Dan Rather Lawsuit Will Linger After Junior’s Gone


CBS Newsman’s $70m Lawsuit Likely to Deal Bush Legacy a New Blow
By Christopher Goodwin / December 28, 2008

As George W Bush prepares to leave the White House, at least one unpleasant episode from his unpopular presidency is threatening to follow him into retirement.

A $70m lawsuit filed by Dan Rather, the veteran former newsreader for CBS Evening News, against his old network is reopening the debate over alleged favourable treatment that Bush received when he served in the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam war. Bush had hoped that this controversy had been dealt with once and for all during the 2004 election.

Eight weeks before the 2004 presidential poll, Rather broadcast a story based on newly discovered documents which appeared to show that Bush, whose service in the Texas Air National Guard ensured that he did not have to fight in Vietnam, had barely turned up even for basic duty. After an outcry from the White House and conservative bloggers who claimed that the report had been based on falsified documents, CBS retracted the story, saying that the documents’ authenticity could not be verified. Rather, who had been with CBS for decades and was one of the most familiar faces in American journalism, was fired by the network the day after the 2004 election.

He claims breach of contract against CBS. He has already spent $2m on his case, which is likely to go to court early next year. Rather contends not only that his report was true – “What the documents stated has never been denied, by the president or anyone around him,” he says – but that CBS succumbed to political pressure from conservatives to get the report discredited and to have him fired. He also claims that a panel set up by CBS to investigate the story was packed with conservatives in an effort to placate the White House. Part of the reason for that, he suggests, was that Viacom, a sister company of CBS, knew that it would have important broadcasting regulatory issues to deal with during Bush’s second term.

Among those CBS considered for the panel to investigate Rather’s report were far-right broadcasters Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter.

“CBS broke with long-standing tradition at CBS News and elsewhere of standing up to political pressure,” says Rather. “And, there’s no joy in saying it, they caved … in an effort to placate their regulators in Washington.”

Rather’s lawsuit makes other serious allegations about CBS succumbing to political pressure in an attempt to suppress important news stories. In particular, he says that his bosses at CBS tried to stop him reporting evidence of torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. According to Rather’s lawsuit, “for weeks they refused to grant permission to air the story” and “continued to raise the goalposts, insisting on additional substantiation”. Rather also claims that General Richard Meyers, then head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the top military official in the US, called him at home and asked him not to broadcast the story, saying that it would “endanger national security”.

Rather says that CBS only agreed to allow him to broadcast the story when it found out that Seymour Hersh would be writing about it in the New Yorker magazine. Even then, Rather claims, CBS tried to bury it. “CBS imposed the unusual restrictions that the story would be aired only once, that it would not be preceded by on-air promotion, and that it would not be referenced on the CBS Evening News,” he says.

The charges outlined in Rather’s lawsuit will cast a further shadow over the Bush legacy. He recently expressed regret for the “failed intelligence” which led to the invasion of Iraq and has received heavy criticism over the scale and depth of the economic downturn in the United States.

© Guardian News and Media Limited 2008

Source / The Guardian Observer

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4 Responses to Dan Rather Lawsuit Will Linger After Junior’s Gone

  1. I didn’t know about this lawsuit; good for Dan!!

    The picture was dead-on perfect; I wonder how many other pilots said the same thing.

    I asked my husband to look at this post because he did two tours of duty in Viet Nam as a Marine aviator – no one wanted to be there of course, but from what most tell me is the same my dad said about being in WWII – ‘to protect our country’.

    Sad thing is I think we were protecting our country from our country’s leaders who were as much an enemy as any foreign nation or leader.

    Makes you wonder if the ‘leaders’ are the ones who cook these ‘wars’ up; like keeping the kids away from each other because they just might get along, and also realize that their ‘dictator parents’ are creating these conflicts to control the masses and make big dollars doing it.

    Real conflicts among real people are more localized and ‘tribal’ – these ‘manufactured major wars’ are done to reduce the population of those not wanted; create a wealth for a certain segment, and boost the nation’s overall economy.

    The fear factor isn’t just a t.v. show that’s certain….

    Okay, busy week – not much computer time, but I’ll catch up early next week on your posts.

    Marking the entry of a new year, and glad to have your blog to rely on as I ‘wade’ through the worries and concerns most of us have.

