August 3, 2007

TNR versus Weekly Standard.

TNR checks up on its Baghdad Diarist, Scott Thomas Beauchamp:
In the first [of three anecdotes], Beauchamp recounted how he and a fellow soldier mocked a disfigured woman seated near them in a dining hall. Three soldiers with whom TNR has spoken have said they repeatedly saw the same facially disfigured woman. One was the soldier specifically mentioned in the Diarist. He told us: "We were really poking fun at her; it was just me and Scott, the day that I made that comment. We were pretty loud. She was sitting at the table behind me. We were at the end of the table. I believe that there were a few people a few feet to the right."

The recollections of these three soldiers differ from Beauchamp's on one significant detail (the only fact in the piece that we have determined to be inaccurate): They say the conversation occurred at Camp Buehring, in Kuwait, prior to the unit's arrival in Iraq. When presented with this important discrepancy, Beauchamp acknowledged his error. We sincerely regret this mistake.
Weekly Standard responds:
Acknowledged his error? How about confessed that he made something up? How about, misled his editors when they pressed him for corroborating details on July 17, after the piece was published? And how do we reconcile this with Foer's own statements over the past two weeks, including one to ABC News claiming corroboration of the account:
"We showed the stories to people who'd been embedded in Iraq to make sure that it all smelled good. We talked to one of the members of his unit to confirm the woman, a female contractor. We talked to a medic who'd served in Iraq to make sure that a woman could be in an FOB. We spent a lot of time with him on the phone asking hard questions."
The New Republic is correct about one thing: the detail is significant. If the incident happened in Kuwait, it eliminates their editorial rationale for publishing the piece. It means Private Beauchamp had suffered "the morally and emotionally distorting effects of war" before ever going to war.
The TNR piece ends this way:
Although we place great weight on the corroborations we have received, we wished to know more. But, late last week, the Army began its own investigation, short-circuiting our efforts. Beauchamp had his cell-phone and computer taken away and is currently unable to speak to even his family. His fellow soldiers no longer feel comfortable communicating with reporters. If further substantive information comes to light, TNR will, of course, share it with you.
So now the blame is on the government and TNR is off the hook? We did all the fact checking we could...

175 comments:

Synova said...

It doesn't matter.

If it wasn't the war that stripped Beauchamp of his humanity it was military training which does that one purpose because you can't make a soldier unless you take away their reason and dehumanize the enemy.

I know it's true. I read it on a liberal blog.

So reasonably expressed too. These people really support our troops... poor mentally broken fellows that they are.

Doyle said...

Another embarrassment for the right wing media watchdogs. What a surprise!

Who could have guessed that the story checked out in spite of in spite of the fact that it was unflattering to the military?

Any red-blooded American should have assumed it was a hoax.

vet66 said...

As I recall this guy was married to someone at TNR who recommended him for the assignment. Sounds like she took a page out of the Plame/Wilson Niger playbook.

If he was wrong about significant parts of the story then his credibility is gone and the entire story is bogus and biased from the beginning.

PatCA said...

Others have commented that if it happened in Kuwait (doubtful, as this is a transit point into Iraq), this was before he was in theater, before the war turned this little flower into such a savage. IOW he was a jerk to begin with, if you believe his story at all. Personally, I think he's just a bad writer with an even worse imagination.

Yes, the story "smelled." It did not "smell right, " TNR.

peter hoh said...

Is everything here on out going to be rigorously fact-checked, no matter whish side of the political debate it purports to support?

Fine by me.

peter hoh said...

which. whish. Wish I wore my glasses when typing. Without them, my eyes glaze over and I can't see my own typos.

knoxwhirled said...

I'm no "professional" journalist, but aren't you supposed to do fact-checking and corroboration before you print stuff?

Ann Althouse said...

"Who could have guessed that the story checked out in spite of in spite of the fact that it was unflattering to the military?"

How did the story check out? I can believe that Beauchamp is capable of saying the mocking words he wrote down. He either said them aloud or wrote them later as fiction, but I suspect it's fiction, since he fictionalized the location to suit his purposes. It's an excellent, evil comic riff, which would be great in a work of fiction, but truly evil said out loud in front of the woman. So Beauchamp is either evil or lying.

vet66 said...

Or both!

Lars said...

Ann said:
"..So Beauchamp is either evil or lying." Why not both??

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

The most shameful aspects of this episode are TNR's reasons for publishing the "stories," and Beauchamp's reasons for enlisting in the Army.

It was, obviously, critically important to TNR and its agenda to publish a story slandering our troops and fluffing up the dehumanizing effect of war upon otherwise decent people. It was so critical they relied upon someone reliable - a proven liberal, deployed to Iraq, married to a staff writer. It was so critical they engaged in only the most cursory of fact checking - and because no one else had ANY military experience - the checked if "it smelled good" with other embedded REPORTERS - not military personnel. All in the service of their agenda. Good job, boys.

As for Beauchamp, he's scum.

