Patterico's Pontifications


The New Republic Is Headed for a Great Fall

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 5:32 am

And I don’t mean that they are going to have a pleasant autumn. To the contrary.

Power Line had a very important post Wednesday night, and the basic message was that the editors of The New Republic can run . . . but they can’t hide forever:

It is now two months since “the editors” last weighed in on the ongoing controversy over Beauchamp. At that time, Franklin Foer and his colleagues had already conceded, and apologized to their readers, for a significant factual inaccuracy in Beauchamp’s story — that the incident involving the disfigured woman had taken place in Kuwait rather than Iraq, though they’ve offered no evidence for this claim either, and the PAO at Camp Buehring, the scene of the alleged crime, has said on the record that the tale is nothing more than “an urban legend.” . . .

But on August 10 TNR declared that it was still standing by its author despite a report from the Weekly Standard that Beauchamp himself was no longer standing by the stories. “The editors” claimed that the Army was “stonewalling” their investigation into the matter by preventing them from speaking with Beauchamp, and assured their readers that as soon as they could speak with their man in Baghdad they would report the results.

Since then TNR has said not a word about Beauchamp, and the Weekly Standard’s report that Beauchamp had recanted has not been challenged. Further, Beauchamp’s commanding officer, Col. Ricky Gibbs, told bloggers last week that Beauchamp “no longer stands by the stories.” And yesterday Bob Owens reported that TNR had, in fact, spoken to Beauchamp…more than a month ago, on September 7. This according to Major Kirk Ludeke, whom Owens interviewed for his post. . . . . If TNR editor [Franklin] Foer thinks that the substance of the conversation with Scott Beauchamp can be permanently hidden from the public, he has made one more in what is now a long line of serious miscalculations.


Look. The editors of The New Republic aren’t stupid. I know they may seem that way, given the way that they have handled all this, but they’re not.

They know that very serious issues have been raised about Beauchamp’s work. They have minimized the importance of the detail about Kuwait, but any rational observer is going to find that disturbing. How in the world could Beauchamp have gotten that wrong? Taking my cue from one of my commenters, I have mocked this as “Pre Traumatic Stress Syndrome,” but the fact is that it is hard to explain that away as a minor detail.

One senses that, while the editors have publicly maintained a posture of defending Beauchamp, they have desperately scrambled internally — all the while wondering: just how in the hell is this happening? And central to answering that question would be having a discussion with Beauchamp himself.

Now they’ve had it, and it’s clear that it didn’t help them much.

My question is simple: if Scott Beauchamp can’t stand by his story, how can The New Republic stand by his story?

They haven’t revealed any significant details that would corroborate it.

Where I suspect this is headed is simple: the editors can’t hide forever. Sooner or later they are going to have to address this. And if they can’t get something solid from Beauchamp, then they are going to have to retract the story.

If they do that, they will throw him overboard. Count on it. The story line will be: it was a guy lying to his editors. How could they have known?

When this happens, I’ll remind you that I told you so.

Here’s the problem. With every second of the ticking clock, that defense becomes less plausible. Because — other than acknowledging one plain and undeniable and inexplicable error (more probably a fable than an error) — they have stuck by the story. And they have stonewalled for weeks.

The longer they do that, the more they own the story — especially after the criticisms are known.

After weeks and weeks and weeks of stonewalling, it’s going to be hard to spin this as a tale of “he lied to us.” They should know that by now. And by not responding, they are lying to us, the public.

And if, as Power Line suggests, the content of their conversation with Beauchamp becomes public, and it suggests that what I have said above is true — that despite a public face of confidence in their story, they were actually trembling with fear over their reputations — then the fallout will be very ugly indeed.

How much longer can this go on?

89 Responses to “The New Republic Is Headed for a Great Fall”

  1. They could just explain that Mr Beauchamp is a “commentator” or “entertainer” and then he can say anything he wants. Isn’t that how all the other “journalists” out there get away with “collaging” their stories?

    EdWood (c2268a)

  2. Or they will explain that George Bush and Dick Cheney manipulated them into running the story.

    I wonder what the late Michael Kelley would think of all this.

    JVW (5bb127)

  3. Why should TNR care? Their readers sure don’t.

    dave (dcf56d)

  4. You say: the editors can’t hide forever. Sooner or later they are going to have to address this. And if they can’t get something solid from Beauchamp, then they are going to have to retract the story. Why? Nobody retracts anything any more, especially on the Left. They live by the old Nazi mantra: “Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it”

    Howard Veit (4ba8d4)

  5. They could claim the Beauchamp stories were satire and that everyone has been missing the point all along. That idiot Adam Kokesh at George Washington is trying out that story after trashing the YAF, but it doesn’t sound very credible.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  6. It’s still the “inflight magazine of Air Force One” – just mounted on a roll in the restroom. Has anyone verified the anecdote that Elspeth Reeve is no longer in their employ?

    rhodeymark (1aaf2a)

  7. Wow. That is bad.

    Almost as bad as trumpeting yourself how if you had your Balko complaints in the WSJ you would disclose that you had a history of an acrimonious relationship with Balko and that you were a prosecutor….THEN sending a letter to the editor and neglecting to mention those things…..THEN saying that the CONTENT of your complaints did not necessitate disclosure (this despite you saying if the very same complaints were in the WSJ you would most definitely put those disclosures in)…..THEN refusing to address the issue altogether.

