August 9, 2007

"Calls to Editor Franklin Foer at The New Republic in Washington were not returned..."

AP reports on the Beauchamp affair:
The Army said this week it had concluded an investigation of Beauchamp's claims and found them false.

"During that investigation, all the soldiers from his unit refuted all claims that Pvt. Beauchamp made in his blog," Sgt. 1st Class Robert Timmons, a spokesman in Baghdad for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., said in an e-mail interview....

After the pieces were questioned, the magazine said it extensively re-reported his account, contacting dozens of people, including former soldiers, forensic experts, war reporters and Army public affairs officers.

The New Republic said it also spoke to five members of Beauchamp's company, all of whom corroborated Beauchamp's anecdotes but requested anonymity.
The boldface is mine. "All" is a strong word. Somebody is lying.
Bob Steele, the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla., said granting a writer anonymity "raises questions about authenticity and legitimacy."

"Anonymity allows an individual to make accusations against others with impunity," Steele said. "In this case, the anonymous diarist was accusing other soldiers of various levels of wrongdoing that were, at the least, moral failures, if not violations of military conduct. The anonymity further allows the writer to sidestep essential accountability that would exist, were he identified."
A publisher has a special responsibility when it provides anonymity. This responsibility is magnified many times over when the writing works to undermine our commitment to the war and to break down our trust in the individuals who have devoted themselves to fighting that war for us. This responsibility is magnified again when one of the things anonymity hides is the fact that the anonymous writer has an inside connection to the publisher. (Beauchamp is married to a woman who works at TNR.)

TNR's silence is deathly.

UPDATE: TNR breaks the silence:
[I]t is our understanding that Beauchamp continues to stand by his stories and insists that he has not recanted them. The Army, meanwhile, has refused our requests to see copies of the statements it obtained from Beauchamp--or even to publicly acknowledge that they exist....

Part of our integrity as journalists includes standing by a writer who has been accused of wrongdoing and who is not able to defend himself. But we also want to reassure our readers that our obligations to our writer would never trump our commitment to the truth. We once again invite the Army to make public Beauchamp's statements and the details of its investigation--and we ask the Army to let us (or any other media outlet, for that matter) speak to Beauchamp. Unless and until these things happen, we cannot fairly assess any of these reports about Beauchamp--and therefore have no reason to change our own assessment of Beauchamp's work. If the truth ends up reflecting poorly on our judgment, we will accept responsibility for that. But we also refuse to rush to judgment on our writer or ourselves.

138 comments:

P. Rich said...

Given their readership, it's doubtful how much if any this will further injure a declining leftist publication. At some point, only the die-hard believers will remain anyway. The NYT has been blazing this trail for years.

M. Simon said...

I think if they have separate bedrooms it might be all right.

Any way the Copperhead phenomenon always works the same. Success on the battlefield and they disappear.

vet66 said...

It appears that the journalism schools are teaching courses that encourage the writing of stories with fictional "facts" as pseudo support for a predetermined point-of-view.

This is an end-justifies-the-means school of thought where moral equivalence takes precedence over inconvenient truth. After the initial burst of publicity brings the desired short-term outrage and investigation, much of the public quickly moves on to something else. The only thing left is the foul after-taste of alleged misdeeds which lingers long after the inevitable report finds the charges baseless or out of context.

This is the strategy of the left in their quest for power!

Christy said...

Deathly? Interesting word choice. Reading the latest Harry Potter?

SteveR said...

Mark Feldstein: still looking for that cloud over the Army

STB:
Liar, Liar, pants on fire

TNR: Journalism from the answer backwards.

Christy said...

I want to know what Elspeth's momma thinks about her daughter marrying a man who mocks a woman with a melted face. Heck, I want to know what kind of woman raised such a man.

Gahrie said...

But, but....those incidents were seared, seared into Beauchamp's memory.......

Looks like the fascists are covering up for the jenghis khan like goons again......

AllenS said...

You'll get an admission of error from the TNR, shortly after Dan Rather locates Lucy Ramirez, who had the fake but accurate documents.

knoxwhirled said...

the individuals who have devoted themselves to fighting that war for us

This is why it's so easy to be skeptical when people who are voraciously against the war claim to simultaneously respect and support the troops. Our soldiers are risking their lives every day for us--they deserve an extra benefit of the doubt, and any accusations like this should be triple-vetted. But there obviously was a rush to get this one to press, and a desire to believe, without question, what he wrote.

Zeb Quinn said...

Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Mary Mapes/Dan Rather, Scott Beauchamp. They all have the same modus operandi. Make the story up out of whole cloth, but when busted posture that even if it's fake it's still true. The left has a template of how the news should be and so they just go ahead and write it that way, making it up as they go, with full approval and encouragement from editors. Indeed full participation by the editors. As long as it fits the template of how it should be. That's all that matters. And that's not even getting to the kind of fraudulent stuff Reuters does, doctoring photographs, staging scenes, etc. This all is is what passes for journalism in the modern era.

Roger said...

This is an AP piece--given their particular biases, I can only surmise they have some sort of vendetta against TNR that surpassses their antipathy for Iraq involvement. Compare this professor of journo (rhymes with porno) to the dufuss Kurtz quoted in the WAPO piece down thread. Interesting.

Roger said...

Alan: hmmmm....has anyone seen Lucy Ramirez and Elspeth Reeves together at the same time?

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Anonymity allows an individual to make accusations against others with impunity

Again I have to ask if anyone knows how ‘anonymous’ or ‘un-named sources’ are vetted, if at all, at the editor level of any media outlet? Can essentially any journalist come in with a story in which they claim they wrote based upon the account of an ‘anonymous’ or ‘un-named source’? Evidently it appears to be the case with TNR but is that common practice or do editors require some kind of proof as to the veracity of the journalist’s source?

Any journalists out there who have any insight?

NSC said...

Sooner or later Foer has to make a statement where he either backs Beauchamp despite the Army findings or admits he was a liar and that TNR enabled his lies.

Or not. He may just keep hiding in his office, rolling ball-bearings around in his hand and mumbling something about strawberrys.

Either way the damage has been done.

For example, I visited the TNR site today (to see if they had updated on the Beauchamp story) and saw another story titled "Democrats and Militarists" which I immediately assumed was biased and perhaps totally untrue.

And I didn't even read it.

This is the visceral reaction people are going to have about TNR stories from now on. No one is going to believe them. And that includes their supporters who may claim to, but certainly won't use them as cites any longer because they don't want to get caught up in their next lie.

I see them fading into obscurity as their readership dies with their credibility.

Time will tell.

Slim999 said...

Wouold someone point me to some objective information that would demonstrate that The New Republic needs its stories to be true to turn a profit.

Because, you know, the stories don't have to be true. They just have to sell.

Nothing will come of this. NOTHING. The New Republic will still be read by the same people who already subscribe to it; it doesn't matter whether what they print is true, its COMPELLING and FEELS good to the readership. It's COMFORTING.

This is the New Journalism. The kind which actually sells.

True stories about how well the war is going wouldn't sell subscriptions, it would result in cancellations and thus, editor-firings.

So, that ain't gonna happen.

The publisher knows exactly what he is doing. And Mr. Foer is delivering the product he's been hired to deliver.

Henry said...

Roger - This is an AP piece--given their particular biases...

I got a laugh out of the second paragraph (my emphasis):

Three articles by the soldier have run since January in The New Republic, a liberal magazine with a small circulation owned by Canadian company CanWest Corp. The stories, which ran under the name "Scott Thomas," were called into question by The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine with a small circulation owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

Translation: Never heard of these magazines? Don't worry, neither has anyone else.

guene said...

What surprises me is how willingly our “elite” press flogs the tired War is hell theme, as if it were daring, revelatory or even relevant. Tell us more of what we don’t know or which would be engaging in a less sophomoric-negative literary way. War is trial and gives hope, and informed specifics on combat and diplomacy make for fascinating reads on psychology and history in the making.

Mil bloggers have been doing this all along with grit and eloquence, and, if their work doesn’t get published as a genre for us to consume over the next some decades, we will have lost the voice of an amazing generation of servicemen and writers. The chronicles of Afghanistan and Iraq belong more authentically to the people fighting and bleeding for us (and to those who are there and understand them) and who are more honest and riveting, than to those professional writers hemorrhaging ink to frustrate their efforts in hackneyed articles that give us journo fatigue.

guene said...

