As I see it, this is a win-win-win situation. Assuming
the documents are forged, which looks all but assured at the moment, several things will likely happen.
Dan Rather will have to apologize. Of course any reporter hates to be made to look like a fool, but if Bernard Goldberg's excellent Bias
is anything near accurate, Rather's been in need of serious humbling for a long while now. His self-image is that of a superhuman journo-deity, and no one has dared to remind him of his own human falliability for years.
Furthermore, this (fairly or not) calls into question the veracity of any further Bush-National Guard smears. The public at large may not have the acute sense for detecting bias that the blogosphere as a whole does, but this is going to leave a mark; future Bush-bashing is going to be perceived, even with verifiable evidence, as fruit of the poisoned tree.
Finally, if this was a Karl Rove sucker-punch (and I seriously doubt it - why take the risk?), you bloody well deserved
it. Anyone whose authentication process for thirty-year-old documents involves not a single forensic expert
(Update 11) shouldn't be surprised if those documents are all-but-confirmed to be fraudulent within 12 hours
However, there is one possible situation I can imagine where Rove or his underlings may have done this, and they can admit it cleanly: Point to the fools who fell for it. "It was a test," they can say, "to see if the supposed objectivity of CBS News could withstand the temptation of such juicy dirt. A bunch of amateurs concluded these documents were sloppy fakes in the space of a single day; what's Dan Rather's excuse?"
And, indeed, he has none. I will be happy to see his credibility - and that of the mainstream media at large - suffer, as they're revealed for the partisan hacks they are.