August 7, 2007

"Did Scott Thomas Beauchamp lie under oath to U.S. Army investigators, or did he lie to his editors at the New Republic?"

Asks Michael Goldfarb:
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp--author of the much-disputed "Shock Troops" article in the New Republic's July 23 issue as well as two previous "Baghdad Diarist" columns--signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods--fabrications containing only "a smidgen of truth," in the words of our source.

Separately, we received this statement from Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad:
An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.
According to the military source, Beauchamp's recantation was volunteered on the first day of the military's investigation. So as Beauchamp was in Iraq signing an affidavit denying the truth of his stories, the New Republic was publishing a statement from him on its website on July 26, in which Beauchamp said, "I'm willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name."
Amazing, but not really amazing. It's easy to see how things like this happen. Beauchamp is a gifted writer, with a point of view and raw material. If the Weekly Standard's report is true, it means that Beauchamp -- who could have published a novel, perhaps an excellent one -- is also a man who subverted his own work by calling it true and making it a lie -- not fiction, but a lie. The motivations are not hard to fathom. He gained access to The New Republic -- which gave him stature and an instant readership.

It's also easy to see how The New Republic succumbed. The writing was sharp, the man was on the scene where he could witness important events, and he was speaking in a voice they wanted to project. Why weren't they more afraid of being duped? Was it because he was saying what they wanted to be true, giving weight to their arguments against the war? (Here's the lead story over there right now.) Maybe they thought they were protected from the suicidal blunder of getting taken in by another Stephen Glass because they were publishing the writing not as a news article but as a "diary."

Let's look back at Stephen Glass:
“My life was one very long process of lying and lying again, to figure out how to cover those other lies,” says Glass....

Glass' main job was at The New Republic, a distinguished magazine with a 90-year history of publishing political and social commentary. It also has a reputation for discovering young, talented writers like Glass.

He was editor of his college newspaper at the University of Pennsylvania and joined The New Republic as an editorial assistant in 1995. Not long afterward he was assigned to write a story on an arcane piece of Washington legislation. He thought it needed sprucing up and a serial liar was born.

“I remember thinking, ‘If I just had the exact quote that I wanted to make it work, it would be perfect.’ And I wrote something on my computer, and then I looked at it, and I let it stand. And then it ran in the magazine and I saw it. And I said to myself what I said every time these stories ran, ‘You must stop. You must stop.’ But I didn't.”

“I loved the electricity of people liking my stories. I loved going to story conference meetings and telling people what my story was going to be, and seeing the room excited. I wanted every story to be a home run.”...

“Everything around him turned out to be incredibly vivid or zany or in some other way memorable,” says [TNR literary editor Leon] Wieselteir. “And at the meetings, we used to wait for Steve's turn, so that he could report on his next caper. We got really suckered.”...

“I would tell a story, and there would be fact A, which maybe was true. And then there would be fact B, which was sort of partially true and partially fabricated. And there would be fact C which was more fabricated and almost not true,” says Glass.

“And there would be fact D, which was a complete whopper. And totally not true. And so people would be with me on these stories through fact A and through fact B. And so they would believe me to C. And then at D they were still believing me through the story.”
Read that whole article: Glass went to some trouble to beat the fact checkers. Here's some analysis in The Columbia Journalism Review about how TNR fell for Glass:
[T]he truth is Glass gamed the system, and brilliantly. He'd often submit stories late to the checkers so they were pressed for time. When they questioned his material, [TNR editor Charles] Lane says, Glass would provide forged faxes on fake letterheads of phony organizations, as well as fictitious notes, even voice mail or actual calls from people pretending to be sources....

Shouldn't all the unnamed sources, obscure organizations, and wild scenes viewed only by the writer have been another tip-off? "I've searched my soul and asked, "Why didn't my bullshit meter go off?" says Lane. "But it's hilarious. By the time I got there so many wild stories had run and seemingly stood up, I trusted him."

Some journalists see in Glass the dark side of a new magazine journalism that puts a premium on sensationalism and style....

But those who knew Glass insist that his story is more about one rotten apple. After all, many writers are under pressure and don't make stuff up....

If there is any value to the saga of what may be the biggest hoax in modern American journalistic history, it's that it has many journalists asking questions about their checking systems.
Asking questions... and then blowing it, all over again. You'd think, after Glass, TNR would be exceedingly careful when confronted with vivid writing with great quotes and anecdotes. Yet somehow, it seems to have gotten less careful. There's this notion that war makes the soldiers crazy. Journalists love it. Beauchamp reinforced it. It appears that war makes journalists crazy.

There's plenty of commentary following on the Goldfarb piece.

Like me, Mark Steyn thinks of Glass: "[TNR] made the same mistakes all over again - falling for pat cinematic vividness, pseudo-novelistic dialogue, all designed to confirm prejudices so ingrained the editors didn't even recognize they were being pandered to. But this time they did it in war, which is worse."

Roger L. Simon says: "Fact-checking, in my experience, is a big lie. It barely exists in the mainstream media."

Cathy Young is skeptical of the notion that TNR fell for Beauchamp because of his antagonism to the war:
Is I recall, Beauchamp was recommended to TNR by his fiancee Elspeth Reeve, a staffer at the magazine. It's not as if the magazine went looking for a soldier to write "Diarist" pieces. I do think that, to a large extent, Beauchamp was given a platform because he was someone the TNR editors saw as "one of us": a guy with a background in creative writing and journalism, as well as a Howard Dean supporter. I think it's also fair to say that the first Diarist piece, while not negative toward American troops in Iraq, showed them as mired in bleak and awful futility: at the end, Beauchamp reflects on his feelings of helplessness at his inability to protect the boy. So in that sense, it certainly fits into the current world-view at TNR. On the other hand, it could also be read as implying that if we withdraw from Iraq, we will leave the population in the hands of people who cut out children's tongues to make a point.
Hugh Hewitt calls TNR editor Frank Foer "the Dan Rather of the political magazine world, a laughing stock caught up in trying to publicly maintain an obvious lie as truth." He wants a head to roll.

On the left, one theory has it that the army coerced a false confession out of Beauchamp.

And John Cole somehow winds up "now, more than ever, convinced that a certain segment of the Republican party and the right wing blogosphere is certifiably insane." Okaaaay...

Responding on the right is Uncle Jimbo:
So as it turns out US troops are not heartless barbarians and that far too many people on the left can't accept that. Well from one of those barbarians who just happens to have more humanitarian and disaster assistance work under his belt than any of the smirking elite sitting around the table at Franklin "Which way is the door?" Foer's editorial meetings, F**k you very much! You finished what Glass started, and may this serve as a lesson to the many other supposed honest media sources, your agenda is pitifully obvious and your tactics so childishly unsophisticated that I almost feel guilty smacking you around. But I will, and I hope it stings.
Enough for now. Suffice it to say there's a big fight on.

UPDATE: TNR responds:
We've talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, "I have no knowledge of that." He added, "If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own." When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, "We don't go into the details of how we conduct our investigations."
Goldfarb responds to that:
(1) They neglected to report that the Army has concluded its investigation and found Beauchamp's stories to be false. As Major Lamb, the very officer they quote, has said in an authorized statement: "An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims."

(2) Does the failure of the New Republic to report the Army's conclusions mean that the editors believe the Army investigators are wrong about Beauchamp?

(3) We have full confidence in our reporting that Pvt Beauchamp recanted under oath in the course of the investigation. Is the New Republic claiming that Pvt Beauchamp made no such admission to Army investigators? Is Beauchamp?

114 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

All this does is highlight yet another example of why the media simply has zero credibility anymore. While Beauchamp didn’t slander anyone individually, he simply reinforced the negative stereotype of the mindless thugs that soldiers are. This is not to say that there aren’t rouge elements out there, you can say that about any organization. The issue is that Abu Ghraib and Haditha get 24/7 coverage yet incidents of heroism get buried or not covered at all.