I think Beauchamp sees himself more as a writer than soldier, and that TNR was clever to use him to authenticate how hellish and dehumanizing is war, etc.

Until they all got caught as frauds. Worse, as unoriginal ones.

Tim said...

Copperheads, indeed.

A series of stories confirming the Left's deeply held beliefs of the ill-nature of America's military and its individual soldiers (a military in which they would never serve under any condition and soldiers they would never willingly know) was too good to check. For TNR and the Left, no plausible lie can be left untold if it undermines the mission, the military or the soldiers. They, being smarter than the rest of us (just wait, some *sshole will soon arrive calling us morons...), didn't think anyone would check the story since, after all, we all know the military is rife with war-damaged troops prone to atrocities high and low.

Despite this obvious fact, we can never question their plaintive cry that "We Support the Troops" or their patriotism.

It wouldn't be sensitive to "their truth."

DaveG said...

Translation: Never heard of these magazines? Don't worry, neither has anyone else.

Henry, also note this:

The New Republic, a liberal magazine with a small circulation owned by Canadian company CanWest Corp. ... The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine with a small circulation owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

No word on who owns CanWest, presumably because it wouldn't have the same negative connotation (to AP's intended audience, anyway) as the eeevvvill Rupert Mordor, er, Murdoch.

JAM said...

"The Press is impotent when it abandons itself to falsehood."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1807

rollerball99 said...

Two possibilities:
1. The interviewees lied when they discussed this with TNR
2. The soldiers lied when they testified to the Army.
I leave out the possibility that TNR lied when they said they interviewed the 5 soldiers.
I think option 1 is more likely as the consequences of lying to TNR are a lot less than the consequences of lying under oath. Soldiers take that stuff seriously, and while I don't doubt for a second that one, two or more would have no problem lying under oath, I think SOMEONE would eventually confess. Someone usually does. My conclusion: TNR allowed themselves to be pwned in a major way.

matta said...

not to feed red meat to the neocons here but it would seem that another valid reason for requesting anonminity would be that anyone that actually does provide their name is setting himself up to be ridiculed, disected, threatened, family dragged into it, stereotyped, as well as of course be exposed to military and civilian prosecution.

Not saying its the case here but it does beg the question, when was the last time neocons PRAISED a whistleblower or someone who exposed military misdeeds???

docweasel said...

of course,
"to undermine our commitment to the war and to break down our trust in the individuals who have devoted themselves to fighting that war for us."
ia the entire point of these kinds of articles.

They just hoped no one would question it. More and more, mostly due to the bloggers, people are.

Kind of makes you wonder how much stuff the media made up in wars between the Good War and this one, before there was any accountability.

F said...

Hoosier Daddy: Having been an anonymous source I can answer your question. I was anonymous to the readers, but not to the author OR the editor, both of whom knew who I was and knew my fides. I presume Foer knew who Beauchamp was from the moment the first article arrived, but protected his identity so he (Beauchamp) felt more comfortable writing what he did. Sometimes anonymity serves a useful journalistic purpose (I believe it did in my case); sometimes it allows for a lack of accountability that becomes a cover for poor journalistic practices. F

docweasel said...

PS: re: matta
I hate people who misuse the phrase "begs the question".

Pogo said...

In college chemistry class this kind of faked report was called "dry-labbing". You start with the answer you want, and then you back-fill the lab report with data from the previous steps which would have yielded that result.

In this case, add in some mock-Hemingway, a KOSsian slant, and you have instant war reporting.

If they're interested, TNR might like to publish my 1981 report on the reaction of a dilute acid with a metal oxide entitled "Biochem is Hell." Think Somerset Maugham with beakers and a pipette.

Jim O'Sullivan said...

Prediction: They will never admit that Beauchamp is full of manure.
The left just doesn't care when one of their own is shown to be a liar. They cling like pit blls to their claims that Kerry was a true war hero, that Wilson was "punished" by Rove for telling the "truth" about Iraq and Niger, and now, this drivel. Point out the obvious falsehoods in their stories, and they just go into screaming fits like the one Larry O'Donnell resorted to when he "debated" Swiftboat leader John O'Neill on Hardball. It's the way they do business.

Fen said...

I don't see this being resolved to my satsifaction.

TNR is going dark, hiding behind spin and hoping everyone will forget and move on in three weeks.
The Left will not accept that Beauchamp has been discredited unless the Army releases his signed retraction, and even then they'll claim he was "coerced or tortured".

And I'll be surprised if the Army releases Beauchamp's retraction. As a former Marine, I can say that the military pov is that this scandal is over - Beauchamp's allegations have been found to be false and he'll be punished at the unit level. Army mentality is not to get engaged in a blogoshpere information war, they have more important things on their mind.

But I'm saving to file, just in case the Dems decide to run Scott John Kerry Beauchamp in 2020...

Shawn Levasseur said...

I think that there is something systemically wrong with the editorial process over at TNR, especially when veiwed in parallel with the Glass affair.

This goes above and beyond mere bias or printing the news that fits a point of view. I think TNR must have some policies or proceedures that allow false reports to get into the publication too easily.

Fact checking is not perfect, but I suspect that not even random facts are being checked. That fear of discovery by the editors is non-existent at TNR, and only after publication does anything get discovered.

SuperDave said...

Wow! Professional journalists and their editors who think only in general terms have to face a swarm of amatuers and other jounalists with their pesky and specific facts. I did not have to see a report from the military to doubt the voracity of the narrative. I just had to read about "square-backed ammo" and have a knowledge of firearms. Again, they profess expertise that they do not possess.

Did it not occur to them to find a soldier who could write about his or her experiences without the requirement of the veil of anonymity? Or is Scott Beauchamp the only soldier that they could find that came pre-vetted with acceptable expectations of the end product? Or are they so insulated that they do not know any other soldiers? Or did Elspeth believe this was a chance to further her husband's career that could begin at his discharge from the military?

It would be nice to view journalism as showing me what happened as opposed to swaying me to a position.

Fen said...

Beauchamp's anti-war views were on his blog before he was recruited by TNR. I have a hard time believing they didn't review his work before he went to work for them. TNR knew exactly what they were getting - an anti-war writer who's narrative dovetailed with theirs.

Tom Hilton said...

In college chemistry class this kind of faked report was called "dry-labbing". You start with the answer you want, and then you back-fill the lab report with data from the previous steps which would have yielded that result.

The New Republic enthusiastically supported the war in Iraq. They were among the loudest cheerleaders in the months before the invasion. They still support it (somewhat less enthusiastically).

So how on earth does an account of misbehavior by some troops in Iraq support their pro-war preconceptions?

They may well have been bamboozled. The military flacks could be lying. Any number of people could be partly lying and partly telling the truth. We really don't know, but more to the point it really doesn't matter, because Beauchamp's story (whether true or false or partly true) was just a story--just one set of anecdotes about misbehavior in a war zone, orthogonal to any serious political agenda.

The one thing we can be sure of here is that the TNR (which has gotten all kinds of things wrong because of their blinkered pro-war perspective) did not publish this piece in the service of any agenda.

john said...

Will someone please fire the friggin 'Journalist' and get me a Reporter who will sell a story straight??

I am so tired of all the supposed cloistered, degreed, think like sheep, 'Journalists'. A Reporter will give me 4 things - Who, What, When, Where. I don't give two hoots for Why unless it is coming from the mouth of someone in the first person at the event. Otherwise I can form my own opinions as to Why as good as anybody else.

Next!

Roger said...

Tom: TNR has changed editors for Marty Peretz to Franklin Foer--that is a rather significant change and the magazines perspective has also changed in accordance with Foer's editorship. With respect to Beauchamps writing--TNR ran them as fact and not fiction. Had they run them as fiction great--I would agree with your point. But that was not the case and the stories as run do not depict the American military in a particularly good light. For those of us who have served, or are serving, its John Kerry and winter soldier all over again. You may not care, and that is fine; but please be aware that there are some of us who do care.

vet66 said...

John;

Unfortunately the journalists and reporters went to the same schools of "Shill for the left." Their resumes were replete with recommendations from like-thinking, tenured dreamy-eyed delusionists stuck in a time-warp of the glory days of peace, love, dove.

The dumbest and most energetic of this crew was promoted to editor. The guy/gal who passed the urinalysis test was made obudsman/apologizer and responsible for ordering sandwiches for the blue sky sessions to which he/she was never invited.

