WaPo puff piece on likely Rathergate source


The Washington Post publishes a puff piece on Bill Burkett, the man m,any are pointing to as the likely source of the Rathergate memos. The title kind of gives you a clue where it is going: Suspected CBS Source Is Well—Regarded Texan.

First, an obligatory mildly negative note: somewhat eccentric for his Democratic bias. Then the following positives:

Burkett is viewed as an intelligent activist or statesman of sorts by Democratic officials

"He's very bright; he's not a hayseed," said Royse Kerr, chairman of the Taylor County Democratic Club, which last spring invited Burkett to speak to the members about the "state of politics in America."

He's been a citizen soldier who decided to stand up and say what is on his mind

"There's just a lot of crazies out here, but Bill Burkett is not one of them

Kerr also called Burkett a person of integrity

Steve Gilbert  9 17 04

UPDATE 1: Here is something purported to be written by written by Burkett himself, which does not exactly match the assertions of the Post puffery:

February 18, 2004
Update on Bill Burkett

Neither am I mistaken, nor lying about any of this. The paperwork is complete and was presented with the court case against three individuals (Goodwin, Meador and Taliaferro) along with documentation including a recorded telephone call with Dan Bartlett of the governor's staff and eight letters and three phone calls to the governor's office by my wife.

My doctors — who are three of the finest neurologists in the US simply say that the reason I am incredibly lucky is that once I began severe fevors, I self prescribed procaine penicillin g — from a veterinary source at one and one—half times the recommended doseage. Even with the massive doseage, it did not kill the disease organisms within my spine, but did provide nominal control

We were undere collection lawsuit from the local hospital for a previous back injury to a child and did not have insurance of any kind other than the medical care that I was supposed to receive due to my active duty status.

Whenever I was finally admitted to medical care at Brooke Army Medical hospital, the Army doctors were unable to get a clear picture other than central nervous system damage and symptomatic problems such as severe migraine headaches, an excessively large sinus mass, tremors, vertigo, tinitus and what was alter diagnosed as neuralgia. The mistake in short term treatment was that the army doctors did not do a spinal tap. After a year and a half of mistakes and no improvement, I was referred to Dr. Leroy of Dallas, one of the country's noted neurologists who presented testimony both in the court documents and to Department of Defense doctors and inspector generals investigators. From the spinal fluids he found a mid level infection of meningo encephalitis still present even after nearly two years.

Did I lie about Geroge W. Bush's records. No.

Of the files that I saw within the 15 gallon waste can were numerous documents which detailed why 1LT George Bush was grounded from flying including a two—page counseling statement signed by LTC Jerry Killian.

Mr. George Conn in no way refuted any portion of my illness or the base facts of my testimony. In fact, if you will read only one statement reported by the Boston Globe of a 45 minute interview, he said that he would have been surprised if this had happened. He tried to walk a very fine line because he was under considerable pressure on his defense department job in Germany. His wife was also under pressure on her job with a Dallas based law firm.

Mr. Conn and I communicate even today, by the way. I do not blame him for protecting his life, family and ability to support his daughter.

Posted by: Bill Burkett on August 14, 2004 04:27 PM

UPDATE 2: The Houston Chronicle has a contrasting story, no puff piece at all.