The nation is at war; good men and women enlist, are separated from their families, fight, suffer injuries and death for the nation - and f*cking Beauchamp sees it as nothing more than his Hemingway moment - as if all the world was a stage for this pissant. Others with more extensive military service than me have commented upon the likes of Beauchamp - but who amongst us cannot see anything but dishonor in joining the Army for no purpose other than to advance one's literary career, and your "brothers in arms" nothing more than stage props in the one man play perpetually playing in one's mind.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Doyle said:Who could have guessed that the story checked out in spite of in spite of the fact that it was unflattering to the military?

Doyle I think you missed the 'error' Beauchamp admitted to. He was in Kuwait when he stated that he made fun of the disfigured woman. That means he did it before going to Iraq which means before he suffered the 'dehumanizing effects' of the war.

Now if you follow the timeline, that means Beauchamp can't use the dehumanizing effects of the war to explain his disgusting behavior. That makes him nothing more than a despicable human being. Unless of course that is the image that he wants readers to have of the military. I'll leave that for you to decide.

Sloanasaurus said...

I am with vet66, isn't it odd that the one source the New Republic gets to "document" their assertion about the war happens to be the husband of a writer there. Hmmm.....

It makes you wonder how often the public was lied to by the mainstream media before the interet came along as a watchdog.

Anthony said...

Are there any grownups on the left anymore?

Richard Dolan said...

Does the fact that TNR holds itself out as a journal of opinion make Fake-But-Accurate (FBA) more or less objectionable as the applicable standard? At what point does FBA become indistinguishable from routine agenda-driven Spin?

The ostensible purpose of their Baghdad Diarist feature was to give a troops-eye view of the daily grind in fighting the Iraqi war. But the TNR wasn't looking for a typical or even a representative soldier to provide that commentary. Instead, in hiring Beauchamp to do it, the TNR plainly wanted and got a soldier whom they knew would deliver the goods, i.e., a perspective consistent with their already well known view of that war and the Bush-Cheney administration's handling of it. In short, at best, the Baghdad Diarist was always going to present Spin. The Diarist was never going to be who-what-when-where factual journalism in any ordinary sense; but the TNR wasn't out to publish fables either.

The TNR's after-the-fact editorial justifications for publishing the Diarist now all go on about their supposedly rigorous fact-checking, etc., etc., and they "stand by their man" and his stories except as noted. The WS piece rightly skewers that pose. The whole point of the Diarist was that Bush-Cheney had so screwed up the Iraqi war that their failings of leadership were now evident in the out-of-control conduct of American soldiers at the squad level. It was, in substance, intended as an echo of the Abu Graib stories, further proof (if any were needed) that Bush's Iraqi venture was rotten to the core.

Beauchamp certainly delivered the goods. The "errors" now conceded by TNR -- Ann features the "disfigured woman" story which TNR concedes didn't even happen in Iraq; other bloggers have pointed to the kill-the-dog-with-the-Humvee meme, which was supposed to be about a course of behaviour but which the TNR is now trying to justify as, at best, "one incident" -- basically destroy that story line. In short, what began as Spin is looking like routine FBA, an exercise in the half-truth doing the work of a complete lie. The TNR is not doing itself any favors by being less than candid about all of this.

Readers of a journal of opinion like TNR know, more or less, the perspective that its writers will likely bring to bear on stories like the Iraqi war. Its readers know, and indeed expect, that the stories selected for publication, along with the facts deemed important rather than insignificant details, are all informed by the ideological filter that the journal brings to bear. But fakery about basic facts crosses a line even in that context. Could TNR have defended itself by being candid about its objectives -- a desire to present a troops-eye perspective from someone sharing the worldview of the TNR's editors and readers? I think it would have been better than what they are doing now. That wouldn't have done much to rescue Beauchamp, but his basic story line is beyond rescue at this point anyway. Saying, as TNR is now doing, that some or even most of the details had a factual basis isn't going to help; and they should know by now that more Spin will just dig the hole deeper.

Doyle said...

a perspective consistent with their already well known view of that war

Which was of course favorable.

B said...

The story only "checks out" to those who have a tenuous grasp on reality; those who are intolerant of any deviation in reality from their hoped for narrative. They have no choice but to twist the truth and shout as loud as possible: it's the only way to keep their overflowing anti-Bush heads from exploding.

Which would be such a mess for the rest of us to clean up.

Synova said...

The milbloggers that I read *always* said that certain aspects of the events might be true. That a soldier *could* be that rude, that a soldier might play with bones, that without a doubt a Bradly somewhere ran over a dog.

Doyle wants to rewrite the argument to say it was just about being unflattering to the military.

What "smelled bad" from the start was that these things were recounted *specifically* that everyone thought his antics were funny, the Bradly diver was allowed to crash over market stalls and chase dogs around, that everyone thought playing with a child's skull was funny and that the fellow wore it all day long.

The best analogy (from Ace) I think I've heard is this.

There's a difference between saying that a couple of soldiers raped someone and saying that a couple of soldiers raped someone in front of a crowd of people and those watching laughed about it and did nothing to stop it.