Václav Patrik Šulik said...

The silence is due to the time it takes legal to sign off on getting the discharge of Foer together. By 6:00 p.m. tomorrow, he will be out of a job.

Ann Althouse said...

"the voracity of the narrative"

That's the best spoonerism I've seen in ages!

DaveG said...

The one thing we can be sure of here is that the TNR ... did not publish this piece in the service of any agenda.

We who? I've got my own blanket, thank you very much, and don't need to be covered with yours.

Angela said...

Two possibilities:
1. The interviewees lied when they discussed this with TNR
2. The soldiers lied when they testified to the Army.


I'm guessing #1 too. If I were in SCB's unit, I'd be pissed at him. If contacted by TNR I'd want to do as much as possible to get him in trouble.

If I deny the events ever happened, they ignore me. If I confirm them, they'll publish me.

If a BUNCH of us confirm, TNR publishes THAT and increases the chances of STB getting seriously spanked by the Army. I would assume that the real honest-to-god facts would come out eventually, and the more TNR stands by the lie, the bigger the fall for TNR and STB.

Besides, if I were a Spec. 4 at FOB Falcon, and it was 120 degrees, and some dweeb from TNR calls me, I would so totally want to screw with him.

EnigmatiCore said...

Wow, we have an actual bonafide anonymous source right here on our very own thread! Aren't we blessed!

They'll let anyone be anonymous these days, I fear...

wholelottaspainin' said...

Those who pooh-pooh the importance of this scandal because of the small circulation of TNR and the Weekly Standard are missing something important: those mags are among the most prestigeous political opinion magazines in America. Political elites read them both. Liberal elites know they will be embarrassed by the scandal, in that they will be confronted with it by their peers, i.e., other elites, and forced to defend the indefensible.

Ever see Jon Chait of TNR debate Joanh Goldberg of National Review on-line? Guys like that talk to each other, in private and in public. Chait probably knows that goldberg and other conservatives will put him through the wringer about Beauchamp, and the prospect is likely to cause him heartburn ---especially if Beauchamp publicly recants.

Multiply their conversation by hundreds more, and one can see why the scandal "matters" -- at that level, as it does to the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who have served in Iraq and their families.

p.s. to tom hilton: TNR hasn't been pro-war for a couple of years now. Chait, a Senior Editor, is anti-war. He's been a self-described Bush hater since 2003.

From Inwood said...

Tom Hilton

Sorry but you’re behind the curve here. You’re thinking about the “old” TNR; it’s under new editorship. I doubt that it “still support(s) it [the war in Iraq] (somewhat less enthusiastically).”

But, OK. Let’s assume that TNR is not engaged in some Loony Liberal anti-War conspiracy to create lies which make the US military look like a mirror image of the terrorists. Nevertheless, publishing these articles without even minimal fact checking (square bullets, indeed) suggests to me that TNR did show a willingness to look for & accept without question grossly inaccurate statements which fit some pre-conceived notion. Same result. But then I never quite got the distinction in Torts class between “gross negligence” & “willful misconduct”.

Perhaps it’s too much to hope for, but when something, either positive or negative, has been submitted to a reputable publication about a group & its members, be it doctors, lawyers, or Indian chiefs, the editors should consider checking this piece with some member(s) or former member(s) of such group & asking if the facts, um, pass muster before publishing it. (Obviously this wouldn’t work with a piece about the mob, but even there, someone in law enforcement might be consulted.) Alas, in the case of the Military, TNR editors probably do not know any members or former members of the military or anyone who knows any members or former members of the military! (Perhaps TNR could’ve contacted John Kerry!)

(OOPS is “Indian Chief” PC? Make that Native Americans or Indigenous People!).

Look, I’ve “heard” that some social workers are condescending toward their clients. (Read Frank McCort’s “Angela’s Ashes”, for instance). And that some social workers have a feeling of hopelessness about the whole welfare system.

So if I were a young social worker/wannabe writer I could write a story about how two social workers in front of others joked grossly about a grossly unattractive client; how a social worker bragged that he’d kicked a client’s dog in front of her kids; how a client beat her kid with a square baseball bat, even tho I’d never, er, actually seen such incidents.

First Q: Why would a conservative publication publish this type of article? Would it fit some kind of pre-conceived notion that welfare is wasted on the lazy & that all social workers have experienced some kind of burn out over a horrendous situation which must be completely overhauled?

Second Q: Wwould a reputable publication accept my tales as “truth”, without basic fact checking, or would its standard just be “probably true” or “true enough” or anything we can get by with to fit our pre-conceived notions, as seems to be the case with TNR?

Third Q: If I were a laisser faire, Darwinian let ‘em eat cake guy, why would I feel that I had to defend this obvious social worker conduct fiction to the death, calling any who exposed it & who happened to be Liberal, “wackos”, “nuts”, “Clinton/Pelosi/Reid/Teddy apologists”, etc.?

Finally, saying, as a defense to TNR’s conduct, that “Bush lied about WMD” or that the VRWC can’t bring itself to admit that there are bad soldiers or soldiers who do bad things is nonsense.

Luckyoldson said...

Ann,
As an attorney, how can you say "somebody is lying" if you don't have the facts at hand?

Right now this is noting more than a pissing contest between TNR, The Weekly Standard ad the military.

From Inwood said...

Tom Hilton

I just reread my post. I didn't mean to suggest, imply, etc. that you personally had used in your post the arguments in my last two paragraphs that others have been using against critics of TNR.

Sorry if anybody reads it that way.

EnigmatiCore said...

Actually, it looks to me like the only ones getting pissed on are TNR and Beauchamp.

Rightfully so, I might add, in this instance.

EnigmatiCore said...

Hm, and a lot of the yellow puddle around their feet seems to have come from within their own pants.

Ratherlike said...

It is sad. The New Republic failed to fact check this story and almost certainly got hoodwinked by a creepy characterless contributor Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp. The only fact checking seems to be that he was engaged or married to a New Republic staffer. Even the Associated Press is saying TNR was sloppy. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/09/AR2007080900008.html

Now one of TNR "experts" is recanting. This is getting uglier and uglier. http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/236527.php

Foer and company are making an embarassing mistake into a major scandal (well not for the rest of the world but for the New Republic and them).

The New Republic is off this week for their holiday vacations. Might as well drink heavily and enjoy the pool as much as they can. Work is not going to be a pleasant place to go back to.

Mutaman said...

"Copperheads, indeed.

A series of stories confirming the Left's deeply held beliefs of the ill-nature of America's military and its individual soldiers (a military in which they would never serve under any condition and soldiers they would never willingly know) was too good to check. "

Not like those on the right. Cheney, Rush, Reagan, John Bolton, Dennis Miller, Rudy. Fred, Newt, ect, ect. None of these guys were actually first on the beach at Anzio. In fact I heard Rudy knows more black people than he does soldiers.

Andy said...

The truth is TNR won't do a thing. They won't say a thing other than the carefully worded non-apology, non-retraction "we are looking into our editorial process" press releases. And there is nothing that can, or should, be done about it.

Where we should all take satisfaction is in knowing the the entire staff of the TNR, while masterfully deflecting criticism in the best modern media dynamic, is aware - down to the last person involved - that they had to lie. They had to lie to prove their point. They had to lie to paint American soldiers as mercenaries and evil men. They had to lie to suit their politics.

That is why their side will never, ever win in the long run. Lies can be ferreted out and exposed and the damage is done even if the liar never admits it. TNR is tainted with the same yellow journalism smear as the New York Times in the wake of the Jayson Blair story. They can convince themselves of whatever they want to but in the end they know what they are, they know they had to lie to advance their agenda and they have to live with that.

We win.

guene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roger said...

Ratherlike: Thanks for the link to confederate yankee--the TNR quoted an anonymous email from a soldier that to any armor specialist should have raised the BS flag. The Bradley manufacturer rep said pretty much the same that both Drill Sgt and I said in earlier posts. Whoever said the soldiers were screwing with TNR hit the nail on the head. they are simply making TNR get deeper in the hole. Clearly they are in the CYA mode and not asking specific questions to avoid specific answers they don't want to hear. It wont make much difference if Mr. Foer retains his job--I think he will have lost all respect of his peers who may pat him on the back, but laugh at him behind it.

Revenant said...

The New Republic should release its notes, transcripts, emails, et al, related to this incident (with the names of those people who wish to remain anonymous redacted, of course). They're asking us to take their word on this, and there's no reason (based on their past history) to do that.

