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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - CBS says sorry
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Tony Stewart
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#1 Posted on 20.9.04 1605.22
Reposted on: 20.9.11 1605.33
Click Here (news.bostonherald.com)

Well, if we can forgive our president for leading us to war on bad information can we find it in our hearts to forgive Dan Rather for also acting on bad information?

(edited by Tony Stewart on 20.9.04 1707)
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#2 Posted on 20.9.04 1633.54
Reposted on: 20.9.11 1634.34
    Originally posted by Tony Stewart
    Click Here (news.bostonherald.com)

    Well, if we can forgive our president for leading us to war on bad information can we find it in our hearts to forgive Dan Rather for also acting on bad information?

    (edited by Tony Stewart on 20.9.04 1707)


This happens but alot more than in the old days. The integrity of tv journalists is about nil anymore. They used to you know, fact check and need multiple sources. How sad and stupid.

However, wouldn't it be hilarious after all this , Rather was right.
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#3 Posted on 20.9.04 1647.02
Reposted on: 20.9.11 1650.15
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    The integrity of tv journalists is about nil anymore. They used to you know, fact check and need multiple sources.


True. All the same, I blame producers, marketing and scheduling more than the journalists themselves. Twenty-five years ago, they only needed to fill about 90 minutes of news per day. The advent of 24-hour news networks means that half the TV journalists are trying to fill 24 hours per day and running almost any halfway credible new content, whereas the network newsmen (who used to have the luxury of those 90 minutes only... plus 22.5 hours per day to doublecheck stories) need to rush stories onto TV to be competetive with the 24-hour networks.

Given that, it's easy to envision the decision-making process CBS went through. Basically, "This story looks good. But if we don't run it now, we have to hold off for 23.5 hours, for tomorrow's nightly broadcast. That's 23.5 hours for MSNBC, CNN, Fox and the BBC to scoop us."

Of course, this is the problem you run into when you run news for profit, when information that contributes to the public weal is subject to meeting profit schedules. Validity is less an issue than profitability. Not to open a giant debate on it, but do you notice how this shit almost never happens to PBS?
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#4 Posted on 20.9.04 2225.21
Reposted on: 20.9.11 2226.07
Jeb, good points. For all the bashing PBS is subjected to, I find it the best source for real news. Maybe we are the problem more than the 24 hour news cycle?
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#5 Posted on 20.9.04 2347.09
Reposted on: 20.9.11 2352.51
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Jeb, good points. For all the bashing PBS is subjected to, I find it the best source for real news. Maybe we are the problem more than the 24 hour news cycle?


Or maybe the people that perpetuated the fake story are to blame?

Just throwing it out there.
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#6 Posted on 21.9.04 0058.33
Reposted on: 21.9.11 0059.01
    Originally posted by Jeb Tennyson Lund
      Originally posted by DrDirt
      The integrity of tv journalists is about nil anymore. They used to you know, fact check and need multiple sources.


    True. All the same, I blame producers, marketing and scheduling more than the journalists themselves. Twenty-five years ago, they only needed to fill about 90 minutes of news per day. The advent of 24-hour news networks means that half the TV journalists are trying to fill 24 hours per day and running almost any halfway credible new content, whereas the network newsmen (who used to have the luxury of those 90 minutes only... plus 22.5 hours per day to doublecheck stories) need to rush stories onto TV to be competetive with the 24-hour networks.

    Given that, it's easy to envision the decision-making process CBS went through. Basically, "This story looks good. But if we don't run it now, we have to hold off for 23.5 hours, for tomorrow's nightly broadcast. That's 23.5 hours for MSNBC, CNN, Fox and the BBC to scoop us."


Good points, all...on the national scale. But take it from a man deep in the trenches of the news war on a local scale...thing are actually more journalistically solid than at the network level, methinks. There's still problems, but when you live where you report, and interact with your audience daily, it seems more important to get it right rather than get it first.

At least until the consultants roll into town.
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#7 Posted on 21.9.04 0628.46
Reposted on: 21.9.11 0628.48
CBS and Rather sure did sound sorry...

