Dan Rather said “if I knew then what I know now,” he would not have aired the documents. This is unbelievably disingenuous. CBS News knew document experts had serious concerns about their reliability. CBS News knew about the Killian family’s doubts and was provided names of people who served with Killian who could have confirmed their suspicions. If people in their pajams could rip the memos to shreds in a matter of days, if not hours, CBS News could have vetted them more thoroughly.
The claim that the Bush Administration’s non-denial was grounds is also ludicrous. The documents were not in Bush’s official file and were written by third parties, so there was no way for the administration to know whether Killian had written or believed what the documents contained, especially on only a few hours’ notice.