July 26, 2007

"The guy writes about how his comrades mock disfigured women, slaughter dogs and wear baby skulls as hats..."

"... but he's upset that others have called his and his comrades' character into question?"

MORE: "He's a pretentious ass, and a lefty."

175 comments:

AllenS said...

If what he reported is fact, then
his next duty assignment might be Fort Leavenworth. Open mouth, insert combat boot.

Roger said...

given the fact that Pvt Beauchamp has identified himself and his unit, this will be a realtively easy story to fact check--Interestingly enough, TNR, now that have published his name are telling us they will fact check and report back. (this, of course, ignores the fact they clearly didnt fact check what would have ridicously easy to fact check prior to publishing the sensational accounts).

What do you want to bet the blogosphere has this story sorted out long before TNR or any other MSM outfits even run it.

An afterthought: why does the phrase "...in the manner of jengis khan" come to mind.

Jeremy said...

I have trouble taking seriously a person who uses "lefty" as an insult.

Ann Althouse said...

Jeremy, it does effectively signify that the person is antagonistic to the war and the administration. Note that he writes "a pretentious ass, and a lefty" -- which implies that he didn't perceive a redundancy.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I don't understand why you posted this. The guy wrote about his personal experience with dark side of serving in Iraq, taking care not to whitewash his own behavior. Then, after war supporters attack the article as having been made up, he takes responsibility and identifies himself so that any alleged errors and inconsistencies can be defended or explained. How does that make him a pretentious ass? And why does it matter if he has liberal political views?

If what he says is true, are we supposed to dislike him because he revealed bad things U.S. representatives are doing in Iraq? Don't we want to know these things so that we can address the phenomenon and react to its consequences?

Cedarford said...

Jeremy said...
I have trouble taking seriously a person who uses "lefty" as an insult.


They are only citizens trying to be polite and not use words like "traitor, or disloyal Americans," or "America-hater" to describe Leftys, Jeremy.

hdhouse said...
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hdhouse said...

Then let him use "antagonistic to this administration" and "anti-war". "Lefty" is just a flashword and not specific to the issue at all. It may be convenient and it may be used as a hotbutton for the neo-Geo-p'rs but it is as meaningless as the Rush Limbaugh "drive by media" and the all to common MSM which is really out there as an idiotic mis-attribution.

Does this guy appear to be without merit? you betcha but leaps of faith labeling and projection don't or shouldn't count.

Besides if Michele Malkin is involved enough to comment you can bet your behind it is a stretch.

Besides you can see the fringe moved right in with the lefty=traitor crap (see Cedarford's drivil above)

Galvanized said...

Does anyone have his direct MySpace site address? I can't find it. I would really like to read what he had to say first without anyone's opinions alongside it.

I would like to read what any conscientious soldier feels when he is over there. Because if these practices do exist with any acceptance among troops, then I indeed worry about their emotional wellbeing while deployed and am not surprised at their difficulty in readjusting to life when they return home.

Lars said...

Everybody better wait for the investigation that will follow.

I've been to the guys site and its sounds like his motivation to join
the Army was flesh to out his plotline for
the 'Great American Novel'. He wants to be the new Norman Mailer

He's in deep shit now. Wait until the guys in his platoon get a load of how he is is burnishing their image.

The sad thing is a large portion of the US population is pre-conditioned to believe this sort of stuff via the MSM and Hollywood. Compounding this is the fact that the percentage of the population that has seen active service is shrinking. Most vets can tell right off the bat that this is
total bullshit or highly embellished.

Mindsteps said...

hdhouse said: "Lefty" is just a flashword and not specific to the issue at all.

In the context of the blog cited by Ann, the term "lefty" functions as a form of politically bigoted name calling.

Galvanized....like you, I went in search of this soldier's myspace page without success.

Joseph...likewise, I am interested the thought processes employed to construct this post......why Ann chose the topic, the reasoning she used to select what to include and what to exclude on the subject, etc.

John said...

Well, at least now we'll see how much of this is true. My guess is about 5%. The stories probably have some small grain of truth but have been exaggerated beyond recognition to increase the "literary value"

For example, Scotty-boy really did make fun of a woman in Iraq but not at the chow hall and she wasn't really disfigured but just a bit homely.

Something like that. I'm sure we'll be hearing from other members of A Co 1/18 Infantry as well.

Lars said...

Lefty is much kinder and gentler than :Leftoid, Leftard, Lefturd, etc.

I've even heard that right-wing nut job Chris Matthews use it on his program more than once.

danny said...

Why doesn't Ann support the troops? Oh, I see, she's hiding behind other people's comments to get across her point, without having to actually say it! Smart cookie.

Cedarford said...

Joseph Hovsep - If what he says is true, are we supposed to dislike him because he revealed bad things U.S. representatives are doing in Iraq? Don't we want to know these things so that we can address the phenomenon and react to its consequences?

The press source is an active duty soldier who has apparantly been busted for other infractions. As a soldier he is required by the law all soldiers are under -the UCMJ -to report all violations to his chain of command. Or write his Senators or Congress Reps. Or write the Inspector General or Secretary of DOD, with the clear preference the chain-of-command.

If his allegations are true, by going to the media, he jeopardized the lives of US troops in Iraq and their mission. His sh*t is already up on Jihadi websites. He also blindsided his commaders from investigating and discplining guilty parties if he wasn't lying - which would have greatly reduced Iraqi hostility and danger to his peers in a war zone when court martial charges were announced by showing the US was on it's own violition - hammering the guilty parties.

If he lied, and there is copious evidence emerging from the Milblogs and his unit, he put his brothers in arms at lethal risk to either discredit the Army and further his own agenda, or to give aid and comfort to the enemy.

It appears that he has been removed to Germany. Probably for his own safety as his comrades likely consider him fair game for a serious beating or worse.

I imagine the posturing little fool will soon appreciate the seriousness of the laws he has broken, and charges he aided the enemy and jeopardized US soldiers will only get worse if soldier deaths are actually traced back to his TNR media efforts. Bare minimum, he is looking at a dishonorable discharge - which schools and employers look at the same as a major felony conviction. Or he could see jail time.

The matter of the editor and TNR enabling this disgruntled private being protected by the 1st Amendment is also interesting. The last time an utterly false story was put out that cost lives, it was just 16 Afghan lives in the (falsely alledged) Gitmo Koran abuse rioting published by Newsweek
.

So far, no media in the Iraq War has faced angry American soldiers charging that reporters and editor directly have GI blood on their hands. I think it is inevitable the way the media is out to discredit the military effort and by proxy the military troops themselves in various "crimes against Islam" that one day the US media will be directly responsible for killing troops in the field. It will be interesting to see what consequences the comrades of troops dead at the hands of US media want - legal? or personal vendetta?

And military leaders just might consider further restrictions on US troop communications. The internet emails and personal phone calls and letters that are not currently reviewed and legally censored by military officials in the war zone. Something no soldier personally wants..

Revenant said...

I don't understand why you posted this. The guy wrote about his personal experience with dark side of serving in Iraq, taking care not to whitewash his own behavior.

It has yet to be established that any of the lurid details come from his experiences, rather than from his imagination.

Good links and commentary can be found here. They include some interesting observations -- such as the fact that many of the "atrocities" this jackass "witnessed" in Iraq coincidentally happen to mirror both his own earlier attempts at creative writing (the half-destroyed face shows up, for example) and events that were in the news while he was stationed in Germany. Something very like the "skull-wearing"", for example, was in the German news while Beauchamp was in Germany, because GERMAN soliders were doing it in Afghanistan.

Jeremy said...

Ann Althouse said
Jeremy, it does effectively signify that the person is antagonistic to the war and the administration.


Based on the public opinion polls I've seen, there are so many leftys out there that the term is about as relevant to anything as calling him "male." But yeah, it's not as if I haven't seen (and happily participated in) name-calling on the internet. It's just not something I'd do while trying to cover a serious topic.

Original Mike said...

My guess is he's just laying the groundwork for his 2048 Presidential bid.

*jane said...
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*jane said...

(Typos. Must be from picking vine-fermented grapes this afternoon-)

Cedarford is exactly right on this issue. Either way, whether the stories are true and he didn't report the incidents to command, or, more likely, they were wholesale fabications meant to promote him and discredit our military and Iraq war efforts, the guy is a dishonorable rat unworthy of the uniform and deserving of serious repercussions.

People who claim to protest the war on behalf of our troops and innocent Iraqis and then who use unreliable, unconfirmed stories (not from multiple, vetted sources) with which to smear our troops' work and sacrifice are as scummy as one could possibly get. That kind of publicity-propaganda gets the wrong people riled, good guys and innocents injured and killed, and makes the mission all the more difficult and protracted. It's beyond disgusting for the media to play with people's lives like that, especially when posturing as peace and love, humanitarian anti-war activists.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Cedarford,

I don't buy the argument that soldiers or media or politians should pretend that the war has no negative consequences or that soldiers are godly patriots incapable of cruelty or error in judgment. War always has dark consequences and the soldiers are young, flawed human beings with limited life experience and living in a dangerous environment. Only a fool thinks war and military service is or can be all pride, nobility and good works with no shame, prejudice and horror. This side of war must be reported because its reality factors critically into the decision whether the benefits of a military action, on balance, outweigh the negatives.

You also suggest that the media are so eager eat up negative angles on the war that they are willing to give voice to misinformation. The media does report on negative aspects of the war (by any objective measure, there are a lot) and occassionally such information will turn out to be false and may unnecessarily make soldiers look bad. But these occassional blips pale in comparison to the outrageous pro-war misinformation the media have dutifully reported and the great loss of life that such pro-war misinformation has caused.

Fourth, given your disdain for free speech, I suggest you might be more comfortable living under a more repressive regime than is possible in the United States.

Mindsteps said...

The last time an utterly false story was put out that cost lives, it was just 16 Afghan lives in the (falsely alledged) Gitmo Koran abuse rioting published by Newsweek.

Why should I trust the narrative of the War put forth by our government and Military any more than I trust the accounts of this soldier, the media, or the bloggers cited in this post by Ann?

Joseph Hovsep said...

Revenant,

It has yet to be established that any of the lurid details come from his experiences, rather than from his imagination.

It has yet to be established that the lurid details do not come from his experiences either.

many of the "atrocities" this jackass "witnessed" in Iraq...

Sounds like you've made up your mind regardless of the accuracy of his report.

*jane said...

Joseph,

How would you like your life if the press erroneously but boldly reported you to be a sex offender, because someone who didn't like you told them you were? Think there'd be real-life consequences for you and your family? Do you believe the charge would ever go away in people's minds, even if you successfully fought it in court after years and much money?

Lars said...

Cedarford:

Joseph has just given you the long version of 'fake but accurate'.

*jane said...

"It has yet to be established that the lurid details do not come from his experiences either."

Your burden of proof seems to be a bit backwards. Conscientious whistleblowers try the system first and then document like hell, if they have to go to the press.

Joseph Hovsep said...

Jane,

If what he has reported is not true, then we need to know and there should be repercussions for him. I have no argument there.

My objection is to the more general tenor of pro-war commenters suggesting that reporting the (accurate) dark side of the war is unpatriotic or treasonous or must be suppressed because it might make the U.S. or soldiers look bad.

Joseph Hovsep said...

No, Lars. That's not remotely close to what I said. "Fake" should never reported as news, precautions must be taken to prevent it, and when errors and politically motivated misinformation makes it through, it should be discredited and there should be consequences.

I also pointed out that more harmful misinformation has made it into the mainstream media from the pro-war side than the anti-war side.

The Drill SGT said...
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dick said...

This is much like the stuff Kerry testified to in the Vietnam war and that was proven to be for the most part made up and testified to by people who lied. I think that TNR should have been sure to verify and validate everything this guy wrote before printing it because of the terrible repercussions that might result - but then they really don't care about that evidently - or at least not until they are the ones who are put in danger.