...sorry that it wasn't true...

...and sorry that they didn't get away with it.
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#8 Posted on 21.9.04 0924.42
Reposted on: 21.9.11 0925.14
This gives everyone a convenient excuse to avoid the underlying truth regarding this whole matter; GW Bush was a rich kid who had strings pulled for him by his then-congressman father so that he could avoid fighting for his country, then to top it all off didn't even meet the meagre requirements that were expected of him (didn't even show up for his medical? I wonder why. Perhaps the piss test scared him off?).

Meanwhile Kerry is getting shot at in Vietnam for his country, and Bush is somehow the true patriot in this race? Makes me sick.
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#9 Posted on 21.9.04 0936.15
Reposted on: 21.9.11 0936.48
    Originally posted by Malarky
    This gives everyone a convenient excuse to avoid the underlying truth regarding this whole matter; GW Bush was a rich kid who had strings pulled for him by his then-congressman father so that he could avoid fighting for his country, then to top it all off didn't even meet the meagre requirements that were expected of him (didn't even show up for his medical? I wonder why. Perhaps the piss test scared him off?).

    Meanwhile Kerry is getting shot at in Vietnam for his country, and Bush is somehow the true patriot in this race? Makes me sick.


As a cynic, IMO they both were playing games and we need to start focusing on the now, not he past.
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#10 Posted on 21.9.04 1007.35
Reposted on: 21.9.11 1008.29
    Originally posted by Malarky
    This gives everyone a convenient excuse to avoid the underlying truth regarding this whole matter; GW Bush was a rich kid who had strings pulled for him by his then-congressman father so that he could avoid fighting for his country, then to top it all off didn't even meet the meagre requirements that were expected of him (didn't even show up for his medical? I wonder why. Perhaps the piss test scared him off?).
Don't you find it a bit, shall we say, awkward that you are basing your argument on documents proven to be fraudulent?

I'm not saying there isn't anything there. But we don't know if there is, and frankly further attempts to do so will be discredited because CBS botched this up.

    Originally posted by Malarky
    Meanwhile Kerry is getting shot at in Vietnam for his country, and Bush is somehow the true patriot in this race? Makes me sick.
Bush volunteered to go and was not sent. Kerry did, and did. Of course, Kerry's record is much more questionable than Bush's.

In the end, Dirt is right. It doesn't really matter. Bush is best for the country.
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#11 Posted on 21.9.04 1014.39
Reposted on: 21.9.11 1014.49
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Bush volunteered to go and was not sent. Kerry did, and did. Of course, Kerry's record is much more questionable than Bush's.

    In the end, Dirt is right. It doesn't really matter. Bush is best for the country.

Bush may or may not have shown up for all of his stateside service. Kerry may or may not have deserved all of the medals he earned for helping save a man's life in Vietnam. One has to be very predisposed to voting for Bush already to think that somehow Bush's record is a better thing. I really can't picture that if the two candidates war records were flipped that the Swifties wouldn't be just another 527 group trying to smear the record of a committed war hero while Kerry was lazing about stateside avoiding serving his country.

And Bush is bad for every country, ours and all others.
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#12 Posted on 21.9.04 1031.39
Reposted on: 21.9.11 1032.41
The inarguable truth, however, is that the documents smearing Bush were proven bogus. Documents smearing Kerry have not.

The problem for the Kerry campaign though, at this point, is how much were they in bed with CBS on this? This is what disturbs me as much as Rather "saying it was true".

    Originally posted by the LA Times via KTLA-TV
    Burkett said in a recent Internet posting that he had approached the Kerry campaign, offering information on Bush's Guard service, but had been rebuffed.

    Joe Lockhart, a Kerry senior advisor, maintained that he and the campaign had nothing to do with the "60 Minutes" story.

    But on Saturday, Sept. 4, Lockhart said he got a call from Mapes, a CBS producer who told him she was working on a piece about Bush's National Guard service that would air the following Wednesday.