NSC said...

Confederate Yankee has a bombshell of a conversation with the expert TNR contacted in reference to the Bradley operating capabilities.

http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/236527.php

I think Foer is done for.

LarsPorsena said...

Foer is a fool not a fiend.
This episode only illustrates the lack of any military experience
among the nation's self-anointed cognoscenti. Anybody who has seen the inside of a barracks would have picked up the not-so faint scent of bullshit from the git-go.

Besides Michael Yon, is there anyone with military experience reporting on the ground in Iraq? This is not a rhetorical question. I would like some reliable sources.

JSU said...

"Wouold someone point me to some objective information that would demonstrate that The New Republic needs its stories to be true to turn a profit."

TNR doesn't need to turn a profit, period. They have rich backers who will bankroll it as long as Marty Peretz wants.

That Peretz still hasn't acted in this case is curious. I can't imagine that he likes what Foer is doing to his magazine's reputation.

Tom Hilton said...

Several people have taken issue with my characterization of The New Republic. Sure, Marty Peretz has been replaced with someone who is not clinically insane. (Happily, Peretz's laughable ranting is still appearing on a TNR blog, providing hilarity for all.) Only the most skewed reading of the magazine could possibly describe it as 'anti-war'.

Three years ago they reluctantly--very, very reluctantly--admitted that some of their reasons for supporting the invasion had been wrong, but reaffirmed their support overall (this was misreported in some quarters; the NYT had to issue a correction). Last November, they admitted (very, very reluctantly) that their enthusiasm for the invasion might have been misplaced, and that there are no longer any good options; they did not embrace a pullout. Nor have they since. If anything, even those TNR editors who have joined the reality-based community, who realize that their fuzzy pink pony dreams of transforming Iraq have gone down in blood and flames and catastrophe, are still invested in proving to the world that in some way or another they were right.

In other words: by no stretch of the imagination can the editorial policy of TNR possibly be construed as 'anti-war'.

I understand that for those who are invested (for reasons I can't possibly fathom) in proving that (unlike verified incidents that were far worse) Beaushamp's stories are entirely falsified, there may be some rhetorical advantage to be gained by pretending that TNR is indistinguishable from The Nation. Rhetorical advantage or not, the notion is thoroughly nonsensical.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I understand that for those who are invested (for reasons I can't possibly fathom) in proving that (unlike verified incidents that were far worse) Beaushamp's stories are entirely falsified, there may be some rhetorical advantage to be gained by pretending that TNR is indistinguishable from The Nation. Rhetorical advantage or not, the notion is thoroughly nonsensical."

I understand that there are those who are invested (for reasons I can't possibly fathom) in proving that (unlike verified incidents that were far worse) Beauchamp's stories are not entirely falsified (despite their proven falseness), there may be some rhetorical advantage to be gained by pretending that TNR is an ardent supporter of the war, and, especially, the troops. Rhetorical advantage or not, the notion is thoroughly nonsensical.

As for if TNR is distinguishable from the Nation, the answer has become yes. The latter is a magazine with a strong editorial position and firm philosophic point of view, while the former just makes shit up.

Ann Althouse said...

"Ann, As an attorney, how can you say "somebody is lying" if you don't have the facts at hand?"

Logic.

EnigmatiCore said...

Attorneys can use logic?

Who knew? No wonder they rule over us pissants!

Tom Hilton said...

I understand that there are those who are invested (for reasons I can't possibly fathom) in proving that (unlike verified incidents that were far worse) Beauchamp's stories are not entirely falsified...

I'm not invested in anything of the kind. You conclude that the stories are 'proven' false; I conclude that it's murkier than that; whatever. None of that is particularly important because this is a completely inconsequential non-story. My only reason for jumping into this is to try to put a stake in the ridiculous idea that TNR has some kind of 'anti-war' agenda.

Robert said...

Roger said..

TNR has changed editors for Marty Peretz to Franklin Foer--that is a rather significant change and the magazines perspective has also changed in accordance with Foer's editorship.

This is not true.

Franklin Foer did not replace Marty Peretz. Foer replaced Peter Beinart as editor in 2006.

Marty Peretz was the controlling owner of The New Republic until February, when he sold his shares to then co-owner CanWest. He remains editor-in-chief.

TNR remains much as it ever was: moderate to liberal on domestic issues and hawkish in foreign policy. It has grown less enthusiastic about the Iraq War - but that seems true of most Americans, no? Accusations that The New Republic has gone from being the magazine of Joe Lieberman to veering left of Mother Jones, The Nation, or Daily Kos are laughable.

Roger said...

Robert: you are most certainly correct. Thanks for the clarification.

Fen said...

Tom: My only reason for jumping into this is to try to put a stake in the ridiculous idea that TNR has some kind of 'anti-war' agenda.

So Tom, you're not at all concerned that the people who defend your liberty are being falsely smeared as war crimminals?

At times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam

No big deal to you?

the ridiculous idea that TNR has some kind of 'anti-war' agenda.

Would you please link to some recent "hawkish" pro-war articles by TNR. To balance out the stories I've been seeing from TNR lately [troops mock IED casaulty, troops defile grave, troops abuse dog, soldier suicided because of war]

Thanks.

Revenant said...

"Ann, As an attorney, how can you say "somebody is lying" if you don't have the facts at hand?"

Logic.

Yep. TNR says soldiers verified the stories; the army said nobody verified the stories. So one or more of the following are lying:

- The military (to us)
- The New Republic (to us)
- Soldiers (to the military)
- The anonymous "sources" (to TNR)

Plus, of course, either Beauchamp recanted (in which case either his stories were lies or his recantation was), or someone lied to the Weekly Standard about the recantation, or the Weekly Standard is lying about its source.

You certainly don't need to know exactly what happened to know that *somebody* here is telling tall tales.

Justin said...

Ann Althouse (in response to Lucky) said...

"Logic"

I think your logic may be a little faulty. I'm only basing this on what you quoted in the original post:

"During that investigation, all the soldiers from his unit refuted all claims that Pvt. Beauchamp made...

The New Republic said it also spoke to five members of Beauchamp's company, all of whom corroborated...

Emphasis mine.

The Army questioned the soldiers in Beauchamp's unit. TNR questioned five member of his company. I'm not fluent in military jargon, but I think a unit and a company are different things*. If a "unit" is a subset of a "company", as I suspect it is, then the Army and TNR could very well have talked to different people. Meaning TNR could have talked to five people who were in Beauchamp's company, but not in his unit.

Of course, if "unit" means "company" or vice versa, then it logically follows that someone is lying.

*Obviously the Army knows what a unit is. Does TNR know what a company is?

Revenant said...

Wouold someone point me to some objective information that would demonstrate that The New Republic needs its stories to be true to turn a profit.

It is a political opinion magazine. It definitely does NOT need its articles to be true -- just thought-provoking and not obviously wrong.

Roger said...

Justin: no you are not fluent in military jargon--in military parlance one's unit is ones company if in the infantry, one's troop if in the cavalry, and one's battery if in the artillery. A unit (company, troop or battery) is composed of platoons as sub elements.

I am not trying to be a smart ass, as yours is a reasonable question for a lay person. This type of confusion should not occur, however, to a professional journalist who, obstensibly has an obligation to clarify those issues to someone who isnt an expert.

NSC said...

A platoon would be a subset of a company. A unit could mean any sized grouping of soldiers - platoon, company, battalion, etc. - but more than likely it means his platoon or company.

If I had to venture a guess, and this is based on my being a former military investigator (Air Force OSI), I would say they interviewed all the members of his platoon, pretty much all the members of his company, and every friend the guy had that they could find. (Although for the life of me I can't imagine he had many and I am sure he has even less now.)

From Inwood said...

Tom Hilton

You want to debate the far, far, far right. And answer someone’s argument that TNR is really Pravda.

How about answering my comment of 12:19 in which I carefully stated that I would assume that that TNR is not engaged in some Loony Liberal anti-War conspiracy to create lies which make the US military look like a mirror image of the terrorists?

Or Enigmaticore's last sentence at 3:19?

The issue is not "mirror, mirror, on the wall who's the Leftist of all."

It's why did TNR publish with no real fact check & why is it now engaging in CYA & why you and others won’t or can’t just acknowledge this & move on.

