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I find it hard to believe it was an innocent mistake.

Of course you do. You have your facts so upside down I'm surprised you can believe anything at all!

A mentally ill partisan who got them from some lady at a county fair or something! The wife, the son, and the document experts CBS hired all told them before the story ran it was wrong.

Well, uh, no. Someone with a grudge - and with access to files of that era - gave them to a CBS News producer. She showed them to several people, and got an opinion from one person present in the commander's office at the time - that the information represented what they thought of George Bush at the time.

However there obviously should have been more diligence done, since the documents cannot now be verified (as CBS has admitted.) Hey, wouldn't it be great if George Bush and Dick Cheney could admit the same thing? (I think I hear an echo. Has that line been used? Did you ignore it the first time? I think you did.)

For what it's worth, the dirty little secret in all network magazine production offices is that the "big face" rarely does the work in putting the story together. It is usually done by the producer; the big name reporter may (or may not) do an interview which is cut into the piece, but generally they have little to do with it.

That does not absolve Rather of responsibility, obviously, as the top man, he bears responsibility for what goes out under his purview. Hey! Wouldn't it be great if George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld, being the top men and all, took responsibility for what they said, too, and maybe for the 1,000 dead Americans that have resulted from it? Just a question that keeps popping into my thoughts, particularly when people get so incensed about a single news story, but aren't willing to acknowledge the elephant in the living room, i.e. the "mistakes" and fabrications the administration put forward to the world to take us to war.

Uh, where was I?

Forged documents and all.

Oh yeah. Like the letter about the uranium from Africa. Oh wait! That doesn't count. When CBS and it's trusty band of a dozen producers makes a mistake, that's awful. When George Bush and his trusty band of thousands of FBI, CIA, DIA, Pentagon, and other analysts make a mistake, that's to be forgotten.

My advice to you is "give it up". No matter how awful you think it is, what the administration has done is far far far far worse. Do I forgive Rather? No, it was sloppy. Do you forgive Bush? Inquiring minds want to know.
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