For those of you who don't know Karl Rove, he is a, and some people say THE, senior political advisor to President Bush. From all the reports on the left side of the blogosphere he is personally responsible for almost everything good that happens for the Republicans and almost everything bad that happens to the Democrats.
But that's the world of blogs where everyone with access to a keyboard and the internet (ex. Me) can write whatever they feel like and never really have to back up any of their accusations. The problem with this story over at Little Green Footballs
is that the accusations are being tossed around not by an anonymous blogger but by an elected US Congressman.
The gist of the story; according to Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Karl Rove planted the forged documents that CBS used in their attempt to portray President Bush as an AWOL National Guardsman. It was his plan all along to give the press all the evidence they needed so that when they brought the story to light, using his faked evidence, the Republicans could easily disprove the documents and therefore discredit the whole story.
The LGF link above has links to both a mp3 and transcript of the actual speech given by the Congressman in which he makes these claims outright. When questioned about evidence to back up his accusations he first confirms, then seconds later, denies the exists of such evidence. He then goes on to claim that only he has the courage to make these charges and bring this injustice to light and for that he should be thanked.
After listening to the audio file or reading the transcript, it's hard to think that the Democrats will have an easy time winning back any political power in the U.S. While a lot of people, mostly extremist from either the right or the left, will jump on any bandwagon that will hurt the "other guys", most people want at least a smidgen of proof before calling for someone's head.
The main problems with the congressman claims, as I see it, are these:
1) How can anyone believe that documents that were so easy to identify as forgeries (none of CBS's own analysts would confirm the veracity of the documents) would be picked up and run by any self respecting news organization. Mere hours after the running of the story, several blogs were calling into question the validity of the documents. Texas Best Grok
(with help from LGF) has a great page showing how the documents are easily recreated on MS Word.(Update: for the best review of the 'Rathergate' documents I've managed to find anywhere see Wizbang!. His post is based on CBS's own expert called in to review the documents for their review panel)
2) The documents were given to CBS by Bill Burkett, a known Anti-Bush crusader since as far back as 1998. He is the only person to have claimed to have seen the original documents (which I believe he claims to have later destroyed???) and is the sole source for the CBS proof. Hardly a likely accomplice of Karl Roves.
The accusations, even if true, would only be useful to prove one thing. Not that the President was AWOL from his National Guard duties (as that has already been shown to be as much as a red herring as the stories of John Kerry intentionally injuring himself to get a quick exit from Vietnam) but that the American mainstream media (or CBS at least) has a severe liberal bias and that the opportunity to attack a Republican President would be too much of a temptation to let pass by.
As always, your comments are welcome. But please look at the Little Green Footballs
story first and make up your own mind.