The Drill SGT said...

I have no direct knowledge of the incident, but with a lot of years experience in the Army as a private, sergeant, and commander, I can tell you that every unit has 1 of these guys.

1. I'd like you to note that this guy is a private. after apparently at least 24 months or more in the Army, and assigned to a combat zone for 9 months, this guy is a private? WTF? any solder ought to be an SP4 (e.g. 2-3 gardes higher). This means that our author is a F_ck-up and has been busted one or more times. His Platton SGT must have his hands full. The line about 20% of the guys needing 80% of the attention. Over educated, over confident, under performing, loud mouthed f_ck-ups.

2. He is an author wannabe in a post titled "ill return to america an author " who 15 months ago has written "room filled with limbless veterans, some missing half a face" pretty similar to the "true" story from Iraq?

Hoosier Daddy said...

My objection is to the more general tenor of pro-war commenters suggesting that reporting the (accurate) dark side of the war is unpatriotic or treasonous or must be suppressed because it might make the U.S. or soldiers look bad.

I don't think anyone on here is saying that at all. What I have read so far and agree with is that there was a process for this guy to follow and he didn't. Instead, it appears he went the route of hoisting himself on a pedestal in a way that says look at me! It’s called following the chain of command and it’s like that in the corporate world as well. I guarantee if you find some malfeasance in your workplace and go directly to the press instead of your direct report or internal audit, you may be a hero in the public's eyes but more than likely will be out of a job.

I have no idea if what he says is true or not. War is a nasty business and even the 'greatest generation' did some pretty horrendous stuff (Japanese skulls were popular souvenirs) so to cling to the idea that all those guys are Sir Lancelot with an M4 is naive.

Fen said...

No Mary, DrillSGT is spot on. We have the same thing in the Marines - we call them 10 percenters [because every unit has a few], or sh!tbirds. I am likewise curious why the kid is still a private, because if he's not fresh out of boot camp, it means he's a malcontent.

Of course, if Beauchamp was a disgruntled reporter "exposing" the fraud of the New York Times, you'd be the first to say he has a vengeful agenda.

AJ Lynch said...

joesph Hovsep- you chose to call this guy's critics "war supporters". Does that mean you would call his supporters "war protesters or war opponents".

Why not call his critics "truthseekers" or "devil's advocates" or just plain "skeptical media critics"?

Your choice of words shows you have made your mind up and perhaps are disposed to be anti-military as well as anti-Iraq war.

Yet you would give the assumption of innocence to an accused rapist or Sandy Berger or Scooter Libby? But not to our military?

*jane said...
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*jane said...

Apparently, it's worse (and unrealistic b/c war-is-inherently-ugly) to believe the best of our troops than the worst. And without real evidence.

These are our neighbors, brothers, sons and daughters about whom we're knee-jerk saying the hideous stories from one man's mouth are/could be true unless they prove otherwise.

We support the troops.

The Drill SGT said...

Mary,

The point is (and Cedarford) already made it, was that of the 3 incidents that the author alleges,

1. The screwing around with the skull of a child at a cemetary was in my mind clearly a violation of standing orders and any NCO or officer would have stood the miscreant up against the wall or potentially non-judical punishment (e.g. a fine). Behavior like that is bad for civic relations and therefore risks unit lives. If the author witnessed such an incident, he should have reported it.

2. same with the running over a dog story. First, it would be extremely hard to do in a Brad, secondly, it would be dangerous in and of itself to do that with IED's buried on the shoulders and convoy intervals to be maintained. same thing here about the impact of relations with the locals and risks to troops. This guy is apparently a f_ck-up. He would be riding in the back of the Brad and could never see this event happening. period.

3. abuse of a female soldier with half her face burned away? give me a break. burns like that get you med-evac'd to Brooke Army Hospital in Texas which is the Army's burn center. nobody comes back from that in less than a couple of years and multiple surgeries. You dont walk around a combat zone with a frsh injury like that. Second, NOBODY would tolerate abuse of a wounded soldier, much less a female. I'd have the guy up on court-martial charges in a heart beat for Article 134, UCMJ: "all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, "

I support the troops, I have been one through 2 wars, and my wife is serving today. This guy is either a liar or failed to do his duty, if he is telling the truth.

Luckyoldson said...

Every time anybody comes out with anything horrible about Iraq they're branded as anti-American or traitorous.

The 30% of America who continues to support Bush just can't stand to hear anything they don't already believe to be true...or want to be true.

Same shit, different day.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Another thing that needs to be pointed out is that in any organization, there are bad apples. What bugs me is that when it comes to say, the military or the police, the media practically falls all over itself to point out the bad guys. I remember when it was Abu Gahrib all day, every day 24/7 where a homely West Virginia chick and a couple of her buddies became an indictment of the entire US military.

But go back when the welfare reform movement started with reports of fraud and the welfare queen examples and the media and left were very quick to point out that these were a teeny tiny, infinitesimal number of people who were abusing the system and in no way indicative of the vast majority 99.99999% who desperately needed government assistance.

The media naturally loves a scandal and one involving the military or law enforcement is an extra olive in the martini as far as they are concerned. Considering how much the MSM has gotten wrong over the years not to mention outright plagiarism and made up stories it is no wonder their ratings are in the toilet.

As for this guy, he may be telling the truth but he certainly went about it a pretty sh**y way and that is enough to give me pause to question his motives as well as his honesty.

Fen said...

Lucky: Every time anybody comes out with anything horrible about Iraq they're branded as anti-American or traitorous

No, its because the Left uses frauds [Jesse McBeth] to undermine the war effort. Case in point: Beauchamp's "story" about abusing skulls was stolen from a German newspaper [German troops in Afgan] while he was stationed there.

Luckyoldson said...

Fen,
You're full of shit, as usual.

You and the rest of the righties here said the same thing about Abu Ghraib and the Hadifi killings.

Maybe everybody should WAIT to see if the stories are proved true or not.

That would be a change of pace for this crowd.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Every time anybody comes out with anything horrible about Iraq they're branded as anti-American or traitorous.

No one on here has said called him anti-american or tratorious. The veracity of his accuations and criticisms of the way he brought them to light is what has been discussed.

As you are fond of saying, read more, blather less.

P.S. Its been ten minutes by my clock since you posted, can we get an up to the minute Bush approval rating poll? I want to see if he hit Truman's numbers yet.

Richard Dolan said...

There is a real never-neverland quality to some of the comments on this string. Contrary to Joseph Hosvep and others, there is no free speech issue here. No one is "suppressing" negative news about the war or the American military, as if that were even possible. (A glance at the NYT or the WaPo or CNN or ABC or CBS, to say nothing of the lefty blogosphere, on any given day proves the impossibility of doing so, and any sensible person recognizes that suppression of the news is almost never a good idea.)

Nor is there anything to wonder at in seeing this story highlighted here. Poseurs like PV2 S.T. Beauchamp present interesting case studies in self-absorption, if nothing else. The well deserved skewering of this exemplar of poseur-dom isn't the first that our hostess has featured.

For those having difficulty seeing how outragously this guy has behaved, he it is in brief. PV2 S.T. Beauchamp has written a few pieces for TNR saying, in substance, that he witnessed some soldiers in his unit doing some truly awful conduct. Now PV2 Beauchamp writes: "That being said, my character, my experiences, and those of my comrades in arms have been called into question, and I believe that it is important to stand by my writing under my real name."

Called into question? Yes, indeed. But the person who first "called into question" his "character, [his] experiences, and those of [his] comrades in arms" was none other than PV2 S.T. Beauchamp himself. Assuming that what he wrote was accurate and not hyped, it's fair to say that the "character" of everyone involved in the misconduct in Beauchamp's unit, including himself, has been more than "called into question." It's been shown to be awful. So what did PV2 S.T. Beauchamp do to stop it at that time? Did he do anything about it?

To do nothing except write about it anonymously for a proudly lefty journal that has its own political ax to grind about the Administration's policies, and then to whine that his and his conrade's character is being "called into question" is a bit much. I have no idea whether Beauchamp was being accurate and truthful in his reporting of atrocities. I am quite sure that the Army deals with conduct of the sort Beauchamp described quickly and harshly. No one in Beauchamp's chain of command would tolerate it, at least if they wanted to remain in the chain of command.

So, contrary to the commenters above who see something nefarious in the negative attention this guy has gotten, I don't see much to quarrel with in the description of him as "a pretention ass, and a lefty." If anything, that seems to me to understate the truth a bit.

Joseph Hovsep said...

A.J.,

I commented on the "war supporters" who were attacking the soldier's article using arguments about the media's predisposition to criticize the war without or without factual basis and the supposed treachery of reporting anything wrong and cruel done by U.S. soldiers. If I were commenting on any old person criticizing the article on the basis of factual inaccuracy, I might have called them "truthseekers" or "devils' advocates" as you suggest, but I wasn't talking about any old critics. My choice of words may reveal that I am critical of the Iraq War (I am), but they do not suggest that I am anti-military or pro-Beauchamp/TNR. I don't suggest his account should or should not be trusted.

I am a realist about war and military and I think it is important to foster a political culture where we can be honest about both the real successes and real horrors of war.

I certainly give the accused the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty, but I would extend that benefit to Beauchamp as well as his comrades.

Jeremy said...

"Lefty" comment aside, and without commenting on the accuracy of the stories, I think there's an essential conflict between the public's need/right to know and the ability to effectively conduct a war. Not that this war has been effectively conducted at any point, of course.

It seems to me that the availability of day to day information on our soldiers' activities is creating the perception that the public "should" know, and as much as I sympathize, I have to wonder whether this level of information sharing could ever fail to hurt a war effort. I may be wrong, but wasn't it the press coverage of the Tet Offensive that turned the public against Vietnam?

War is ugly, and while they try to train soldiers to deal with this, the public doesn't have similar training. How do you balance the public's right/desire to know with the practical fact that the public is never going to like what it sees when it's presented with this level of detail?

Also, I hate the "support the troops" catchphrase. It's become meaningless, and besides that, it feels dehumanizing. "Troops" sounds to me like a composite entity without a face. "Soldiers" can't be anything but a collection of human beings. Why "troops"? I think it's disrespectful of the "troops."

TMink said...

I will go on this little record as saying that I think he is a liar and will be proven so.

Next.

Trey

Palladian said...

Isn't "Mary" the creepy stalker we're not supposed to talk to?

The Drill SGT said...

Fen,

per the guy's blog, he has been in the sandbox since Sep 06 and was in Germany in Jan 06. so that is 18 months overseas, plus basic training and AIT. that amounts to about 2 years.

I think the Marines are a bit tighter, but hell, I was a SSG at 2 years in the middle of a war. My experience, and I expect it is consistant in the USMC, is that in combat, commanders tend to promote in the grades E1-E4 as fast as they can. maybe they wont rush a promotion to SGT E5 early, cause you dont want somebody unqualified and you can pray to get a new SGT in as a replacement, but the junior grades? fill up the E4 slots, might as well do something for the poor kid and give him a few more bucks to send home to mama.

this guy was an E1 or E2 apparently. That says a lot to me.

*jane said...

Jeremy, would you be kind enough to supply us with the better humanizing term for the guys and gals in our armed services? Would supporting our "soldiers," "GIs," "servicemembers," or "people in uniform" be better and why? Thanks for your input.

Personally, I'd call them "good warriors," but they're having to serve in too many other reconstruction and human relations/ networking capacities to be considered just warriors. Most of those serving I know don't care about what we call them, as long as it's not baby-killers, rednecks, poor and desperate to have any job, ignorant, Christian crusaders and fascists.

Henry said...

I would have thought a link to one of the military bloggers more pertinent than one to Powerline.

But, aside from that, this is a really odd story from the New Republic's point of view. The magazine reports investigatory-worthy behavior by american soliders. But the person committing the worst offenses is the magazine's own correspondent! To get a sense of the journalistic confusion here, imagine the shitstorm that Seymour Hirsch could have created out of Beauchamps anecdotes.

