Thursday, September 16, 2004


The Killian memos have been proven to be forgeries - not by the partisan wingnuts who think that their ignorance of 1970's office technology is a virtue, but by Killian's secretary. The story is registration-required, so if you can't be bothered poisoning their database yourself, use "" and "foobar".

Marian Carr Knox, who worked from 1957 to 1979 at Ellington Air Force Base in Houston, said that she prided herself on meticulous typing and that the memos first disclosed by CBS News last week were not her work.

"These are not real," she told The Dallas Morning News after examining copies of the disputed memos for the first time. "They're not what I typed, and I would have typed them for him."


Mrs. Knox said she did all of Col. Killian's typing, including memos for a personal "cover his back" file he kept in a locked drawer of his desk.

Fair enough. As I said, the fact that they could have been produced on a 1970's typewriter does not mean that they are authentic. If Killian's secretary says she didn't type them, she didn't type them. At the same time, she raises some puzzling questions:

She said that although she did not recall typing the memos reported by CBS News, they accurately reflect the viewpoints of Col. Killian and documents that would have been in the personal file. Also, she said she didn't know whether the CBS documents corresponded memo for memo with that file.

"The information in here was correct, but it was picked up from the real ones," she said. "I probably typed the information and somebody picked up the information some way or another."

If we accept her credibility in saying that the documents themselves are forgeries, we should also accept her credibility in saying that the content is authentic. So who reconstructed it, and why weren't the original documents containing the information released in the White House's "full dump"?

CBS could resolve these questions simply by naming their source. Hopefully they'll have the honesty to do it.