Attorney says Rather complicit in fraud

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Bill Dyer, a Texas attorney who once defended CBS against a libel suit, says that Dan Rather and CBS are no longer victims of fraud in the Memogate case but have become complicit in fraud:

On Thursday, September 9th, I wrote a post entitled, "Burden now on CBS to authenticate its documents lest it become a co-conspirator in fraud."

In hindsight, I was clearly wrong.

I gave CBS News and Dan Rather the benefit of the doubt the presumption that they did not know the Killian memos were forgeries when they ran their hit piece on "60 Minutes II" on the previous evening. I argued that because of the doubts immediately raised about the authenticity of the memos, CBS ran the risk of becoming a co-conspirator in the fraud perpetrated by whoever forged them.

But Dan Rather and CBS News had become co-conspirators by the time of their broadcast. ABC News has revealed that two of the experts whom CBS News consulted before running the broadcast Emily Will from North Carolina and Linda James of Plano, Texas could not and would not authenticate the fraudulent Killian memos, and expressly told CBS that. ...

Dan Rather and everyone else at CBS News who had direct managerial authority over, and supervisory involvement in, the production of last Wednesday night's "60 Minutes II" broadcast about the Killian memos must be fired. Not retired. Not pensioned off. Not allowed to resign. Not given 30 days' or even three days' notice.

They must be fired instantly, effective immediately, "for cause" and "with prejudice," forfeiting all unvested future benefits from their employment. They should be escorted by security personnel from the building, with their belongings sent to them in due course after they've been screened for relevant evidence. All of their computers, files, and other items of potential evidentiary value must be segregated immediately and secured under lock and key with a tight and explicit chain of custody. There must be no spoliation of evidence permitted.

This must be done publicly before the close of business on Wednesday, September 15, 2004, and preferably before noon.

If it's not, then the executives who failed to do the firings should be fired before the close of business on Thursday, September 16, 2004.

He also calls for Congressional investigations. I have serious doubts about this, because of First Amendment concerns, and because it would recast the issue as a partisan squabble and take the focus off of CBS's credibility. There are remedies for fraud, and there is always the power of the free market to discipline any wrongdoing.

You'll find thorough detail and rationale on Bill Dyer's website. Hat tip to Charles G. Hill for the link.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 16, 2004 12:15 AM.

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