Once the criticism started TNR defended Beauchamp's authenticity, but in doing so they only established their own lack of concern about what he wrote. They printed Beauchamp's stories as fact, while treating them editorially as fiction. It was as if Beauchamp was a character from Platoon or Full Metal Jacket, not an actual soldier, in the field, doing what he claimed to be doing.

The military bloggers knew better. Either Beauchamp was a liar and deserved exposure, or he was telling the truth and deserved investigation. Having a byline doesn't give him a free pass.

DKWalser said...

In assessing the truthfulness of Pvt Beauchamp's account, we need to review his goals in going to Iraq. From his blog posts, it appears (because we don't know whether it really was his blog or whether he was being honest) that Beauchamp wanted to become an author and that he wanted to use his experiences as a vehicle against the war. In other words, he wanted to become a muckraker, like Upton Sinclair.

That does not mean his account is not accurate. Muckraking journalism has a long and honored tradition in our culture. Nor does it mean his own actions were necessarily dishonorable. (He may have thought of himself as an undercover journalist. He was just going along with and observing what the other soldiers were doing. He wasn't a catalyst for their actions.) However, in assessing his account, we should note that he was, at best, looking for sensationally BAD things to use in his stories. That perspective may have distorted his reporting.

We should also consider the fact that other would-be-muckrakers have done more than just report what they saw from inside an organization. In the 1970s, ABC News (IIRC) broadcast a story about supermarkets selling meat after the sell-by date. They even had video of store employees putting new labels on packages of old meat. The problem? The employees on video were the ABC reporters that had "infiltrated" the supermarket. ABC tried and could not get the store's "real" employees to back date the meat. When the store's employees refused, the ABC reporters did it themselves (out of eyesight). Worse, the other employees noticed some of the bad meat had been set out for sale and the ABC reporters were reprimanded. Still, ABC broadcast it's report. Another example of bad muckraking includes NBC's rigging of GM's trucks so they would catch fire in a crash. Sometimes muckrakers don't let the truth get in the way of their story.

So which type of a muckraker is Beauchamp? Right now, we don't know. In reaching a conclusion on that question, his motive should be kept in mind. He was never a neutral and dispassionate observer.

The Drill SGT said...

To Mary and DKwalzer,

You seem to have missed the fact that one of the stories that our author tells is first person. Either he is a slimy liar or a worthless piece of trash. Time will tell, but regardless, I think he should be courtmartialed under Article 134. Here is what he said about his OWN behavior in one piece:

“I think she’s f*****g hot!” I blurted out.

“What?” said my friend, half-smiling.

“Yeah man,” I continued. “I love chicks that have been intimate—with IEDs. It really turns me on—melted skin, missing limbs, plastic noses . . . .”

“You’re crazy, man!” my friend said, doubling over with laughter. I took it as my cue to continue.

“In fact, I was thinking of getting some girls together and doing a photo shoot. Maybe for a calendar? ‘IED Babes.’ We could have them pose in thongs and bikinis on top of the hoods of their blown-up vehicles.”

My friend was practically falling out of his chair laughing. The disfigured woman slammed her cup down and ran out of the chow hall, her half-finished tray of food nearly falling to the ground.

DKWalser said...

Drill Sgt,

No, I didn't miss that. My intent was to put the best face on the actions of Pvt Beauchamp (while calling attention to the need to examine his motives). An author can switch the point of view from third person to first person. First person narratives tend to have more impact than do third person observations. While it's inaccurate, it's an accepted technique in muckraking fiction (where the accounts are fictionalized summaries of REAL events -- just the names have been changed to protect the guilty, so to speak).

Note: I don't believe Pvt. Beauchamp's accounts are the least bit accurate. There are too many details that don't match up with what we know. (For example, it's all but impossible to use a Bradley to run down a dog.) I just don't think we KNOW that his accounts are wholly false.

Nor do I think he deserves the benefit of any doubt. His motive was to make the military look bad and to get rich in the process. People in similar situations have been known to lie. If anyone deserves the benefit of the doubt it's the anonymous members of the military whose character he's besmirched.

The Drill SGT said...

DKWalser said...

sorry, I apologize for misunderstanding

Roger said...

It is always disconcerting to find that I am in absolute agreement with LOS. PVT Beauchamp has laid out some very specific stories, naming names (Sgt Leclair) and incidents (childrern's mass graves and a horribly disfigured IED victim). These will be quite easily investigated. Why dont we just suspend judgment until the investigation runs its course? then we can call names.

I have followed the story on the mil blogs, and as someone with 25 years experience in tracked vehicles I find it difficult to believe that a tracked vehcile is nimble enough to run down a feral dog in a city street without first throwing a track. And its also unlikely that the Bradley's commander would let his driver do that thereby putting the rest of the crew at risk. But--those are the kinds of details that are easily checked. There would be at least 8 men in that Bradley and surely they could verify the account.

Plus, the TNR folks will (now) be fact checking as well. I think this story can be sorted out. One thing is clear, however:

Roger said...

And Jeremy: Similary I have trouble taking seriously those folks that use reichtard, wingnut, brown shirt, and faux news.

Jeremy said...

Jane -

I like "soldiers," personally. A soldier is a human being with his own motives, wishes, and desires, who has chosen to enlist. For me, "soldier" has some honor implied in it that "troops" lacks, but that could just be me.

I think a soldier deserves respect by default (unless his actions prove otherwise), regardless of his personal motives for enlisting. "Supporting" them is not only practical (they're fighting for this country, and it's foolish not to give them the tools to do so), it's basic humanity. It's a given. "Support our troops" is just a feel-good slogan, and the feeling I get from it is that it's meant to be repeated by people who don't give much thought to the sacrifices our soldiers make every day. In fact, I'd call it the Republican equivalent of calling for a minimum wage hike (which is a way for Democrats to feel good about themselves without addressing serious and complex economic issues).

Synova said...

Joseph, what Drill Sgt wrote about the story of the woman with the IED injury is the important part to me, and I'll explain in a moment.

It's not that anyone (certainly not the Sgt and certainly not anyone who has been to Iraq and served there or even served in the military at all) doesn't believe that *someone* might have done these things.

It's that, in his stories, he does them without *consequences*. This is an out and out statement that the military condones this sort of behavior and it simply *doesn't*.

And now that it seems that our dear "Diarist" has been the subject of discipinary actions to the tune of losing rank, that it's likely his behavior wasn't without consequences after all.

Were they the only ones in the DFAC? Did no one witness this? Why were there no consequences? There weren't in the story. The military *condones* this crap in the story. The other people eating sat by and did nothing in the story. They weren't cruel so only she could hear. They were loud.

That's not revealing the truth about the military in a war zone. It's telling lies, even if this jerk did and said the things he claims to have done and said. When he tells it, everyone thinks it's great, laughs, no one gets in trouble.

So why is the guy the rank he is?

From Inwood said...

Wow! I’m gonna stop making a snap judgment after reading the opening sentence to just delete the Urban Legends I keep receiving from what I thought were unsophisticated friends.

And I’m gonna believe all those stories from disgruntled former employees.

And that story the poor student & mother told to Nifong about the bad lacrossers….

OK, necessary disclaimer for the usual suspects: not all muckrakers are bad (see dkwalser’s fine posts on this thread). And I’m not coming with any preconceived notion that every last one of our troops in any of our wars is or was a choirboy/girl. And that none of them ever violated the laws, rules, or regs of war. Or were never guilty of conduct unbecoming.

But, as anyone can tell you, the devil is in the details. And so, yes, let’s not make a final judgment ‘til all the facts come out, but let’s not ignore our common sense about all that has come out.

As one humorist put it about the way prejudiced scientists formulate their theories: “If I hadn’t believed it, I would never have seen it.”

I suggest that whatever the ultimate truth that comes out, if TNR’s editors hadn’t believed in the narratives they’re comfortable in dealing with on the war, they wouldn’t have let this stuff pass unchecked. Really checked. Details. Square bullets, indeed. Buck Rodgers lives.

Will we see a Rathergate “fake but accurate” defense: even if it’s proven beyond a reasonable doubt that none of these events actually happened to Scotty’s unit while he was there, TNR & many in the MSM will “know” that similar or worse events, or waiting-to-be-discovered events, did or will actually happen? Why? Because they just know, that’s all. And such knowledge trumps. And their possession of absolute moral certainty makes them better than those of us who might nitpick over details which don’t pass the Hee Haw test.

PS How come we must give Scotty the benefit of the doubt ‘til “all the facts come out” but not give the accused soldiers the same benefit of the doubt?

AJ Lynch said...

Joesph:

I accept your qualifiers- you sound reasonable unlike me.

But the editor, Franklin Foer, is ample proof that many many in the MSM expect and believe this crap about our soldiers.

Folks like Foer do not offer the presumtion of innocence to establishment figures like soldiers and cops. But will bend over backwards for accused violent criminals.

Why is that?

Ann Althouse said...

Palladian: Yes. And also always deleted.

The Drill SGT said...

Roger,

I respect your willingness to hold off on criticism, but let me ask you:

1. You and I have been track commanders. Can you imagine a Track CDR who would allow:

"I know another private who really only enjoyed driving Bradley Fighting Vehicles because it gave him the opportunity to run things over. He took out curbs, concrete barriers, corners of buildings, stands in the market, and his favorite target: dogs."

for the rest of you, I would not even allow a drive to do this in a tank in peacetime. Hitting gratuitous things causes maintenance problems, may run over an IED and risks throwing a track which puts many lives in danger. Beyond that, you are pissing off the locals and the mission says hearts and minds, not Genghis Khan. I used to carry a driver adjustment tool (a flag stick) and when the driver screwed up, he could expect a tap or a wrap on his CVC.

2. as for Sgt Leclair, what a joke. the author deployed to Iraq in Sep 06 per his blog. In May 06 he had Sgt Leclair killing Iraqis in Bagdad, and in Apr 06 unfortunately "theres sgt. Leclaire with his dick blown off ". so 5 months before the unit went to Iraq, the poor Sgt lost his dick apparently in a Graf accident, then deployed in advance of the unit, which joined him 4 months later.

a real tough guy that Sgt Leclair :)

Mindsteps said...

TMink said...
I will go on this little record as saying that I think he is a liar and will be proven so.

By your own comment you are claiming he is a liar without proof. What lie detection system have you used to arrive at your determination. It turns out that I am not very accurate at identifying who is lying to me and who is telling the truth, even when face to face with the alleged liar/truth teller.

Have you considered selling your lie detection system using an infomercial?

AlphaLiberal said...

Here we go again. Ann Althouse describes herself as a liberal and that's the ONLY evidence we have of same. Not by her writings, who she echoes or what she emphasizes.

Althouse echoes right wingers on a daily basis (again here), she attacks Democrats routinely but she doesn't criticize Repubs.

Here is rare criticism of the Iraq occupation and who does she criticize? A grunt reporting on more abuses by armed forces under great stress in Bush's bloody occupation.

Ann's good buddy Glenn Reynolds actually highlights corpse mutilation in Iraq. But isn't that illegal, Professors? That won't stop Ann from highlighting Reynolds.

But do Ann and Reynolds even give a flying damn about the law being followed? Not by the Bushies, not even by by soldiers.

The Drill SGT said...

AL said...Ann's good buddy Glenn Reynolds actually highlights corpse mutilation in Iraq. But isn't that illegal, Professors? That won't stop Ann from highlighting Reynolds.

I read the article in the Nation. It doesn't say that anyone scooped the brain out of some corpse. I read the 2 examples both as "in extremely bad taste, a soldier posed with a spoon above the exposed brain of a dead Iraqi".

Personally I would not stick a sppon I used into somebodies brain, but that's just me.

as for the view of a SGT, I'd tell the troop to "cut that shit out" and give him extra duty at a minimum. If it was done in front of Iraqi's or the press? then Article 134 kicks in in my mind.