One would think that after all the high profile cases of the media simply making stuff up to outright plagiarism, there would be some change in how they report. But when you have justifications like ‘fake but accurate’ I think it simply shows the disconnect from reality in that the agenda is more important than the truth. At least we now have the blogosphere to keep an eye on the Fourth Estate who seems to think they’re above it all.

Sloanasaurus said...

The Beauchamp scandal is a prime example of fantasies from the Main stream Media (MSM) being proven wrong. The New Republic had an invested view that the war is bad all around and sought to prove one facet of that through this story. It is fake-but-accurate all over again.

Rathergate, this story, and others show a systemic problem. How many other stories out there in the mainstream media are false?

The MSM is invested in global warming - how many lies are they putting forth about that.

The MSM hates Bush - how many lies do they put forth about Bush.

The MSM believes in big government - how many lies do we hear about this.

Moreover, even when a story has some truth to it such as the criminals at Abu Garib, the MSM desires to create a larger untruth. The tag line from Abu Garib was the same as the New Republic Story, that the war creates criminals of all Americans and that all our soldiers are bad. The enemy could not ask for any better propaganda. The Beauchamp scandal further proves that Abu Garib was an isolated incident. The MSM was wrong about Abu Garib and hundreds of soliders have paid for their lives in Iraq because of the MSM hubris in propagating the lies about Abu Garib..

andrew said...

"On the left, one theory has it that the army coerced a false confession out of Goldfarb."

You mean Beauchamp, right?

Original Mike said...

"Did Scott Thomas Beauchamp lie under oath to U.S. Army investigators, or did he lie to his editors at the New Republic?"

Reminds me of David Brock (Media Matters). In one sense, the answer to the question is unimportant. Either way, he's an admitted liar (assuming the Weekly Standard story holds up) and anything he says it to be necessarily dismissed.

EnigmatiCore said...

This reminds me of that dustup you had with, what was his name, Bill? The editor of that little paper who felt vindicated because some anonymous government official said there were innocent explanations for the cheesebomb and other oddities collected at airport checkpoints.

I wonder what sort of fact checking was done on the claims of that anonymous government official.

I am glad that Beauchamp turned out to be a liar. It is much better that he was lying about his own cruelty rather than him being the sadistic mofo he wrote about.

P. Rich said...

An ill-concealed attempt to paint "the US military" with one rancid brush stroke was always fundamentally dishonest. Now we are getting to the unpleasant details. I am reminded of:

Old, wrinkled, dried up codger in large Stetson, custom alligator cowboy boots and string tie with flashy diamond clip goes up to lovely young thing at lavish party in downtown Houston penthouse.

Old codger says, "Darlin', would you have sex with me for a million dollars?"

Lovely young thing is taken aback, but then begins to consider the proposition. After a moment of what passes for thought, she replies, "Yes, I would."

Old codger then says, "Well, would you have sex with me for ten dollars?"

LYT, highly indignant, replies, "What do you think I am?!"

OC looks her in the eye and answers, "We've already established what you are. Now we're just hagglin' about the price."

And so goes the NR and one Scott Thomas Beauchamp.

dave in boca said...

Let’s remember that the new Managing Editor of TNR, Franklin Foer, is the degenerate spawn of one of the farthest left “historians” on the fake-history bash-the-USA academicide front. Papa Foer has won many historical prizes for consistently unmaksing the evils in America, especially during the Reconstruction, and still presides at Columbia U., where “left” means “centrist” and “centrists” don’t exist. Foer hates America as much as his Daddy did. Peretz should fire Franklin Foer's ass, before more hate-America spew stains TNR.

Evil Poppa begets evil son who enables evil chronicler. Just connect the dots. No fault on the left, as Mark Rudd told me decades ago when I was a deluded SDS volunteer. He smoked my dope & left me with the advice, "Dare to cheat, dare to win." Could be Columbia U's motto! At least when CSJ hands out Pulitzers!

knoxwhirled said...

There's this notion that war makes the soldiers crazy. Journalists love it. Beauchamp reinforced it. It appears that war makes journalists crazy.

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I often wonder how much patent, un-fact-checked bullshit was passed off on us unsuspecting rubes before the internet. Journalists basically could get away with almost anything. Seems they're still trying.

Wurly said...
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Jason said...

Feh. I didn't think his writing was that strong. He has some innate ability, and he can string words together. But the maturity to control that ability, and subvert it to the story line, just wasn't there.

To get away with that, you have to be James Joyce. And Joyce he ain't.

A good editor could help him with that. But I guess TNR didn't even have that.

Mindthoughts. Geez.

Yachira said...

Ann writes: "On the left, one theory has it that the army coerced a false confession out of Goldfarb." She means Beauchamp.

As an Angry Leftist, I'm afraid that the the above theory is not nearly vivid and juicy enough for me. No, I see the hand of Karl Rove (once again, as in Dan Rather) in this. Oh yeah, Karl Rove's the ticket!

Sloanasaurus said...

That's pretty much it in a nutshell. I often wonder how much patent, un-fact-checked bullshit was passed off on us unsuspecting rubes before the internet. Journalists basically could get away with almost anything. Seems they're still trying.

I remember seeing a documentary in college, "the Wall Within." it was Dan Rather interviewing Vietnam Veterans and how they were affected by the evil war. A professor talked about it in college as a study on PTSD.

It turns out that all of the "vets" Rather interviewed were fakes. Yet, this wasn't discovered until the mid to late 1990s.

How many more stories are fake. There has to be hundreds. Look at all the media creations in the past such as DDT being bad or "Agent Orange." Any of these stories could be just as fake.

Thank god for the internet.

Richard Fagin said...

"There's this notion [among journalists] that war makes the soldiers crazy. Journalists love it. Beauchamp reinforced it. It appears that war makes journalists crazy."

The problem could hardly be better expressed, Prof. Althouse.

While war reporting of an earlier age, in which real craziness of American soldiers went essentially unreported, is better left to the past, the current reporting shows such a malicious contempt for the military that it is a wonder public support for this war, or for any war is as high as it is.

What American journalists are doing these days is a very real threat to our ability to defend ourselves against really barbaric enemies. Public support for a war is essential in a free society. If reporting on any war conducted in the name of such a society is deliberately intended to erode public support for the war, even just and right wars will be lost.

What the journalists don't seem to understand is that they will be among the first victims when the hobnail boots take over.

Ann Althouse said...

"You mean Beauchamp, right?"

Oops, sorry. Corrected.

Roost on the Moon said...

It's also easy to see how The New Republic succumbed.

Another factor that isn't getting as much attention as I would expect is that Beauchamp is the husband of a TNR employee. That was his in.

I got that from the discussion between TNR's Jonathan Chait and Ross Douthat over at Bloggingheads.

EnigmatiCore said...

I just checked out John Cole's place after your comment, Ann.

"There is nothing official, yet, but I think I speak for everyone when I state that I think this definitively proves that our troops are, to a man and woman, angels, there never have been any jerks in the military"

What a sanctimonious ass.

The question is not over if there are jerks in the military. There are jerks in every walk of life, and it would be foolhardy to think otherwise.

The question was over if this particular jerk was being truthful in his assertions, not only of his own jerkiness, but that nearly everyone in his company shared his jerkiness and that it was all caused by the dehumanitizing aspects of war. We now know that Beauchamp was a jerk before going to war, and his company did not share in whatever loutish behavior he claimed that was actually true.

I can imagine an article by a gangbanger, talking about the awful things he did, talking about the dehumanitizing aspects of the ghetto. Would anyone doubt it? Probably not. In fact, everyone would assume it to be true. But you know what? It wouldn't matter. The gangbanger is responsible for his own actions. Yes, life dealt him a bad hand. That does not excuse being a monster.

But I guess Beauchamp and those who so badly wanted to believe his tales look at the military the way they look at the ghetto. And that is really what the whole affair is about. The John Coles of the world believe that, even though Beauchamp lied, the greater truth remains: the military dehumanizes the way that the ghetto dehumanizes.