    Dude (ec7eb8)

  8. I don’t think they will pay a price with their readers because their readers have alreader made the decision. Those who subscribed for years, like me, because they were a thoughtful center-left journal, have already left. What is left (No pun intended) is a claque of BDS sufferers who don’t care if it’s true. They will keep quiet and the remaining readers will go on without complaint. They will get fewer, I suspect, and eventually TNR will fade away.

    Mike K (86bddb)

  9. Has anyone verified the anecdote that Elspeth Reeve is no longer in their employ?

    According to her, she had an internship and it ended. She is now working as a researcher for a writer. Unfortunately, I forgot his name. He writes mostly about Florida.

    dave (dcf56d)

  10. Maybe they can’t throw him overboard because of what he might reveal about them.

    Far better to just keep quiet. That is the option they will take, and it will work. After all – how many of their supporters read Powerline or Patterico?

    Their supporters simply don’t want to know the truth.

    Amphipolis (fdbc48)

  11. dave,

    According to her, she had an internship and it ended.

    Are interns normally listed on the masthead?

    Pablo (99243e)

  12. Seeing as the U.S. military is willing to pander to the far right, maybe TNR is trying to avoid getting Beauchamp in any further trouble by just dropping the matter?

    alphie (99bc18)

  13. Pander to the far-right, alphie? What are they going to do for us, draw and quarter him?

    Techie (c003f1)

  14. The many commenters who think that TNR will just stay silent – and get away with it – are probably right. But I think an even more productive line of thought would be to pursue Patterico’s musing about whether the editors of TNR are stupid or not.

    I don’t mean to call names. But I’d sure like to explore just what it is that enables otherwise-intelligent people to do such stupid things. Is the power of a predisposition that great that it can cause people to be unable to even see the truth staring them in the face? After talking to my brother-in-law, by daytime a sane and loving person, but who begins to foam at the mouth when you mention George W. Bush, I have to conclude that it is very possible. The TNR editors could be intelligent (ie. get good scores on tests) and still be very stupid.

    By the way, this is a cautionary tale. There but for the grace of God…

    don (585bf5)

  15. Seems the best option of TNR editors is to ignore this. History has spoken on the issue and the non-blogosphere world has heard the truth, NR was completely vindicated and it was a bunch of rightie bloggers making things up and blowing them out of proportion, just read the last note from the editors. Any comment by them on the issue might change the view of those who don’t follow the lying right-wing blogs and lead people away from the truth. I am also sure that no ammount of pressure exerted on the MM will convince to look at and pass judgement on the issue as long as there is a possiblity they can not get away with pronouncing the truth.

    It reminds me of Jamailgate, which ended with AP vindicated. Only lying right-wing bloggers (we know this because the AP was vindicated) not getting accepting the truth and going on pointing out that the Iragi general who vindicated the AP said afterward that AP completely misconstrued what he said.

    TNR was vindicated and right and no ammount of facts is going to alter that truth if NR just keeps its mouth shut.

    one of many (71ce26)

  16. It is clear that the New Republic just decided to do a Nixonian Stonewall.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  17. I’m not saying the U.S. military would Rusty Tillman Beauchamp, Techie.

    But back when America won wars, the U.S. military wouldn’t have cared what Beauchamp wrote.

    That they now feel obligated to launch a propaganda campaign against Beauchamp shows how far the U.S. military has fallen.

    alphie (99bc18)

  18. @Dave

    Was it Carl Hiassen, Dave Berry or Tim Dorsey by chance?

    chad (719bfa)

  19. alphie, back in WW2, Beauchamp would have faced the firing squad for what he did.

    Now, alphie, why do you have to live on lies and liars like Beauchamp?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  20. Alphie,

    What makes you say this was a military propaganda campaign to discredit Beauchamp? Every military statement I’ve read was in response to an inquiry from a reporter or blogger.

    DRJ (74c23b)

  21. Sure they would have, PCD.

    Ever read any actual press from WWII?

    Or are you just nostalgic for a fantasy that the far right has manufactured?

    Let’s not forget that back in WWII, the people who are smearing Beauchamp now would actually be serving alongside him.

    alphie (99bc18)

  22. Let’s not forget that back in WWII, the people who are smearing Beauchamp now would actually be serving alongside him.

    Why do you believe Beauchamp?