Cedarford said...

Roger, DKWalser, and Inwood raised points that would be quite germane to a civilian doing so as a muckraking reporter talking about product purity, Exxon, long ago military service scandals.

OK, necessary disclaimer for the usual suspects: not all muckrakers are bad (see dkwalser’s fine posts on this thread). And I’m not coming with any preconceived notion that every last one of our troops in any of our wars is or was a choirboy/girl.

5 Salient points:

1. This is in wartime, and it is not simply the "public's right to know", it is about Jihadis that also read the NYTimes and TNR and watch CBS and CNN for anything that can be up and running as propaganda that will help motivate fighters to join and those in to want to kill American soldiers even more than before.

2. Beauchamp is not a crusading journalist paid to rip apart the meat packing industry. He is apparantly a paid active duty soldier who is under laws civilians are considerably unaware of - to follow his chain of command, immediately report violations in soldier conduct. He has "outs" like chaplains, his elected leaders, the inpector general, JAG to complain to if his command does not pursue and fix the situation.
He evidently did none of those things.

3. He has apparantly been busted twice. TNR did not mention the circumstances of those busts or Beauchamp's attitude towards his command, fellow soldiers and note the possiblity of a "revenge against the Army" motive...elements that appear quite clear from his Blog as being in ferverent existence.

4. As Drill SGT noted, with more expertise than I have (wrong branch in my case) - he describes behavior by the Bradly driver that is impossible (seeing and swerving to hit dogs on the right when there is a blind spot and the Bradley does not maneuver like a car) - And behavior which would give the driver instant reprimands - like stunts threatening to dis-track and immobilize the Bradley with 8 men inside leaving them in great danger of attack in enemy country, violating standing orders against reckless property damage to nationals, and violating orders to drive off the curb w/o commanders authorization to where mines and IEDs are more likely....

Drill Sargeant also notes the complete lie of a burned and disfigured female GI being left in Iraq - and God forbid it ever happened - soldiers in the company tolerating for one instant PVT2 Beauchamp and "friend" emotionally abusing a wounded comrade.

Just for that, there is no need to "see who was right in a court of law" or other blather. The Rat was obviously a lying Rat to any soldier familiar with the military reading his story. Not so to TNR people with no military knowledge out to slime the troops, but that is a different topic.

5. And the most overiding thing is it doesn't matter if he was 20% truthful or 0%. He was in a war zone where the enemy wants propaganda that will help Jihadis defeat America. Where any incident unaddressed by the chain of command increases the likelihood of dead and maimed American soldiers in consequence of increased Jihadi morale arising from real or fabulist events purporting toleration of evil soldiers, evil acts by American leaders. The enemy disseminates this stuff as soon as it gets it to hopefully lethal effect against the Americans or Iraqi Army.
It''s not like cozy, safe civilian America where people can counsel "Oh, just relax and sit back..the truth will come out in a leisurely way and no one should comment on "his charges" until then."
The troops in the field don't have that luxury.
If he told the truth on any of this without allowing his command to punish, reprimand the guilty - it only appears to the Iraqi civilians and radical Muslims in other countries that infidels are wearing baby's skulls of Believers with ful acquiesence of America's people and military leaders - and Jihad is legitimated in a way that it would be not if Muslims saw swift American justice meted out...by not using the chain of command if the Rat wasn't lying, he considerably increased the danger to brother soldiers.

If he was lying, he deliberately put his brothers in harms way, gave aid and comfort to the enemy - and oh, oh, how he will pay!

*********************

Hoosier Daddy said...

Alphaliberal said Here is rare criticism of the Iraq occupation

Huh? A rare criticism? Hardly an hour goes by on the news where some talking head isn't railing about this war, not to mention half of Congress. No offense, but where in the heck have you been?

and who does she criticize? A grunt reporting on more abuses by armed forces under great stress in Bush's bloody occupation.

You might want to refer to the Private's posting on his blog where he was complaining about his and his comrades characters being called into question. That Alpha, is what I think Ann was referring to. He writes in his diary and tell the world what a bunch of monsters him and his buddies are and then get his panties in a bunch because his character gets called into question?

I mean, if someone has to point out the disconnect this guy has with reality to you then I don't know what to say but don't get on Ann or the rest for questioning this guy's veracity.

Bissage said...

Sarge, please accept this global expression of appreciation for your comments, here, there and everywhere.

Thanks.

Henry said...

But do Ann and Reynolds even give a flying damn about the law being followed? Not by the Bushies, not even by by soldiers.

Alpha, the folks who fail to give a damn are the editors of the New Republic who grant anonymity to their commentator and don't follow up when he incriminates himself.

The people who did follow up are the military bloggers.

The reason they follow up is because the military does care about such things, all the way up the chain of command.

LutherM said...

The fact that Beauchamp claims to be a real person does not make him truthful.
Glass, Blair, Beauchamp, all in the same group - LYING LIBERALS taking advantage of the predilections of their employers.

TMink said...

Mindsteps wrote: "By your own comment you are claiming he is a liar without proof. What lie detection system have you used to arrive at your determination."

Actually, I said that I was willing to go on record as saying that I THINK he is a liar. It is a parlor game. A contest if you will. If I had claimed he was a liar, I would have written "This guys is lying through his teeth." See the diff?

I have no lie detection system other than logic and a nose good enough to smell a rat. Well, I have had more contact with personality disordered people than most anyone who does not work in psychology, film or theatre (or perhaps pro wrestling.) But performance folks get a steady diet of one or two disorders, I get more of the whole menu. So that certainly enters into it as well. But I did not claim that he was lying, I said I THINK he is lying.

Time will tell. Why don't you go on record as thinking that he is telling the truth? Then we just wait!

Trey

michilines said...

I think Ann is a bit late to this party, but nevertheless saw an opportunity to throw a bit of red meat to Revenant and her other loyal subjects.

Basically Ann, you have shown yourself clearly. This blog is about you. Your readers still think it's about politics or ideas. But really it's about you. Oh, and stats. Stats are everything. Next to links, of course. Which get you higher stats. And then there's that weird older guy thing going on.

Will this eventually turn into a wingnut matching service blog?

Oh, I see it now. It's just a way for you to choose a companion to drink wine and watch American Idol with.

Ann! Ann! Ann! You're a genious! It's a reality blog!

Study those stats about your readers. Then narrow down the field. Then you could have comment contests -- number of links -- turn of phrase -- experience (that's a big one!) -- truthiness -- Seriousness -- sincerety.

Wow, what a great idea.

Way to go, Ann!

It's like a 5 year plan, no?

Paco Wové said...

"more abuses by armed forces under great stress in Bush's bloody occupation"

The armed forces just can't win in the 'progressive' narrative -- they're helpless babies one day, psycho baby killers the next.

downtownlad said...

People like Drill Sgt. hate the troops.

They also are horrified that someone is telling the truth about the atrocities that are going on over there. Is Drill Sgt's wife committing those atrocities, one definitely has to wonder? We know that Drill Sgt is quite a hateful person himself.

Beauchamp is serving his country and the right hates him for that.

I'm actually shocked that there is a soldier serving over who can think for himself.

Pogo said...

I suspect the truth will out and show that Pvt Beauchamp is lying.

But lying or not, he is a traitor. He put his fellow soldiers at risk by telling a story this way. Failure to understand that is inexcusably ignorant. He has contributed to the propaganda of the enemy, and the harm cannot be undone.

He has dishonored the uniform and the flag. He is disgusting .

downtownlad said...

Pogo - The real liars are the conservatives.

Yesterday - they said that he wasn't a real soldier.

They lied.

And instead of apologizing - they instead focus on destroying his character.

Pogo has no problem with Americans torturing Iraqis. He thinks that's dandy.

Pogo only has a problem when someone reports that Americans are torturing Iraqis.

Cedarford said...

Hovsep - Fourth, given your disdain for free speech, I suggest you might be more comfortable living under a more repressive regime than is possible in the United States.

Lefties that squeal in indignation when their patriotism is questioned generally tend to be the first to demand anyone who does not seek a gun ban, complete freedom for the NYTimes to reveal national secrets, or favors military tribunals for unlawful enemy combatants to - leave America and go to a fascist country.

Quite a predictable Lefty meme.

Along with other precious ones like you cannot support any war without yourself being a Vet or active duty and having at least one kid now serving in a war zone - but Lefties are of course free to be effeminant homosexual anti-War activists who never served and cheer at US military deaths inwardly while they demand to pose with coffins of soldiers for some fake tears theater to hopefully demoralize other Americans not sure how the US struggle with radical Islam is going....

No freedom or right in the US is absolute. My neighbors freedom of religion stops when he seeks dispensation to be polygamist or a ganga-smoking Rastie. My right to keep and bear arms does not extend to a shed full of C4 I can purchase, a few MANPADs, or a handy cannister of nerve gas for breaking up a mob of looters...

Freedom of the press is not absolute and SCOTUS may have to go back on the extreme latitude they have given the press in recent decades in terms of libeling innocent people, disclosing national security secrets. There is also, outside the legal system, solid evidence that dedicated groups can make the media cave and stay caved.
The reason any editor would be fired if he permitted lines like "a gang of crazed niggers went on a crime rampage in downtown Philly today" is not that he permitted a bad, bad word - but the fact that it became a bad, bad word because it triggers violence, like rioting blacks burning the owners HQ. Just like Mohammed the Prophet cartoons that 99% of America media refused to publish. Why? Not social politeness on offending members of the ROP, as media claimed...but intimidation. And a whole subworld of subjects and PC-offensive opinions are barred by media bosses for being discussed honestly in the MSM because of lesser forms of intimidation successfully applied to the owners. Gay disparaging may lead to gay boycotts of advertisers, questioning the integrity of one Lefty Darling may have the whole Left intelligensia closing ranks and assailing your rag at toney Manhattan and Georgetown cocktail parties and greatly diminish journalist and editors pay on the campus lecture circuit....

So the 1st can butt up against media owner's assertions that alone of all rights US citizens have, theirs is the one absolute one..and the legal case that directly ties actions of the media to enabling a crime to happen.

Tying the media directly to actions that aid and comfort the enemy and can be proven to have led to soldier deaths would be such a legal case.

The other thing that organized groups can do, seeing the success of Muslims and other victims groups in eliminating damaging press, is to intimidate. If US soldiers die from this story, a crew of special ops soldiers showing up at Franklin Foer's house in black ski masks and roughing him up for helping kill the GIs would have a salutory effect. (And intimidation was done in the past. FDR called up a newspaper editor and said he would seek the editors arrest and electrocution as a traitor if the code breaking the editor printed resulting in the Japs sinking any vessels. Eisenhower famously informed a reporter claiming that he was, for the sake of argument "free under the 1st Amendment" to report on invasion plans - that Eisenhower was similarly "free" to lock the reporter up if he thought the reporter was planning to release plans to the global media and by that the Germans or to ensure that reporter was the 1st American on the beach if new got out. And if the reporter survived that, to put him with a Brigade that would know the enemy found out through that reporter. "Anyhow, Eisenhower said, "Hypothetically, you would cease to be my problem in short order.".

I think that proof of dead American soldiers as direct consequence of US media aiding the enemy would either make for a case of legal consequence to prosecute actions outside the 1st Amendment protection, or military taking a cue from black leaders, gays, Muslims - and exerting intimidation on the media to better safeguard the lives of young men and women serving the nation.

downtownlad said...

I think Cedarford should be shot.

michilines said...

Crap, my 'Pogo is in the running' comment didn't make it. *sigh*

Pogo, I suspect that you are the one that Revenants feels threatened by the most.

As I see it, you two guys are the front runners in the "I get to sit next to Ann during American Idol" contest.

Show me what you've got there Srg;)

michilines said...

downtownlad, NO!!!!!

He should be 'on the couch.'

Think about it. Ann does these vlogs with each of them and they talk and then she gets to chose "The One" on the couch next season.