Except that it isn't a greater truth. War is hell, and it does break some people and it does provide cover for some who were already broken to be the monsters they always were. But the vast majority, the overwhelming majority, of the military transcend the horrors of war. They are heroes, and deserve our respect and our appreciation. They deserve better than for us to assume the worst of them. They deserve us to fact check when someone comes spinning tales of incredible depravity. They deserve us to be skeptical of the Beauchamps and Kerrys of the world. And they deserve us to come down extra-hard on the Abu-Grahib perpetrators, just as they have the duty to come down extra-hard on them, because they give ammunition and credence to those who want us to believe that all of the military is full of broken monsters.

Come to think of it, most of the people living in the ghetto aren't monsters, either. Most of them are law abiding, victims of those who turn to crime in their circumstances more than most of us are victims of them.

As for John Cole, who seems to have gone on the offensive here rather than being a man and admitting he was wrong, what can one say. To him, it is mystifying that so many were able to immediately see through Beauchamp. He believes they were mindlessly defending, and that while Beauchamp lied the next one might not be and they will mindlessly defend whoever that is as well. Maybe they will, although the lack of people running around defending Lynndie England to this day makes me doubt it. Either way, I believe that our military men and women deserve us to take the default position of us thinking them better than the norm, not worse, until proven beyond a reasonable doubt otherwise.

Robert said...

Cathy Young said..

I do think that, to a large extent, Beauchamp was given a platform because he was someone the TNR editors saw as "one of us": a guy with a background in creative writing and journalism, as well as a Howard Dean supporter.

In 2004, the New Republic's Editors said:

From that humiliation, the Howard Dean revolt was born. In early 2003, the former Vermont governor began captivating the Democratic base with his thunderous attacks on Washington Democrats. But, in their righteousness, Dean and his supporters have embraced an analysis potentially even more damaging than that of the party leaders they seek to depose. We are not speaking primarily about Dean's general-election prospects (though they are grim, and their potential consequences for the House and Senate even grimmer). The problem with Dean's vision of the Democratic Party is more than electoral; it is intellectual and moral. And the candidate who offers the clearest, bravest alternative is Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman.

I say: ?????

Zach said...

Another literary take on the stories, written before the identity of the writer was known:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/blog/post/PLNK1A3L4YEO74C19

Synopsis: the writing style reads as "MFA program macho poser."

Theo Boehm said...
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dix said...

Another factor that isn't getting as much attention as I would expect is that Beauchamp is the husband of a TNR employee. That was his in.

Scooter Libby tell you that?

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pogo said...

TNR is caught again printing complete fiction as if it was truth. The repeated betrayals to their readers should be seen as like a man who keeps cheating on his wife and says "it won't happen again, darlin', I love yew."

Thucydides had a bit to say about how words lose their meaning in war. This all seems a culmination of the foucauldian postmodern dominance in universities, where truth is less important than power, or, more correctly, where power determines truth.

At this point, I trust TNR, the NYT, and WaPo as much as I trust the National Enquirer. It all become an exercise not unlike learning to read Pravda, wherein the truth is seen only through a glass darkly..

reneviht said...

Some journalists see in Glass the dark side of a new magazine journalism that puts a premium on sensationalism and style...

I'm sure that left, right, and every other part of the political Hilbert space agrees that the word in bold isn't really necessary.

Paddy O. said...

Zach, that's a great link! Thanks for posting it.

Roger said...

Always interesting to see the previous takes on this story: from the ealier thread. Suppose Doyle is going to surface and if so, with what arguments: (1) the army coerced Beauchamp; and (2) fake but accurate.

I can't believe TNR and its editorial staff has a shred of credibility any more. They simply would have been better off publishing this as fiction--which is what it was. The anti-war themes are always interesting (All quiet on the western front, for example.) Except, the liars at TNR chose to run this as fact.

Fen said...

"Another factor that isn't getting as much attention as I would expect is that Beauchamp is the husband of a TNR employee. That was his in."

Dix: Scooter Libby tell you that?

Actually, for that Lefty quip to be vaild, you should refer to Richard Armitage instead.

But thanks for reinforcing Bill Quick's point: "The biggest mystery to me is why the mainstream media has any credibility left at all. Maybe its users aren’t looking for credibilty any more. Just reinforcement."

...I think Beauchamp should give serious consideration to relocating overseas once his enlistment is up.

Haven't heard from our trolls yet. Anyone want to take odds?

2-1 Lucky: forced confession
3-1 hdhouse: fake but accurate
5-1 dtl: homophobic DADT

Fen said...

/ack, Roger beat me to it. Damn.

hdhouse said...

Until something like this happens to a media outlet, fact checking can be lax. That's a given. Once found though, it becomes grindingly rigorous. I had a published article years back in the New Yorker...every quote, every reference was checked and I had to supply the trail as well.

I take it you all are including the two FOX reporters who refused to write a report that they knew was false and were fired? and the story ran incorrectly anyway...and the won in district court but lost in appeals because it was Fox's right to run knowingly false stories?

There is fact checking and there is fact checking...hear that Rush, Sean, Savage, etc.?

What is MSM anyway? It is, as you know, a made up term. someone who uses it care to define it?

Zach said...

Thanks, Paddy O.

What I particularly like about the literary analysis at the link is that it speaks more directly to motive. With respect to the other commenters, blatant lies to advance an agenda seems like an odd motive at this late point in the history of the war. But exaggerations to reinforce your persona are always in season.

Pogo said...

hdhouse
I have had similar experiences of exhaustive fact-checking that stopped just short of a colonoscopy, but only with professional journals that are peer-reviewed.

Sloanasaurus said...

What is MSM anyway?

The MSM is the dominant purveyor of news in the country. It consists of the major newspapers, NY Times, Wash Post, WSJ, LATimes, etc, and the major TV networks, ABC, NBC, CBS. It also includes NPR, Rueters, and AP. They are the source of almost all the news in the country, including the news analyzed by Rush, Sean, et al.

Nearly all of the journalists of the MSM are liberal and voted for John Kerry in the last election. They live in large costal cities. Their children predominantly attend day care and private schools. Few of them go to church. They are generally disconnected from mainstream America.

Joseph Hovsep said...

I think people should think more carefully about TNR's alleged ill motives. Contra Cathy Young, et. al., TNR supported the war and still supports the basic premise of the war. TNR supported liberal hawk Lieberman in 2004, not Howard Dean. Conservative and war-supporter Andrew Sullivan used to be TNR's editor. TNR has been long reviled on the left for its hawkish stance. TNR did not publish Beauchamp's stories because they fit the magazine's editors' anti-war predisposition. There is no such predisposition.

TNR may have had wrong-headed intentions in publishing the pieces--valuing style over stubstance, lazy fact-checking, etc.--but support for an anti-war editorial agenda is not among them.

Roger said...

I think HD House raises an interesting question; eg, what is the MSM.

I don't know the answer, but to me the MSM is print journalism (including the nation, the village voice, and their right wing analogues), wire services, network and cable news, NPR and BBC--and yes, I include Fox news in that group).

Radio stations like Pacifica, Air America (is it still around?), Limbaugh, and other talk radio shows are not MSM. Alternative news papers (almost every city has them--usually free) are not.

(I also am of the opinion the MSM consists of primarily journalism graduates--that is, art historians who couldnt hack it in any other graduate school--usually quite innumerate but whose arrogance overrides their ignorance)

Hoosier Daddy said...

Until something like this happens to a media outlet, fact checking can be lax.

Translated to mean: Unless you're sure you're going to get caught, feel free to make sh** up.

Don't you think that is a major problem with the media? Idealistically we rely on media outlets (yes including FOX) to provide a least the truth. No one trusts the government yet there was a time when people did look to the Walter Conkrites to get the facts out and did trust what he said.

Now its all agenda driven and facts be damned or at least twisted in such a way to achieve thier goal. Information is power and if you control how it's disseminated, you can pretty much chart the course of a nation.

B said...

