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Forged?

This sure makes it seem as if you could do proportional fonts way back when in 1972. Although, as Lindsay Beyerstein points out, looking for typewriters probably isn't the best way to go about this: "The critical question is whether the Bush guard memos match the other documents in Killian's files, not whether Killian's used a common type of typewriter."

UPDATE: Proportional fonts in 1941. More and more this forgeries theory is looking like just some more rightwing BS. My advice to Bush supporters would be to stick with the notion that this is all in the past and doesn't matter. Then you need to rebut the charges that this shows the president to be a liar. But, of course, if you really minded that the president was a liar, then you'd be a bit concerned about the way he lied the country into war even if you think there were good reasons to favor invading Iraq. But since John Kerry isn't good at answering complicated counterfactual questions, it's better to stick with the guy who offers you consistent -- albeit dishonest -- answers to all questions. I'd rather know for sure I'm going to be lied to than live with some uncertainty as to what Kerry really thinks. Yeah, yeah, that's the ticket....

ANOTHER UPDATE: On the other hand, this signature business really does look suspicious and some folks old enough to remember using typewriters regularly are telling me that the "th" superscripts are a bigger giveaway than the proportional fonts. Superscripts could be created, of course, but it was annoying and involved changing around your typewriter parts, so people ordinarily wouldn't do it unless they had some very compelling reason.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: I just spoke to my father who wrote three novels on Selectrics and tells me that this is wrong and it was very easy to switch the balls around and he would do it just for fun.

THE ISSUE WON'T DIE: Kevin has some other grounds for skepticism about the documents. It's hard for me to believe that CBS would get taken in like this and that the White House wouldn't have immediately smelled a rat if they knew the underlying charges were false, but now it really does look like there's some pretty fishy stuff going on. CBS needs to explain itself better.

AND IT GOES ON: Charles Johnson (that's Little Green Footballs) puts his graphic design background to use and makes a rare constructive contribution to the public discourse. I've got to agree with JMM -- quite possibly you could have done that with a typewriter in the early 1970s, but what are the odds it would have shaken out just like that? Not good, I would say.

September 10, 2004 | Permalink

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