For a greater understanding of the Bush family animosity toward Dan Rather (amd John Kerry), read Just Cut Out Their Tongues by Thom Hartmann. excerpt:

The Bush family’s hostility to Rather first broke the surface of public attention back in 1988, when Vice President George H.W. Bush was confronted on network television about his various roles in the criminal affair now known as Iran/Contra. At the time, rumors were flying that in the fall of 1980 then-VP-candidate Bush had negotiated with Iran to hold the American hostages until after the election. The hostages were not only held throughout the election campaign, but were released the very hour Ronald Reagan was sworn into office. The ongoing dragged-out hostage crisis (and Carter’s failed attempt at rescue) had knocked the incumbent president down so far in the polls that the long-shot ticket of Reagan/Bush won.

When it later came out, in part because of an investigation started by Senator John Kerry, that after the 1980 election Reagan/Bush were illegally selling American missiles to the Iranians “in exchange for hostages” at a time there were no hostages (the Iranian hostages had been freed, and the Lebanese hostages not yet taken), speculation intensified. The key to busting the whole deal open and indicting George H.W. Bush, some congressional investigators believed, would be Bill Casey. As the manager of the 1980 Reagan/Bush campaign, he would have known of the deal, and persistent allegations floated around Washington that he’d even helped organize the initial negotiations between Bush and Iranian representatives.

The plot thickens. See if this sounds a bit like the “forged memos” controversey:

Others have suggested – although there is no clear evidence one way or the other – that Rove was behind the appearance in the Gore campaign of Bush’s debate prep notes. Had Bush “lost” the debates in a big way, the issue could have been deftly shifted to the Gore campaign having had advance copies of his notes.

Remember that? A video of Bush’s preparations for debating Gore was mailed to Gore’s campaign. Imagine of the aide hadn’t immediately called the FBI and turned it in, and Gore smeared Bush in the debates. Do you think maybe the story would be that Gore had a video of Bush’s preparations?

Go read the rest.