For those who doubt Beauchamp's recantation, believing "that the army coerced a false confession out of Beauchamp":

From the blog An Army Lawyer:

Here’s the thing, if he was lying, there’s not much that he can be charged with. At most it would be some variant of an Article 92 violation for publication without permission or something similar (presuming such a prohibition existed within his command). At most, that’ll get him 2 years if it’s a general order, more than likely it’d be violation of an “other lawful order” which is 6 months max confinement.

Now some may argue that he’s lying to investigators but he told TNR the truth. Problem there is that the penalties for a False Official Statement are far harsher (7 5 yrs and a dishonorable discharge). Lying to investigators is often worse than the misconduct itself. So even if Beauchamp IS lying, he sure can’t ever say so while in uniform, as that subjects him to the more serious Article 107 charge.

B said...

After Stephen Glass and now Beauchamp, under what possible scenario can The New Republic recover any of it's reputation?

mcg said...

Small correction: the post you attribute to Hugh Hewitt is in fact written by Duane Patterson, his producer (aka "Generalissimo"). His blog is kind of confusing that way; Dean Barnett and Patrick Ruffini have their own bylines, but not Duane---he has to post under Hugh's byline and say "Posted by Generalissimo" below that. Fortunately I think theyr'e going to fix this soon.

Paddy O. said...

Joseph, the editor has changed over the last year. That can lead to different editorial slants.

Really, as Zach mentioned in his post the motives are really spelled out in this analysis, I'll post the link again, by John Barnes.

Very good reading. And very much fits into literary temptations more than anti-war, though prevailing anti-war feelings might have opened the door for this.

Fen said...

Nearly all of the journalists of the MSM are liberal and voted for John Kerry in the last election. They live in large coastal cities. Their children predominantly attend day care and private schools. Few of them go to church. They are generally disconnected from mainstream America.

Shared Values.

And hdhouse already knows what the Main Stream Media is. He just wants to redefine it, same way the Left wants to redefine liberal into "progressive".

Joseph Hovsep said...

Paddy O,

Thanks for the link. I agree its a good and fair analysis. I think mistakes made here are more likely due to literary ambition and/or laziness than advancing a political agenda. I agree with Barnes that allowing the story to run could also be part of an overture by Foer to distance TNR from its pro-war history (a history of which Foer was part), but I just don't buy the argument that TNR published the pieces out of a blinding anti-war or anti-military passion of its editors.

reader_iam said...

""Did Scott Thomas Beauchamp lie under oath to U.S. Army investigators, or did he lie to his editors at the New Republic?""

He did neither, of course. In "Truthiness"--that celebrated (diction deliberate) Word of the Year 2005--the distinction that separates truth and lie is rendered meaningless.

Scott Thomas Beauchamp wasn't doing journalism, and he wasn't doing fiction. He was doing "memoir," as reconstituted, excused and praised in recent years. And "doing memoir" means not having to shoulder the burdens, limitations or burdens of either discipline.

And who can blame him? He is a child of his age.

AJ Lynch said...

Zach:

Thanks too from me for that link. John Barnes could be a helluva detective or maybe get paid by some MSM group to sniff out questionable "news" stories. He is a really smart guy.

John Stodder said...

I think mistakes made here are more likely due to literary ambition and/or laziness than advancing a political agenda.

Literary ambition, laziness, naivete, a craving for absolution from the anti-war left, and above all a massive disconnect between our policy-makers, which Foer desperately wants to be, and our warriors, who do not resemble Scott Thomas/Beauchamp anywhere except in the imagination of aging preppies like Foer.

The acceptance of Beauchamp's tales as accurate, or condoning him by saying, "So what if he lied, it's true," should be seen as a frightening symptom of a syndrome that has us ill-prepared for the conflicts of our age.

Roger said...

I think the damage done by Beauchamp's fabulism and the shoddy journalism practiced by TNR is really in the propaganda wars. This crap provides grist for the AQ propaganda effort which has apparently been rather effective. It reinforces the negative image of the "crusaders" in some arabic eyes, furthers the AQ objectives, and places our soldiers at even more risk were they to be captured.

Fen said...

I think mistakes made here are more likely due to literary ambition and/or laziness than advancing a political agenda.

I would agree, except that these "mistakes" are always one-sided:

If the perspective in the Western media were not totally skewed the other way, perhaps we'd see our aspiring writers rushing to Iraq to make up stories about Al-Qaeda brutality.

Palladian said...

"A Million Little Pieces of Shrapnel" By Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the chilling new selection of the Oprah Book Club!

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

Counter: I'm working on an article about Hillary Clinton which asserts she 1) mocked disfigured women 2) defiled human remains, and 3) targeted stray dogs with her SUV.

Anyone think the NYTs will be sloppy about fact-checking before running it?

Joseph Hovsep said...

Fen: Better counter: NYT is running a story on alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as a primary rationale for invading and occupying the country at a likely total cost of $1,000,000,000,000 to US taxpayers.

Anyone think the NYT will be sloppy about fact-checking before running it?

Roost on the Moon said...

Scooter Libby tell you that?

Uh, dix? The very next sentence in my comment explained who told me that. It was Jonathan Chait, a senior editor of the publication in question. It doesn't get much straighter from the horse's mouth.

John Lynch said...

Even if the Army coerced it out of him, there's only so much pressure they could have brought to bear. I mean, did he really expect to have a career in the Armed Forces after this? Did he want one? So what, exactly, could they do to him? An Article 15 isn't that bad if you are looking at a future career.

The allegations themselves could have been true- I didn't automatically discount them. A lot of soldiers are pretty rough people. I spent time in the Army and Navy. Anyone with military service has seen some things. But what was the intent of airing them? Why'd he do it? You don't publish everything that's true about life.

Being a soldier is not the same as being a civilian. Why air your mates dirty laundry to a bunch of people that don't understand military life at all? Stress and mindless routine cause people to do things that make no sense to outsiders. I think that was part of his point, but all he did was use them as props. It's selfish to use your unit like that.

Dave said...

"On the other hand, it could also be read as implying that if we withdraw from Iraq, we will leave the population in the hands of people who cut out children's tongues to make a point." The NYT in their editorial evidently wants to just that: pull out and "leave the population in the hands of people who cut out children's tongues to make a point."

As for believing war stories by vets or current personnel, the only stories I believe are when I go home and visit the American Legion post (and bar). That's because it's a small town and everyone knows who served, when, where, and with what MOS. Even then *some* stories are not believed because: 1) the teller is a known bullshitter; or 2) the teller is a relative stranger; or 3) the story is just too unfreakin' unbelievable to believe. That seems to go for the rest of those there, too.

Near as I can tell, only those with zero or pretty close to zero experience with the military believe the bullshit.

Fen said...

Joseph: NYT is running a story on alleged stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq as a primary rationale for invading and occupying the country

Not equivalent. The NYTs was right:

The "failure," such as it was, was in relying on official sources in the Bush Administration and U.S. intelligence agencies like the CIA. When stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction were not found in Iraq after the invasion, commentators came to the conclusion that they were never there, and that the reporting was, therefore, erroneous. That's not necessarily the case.

...and it wasn't just Miller talking about stockpiles:

NYTs to Clinton Administration: Even a few more weeks free of inspections might allow Mr. Hussein to revive construction of a biological, chemical or nuclear weapon ...hard to negotiate with a tyrant who has no intention of honoring his commitments and who sees nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as his country's salvation.

Michael said...

Fen: I would agree, except that these "mistakes" are always one-sided:

But don't forget, no matter how much they slander and libel our men and women in uniform, that they support our troops!

And by God, don't even think about questioning their patriotism.

Methadras said...

I just go back to that old journalistic adage;

If it bleeds, it leads.

And that's what a lot of so-called journalists and mil-bloggers, especially with regards to Iraq are using as a basis for their reporting and analysis. The notion that fact checking should be the foundational procedure for any story seems to have been kicked out for being the first to report or to tell a (tall) tale .

JimMtnViewCa said...

Joseph: "I think people should think more carefully about TNR's alleged ill motives...TNR supported the war...TNR has been long reviled on the left for its hawkish stance."
True enough. But I thought they recently switched this? Whether out of conviction, or lost subscriptions... Certainly they've earned some BDS street cred with this escapade.