    She said she had documents but would not tell Lockhart what was in them, Lockhart added.

    He said he thought she was calling to get the campaign's response to the story, but instead Mapes gave him Burkett's name and cellphone number.

    "She said there was someone helpful on the story who had been trying to reach the campaign and really wanted to talk to me," Lockhart recalled. Mapes did not tell him that Burkett had been in the National Guard.

    Lockhart said he put the number aside and forgot about it until the following Sunday night or Monday morning, when he called Burkett. He said they had "a short and inconsequential conversation" that lasted about three or four minutes.

    "He basically wanted to talk to me because he said the Kerry campaign and the Democrats had not been tough enough in responding to the Swift boat attacks," Lockhart said, referring to the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which had been challenging Kerry's military record and antiwar activities.

    Burkett suggested that Kerry give a speech about his Vietnam service. "I listened, told him I appreciated his advice, and said goodbye," Lockhart recalled.

    Lockhart said he didn't realize until recently that Burkett might be the source of the Guard memos. Asked about Mapes' action, CBS spokeswoman Kelli Edwards said the matter was "an example of the kind of thing that the independent panel … will look into. When that review is complete, we will comment."

    CBS said Mapes was not available for comment. She was still assigned to the documents story as of Monday afternoon.
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#13 Posted on 21.9.04 1043.51
Reposted on: 21.9.11 1043.54
On still another angle, Howard Kurtz got page one of the Washington Post with his Rather interview. Imus did a pretty good job parsing Rather's comments (not to mention Kroft's...and he also talked with Kurtz for 10 minutes this morning) but I'll let others recreate THAT magic. Quoted because I have a feeling it'll try to get you to register if you Click Here (washingtonpost.com)


    Rather Admits 'Mistake in Judgment'
    CBS Was Misled About Bush National Guard Documents, Anchor Says


    By Howard Kurtz
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Tuesday, September 21, 2004; Page A01

    CBS News anchor Dan Rather apologized yesterday for a "mistake in judgment" in relying on apparently bogus documents for a "60 Minutes" report charging that President Bush received favorable treatment in the National Guard, ending a nearly two-week-long defense of the network's journalistic conduct that media analysts say has badly hurt its credibility.

    CBS also acknowledged for the first time that its source was retired Texas National Guard official Bill Burkett, who Rather said in an interview had "misled" and "lied to" the network in describing how he obtained the purported 30-year-old memos said to have been signed by Bush's late squadron commander.

    "I deeply regret I wasn't as good on this story as I should have been," Rather said. Asked whether he felt tarnished, he replied: "I have confidence that those people who don't have a specific partisan political or ideological agenda will understand what happened, how it happened, and I think they have confidence in CBS's credibility and my own. I do have a lifetime of reporting."

    Burkett told CBS in an interview aired last night that he "threw out a name" of a bogus source because Rather's producer, Mary Mapes, had "pressured me to a point to reveal that source." Burkett said he had "insisted" that the memos "be authenticated" by CBS.

    Mapes also put Burkett in touch with a senior official in John F. Kerry's presidential campaign after telling him that Burkett had been "helpful" on what was then CBS's upcoming story about Bush and the National Guard. The Kerry campaign confirmed her unusual go-between role but said Burkett provided no information about Bush.

    What remains unclear is who provided the documents to Burkett and whether the memos were forged in a calculated effort to discredit Bush in the final weeks of his reelection effort. Rather said Burkett previously told CBS that the source was a former Guardsman who was out of the country and could not be reached by the network, and that the new source Burkett named is "one we cannot verify." CBS is still not saying that the memos are forgeries, only that the network cannot confirm they are authentic.

    CBS News President Andrew Heyward acknowledged that "60 Minutes" had rushed the story to air on Sept. 8 -- five days after Mapes obtained the memos -- despite warnings from some of its document analysts that the memos may not have been produced on a 1970s government typewriter. "In retrospect, we shouldn't have used the documents, and we clearly should have spent more time and more effort to authenticate them," Heyward said.

