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CBS papers on Bush guard duty questioned

Sept. 10, 2004 at 8:08 AM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Top U.S. forensic document specialists say papers described by CBS News as proving President Bush shirked military duty may have been faked.

Earlier this week, CBS' "60 Minutes II" said newly discovered documents indicate Bush did not fulfill his obligations to the Texas Air National Guard in the early 1970s, the Washington Post reported Friday.

However, forensic document specialists contacted by the Post said the font, spacing and use of superscriptions used were either rare or unknown in the early '70s.

For example, William Flynn said documents generated by the kind of typewriters used in 1972 spaced letters evenly across the page, so that an "i" used as much space as an "m." In the CBS documents -- by contrast -- each letter uses a different amount of space, a post-1972 development.

Flynn also said the CBS documents appear to use proportional spacing both across and down the page, a relatively recent innovation. Further, the documents include superscripted "th" in phrases like "111th Fighter Interceptor Squadron."

Phil Bouffard, a forensic document examiner from Cleveland, said the font used in the CBS documents appeared to be Times Roman, widely used by word-processing programs but rare on typewriters.

CBS says its forensic document experts verified the papers' authenticity, but the network is declining to identify any of its experts.

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