NEW YORK (AP) - It's an embarrassing admission for CBS on a
big story. The network admits it can't be sure that documents that were
used to question President Bush's Vietnam-era National Guard
service are the real thing.
CBS says it was wrong to air a story on "60 Minutes" that it
couldn't substantiate. Several experts had said the documents purportedly written by one of Bush's squadron commanders were fakes.
But CBS strongly defended the documents -- and didn't admit
the papers might be questionable under the commander's former
secretary said she believed they were fakes.
CBS says a retired Texas National Guard official has cknowledged providing the documents -- and that he admitted to Dan Rather this weekend that he deliberately misled a network producer about the papers' origin, to protect a source.
Meanwhile, the White House says today's admission raises some "serious questions."
White House press secretary Scott McClellan says the CBS
statement admits for the first time those documents "were likely
forged." McClellan says there are now questions that need to be answered about the source, Bill Burkett -- who he says has reportedly had senior level contacts with the John Kerry campaign.
CBS has said it will commission an independent panel to investigate the issue.