Running Scared: Observations of a Former Republican
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"Losing my faith in humanity ... one neocon at a time."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Powerline Admits to Forgery

posted by Jazz at 12/21/2004 01:37:00 PM


An interesting article over at Powerline by "the big trunk." (Overcompensate much?) In any event, by now you are all doubtless overloaded with the stories about Rummy having those condolence letters to the families of soldiers slaughtered in their Iraq fiasco signed with an autopen. It didn't take more than a moment for anyone with an IQ above that of a glass of tap water to realize that this was a really deplorable thing to do, and you'd think that the Bushies would just stay quiet about it.

Not so! This "big trunk" decides to go to bat for the SecDef and explain that, hey... it's really not so bad. People fake signatures on important documents all the time!

I worked as an intern in the office of then-Senator Walter Mondale in the summer of 1969. Those of us who read his mail sorted it into the appropriate categories based on the salutation and subject matter of the correspondence.

All letters with a salutation to "Senator Mondale" were sorted by subject matter for appropriate response by a staffer (mostly choosing the right form letter) and signature by use of the office autopen. We ran the responses through the autopen machine where the "Walter F. Mondale" signature was applied over his typewritten name.

All letters with the salutation "Dear Fritz" (the nickname by which Mondale is addressed by friends) were designated "first-name" letters for special treatment with a less formal signature.
Above the typewritten name of "Walter F. Mondale" I signed those letters "Fritz"after being given a specimen of the original from which to work. There must be a few of those personal letters from Senator Mondale to constitutents
[sic] that I had the honor of signing on his behalf and that are now proudly framed and hanging on walls around Minnesota.

Yes indeed, Trunk. They must be *very* proud to find out now that the letter hanging on their wall, which wasn't one of the "mass mailings" signed by an autopen, but personally attended to by Mondale, was actually signed by a suck up intern lackey who learned how to forge Mondale's personal, "just for his friends" signature. And it's good to see Mondale had such class back then.

First of all, everyone knows that busy senators and other public officials receive far more mail than they could ever read, let alone answer. They have staff for that - at least in the case of routine business correspondence. When I get letters back from my reps, they are usually one of a number of form letters that deal with particular issues and they have a signature on the bottom, but I never for a moment thought that it was hand signed by my Senator or whoever.

Personalized letters to friends should be handled... well, personally. And the most important letters should really be "eyes only" if you follow me. If I received a letter back from one of my Senators that was clearly written as an individual response to a very specific situation I had asked about, and it was signed "Chuck" instead of the normal signature, then yes. I would think that the matter had been handled personally. When I then found out that some toady had forged it, I'd throw it in the trash.

And when it comes to writing letters to the families of the men and woman who have died in Bush's personal war? You can bet your arse that I would expect them to be hand prepared and signed by both Bush and Rummy for getting my kid killed. Finding out this news makes it a monumental slap in the face on top of their tragic loss. So yes, trunk... it IS a big freaking deal.

So... after your stint with Mondale, did you take up checking account forgeries? Mail fraud? Be a shame to let such talent lie fallow, eh?