FYI see NSC's 1:59 post (hat tip to him) referencing the questions asked of the Bradley manufacturer by Confederate Yankee and the limited questions, disingenuously or ingenuously, asked by a TNR representative apparently after it became obvious that TNR had been hit by a Bradley.

What the manufacturer’s representative is saying to CY is that it's kinda hard to shoot square bullets accurately from a swerving Bradley aimed at a dog while trying to heckle a disfigured woman. Or not as easy as getting a story which suits the editors’ template past the TNR editors.

I guess that TNR would argue that this creation shaped by Scotty's imagination is a new form of reality as Shakespeare says (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act V, Scene 1):

"And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name…."

Justin said...

Roger,

Thanks for the clarification.

Fen said...

Tom: the reality-based community, who realize that their fuzzy pink pony dreams of transforming Iraq have gone down in blood and flames and catastrophe, are still invested in proving to the world that in some way or another they were right.

I think you're the one who's still "invested" in something "catastrophic"...

Blackfive: "What the general points to here are local, often tribal attempts to urge the central government in the direction of reconciliation, and to commit to reconciliation in their own areas. This is what we would call a grassroots movement, if we saw it in America."

Surber: "Democratic Sens. Bob Casey and Dick Durbin just returned from Iraq and gave an interview to John Roberts of CNN. They have to admit the Surge is working, but they refuse to admit they are wrong."

Examiner: "Even as vocal a war critic as Deputy Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin, D-Ill., has now acknowledged as much, telling CNN that the U.S. military is “making real progressLink".

AP: "And a recent CBS/NYT poll showed an increase in the percentage of Americans who think the U.S. did the right thing in going to war with Iraq, up to 42 percent from 35 percent in May. "I don't claim our recommendation to keep surging into 2008 is a no-brainer. That can be debated. But I think people's opinions need to catch up with the battlefield facts."

Tom [and others], if the surge continues to make progress, are you willing to sign on to Blackfive's bipartisan statement?

"Things are changing in Iraq. We're seeing the first waves of the gravity well we're building there, a well whose pull extends far beyond the borders of Iraq itself. It's already strong enough to begin to exert its pull on the United Nations, which is suddenly willing to hedge its bets on success; and Sens. Durbin and Levin, who want to hedge theirs. I'll say they are all welcome to do so. If we can ask political reconciliation of the Iraqis, we can ask it of ourselves. Anyone who wants to join us now in trying to help build success in Iraq, and stand against those who fight by murder and war crimes, is welcome aboard. I don't care why they come, what their motives are, so long as they are willing to join the fight."

Or are you too invested in your "reality-based" narrative?

blake said...

I wrote a review once of a programming tool. It had a whole bunch of capability, and I tested out what I could. There's was another aspect of it which I felt would be interesting to my readers, but at the same time I didn't feel competent to comment on without help, so I contacted some folks who were. I held my article until I could get their feedback and test it, while admitting to the readers that this was not my area of expertise. It was a minor article about a minor product for a minor website that I was not paid much for.

I'm told that it's physically impossible for a Bradley to lurch to one side or another. Looking at it, that seems to fit the physical nature of tracked vehicles. A casual viewing of YouTube videos reveals that they always stop before turning. It doesn't prove that they can't "lurch" one way or another, but it doesn't reinforce the related fact. (I also have to wonder how a tracked vehicle could split a dog in half rather than squashing it flat.)

Fact checking eats into the profits and sometimes spoils the narrative, like turning post-traumatic-stress-disorder into PRE-traumatic-stress-disorder, but if you don't do it out of respect for the readership, you should at least do it out of fear, because they will catch you.

Michael Moore seems to have learned this, and demonstrated that you can relate nothing but truths and still slant your story the way you want just by leaving a bunch of stuff out.

From Inwood said...

Fen

I sent my 4:15 out before I'd read your 3:54. And now you have a 4:21!

Obviously, I was not referring to you when I said that Tom H was fighting some far, far, far rightist who thought that TNR = Pravda.

Justin, NSC, & Roger:

Maybe the problem is that TNR doesn't have a fact-checking "unit"!

Fen said...

I would say they interviewed all the members of his platoon, pretty much all the members of his company, and every friend the guy had that they could find.

They definately interviewed the members of his Bradley Crew. As someone posted earlier, Confederate Yankee tracked down TNR's Bradley Expert and discovered the TNR fact-checker posed some very disingenuous questions. Here'sHere's that same expert, responding to the context TNR failed to provide when seeking his advice.

"In order for the scenario described to have taken place, there would have to have been collaboration by the entire crew"

/and there's more fisking by the Bradley Expert at the link I provided.

Short version [and I'm familiar with this from being an LAV-25 crewman], you can't swerve to the right to run over a dog without help from your VC or Gunner to guide you on comms - its a blind spot.

Just another hole in Beauchamp's fiction.

Cedarford said...

1. The fact is that the 130,000 in Iraq have a far lower crime rate than America's "best, most livable cities". The murder rate in Santa Cruz California is 5 times higher. Even more astounding since the vast majority serving are in the prime crime years of 18-24.

Despite that, the Left continues to use the Soviet-inspired Agitprop smear "My Lai!!" "Abu Ghraib" to typify the untypical as typical - to advance the meme that war turns Americans into degraded, dehumanized monsters.

But remember, just as sure as Islam is the Religion of Peace, Lefties and Copperheads respect and support the troops!

2. The Left ignores the history of returning soldiers from major wars, including Vietnam, having less crime, less social dysfunction, better heath and careers than their civilian peers.

Lefties now caught characterize their smear as a silly little story they are "amazed" that the conservatives even bother with.

But their strategy in demonizing an ethnicity (Tatars deported for their own good), or class (Kulaks, CEOs, Big Oil, victimized subhuman violent drug-addled crazy Vietnam Vets) is reliant on shaping public opinion through a death of a thousand cuts..piling up the little stories to shape the meme that advances the cause.

What they did to Vietnam Vets was a great Lefty "success story". Back then, each story and magnification, propagndizing about Vets, or Lefties masquerading as fucked-up Vets went unchallanged. Political careers were made off the successful smear and slime job. It was so effective that some employers and schools later admitted that they shunned Vietnam Vets because not only did they believe they were morally tainted, but they feared for fellow employee or student safety around Vets who might "lash out as lethal killers if they suffered Flashbacks".

But Vietnam Vets and others have learned the Agitprop lesson and have said "Never Again". And now robustly fight back to ensure future generations will not have their honor besmearched, their valor stolen by such people.

3. Many of the facts are still unknown, but enough to cook Beauchamp and TNR. I'd be interested in knowing if a PVT2 soon to be PVT3 - widely known to be a fuckup in the motor pool where armor is washed and filters cleaned after a mission even went out much or at all. Or was not trusted and confined to FOB as a rear ech "Fobbit". With no combat experience.

4. The Right though, has tried establishing another bad meme where they demand any government employee wearing a uniform and involved in security be considered an automatic "hero" by simple job title. Soldier, DEA agent, TSA, cop, firefighter.. Heroes all. Lefties sometimes adding to the panderfest with "symbolic" things to show how much they love and support soldiers, cops, etc. until Michael Moore or Al Sharpton says to act otherwise for the cause.

So some soldier who dies in Kuwait from suicide before he ever gets into combat gets flags at half staff as "America's hero" while a cop who dies when his car skids on ice and hits a tree returning home from work gets a 1,000 cop funeral for a "hero", a million in line of duty death benefits, and of course, a week of all the flags yanked down to half-staff.

Like with the Left's smear, the countervailing hero-worship meme is too much..

From Inwood said...

Blake

Grat post.

But, alas, when you say fact check "because they will catch you.", it, um, depends on who didn't fact check.

And if the perp is in the MSM, your "they" will be dismissed as rightwingnuts, members of the VRWC, or it will be put in the memory hole, or, as so many here have done, dismissed as FBA or unimportant in, you know, the big picture.

The Good News, some in the MSM have actually reported on this.

Fen said...

Inwood: Obviously, I was not referring to you when I said that Tom H was fighting some far, far, far rightist who thought that TNR = Pravda.

Hey no prob. And you're half right: I am a far far far to the right. :)

I've asked Tom to provide some links to post-Beinart TNR stories he considers "hawkish" and "pro-war". I'm prepared to accept his read of them as "liberal-hawks" if he can do this...

dick said...

Matta,

In answer to your question, the neocons and the military all came out in support of those who reported My Lai, Abu Ghraib, and the other atrocities of the war and did so long before the media reported it.

