My focus of interest on the Forged "National Guard" papers and CBS News (Sixty Minutes II) centered around the "political agenda." In other words, why would Mary Mapes be contacting the Kerry campaign concerning Lt. Colonel Burkett? The summation provided within today's released report is weak…oh so weak.
Under section A. 4. (Page 214 of the report)
Kerry Campaign Connections
The Panel report elsewhere about Mapes' contacts with the Kerry campaign. Mapes informed the Panel that she did not think that her request to have someone from the Kerry campaign call Lieutenant Colonel Burkett would result in anything that would assist the Kerry campaign. Mapes also told the Panel that she was seeking to use the Kerry campaign, and specifically her opening the door to Lockhart, as a means of persuading Lieutenant Colonel Burkett to provide additional documents in support of the September 8 Segment. As stated elsewhere in this Report, the Panel finds that such use of the campaign was entirely improper. The Panel also concludes, however, that these contacts were motivated by Mapes' pursuit of the story and not by any political agenda.
Moreover, the Segment includes an interview with Ben Barnes, a supporter and large fundraiser for Senator Kerry's presidential campaign. The Segment discloses Barnes' affiliation with the Kerry campaign. In addition, a number of media organizations had been pursuing for many years and interview with Barnes about his efforts to get President Bush an appointment. Thus, a televised interview of Barnes was seen as a newsworthy event.
I'm sitting down to type this, since, apparently, I've injured myself falling off that damn turnip truck. I need to process this analysis so I can, at least, attempt to swallow it.
Mary Mapes contacted Joe Lockhart directly and suggested that Lockhart contact Lieutenant Colonel Burkett. No providing of an email address to proceed at arms length, no mention of a purpose for this contact. Just, hey call this guy in Texas (wink, wink). Lockhart, who at the time would be, presumably, busy with the Kerry campaign, drops everything to call a retired Lieutenant Colonel from the Texas Army National Guard without being given a clue by Mary Mapes why to do so. Then, in another part of the Report, it states that the conversation with Lockhart did not even touch on the fake memos. Instead, it was supposed to have been a conversation about the Swift Vet's efforts. Huh?
Mapes implies that she provided Burkett's contact information to Lockhart with a suggestion to call, because she thought the Kerry Campaign would be more successful in digging out the original source of the fake memos. In other words, she was not motivated by her obvious political leanings. Instead, she was motivated by the possibility of furthering the authentication of the memos based on Burkett being more candid with the Kerry campaign. DOES ANYONE….AND I MEAN ANYONE TRULY BELIEVE THIS ????
Here is the telling sentence in the above...
"Mapes informed the Panel that she did not think that her request to have someone from the Kerry campaign call Lieutenant Colonel Burkett would result in anything that would assist the Kerry campaign."
Good grief...the "Act
" and this "comment
" are directly contradictory. The only way this comment can hold truth is if Mary Mapes believed the story was positive for President Bush...and that authenticating the memo(s) would, also, ring positive for President Bush. Of course, that's not the case. There is no grey area...none.