    Gerald A (6b39c1)

  23. alphie,

    Everything from the front was censored. You may think the scenes in “Good Morning, Vietnam!” where the twins were censoring the news was parody, but every letter, every dispatch was read and approved before it got out of the theater.

    You are the one living in a fantasy and living on lies.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  24. So, the Army had Tillman killed? So what, he couldn’t have a theoretical conversation with Noam Chomsky?

    That’s what you’re saying, right? I want to make sure I understand my conspiracy theories correct. Hard to keep them all straight, you know…

    Techie (c003f1)

  25. Another opinion agreeing with 3, 8 and 14. TNR has decided to keep their mouth shut. They made a statement backing their story and, as long they don’t bring it up again, the only further exposure the scandal will get will be on the blogs who have already remarked on it. That damage has been done. It doesn’t matter how many more reports ConfedYankee does on it, it won’t hurt them any more.

    On the other hand, if they were to admit to screwing up now the scandal would go all mainstream. Look at it this way. If nothing else happens (other ConfedYankee and other blogs raking TNR over the coals) do you think 60 minutes will have a story on this? Now suppose that TNR admits fault and fires a bunch of people. Much wider publicity will follow.

    Admitting fault would be the honest, ethical thing to do. But we already know where TNR stands on honesty and ethics.

    Arthur (d7e6c5)

  26. alphie, what you don’t know about the Beauchamp/TNR meltdown would fill volumes.

    The military didn’t pander to anyone here. As one of the prime data movers on this story, I promise I’ve sent dozens of emails to get what you’ve read from me; it wasn’t just offered via press release. The lefty bloggers simply don’t care when soldiers are being smeared, and the media doesn’t want to get involved because they don’t want the same level of scrutiny turned back on them at some future date. There wa sa lot of leg work done here, and a lot of times, like today, when I was refused info I requested. It takes persistence to get the goods, and even then, you can’t always get what you want.

    Beauchamp has been punished by the military for his offenses. At this point, he’s out of this, period. He’s clear with them as long as he does his job and doesn’t start telling more lies.

    Speaking of lies…

    TNR won’t say any more because obviously, Beauchamp will not support the story, after they foolishly stated they’d fact-checked him prior to publication. That was of course was a huge bald-faced lie, already proven. TNR, however, will have to fire all their associated editors (Franklin Foer, of course, but also Jason Zengerle and possibly others) if they are forced to retract, which would also concede that they were duped and have been involved in a cover-up. This would not only lose them personnel, but advertisers, and as a small mag, they may not survive a big hit like this will be.

    In past wars, alphie, Beauchamp’s writing never would have gotten past military censors, and a “code red” may have rectified a first offense, where a full-fledge court martial (Which Beauchamp only avoided becuase Col. Ricky Gibbs felt like giving him another chance) would have put him in a military prison if the situation so warranted it. As it was, Beauchamp lost rank due to an operational security violation that was part of a separate, concurrent investigation that was going on in addition the the “Shock Troops” investigation. In prior wars, he could get prison time or a firing squad for that offense alone.

    Confederate Yankee (44c4ed)

  27. 21, Alphie, also, Chairborne libs like yourself, would be out in the foxholes and learning that if you don’t shoot and kill your enemy, they shoot and kill you.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  28. CY,

    At the behest of a group of guys who would cry like Paris Hilton being sent back to jail if they had to go to Iraq, the U.S. military tracked down, incarcerated, interrogated and smeared a soldier serving in Iraq.

    I’ll wait until Beauchamp is free of the military to hear his side of the story as it’s obvious the U.S. Army would do just about anything to retain the support of the 28%ers.

    In the meantime, if you “support the troops” why don’t you look into the murder of Ciara Durkin?

    alphie (99bc18)

  29. Ok, alphie has conceded defeat, by trying to change the subject.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  30. Aaah, the “Mission Accomplished” banner gets hoisted.

    What thread would be complete without it?

    alphie (99bc18)

  31. 28, 30, alphie, you have a warped definiton of a smear. YOU smear anyone who at all brings up the truth about Beauchamp. YOU worship a liar, and the lies that attemped to harm this country. In my book, you are not a patriot to America.

    Again, if you or the New Republic had ANY independent proof to verify Beauchamp’s lies, you’d be hoisting them, but you have nothing and will have nothing but the empty lies you call life.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  32. The whole thing reminds me of Michael Bellesiles’ Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture and the subsequent withdrawal. Oh, wait, it wasn’t withdrawn, it was “updated” and moved to a new publisher. The Bancroft Prize was “rescinded”.

    htom (412a17)

  33. That they now feel obligated to launch a propaganda campaign against Beauchamp shows how far the U.S. military has fallen.

    Comment by alphie ”

    I happen to remember a bit of WWII and read a lot about it not too long after. I remember as a little kid being taught to say “Dougout Doug is a ratout rat.” Now, Alphie, tell me who that referred to and the context. Let’s see what your quotient of WWII info is.