    CBS staff members, many of whom felt the apology was overdue, were relieved to discover that Burkett had admitted lying to the network, if only to spread the blame.

    As Rather conceded, "The question is, why didn't you do it sooner? The story is true. I believed in the story. . . . What kind of reporter would I be -- what kind of person would I be -- if I put something on the air that I believed and then didn't stand behind it? At the first sign of pressure, you run, you cave, you fold? I don't do that."

    At the same time, he said, "The fact that copies of the documents could be true was not enough. We needed to be able to prove they were authentic."

    "Obviously," Rather added, "I would like to get the original documents if they still exist."

    Heyward declined to say whether Rather or anyone else would be disciplined, or whether his news division would change its procedures, saying he wants to see the recommendations of outside investigators he plans to appoint.

    Burkett once sued the Guard over medical benefits and previously contended that he had overheard Guard officials talking about sanitizing Bush's medical records -- a contention Texas Guard officials strongly dispute.

    Under pressure from CBS, Burkett has now told the network, Rather said, that "I eventually gave you a name to protect the 'real' person."

    Burkett has urged Democratic activists to wage "war" against Republican "dirty tricks," and contacted former Democratic senator Max Cleland (Ga.) in August to offer information to the Kerry campaign.

    White House communications director Dan Bartlett said CBS's admission "begs the question as to where the documents came from." He noted that Kerry campaign manager Mary Beth Cahill made a congratulatory call to former Texas lieutenant governor Ben Barnes, a Kerry fundraiser, after Barnes appeared in the same "60 Minutes" segment. Barnes had nothing to do with the documents.

    "There seemed to be a lot of high-level interest in the Kerry campaign and among Democrats, and the question is, was there more than just interest? Were there any high-level contacts?" Bartlett asked. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Burkett was a "discredited" source well before he spoke to "60 Minutes."

    Kerry senior adviser Joe Lockhart said that after receiving a call from Mapes on Sept. 4, he called Burkett, who urged the campaign to be more aggressive in responding to attacks on Kerry's Vietnam War record. Lockhart said he is "99.9 percent sure" that Burkett did not mention Bush and the Guard, and accused the Bush campaign of making "baseless charges" of Democratic involvement. Burkett told USA Today that his contact with Lockhart was part of an "understanding" with CBS in exchange for providing the documents.

    Critics seized on CBS's acknowledgment of failure. Conservative activist Bill Bennett, whose Salem Radio Network show reaches 100 stations, said that "bias isn't the point. This is corruption. Corruption is when you don't adhere to basic and fundamental standards. They so much wanted it to be true. . . . They were doing what they accused Richard Nixon of doing: stonewalling."

    Even liberal columnists are not defending Rather and CBS. "They've handled this about as badly as could be imagined," Boston Phoenix media writer Dan Kennedy said. "They were way too late in acknowledging there may be problems with this. The short-term damage is just horrendous. You have a large percentage of the public believing -- falsely, I would argue -- that the media are suffused with liberal bias, and this just plays right into that."

    Media critic Michael Wolff, who writes for Vanity Fair, said CBS executives "are unacquainted with the reality of the modern news business -- that if you're exposed on any point, you're going to get ripped apart." But he said he believes the underlying allegations reported by CBS -- that Bush had received favorable treatment in the Guard -- are accurate.

    Alex S. Jones, director of Harvard's Shorenstein media center, disagreed, saying it would be a "mistake" for CBS to keep defending the underlying story. "To the extend that Dan Rather steps up and takes the bullet, his credibility will be salvaged," Jones said. "If he is perceived as ultimately not willing to take responsibility, that will be more damaging for him."

    Jones added that "somebody's head is going to have to roll," but that it was unlikely to be Rather's because "I don't expect the anchor to be the guy who understands every aspect of the story."

    In a further sign of the turmoil at CBS, some staff members at the original Sunday "60 Minutes" say their program has been unfairly blemished by the Wednesday spin-off, which began in 1999 as "60 Minutes II."

