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Government's Use of Automated Signatures Has Long History

The type of autopen machine at issue in the controversy over Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's mechanized signature on condolence letters to killed soldiers' families has been in use by the government for years, and went public during President Gerald Ford's time in office. NPR's Robert Siegel talks with Philip Ross, an attorney and collector of political memorabilia, and David Laurell, associate editor of Autograph Collector Magazine.

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Prior to his retirement, Robert Siegel was the senior host of NPR's award-winning evening newsmagazine All Things Considered. With 40 years of experience working in radio news, Siegel hosted the country's most-listened-to, afternoon-drive-time news radio program and reported on stories and happenings all over the globe, and reported from a variety of locations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. He signed off in his final broadcast of All Things Considered on January 5, 2018.