Senator Mel Martinez, Republican of Florida, said Wednesday that a senior member of his staff had written an unsigned memorandum about the partisan political advantages of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo that became a controversial footnote to the debate over the wisdom and motives of Congress's actions.
In a statement on Wednesday night, Mr. Martinez said that he had just learned that the memorandum originated in his office and that its author had resigned. He did not name the author, but aides said it was Brian Darling, his counsel. ...
The anonymous memorandum, which was distributed to news organizations by Democratic aides and first reported by ABC News, became widely cited in news reports as evidence that at least some Republicans were applying a political calculus to the case of Ms. Schiavo, the brain-damaged Florida woman. Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, and many other Republican Senators quickly disavowed the document, saying they had never seen it and that they condemned it.
In his statement, Mr. Martinez said that on March 9 he had mistakenly and unknowingly handed the document to Senator Tom Harkin, Democrat of Iowa, on the floor of the Senate. Mr. Martinez said that he had meant to reach for a different document and that he did not know how it had entered his possession.
"Senator Harkin was kind enough today to call me and tell me this afternoon that he believes the memo he received was given to him by me," Mr. Martinez said. "Until this afternoon, I had never seen it and had no idea a copy of it had ever been in my possession." --The New York Times
In fact, I have never actually seen paper before. What are those strange markings on that flat white surface? Writing? What a strange and wonderful thing! What does it mean?