Claiming the public approval and laughter and lack of any corrective action isn't *confirmed* by saying that we confirmed that a rape occurred.

So someone ran over a dog, how does that equate to approval for the sort of crashing over things and wild driving described? So someone picked up a bone and stuck it on his head, how does that equate to parading around with it openly all day and night? So Beauchamp made fun of a woman with scars at a base where everyone is just passing through and maybe a couple of people at one table might have heard them, how does that equate to everyone at tables all around at a base where everyone knew everyone and probably more than one person in his chain of command could be counted on to be present, just passively watching and not doing a thing?

It doesn't.

What "smelled" about the story still smells and hasn't been "confirmed" in any fashion.

And it's only the *finding* of bones that has been confirmed... which was confirmed very soon by milbloggers and others who verified that a children's cemetery was uncovered and relocated. The disrespectful antics and tacit approval for them haven't been confirmed. And it hasn't been confirmed in any fashion that the Bradly vs. dog story was anything other than a story that Beauchamp heard and personalized. It certainly hasn't been confirmed that drivers at that FOB were allowed to crash all over stuff and make a habit of running over dogs without getting in trouble for it.

EnigmatiCore said...

The guy was a monster from well before he went to Iraq. What kind of an ass mocks a 'disfigured' victim?

Apparently, the kind exemplified by Scott Beauchamp. If the left wants to hold him up as an example, let us all accept it: he is the face of exactly what a left-wing military man is like.

B said...

Richard - spot on.

TNR is caught with it's hand in the cookie jar, and instead of telling the truth, it dissembles, and "uh, uh, uh . . . well, but . . ." it's way through.

Stephen Glass, now Beauchamp. Does any one seriously believe in the credibility of TNR anymore? Hello, Scooter Libby haters? Hello, Bush-lied faithful?

Hmmmm . . . just an echo.


If anyone cites the The New Republic ever again - or quotes them as having their challenged stories check out when nothing could be further from the truth - they lose all credibility in their arguments.

Doyle?

How about you backtrack on your ridiculous statement that tries to confuse everyone trying to learn the truth, or we, say, follow all of your future comments with a reminder of your lie?

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

I confess I'm not intimately familiar with this story, but as I see it it breaks down like this:

1. TNR prints soldier's account of terrible things he's witnessed/done.

2. Wingnuttosphere leaps into action, denying that the account is at all credible. He may or may not exist. He may or may not be a soldier. But the bad stuff definitely wouldn't happen like that, if only because it's very bad and our soldiers don't do very bad things.

3. Furor prompts actual soldier to come forward and TNR (and others) to investigate his claims. They are substantially confirmed but his account was not 100% gospel truth.

Now I'm not saying that he didn't make some stuff up. Even really significant stuff like where and when Atrocity X happened, and doing so to advance a budding literary career or whatever.

But the reason the wingnuts demanded an investigation was because the story made the US military look bad. Can you imagine a similar investigation into the accounts of pro-war soldiers?

A soldier sends a diary to the Weekly Standard bragging about killing 50 AQI and rescuing 20 local schoolkids before breakfast.
Would their editorial board be demanding to know if that soldier was, indeed, a soldier at all? Making sure it would hold up under close scrutiny?

Doyle said...

How about you backtrack on your ridiculous statement

What ridiculous statement?

It's not like I've been crying "hoax" for two weeks only to be left berating TNR for not doing enough fact-checking on stuff that happened in Iraq (or Kuwait).

But hey, I understand your need to vilify soldiers who talk about the bad things they've seen/done.

Those troops aren't worthy of your support, right?

B said...

Doyle, your ridiculous statement, as Ann and others have already pointed out above:

Who could have guessed that the story checked out in spite of in spite of the fact that it was unflattering to the military?

That's an all encompassing statement: anyone reading it would believe that ALL of the story checked out, not just parts of it. You didn't say "parts of the story".


But the point is moot now, after you posted above:

I confess I'm not intimately familiar with this story . . .

The rest of your comments following it were fair enough. Thank you.

EnigmatiCore said...

"They are substantially confirmed but his account was not 100% gospel truth."

If by substantially confirmed, you mean "refuted by members of his platoon and proven to be false", then sure.

It takes a monumental spin to say that the statement put out by TNR confirms his story. It confirms that he and a friend claim to have been a dick to an injured woman before he ever went to Iraq, where before he claimed he and a friend were a dick to an injured woman because of their experiences in Iraq, and with the tacit approval of everyone who was on their base. Is that tantamount to the whole story being substantially confirmed in your eyes?

If so, I suggest glasses. Or corrective laser surgery, which I hear is much more affordable these days.

Fen said...

Surprise, surprise: another war-poster boy of the Left turns out to be a fraud. Scott Beauchamp, meet Jesse MacBeth, Jimmy Massey and John Kerry.

I think you missed the 'error' Beauchamp admitted to. He was in Kuwait when he stated that he made fun of the disfigured woman.

Heh. He's probably lying about that too.

Synova said...

Part of what enforces *good* behavior in the military is that screw-ups like this guy get clobbered by their peers.