    Lew Ayres was a conscientious obector and it destroyed his career. Nobody, and I mean nobody, would have gotten away with Beauchamp’s nonsense. Not only would no one say that to a reporter but there were lots of prisoners killed by our troops and nobody said a word. You got your ideas of WWII from the movies. Grow up.

    That s not to deny that there was treasonous beghavior by new media in those days. The Chicago Tribune, whose publisher was a virulent Roosevelt hater, published the Rainbow 5 plan about a week before Pearl Harbor. Maybe, just maybe, that act of treason caused Hitler to make the calamitous mistake of declaring war on us December 8. Rainbow 5 had the “Germany First” plan. The Tribune also published the information that we had broken the Japanese code before Midway. Roosevelt decided to ignore the story because he didn’t think the Japanese were reading our newspapers. No internet in those days.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  34. #16
    It is clear that the New Republic just decided to do a Clinton Stonewall and at the appropriate time, declare it “old news.”

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  35. Here’s a letter that the military censors let through during WWII:

    I read it in a book called From Foxholes and Flight Decks:Letters Home From WWII

    It was written by a soldier called Walter Commander, June 3, 1944, on the Italian Front:

    I don’t care anymore that a kitten was lost out side a Virginia post office. Because the whole world is lost somewhere between the Hell of earth and the promise of Heaven. And irretrievably lost. No one can redeem what has been lost in our souls for having sinned thus against ourselves. Our children have the right to spit on us for what we are.

    Despite the far right mythology, our military leaders cared more about winning WWII than punishing soldiers who got “off message.”

    alphie (99bc18)

  36. re: owning the story

    Beauchamp has recanted. TNR has not retracted. Plenty of time has passed.

    Therefore, TNR owns the story 100%.

    Daryl Herbert (4ecd4c)

  37. Alphie #35:

    Are you sure that letter was released during wartime? It may have been since it doesn’t sound like there were operational secrets revealed but WWII mail was delayed by censors and slow travel. Commander’s letter seems quite poignant but I’m sure there were tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of letters just like it written by homesick soldiers and sailors, and I’m sure military personnel still write despairing letters home sometimes.

    I have my father’s letters to his family while he was stationed in the European Theatre. They are filled with conflicting emotions as you might expect from a homesick young man who had never been out of the country and who had awesome responsibilities for his age. More than a few of his letters home weren’t delivered until long after he returned, 3+ years after being sent to Europe (with not one visit or telephone call home during his deployment!).

    DRJ (74c23b)

  38. It made it home in a timely manner, DRJ.

    Nice of you to admit Beauchamp has a lot in common with our soldiers who served in WWII.

    Seeing the kinds of people the far right has attacked lately, their attack on Beauchamp seems almost quaint now.

    alphie (99bc18)

  39. Alphie,

    My father and his fellow soldiers were homesick and sad but they didn’t lie about what they saw, so I don’t think they had much in common with Beauchamp.

    DRJ (74c23b)

  40. In alphie’s world, the military always lies and the government always lies, except “official” sources on the other side, or anyone with a -D after their name. You must take this into consideration.

    He/she/it will shout “28%er’s, mission accomplished!, miserable failure, racist” when cornered.

    Techie (c003f1)

  41. Techie, it’s because alphie is such a staunch Republican. That’s why he sees it this way.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  42. #35
    So your saying just like Beauchamp, this soldier stationed in Italy in WWII deliberately lied in a letter to a national magazine in order to mislead the American public and advance his post war journalist career and the magazine that published the falsehood refused to address their complicity in the big lie.

    PS: The military still cares about winning wars. Its the liberals who are horrified at bring democracy to brown people and do everything they can to stop American from winning.

    Perfect Sense (b6ec8c)

  43. alphie is a troll. He knows full well the difference is Beauchamp made shit up.

    I am sure there have been 100,000 conversations among U.S. service members in Iraq that were griping about this, that, or the other, or questioning the leadership. It would not surprise me to learn there were 5,000,000 individual conversations.

    Similar conversations occur regarding most workplaces, I’ll note.

    But just like at our respective workplaces, after griping the soldiers get back to work to accomplish their purpose. Such is life.

    Alphie equates a fraudulent liar to normal human behavior because fraudulent lies are alphie’s stock in trade.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  44. “Nice of you to admit Beauchamp has a lot in common with our soldiers who served in WWII.”

    Yup. That soldier you quoted was lying then ?

    Pitiful. Why don’t you read “Queens Die Proudly” or “They Were Expendable” or “Guadalcanal Diary” or “30 Seconds Over Tokyo” and then get back to me? All of those books had the usual gripes about SNAFUs, a World War II acronym created by the troops. But they didn’t libel their fellow soldiers. Read Alvin Kernan’s books about Midway. One of the surviving torpedo pilots went after the squadron commander of Fighting 6 with his .45 because he felt the fighters had abandoned the torpedo squadrons. He had to be restrained. But it didn’t make the Chicago Tribune.

