Michael Ubaldi, September 18, 2004.
Even if it takes four paragraphs to mention the name in question, the mainstream press moves us one step closer to Bill Burkett as the author of CBS News' fake Texas Air National Guard memos:
A retired Texas National Guard official mentioned as a possible source for disputed documents about President Bush's service in the Guard said he passed along information to a former senator working with John Kerry's campaign.
Also Saturday, a White House official said Bush has reviewed disputed documents that purport to show he refused orders to take a physical examination in 1972 and did not recall having seen them previously.
The long-running story on Bush's Texas Air National Guard service took an unusual twist when CBS broadcast a report on what it said were the newly discovered records. The authenticity of the documents has come into doubt.
...The retired Guard official, Bill Burkett, said in an Aug. 21 e-mail to a list of Texas Democrats that after getting through "seven layers of bureaucratic kids" in the Democrat's campaign, he talked with former Georgia Sen. Max Cleland about information that would counter criticism of Kerry's Vietnam War service. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the e-mail Saturday.
"I asked if they wanted to counterattack or ride this to ground and outlast it, not spending any money. (Cleland) said counterattack. So I gave them the information to do it with," Burkett wrote.
A Washington Post story that, through Dan Rather's own words, corroborates Burkett's involvement credits the Free Republic participant — by name — who set the blogosphere on a dragnet in the first place. And it looks like the Post might be following the blogger's example of timely peer review.
IT'S A SMALL WORLD, AFTER ALL: Another Freeper does journalism's legwork.