Revenant said...

It certainly looks bad for Beauchamp and the New Republic at this point, but I'm waiting for a non-anonymous source to go on the record about the results of the investigation (especially about Beauchamp's signed recantation).

I don't like "anonymous inside sources", even when they're telling me what I like to hear.

Anthony said...

Funny, I haven't heard a whiff of this on any news shows. But whenever any Republican gets caught doing anything nefarious, said person -- no matter how unknown to 99.95% of actual Republicans -- is trumpeted all over as a "key Republican operative".

Anyway, Fen(?): Shared Values.

And laziness, I would venture. I ran across the herd mentality first in the early-mid '90s in the computer trade press involving anything Microsoft. Some posited dark conspiracies about editors and writers being given their marching orders directly by Microsoft PR people, but that's not even needed, really.

The typical story usually resulted from an M$ press release, partially quoted, summarized, with a couple of "industry analyst" quotes thrown in. Zilch critical thinking at.all. Most of these journalists probably didn't particularly care for M$ or their products, but it's easier to go with the flow, learn everything everybody else knows, and get applause for your vast Windows knowledge from your peers. Otherwise, you would have to, you know, learn about other products in some detail, read contrary opinions, evaluate them, etc. Rewriting a PR statement and making a couple phone calls is way easier and you get cheers from your peers to boot.

After all the false and just plain ignorant statements made by so-called professional (computer) journalists on that issue, I started to take anything I read/heard with a chunk of salt.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I don't like "anonymous inside sources", even when they're telling me what I like to hear.

I understood the reason behind the unnamed source but in light of past events, it certainly doesn't do much to enhance my trust that I'm getting the truth.

I'm not a journalist but isn't there some vetting by the editors of the unnamed source to make sure it's not a 6 foot tall rabbit that only I can see and hear?

TMink said...

Mindsteps and I had a few posts back and forth about this. At present, it looks as if I was correct to believe that the writer was lying. I wonder if it will hold up as I am not yet convinced.

And I would appreciate Mindsteps stepping back in to give us his update.

Trey

Ernst Blofeld said...

Was he really all that good of a writer? He seemed cliched to me. The descriptions seemed to exactly match what a 20-something young man who watched a lot of MASH and some war movies would expect war to be.

Pogo said...

If Beauchamp is still in the market for a wedding ring for his fianceé (a TNR editor), he should look into QVC's Diamonique® Jewelry. Lots cheaper and she'll probably never know the difference.

Michael said...

From the New Republic:

A STATEMENT ON SCOTT THOMAS BEAUCHAMP:

We've talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, "I have no knowledge of that." He added, "If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own." When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, "We don't go into the details of how we conduct our investigations."

--The Editors
posted 2:12 p.m.

Seven Machos said...

Come on, people. Another leftist has made stuff up from whole cloth and been busted and looks like an idiot.

Big whoop.

We are $30 from egg-salad-sandwich performance art.

Roost on the Moon said...

Re: Michael's 1:54,

The Plot Thickens...

Roger said...

Note carefully TNR's statement; they indicate that Maj Lamb said nothing about the recantation; howeveer, the weekly standard sources Maj Lamb directly in stating that an investigation was done and Beauchamp's allegations were false. Methinks TNR has forgotten the first rule of holes.

EnigmatiCore said...

It thickens indeed. This morning, military officials said their review is over. "The investigation is complete and the allegations from PVT Beauchamp are false," Maj. Steven Lamb, a spokesman for Multi National Division-Baghdad, says in an e-mail to On Deadline. "Anything that may or may not happen from his actions are personnel related and we don't share that publicly."

Looks like Maj. Steven Lamb refused to verify that Beauchamp recanted, but also was more than willing to let TNR embarrass itself further as he was gutting them to the rest of the world.

Do you blame him?

Fen said...

TNR: they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, "I have no knowledge of that." He added, "If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own."

My bad, perhaps TNR is not corrupt, merely stupid:

"...the allegations from PVT Beauchamp are false," Maj. Steven Lamb, a spokesman for Multi National Division-Baghdad, says in an e-mail to On Deadline.

How can TNR claim their unnamed source corroborated Beauchamp's account, then speak to Maj Lamb without getting his "allegations are false" quote? Did TNR just censor by omission?

Or [Enigma] are you thinking the Maj deliberately withheld that statement from TNR?

EnigmatiCore said...

I can only guess.

But then, I can guess, so here goes. What I think would be the most likely explanation is that Major Lamb told them the investigation found Beauchamp's allegations to be false. TNR probably asked directly if Beauchamp recanted. Maj. Lamb said that he would not discuss that, nor would he disclose what was going to happen to Beauchamp. TNR huddled, decided that they believe their anonymous sources (anonymous to the rest of the world, that is) and stand by their story. They decided to not highlight Maj. Lamb's description of the results of the investigation, because it would look bad for them to do so.

But I can't leave out that Maj. Lamb told them as little as possible, and did not offer to them that the results were that the allegations were proven false, while gladly telling any other media that asked that those were, indeed, the results. Absence of malice, who would TNR sue?

Fen said...

And Frank Foer is going the Dan Rather route:

/via Hugh Hewitt

Don’t you think you owe me an apology?

“My magazine this last week has been subject of basically a smear job by the Weekly Standard and a lot of the conservative blogosphere over a piece that we published from a soldier in Iraq, which we have gone back and re-reported and it turned out to be aside from one mistake to be the case and I just wish that there was, and this sounds like a trite mainstream media criticism, but that those in the blogosphere who kind of move from one reckless allegation to another reckless allegation for once apologize when they get something wrong.”

He needs to check his reality and reorder his thinking, perhaps imagine if his "family" was falsely accused by Beauchamps smears. He's ultimately responsible for this mess, and if our soldiers were less disciplined, he'd find his head on a pike.

Frank, try some humility and shame instead.

Fen said...

Thanks Enigma, I think your first guess is most likely.

Unless USA Today mixed up their sources. I'm off to find a secondary...

Roger said...
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Roger said...

Enigma has it--Lamb's statement (assuming it was accurately quoted) is carefully worded: it says definitively an investigation was conducted and the allegations were false; and (2) it does not say anything about recantation which would be material evidence in an article 15, court martial, or other pertinent personnel action. TNR has once again played Wiley Coyote and overly relied on the Acme company.

The more interesting question is why they just dont admit they made an error, apologize and get the incident dropped. They are like Fonzie on an old happy days episode trying to say "I was wrong" He just couldnt do it.

From Inwood said...

I reserve judgment based solely on news reports, but it seems that TNR has been run over by a Bradley and thinks that it still can convince us that if it only could get to Scotty boy, if only there wasn't a case of outright conspiracy by the Army to protect a malefactor from TNR's getting an explanation of why they were right & were betrayed and thrown by Army people & that others had corroborated his story & that the Army & the VWRC on blogs carefully leaves out the fact that somewhere, somehow, some place in the Army, the incidents dating back to the battle of Brooklyn in the Revolutionary War where soldiers sounding like Joe Pesci did bad things ----- well, they believe they’ve covered this issue and if they’ve left anything out, why just ask them specific questions and they’ll tackle everyone of them, one by one, but they believe that they’ve hit the main points. And oh, if only they & everyone, including fact checkers for the Vast left Wing Conspiracy could have access to Scotty boy ….

Click, click go the steel balls. (Apologies to Capt. Queeg.)

Wait, don’t pay attention to the man behind the curtain & stop that ankle biting you VWRC Bloggers.

Oh & BTW, a journalist ‘fesses up in a Huff Puff Blog (7/19/07). It’s entitled “It Doesn’t Matter that Journalists Misquote Everyone. ” She tells us dolts that “the reason that everyone thinks journalists misquote them is that the person who is writing is the one who gets to tell the story… Journalists who think they are telling ‘the truth’ don't understand the truth. We each have our own truth… So everyone feels misquoted because people say 20 or 30 sentences for every one sentence that a journalist prints. It's always in the context of the journalist's story, not the speaker's story…[D]on't expect the journalist to be there to tell your story. The journalist gets paid to tell her own stories which you might or might not be a part of. … And whether or not someone actually said what [the journalist] said they said, they will probably still feel misquoted."