Consider the Haditha Marines. There was a good deal of reluctance to believe that the accusations against them were true but those on milblogs said that if it did turn out to be true that those soldiers were at fault for their actions.

Now it turns out there isn't evidence that the Haditha Marines acted outside of their ROE and that no one "snapped" under the stress or took cold-blooded revenge on children.

But that doesn't matter much. After all, we're told, it's not their fault they snapped. War will do that to a person.

What!?

Those in the military don't make excuses for the misdeeds of those in the military.

So yes. It seems that soldiers are far more likely to "vilify" other soldiers who have done something wrong.

And this is a bad thing?

Doyle said...

Every part of the multiple stories except the setting of the disfigured woman story, right? I have a hard time seeing this as a huge blow to the Islamo-TNR conspiracy.

But at least it proved those atrocities didn't happen.

Synova said...

"A soldier sends a diary to the Weekly Standard bragging about killing 50 AQI and rescuing 20 local schoolkids before breakfast.
Would their editorial board be demanding to know if that soldier was, indeed, a soldier at all? Making sure it would hold up under close scrutiny?"

Yes, probably.

It's less annoying then when someone pretends to be a soldier so they can testify to atrocities but pretending to be a war hero is going to annoy people as well.

And it would certainly "smell bad" since one of the most consistent attributes of real heroes is a lack of self-aggrandizement.

Doyle said...

Surprise, surprise: another war-poster boy of the Left turns out to be a fraud. Scott Beauchamp, meet Jesse MacBeth, Jimmy Massey and John Kerry.

That's some serious dog-whistle right there. Do those two guys in the middle have Conservopedia entries?

EnigmatiCore said...

"Every part of the multiple stories except the setting of the disfigured woman story, right?"

The setting, the number of people who heard it, the root cause. You know, the whole crux of his article.

And with that much in question already, after TNR had claimed to have carefully vetted the information before running it in the first place, makes me very unlikely to take them at face value when they say the rest has been verified, especially when they seem to be very unclear on who is verifying what parts of Beauchamp's article, to what detail.

And really especially when a different investigation (which I linked to above) found his article to be "proven to be false".

Fen said...

Dolye: Do those two guys in the middle have Conservopedia entries?

Huh? What does conservopedia have to do with anything? Google Jesse MacBeth and Jimmy Massey yourself. Like Beauchamp and Kerry, they were both revealed to be frauds.

RMc said...

The setting, the number of people who heard it, the root cause.

Ah, the root cause. It doesn't matter if Beauchamp is right or wrong or even if he exists: everybody knows that Bush 'n Cheney are evil, and all soldiers are vicious killbots. All thinking people know this to be true; we don't need any of your wingnut notions like "proof".

EnigmatiCore said...

RMc-- huh?

You do realize that I was saying that Beauchamp has been proven either a fraud, or a monster of his own creation long before he went to Iraq, or both, right?

Synova said...

I stole this from a comment someone left elsewhere. Wanted Doyle to see it because he said he wasn't familiar with this story...

He "saw her nearly every time" he "went to dinner in the chow hall at" his "base in Iraq". "She wore an unrecognizable tan uniform, so" he "couldn't really tell whether she was a soldier or a civilian contractor. The thing that stood out about her, though, wasn't her strange uniform but the fact that nearly half her face was severely scarred. Or, rather, it had more or less melted, along with all the hair on that side of her head. She was always alone, and" he "never saw her talk to anyone. Members of" his "platoon had seen her before but had never really acknowledged her. Then, on one especially crowded day in the chow hall, she sat down next to us."


This is the story. What follows is a description of truly vile behavior.

The meaning of this story is simple. That a badly scarred woman on a FOB was shunned by everyone. That a badly scarred woman on a FOB was vilely harassed in a especially crowded chow hall. That no one in the chow hall did anything whatsoever about it.

And that it was because of the dehumanizing effect of the war.

A whole lot of us felt this had to be a lie and it was. A whole lot of people felt it was impossible for a woman, scarred or not, to not be known by sight by anyone on the FOB. Knowing uniforms is what soldiers *do*. Beauchamp aside, soldiers tend to like to see themselves as gallant and hyper-manly. Insulting a woman like that would not be tolerated.

The true story is that it didn't happen in a crowded chow hall. A couple of people might have overheard (assuming the ridicule happened at all). And it happened in a chow hall where people would be passing through and unlikely to get to know everyone. Rather than approval from those with the power to assign Beauchamp to the latrines *again* we've got, perhaps, a few soldiers (or sailors or airmen or marines or civilian contractors) who have to decide if it's worth the trouble they'd get into from their own command for starting a fight, or worth the trouble of tracking down the *sshole's command and tattling on them.

The true story is that this couldn't be proof that war turns good men vile because they hadn't *been* to war yet.

Roger said...

The TNR is a joke--Hersch, Glass and now Beauchamp--and when they provide the names of the soldiers they claim they talked to, and the name of the disfigured woman, then I will believe them--their credibility is non-existent.