In fact, the military is harder on people who disgrace the military than the regular population since it is their reputation that in jeopardy because of these people. They support the whistleblowers big time and so do the neocons. What the military and the neocons do not support is the huge overload of half-a@@ed stories that purport be the truth and are not about the military. As an example check the huge overreporting on Abu Ghraib without even mentioning at the time that the military had already defused the situation and was preparing courts martial on all involved. Also the story put out by Eason Jordan about the military supposedly targeting journalists which is a total untruth.

Another thing that the military and the neocons agree on is that if a story comes from a stringer, it needs to be checked for validity before printing. If it is printed and then found to be untrue, then the story needs to be refuted and shown to be untrue and at the same level as the original story. Look at all the stories about the theft from the National Museum of Iraq. Remember reading about how 170K items were stolen and then it turns out there were 39 and of them some were destroyed in the trash. Did you read any stories pushing the new story and saying that unfortunately they misreported originally? They printed the new story and that was all. No mea culpa about the lies they printed earlier. They let that stand as a case of how terrible the military was.

Now we have another example and TNR is doing all it can to salvage its reputation by denying that it printed garbage without verification. Typical of the MSM these days. And now we hear how it is all the fault of the neocons.

Revenant said...

They support the whistleblowers big time and so do the neocons. What the military and the neocons do not support is the huge overload of half-a@@ed stories that purport be the truth and are not about the military.

The other key point is that we support *whistleblowers*, not people who sell their stories to the press.

If these events really happened, Beauchamp should have told people in authority about them. If those people failed to act, THEN he should have gone public on his own, if he judged that would do less harm than staying silent.

Selling the story of wrongdoing by soldiers -- while refusing to identify who the wrongdoers actually were -- hurts America, helps our enemies, and does nothing to stop future wrongdoing. Whether Beauchamp told the truth or not (and it is increasingly obvious that he did not), he behaved wrongly.

Cedarford said...

Revenent is right in that the press can hardly claim to be the "watchdog" alerting the public to failed leadership and "cover-ups" when the media short circuits command and control processes meant to stop and punish wrongdoing.

And same in civilian businesses, government as the military.

When an employee bypasses all supervision, alternate complaint paths intended on protecting whistleblowing and goes right to the press - how can you fault the military for failing to act on a story they were unaware of until a public affairs officer notifies command cetrain tales are being told 10,000 miles away.

Same with a CEO and Board and middle management and supervision blindsided by an employee that uses the press, or is paid by the press, about claims a product is unsafe.

These events are not "The Founders Plan Playing out" they are not about "The Beauty of the 1st Amendment in Fixing America". They are about media attempts to involve external parties in the business of an organization they have chosen to attack without checking that internal systems of that organization work. It's an old Bolshevik tactic to delegitimize in order to gain power and control over a target organization.

John Stodder said...

I understand that for those who are invested (for reasons I can't possibly fathom) in proving that (unlike verified incidents that were far worse) Beaushamp's stories are entirely falsified...

What I would wish on Tom Hilton and everyone else who is trying so desperately to "move on" here without conclusively getting to the bottom of Beauchamp's charges is that they are slandered with a blood libel of this type in a very public forum -- Hilton personally, or a group he strongly identifies with.

What he really can't fathom, what's really beyond his intellectual and moral reach, is that people who serve in the Army, who are related to those who serve in the Army, who served in the Army in the past, or who are simply proud of our military deserve to have these hideous accusations dealt with factually -- proven if true, refuted if not.

I can't imagine Mr. Hilton has been part of anything really honorable in his life, so maybe he can't identify with the rage one feels when you've been slandered as a member of a group that cares about its reputation. Especially when the slander comes, in this case, from such a lousy bunch of cover-your-ass careerist preppies. Franklin Foer imagines himself someday appearing on cable news chat shows -- maybe even as host. Beauchamp imagines himself to be the next Michael Herr, author of a "riveting" book about soldiers that would get him an interview on Charlie Rose.

In pursuit of these lame, self-centered objectives, Foer and Beauchamp trample on the reputations of our nation's finest men and women.

And Tom Hilton is right there with them. What a guy.

(Oh, does what I said strike you as a little unfair, Tom? Gee, can't "fathom" why you're "invested" in your hurt feelings. Get over it!)

downtownlad said...

According to commenters here, this is what I'm supposed to believe.

1) Beauchamp, a U.S. soldier, is a liar
2) Beauchamp's fellow colleagues, at least five of them, have lied to the New Republic - on purpose.
3) Beauchamp and his colleagues invented a story about denigrating women, torturing dogs, and disrespecting the dead. In other words, they have sadistic thoughts.

And we know from Ann last week, that Beauchamp is "evil".

So I guess that means the following.

Our military is made up of soldiers, many of whom are evil, sadistic liars.

OK - You've convinced me.

downtownlad said...

And here is PROOF that our soldiers are evil, sadistic liars.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OpDgZOsteM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=neyqL2aRpVU&mode=related&search=

(Hat tip: Daily Dish)

downtownlad said...

Looks like the government is lowering recruiting standards. Letting in the stupid, criminals, and drug addicts.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070810/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/army_creative_recruiting;_ylt=AkJRIw1EOs4vG3.xnhvEJ1F34T0D

No wonder we have so many evil, lying, sadistic people in the military.

EnigmatiCore said...

Inwood, Enigmaticore 3:19? Kinda catchy!

Tom, sorry champ, no dice. It is already been proven that he lied about seeing some woman with a melted face every day in Iraq. He lied about leaving dogs cut in half with a Bradley by fishtailing it. He lied about square backed bullets. He's a lying liar who lies.

It remains unclear to me why you would want to believe him at this point. Leaving aside that it makes you look moronic to believe him, why do you seem to want to believe him? With the correction that has already been admitted by TNR, the whole woman thing, if it happened at all, happened before he was in the war. That undercuts the entire premise that war caused him to become a monster.

But let's play Devil's advocate. If we want to believe his anecdote, what it tells us is that he was a monster already. So I guess there is no controversy over that-- either he was a monster who told the truth about being a monster from before he went to Iraq, or he was a monster who lied about being a monster to an injured woman.

Further, from TNR's supposed verification, they talked to a soldier or two who supposedly verified the existence of the woman-- but only one said anything about her being mocked. Not quite the same as the lying liar who lies' claim that everyone in the hall laughed and laughed and laughed at their cruelty.

But that gets to why it is important for you to believe the lying liar who lies, isn't it? Because you want others to believe that this is what the men and women who serve in the military are really like, because deep down inside that is what you believe, isn't it?

Or maybe there is another explanation. Tell me, why is it important for you to validate what this self-described monster claims?

John Stodder said...

2) Beauchamp's fellow colleagues, at least five of them, have lied to the New Republic - on purpose.

First, you have to decide if these five soldiers exist. Then you have to believe that TNR asked them questions that would have actually gotten to the heart of the factual problems with the story. Based on the way TNR questioned the Bradley Tank expert, my guess is the TNR calls to these soldiers were somewhat less than grillings.

"Say, soldier, you know this guy Beauchamp?"

"Yes, sir, I do."

"He ever lie to you?"

"No."

"Thank you very much."

downtownlad said...

Monster? Oh please. Read the freaking essay.

I've already given proof that soldiers abuse dogs and abuse Iraqi children as well.

But I'm certain Beauchamp never saw ANYTHING unethical being done in Iraq by any soldier whatsoever. Not possible.

But in other divisions it obviously happens a lot, as the proof I've provided shows.

downtownlad said...

johnstodder - Admit it. You have absolutely zero evidence about this case and you're going to say whatever you want to believe.

Whatever suits your reality.

All I know is that Beauchamp's article seemed very blase and believable. And I have not seen any evidence yet to show me that it's not true.

When I see it, I'll change my mind if the facts say otherwise.

You however have already made up your mind - despite the lack of any evidence. Which pretty much goes for anything you believe.

downtownlad said...

And we all know its IMPOSSIBLE for a Bradley to hit a dog.

IMPOSSIBLE.

Proof here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2JE2Z6XZdQ

EnigmatiCore said...

"Monster? Oh please. Read the freaking essay."

I have. It is why I chose that precise word rather than some others that come to mind. It was one that Scott Thomas Beauchamp chose:

"Am I a monster? I have never thought of myself as a cruel person... Even as I was reveling in the laughter my words had provoked, I was simultaneously horrified and ashamed at what I had just said. In a strange way, though, I found the shame comforting. I was relieved to still be shocked by my own cruelty..."