This sounds like my old Prof in Eng Lit 101 explaining why fiction was often truer than real life in explaining the nature of things & why several characters had sometimes to be compacted into one for dramatic effect & to keep the reader interested. But he did not seem confused about the fact (damn those messy facts) that he was teaching fiction & that the profs in the History dept were (supposedly) teaching us facts. That is, he was not telling us that Marc Antony's funeral oration was literally the "way it was", word for word.

Revenant said...

It does seem odd that the New Republic would have refused to mention that Beauchamp's allegations had been found to be false by the military.

Either they hadn't heard about it (because the Major in question didn't offer up that information) or they heard about it and decided not only not to believe it, but not to even TELL anybody about it.

The first option is bad for TNR in the sense that it suggests that the military is ignoring them. The latter is just unethical, but then again this is TNR we're talking about.

EnigmatiCore said...

"The first option is bad for TNR in the sense that it suggests that the military is ignoring them"

Oh, I disagree. If the first option is the case, it does not suggest the military is ignoring them. It would suggest that the military (or at least Maj. Lamb) is actively assisting them in screwing themselves.

Fen said...

Confederate Yankee: "The military sources I contacted will neither confirm nor deny Goldfarb's report, citing Beauchamp's right to privacy and on-going administrative actions."

So it rings true that the military will not [officially] discuss whether Beauchamp recanted.

J.G.W. said...

I certainly don't mean to jump in here where I shouldn't, or to get in the way of what ought to be a useful thread, but I'm afraid I can't let stand Sloanasaurus' startling earlier comment about DDT and Agent Orange's "badness" being mere cautionary fabrications on some kind of par with Beauchamp's. I'd refer you to a series of James Nachtwey's photographs that ran, accompanied by a Christopher Hitchens essay, in last July's Vanity Fair. The link's below. Thanks.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2006/08/nachtwey_photoessay200608?slide=1

Michael said...

Roger: The more interesting question is why they just dont admit they made an error, apologize and get the incident dropped.

Because Frank Foer, at this point, has nothing to loose and everything to gain. If he admits they made an error, he's unemployed and disgraced tomorrow. If he can bluster and threaten his way through this, he might be able to continue collecting a paycheck, all the while playing the Don Quixote hero battling the eeevil forces of the reich-wing (while lining up fresh employment), at least until the truth wills itself out to an undeniable degree.

Cox said...

Just to reiterate what another posted has said about TNR and the Iraq War, they were incredibly supportive of the Iraq War. This is a publication that Althouse would refer to as liberal hawks.

Many of their top writers gave to the Scooter Libby fund and Marty Peretz has been a strong supporter of this war so to say TNR is antiwar is dishonest and not accurate.

EnigmatiCore said...

That is both true and misleading.

TNR changed editors, and has been moving rather starkly away from the pro-war stance previously held.

Revenant said...

Cox,

To say that TNR *was* hawkish and in favor of the Iraq war would be accurate. They were.

To say that they *are* hawkish and supportive of the war, however, is flat-out wrong. They've been engaged in a Hillary-like attempt to cover their asses and sweep their former pro-war stance into the memory hole for several years now. They've been firmed in "bash the war" mode since it became apparent it wasn't going to end in hugs and flowers.

As for the fact that some of the staff gave to Libby's defense fund -- Libby, like most long-term Washington insiders, has plenty of friends in both parties. The Loony Left may see him as some sort of Bushitlerliburtoncheneian stooge, but intelligent and informed people are aware that Libby has worked on both sides of the fence.

amba said...

So what's with TNR's story claiming to have all this corroboration? Where does that stuff go now?

It's the James Frey of Iraq ...

I'm doing fact checking right now (on science articles for a literate lay audience) and the first thing I realized is that there's no such thing as a fact. Even our own senses and memories "interpret" things; now you're getting things second, third, and 100th-hand ...from lapses of attention to hidden and obvious agendas to sheer laziness, misinformation repeated enough times becomes "the official story." You'll find the same story reprinted verbatim on scores of websites, either because people want to believe it or because they're too busy or lazy to dig deeper.

amba said...

I should add that while there's no such thing as a fact, there is such a thing as a lie.

Cedarford said...

John Lynch - A Bad Conduct or Dishonorable Discharge IS that bad - on a resume for just about any decent career. HR treats it like as analogous to a violent felony, rape conviction.

Right now, the charges could include serious ones - like aid and comfort to the enemy through false propaganda that boosts enemy morale and endangered US military, civilians. And Beauchamp apparantly has a wartime OPSEC (operational security) violation looming on him for reporting his combat deployment schedule, force elements with his company, and locations on his Blog.

And, as opposed to other minor infractions of soldiers lying and mouthing off, Beauchamps were intended on bringing discredit to the troops on a national level by asserting they were depraved monsters as a way of pushing his narrative that war always degrades and gravely harms the character and soul of anyone serving their country. That means more people in the military are gunning for him, and the damage he hoped to inflict was far more serious than ordinary Article 15 infractions. He likely gets Article 134 charges and OPSEC charges of endangering troops with offers of relative lienency (a felon-level discharge paper and 6-12 months jail) if he trots out and confesses. Otherwise, a few years in Leavenworth and guaranteed Dishonorable Discharge paperwork....

***************
Sloanasaurus nails it pretty good. The old media has taken a dangerous path. They have abandoned truth and straight news on reporting on a number of critical issues to one of "giving the proper metanarrative to the masses". A metanarrative that does not have to be factually based to serve the "higher truth" of racial justice for black strippers oppressed by white males, war is bad, the planet is melting.

In fact, with the NY times as the paragon of this cancer, actually making up, twisting, and selectively omitting the facts to better serve the media elite's "agreed upon" metanarratives needed to advance the betterment and welfare of society, and to illustrate the progressive case

******************
Enigmaticore - Looks like Maj. Steven Lamb refused to verify that Beauchamp recanted, but also was more than willing to let TNR embarrass itself further as he was gutting them to the rest of the world.

Do you blame him?


Very perceptive.

Looks like the miltary is kindly offering TNR to give them a sharper shovel that bites deeper into the dirt at the bottom of their hole.

Anthony said...

They have abandoned truth and straight news on reporting on a number of critical issues to one of "giving the proper metanarrative to the masses".

Just to throw it out there: Have they really "abandoned" it, or are we just able to notice it now and obtain information from contrary sources? After looking into various issues (e.g., DDT), it appears the media have been metanarrating to us for a long, long time.

DKWalser said...

Just to throw it out there: Have they really "abandoned" it, or are we just able to notice it now and obtain information from contrary sources? After looking into various issues (e.g., DDT), it appears the media have been metanarrating to us for a long, long time.

I think it's been going on for a long time. IIRC, around 1981, Time, in its Editor's letter column, informed readers that the issue of the environment was too important for Time to try to appear objective. From then on, we were told, the magazine would no longer try to present both sides of an environmental question. There just weren't two sides to such questions.

I applauded Time for its candor. I also canceled my subscription.

Gedaliya said...

I think this whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. I don't think it says much about the world except that Marty isn't paying attention to what's going on at the magazine. He put some putz in charge and the guy fucked up.

Much to do about nothing, methinks.

Revenant said...

I don't think it says much about the world

Well, the reactions to it do.

Paco Wové said...

What a refreshing change. A comment thread with no childish tantrum-throwing, no pointless insults, no potty-mouths.

What could be the origin of this remarkable metamorphosis?

downtownlad said...

"Did Scott Thomas Beauchamp lie under oath to U.S. Army investigators, or did he lie to his editors at the New Republic?"

Or the more appropriate question:

"Is The Weekly Standard Lying".

