Allah sums up the current status of the Beauchamp matter quite well:
Their [TNR editors’] defense here is obviously going to be that Beauchamp did offer to “talk” to them, sort of, by promising to release the statements he gave to the Army and that they were simply waiting until they had that material to report the conversation. But … why don’t they have that material yet? Beauchamp agreed to release it to them in part 2 of the transcript, but here we are six weeks later and still no report from TNR. Like Ace says, there are only two possibilities:
1) Beauchamp never authorized the release of these documents to TNR, and TNR is trying to claim the Army has a special duty to give them to TNR, even with Beauchamp stubbornly refusing to sign the release.
2) Beauchamp did authorize the release of all documents specifically pertaining to himself, which is all he could authorize, but that authorization does not cover the statements made by other troops in the unit. So TNR is spinning its failure to get permission from the other soldiers to view their statements as A) due to Army non-cooperation and B) absolving them from having to report any further on the story until they get these documents (which they never will).
They’re “waiting for all the facts to come in” before they do any further reporting on the story, in other words. And since there are no more facts forthcoming, voila: story’s over. Frankly, I’m surprised the Army didn’t leak Beauchamp’s statements and the report of its investigation to TNR just to call their bluff and force their hand.
To that, I’d add just one word: yet. Because you never know. If document A is leaked today, how do we know document B won’t be leaked tomorrow?
And, by the way, it’s crystal clear that the transcript leaked yesterday is an Army transcript. Just look at the footer at the bottom of the phone conversation transcripts:
It’s obviously part of a case file opened regarding Beauchamp’s “misconduct” on July 17, when the Army first learned the story had been published. Bolstering this conclusion is a comment “Dusty” made at Confederate Yankee:
I thought it might have been a transcription by TNR at first, but 1.pdf has what I think a revealing nugget on page 6 of 7. The first Beauchamp comment recorded ends “… (sips water)” and it seems to me the only one knowing Beauchamp sipped water would be the one transcibing it and could see it, unless this was a video hookup, too. On that basis, I’d say this conversation was transcribed by the Army.
(To read the comment, scroll to October 24, 2007 at 2:56 p.m.)
In any event, even if no further leak is forthcoming, we know that Foer et al. have been actively seeking those documents through FOIA. If, as Allah suggests, simply responding to the FOIA request would force TNR’s hand, why not do it?
Because, what are the chances that Beauchamp stands by his story in those statements? I’m putting them somewhere between Slim and None, with Slim having long since left the building.
And didn’t the editors tell Beauchamp that if he can’t stand by his story, then neither can they?
Why, yes. They did.
So we have a very small fig leaf left, and a decent chance that a gust of wind is going to blow off, leaving Foer and friends completely exposed.
It ain’t gonna be pretty. And that’s as far as I’m taking that metaphor.
This is all speculation. But as I recently told you: Please don’t doubt me again.