    Mike K (6d4fc3)

  45. As I recall, on his myspace page Beauchamp said that he went into the military to enhance his credibility as a writer (I may be wrong as to the source, but I am sure the statement is correct). In his missives in TNR, Beauchamp committed the cardinal sin of breaking faith with his fellow soldiers by lying and putting them in a bad light. That may not seem like much to many, but is damn near unforgivable in military culture. We didn’t make much money, the prestige factor ain’t much, the working conditions tend to suck, etc. What is left is duty, honor and faith & fidelity (and trust) with your fellow soldiers. Beauchamp threw these aside for personal glory. He is lucky in that his commander is willing to give him a chance to redeem himself (and apparently so are the NCO’s and enlisted in his unit).
    For TNR, they should be burned as, from what I read, their fact checking was (apparently) deliberately negligent. Someone (was it C. Yankee?) found out that they fact checked the running the dog over with the Bradley story by asking the PR guy for the vehicle manufacturer if the Bradley was maneuverable, not by asking if the maneuver as described was possible (if you have ever driven any armored vehicle, you know it’s not).
    For his sake, I hope Beauchamp will see why what he wrote was wrong and make serious amends with his unit mates. I hope he can become a better person as a result.

    Mr Chips (760667)

  46. I don’t see TNR’s Nixonian stonewall failing. They only answer to the owner of TNR, and if he were going to cut throats he would have already done so.

    They aren’t likely to get investigated as criminals, or get subpoenaed by a Dem-led Congressional committee. And they won’t even have to act and/or suffer to the very limited extent that CBS did, because TNR is a niche player, and while their base might prefer accurate reporting, they also don’t really care about a screwup in that direction, because there are no enemies to the left.

    There would need to be some new force thrown into the mix — like a Beauchamp confession, another whistle-blower or major leak, or a serious legal investigation — for this to change.

    DWPittelli (2e1b8e)

  47. Mr Chips,

    Are you saying the soldier who released the Abu Ghraib photos should not have sent them to the press?

    That Pat Tillman’s brother should have kept his mouth shut?

    What an odd sense of “loyalty” the far right has these days.

    alphie (99bc18)

  48. There is merit to working through proper channels to correct problems before going public. Most institutions – like unions and the government – require it by law, contract, or both. Of course, in this instance Beauchamp fabricated his stories but had they been true, he should have reported it to his superior first.

    DRJ (74c23b)

  49. well guess no need to ask alphie if he supports the troops. oh and abu ghraib was under investigation well before those pix were sent to the press.

    chas (926eb5)

  50. We only saw the tamest of the photos from Abu Ghraib, chas.

    The ones that might even shock the true believers are still held by the Pentagon…in violation of a court order.

    alphie (99bc18)

  51. why throw more fuel on the fire? those involved were in the process of being tried and punished when the pix came out.

    and why do you think beauchamp is a coverup? why wouldnt the military just punish him and the other low level enlisted men involved in some minor infractions? why would they insist on covering it up? that theory makes no sense.

    chas (926eb5)

  52. I support a system of checks and balances, chas.

    No government institution should get to judge itself.

    alphie (99bc18)

  53. The media will let TNR get away with this, we are watching it happen right before our eyes.

    JD (864bd2)

  54. JD,

    Give it a month or two. I’m thinking there are still some developments on the horizon . . .

    Patterico (bad89b)

  55. well thats a fine little belief you have. so, you gonna answer the question? you seem to have trouble answering questions.

    chas (926eb5)

  56. btw, have you phoned pelosi’s office to let her know you feel that way? tell her she should appoint an independent prosecutor to look into dollar bill jefferson, murtha and hell, even herself!

    chas (926eb5)

  57. I don’t think the Army is covering up anything in the Beauchamp matter, chas.

    I think it’s pandering to the far right.

    Is it any wonder that support for the Iraq fiasco fell after Patraues’ dog and pony show before Congress?

    I hope President Hillary disbands the whole thing and starts over from scratch.

    alphie (99bc18)

  58. your comment #28 seems to suggest the army pressured beauchamp into lying, which would be covering up.

    chas (926eb5)

  59. The threat is implied, chas.

    Sitting in an Army brig in the middle of Iraq isn’t exactly a free will state of being, is it?

    When Beauchamp is back home and discharged, I’m sure he’ll set the record straight.

    alphie (99bc18)

  60. alphie #12…if the stories are true, TNR doesn’t have to drop them, or Beauchamp, do they?

    But, in #17, they launch a propaganda campaign against Beauchamp….isn’t that a cover-up?