SSSSeriously. It could be fun.

From Inwood said...

Cedarford

Re your 6:29 PM.

Unlax.

I can’t speak for the others but you left out my next paragraph when you quoted me, which was:

“But, as anyone can tell you, the devil is in the details. And so, yes let’s not make a final judgment ‘til all the facts come out, but let’s not ignore our common sense about all that has come out.”

And somehow you forgot to note that I had gone on to say

“that whatever the ultimate truth that comes out, if TNR’s editors hadn’t believed in the narratives they’re comfortable in dealing with on the war, they wouldn’t have let this stuff pass unchecked. Really checked. Details. Square bullets, indeed. Buck Rodgers lives.”

And you left out my question about whether we’ll

“see Rathergate’s “fake but accurate” defense…?

So I don’t think that I was treating this as a Barney Fife investigation of who was dumping the wrong garbage in the town dump & no big whoops; if Barney is wrong, Andy will straighten it all out in ½ an hour.

Take a moment & read what people are actually saying. In my case, in the course of a long note I added the few words you now hurl back at me to forestall nonsense replies about good muckrakers who helped save America like Michael Moore, Ralph Nader, & to your point about the military, Seymour Hirsh (but not, say, Westbrook Pegler, Joe McCarthy, or Talk Radio). Replies, that is from some loonies who accept any disparagement of our troops no matter what facts are faked (you know the ones who think that there’s some real evidence buried or destroyed which would prove Rather correct); generally loonies who can’t take it when their heroes are exposed, OOPS, I mean smeared, by the VRWC.

Save your lectures for those guys.

Regards

Inwood

downtownlad said...

Well Cedarford is calling for hard-working American soldiers like Beauchamp to be killed.

So I thought - why not call for Cedarford to be shot as well.

downtownlad said...

And now they're slandering Beauchamp's wife on the wing-nut blogs.

How lovely.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
michilines said...

downtown lad -- where? no links just names will do.

I'll relay it.

We all knew that this sort of thing would start.

I want to help stop it.

I hope you know that I was poking fun at the host before, but promoting the harrassment . . . too much.

Which blogs -- post them here -- without links. I'll join.

downtownlad said...

Palladian - displaying his very low IQ - shows that he is incapable of understanding sarcasm.

Funny - I thought fat people were supposed to have a sense of humor.

michilines said...

Palladian, you just earned the third spot on the American Idol Watching Couch!

It's crowded.

downtownlad said...

Michilines - Michelle Malkin is currently slandering Beauchamp's wife.

From Inwood said...

DTL

You say

"Pogo - The real liars are the conservatives.

"Yesterday - they said that he wasn't a real soldier.

"They lied."

You think that he is a real soldier?

Now since you are irony-impaired, let me tell you that I can see that he is serving somewhere in a military unit (apparently only an E-2 after many moons in this uniform while his contemporaries are all E-4s, but nevermind).

Hell, he's not even a real reporter.

downtownlad said...

So Inwood thinks E-2's are not real soldiers.

There they go again. Why can't conservaties support the troops?

I'm surprised they even have time for this story, considering how much energy they are putting into opposing the 3.5% pay raise for the troops.

NSC said...

Doesn't matter if he is a soldier or not . . . it matters if what he said is true or not. If it is, then those involved should be punished - and will be no doubt - including him, since he was under a legal obligation to report the incidents to his commander, not just write bad stories about them.

If it isn't then he is a liar.

My bet is that he is a liar, but either way, the punk is screwed. And he deserves it.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

ncs - You have zero qualms about the abuses of Abu Ghraib - you know - where we tortured and killed Iraqis.

But you're horrified that Beachamp wrote about finding the skeletons of children (which turned out to be true).

And you're horrified that they killed a dog. Oh boo hoo hoo.

downtownlad said...

So Palladian drops by and calls me a turd.

And then he goes ballistic when I toss an insult back. Which he's OBVIOUSLY very sensitive about as we can see in his next post.

Too funny.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
downtownlad said...

You really need to stop with the insults Palladian.

You're ruining this thread.

michilines said...

downtownlad -- I could have guessed but didn't want to go there.

"from inwood" think about that . .gets the fourth spot on the American Idol Couch.

downtownlad -- we all knew this would happen, from the smears of the right to Ann trying to get links from it.

It's the way of the blog world.

Malkin has comments now, but I don't think I ready to go there.

Swimming in this muck at Althouse is about my limit.

The funny thing is -- and it's why I make fun -- Althouse doesn't take much of a stand on anything herself. She lets the hounds out by touching on a topic. over and over again.

That's why I think it is a contest.

I'm waiting to see her vlog with Revenant.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Beauchamp is serving his country and the right hates him for that.

Funny, Beauchamps by his own admission isn't a sterling example of what we want serving our country yet it appears in your eyes, its ok to be a nasty person as long as you indict others right?

The one issue that none of the left here seems to get is that what most of us on the conservative side have an issue with is HOW he is telling the story. He had a legal and moral duty to inform his superiors of the misconduct he claims he witnessed. He did not do that but rather went for the fame.

Was he wrong to do that in your eyes and if so, then why bother at all with the USCMJ?

From Inwood said...

DTL

You say that Malkin is slandering Scotty's wife (I didn't think that it was clear as to whether she was his wife, but nevermind).

But, let me guess, you don't think that Scotty was slandering his Army "comrades".

downtownlad said...

Scott was reporting what was happening.

War is not fun. And I really don't think any less of a soldier if he happens to use a skull as a mask, or if he makes fun of a woman who had some facial injuries. People deal with stress in some unusual ways. And that includes black humor once in a while - big deal.

I think he was capturing in vivid detail what it is like to be in Iraq - without the usual propaganda.

And since he just revealed his identity - he's not afraid to stand by what he said.

But it looks like he's a Democrat - so the wingnut blogs are now going to destroy him and they are going to destroy his wife. Truth me damned.

Hoosier Daddy said...

You say that Malkin is slandering Scotty's wife

Funny I just went there and didn't see anything regarding his wife other than a link stating that she is a researcher-reporter for TNR.

Is that was passes for slander?

DTL said:And I really don't think any less of a soldier if he happens to use a skull as a mask, or if he makes fun of a woman who had some facial injuries. People deal with stress in some unusual ways. And that includes black humor once in a while - big deal.

Wow. Just wow. I'd say that comment alone pretty much makes you irrelevant to the conversation.

Mindsteps said...

TMink said...

I have no lie detection system other than logic and a nose good enough to smell a rat. I get more of the whole menu. So that certainly enters into it as well. But I did not claim that he was lying, I said I THINK he is lying.

I'll accept your explanation....cool. You think he is a liar because:
a. you detect illogic
b. you 'smell' a rat
c. as a mental health professional you have had more contact with personality disordered people then the typical lay person.

Are you leaving anything out?

As a mental health professional, I would think you would be particularly cautious about such speculation for several reasons:

1. You are familar with the research on the detection of lying (e.g. mental health professionals have not been found to be any better at detecting lying than others and people tend to overestimate their capacity to detect lying in others and to underestimate their own ability to tell lies)
2. In this particular instance, you are not privy to important cues that might be helpful in ascertaining whether Beauchamp is telling the truth or lying.
3. You did not render a diagnosis of Beauchamp, although you claim to have special expertise with personality disorders. Are you implying that this soldier has a personality disorder?
4. Mental Health is slowly moving toward a scientific evidence based model when it comes to the appraisals of others. I would think, given your expertise in the area you would be particularly cautious about jumping to conclusions because you recognize the large margin of error when rendering an opinion with the very limited information at hand.
5. It is probably not the most ethical behavior for a mental health professional to call someone he has never met a liar. Moreover, it does not reflect very highly on the profession as a whole.

With regard to taking a position regarding Beauchamp's veracity, as I mentioned before, I am not very good at detecting lies and probably have an even more difficult time ascertaining when I am being told the truth.

However, even granting that you have a very special intuition when it comes to detecting deception, that you have an uncanny ability to recognize inconsistencies, and that your experience with personality disorders has honed your talents to an incredible degree, I still think there is at least one factor that you are leaving out of the equation when it comes to how you arrived at your conclusions about Beauchamp.......and that factor is your personal bias (something that I believe a competent mental health professional should be particularly aware of in him or herself).

From Inwood said...

DTL


You missed Logic 101

The statement "Scotty, who happens to be an E-2, is not a real soldier." does not = "No E-2 is a real soldier”.

End of my responses to you.

downtownlad said...

Hoosier Daddy has no shame.

A soldier writes a DIARY for pete's sake about what war is like. And not one item of his diary has been disproven to this point.

And he thinks that's fair game for publicly identifying his wife and trying to get her fired from her job.

No shame.

downtownlad said...

Inwood - you certainly implied that if you're still an E-2 after 18 months in the military, then you are not a real soldier.

Meanwhile - Beauchamp is fighting for this country, putting his life on the line.

And you're trying to destroy his wife.

You must be very proud of yourself.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paco Wové said...

dtl doesn't care about nuances like that. He's busy having his rage-gasm. Don't disturb him!

Henry said...

DownTownLad, et al -- Since we all know that both sides have their idiots, your "shocked, shocked" routine doesn't go very far.

If you read the military blogs -- the ones that many of the conservative and hawkish independent bloggers link to -- you will find commenters who just want to rake Beauchamp over the coals. You'll find blind anger and rampant speculation. That's par for the blogging world.

But you will also find, over and over, military bloggers and commenters that say this type of behavior is wrong and any soldiers that engage in it must be disciplined. Beauchamps' problem is that he doubly implicates himself -- first (in his own account) he does not report to his superiors the things he claims to have seen; second (in his own account), he engages in depraved behavior himsef. This guy is no hero. He hid behind his nom de plume as long as he could. It is the military bloggers -- and the rightwing bloggers you despise -- who insisted that anyone who committed such actions be held accountable.

michilines said...

More candidates for the couch than I could imagine.

WoW.

Ann, clear you social schedule.

Oh, wait. That's what this is all about. Who has the balls to impress Ann.

You all -- whatever your names are -- revenant is in first place so far. What are YOU going to do about it.

As far as supporting the troops or who is right or wrong or whether this is a bafoon's challenge. . . this blog and her wingnut commenters take the cake.

So, let's have a reality show!!!!

Henry said...

Paco -- sorry about that Post / Delete / Post routine. I'm a better editor than writer and always find mistakes in my first attempts.

downtownlad said...

Report what Henry?

Please tell us. What incident was supposed to be reported?

You didn't even read his diaries - you just read the hate blogs.

So you have zero authority in this story.

Here it is by the way.

http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20070723&s=diarist072307

I don't see what the big deal is. It just conveys that war can be somewhat dehumanizing.

Shocker.

The Drill SGT said...

They also are horrified that someone is telling the truth about the atrocities that are going on over there. Is Drill Sgt's wife committing those atrocities, one definitely has to wonder? We know that Drill Sgt is quite a hateful person himself

No,

stuff happens in battle.

There are bad and unfortunate things done by our soldiers on most every day of the war and of all wars. In the environment in Iraq, that typically involves the application of excessive force or force against the wrong target. examples:

get fire from a building, and return fire, but mistake the location of building and shoot up the wrong house.

or get fire from a building and lob a grenade into the house killing the shooter and 5 family members

or gunning down a speeding car that blows through your checkpoint without halting.

or run over a child who darts into the street, lots of things go wrong when you have heavy equipment and weapons in a confused environment, particularly when the enemy is attempting to lure you into committing "an atrocity"

There is a saying the generally applies but when it doesn't you get "an atrocity":

"few military operation have failed due to too much force and few demolitions fail due to too little explosive" overkill usually is the smart thing, but occasionally it produces bad results.

