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Wed Sep 22 2004 00:05:20 ET

Bill Burkett, the man identified yesterday by CBS as the source of the controversial documents used in its September 8 “60 Minutes II” report questioning President Bush’s Air National Guard service, plans to sue the network, the NY SUN reports.

Burkett has had “several meetings with lawyers to determine the best course of action.” The planned lawsuit would center on “defamation of character and libel.”

Mr. Burkett “told me everything about the process” of his dealings with CBS and how he came into possession of the documents at the heart of the controversy, a lawyer close to Burkett said.

The lawyer said the CBS News producer, Mary Mapes, promised to protect Mr. Burkett with complete anonymity and CBS was to “expend both time and money authenticating” the memos.

“Bill Burkett went with CBS News on this over ABC News, the New York Times, and the Washington Post because they promised to work the hardest to protect him and authenticate the documents. ,” Mr.Van Os told the Sun. “Bill leveled with [CBS] about his doubts over the papers, and they promised him they would take their time. They spent all of three days, maybe less, on authentication.”


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