We know for a fact that they lied about WMD's being in Iraq. But that just started a war, so let's not focus on that. Instead, let's have the Weekly Standard and the wingnut blogosphere focus on a pointless diary written by a PRO-WAR and PRO-SURGE periodcal and distract our military with a thousand stupid questions about this incident - thus preventing them from doing the job that they are supposed to be doing in Iraq.

Any rational person can obviously see that the military just wants this incident to go away.

So The Weekly Standard goes off on The New Republic, becuase they "claim" TNR doesn't fact check. When, in fact, they claim they did. Both before and after the incident. And the story comes out essentially the same, except for a soldier forgetting which cafeteria an incident took place in. Now could it have been some grand scheme to de deceive TNR? Sure. Could be possible too, but I doubt it. And absolutely no evidence has come to light yet that shows The New Republic is lying. None. It might exist, but I haven't seen it yet.

Now the Weekly Standard on the other hand, relies on one anonymous source, and the entire wingnut blogosphere accepts it as gospel truth. Why don't they demand that The Weekly Standard fact check their stories?

Why? Because they are ideologues. And they are unwilling to admit that they could ever be wrong.

Because we all know it's impossible for a soldier to kill a dog . . .

downtownlad said...

Oh, I disagree. If the first option is the case, it does not suggest the military is ignoring them. It would suggest that the military (or at least Maj. Lamb) is actively assisting them in screwing themselves. - enigmaticcore

So basically you're admitting that the military has a partisan agenda. Hey - we agree on something.

Unfortunately, am I the only one who finds that concept revolting?

Paco Wové said...

Oh dear, I guess that was tempting the gods a wee bit too much...

Sorry.

downtownlad said...

Care to point out the insult Paco? You've thrown a charge - now defend it.

Cedarford said...

Gedaliya said...
I think this whole thing is a tempest in a teapot.


Exactly wrong.

The Left seeks to slime and discredit the troops through a "Death of 1,000 Cuts."

The goal in the anti-America forces in the Vietnam War was to pile on the actrocities, real or imagined by the US while deliberately being silent about Communist ones. And on the homefront, to publicize every minor misfortune, trouble, or crime that could be "tagged" on a Vietnam Veteran.

To trot out all the Soviet-friendly academics to explain why soldiers that served honorably were victims - changed by war into drug abusing, homeless psychopathic monsters wreaking havoc on society while suffering from "flashbacks" of their depraved acts.
The Left even took activists and trained them to go out and act as Vietnam Vets - fakes, in their purchased fake uniforms for agitprop theater - telling their fake atrocity tales and criminal activities and health woes to guillable press and students. At John Kerry's "Winter Soldier" escapade and CBS's "Within Walls" documentary which later studies showed Dan Rather had interviewed 7 "troubled Vietnam combat Vets" while none had been in combat in Vietnam, 5 had never been to Vietnam, and two actually were trained Lefty civilian fakers who never served a day in the military posing as soldiers.

As soon as we started the Afghanistan War, the Left and AQ sympathizers began a quest to reclaim their glory days of smearing the soldiers (The troops they all say they Love&Support Soooooooooo Much!).
Within 8 weeks of the war 2 Lefty twats began circulating a false story that : "Special Forces operatives, changed and brutalized by war into desensitized brutal killing machines, were coming home and starting a wife-beating epidemic on their home bases."
The two twats suggested "extensive therapy and counseling and a detoxification period before soldiers are allowed close to their families."
Turns out the 2 twats made it up, there was no "Army Ranger wife-beating epidemic anymore than men watching the Superbowl triggered "mass spousal abuse and murders" while the game was on. Another false story to fit the agenda.

There is no tempest in a teapot - only methodical attempts by the Left to steal the honor and valor of the volunteers serving this nation. And when an atrocity is committed, the Lefty metanarrative says such acts by the enemy most be not publicized while activities by 8 ill-disciplined redneck reservists at Abu Ghraib deserved 87 top of the fold Front Page NY Times major pieces.

This time, no free shot. The MSM has discredited its reportage again and again with
with discovery of lie after lie put out as truth in support of the greater truth of the metanarratives of racial justice, war is always wrong, the Right lacks the moral authority of Progressives, and so on. Hence we keep seeing Lefties at universities and media getting caught again and again in their fraud and lies they do for "the greater cause." And which, now that we can call them on their deceit, can only be countered by "Yes, we were caught. But only trying to educate you knuckle-dragging peasants in higher truths. We may have been fake, but we were accurate!"

This time, it is the Left that is paying the huge price in bottom line money losses and permanent damage to their reputations - not the military, not "evil oppressor whites".

The cost to the Left and the media organs owned by wealthy progressive Jews, globalist corporations has been considerable. NYTimes revenue has declined sharply since Pinch Sulzberger chose to pattern it on the Village Voice, idiot he is. Sumner Redstone lost tens of millions in value of the "Tiffany Network brand" after the fake National Guard story and the 3 years of "anchorman" damage control that led to the pits with the Katie Couric disaster. GE is getting pounded by the Left tilt at NBC and MSNBC.
The reputations of tweedy WASPs, fake Indians, and affirmative action academics has suffered tremendously as their frauds, lies, false accusations, dishonesty has surfaced in scandal after scandal.

downtownlad said...

The cost to the Left and the media organs owned by wealthy progressive Jews, globalist corporations has been considerable.

In case anyone was wondering if Cedarford is anti-semetic . . .

Gee - I guess if you were against the war, you'd just be blaming those neo-con Jews. Just blame them for everything.

You do realize that The New Republic was Pro-war and pro-surge, don't you?

Oh, I probably assume too much.

Paco Wové said...

'This morning, military officials said their review is over. "The investigation is complete and the allegations from PVT Beauchamp are false," Maj. Steven Lamb, a spokesman for Multi National Division-Baghdad, says in an e-mail to On Deadline.' (Not anonymous, and not the Weekly Standard.)

And that is all that really needs to be said about this whole issue, unless you want to argue that the military is lying and covering up.

(dtl - I don't have the time or inclination to play with you, sorry.)

Paco Wové said...

Cedarford -- under your bed -- what's that? It's... it's... it's a Joooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

downtownlad said...

Taco Bell - All that statement "proves" is that no soldier admitted to participation in a crime. Wow. Shocking.

Beauchamp never recanted. Or at least you have zero proof that he did.

Revenant said...

Oh dear, I guess that was tempting the gods a wee bit too much...

We're holding you personally responsible, Paco. Just so you know.

Revenant said...

So basically you're admitting that the military has a partisan agenda. Hey - we agree on something.

I guess a twisty enough mind could manage to think of the American military's support of the American war effort as "a partisan agenda". More rational people might call it "doing the job we pay them to do".

Cedarford said...

Gee, too bad! There is extensive Jewish ownership of the media and some of those noted flagship media owners are among the worst in anti-military, soldier bashing practices. And same with corporations now pushing a twisted, globalist. multiculti progressive agenda on the media organs they own. And tweedy WASPs in academia and angy affirmative action hires from "preferred victims groups" spewing their lies and fraud from universities.

Sorry, the victim immunity amulet saying Jews, inner city blacks, progressive corporations, tweedy WASps and They of Minority Group Victimhood - claiming such groups are exempt from criticism - has long ago expired.

Blacks have just about given up saying any criticism of any aspect of black culture is a taboo, racist subject by whites, even black commentators.

Jews may whine that the past shields their political activism, agendas of groups they control or own from all scrutiny. But they are a wealthy, powerful group with
a long history - some distinguished, some not so distinguished (the Bolsheviks) of trying to seize the strings of political power and industry in many nations stretching back to ancient times. Jews disproportionate influence in politics, academia, media, law, domination of whole industries makes scrutiny of Jewish agenda items inescapable.

Gays are also showing that raw power displays of clout bring with it questions on the clout being benign or malignant.

The latest group attempting to grasp PC immunity, the Muslims, are finally seeing blowback from past gutless Euroweenies and American Lefties about their Saudi-oil funded wealth, power, battalions of lawyers, and endless grievances against the West for being at fault for all Muslim problems. Especially when it is getting clear that many Muslim activists seek not toleration and live and let live - but a platform to engage in cultural aggressiveness and transformation of the culture they enter.