    "I think it is safe to say that the overwhelming feeling among correspondents and producers on the Sunday program is that we would not have made the same mistakes," correspondent Steve Kroft said. He added: "It's hard to know at this point exactly what went wrong, because the Wednesday show is an entirely separate broadcast with entirely different people, and brand-new management. But something clearly went wrong with the process."

    Josh Howard, who runs "60 Minutes" Wednesday, said producer Mapes had not told him that Burkett was the source and that this was "probably one of many things I would do differently next time." As for Burkett's charge that Mapes, who has declined all interview requests, pushed him too hard, Howard said: "If anything, we didn't push hard enough."

    Rather, who got into an on-air shouting match with Vice President George H.W. Bush during the 1988 presidential campaign, dismissed criticism that he bears a grudge against the family. "I believe overwhelmingly, people, even people who don't like me, know I'm fiercely independent and I'm not motivated by politics," he said. "I'm motivated by news."

    Heyward, noting that other news organizations had restored their reputation after journalistic embarrassments, said he does not think the mistake will be a "permanent blot" on CBS's reputation.


Since I'm pasting, here's Rather's CBS Evening News apology, thanks to a sidebar in this same article:


    Last week, amid increasing questions about the authenticity of documents used in support of a 60 MINUTES WEDNESDAY story about President Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, CBS News vowed to re-examine the documents in question -- and their source -- vigorously. And we promised that we would let the American public know what this examination turned up, whatever the outcome.

    Now, after extensive additional interviews, I no longer have the confidence in these documents that would allow us to continue vouching for them journalistically. I find we have been misled on the key question of how our source for the documents came into possession of these papers. That, combined with some of the questions that have been raised in public and in the press, leads me to a point where -- if I knew then what I know now -- I would not have gone ahead with the story as it was aired, and I certainly would not have used the documents in question.

    But we did use the documents. We made a mistake in judgment, and for that I am sorry. It was an error that was made, however, in good faith and in the spirit of trying to carry on a CBS News tradition of investigative reporting without fear or favoritism.

    Please know that nothing is more important to us than people's trust in our ability and our commitment to report fairly and truthfully.


'course, I'm a Brokaw man... ;-)
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#14 Posted on 21.9.04 1508.41
Reposted on: 21.9.11 1511.33
    Originally posted by Malarky
    This gives everyone a convenient excuse to avoid the underlying truth regarding this whole matter; GW Bush was a rich kid who had strings pulled for him by his then-congressman father so that he could avoid fighting for his country, then to top it all off didn't even meet the meagre requirements that were expected of him (didn't even show up for his medical? I wonder why. Perhaps the piss test scared him off?).

    Meanwhile Kerry is getting shot at in Vietnam for his country, and Bush is somehow the true patriot in this race? Makes me sick.


The funniest thing about comments like this is that most everyone who makes them were also Clinton supporters. Puts the whole thing in perspective?

These are also often the same type of people that treated soldiers returning home from Vietnam like the scum of the earth.

Blind hatred and lack of real context really make for amusing discussions, I think.

Keryy WAS a patriot. He did his duty to his nation, and I don't question that. But after he returned until today, he pissed ALL that he may have accomplished as a soldier away through his public acts.

Personally, I don't care about what happened in Vietnam. This story is interesting not because it is causing people to question Bush's service, but because someone attempted to use fraud to sway an election. Maybe Rather was naive about the whole situation- maybe not. What I want to know is, who forged these documents, who passed them on to Burckett - I want to know the whole damned paper trail. The fact that people are still harping about Bush's service instead of looking at that in this story is pretty sad.
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#15 Posted on 21.9.04 2010.43
Reposted on: 21.9.11 2010.48
There's another Rather interview in the Chicago Tribute, and what is amazing is the way he still refuses to admit the documents are fake. He's only admitting to the fact that CBS can't prove them to be real, but he still thinks they're legitimate.
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#16 Posted on 22.9.04 0002.43
Reposted on: 22.9.11 0002.46
    Originally posted by Malarky
    This gives everyone a convenient excuse to avoid the underlying truth regarding this whole matter; GW Bush was a rich kid who had strings pulled for him by his then-congressman father so that he could avoid fighting for his country, then to top it all off didn't even meet the meagre requirements that were expected of him (didn't even show up for his medical? I wonder why. Perhaps the piss test scared him off?).

