I have to agree with Allah on this one, the latest expert to come forward, digital typography pioneer Joseph M. Newcomer pretty much drives a stake through the heart of the idea that these documents are anything other than crude forgeries:
I am one of the pioneers of electronic typesetting. I was doing work with computer typesetting technology in 1972 (it actually started in late 1969), and I personally created one of the earliest typesetting programs for what later became laser printers, but in 1970 when this work was first done, lasers were not part of the electronic printer technology (my way of expressing this is â€œI was working with laser printers before they had lasersâ€, which is only a mild stretch of the truth). We published a paper about our work (graphics, printer hardware, printer software, and typesetting) in one of the important professional journals of the time (D.R. Reddy, W. Broadley, L.D. Erman, R. Johnsson, J. Newcomer, G. Robertson, and J. Wright, “XCRIBL: A Hardcopy Scan Line Graphics System for Document Generation,” Information Processing Letters (1972, pp.246-251)). I have been involved in many aspects of computer typography, including computer music typesetting (1987-1990). I have personally created computer fonts, and helped create programs that created computer fonts. At one time in my life, I was a certified Adobe PostScript developer, and could make laser printers practically stand up and tap dance. I have written about Microsoft Windows font technology in a book I co-authored, and taught courses in it. I therefore assert that I am a qualified expert in computer typography.
The probability that any technology in existence in 1972 would be capable of producing a document that is nearly pixel-compatible with Microsoftâ€™s Times New Roman font and the formatting of Microsoft Word, and that such technology was in casual use at the Texas Air National Guard, is so vanishingly small as to be indistinguishable from zero.
His lengthy technical analysis would be enough that any lawyer would be willing to take this case to court – then again, such flimsy evidence would never be allowed in a courtroom based on CBS’ unwillingness to provide real authentication for the documents.
At this point, there is no rational basis for believing in the authenticity of these documents. The massive preponderance of evidence shows that they are fakes. Those who worked with the Texas Air National Guard at the time and Killian’s family all say they are faked. A nearly identical memo can be produced in Word, and if one were to copy and fax it over several generations, you’d get something that would be indistinguishable from the memos.
Those who defend these memos show only that their hatred of Bush has overwhelmed any sense of judgement or common sense.
UPDATE: For those who still can’t get it through their heads that these memos were not produced on a 1972-era typewriter, here’s Charles Johnson’s animation of the original memo and a copy of it made in Word using the default settings:
The only reason the letters appear distorted is because the repeated copying/faxing of the memo has distorted some elements of the letters and the copy that was released was tilted at an angle (another sign of forgery – tilting the paper makes it harder to do an analysis of the typography). Furthermore, the argument that the baselines of the letters are different is due mainly to the poor quality of CBS’ PDF copies, and not creation on a typewriter. Even if the baselines are slightly different, it does not prove that the document was typewritten, just distorted. Newcomer’s analysis shows conclusively that the font in these documents was not the font used by the Selectric line of typewriters. In fact, taking a real Selectric and comparing its output to the document produces this:
Even at a small size, it is clear that the letter spacing is completely different between a Selectric typewriter and the original memos. (Larger versions and more information can be found at Shape of Days who did the original comparisons.)
And if Newcomer isn’t credible enough, how about other forensic document examiners like Dr. Phillip Bouffard (whose analysis was deliberately and maliciously misconstrued by the Boston Globe)? How about William Flynn? Sandra Ramsey Lines?
At this point, those still flogging these memos as being original are doing so based on nothing but a stubborn and irrational partisanship. All forensic evidence concludes that these memos are modern forgeries created in Microsoft Word and not typewritten documents created in the 1970s. When even the rest of the media thinks CBS is nuts for continuing to stand by these hoaxes, it’s time to simply face reality.