Despite "Memogate," Bush Shirked Guard Duty
It's worth remembering that the documents behind the "Memogate" nonsense may not be definitively forgeries. Mary Mapes, who was fired from CBS over the use of the unauthenticated documents, has written a book (see sidebar for amazon ordering info) defending the reasonableness of having relied on them
It's entirely possible that Mapes was wrong -- very wrong -- about Bush's military record. But that's still only theoretical. Mapes doesn't establish the authenticity of the disputed memos here (she can't -- not without Killian, and not without the original documents to test and examine). But then, no one has definitively shown them to be forgeries, either. The "independent" panel that CBS hired to look into the story (composed primarily of lawyers, not journalists, and co-chaired by a former Republican attorney general) cast plenty of doubt on the story and CBS's handling of it. But it never said the report was
baseless, never accused Mapes or Rather of political bias or called the memos fraudulent.
It's especially well worth remembering that three independent eyewitnesses have said the information contained within the disputed Killian documents was basically accurate; Bush shirked his guard duties and was given preferential treatment because of his family connections.