Thursday, September 09, 2004

The Security of Truth

Kevin Drum points out the same characteristic of truth I have mentioned before.
"This story is a perfect demonstration of the difference between the Swift Boat controversy and the National Guard controversy. Both are tales from long ago and both are related to Vietnam, but the documentary evidence in the two cases is like night and day. In the Swift Boat case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence indicates that Kerry's accusers are lying. Conversely, in the National Guard case, practically every new piece of documentary evidence provides additional confirmation that the charges against Bush are true."


Dustin said...\Politics\archive\200409\POL20040909d.html
I would assume that they would be confirming that since they can't be verified properly. Why do these new papers look so different from existing papers, first time we have seen 111th typed with a superscripted "th" in it, trivial thing to do today but very difficult to type like that in 1972. Also the font variable width font on this memo also is not seen in other memos of the same time period.

Kendall Miller said...

Contrary to what is being said by folks with more limited memories, lots of typewriters of the day had special characters like st nd and th. The IBM Selectric was most popular in the government circles because it was the state-of-the-art. The coolest typewriters were the ones with memory. You could have a form letter in the memory and it would type away until it came to the blank spot and stop and wait for you to type in the name and then it would merrily take off again and finish the letter. It would look like it was all typed by hand. The balls had plenty of room for special characters and it was kind of a status thing to use them since it showed you had a fancy machine.

Of course I wouldn't put it past Rove to plant documents that seem to support the opposition then embarrass it by turning out to be forgeries. The bait-and-switch maneuver is a well-practiced one.

Kendall Miller said...

Again from Kevin Drum:

"For what it's worth, I spoke to someone a few minutes ago who's familiar with how the documents were vetted, and the bottom line is that CBS is very, very confident that the memos are genuine. They believe that (a) their sources are rock solid, (b) the provenance of the documents is well established, and (c) the appearance of the documents matches the appearance of other documents created at the same place and time. In addition, people who knew Killian well have confirmed that the memos are genuine.

This won't stop the arguments, of course, since CBS's sources are anonymous and are apparently going to stay that way. But while caveat emptor is always good advice, I thought it was worth passing on the fact that CBS is pretty sure of itself on this."

Dustin said...
Not mentioning much about the abilities that you talked of and none of the typeballs had extra fonts, for that matter what button would you press to get the font. Also as far as saving a document to memory, wouldn't that require memory, didn't think that was an easy thing to come by wasn't that why card computers were popular then. I don't know I wasn't typing in 1972 but from all information that I have seen it doesn't support a typewriter that advanced being in common use back then.

Kendall Miller said...

Based on these comments at The Talent Show and copies of contempary undisputed Bush documents that show a special th key being used I think CBS has it right. The noise about forgeries is just that, noise. Of course it will have served its purpose but the documents and the AWOL narrative will stand. There is so much material that Bush supporters are swallowing on the thinnest threads of plausibility I despair that few are going to be moved from their positions. Wherever we are on the spectrum, we are there for reasons that seem good to us and one more example is not going to move us. I'm afraid that in the end it will boil down to who will be most effective at getting their voters to the polls.

Kendall Miller said...

All we need here is a proportionally shifting platen, a reasonable font, and a special th key. It wouldn't surprise me a bit if some collector dusts one off and puts all this noise to bed. Whoever he or she is I suspect they might even be able to garner a little monetary appreciation.