Shortly after invaded , Rather secured an interview with leader .

After breaking the Abu Ghraib story, Mapes, who lived in Texas and had reported on Bush when he was governor, began looking into the National Guard episode. By then, Sen. a decorated Vietnam War hero who was awarded the Silver and Bronze stars, had emerged as the Democratic candidate. The Bush operation arranged for funding a front group called to mount a smear campaign that Kerry had been dissembling all these years about his medals. Kerry's campaign, like Gore's, chose not to dignify obvious lies by responding, and the press lagged behind the story as it gained traction. Discrediting Kerry's greatest biographical asset was calculated to compensate for Bush's hidden liability. In February 2004, the Washington Post followed on the Boston Globe articles of 2000, and its reporters were unable to find anyone that could corroborate Bush's claim that he had served at an Alabama air base in 1972. To an aggressive journalist like Mapes it seemed logical to examine Bush's National Guard story, which remained a mystery.

For the , Dan Rather reporting. Good night.

Dan Rather's apology for the Killian documents scandal.

The opaque story was partly illuminated by a written by Mary Jacoby, on Sept. 2, 2004. Offering extensive documentation, including photographs and letters, Linda Allison, who had housed Bush during his missing year, explained that his drunken misbehavior was creating havoc for his father's political aspirations and that the elder Bush asked his old friend Jimmy Allison, a political consultant from Midland, now living in Alabama, to handle the wastrel son. "The impression I had was that Georgie was raising a lot of hell in Houston, getting in trouble and embarrassing the family, and they just really wanted to get him out of Houston and under Jimmy's wing," Linda Allison told Salon. During the time the younger Bush was under the watchful eye of the Allisons, he never went to a National Guard base or wore a uniform. "Good lord, no. I had no idea that the National Guard was involved in his life in any way," said Allison. She did, however, remember him drinking, urinating on a car, screaming at police and trashing the apartment he had rented.

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On Sept. 8, "60 Minutes II" broadcast its story. It featured former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, a Democrat, who disclosed that just before George W. Bush would be eligible for the draft, a mutual friend of then Rep. George H.W. Bush asked him to help procure the younger Bush a spot in the "Champagne Unit." Barnes appeared on camera, saying: "It's been a long time ago, but he said basically would I help young George Bush get in the Air National Guard. I was a young, ambitious politician doing what I thought was acceptable. It was important to make friends. And I recommended a lot of people for the National Guard during the Vietnam era -- as speaker of the House and as lieutenant governor. I would describe it as preferential treatment."

Dan Rather’s Vision for Scientists in an Era of “Fake News” ..

According to , the network considered hiring him, Brokaw, as its White House correspondent to replace Rather. But these plans were scrapped after word was leaked to the press. The controversy did little to dent Rather's overall tough coverage of the Watergate scandal, which helped to raise his profile.

Sep 21, 2004 · Rather Admits 'Mistake in Judgment' ..

Within minutes of the conclusion of the broadcast, conservative launched a counterattack. The chief of these critics was a Republican Party activist in Georgia. Almost certainly, these bloggers, who had been part of meetings or conference calls organized by Karl Rove's political operation, coordinated their actions with Rove's office.

Dan Rather's Apology - Beliefnet

During the 2000 campaign, the Boston Globe reported a number of discrepancies in Bush's National Guard record. However, the rest of the national press corps virtually ignored the Globe's stories, instead preferring to swarm around fictions about helpfully stoked by the Bush campaign. Bush refused to make public his military records, in contrast to his principal primary opponent, Sen. John McCain, who had released his. But the press collectively let the matter pass. Nonetheless, the gaps in Bush's service as reported by the Globe had not been answered and hung in the air, if anyone cared to pursue them.

Eight years ago, Dan Rather broadcast an explosive report ..

During the , Rather was on camera wearing a traditional headdress and garments while reporting from near the front lines. These reports helped Rather gain prominence with the Evening News audience (and the nickname "Gunga Dan"; Rather's reports were also spoofed by the comic strip ). It later turned out that Rather's reports played a role in moving Congressman to try to help the struggling mujahideen, which led to the largest ever CIA covert operation in supplying aid and advanced arms to the mujahideen, which in turn eventually led to the Soviets quitting Afghanistan.