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September 09, 2004



CNSnews.com, Drudge and Rush have all reported on this.

CBS = See BS

2 posted on 09/09/2004 3:13:58 PM EDT by


Call 60 Minutes and demand accuracy on their public comment machine-



Have you undertaken research as to what type-bars were available for the IBM Executive Model typewriters? That typewriter, introduced in the 1940's and carried along for decades, had type-bars that could be changed to accomplish foreign langguage and other typing (maybe even Greek characters for math, or Hebrew, etc.). It is possible that "superscript th" was one such special character.

Not saying it isn't a forgery, mind you, but don't be too quick to the conclusion that either proportional font or a superscript "th" are proof thereof. Both are possible on a typewriter of the era.


but why in a personal "memo" would you take the time to change type-bars?



"The first IBM Composer was the IBM "Selectric" Composer announced in 1966. It was a hybrid "Selectric" typewriter that was modified to have proportional spaced fonts. "

I've personally seen old typewriters with superscript as well.


To: Cboldt

Proprotional-spaced type was not possible on an IBM Typewriter in 1972 (Executive, Selectric, etc.) Proportional-type producing machines cost tens of thousands of dollars.

IBM Executive was a traditional moving carriage and type-bars machine. The IBM Selectric II, introduced in 1972, had a lever so you could select EITHER 10-pitch or 12-pitch, fixed, characters; mechanical typewriters, electric typewriters, even golfball typewriters, could not make proportional type in the early '70's.

Go Here or Here to research the capabilities of the IBM Selectric and IBM Executive typewriters in use then.




This took me 20 seconds to find in google. I am sure a typewriter expert can find many examples of 70s era typewriters that could produce this memo.


... my bet is memos such as this were dictated then produced and signed for files by typing pools (staff). Given that proportional font typewriters, either cheaper or sophisticated ones with character memory, were available in the 70s, it would not be unusual to see them in use. Especially in a branch of government services where nothing is too expensive.

Given this, I think the onus is on anyone who claims it is a forgery to prove it MUST be, rather than the onus being on 60 minutes or anyone else to prove it is a real document.

But i guess if you are determined to preserve the image of the commander in chief then you are prepared to ignore the most simple explanation (that the memo is real).


Official correspondence was my area of expertise in the 1970s when I was a junior officer in the Air Force. The Guard used the same equipment and followed the same guidelines and policies for written correpsondence as the Air Force.

I have just glanced at the suspect documents and don't have any firm opinions yet, but let me tell you some things you'll want to look for to determine if they're forgeries.

Most correpsondence in the 1970s was prepared using IBM Selectrics outfitted with either a 10 pitch Pica ball or a 12 pitch Elite ball. These documents might have been prepared using a 12 pitch Elite ball, but the type seems too proportional and large to me.

There were no superscript characters on a Selectric ball. You simply typed the lower-case letters following the number. Air Force and Air Guard abbreviation practice followed the mandates of AFR 10-1 and were different from theose used by the Army. For example, lieutenant colonel was "Lt Col" (space between the two, no periods) not "Lt. Colonel" or "LTC." Similarly, it was "1st Lt" not "1LT." Now, some clerks were sloppy and used non-standard abbreviatons, but most 702s were careful to do it right (and, BTW, no lieutenent colonel typed his own letters and memos).

The first page of the original copy of most official correspondence was invariably prepared on preprinted letterhead. Until the 1980s the official seal appeared in the upper-right hand corner of the page. None of these documents is shown on official letterhead meaning they are at best file copies. Ordinarily one would find a copy distribution list at the bottom of the page indicating where each copy went.

Copies were prepared on yellow and white carbon sets and had a distinct smudgy indistinct hard-to-read (especially after two copies) carbon look and feel to them. The suspect documents seem a bit too distinct to me to be carbon copies.

The paper used for official correspondence in the 1970s was smaller than 8 1/2 x 11. I can't remember the exact dimensions but they were something like 8 x 10. You could expect standard one inch margins on this format.

Typing-errors were ubiquitous. A well-typed page might have as few as two or three errors, but rarely none. No one--and I mean not even the most obsessive compulsive anal retentive admin clerk--bothered to retype a letter that had mistakes. Every admin clerk used white-out by the gallon and correction tape by the mile. Corrections were especially noticeable on carbon copies.

There should be a standard four-line spacing between the final line of text and the signature.

Bottom line, even my down-and-dirty review of thee documents make me suspicious of them.


To: Cboldt

You could be correct about the typeface, but what I've posted on other threads (and what others might have beaten me to) is that if you type out the heading on your own in Word or OpenOffice, then you find the "B" in Box on line 2 matches up with the "n" in Interceptor in the May 4, 1972 memo -- exactly as it does in the original.

I don't know about you, but I always had a hell of a time centering stuff and didn't bother unless I absolutely had to. I wasn't typing in '72 (not even in school yet!), but I typed thousands, if not tens of thousands, of pages of debate briefs in HS and college on a '70s era manual and an '80s era electric. My headings were left justified.

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