They are compatible with the man that I remember Jerry Killian being." On September 6, CBS interviewed General Robert "Bobby" Hodges, a former officer at the Texas Air National Guard and Killian's immediate superior at the time.Hodges declined CBS' request for an on-camera interview, and Mapes read the documents to him over the telephone.CBS News producer Mary Mapes obtained the copied documents from Burkett, a former officer in the Texas Army National Guard, while pursuing a story about the George W. The papers, purportedly made by Bush's commander, the late Lieutenant Colonel Jerry B.Killian, included criticisms of Bush's service in the Guard during the 1970s.The segment used the sound bite of Strong saying the documents were compatible with how business was done but did not include a disclaimer that Strong was told to assume the documents were authentic.In Rather's narration about one of the memos, he referred to pressure being applied on Bush's behalf by General Buck Staudt, and described Staudt as "the man in charge of the Texas National Guard." Staudt had retired from the guard a year and a half prior to the dates of the memos.
Two documents were provided by Burkett to Mapes on September 2 and four others on September 5, 2004.However, the authenticity of the memos was not part of the story carried by major news outlets on that day.Also on that day, CBS published the reaction of Killian's son, Gary, to the documents, reporting that Gary Killian questioned one of the memos but stated that others "appeared legitimate" and characterized the collection as "a mixture of truth and fiction".Interview clips with Ben Barnes, former Speaker of the Texas House, created the impression "that there was no question but that President Bush had received Barnes' help to get into the Tex ANG," because Barnes had made a telephone call on Bush's behalf, when Barnes himself had acknowledged that there was no proof his call was the reason, and that "sometimes a call to General Rose did not work." Barnes' disclaimer was not included in the segment.The initial analysis appeared in posts by "Buckhead," a username of Harry W.and following the September 8 broadcast, when Hodges had seen the documents and heard of claims of forgery by Killian's wife and son, he was "convinced they were not authentic" and told Rather and Mapes on September 10.The segment introduced Lieutenant Robert Strong's interview, describing him as a "friend of Killian" (without noting he had not worked in the same location and without mentioning he had left the Tex ANG prior to the dates on the memos).In an interview with World Net Daily, CBS News spokesperson Kelli Edwards said, "CBS verified the authenticity of the documents by talking to individuals who had seen the documents at the time they were written." The Associated Press reported, "Document examiner Sandra Ramsey Lines..she was 'virtually certain' [the documents] were generated by computer.Lines said that meant she could testify in court that, beyond a reasonable doubt, her opinion was that the memos were written on a computer." Also on September 10, The Dallas Morning News reported that "the officer named in one memo as exerting pressure to 'sugarcoat' Bush's military record was discharged a year and a half before the memo was written.At that time, Burkett told Mapes that they were copies of originals that had been obtained from Killian's personal files via Chief Warrant Officer George Conn, another former member of the Tex ANG.Mapes informed Rather of the progress of the story, which was being targeted to air on September 8 along with footage of an interview with former Lieutenant Governor of Texas Ben Barnes, who would publicly state for the first time his opinion that Bush had received preferential treatment to get into the National Guard.