But since he brought up the word, yes, I think that someone who would mock someone who had been disfigured by an IED right to their face deserves the label.

M
O
N
S
T
E
R.

And a lying liar who lies to boot.

EnigmatiCore said...

"And we all know its IMPOSSIBLE for a Bradley to hit a dog."

It is impossible to hit a dog with a Bradley by doing what Beauchamp described.

Can you hit a dog with one? Probably. But not by drifting it to and fro like it is a Vette on the strip.

downtownlad said...

So according to enigmaticcore:

"Beauchamp is a monster, because he degraded a woman with a melted face directly in front of her, even though that woman with the melted face never really existed and the incident never happened, but he's a monster for insulting the woman who doesn't really exist"

Ah - Crystal clear now.

EnigmatiCore said...

If not- let me clarify.

He's a monster either way. Either through what he did, or what he lied about doing.

downtownlad said...

enigmaticore,

I just showed you a video of a dog getting hit by a slow-moving BICYCLE. So I'm 100% sure that a Bradley could hit one too.

Jeff said...

downtownlad said...
According to commenters here, this is what I'm supposed to believe.
1) Beauchamp, a U.S. soldier, is a liar
2) Beauchamp's fellow colleagues, at least five of them, have lied to the New Republic - on purpose.
3) Beauchamp and his colleagues invented a story about denigrating women, torturing dogs, and disrespecting the dead. In other words, they have sadistic thoughts.
And we know from Ann last week, that Beauchamp is "evil".
So I guess that means the following.
Our military is made up of soldiers, many of whom are evil, sadistic liars.
OK - You've convinced me.


Active military-1,426,713
Reserves-1,259,000

number of soldiers out of a total of 2,685,713 people for DTL to make silly assumption: "So I guess that means the following.
Our military is made up of soldiers, many of whom are evil, sadistic liars.
OK - You've convinced me."

Five (5).

Hmmm. Ok.

downtownlad said...

enigmaticore - I've already acknowledge that our military is made up lying, sadistic, evil men.

You've convinced me of that.

What's your point?

downtownlad said...

No Jeff - The New Republic spoke to five people and all five of them lied.

That's 100%.

Jeff said...

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m2-bradley-ds.jpg


http://www.pipe-bender-1.com/rimages/115/bicycle_01.gif

Here you go DTL. Always happy to help.

Jeff said...

downtownlad said...

No Jeff - The New Republic spoke to five people and all five of them lied.

That's 100%

so your point is the military consists of those 5 people? You sure you want to stick with that?

downtownlad said...

Sure. I'll stick with that. That is your point right, that our soldiers are liars right.

It's the point that you've been harping on for the last two weeks.

That our soldiers are liars.

Despite the fact that you have zero evidence to back that up.

But you're oh so anxious to believe that our soldiers are liars.

Why?

Jeff said...

Hell, I bet out of those 2.5 million people at least 5 of them are gay. Ergo, our military is made up of gay people. Join me as we wave goodbye to one of your more logical arguments.

downtownlad said...

In fact Jeff is SOOOOO convinced that our soldiers are liars, that he refuses to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Why?

downtownlad said...

No. Zero of them are gay. Because gays are not allowed to serve in the military. Unless you're cocksucker Matt Sanchez.

Jeff said...

(huge sigh)
"That our soldiers are liars.

Despite the fact that you have zero evidence to back that up."

TNR talked to soldiers and were told one thing.
The military talked to same soldiers and were told another thing.

What conclusions do YOU draw from this?

Really, is this the way you think out all issues? Is this the best argument you can put up?
Are there other blogs where you post thoughtful, logical, fact driven opinions?

Jeff said...

"No. Zero of them are gay. Because gays are not allowed to serve in the military."

Then who are these people you claim are being kicked out?

Why do you continue to refute your own arguments?

Why?

downtownlad said...

Well Jeff, since you obviously are incapable of following my arguments (low IQ I guess), I'll explain it to you.

I have seen zero evidence that Beauchamp has lied. I have seen zero evidence that the military did a credible investigation, or that they even cared. I think they did a minimal one to just make this incident go away. So that they (including Beauchamp) can actually focus on fighting the war. You know - what they are supposed to do.

So I think that neither Beauchamp or the military are lying. But soooooooo many people are trying to convince us that this minor, piddling article - which simply shows boys being boys - is all a huge lie.

I'm not surprised if soldiers kill dogs - I just posted a video of our soldiers abusing a dog. I'm not surprised if they make an off-color remark about a woman - I just showed a video of soldiers tormenting Iraqi children. And the skull incident in the cemetary is a big yawner.

Maybe Beauchamp is lying about this, but why? They are so minor. Surely he witnessed other bad stuff he could have written about.

So unlike you, my first instinct is to trust our soldiers. Your first instinct is to assume they lie.

Revenant said...

The New Republic spoke to five people and all five of them lied.

Could you give us their names?

Oh, wait, I forgot -- nobody knows who they are, or if they ever existed in the first place.

downtownlad said...

TNR talked to soldiers and were told one thing.
The military talked to same soldiers and were told another thing.


You have no idea what the military asked these soldiers. How do you know it didn't go like this.

Q: Did you make fun of that woman in Iraq?
A: No - we made fun of her in Kuwait.

Q: Did you see him wearing the skull in his helmet?
A: I don't remember. A bunch of people were joking around that day.

Conclusion: Story is false.

Again - the army might not really care about the incident, because the incidents are trivial - and they don't really care. Because I posted videos of soldiers taunting dogs and Iraqi kids - and they certainly don't care about those. Then it's entirely possible that they are ALL telling the truth. And the military is trying to just obscure the issue, in order to make it go away.

Again - maybe not. But until I see actual evidence - I am not in a position here to say what's going on.

downtownlad said...

Oh, wait, I forgot -- nobody knows who they are, or if they ever existed in the first place.

That was the right wing's first lie about Beauchamp. That he didn't exist.

Of course - they were wrong.

Did they apologize? Did Ann point out the fact that they should have fact-checked first before they made that false charge?

No. They ignored their lie and they just conveniently moved the goalposts. I believe the next charge was that he wasn't a real soldier . . .

Jeff said...

I wondered how long you could go without the personal insults. You actually went longer than I thought. So I guess your answer to the soldiers telling TNR one thing and the military another is to just ignore it and hope it goes away?

"Surely he witnessed other bad stuff he could have written about."
which leads to the obvious question. Why didn't he?


"So unlike you, my first instinct is to trust our soldiers. Your first instinct is to assume they lie."

So the people in the military who say they interviewed the soldiers and were told that all this was false are....wait for it.....lying?

Are you going to continue to offer these self refuting arguements?

downtownlad said...

So i guess that's where this story is going.

TNR will be forced to release the names of it's anonymous sources.

And then the right-wing will focus on destroying those soldiers lives, exposing the addresses of their wives, and calling on their fellow soldiers to kill them.

Lovely.

downtownlad said...

What personal insults Jeff? Please point them out.

I don't know what the military means when they say that the stories are "false". Maybe they mean they found one minor flaw, such as the Iraq/Kuwait thing, and then the whole thing is branded as "false".

If that's the case - the military is not lying.

Fact: You don't know the questions the military asked nor how it was conducted.

So how do you jump to your conclusions?

Me, I'd like to see some actual evidence before coming down on one side of the story or the other. But my gut instinct is Beauchamp's story is mostly true - only because it is so utterly mundane.

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

Here you go buddy:

As to what the military has to say about this:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/07/AR2007080701922.html?hpid=topnews
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/08/washington/08diarist.html?ex=1344225600&en=33f5f5d8678c992a&ei=5124&partner=permalink&exprod=permalink

"“We are not going into the details of the investigation,” Maj. Steven F. Lamb, deputy public affairs officer in Baghdad, wrote in an e-mail message. “The allegations are false, his platoon and company were interviewed, and no one could substantiate the claims he made.”"

Seems pretty clear to me. Unless he's lying. Is that your position?

Oh and
"What personal insults Jeff? Please point them out."
"Well Jeff, since you obviously are incapable of following my arguments (low IQ I guess), I'll explain it to you."

There ya go. So will you be continuing to argue in bad faith?

downtownlad said...