And Doyle: what in the hell point are you making? You're babbling and slobbering, man--get a grip

Synova said...

Matt Sanchez writing from Iraq:

After a thorough investigation that lasted nearly a week the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division has concluded that the allegations made by Private Thomas Scott Beauchamp, the "Baghdad Diarist", have been

"refuted by members of his platoon and proven to be false"


The official investigation the 4th IBCT Public Affairs Office qualified as "thorough and professional" concluded late August 1st. Officials would not speculate on the possibility of further action against Private Beauchamp, nor would they confirm his current whereabouts or status.

TMink said...

I followed Ecore's link (thanks for the source) and found the following commentary by Arista.

"While Beauchamp's claims were not factually true, they illustrated a greater truth about the American military and the insidious effects that Bush's illegal war has one the troops."

Not factually true, but illustrative or a greater truth.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 1984 all over again.

Trey

Henry said...

As I suspected, TNR's statement makes it clear that they gave Beauchamp an editorial pass because they didn't think of him as a journalist. Beauchamp was producing "a vignette" ... "a sense of Iraq as it is seen by the troops" ... "a first-person essay."

Now personally, I don't find this egregious. There are many local newspapers that print first person accounts from soldiers in Iraq. I can't believe that these accounts get much fact-checking. As TNR claims, there has to be a pretty high level of trust in the correspondent.

Yet it is telling that in fact-checking Beauchamp, the TNR focused on the plausibility of Beauchamp's stories, not their veracity. They did screw up -- but the screw up was editorial, not ideological: they did not recognize when the latter type of fact-checking was required.

Yet, unless TNR is being very slippery with their words, two of Beauchamp's stories are confirmed by other witnesses.

And the third story checks out to the extent that it's established that Beauchamp is a vile specimen.

So that's one thing the right wingers got right.

Doyle said...

I'm less interested in what the incidents say about mankind and war or whatever than whether they actually happened or not.

My takeaway is that 2 of the stories definitely happened and the something like the third story happened but it happened before the guy had actually made it to Iraq.

Let me put it this way: I bet if Malkin et al knew in advance how much of his story was true, they wouldn't have made called this much attention to it.

It makes you guys look kooky, trying to recapture the Rather-gate magic.

Fen said...

nor would they confirm his current whereabouts or status.

Meanwhile:

Beauchamp: Dear Diary, my first week after being reassigned to Special Ops training at Fort Leavanworth was a harrowing experience. The soap drills in the showers left me feeling degraded and sore. But then... a man with a Special Hat snuck into the barracks after midnight and tasked me with a secret mission to Cambodia... more later, I'm off to break big rocks into little rocks...for my martial art training.

Sloanasaurus said...

This qote from above is worth repeating: While Beauchamp's claims were not factually true, they illustrated a greater truth about the American military and the insidious effects that Bush's illegal war has one the troops."

As also said before, the New Republic story is a rehash of the fake but accurate strategy used by the left. That being: "even though the evidence we have to prove our assertion is false, the assertion is still true because we said so."

Fen said...

Dolye: My takeaway is that 2 of the stories definitely happened and the something like the third story happened but it happened before the guy had actually made it to Iraq

No. The skull story appeared in almost identical form in Germany [where Beauchamp was stationed prior]. It was a newspaper article [with photo proof] about German troops abusing skulls in Afganistan.

So at best, your "takeaway" is one-in-three.

Sloanasaurus said...

Doyle you may believe the stories, but how do you reconcile that with the report posted by Synova above.

To play from Doyle's side for a moment, the stories told by TNR could be true. They are similar to stories heard from World War II, where soliders made ash trays from skulls or committed other crimes. The only difference is that during World War II, the press reported all the good stories also, thus everything could be taken into context. With Iraq, its usually only the bad stories that are reported - such is the bias of the mainstream media.

Doyle said...

Another funny aspect of this story is the Weekly Standard's reliance on a fellow soldier who also happens to be a conservative activist/gay porn star under investigation by the Marines for (besides the gay porn thing) lying.

Henry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

What's "funny" Doyle is that a short, factual quote with attributions is ignored.

How much crow are you going to eat when that same official announcement is reported by others? Find some way that they are also unreliable?

What is *funny* is that it seems every left-ish commentator has decided that it's okay to gay-bash if it works in their favor.

(As far as I can tell the Marine investigation is about Matt Sanchez's admitted activities and not something unrelated to what he publically acknowledges about his past. It doesn't seem to have affected his ability to embed with the military in Iraq.)

Fen said...

via Confederate Yankee:

"This morning, I contacted Major Renee D. Russo, Third Army USARCENT PAO in Kuwait, to ask her if she knew of a female civilian contractor at Camp Buehring with severe facial burns, and if so, when she was there. Here is her emailed response, in full."

Mr. Owens,
We have received other media queries on the alleged incident, but have not been able to find anyone to back it up. There is not a police report or complaint filed on this incident during that timeframe. Right now it is considered to be a Urban Legend or Myth.

I am still researching the incident and will have to get back with you later with any new developments.

