I'm actually supposed to be on semi-vacation here at the ocean. But let me offer an update on this memo business. One of the guys who was in the mix in all of this at the time -- Hodges -- told CBS that these documents accurately reflected Killian's thinking at the time. On top of that, the White House -- and thus the president -- made no effort to question the story the documents tell. That tells me that they know the underlying story -- or at least some rough approximation of it -- is true.
All that said, however, the questions raised about these documents seem very compelling. And though those points above are telling about the underlying story, I can't see where they tell us much meaningful about the authenticity of these documents.
Over the last twenty-four hours I've received literally hundreds of emails that point out that each specific criticism, on its own terms, doesn't quite hold up. Thus, for instance, there definitely were proportional type machines widely available at the time. There were ones that did superscripts. There were ones with Times Roman font, or something very near to it.
But that only means that such a document could possibly have been produced at the time; not that it's likely. And taken all together, the criticisms raise big doubts in my mind about their authenticity. Adding even more doubt in my mind is that the author of this site was so easily able to use MS Word to produce a document that to my admittedly untrained eye looks identical to one of the memos in question. Identical.
That combined with the individual criticisms mentioned above seems very hard to get around.
Again, I've gotten a slew of emails. And I have to admit that I haven't plumbed the depths of every one of them because at a basic level I don't think there's much point. This isn't a subject I know anything about. So I'm not in much of a position to judge.
(Perhaps it's not a perfect analogy but it's sort of like my talking to various physicists about contending theories of the Big Bang and deciding which side is right.)
If a few qualified experts came forward and said, 'Well, those criticisms don't add up if you know the subject. And the bottom line is that there's nothing about these documents that raise any question about their being produced in the early seventies" that would be plenty for me -- because I don't have the expertise to evaluate the criticisms and the defenses in the face of such expert opinion.
But I'm not hearing anyone say anything like that. In fact, rather the contrary.
The ball is in the court of the publishers of these documents to authenticate them. And so far I'm not hearing any adequate defense.