Many of us here think that the Pvt is lying, but regardless he is wrong. If he knew of any of those incidents he had a duty to report them. He had lots of channels to do so, none of which would provide aid and comfort to the enemy. He could report them to his commander, or his commander's commander, or the IG, or the JAG, or the Chaplain, or his Congressman or his Senator. All of those actions would result in action being taken to punish the miscreants or the commander if her covered it up. Article 134. Instead he did not allow the Army to deal with the problem in time to avoid further harm to our relations with the people, he went to the media and personally profited from the incidents.

If he lied, he should be charged under 134 for bringing discredit on the Army.
if it is true and he didn't report it to the folks above, he is also arguably guilty of acts under article 134, for he failed in his responsibilities and brought discredit on the Army.

Only if he reported the incidents to one of the groups above and they FAILED to take action would his actions in publishing the story be extenuating

Pogo said...

My guess?
The whole thing is a set up by TNR. I just read Pvt Beauchamp's blog, and references to his work for Howard Dean in 2004 and marching in Washington for abortion in the U Missouri (Coumbia) Missourian, where he was a student. He is a lefty, through and through. So why enlist?

Both articles [**] that mention him were written by ELSPETH REEVE, also then a student, and now -amazingly- "a reporter-researcher at The New Republic."...and an editor, so I understand.

So my guess is that Beauchamp joined to go to Iraq precisely to write a a famous book, or even this false story, so he could get famous. TNR-editor-writer-wife suggests him for the job of writing an expose'. (a la Plame)

Nope. It's not a fact (yet); it's a guess. And I think a damn good one.

Synova said...

Obviously some people want to believe what they want to believe.

What is staggering to me is that if Beauchamp was 100% truthful, he basically wrote a story saying "I'm a lousy human being who deserves to be hated by one and all."

And then, amazingly, dtl and mich try to tell us how we shouldn't be so mean.

I think it's romance. It's romance isn't it dtl? It's that shivery slumming at the edges of barbarism, that leaving behind of civilization and reaching into something primal, that myth of a place where there are no moral rules, no limitations.

People *want* our guys to be cold killers, to walk that edge they could never walk, to give into base instincts. To whore and smoke opium in those SE Asia brothels. Like freaking Dear Hunter or something.

Oh *that's* real. When they read stories like "shock troops" they think, finally, someone is telling a story that is *real*.

War does a lot of things to a person in it but in "Shock Troops" Beauchamp is dehumanizing himself. He's telling a story in a way he knows will sell. He's a story teller, a writer, and he's creating an atmosphere and theme that he knows will resonate.

I've read accounts that were stark and honest about how bad it is and how it affected the person writing. Those accounts didn't dehumanize, they humanized, showing a painful reality, not this hollywood version of morality free, repugnant, slumming.

Beauchamp describes *himself* as a caricature.

And he's judged his audience well.

downtownlad said...

But Drill Sgt thinks torture and murder in Abu Ghraib are worthy of Presidential Medals of Honor.

But hitting a stray dog with a car or making a joke - that needs to be reported to the highest officer.

Me - I think whatever soldier killed those dogs should get a medal. They are just rodents.

The Drill SGT said...

A soldier writes a DIARY for pete's sake about what war is like. And not one item of his diary has been disproven to this point.

The burden of proof is on the accuser to prove that these acts took place, rather than on the Army to demonstrate that they didn't.

Thus far, we have seen no other evidence beyond the diary of a disgruntled employee who publicly has announced that he wants fame from his writings.

downtownlad said...

And now the right-wing wingnuts think that Democrats should not be allowed to serve in Iraq.

That is how much George Bush has ruined this country. He's a divider and not a uniter.

Now the Weekly Standard has reported that Beauchamp has - GASP - marched in a pro-choice parade.

Well - guess we need to hang him for treason immediately.

Synova said...

"But Drill Sgt thinks torture and murder in Abu Ghraib are worthy of Presidential Medals of Honor."

Does it bother you at all that you can say stuff like this?

Ever wonder if you started being honest with yourself about other people that the very foundation for your life would crumble to dust?

downtownlad said...

Drill Sgt - Did you even read his diaries?

Or just the Cliff Notes from Michelle Malkin?

I'd vote on the latter. In fact I'd bet a LOT of money on the latter.

Synova said...

I think that more liberals and Democrats should serve. Then they'd know the difference when they read something like what Beauchamp wrote because they'd remember that guy in their company who was such an *ss, figured he was special, and made all their work harder for them.

(Speculation on that but not a whole lot, figuring what it would be like to work with someone who acts the way he *says* he acts.)

downtownlad said...

Well Synova - You support Abu Ghraib as well.

And you denounce anyone who talks about it.

Do you feel good when you do that?

Synova said...

I don't live on your planet.

Seriously.

downtownlad said...

That's correct Synova.

You live on the planet where WMD's were found in Iraq, where Iraq attacked the US on 9/11, where Al Queada is causing the violence in Iraq, where Bush is doing a "huckava job" with Katrian, and where the Iraq War is going exceedingly well for the U.S.

In other words - you live in a fantasy world.

Henry said...

Actually, I don't think Beauchamp is his best character witness.

Palladian said...

"In other words - you live in a fantasy world."

And you live on Uranus.

Pogo said...

DTL's posts are so predictably dull that whenever I venture to read one (which is rarely) I am struck by their repetitive banality, insulting redirection, and sheer pointlessness.

If DTL were even half the foil he thinks he is, he'd be almost twice as interesting as the drive-up menu at Hardees. I've had more engaging encounters with the ingredient list on a box of Cheerios, and more learned debate with a 4th grade Girl Scout over the relative merits of Do-Si-Dos as against Samoas.

Jennifer said...

To those who asked above, this is supposedly his MySpace page.

michilines said...

OMG the couch is do crowded, I don't know if your butt will fit.

OMG. You are all ready for the couch.

Pogo said...

Oh yeah. Then there's michilines.

What can be said of name-calling that falls beneath the exacting standards of the toddler room toughs in Miss Sally's DayCare?

Seriously, I've heard snappier retorts by a cat just spayed. One imagines her lonely little desktop, papers askew, unread mail, hair akimbo, typing that remark which looks for all the world like every other post she's done in the past, thinking it too quite grand.

Revenant said...

many of the "atrocities" this jackass "witnessed" in Iraq...

Sounds like you've made up your mind regardless of the accuracy of his report.

Made up my mind? No.

But the claims Beauchamp is making contradict the experiences of other veterans, have (thus far) no evidence for their existence, and are appearing in a magazine famous for publishing wholly-invented stories as fact.

I'm open to being convinced that the incidents happened, but the rational thing to believe at this point, based on what we know, is that they didn't happen, at least not in the form Beauchamp presented them in.

Either way, of course, Beauchamp's due for a court martial -- for inventing the stories if they didn't happen, and for not reporting them through proper channels if they did.

AlphaLiberal said...

Hoosier Daddy, I should have said "here's a rare case of *Althouse* criticizing the occupation."

So have you guys heard the report that Pat Tillman had three close bullet holes in his forehead? If true, it's looking like a fragging.

And if you keep it up with this guy, he may be fragged too. Then you can all celebrate.

TMink said...

Mindsteps,I think you did an accurate job stating why I think I am correct in thinking that Beauchamp is a liar. Thanks.

You are still missing where I say that I "think" he is a liar, and miss where that is very different from stating him to be a liar as if it were fact.


About your other points.

1. I may know more mental health workers than you do! People get to be one by doing well on standardized tests basically. I think I smell a rat, I trust my nose, and I am sticking with that thought till I smell otherwise. The relative ability of my colleagues is immaterial.

2. We agree. My data is incomplete. But since this is a lark on the internet and not me on the stand, I am not worried about it.

3. Nope, I am not implying anything. I THINK he is lying, me, that is a factual report and statement of what I think. And I would certainly not be surprised at some kind of a narcisisstic/histrionic mixed personality disorder. That is a hunch, and not really anything I would be willing to say that I think. And it is certainly not a diagnosis! It is a hunch.

4. Nah, I am quite sure what I think. It will be interesting what the data says to support or slam my thoughts though!

5. Again, I have not called him a liar. I have said that I think he is a liar. I am not sure why the distinction is not clear. You are clearly a smart person, but I wonder if you are intentionally being a little obtuse here. My appeal is to the data, not my hunch and/or thoughts. I shared my prediction, and am waiting for the data.

I would be VERY concerned about testifying about his being a liar, or writing anything to that effect in any kind of a professional capacity. In that context, I would certainly say that I do not have enough data to make an informed decision and keep my unsubstantiated thoughts to myself.

But there is nothing professional about this context! Unlike a priest, I have time off!

Now at the end you really overdo it! There is nothing uncanny or very special about my experience, and I never claimed that. You asked why I thought I knew what was going on, and I answered your question. You mock me by treating my prediction as more than it is or was. That is OK, I certainly deserve a little mockery and accept yours with good humour.

And of course I know my prejudices and biases. I bet anyone who has paid any attention to me at all here (a small number to be sure) does.

But I bet I am right! Come on, wouldn't you enjoy the satisfaction of rubbing it in a little if I am wrong? Get on board, make a prediction, have some fun with me as well as at my expense!

Make a prediction, show me up, I will eat crow without salt or pepper if I am wrong.

I have done it before, and will undoubtedly do it again.

Trey

TMink said...

Oh yeah, another thing, if he is telling the truth about the atrocities, right after I admit I was wrong and a fool, I will call for the strict, harsh punishment of all involved in the barbaric behavior that is an insult to our servicemen and women, our people, and to decency in general.

Trey

Revenant said...

And if you keep it up with this guy, he may be fragged too.

Assume, for a minute, that Beauchamp's stories were true. So he's an amoral jackass who mocks disfigured women to their faces. I'm supposed to care about his well being? Why?

See, I think the problem here is that many lefties just assume that soldiering goes hand in hand with mocking the victims of war and behaving in a depraved, amoral manner. So you assume that, since war supporters support the troops, we support depraved, amoral behavior, and therefore are hypocrites for disliking Beauchamp.

But in reality we think the popular portrayal of "soldiers as scum" is slanderous, and that only silly little leftie assholes who've watched too many bad Vietnam movies think most soldiers are like that. That's why we think that people who act the way Beauchamp *claims* to have acted should be punished. They're harming the war effort and dishonoring the nation -- and, for that matter, breaking the law.

Hoosier Daddy said...

A soldier writes a DIARY for pete's sake about what war is like. And not one item of his diary has been disproven to this point.

Nor has any of it been proven. I think you're missing the point. Writing things such as he is which implicate other members of his squad and making them public is violating military rules by sidestepping the chain of command by not reporting those infractions to his superiors. You guys consistently ignore this important detail.

And he thinks that's fair game for publicly identifying his wife and trying to get her fired from her job.

I missed the part about who is trying to get his wife fired. You don't think it's odd that his wife works for a liberal rag that publishes stories that make the military look bad? TNR said it fact checked Beauchamps story but is that true? Do they have boots on the ground in Iraq interviewing anyone?

Sorry DTL but until proven, the only one doing the slandering is Beauchamp. Nice try though.

Hoosier Daddy said...

So have you guys heard the report that Pat Tillman had three close bullet holes in his forehead? If true, it's looking like a fragging

If being the operative word. Fragging is murder and usually murder has a motive which no one has been able to prove.

Tillman’s death was indeed a tragedy. However, and perhaps Drill Sgt or Roger or other vets can shed some light on a question I have. Does the military ever tell the family how a soldier died, that is, he was killed by the enemy, accident, or friendly fire? Or are they simply told he was killed in action?

And if you keep it up with this guy, he may be fragged too.

What do you mean ‘you keep it up?’ We aren’t the ones who published his diaries to the world indicting himself and his comrades as bunch of malcontents with no other evidence other than his word.

Jennifer said...

DTL - When I first came on this site, you were quite rational. Possibly holding a fairly extreme libertarian position, but rational. I have no idea what has happened in the last few years, but what you've posted here is not rational.

These are the options as I see them:

1.) This guy really participated in these things. Therefore, he's a sick asshole who should be punished.