    Meanwhile Kerry is getting shot at in Vietnam for his country, and Bush is somehow the true patriot in this race? Makes me sick.


Well, here's the problem. NOBODY CARES if George Bush was taking it easy in the National Guard. Why? Because he isn't the one who brought up Vietnam. He's not the one who's basing his qualifications to be president on what he did during a war 30 years ago. Everybody knows that Bush's Vietnam record is spotty. But they don't care because he's not the one running on his Vietnam record.

This is why Kerry keeps shooting himself in the foot. The Democrats are so hell-bent on making Bush look like an evil bastard that they don't realize that every time something like this backfires, it makes people MORE likely to vote for Bush. Look at the polling numbers since this whole thing broke loose. Bush has GAINED substantially.

As I've said before, I'm no big fan of George Bush. But I'm having a hard time bringing myself to vote for someone whose whole campaign is based on "Look at me! I was in Vietnam!" and "Ha ha ha. Isn't George Bush stupid and evil?"
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#17 Posted on 22.9.04 0055.11
Reposted on: 22.9.11 0056.25
    Originally posted by Malarky
    This gives everyone a convenient excuse to avoid the underlying truth regarding this whole matter; GW Bush was a rich kid who had strings pulled for him by his then-congressman father so that he could avoid fighting for his country, then to top it all off didn't even meet the meagre requirements that were expected of him (didn't even show up for his medical? I wonder why. Perhaps the piss test scared him off?)
Did they even do piss tests at the time? Regardless, there was an interesting article last week that delved into the parts of Bush's military records that CBS and friends aren't going over.

http://www.hillnews.com/york/090904.aspx

Summing up, guardsman were obligated to have 50 points a year that they earned based on the number of hours they flew. Here are Bush's numbers:

May 1968 to May 1969: 253 points
May 1969 to May 1970: 340 points
May 1970 to May 1971: 137 points
May 1971 to May 1972: 112 points
May 1972 to May 1973: 56 points
May 1973 to May 1974: 56 points

Not only was he meeting his service requirements, he was going above and beyond them in the first four years. And then in the period of 72-74 when he was either working on a Senate campaign or AWOL according to Dems, he still flew enough to meet his obligations for those years. But heck, he might not have shown up for a physical at some point, so obviously none of this means anything.

(edited by SlipperyPete on 21.9.04 2257)
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#18 Posted on 22.9.04 0621.47
Reposted on: 22.9.11 0622.36
    Originally posted by Grimis
    Bush volunteered to go and was not sent.


Since we're all trying to avoid making Dan Rather's of ourselves, I feel I should correct you on that point, Grimis. According to the New York Times (and yes, I realise you probably won't be satisfied with the source, but I've yet to see anyone impugn the credibility of the document they're refererring to)...


    When Mr. Bush applied, in 1968, one of the forms he filled out asked if he would volunteer for overseas duty; he checked "I 'do not' volunteer for overseas."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/09/20/politics/campaign/20bama.html?pagewanted=all&position=

If he volunteered for OS service at a later date I've not heard anything about it.
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#19 Posted on 22.9.04 0648.38
Reposted on: 22.9.11 0649.37
    Originally posted by Leviathan
    If he volunteered for OS service at a later date I've not heard anything about it.
I believe that's what happened, but I do not know for certain(obviously).
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#20 Posted on 22.9.04 0837.33
Reposted on: 22.9.11 0838.01
    Originally posted by Grimis
      Originally posted by Leviathan
      If he volunteered for OS service at a later date I've not heard anything about it.
    I believe that's what happened, but I do not know for certain(obviously).


I had laso heard this on several radio reports but I don't know their sources.
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