    And, if there is no cover-up, as you say in #57, how can there be a propaganda campaign?

    make up your mind….don’t be a wuss all your life….

    reff (4e3fcd)

  61. Me?

    According to the far right true believers, “Scott Thomas” didn’t exist.

    When he turned out to be as real as Jamail Hussein…did the “support the troops” crowd apologize for their moronic attacks?

    Haha, not a chance.

    alphie (99bc18)

  62. Confederate Yankee has an interesting new development in the case. TNR Has Too Many Readers?

    Looking Glass (ce3111)

  63. It almost makes it worthwhile waiting, doesn’t it?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  64. The wait for what, Christoph?

    Marty Peretz getting “perfected?”

    alphie (99bc18)

  65. alphie, that’s the stupidest red herring of all red herrings.

    Full disclosure. I’m not a Christian.

    But obviously anyone of any religion believes people — as in everyone — should join their religion because it’s the truth.

    Do I agree with her? No. Do I think this is totally rational for a Christian? Obviously. It’s the only rational position.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  66. I can’t believe you people are still wanking over this. Good Lord, we’re supposedly facing the imminent doom of Western Civilization from Islamofascist takeover, and you guys are focused for months at a time on the most miniscule non-story that no one but you cares about.

    I mean, sure, maybe you have a point about Beaucamp or TNR. But who cares? You think they’re any less credible than Fox News, Powerline, Drudge, or the rightwing blogs?

    Frank (cd0a94)

  67. Frank, we’re at war. News outlets carrying false stories of American soldiers as committing war crimes is damaging to the war effort against Islamofacists. That’s why this story is important.

    Most people understand that. You don’t. What else is new?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  68. “War Crimes” Christoph?

    Guess the bar has been lowered a tad since Nuremberg, eh?

    alphie (99bc18)

  69. alphie…first, “Scott Thomas” didn’t exist, because Beauchamp made up the stories….

    Second, you still didn’t answer the contradiction you wrote….

    But you can’t, can you….

    reff (4e3fcd)

  70. Alphie;

    You make the same mistake the CIA made as evidenced by the recently released IG report regarding their performance prior to 9/11. The CIA failed to change the process of prosecuting a war against the Russians (Symmetrical) to war against the takfiris/wahabbists (Asymmetrical.)

    The bar has indeed been lowered as our enemy hides behind women, children, and the aged/infirm. Planting command centers under nursery schools, as Saddam did, wearing no uniform, indeed dressing as women, is a direct attack on western sensibilities.

    The world has changed dramatically since Nuremberg. The question remains, are we in the west prepared to change and adjust to the new ROE? If not, be prepared for the worst case scenario. Your naive and skewed view of the world through latte steam is under attack. You worship life in the here-and-now while they worship death and destruction and a false afterlife.

    vet66 (56a0a8)

  71. Until The Weekly Standard names its military sources disputing Beauchamp and his alleged “signed affidavit,” TNR will not revisit.

    The Army said no one in his unit could corroborate Beauchamp’s anecdotes. The WaPo’s Howard Kurtz said Beauchamp’s laptop and cellphone were “confiscated” and that he faced multiple violations. That, unsurprisingly, was anonymously sourced.

    Nothing in this saga has been independently confirmed. I find the Army’s refusal to release its report suspicious — they generally release investigative reports when it furthers their interests. Pressure to disclose might reveal various “petty cruelties” were documented in the course of verifying Beauchamp’s storyline. With their Administration connections, off-the-record military emails in The Weekly Standard are really an absence of evidence.

    steve (b46106)

  72. Steve…you may have a valid point from a simple “we are right, and haven’t been PROVEN wrong” perspective for TNR, but, shouldn’t TNR have simple vetted the stories before publication? The fact that they didn’t says so much more to logical thinking people than TWS “lack of evidence.”

    Had TNR simply vetted the stories, we would not be here right now, would we? Which proves they came from a biased perspective from the start….

    reff (4e3fcd)

  73. TNR should not have run the “Diary” knowing so little of it could be checked out. Critics are right to spotlight inconsistencies and question motives.

    But “a military source close to the investigation” can be an outlet for smear and conjecture as well as rebuttal. The accused can’t call him back and he can’t renounce.

    steve (b46106)

  74. War is messy. War is hell. War can be quite necessary.

    but the alpee’s and other “This is all a Bu$HitlerNeoConZionist fiasco that would have never happened in the past” is just so much puerile, bad faith bunk as to make plain their active disinterest in American interests.

    As pointed out before, terms like FUBAR and SNAFU come directly from those in the military. One doesn’t have to LIE (like Beauchamps did..that’s an established fact when he claimed to be in Iraq when he was in Kuwait … his credibility is impeached) if one wants to report stories that are less than flattering to military bureacracy. Soldiers have griped, bitched, grumbled their way through every conflict …

    something endemic to every time more than a couple human beings get together on any project … Obviously alpee has never served on a PTA board or parent Booster Club.

