Marian Carr Knox, confirmed. Staudt was a well respected officer in the Texas ANG. He remained a political player after his retirement, and the idea that he lost every scrap of influence in the Texas ANG after retirement is ludicrous.

Fourth, the 18 August 73 memo says that "Austin is not happy today either." The Post notes:
Aug. 18 was a Saturday. It is unlikely that ANG conducted business with "Austin" on Saturday.
"Austin" is headquarters for the entire Texas National Guard. Since drills were conducted on weekends, I find it unlikely that someone wasn't at Austin to take or make phone calls.

The Post also circles the "today" in this statement: "Harris gave me a message today from Grp regarding Bush's OETR..." If the call had come in Friday and Killian not there, he would have gotten the message the next day, on Saturday. That's how I read that statement.

All the other points I take. There are many stylistic and typographical differences between CBS's Killian memos and official Killian memos. But all the content is accurate, as Bobby Hodges, Marian Knox, and the White House's initial acceptance have confirmed. That means that someone forged this documents by copying real memos. Knox suggested that this would protect the forger from charges for leaking confidential papers. That's a very plausible scenario to me.