Monday, September 20, 2004

The missing link?

The Associated Press reports that Kerry aide Joe Lockhart admitted that he called and spoke with Bill Burkett shortly before the forgeries were released--at the suggestion of Mary Mapes, the CBS producer publicly linked to the 60 Minutes program that broadcast the documents.

Lockhart was once Bill Clinton's press secretary and is very skilled with nuances of speech. He carefully refused to deny that he discussed the documents with Burkett; as the AP put it: "Lockhart said he does not recall talking to Burkett about Bush's Guard records."

And why would Mapes want Lockhart to speak with Burkett, if not to give the Kerry campaign advance warning about the huge story that was about to break so it could best take advantage of it?

More from the AP piece:

"'She [Mapes] basically said there's a guy who is being helpful on the story who wants to talk to you,' Lockhart said, adding that it was common knowledge that CBS was working on a story raising questions about Bush's Guard service. Mapes told him there were some records 'that might move the story forward. She didn't tell me what they said.'"

Why would anyone at CBS have this sort of conversation with anyone at the Kerry campaign? And why would CBS want to bring Burkett and the Kerry campaign together? There is only one answer.