Dan Rather's new book (and accompanying media tour) is the perfect opportunity to lay it all out on the table and come clean about any and all regrets that he's had in his long career. But Rather regrets nothing.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America this morning, Rather made it clear that he still defends the notorious story that undid his career at CBS News: The claim that George W. Bush shirked his duties in the Air National Guard, possibly even going AWOL, during the Vietnam War. An epic article by Joe Hagan in Texas Monthly earlier this month, re-reported that entire tale and came to the conclusion that ... well, nobody really knows exactly what happened all those years ago. It seems to be pretty much a given that Bush got some kind of special treatment to get into the Guard, and there is some evidence that he didn't fulfill all his required flying duties after being transferred to Alabama. Or rather, there's no evidence that he did fulfill it, leaving a bit of black hole in record. There's no proof of almost anything he did during those months—aside from those pesky documents that Dan Rather waved on air as the smoking gun, but were later called out as forgeries.
Like Bush's attendance itself, no one seems to be able to prove one way or the other if the papers were faked. (The documents CBS presented were photocopies, which makes determining the origin of the originals virtually impossible.) Many people still insist that they were forgeries. Rather doesn't agree, even though he can't prove that they weren't.