2.) This guy really witnessed these things. But rather than reporting them to his chain of command, he wrote an article in a magazine about it. Therefore, he's an asshole who allowed these things to continue happening when he was in a position to stop them.

3.) This guy made the stories up completely. Therefore, he's an asshole whose lies innocent soldiers will pay for.

How in any of these cases, is this guy someone you want to defend?

Pogo said...

As this story unfolds, Pvt Beauchamp's dream of being a "real author" because of his war experience (a bit of Hemingway envy there) will gain another useful chapter as he appears to be headed for prison time.

Seems he violated operational security regulations by posting the deployment schedule for his unit to his blog. That, on top of his failure to report the violations he witnessed (and participated in) in his story for TNR suggest a court martial in his future.

Maybe he can be another Solzhenitsyn, and write about his time in the Gulag ARCFipelago. I can wait the 10 years for it to come out, I think.

Roger said...

Drill--I was simply trying to tamp down some the name calling that apparently continued well into the night. For the record, I personally have NO doubts about what this investigation will disclose. And what a lot of people on this thread fail to understand is this: PVT B's stories are easily turned into enemy propaganda and will result in all kinds of mischief. For those who have not been in the Arab world, and at the risk of being general, they are much more susceptible to conspiracy theories than you can believe. Recall, as an earlier commenter did, the loss of life that resulted from the koran flushing fable. PVT B is already culpable on quite a few UCMJ charges and I for one, would start and Article 32 forthwith.

Roger said...

BTW--in an interesting side note, it turns out that PVT B's fiancee just by the remotest of circumstances is an employee of the New Republic--WOW--is that a coincidence or WHAT. TNR is now in full CYA mode.

Hoosier Daddy said...

BTW--in an interesting side note, it turns out that PVT B's fiancee just by the remotest of circumstances is an employee of the New Republic--WOW--is that a coincidence or WHAT. TNR is now in full CYA mode.

Well some on here seem to think that by 'outing' Beauchamp's wife as an employee of TNR is somehow tantamount to slander. But like you I think it's an extraordinary coincidence, if one believes in those things.

Certain movie quotes come to mind and this one makes me think of Thunderball:

Fiona: Some men just don't like to be driven.

Bond: No, some men just don't like to be taken for a ride.

The Drill SGT said...

Tillman’s death was indeed a tragedy. However, and perhaps Drill Sgt or Roger or other vets can shed some light on a question I have. Does the military ever tell the family how a soldier died, that is, he was killed by the enemy, accident, or friendly fire? Or are they simply told he was killed in action?

In my day there were two communications. The notification from the Casualty Assistance Officer/Chaplain team and a personal letter from the unit commander. I have not been a CAO, but my understanding is that the info provided is an expansion of the old telegram from the Secretary of the Army, to wit:

"The Secretary of the Army regrets to inform you that while in combat with hostile forces in the Afghan AO on or about 1 July 2007, SGT Jones was struck by small arms fire. He was treated on the scene and evacuated to Kabul where he died while receiving care. His body is being transported to Dover Delaware..."

The commanders letter would provide more info and personal details from soldiers that knew SGT Jones and likely were present when he was shot.
---------------
That's the theory. Let me talk about reality. I never had to write those letters in war time, but I saw them written and I wrote two in peacetime. Yes, soldiers die every day in peacetime. Spend a lot of time around 70 tons of malevolent steel (aka a Tank) that is trying to eat you and stuff happens. anyway...

The 2 most common lies told in those commanders letters are:

1. It was quick, he didn't feel a thing...
2. your son died a hero...

The thing that is left out of those letters is when SGT Jones died because he made a stupid mistake and a tank turret ate him, or he zigged when he shoulda zagged, or he got shot by a friend due to a mistake by one of them that we'll never sort out.

Grieving families don't need to hear any of those truths. So yes, lies are told and yes, some officer could be hung out to dry if the truth came out, but that same officer would want those lies told if the letter was about him.

That's what I think happened in the Tillman case. Innocent shaping of the truth to spare the family...

Roger, I think you were senior to me, anything to add?

Roger said...

Drill--you pretty well got it. I will say that during Viet Nam it was not uncommon for the troopers to get together a collection for a soldier who had a wife and kids and send a note. It was not policy that the commander had to write a letter, but I usually did, and as you say, quick and hero were the operational terms.

The Drill SGT said...

we both left off having the 1st SGT sanitize the personal effects (e.g. pictures of naked women, letters from girl friends, etc) before sending them off to the man's wife.

Fen said...

I ran LAVs, not tracks, but the point is the same - you can't deliberately run down a dog on your front right - its a blind spot.

As for the sh!tbird, he had a duty to report these incidents to higher command. Instead, he chose to have them published in a anti-war rag for propaganda value.

Ann Althouse said...

Posting an email:

dick thompson
to me
More options Jul 26 (14 hours ago)
dtl,

You have a fixation about Abu Ghraib. Unfortunately you do not seem to
accept that the military was dealing with Abu Ghraib 4 months before you
best buds Seymour Hersch wrote about it to the extent that they had
removed the people who caused it and were preparing to court martial
them for what they did. All those involved had been removed from duty
there and were awaiting trial.

Then along came Seymour trying to recreate his My Lai reporting and
suddenly we have a huge problem which was already being dealt with. The
LLL dems were trying to blow it up to be more than it was and AQ had a
huge recruiting tool thanks to the half-truths that were being peddled
by Mr Hersch and his buds - in fact they are still being peddled and
they are still half-truths.

If you check out the mil-blogs, you will find that those reporting there
hate any kind of misbehavior such as this crap that Pvt Beauchamp has
reported and if true want those responsible to be tried and sentenced
for doing this. Of course the LLL dems can't accept that and try to
blame the troops for having done these things with no proof at all - can
you spell Haditha? which has been shown to be a non-event after Murtha
tried and prosecuted the Marines with no evidence at all.

The problem with all this is that our media will take anything it can
get from any source and without checking print it as if it were gospel.
Then when it is proved to be fake, maybe, just maybe, they will admit
they reported it wrongly but on page 37 below the fold and buried in
another story. In the meantime our LLL dems like dtl will trumpet it
from the highest as if it were true and then cover their ears when
proven to be false. Flash forward 6 months and you will read the same
things proven wrong the first time repeated ad infinitum with name
calling to boot - just check the postings on this subject above to see
the proof.

Go to Blackfive and see what the mil-bloggers say about this one. Some
of them have already checked out the troops Pvt Beauchamp served with
and are reporting what was found there - and Beauchamp does not come off
very well. Especially good is that one of his main points is a carbon
copy of what the German press reported while he was stationed in
Germany. Gives food for thought, no??? Also note that the mil-bloggers
also say that if what he reported is true in any way, then those
responsible need to be tried and jailed for what they did. Wish our MSM
would do the same thing for all the fake stories they have printed -
remember the mosques that were destroyed a few months back and the imams
killed - and the next day the imam who was killed was preaching a sermon
in the intact mosque that was supposedly destroyed? Have the media
apologized yet for getting that one so wrong?

Fen said...

Pvt Beasuchamp: "just because it didn’t necessarily happen to us doesn’t mean it isn’t true”.

Fake but Accurate

Mindsteps said...

The Drill SGT said...

You seem to have missed the fact that one of the stories that our author tells is first person. Either he is a slimy liar or a worthless piece of trash.

With respect to the Tillman matter Drill SGT wrote:

That's what I think happened in the Tillman case. Innocent shaping of the truth to spare the family...

Drill uses at least two psychological mechanism frequently used in times of war, terrorism, and counterterrorism.

Notice the use of eupemistic language (shaping the truth) to describe lying in the case of 'sparing a family' (moral justification). The use of euphimisms and moral justification represent two psychological mechanisms that allow one to disengage from one's internal moral standards (it is generally wrong to lie).

Mechanisms that encourage selective moral disengagement are particularly salient in the actions of the terrorists and our counter-terrorist efforts.

Roger said...

Mindsteps--the world is not black and white for many people.) While I do not approve of the way the Army handled the Tillman thing, the sad fact is that it is often necessary to not tell the whole truth, or shade the truth (ie, lie). Offensive operations against terrorism may include such morally repugnant things as murder (targeted assassinations); with respect to death notification of service members, do you think it appropriate to tell a parent their son was killed while frequenting a house of prostitution, or was shot in the back while fleeing from combat? Those are just two examples of reality interfering with moral absolutes. It is regretable, but necessary IMO.

Jeremy said...

Roger -

I agree with you--perjoratives and name-calling have no place in a serious discussion, regardless of their source or target. People who use them damage their credibility.

Of course, the internet is not a medium that encourages serious, rational discussion. It's too easy to thoughtlessly fire off a blog post or comment. In today's environment, I think it's difficult to find ANY credible source, between media manipulation and blogosphere drum-beating. Doesn't stop me from trying, though.

The Drill SGT said...

Mindsteps,

I can see a clear distinction between

1. not telling a family the whole truth, meaning leaving facts out of the narrative that would hurt them. (note, I cast the Tillman thing as an innocent act that is as old as warfare. I never condoned any coverup in an official capicity. I just explained what I thought had happened)

2. creating facts (if they were created) whose spread hurts the reputation of many soldiers and endangers their lives unnecessarily.

If the author was telling the truth, I hope that the soldiers that were involved are disciplined appropriately. However, I think that the way the author did it, unnecessarily provided aid and comfort to our enemies.

and if he lied?

Mindsteps said...

Dick Thompson wrote:

Have the media
apologized yet for getting that one so wrong?

When you ask the media to apologize, do you mean the diffuse media as a coordinated whole or specific writers?

Obviously, the role of the media during war and in particular when covering terrorism and counterterrorism has always been controversial. Terrorists use the media (tv, internet, etc.) as an important instrument in gaining sympathy and support for their 'cause'. The media, in turn, come under heavy fire from targeted officials regarding granting terrorists a worldwide forum as aiding terrorist casuses. Security forces do not like media personnel tracking their conduct, broadcasting tactical information that terrorists can put to good use, and interposing themselves as intermeiaries in risky negotiation situations.

The struggle to win and gain control between terrorists and counterterrorists is not only played out in the battlefield, but also through the media.

The media can be used to sanitize, distance, and dehumanize the struggle. It can also put a human face on the war. A Pulitzer Prize was awarded for a powerful photograph that captured the anguished cries of a litte girl whose clothes were burned off by the napalm bombing of her villiage in Viet Nam. This single humanization of inflicted destruction may have done as much to turn the American public against the war as the countless reports filed by journalists. As a result, the military restricted the use of cameras and journalists from battlefield areas to block disturbing images of death and destruction that can erode public support for resolving international disputes by military means.

With the advent of satellite transmission, battles are now fought on the airwaves over 'collateral damage" to shape public perceptions of military campaigns and debates about them. Al-Jazeera airs graphic, real-time images of death and destruction round-the-clock. We have allowed reporters to again accompany combat forces in Iraq to present a different perspective from the one broadcast by Al Jazeera.

Bottom line, satellite television and internet bloggers have become strategic tools in framing the narratives of war and terrorism to the American people, our allies, and our enemies.

The Drill SGT said...

Bottom line, satellite television and internet bloggers have become strategic tools in framing the narratives of war and terrorism to the American people, our allies, and our enemies.

Tools for whom?

There is a war in the media for the "hearts and minds" of Iraqi's, but the media isn't providing a level playing field.

1. 95% of the violence being inflicted on innocent civilians is being done by the bad guys, yet 95% of the coverage of innocent victims is written about the 5% that the coalition inflicts.

2. any undocumented allegation of a crime by the coalition is treated as gospel immediately.

3. any official statement that Coalition forces didn't commit a crime must be proven beyond a doubt with an investigation that last 12 months beyond the news cycle.

4. Our free press bends over backward to find fault with our actions either to reinforce their attacks on Bush, or to sell papers back home.