    But the current push by the Left, along with their water-carrying MSM, to demonize the military and individual soldiers and to minimize any heroics (look at the rather spotty coverage of Michael P Murphy) cannot be satisfied with facts but now includes fraudulent accounts to bolster their “American soldiers are nothing but criminal, inhuman killbots” meme.

    It’s doesn’t disgust me anymore because I just consider the source. Such people are anti-American.

    Darleen (187edc)

  75. alpie #61

    i never saw anyone who denied the existence of scott thomas. on blackfive and ace of spades they said he was most likely the platoon f*ck up, and i bet they are right when all the “facts” come out.

    but at least you admitted you believe the military is conducting a coverup. but you have no credible theory as to why.

    chas (926eb5)

  76. Most flaps like this become ulterior motive ping-pong — hungry ideologues are fed in such ways.

    If Beauchamp had his laptop and cellphone confiscated, while made to answer for two regulation “violations,” TNR owes readers a follow-up. Problem is, the Army won’t say what the hell happened.

    Competing “where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire” notions are indulged in ignorance.

    steve (eb120d)

  77. steve – “I find the Army’s refusal to release its report suspicious — they generally release investigative reports when it furthers their interests.”

    Could you give some recent examples where this occurred where the Army has been investigating an individual rather than groups of individuals connected in a larger incident? Nothing is coming readily to mind today.

    But “a military source close to the investigation” can be an outlet for smear and conjecture as well as rebuttal. The accused can’t call him back and he can’t renounce.

    Aren’t these the same type of anonymous Administration sources when they are critical of Bush that the left and the media just love to death. You don’t complain about their unfairness then do you steve?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  78. The Army’s investigation would have involved at least a platoon. Beauchamp wasn’t saying he instigated all these “petty cruelties.” Their refusing to release their findings – all the while dropping off-the-record grenades with bloggers and The Weekly Standard – is suspicious.

    And indeed, I do disparage anonymous sourcing, especially when it purports to “independently confirm” first-instance anonymous sourcing.

    steve (eb120d)

  79. And indeed, I do disparage anonymous sourcing, especially when it purports to “independently confirm” first-instance anonymous sourcing.

    Care to link to an example of such disparaging? Otherwise, without independent confirmation, all we have is your say-so…since your statement is nothing but first-instance anonymous sourcing.

    Paul (d71395)

  80. steve – There was only one unsourced Army reference to my recollection – the recantation. Everything else was on the record. Do you have examples of other things betond the recantation that were off the record?

    How are you coming on finding examples of the Army releasing results of investigations of individuals – I should have added without the individual’s permission? It sounded like you had some ready knowledge of that practice.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  81. Its like I said about the Dan Rather memogate thing. Even if Rather wasn’t lying when he initially produced the thing, at some point he was lying in pretending the document was genuine.

    I am sure that in the beginning they really believed the stories this guy told. But at some point, they had to know that it was crap. So what they are doing now is lying and being dishonest.

    I don’t like the phrase “its not the crime, its the coverup” because it seems like so many people misunderstand what it means. I think too many people think that covering up the crime is worse than the crime. It can be, but here it isn’t. Its just by covering it up, TNR has transformed this from a single actor snookering the institution, to the institution as a whole becoming the bad actor.

    A.W. (412f50)

  82. daleyrocks, The Army is comprised of “individuals.” Beauchamp’s allegations outlined others’ activities. If key facets of the investigation at Camp Beuhring, Kuwait were leaked off-the-record to selected outlets, the Army, in my opinion, acted suspiciously.

    Everything else, as you put it, was NOT on the record. Howie Kurtz found “a military official, who asked not to be identified” to tell WaPo readers Beauchamp faced two regulations violations and that his laptop and cell phone had been “confiscated.”

    New Republic Editor Franklin Foer famously rejoined that, “We’ve talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account.”

    Both sides are in attribution abyss — it’s borderline delusional.

    The Weekly Standard reprints emails from soldiers claiming were deployed with Beauchamp at Camp Beuhring, Kuwait. Again, no names attached:

    “If Scott Beauchamp came through Kuwait, he came through Buehring, period. If he saw a burned woman here, then I would like to know where she is, because I haven’t seen her in the whole 9 months. That’s not to say she doesn’t exist – she could – but I haven’t seen her, at least not here.”

    And then we have Beauchamp’s alleged “recantation.” Col. Ricky Gibbs, his commander, told The Weekly Standard, “Beauchamp did not recant,” but “he does not stand by the story.”

    Ours, it seems, is not an “Army of One.” If Beauchamp faced an Article 15 over this, there’s no reason for continuing leaks and equivocation.

    steve (6665bb)

  83. steve – Could you link the WaPo story. Confiscating a laptop and cell phone says nothing about the results of an investigation in my opinion, in fact TNR reported he was being held incommunicado, so this information is not a revelation. Confederate Yankee called the PAO responsible for the Camp in Kuwait who went on record and confirmed the same information in the e-mails printed by the Weekly Standard you included in your comment. The e-mails from those soldiers do not make it sound like they were part of the actual Army investigation do they so I’m not sure how they affect your leak argument in the first place. Your Gibbs comment is on the record.