    Regards, Diane

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope this will lead to open access to Bush’s mythical flight training records. I personally would like to see his pilot’s logbook. I doubt he ever actually soloed in a jet powered aircraft . . . in a single-seater without an instructor or real pilot on board. The tales of his attempt to take buddies in Texas for a “hop” in a single engine Cessna are all over the web, and around Midland airport. Bush already had a couple of cocktails and was all over the runway, finally got into the air, and bounced all over the place on his landing. No one ever flew with him again. His being a jet pilot is a crock. This sorry dude couldn’t find his own ass with a 30 man search party.

  3. paul spencer says:

    I was in the AF Reserves until June 1968, assigned to Bergstrom AFB (SAC at the time). I ran into two of the airmen that trained with me (one was active, the other was also reserve) approximately 4 months and 6 months after my discharge (honorable, which was a pretty good joke). It was pretty much ‘hi, how are you’, but then each of them told me about this ivy league preppie-type whose connected daddy in Houston was going to get him into the Air Guard to keep him out of Viet Nam. Both of them gave me the impression that the career non-coms were pissed off.

    Funny thing is that, if W actually flew the F-102, he had about the most dangerous duty in the AF outside of Viet Nam. The F-102 didn’t so much fly as try to get back on the ground as quickly as possible. Worst accident record of any airplane type. The AF tried a number of ‘fixes’, but it wouldn’t have mattered if they did, because the airplane could not meet the competition in any niche. So, naturally, rather than cut the contract with Convair, they gave them to the Guard.

  4. 01/10/09

    Dan Rather Will Have The Truth Told & Bush & Cheney Will Pay Millions For The Damage They Did To Dan Rather and To America!

    Dan Rather is Americas most trusted and respected ‘Reporter’ in the News business. He is not what we have on the networks today of talking heads that can only read a teleprompter or ask, “how do you want to have me sign off on my news cast?” If one is making $16 million a year from CBS News, she can sure come up with her own sign off when she was hired to sit in Dan Rathers seat at CBS Evening News. Then we have seen the melt down of Katie from day one.

    Dan Rather was there for us in Dallas when we witnessed live, the MURDER of our President John F. Kennedy. Dan Rather was there to cover the MURDER of Bobby Kennedy. Dan Rather was there to cover the MURDER of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. Dan Rather was there to cover the WaterGate of Nixon cover-ups and crimes. Dan Rather covered Afghanistan long before anyone reported what was going on there many years ago.

    Even before the ‘Unjust War’ in the Mid East by Emperor Bush and his Dick, as in shoot your best friend in the face Cheney we had Dan Rather to report the truth on the nightly CBS Evening Network News!

    The ‘Unjust War’ for the Greed for Oil for the Far Right 1% Rich! You know the ‘Unjust War’ that was already planned many months before 9/11 ever happened by Emperor Bush and his Dick and their Neo Con Fascist Republican Thugs!

    Dan Rather would never go on the air and report on a news story if it was not true. We have had a alcoholic for the past 8 years living in our White House and thinks his Daddy is going to allow him to continue to get away with what ever he wants to. Well Dan Rather is going to set the record correct.

    After the millions who have been killed in the Mid East of American Troops and Iraq Citizens and Afghanistan Citizens, who never did a thing to cause for any War againt the Mid East. The Record of the most Corrupted President and Vice President in the history of the United States of America will only then be made public record in a real Court of Law.

    “Emperor George W. Bush and his Dick as in shoot your best friend in the face Cheney have caused and continue the ‘Daily’ Deaths and Suffering of the American Poor, Disabled, Senior Citizens, L.G.B.T. Community, Children, Veterans and the Unemployed by Economic Deprivation. It leaves no finger prints at the crime scene.”

    This has only cost America $10 Trillion Dollars for starters. Every 30 seconds $500,000 dollars is being spent on the ‘Unjust War’ in the Mid East. Bush & Cheney have caused America to become ‘Bankrupt’ for generations to come. They have done this for their own pockets and their fellow Far Right 1% Rich who will have to answer to the rest of the 99% of American Citizens and the World for their corrupt actions.

    They may attempt to run but they can not hide. The legal system in America is going to work this time. They are not going to think they are going to skip Federal Court for their 8 years of corruption.