5. their non-free press activities freely distribute propaganda that is reported by our press as fact without challenge.


Bottom line: many in the military think that our MSM are rooting for our failure because it generates Pulitzers and pay raises.

a 1989 PBS show:

In a future war involving U.S. soldiers what would a TV reporter do if he learned the enemy troops with which he was traveling were about to launch a surprise attack on an American unit? That's just the question Harvard University professor Charles Ogletree Jr, as moderator of PBS' Ethics in America series, posed to ABC anchor Peter Jennings and 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace. Both agreed getting ambush footage for the evening news would come before warning the U.S. troops.

For the March 7 installment on battlefield ethics Ogletree set up a theoretical war between the North Kosanese and the U.S.-supported South Kosanese. At first Jennings responded: "If I was with a North Kosanese unit that came upon Americans, I think I personally would do what I could to warn the Americans."

Wallace countered that other reporters, including himself, "would regard it simply as another story that they are there to cover." Jennings' position bewildered Wallace: "I'm a little bit of a loss to understand why, because you are an American, you would not have covered that story."

"Don't you have a higher duty as an American citizen to do all you can to save the lives of soldiers rather than this journalistic ethic of reporting fact?" Ogletree asked. Without hesitating Wallace responded: "No, you don't have higher duty...you're a reporter." This convinces Jennings, who concedes, "I think he's right too, I chickened out."

Ogletree turns to Brent Scrowcroft, now the National Security Adviser, who argues "you're Americans first, and you're journalists second." Wallace is mystified by the concept, wondering "what in the world is wrong with photographing this attack by North Kosanese on American soldiers?" Retired General William Westmoreland then points out that "it would be repugnant to the American listening public to see on film an ambush of an American platoon by our national enemy."

A few minutes later Ogletree notes the "venomous reaction" from George Connell, a Marine Corps Colonel. "I feel utter contempt. Two days later they're both walking off my hilltop, they're two hundred yards away and they get ambushed. And they're lying there wounded. And they're going to expect I'm going to send Marines up there to get them. They're just journalists, they're not Americans."

Wallace and Jennings agree, "it's a fair reaction." The discussion concludes as Connell says: "But I'll do it. And that's what makes me so contemptuous of them. And Marines will die, going to get a couple of journalists."

Mindsteps said...

With respect to the Tillman matter Drill SGT wrote:

That's what I think happened in the Tillman case. Innocent shaping of the truth to spare the family...

How presumptuous and condescending. Who is being spared? It harkens back to Jack Nicholson's famous line "You can't handle the truth".

If it was one of your loved one's who was killed would you want someone shaping the truth to spare you? You might, but not I.

Hoosier Daddy said...

If it was one of your loved one's who was killed would you want someone shaping the truth to spare you?

Think about that. As another poster had stated, what if your loved one was killed by frequenting one of the local prostitutes who turned out to be an insurgent? Or the other example, fleeing in the face of the enemy? Or pulled his grenade pin and didnt throw it in time?

There is a little truth to the saying that what you don't know won't hurt you. Maybe you personally want to know all the lurid details but I don't think what the Army did with respect to Tillman was anything nefarious.

I haven't seen anything out there that would indicate that the FF indicent was anything more than mistaken identity and the fact that the story has taken on galactic proportions simply tells me that the media expects infallibility from the military in a way that is never expect from other quarters.

Jennifer said...

Mindsteps - You might want all the gory details including any culpability on your loved one's part. But, would your mother? Your father? Your siblings?

Regardless, even if you do want to know everything, most people don't. And the general practice is in response to general preferences.

Pogo said...

What I cannot grasp or forgive is the kneejerk embrace by the MSM and some of the left of guys like this.

If (and when) this is proven false, and yet still effectively serves as propaganda for the enemy insurgents, why should I conclude they are anything but anti-American?

Augustine long ago discussed the way to secure both peace and freedom, and recognized that war is sometimes necessary to combat evil. It appears to me that many on the left believe that peace and justice require nonviolence, even if that means submission to evil.

And they are very wrong in that view.

dick said...

Mindsteps,

When I said has the media apologized yet, I was referring to the media that reported the erroneous information. In this particular case the story came from AP and was printed in most of the newspapers that use AP. AP should apologize and all the newspapers should apologize in the main sections of the newspaper at the level of the original story or higher and also admit that the story was erroneous and then give the true story. Anything less makes them a propaganda source for the enemy.

It brings to mind the story in the LAT when Bremer left Iraq. LAT reported that he never gave a farewell speech. The only problem was at the time the LAT was reporting this, CNN was broadcasting Bremer's farewell speech to Iraq which he had delivered before he left. That was at least 3 years ago and the LAT has to this date not corrected their original story.

SGT Ted said...

In my day there were two communications. The notification from the Casualty Assistance Officer/Chaplain team and a personal letter from the unit commander.

There's two parts; the CNO(Casualty Notification Officer) and CAO (Casualty Assistance Officer).

I am currently at the end of a CAO mission for a Cav trooper killed by an IED. The family can request the autopsy if they so desire.

My experience is that the family WANTS to know how they died, even if it is gruesome. Not knowing is worse. They ask all those "what if" questions throughout the whole funeral process.

As to the topic of this post. I hope PVT Beauchamp gets what he deserves.

The responses from the leftists are very incoherent and slanderous towards the military posters here. Why is that?

Mindsteps said...

Jennifer said...

Regardless, even if you do want to know everything, most people don't. And the general practice is in response to general preferences.

How do you know that most people don't want to know the truth as to how a loved one has died?

Mindsteps said...

Pogo said...
What I cannot grasp or forgive is the kneejerk embrace by the MSM and some of the left of guys like this.

I agree. However, what is hard for me to 'embrace' is both the kneejerk embrace of the information and its kneejerk rejection.

Pogo said...

Re: "its kneejerk rejection"

It was quite clear that people who know how things really work in Iraq smelled another "fake but accurate" story being thrown at them, and set about to investigate its veracity.

They did not immediately reject it out of hand, but stated instead "Sounds like BS, needs to be confirmed", which is a fair complaint.

And they are doing the work journalists refuse to do, even that minimal diligence required of a professional.

Jennifer said...

Mindsteps - I'm a military spouse. I guess when I say most people don't, I mean most of the people I know.

And of the people I know who've lost their spouses, what they were given...defending a convoy, heroic actions, didn't suffer... was good enough for them.

Sounds like Sgt Ted has had different experiences. It still remains though, that a family can ask more questions if they want to. But they can't give back knowledge they don't want. So, it still seems like a good practice to me.

Mindsteps said...

Pogo:

They did not immediately reject it out of hand, but stated instead "Sounds like BS, needs to be confirmed", which is a fair complaint.

C'mon..... Malkin, the Corner, Powerline..... Bias works both ways. How about approaching all of these outlets with a healthy skepticism?

Roger said...

What Pogo said--The TNR is completely culpable here for several reasons: They did not disclose the personal link between their staff and the source; and they clearly did not fact check the story prior to running it.

Mindsteps--my knee jerk reaction was that the story was BS--why? 25 years of army experience; Also the comments from a great deal of serving soldiers on the mil blogs; but even then I suggested waiting until the investigation is completed (and NOT TNRs investigation) before reaching a final conclusion. The fact that I formed some opinions based on a fair amount of experience is hardly a "knee jerk reaction." I would call the opinions of those lacking any signficant experience a kneee jerk reaction on either side of the political spectrum.

The Drill SGT said...

Mindsteps,

I've seen some friends die in pretty gruesome ways. Most involved fire and a couple drowning. One of my kids had a tank land on top of him. I scrapped him up, put him into a sleeping bag and flew 300 miles back to the mortuary by chopper where we cut his equipment off him and I identified him, before we sent him home.

You go to somebody's house and explain to them that Howard, their son, burned to death trapped in the cockpit of his Huey. He yelled and writhered in the flames but nobody could get to him because of the fire and the fact that 20 rockets were cooking off and launching just behind the cockpit.

I don't even want to remember what I saw, much less relate that to his mother. Am I a coward, you bet.

"yes ma'am, it was quick and he was a hero" that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Mindsteps said...

Jennifer said...
Mindsteps - I'm a military spouse. I guess when I say most people don't, I mean most of the people I know.

It is probably pretty difficult to generalize. I suspect that if one has a spouse, parent, child, etc. in a high risk profession (e.g. soldier, police officer) that folks are going to use different psychological mechanisms to deal with the potential threat. Psychologists have examined the mechanisms of repression and sensitization in various individuals. Some folks, termed 'repressors' by psychologists tend to avoid the conscious processing of painful thoughts as a way to cope with stressors while other's termed "sensitizers" tend to focus on these unpleasantries in an effort to manage or control them. This is, of course a gross simplification, however I wonder if this repressor-sensitizer conceptual spectrum might be useful in understanding the differences.

Mindsteps said...

Drill said:

I don't even want to remember what I saw, much less relate that to his mother. Am I a coward, you bet.

"yes ma'am, it was quick and he was a hero" that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Makes sense to me and I appreciate the directness and honesty.

Fen said...

Pvt Beasuchamp: "just because it didn’t necessarily happen to us doesn’t mean it isn’t true”.

Fen said...

In Somolia [Baderra], we had interactions with a crazy lady who was always jumping in front of our LAVs and cursing us with some kind of voodoo magic. After awhile it was endearing, because she was such a crazy coot.

Later, we found out she had jumped in front of a 5-ton truck and been run over and crushed. I'm sure the driver felt remorse. Now, I wonder how a PVT Beauchamp would have distorted the incident to suit his anti-war bias.

Pogo said...

Drill SGT
That's one of the best damn posts I have ever read.

From Inwood said...

You say:

"We found out [a crazy lady who was always jumping in front of our LAVs and cursing us with some kind of voodoo magic] had jumped in front of a 5-ton truck and been run over and crushed. I'm sure the driver felt remorse. Now, I wonder how a PVT Beauchamp would have distorted the incident to suit his anti-war bias."

Just google the stories about the poor wretch who sat in front of the bulldozer in Israel.

Michael said...

The Drill SGT: Tools for whom?

If I may, I'd like to add...

6. Everyone knows approximately how many casualties our military has suffered in Iraq. But how many of us have any idea how many terrorists we've killed in Iraq?

Would you trust a sports broadcaster who only reported half the score? Common sense says no.

The Drill SGT said...

Mindsteps said...
... I suspect that if one has a spouse, parent, child, etc. in a high risk profession (e.g. soldier, police officer) that folks are going to use different psychological mechanisms to deal with the potential threat.


a bit of morbid trivia. You may not have noticed, but police officers are traditionally a bit tougher than your average gunshot victim. (this tale has ultimately a connection to the topic at hand).

In most towns, if a cop is shot, regardless of the severity, he(she) is rushed to the hospital "in serious condition"

a guy can take two rounds to the head and he'll still be just serious and alive when they take him to the hospital.

reason: Police departments have learned through hard experience that they need to control the casualty notification process and they do it better than the Army can. And BTW: nobody gives them crap about it.

- cop is shot twice in the head
- first ambulance on the scene will triage the cop into the first slot in preference to all others and he goes straight to the hospital.
- senior office on duty in the precinct goes to the spouse's house and says: "Joe's been shot, it's pretty serious, they've taken him to St Francis General, let's go, I'll drive..."
- in the mean time the dead cop is taken through the ER into a private crash room.
- The precinct commander, commander's wife, the department chaplain and the department Doc are notified and all arrive.
- spouse arrives
- one of them says, "Marge, they did all they could, but there was too much damage and Joe died a little bit ago."
- Chaplain, and commander's wife handle the grieving spouse in a controlled setting with a trained team approach

nobody says crap about the white lies, and nobody gets a reprimand.

Revenant said...

The responses from the leftists are very incoherent and slanderous towards the military posters here. Why is that?

Because they don't like you.

Try praising the Democratic party and bashing George Bush. Then they'll line up to suck your dick.