CAIR attempts to duplicate methods of Jewish clout - lawsuits against targets, AIPAC-like organs of transformation - and are finally seeing blowback. Particularly over their threat to sue anyone in American that reports suspicious Muslims to authorities.

So - lets just say we are now in the waning days of PC, the Cult of Victimhood Conferring Total Moral Authority - and concommittant immunity amulets handed out to various groups...

Gedaliya said...

Cederford...

Your posts are too long.

Fen said...

downtownlad said...
enigma: It would suggest that the military (or at least Maj. Lamb) is actively assisting them in screwing themselves.

downtownlad: So basically you're admitting that the military has a partisan agenda.

No. You're crafting another strawman. Enigma is speculating that, having been smeared as "baby killers" by TNR, the Army Major is giving them more rope to hang themselves with. Hardly partisan.


downtownlad: All that statement "proves" is that no soldier admitted to participation in a crime.

Another strawman. They interviewed the entire unit. No soldier admitted to witnessing a crime.

downtownlad: Beauchamp never recanted.

Interesting double standard you have. Goldfarb has an anonymous military source that alleges Beauchamp signed a statement recanting. I don't like anon's, but Goldfarb's behaivor in this has been much more credible than TNR, who have been caught censoring by ommission twice now.

downtownlad: You have zero proof

Beauchamp has zero proof too, yet you are willing to believe him and TNR, even though their story has been discredited at every turn. Why the double standard?

Fen said...

/btw DTL, Weekly Standard did not lie about WMDs in Iraq.

Interesting escalation. I wasn't surprised that Drudge or FOX reported on this mess, but now the New York Times and Washington Post are jumping in. TNR is about to get their 15 minutes of infamy.

Can't access NYTs [and frankly don't care too] but must admit I was very impressed with Wapo's fair and balanced article re all this. They seem to have the facts straight, without any misleading spin.

Fen said...

Gedaliya: I think this whole thing is a tempest in a teapot. I don't think it says much about the world except that Marty isn't paying attention to what's going on at the magazine. He put some putz in charge and the guy fucked up. Much to do about nothing, methinks.

Maybe. But I think the pushback is about countering the type of lie that created open hostility to vets returning from Nam. Like John Kerry falsely accusing the troops of routinely engaging in war crimes. This time, we're not going to allow such lies to stand. Its much more than TNR or Weekly Standard, its about protecting our troops while they protect us. Its the least we can do.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus's typical bullshit generalizations and prejudice aside, would someone really care to define mainstream media? Doesn't seem like anyone knows what it is other than to define it in Rush Limbaugh terms.

And for all of you who eschew news from MSM outlets it would explain that you obviously don't get any news or information whatsoever and would account for some of the rather vapid world views found herein.

1charlie2 said...

As I've written elsewhere, for me this was never about "right-wing vs left-wing", but more about the gulf between vets (and active) and the mainstream media (and a sizable chunk of the population).

That TNR could believe the stories as written, and (apparently) make little or no effort to back them up indicates an considerable willingness to believe a number of ugly and largely untrue stereotypes. Including:

"War makes unfeeling brutes of men." As Barnes notes, in Scotty's account, no one censures the troops engaged in ugly behavior. To believe this, you have to believe that combat so kills your morality that you will engage, while not in combat, in ugly and cruel attacks upon innocent human beings.

"Soldiers can get away with anything." Note that in Beauchamp's fantasies, soldiers are repeatedly left without adult supervision, far from Daddy's watchful eye.

For some truthiness: How many people are aware the the Military knew about Abu Ghraib before any newsie really "broke" the story, and was pursuing courts-martial before anyone outside paid any attention. Janurary 13th, 2004, an MP reported abuse up through his chain of command. January 16th, the Army issues a press release about an investigation into prisoner abuse. January 19th, A criminal investigation begins -- less than a week from the first report. By the end of February, 17 people are already relieved of duty. By March 20th, 6 people are charged (a 7th is charged in May). And on April 28th, 60 Minutes airs the story.
(http://www.ajr.org/article.asp?id=3730)


My point: Yup, abuse occurs. And the military deals with it harshly. And soldiers (and sailors, airman, and marines) know this. There was no real "coverup."

Despite this, too many journos seem willing to believe that the military allows, condones, or otherwise permits these abuses. And that is why the can believe the sheer fantasy that makes folks like the TNR believe Scotty Von Munchausen's "war stories."

And that is the real insult that gets folks like me riled up. The stereotyping that runs so deep that folks can even see it. Watching MASH reruns doesn't really tell you much about the Army. It does tell you about Hollywood's stereotypes, though.

Are there scumbags in the military ? Yes. Any organization with over a million people is bound to have their share. But the scum are no more numerous than in most civilian occupations, and even less than in some, owing to somewhat more harsh discipline. How many civilians have any understanding of the UCMJ ?

I don't think it's a grand conspiracy to make the military look bad, I think it's just ignorance and a willingness to believe inaccurate stereotypes.

The lesson to take away from this ? When writing about a specialized and somewhat insular group of people -- military, the Amish, airline pilots, etc -- it pays to ask a few members their opinions before publishing derogatory material that may not even be true.

From Inwood said...

1charlie2

What an incisive, perceptive post, with universal application far beyond this incident. You zeroed in on the problem and placed it in context in two pithy, packed paragraphs at the end. And you were bile-free!

Absolutely first rate.

And your "Scotty Von Munchausen". Wow! Wish I'd said that. (And I will, giving credit of course!)

JOHN THOMAS said...

Ah yes. THE ARMY refutes Pvt. Beauchamp's allegations. THE ARMY investigated. Yes, THE ARMY investigated THE ARMY. Suggested headline: ARMY INVESTIGATORS CLEAR ARMY MEMBERS OF ARMY MISCONDUCT.

Very convincing.

Would this by any chance be the same Army that gave us those fully investigated details of Tillman's heroic death by enemy fire?

Very VERY convincing.

Nice to know that THE ARMY (perhaps by way of its beloved Corps of Engineers?) is ensuring there will never be a shortage of shovelable sand for our beloved Flagheads to bury their blinkered, hooded (self-Guantanamo’d?) noggins in.

Fen said...

John Thomas: Ah yes. Pvt Beauchamp refutes Pvt. Beauchamp's allegations.

/fixed

Revenant said...

Suggested headline: ARMY INVESTIGATORS CLEAR ARMY MEMBERS OF ARMY MISCONDUCT.

The Army doesn't need to "clear" itself of anything. No evidence of misconduct was ever offered in the first place. Private Beauchamp made some allegations, which he was then unwilling to stick to once asked to testify under oath. Nobody else backed up his story either. There's no reason to think his tales were true, unless you are predisposed to hate the military.

Jim Howard said...

I think Private Beauchamp's 15 minutes are about over, but I thought I'd add a link as a postscript to this discussion.


The Army and Air Force are considering disciplinary action against seven officers - including four generals - who violated ethics rules by assisting a Christian group in the production of a fundraising video.

The Pentagon inspector general found the officers were interviewed in uniform and "in official and often identifiable Pentagon locations," according to a 45-page report.

They made comments that "conferred approval of and support" to the evangelical group, Christian Embassy, "and the remarks of some officers implied they spoke for a group of senior military leaders rather than just for themselves," the report stated.


From Military.com
http://preview.tinyurl.com/yw3py8



So it's not just Privates who can get in trouble for speaking out of school.

AlphaLiberal said...

Well, I'm late to this conversation, having a busy week and all. And I've not followed the Beauchamp story closely. I'm no fan of TNR, BTW.

But this question indicates there's monkey business afoot in the efforts to knock Beauchamp. The story was only released to The Weekly Standard, a heavily partisan, heavily pro-war magazine.

Why would that be the case if these are simply facts? Why wouldn't they hold a pres conference, release a report, tape a vid, rather than have one inside source whispering to a partisan rag?

Something's fishy with that.