Saturday, February 13, 2016

Straw Documents

60 Minutes reporter Dan Rather was discredited when documents he held up as evidence against George W. Bush's military service record appeared to have been forged.

Your News Wire
Documents that appeared to have been forged are for sale by Oswald LeWinter, who coincidentally was also allegedly involved in the October Surprise Iran Hostage Release that is said to have won the 1980 election for Ronald Reagan.

Media Matters
It turns out the documents Dan Rather used in the 60 Minutes segments were not necessary after all. They may have been forged but not necessarily false.

While this form of argument seems far from creating partially forged documents which relate actual events in order to discredit the belief in those events,

Switching Gears: It looks like some sources we rely on for fact-checking are not necessarily supportive of the truth.
An Iranian official stated that Repiblicans wanted the prisoner exchange to be delayed until after the U.S. election. Snopes author Kim LaCapria says "claim didn't seem very plausible."

The 1980 October Surprise is still held up as a Conspiracy Theory by most main-stream media, and Wikipedia. The fact that this tactic has been used in the past with great success makes it much more plausible than the Snopes author suggests.
The site Your News Wire recently posted a video describing how documents were allegedly recreated with minor alterations that would have totally discredited the claims of the person presenting them as evidence. In this case it was the death of Princess Diana.

Suddenly I was reminded of the 60 Minutes episode that ended Dan Rather's career at CBS. He too presented documents as evidence that turned out to be forgeries, but years later it was discovered that the facts behind those documents were  none-the-less true.

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