Reading through the report from Dick Thornburgh and Lou Boccardi on the origins of the Bush Texas Air National Guard story was like deja vu all over again.
Some of the principals involved in the February 2004 telling of the story, notably by Kevin Drum at Washington Monthly, appear in the Commission report. Paul Lukasiak was named explicitly, and of course Bill Burkett was the source.
The conduit to Burkett was Linda Starr, whose previous moonbat claim to fame was the Bush-hiding-a-DUI story. Here’s everything Google knows about her, and it’s also worth checking the Usenet archives.
Based on an earlier Wizbang post, here’s a revised list of the top 10 suspects (in no particular order):
Lt. Col. (Ret.) Bill Burkett – Ace of Spades
Burkett’s lawyer, David Van Os – Free Republic
Martin Heldt – Wizbang
Paul Lukasiak – Red State
Col. Gerald Lechliter – Red State
Robert A. Rogers – Democrats.org
Bill Moyers – Bill O’Reilly
John Moyer – FrontPage
Jim Moore – Free Republic
Linda Starr should probably be added to that list, since it’s possible that she could be the mysterious Lucy Ramirez (this interview seems to indicate she lives in Texas).
My theory has been (since day one of the controversy) and continues to be that the answer to the identity of the forger lies not so much in the activities of August 2004, but rather the coverage of the the Bush ANG story in February 2004. The people who pushed the story forward then had to be extremely pissed that they had gotten the story into the front page of the daily press only to see it die as the Bush team released a mountain of previously unreleased records.
Based on the February 2004 telling of the story the forger(s) had to know exactly what the story was missing – a smoking gun that Bush violated a direct order or knowingly broke a law. The fact that none of the records contained an order to report for a physical was merely an inconvenience for the forger, as they would have been working from the assumption that surely such a piece of paper must have once existed. The forger must have figured that recreating it wouldn’t be that tough since their were so many accessible document to look at for reference.
The Thornburgh/Boccardi report doesn’t appear, at first glance, to get us much closer to the originator of the documents.
Update: I’ll be checking my backstory report on the 60 Minutes Wednesday report with the commission’s version as well.