    Dan Rather never give up, keep the system working, so we no longer have the thugs we have had the past 8 years ever again to rape America 24/7. There is a new person now in Washington D.C. and he is going to be taking the oath of office January 20th, 2009. One would surely hope he is not going to allow the actions of the past 8 years to be wiped away. Nor do we hope he will be the type of person to give pardons for a former so called President and Vice President. Let us ‘Keep Hope Alive’ President Elect Obama will not allow the trappings of the Oval Office to ignore the past crimes of President Bush and Vice President Cheney to be swept under the carpet.

    Former President Ford made a foolish mistake when he pardoned Nixon. This can not happen again.

    It is no surprise George W. Bush could not fly and was AWOL when he was in the Champagne Texas National Guard for the Far Right 1% Rich so they would never have to serve in Viet Nam. How could George W. Bush be in Alabama for 1 year when he was to be in Champagne Texas National Guard?

    Emperor George W. Bush has failed at every business he has ever been allowed to run. He has been arrested 3 times for D.W.I.’s along with his Dick who has also been arrested for D.W.I.’s. These are not honorable men at all. They are the worst example of public servants in a society that is to be a Democracy to be ruled as a true Republic. They have no guilt for any action they have ever done in their lives. If they ever had any guilt, they would have never committed all they have done.

    1st the War against the Mid East was planned in the 1st months of Bush and Cheney being appointed to office by the U.S. Supreme Court. Then the Bush Family connections with Saudia Arabia go back many many decades ago. Why was Saudia Arabia not attacked as 17 of the 19 so called Terrorist came from there. We can not forget it was Grandpa Bush who was the Banker for Hitler until America entered WWII against Germany.

    The Bush Family are not people of honor, they are greedy and fascist. Barbara Bush made the most racist remark against the citizens of New Orleans after the Flood 3 years ago, when she said on live TV, “these people are better off in the Astro Dome than where they came from.” Daddy Bush was so out of touch he did not know what a scanner was at a Retail Store when he was president. This only showed how out of touch they were from the rest of the country.

    Then we can not forget Daddy Bush when he said, “Read My Lips, No New Taxes”. Well he ate crow on that one to seal his history. So they have been allowed to produce children that have produced the same type of children who have no touch with reality. Then the ‘Oil Meetings’ Dick Cheney had with the major Oil Companies he would never allow the records of those meetings made public record.

    It was a well planned scam after 9/11 to then have the ‘Unjust War’ in the Mid East. Then to allow the ‘Trojan Horse’ of HIGH PRICED OIL by the major Oil Companies to come into play. What better way to cripple a country? Start rising the price for gasoline and oil each year until no one can think of anything else but how to maintain the basics. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out what master plan they have committed against America and the citizens they took an Oath to uphold the laws of the land of America. They should be ‘Impeached’ and tried for ‘Treason’. Bush and Cheney already have 35 articles of Impeachment in Congress against them and this can continue even after they have been removed from Washington D.C. January 20th, 2009.

    Since Dan Rather has been removed from the network at CBS, we see how the 6 major Media Corporations continue to control what is news and what is propaganda 24/7 to broadcast. In all reality, we are now living in George Orwell 1984.

    So Dan Rather you keep on filing and standing up for the truth and what is the right thing to do, as you are right and they are damn wrong in what they have done to you and to America. Take Care Dan Rather. 99% of America is behind you. I am sure if Walter Cronkite was in the CBS Network working today he would have never allowed to have happen to you by what CBS Network did to you. Since Walter Cronkite was forced to retire and you were hired to sit in his chair, you always attempted to provide the truth as Walter Cronkite always did. I can only imagine what battles you had in reporting the news. Corporations do not care anymore about the truth Dan Rather. I know about the truth. I took an Oath to Protect and Serve 24/7. I have seen so much corruption in my life time by the Far Right 1% Rich.

    If this gives you any comfort Dan Rather, realize they think they are getting away with something, but what goes around comes around. It is just the millions and millions of people who die and suffer in the process who are so damaged. They can never again put the pieces all back together after they have had their day with us all. I know you have the funds to fight your battle and with victory you will also be helping the many millions who can not fight anymore for the unjust actions of the Far Right 1% Rich.

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