Parker Smith said...

TNR should not throw any stones, seeing as how they live in a 'Glass' house...

Revenant said...

So now the blame is on the government and TNR is off the hook? We did all the fact checking we could...

TNR's still trying to weasel out of this, and it isn't working.

Here's what they were able to confirm:

(1): That there was an IED victim with a scarred face. Nobody doubted that such people exist.

(2): That the graveyard existed -- but we knew that already, since the mil-bloggers tracked it down a while ago.

(3): That some people claim it is possible to run over a Bradley with a dog. Others who have also driven Bradleys say it isn't, but let's give that one to TNR.

They have also established -- if you think a single anonymous source counts as "establishment" -- that there were grains of truth in Beauchamp's stories. It is "confirmed" that a soldier put a piece of skull on his head, but not that he wore it in combat for days; it is confirmed that Beauchamp and a friend mocked the war victim, but not that the other soldiers went along with it; it is "confirmed" that a Bradley was used to run over dogs, but not that it happened over and over and not that the Bradley was used to destroy market stalls and other human property for fun.

On the flip side, we now know for certain that Beauchamp lied about the mess hall story -- that his contempt for war victims stems not from the desensitizing effects of war, but from the fact that he started off as a raging asshole with no sense of decency.

I'd say it isn't looking good for TNR and Beauchamp at this point -- especially now that the military is investigating.

Revenant said...

Oh, one thing I forgot to add -- like I noted earlier (I think it was in this forum), I admit that it is possible, if unlikely, that Beauchamp's stories were true. But it isn't looking good for Beauchamp either way, since he's guilty of violating military law whether the stories are true or not.

NSC said...

Beauchamp lied. There is now no question. TNR used him to push its "war is hell and dehumanizes our soldiers" mantra, but that backfired since Beauchamp wasn't human to start with.

Fittingly then, his life as a soldier, pathetic as it is, is over, and the life he wanted as a writer is never to be - unless you count working for the National Equirer. Oh wait, unlike TNR I really think they send guys out to fact-check those Bat-boy stories, so that is out as well.

TNR has lost what little credibility it still had and is relegated to the kiddie table of news/opinion magazines.

Christy said...

Trey, Sloan, the paragraph you quoted, "While Beauchamp's claims were not factually true, they illustrated a greater truth about the American military and the insidious effects that Bush's illegal war has one the troops." was from Moonbat One, the name below the post, not above. Thus it was pretty clearly tongue-in-cheek. Just saying, not complaining. Love you guys.

Some of the details may well be true and, yet, the story false. The story is that soldiers frequently act in cruel, disrespectful, and irresponsible ways without consequences from an disinterested command. I don't doubt that some soldiers act badly. I question the frequency and the toleration.

Anyone else note that Beauchamp hits all the sacred cows of our society in his stories -- Women (mothers), children, and pets? Would his next tale have included an apple pie and.... Oh, never mind.

vet66 said...

Doyle;

I suggest you spend some time reading Michael Yon's reporting from "in country" Iraq.

As for Beauchamp, a case can be made that his reference to "other soldiers" was either fiction (probably) or some other fool that enlisted with him and went along for the ride!

Beauchamp had no humanity when he joined the military. He lied then to get by the interviews and pursued his biased ends to assist the challenged TNR.

One good thing, the media and lefties are "swiftboating" themselves well in advance of the 2008 elections. Their plans for "shock value reporting" that fades quickly from the eye of the public will not work. These stories will be easily retrievable from archives and put together to show a pattern of deception.

Revenant said...

It is interesting that the New Republic said, when people first questioned the story, that they had checked with members of Beauchamp's unit and confirmed that the incident happened in Iraq -- even which exact base it had happened at. Now they're backpedaling and saying that what they confirmed is that the incident took place in Kuwait, before the unit got to Iraq.

So... what's up with that first "confirmation"?

Hoosier Daddy said...

To play from Doyle's side for a moment, the stories told by TNR could be true. They are similar to stories heard from World War II, where soliders made ash trays from skulls or committed other crimes.

The main issue here is not so much the stories that Beauchamp told but the context in which he told them and how they are being used to further the anti-war crowd. Using these as examples of what this war is doing to these guys completely ignores the fact that in all wars atrocities or in this case, lousy behavior and a breakdown in discipline occur. To say that the actions described by Beauchamp are a result of Iraq being an illegal/immoral war is the height of ignorance.

Sloan's examples are spot on, not to mention that the US Army liberated a lot of personal possessions at the same time they were liberating Europe and for the most part was overlooked.

While one soldier who goes AWOL over Iraq makes news, it was a regular occurrence during WW2. The fact is, because we were fighting evil Nazis and because most people see those who fought as the greatest generation, the atrocities committed on our side were whitewashed or otherwise ignored. Rape, AWOL or insubordination was dealt with quietly with little fanfare and with a 'popular' war, it could be done. When you have an unpopular war, every indiscretion becomes overblown for the sole purpose of discrediting the effort.

Christy said...

