Monday, September 13, 2004
William Safire weighs in
on the document forgery issue. We thought this passage he wrote to be of interest:
The L.A. Times also checked out a handwriting analyst, Marcel Matley (of Vincent Foster suicide-note fame), who CBS had claimed vouched for the authenticity of four memos. It turns out he vouches for only one signature, and no scribbled initials, and has no opinion about the typography of any of the supposed memos.
How about that? A handwriting expert has no opinion about the typography. Alert the media! Spread the word! Tell your friends!
I asked Safire about this and he said that he also got quotes from nuclear weapons experts, French cooking experts, telecommunications experts, solar energy experts and NASA. Then he had to cut the column down to size so he picked the closest related item on the list, which happened to be handwriting as it is loosely in the "text-producing" category like typesetting.
Safire, the tarnished jewel of the NYTimes that all of the world's supply of Noxon (no, not Nixon!) could not restore, should be aware of the US Supreme Court's Daubert decision about the qualifications for expert testimony in the federal courts: there must be some established scientific basis to substantiate the expert's qualifications and opinion. Handwriting analysis is a forensic "science" that fails to satisfy the Court's requirements in Daubert. The same goes for printing analysis, fingerprints, voice analysis, lie detectors, and other "specialties" included in the forensic "sciences". Alas, the Court is reluctant to overturn expert testimony on the forensic "sciences" despite its requirement in Daubert.
The document that is "forged" is the USAF Reserve Personnel Record card. Someone obviously went back and changed the numbers and added numbers to the card. Bush was correctly credited with 9 points which matches with the ARF Statement of Points Earned for the period ending May 1973. He would then have received 2 points for UTA training, for a total of 11 points. If you look at the card it is apparent that someone added a 3 in front of the 2 to change the number to "32". The number 11 in the last column had been changed to "41".
They then added more numbers to come up with the "56" total. Look at the card, you'll see what I mean.
I only saw this site today, March 13, 2014. I first looked at the typed characters when I received copies of the documents. They were too degraded to tell other than they were of some kind of Roman font. Those who said Times New Roman had no better copies. Later and better copies were discovered after the media and politically opinionated people had turned their brain off completed on the issue. The font is much like several used for the IBM Executive, but Haas Atlas did not have the exact one. Almost all the alleged evidence of forgery was fabricated by an anonymous writer in or near Atlanta who was subsequently identified. Everything he wrote that evening and that was repeated by massive numbers of equally ill informed folk, both public at large and recognized experts, was malarkey. It still is. Do bear in mind the Bush White House never denied the documents but said they supported their position, which is a direct authentication of the documents, though a warped interpretation.
Marcel B. Matley