Can’t read a dead man’s mind

Several times Scott McClellan has claimed that the Killian documents are irrelevant because “You can’t read a dead man’s mind”. Besides being about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard — the big advantage of documentary evidence is that it doesn’t require mindreading — I think that there’s a more sinister meaning.

What he really meant was: “You can’t get to a dead man to change his mind.” They got to Killian’s widow, who explained that her ex-husband never would have said anything bad about “our President”. (The real question, of course, is whether he would have said anything bad about one Lt. Bush thirty years ago.) They got to Neil Bush’s ex-wife Sharon, who denied what she had said about cocaine use at Camp David. They got to George Elliott, Kerry’s commander, who changed his story three times in two days and now refuses to talk to reporters. For a long time they were able to get to Ben Barnes, though just now he flipped on them. Apparently they’ve gotten to the guy who confirmed Killian’s story for CBS (Bobby Hodges), who is no longer willing to talk. And probably they’ve gotten to Hodges’ superior Walter Staudt too.

Someone should make a list of the players in this game who have changed their stories, or who have clammed up, or who have been caught lying. There are plenty of them.

Funny, though — no one can find a single person who remembers Bush from the Alabama Guard. The same way you can’t “get to” a dead man, you can’t get to someone who just plain doesn’t exist at all.

(Somewhat revised 5:00 PM PDT, 6:00 PDT, etc.)