September 11, 2004

Outside authentication

Now the documents have been independently authenticated by experts consulted by the Boston Globe.

Philip D. Bouffard, a forensic document examiner in Ohio who has analyzed typewritten samples for 30 years, had expressed suspicions about the documents in an interview with the New York Times published Thursday, one in a wave of similar media reports. But Bouffard told the Globe yesterday that after further study, he now believes the documents could have been prepared on an IBM Selectric Composer typewriter available at the time.


Those who doubt the documents say those typographical elements would not have been commonly available at the time of Bush's service. But such characters were common features on electric typewriters of that era, the Globe determined through interviews with specialists and examination of documents from the period. In fact, one such raised ''th," used to describe a Guard unit, the 187th, appears in a document in Bush's official record that the White House made public earlier this year.

Can the discussion now revert to the fact that Mr. Bush disobeyed a direct order and has lied about his service ever since? And that he's lied (misled, obfuscated, pick your verb) about his reasons for invading Iraq? And that if he's re-elected he and his Administration will continue to lie and do even more harm to this country than he already has?

Posted by Linkmeister at September 11, 2004 12:01 AM

I saw Dan Rather commenting on the authenticity of the documents. The typeface was available as far back as the 1930s.
I soooo agree with you, Linky....

Posted by: toxiclabrat at September 11, 2004 06:13 AM

The IBM Selectric Composer was not a typewriter, was not called a typewriter and cost at least 10 times as much as typewriters did in those days. It was a typesetter named a composer because typesetting equipment at the time was hot type.

Where I worked we had an operator trained by IBM typeset scientific journals on the Selectric Composer. Could he type a memo on it -- possibly yes. Did he -- no he would have been fired. Not only was the machine expensive to buy, it also used an expensive one-use only film ribbon.

Posted by: al at September 13, 2004 08:31 AM