    I am still mystified as to what exactly you believe was “leaked.” Petraeus’ spokesperson went on the record as did others in the chain of command. Can you try to be specific.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  84. The Beauchamp case is replete with off-the-record disclosure of information. TNR claims to have spoken with “five other members of Beauchamp’s company, and all corroborated Beauchamp’s anecdotes, which they witnessed or, in the case of one solider, heard about contemporaneously.” All requested anonymity, alas. The Weekly Standard countered with soldier emails refuting the Beauchamp stories. I find it impossible to believe all these crossed the transom without chain-of-command awareness.

    The commander’s statement that “Beauchamp did not recant,” but “does not stand by his story” is an artifice of distraction. We’re told to believe he is NOT being held incommunicado while several around him are impulsively venting — anonymously.

    This is an information war. The Army may be sitting on an investigative report at once unflattering to itself *and* damaging to Beauchamp. It will never see the light of day, if that’s the case.

    Which Petraeus’ spokesman went “on the record” in this matter?

    Kurtz’s piece:

    A military official said Beauchamp had committed two violations, making false statements and not obtaining permission to publish the articles.


    A military official, who asked not to be identified because the probe is confidential, said no charges were filed against Beauchamp. Instead, the official said, the matter is being handled administratively, with Beauchamp punished by having his cellphone and laptop confiscated for an undetermined period.

    steve (32aed5)

  85. steve – You’re trying hard, but I don’t think you have much.

    The following is from Confederate Yankee, who really owns this story:
    August 03, 2007
    It’s Official: Beauchamp’s Claims Debunked by Army Internal Investigation
    Col. Steven Boylan, Public Affairs Officer for U.S. Army Commanding General in Iraq David Petraeus, just emailed me the following in response to my request to confirm an earlier report that the U.S. Army’s investigation into the claims made by PV-2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp made in The New Republic had been completed.

    He states:

    To your question: Were there any truth to what was being said by Thomas?

    Answer: An investigation of the allegations were conducted by the command and found to be false. In fact, members of Thomas’ platoon and
    company were all interviewed and no one could substantiate his claims.

    As to what will happen to him?

    Answer: As there is no evidence of criminal conduct, he is subject to Administrative punishment as determined by his chain of command. Under the various rules and regulations, administrative actions are not releasable to the public by the military on what does or does not

    In a later post, Boylan confirmed, on the record, that Beauchamp was not being held incommunicado, as claimed by TNR, and that he could use phones available to other soldiers.

    “The commander’s statement that “Beauchamp did not recant,” but “does not stand by his story”” is in reference to a conversation TNY had with a Major Lamb and not a direct quote. Lamb was asked if by TNR if Beauchamp had recanted and he apparently replied “I have no knowledge of that.” Does that mean he has not seen a recantation if one exists or Beauchamp did not recant. It’s unclear to me. The only unsourced claim of any substance related to the investigation is the recantation IMO.

    Lamb was on record with the following: “An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.”

    Do you still believe Beauchamp was telling the truth steve? If you do, you should really skim through the posts over at Confederate Yankee.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  86. “The commander’s statement that “Beauchamp did not recant,” but “does not stand by his story”” is in reference to a conversation TNY had with a Major Lamb and not a direct quote.

    It’s purported to be from Col. Gibbs, directly:

    At the end of the call, Gibbs returned to the subject of Beauchamp’s confession to say that “Beauchamp did not recant,” but that “he does not stand by the story.” This caused some puzzlement among the folks on the line.

    Never underestimate the Army’s ability to thread the needle.

    Beauchamp making “false statements” could refer solely to the Kuwait/Iraq error and represent the single aspect he’s “not standing by.” That’s probably too generous, I admit. But there’s little reason to believe anyone at this point. Not the Army, which found no one to back up the tales. And not TNR’s “five other members of Beauchamp’s company [who] corroborated Beauchamp’s anecdotes, which they witnessed or, in the case of one solider, heard about contemporaneously.”

    I’d hate to think the lesson from this is you’re forbidden to publish an unauthorized diary while deployed — but blogging and emailing media types are not so problematic.

    Provided you hide your identity.

    steve (32aed5)

  87. steve – I’m referencing TNR’s conversations with Major Lamb from August in response to the Weekly Standard’s original reporting of the recantation, which occurred in early August, not this end of September piece. We have different quotes because they are from different pieces. Mine refer to the original reporting and yours from later material.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  88. Based on the later material, it sounds like Weekly Standard should back off its earlier unsourced piece and someone should press them on that.

    daleyrocks (906622)

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