Porky,

Do you ever actually comment about anything, except for the fact that you don't want me or Lucky to post?

Yawn. Go eat some Doritos. I was having a good discussion.

Jeff said...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn
/content/article/2007/08/07
/AR2007080701922.html?hpid=topnews

http://www.nytimes.com/2007
/08/08/washington/08diarist.html
?ex=1344225600&en=33f5f5d8678
c992a&ei=5124&partner=permalin
k&exprod=permalink

sorry, last post clipped those links. Anyone want to tell me how to put real links in here, I will do so.

downtownlad said...

I do think you have a low iq, that was not an insult.

So to explain it to you (because you have a low iq). Just because the army could not substantiate the claims, does NOT mean the story could not be true and it does NOT mean the people lied.

Maybe they showed the whole article and said "Is everything here true" and they replied "No."

Then the army could claim the story is FALSE, even if the soldiers agreed with 99% of it.

I have no idea how thorough their investigation was. And neither do you. The fact that Beauchamp is no longer allowed to communicate with the outside world (that seems to be the extent of his punishment) makes me think the investigation was very unthorough.

downtownlad said...

And really - how much time SHOULD the military spend investigating a dead dog.

That's a real question.

I think it should be zero time whatsoever. What's your answer?

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

I'm going to bed - when someone gets some real facts here, with some interviews with real people, then I'll pay attention.

So far - the only person with any real knowledge of the situation who has publicly spoken about this is Beauchamp.

downtownlad said...

Palladian - Why do you try and ruin every thread?

Revenant said...

"Oh, wait, I forgot -- nobody knows who they are, or if they ever existed in the first place."

That was the right wing's first lie about Beauchamp. That he didn't exist.

Yes, that was indeed the one and only thing that conservatives were wrong about on this story -- that the author really was a soldier in Iraq. They were correct about the stories being lies and fabrications, about you lefties taking the opportunity to vilify the military (as you in particular so love to do), and about TNR's inability to honestly fact-check its articles.

Anyway, my point remains -- before you can get your panties in a twist over people being called liars, you need to establish that the people exist.

Jeff said...

yeah, that's what I thought. You prefer to do this in bad faith. You ever wonder what people who are reasonable but still might be swayed to your viewpoint think when they read such shallow thinking? I suppose I could continue to argue the sun comes up in the east while you insist it's the west, but it's bike night here so I am heading to the bar. Perhaps with me gone you can convince......well, no one. Never mind.

Revenant said...

Anyone want to tell me how to put real links in here, I will do so.

A link to Google

is created like this:

<a href="http:\\www.google.com">A link to Google</a>

Revenant said...

that should be a "http://", not "http:\\", of course; silly typo on my part.

Joan said...

when someone gets some real facts here, with some interviews with real people, then I'll pay attention.

Here you go. Confederate Yankee talked to the representative from the company that manufactures the Bradleys, the same expert that talked to TNR.

Whaddya say?

Fen said...

Wasting your time Joan. He's not interested in facts - they've been posted on this and the previous TNR threads, and dtl just covers his eyes and screams "I have seen zero evidence that Beauchamp has lied."

But at least its instructive of how the Left behaves when their fantasy narrative is disrupted by reality.

BTW, all these left leaning sites that claim they "support the troops"... any of them address the issue of the troops being slandered by Beachamp? Or does dtl represent whats being said over at Kos, HuffPo, et al?

Fen said...

/bump...

ECHO TOM HILTON

Tom: My only reason for jumping into this is to try to put a stake in the ridiculous idea that TNR has some kind of 'anti-war' agenda.

[3:54PM] "Would you please link to some recent "hawkish" pro-war articles by TNR? To balance out the stories I've been seeing from TNR lately [troops mock IED casaulty, troops defile grave, troops abuse dog, soldier suicided because of war]"

[...]

[4:46PM] "I've asked Tom to provide some links to post-Beinart TNR stories he considers "hawkish" and "pro-war". I'm prepared to accept his read of them as "liberal-hawks" if he can do this..."

Where did Tom go? I thought his only purpose here was to dispel the "myth" that TNR has become a left wing anti-war rag.

Tom? [tap tap] You out there? I guess he's still searching for a link...

NSC said...

Jeeze, I go do some work and come back and dtl has posted every possible liberal excuse there is while at the same time showing his support for the troops - not our troops mind you, but someone's - possibly Irans?

Fen said...

Jeeze, I go do some work and come back and dtl has posted every possible liberal excuse

He's just frustrated. He lurked within 100 yards of an elementary school today and his ankle bracelet zapped him.

Revenant said...

I like that DTL keeps repeating that he's a "libertarian". The only political view he's ever expressed that would be out of place in a Democrat's mouth is the view that poor people should be left to die -- and that's an Asshole view, not a Libertarian one.

Really, though, the underlying theme of DTL's posts is that he just flat-out hates the rest of the human race.

Michael said...

DTL really needs to find a new hobby, for his own health.

The recent addition of two stents to my plumbing has given me a fresh new perspective and grudging respect for what stress can accomplish.

Win, loose, or draw, no pissing match on this or any other blog will amount to a hill of beans, unless of course you own stock in Pfizer, which I don't but probably should.

Fen said...

TNRs Franklin Foer was just busted on solicitation and bestiality.

I've got 5 anonymous sources that confirm it.

Maybe the sherrif's office has investigated and determined my allegations are false, but I'm sticking by my sources..

..and going on a three week vacation.

wayne said...

You know, I seriously think that a case could be made against Beauchamp for treason - giving aid and comfort to the enemy in a time of war.

Were I in his chain of command, I would certainly push for such with the intent of seeing him shot for his actions.

Jason said...

You know, this "treason" talk makes conservatives look like deranged whack-jobs.

Beauchamp is an overly ambitious 23 year old with some natural ability and a toxic dosage of self-esteem, without the maturity or worldliness to think through what he was doing.

Sounds like a lot of privates with college degrees I've known.

There's one in every company, along with someone nicknamed "Shrek." Most of them are entertaining, make for good conversationalists, and headaches for their commanders and first sergeants. They bounce back and forth between E2 and E4 because they're always screwing up, because they think they're above the rules that apply to everyone else. Mini Raskolnikovs they are.

Most of them do little damage, and get out in good stead. Most of them, however, aren't married to staff reporters at the New Republic.

This guy seems more virulent than most of them. He's a narcissist, in my opinion, and he may be a sociopath. Only a sociopath would do what he says he did in that chow hall to a wounded comrade. If that's a pattern, so be it.

But a traitor?

Nah.

Get some perspective.

From Inwood said...

Fen

First, TNR has a new explanation today on its website of what us members of the VRWC want to keep hidden. Still doesn’t pass the Hee Haw Test!

But to the point.

You can count this as a verification of your 10:48 story above, even though it varies in key details from yours:

Franklin Foer actually ran over a dog, sorry, Scotty’s wife, with his dune buggy. The kill was a straight shot. This female editor, who was lying on the beach and bathing in the sun, didn't have enough time to get up and run away from the speeding, swerving Dune buggy. Her front half was completely severed from her rear, which was twitching wildly, and her head was still raised and smiling at the sun as if nothing had happened at all.

I approached Foer after the event and asked him about it.

"So, you killed an editor today," I said .

"Hell yeah, I did. It's like hunting in Iraq!" he said, shaking with laughter.

"Did you run over editors before this trip, back in town?" I asked him.

"No," he replied, and looked at me curiously. Almost as if the question itself was in poor taste.

They brought her severed body into the house where we were staying. It was disfigured. We laughed.

The Sheriff came and I noticed that he had a Glock & he was rolling two spent "square-backed" pistol cartridges in his hand. Click, click they went. I kid you not.

Well, I believe I’ve covered this issue and if I’ve left anything out, why just ask me & my witnesses specific questions and we’ll tackle everyone, one by one, but I believe that I’ve hit the main points.

Yours truly,

Capt. Queeg

The Drill SGT said...

Pogo said...
If they're interested, TNR might like to publish my 1981 report on the reaction of a dilute acid with a metal oxide entitled "Biochem is Hell."


Pogo, I'm disappointed. I thought you were a Doctor? acids and metal oxides in B-chem? p-chem maybe, or lower division chem for sure. I was just a chem engr, not premed, but my organic chem and bio chem had lots of long chain hydrocarbons and some organic acids, but zip in the way of metalic oxides. Making car batteries are you? :)

dry labbed all of b-chem :)