Hoosier Daddy, I remember an Antiques Roadshow episode where a beautifully embossed helmet from the 15th or 16th century, worth about $400k, had been found in an attic. Clearly liberated during one of the World Wars, but totally unaddressed.

NSC said...

Reports are the Army investigation is going to show that Beauchamp's story is a combination of lies and exageration. The left won't care because the truth matters little to them, but again, TNR is done for. They might as well fold up their tent and head on home. They are toast.

I am trying to not gloat over it, but dammit it is hard not to do since you would think they learned their lesson during with Stephen Glass deal.

Revenant said...

NSC,

Where'd you hear that? I mean, that's pretty much what I'd expect the truth to be, but I'd like to know what your source is.

downtownlad said...

My guess is that nobody on here has even read "Shock Troops". But they all feel like experts to comment on the matter anyway.

Ann thinks that Beauchamp might be evil, if he truly said those words. Even though he admits he was disgusted by his comments and later regretted them. And he admitted his sins publicly. Nevermind though. Evil for life according to Ann.

So that justifies anti-gay attacks on Beauchamp? That justifies invading the privacy of Beauchamp's wife?

I wonder how Ann feels about this. Is this evil? Because she might not be aware of it, but this is the level that the right-wing blogosphere is now stooping to.

http://minx.cc/?post=235812

It's pretty much the most homophobic entry I've seen in a long, long time.

And let's recap.

1) Right-wing blogosophere claims Beauchamp is fictional. FALSE
2) Right-wing blogosphere claims Beauchamp is not a real soldier. FALSE
3) Right-wing blogosphere claims it is impossible for a dog to be run over by a Bradley vehicle. FALSE (or there are more soldiers lying than Beauchamp)
4) Right-wing blogosophere claims it is impossible for a soldier to wear the skull of a child. FALSE (or there are more soldiers lying than Beauchamp)

And now they pin all of their credibility on a former prostitute who is under investigation by the military for fraud.

The entire accusation was about fact-checking (nobody was defending the actions of Beauchamp - not even himself, which is why he wrote a mea culpa DIARY). I find it insane that a publication like the Weekly Standard can scream about fact-checking when if you look at either #1, #2, #3, or #4 above and it is obvious that the Weekly Standard does not hold themselves up to the same standard. Shouldn't they get their facts straight before making accusations????

They keep moving the goalposts on this story. And it is comical how much of a frenzy they getting themselves into, all because a soldier wrote a diary entry. Personally - I thought the essay was pretty good too. And pretty mundane compared to everything else going on in the world.

But the right-wing blogosphere thinks otherwise. Disagree with them, and they will go to the gutter and destroy you and destroy your family.

Pretty sick if you ask me.

NSC said...

One source was that Matt Sanchez blogger that everyone discounts because he evidently is gay and was in porn films or something. Don't ask me what one has to do with the other.

The other source was Powerline I believe or the Weekly Standard. It could be circular reporting, but I am pretty sure they are separate. All they said was that the Army report had said Beauchamp's story was basically a lie.

And, downtownlad, I read Shock Troops as well as Beauchamps other fiction. And most of the bloggers doubting his fiction did not, in fact, deny he was possibly a soldier. They simply said if he was, he was a liar of a soldier. Which it turns out is true.

From Inwood said...

My take on this is simple.

Truthiness (noun) "the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true" (American Dialect Society, January 2006).

This explanation of another Fake But Accurate storyline, here by TNR, sounds suspiciously 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 or events had to be compacted into one & changes in actual place & time made for dramatic effect & why the best authors used imaginative elaborations of events & blended characteristics to keep the reader interested & ultimately educate him, inspire him, convince him, & a few other things like acquaint him with beauty, truth, & goodness . (Phew!) He noted, in someone’s memorable phrase, that Shakespeare chooses the concrete word, forcing one to touch & see. But, he hastened to add that he was not telling us that Marc Antony's funeral oration was literally the "way it was", Walter, word for word. And my Prof. was not confused about the fact (damn those messy facts) that he was teaching fiction (i.e., narrative writing from the author’s imagination presented in his own words rather than strict reporting from observation or from documented fact), that Shakespeare’s Histories are not taught by History Profs, or that the Profs in the History Dept were the ones (supposedly) teaching us facts.

Old Irish joke: Mrs. Murphy is spreading gossip about one of the locals & Mrs. O’Brien says, ah, I don’t believe you’re telling the truth. Mrs. Murphy replies “’Tis true enough”.

I would again refer to a confession by a journalist that reporting is all opinion & that the MSM will tell you what was really meant despite what might have really been said; what really happened despite what your lying eyes or the lying eyes of others might've told you.

It’s in the Huff Puff Blog (7/19/07), entitled “It Doesn’t Matter that Journalists Misquote Everyone.” She tells us dolts 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… The journalist gets paid to tell her own stories which you might or might not be a part of…. "

From Inwood said...

A diehard TNR supporter asks:

“A soldier sends a diary to the Weekly Standard bragging about killing 50 AQI and rescuing 20 local schoolkids before breakfast.

”Would their editorial board be demanding to know if that soldier was, indeed, a soldier at all? Making sure it would hold up under close scrutiny?”

Funny I don’t remember them or any Conservative periodical doing this. I do remember the NYT with Jason Blair and….

In any event, I would hope that the WS’s board would fact check, and if it didn’t, I would judge it as harshly as I judge the TNR. Not quite analogous, but Rush Limbaugh, with no lead time for fact-checking, took an on-air call from a guy purporting to have done great wartime deeds & when this turned out to have been phony, apologized in embarrassment. He now, sadder & wiser, makes a disclaimer when a caller says that he’s done, seen, or read something which hasn’t been verified. The TNR never learned from its shattered Glass because it has no standards when it comes to the BDS.
Actually, I think that all media is reluctant to believe any good war stories about this war & perhaps about any war since they’ve seen, not having a predisposition to believe unquestioningly, how many guys invent “War Stories” & how people react when the lie is disclosed.

Consider the play, "Separate Tables". The David Niven character pretends at a resort to have been a Major in combat in WW II. He is discovered to have been a Lt. in Supply & is disgraced, not because it was a disgrace to have been a Lt. in Supply, but because he had invented himself (tho Deborah Kerr forgives him & presumably marries him!).

Recently there was a story of a guy being sentenced to cleaning monuments for having lied about his service in ‘Nam.

So your analogy or mirror image doesn't work.

downtownlad said...

NSC,

Matt Sanchez is not gay. And he is actually pretty vehemently anti-gay. He does however like to suck cock, get f%cked up the ass, and lick another guy's asshole. But hey - don't call him gay ok.

Sanchez however was a prostitute who slept with men (don't call him gay!) while he was in the military. And he's a former porn star who starred in porno films with men (don't call him gay!). This administation has thrown soldiers in jail for three months, because they starred in gay porn. But Sanchez - I guess he gets a pass (because he's not gay!). And he is someohow allowed to be "embedded" in the military with our soldiers, even though our gay Arabic translators need to be kicked according to "don't ask, don't tell" because they are a threat to this country. And Sanchez is being investigated by the military for fraud.

Again - this story is about fact checking. The New Republic has verified every single incident in this story, except for the location of one incident. And if TNR is somehow wrong, then you will have your work cut out for you trying to destroy the lives of those other soldiers (who corroberated Beauchamp's story) as well as those soldiers' wives. And you are pinning all your hopes on a former porn star, prostitute who is being investigated for fraud. Hey - maybe Sanchez will prove to be right - but don't you think you should do a little fact checking first?

downtownlad said...

And for Beauchamp to write that soldiers might actually kill dogs.

Absurd.

Where in the world would they get that idea???

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6445f9fdd7

NSC said...

Again - this story is about fact checking. The New Republic has verified every single incident in this story, except for the location of one incident. And if TNR is somehow wrong, then you will have your work cut out for you trying to destroy the lives of those other soldiers (who corroberated Beauchamp's story) as well as those soldiers' wives. And you are pinning all your hopes on a former porn star, prostitute who is being investigated for fraud. Hey - maybe Sanchez will prove to be right - but don't you think you should do a little fact checking first?

Here's the deal. I do not for a moment believe TNR fact-checked a damn thing before publishing. I think they took Beauchamp's word because he is married to one of their employees and he was saying what they wanted to hear. From what I have read - and I have read it all - there is only one soldier who backs-up his story and he is unnamed so he has no more credibility than Beauchamp. Aside from that, the whole premise of the TNR story was that war dehumanizes soldiers and Beauchamp was barely human before he got there considering how he says he acted to that still missing scarred-faced woman.

The ONLY thing that is proven is that Beauchamp is a soldier. Every thing else is unproven, and I bet the Army report conclusively proves he was lying.

Of course then it will just be an Army cover-up, right?

Finally, I don't know, nor care, if Sanchez is gay or straight or bi or likes warm apple pie as his lover. If what he reports is true then his sexual preferences don't play into it.

Except to the left that is.

Revenant said...

Funny I don’t remember them or any Conservative periodical doing this. I do remember the NYT with Jason Blair and….

In any event, I would hope that the WS’s board would fact check, and if it didn’t, I would judge it as harshly as I judge the TNR.

Of course, what Doyle forgot to explain is why the Weekly Standard would be publishing the diary in the first place. It isn't "True Combat Tales Magazine", it is a political journal. Its readership's support for the war, such as it is, is not based upon fantasies of action movie fantasies of kicking ass and rescuing innocents.

So your analogy or mirror image doesn't work.

Even if it did work, of course, it still rests on the assumption that lies which make our troops look better are equivalent to lies that make our troops look worse. That Doyle accepts that assumption doesn't speak well for him.

NSC said...

Again - this story is about fact checking. The New Republic has verified every single incident in this story, except for the location of one incident. And if TNR is somehow wrong, then you will have your work cut out for you trying to destroy the lives of those other soldiers (who corroberated Beauchamp's story) as well as those soldiers' wives. And you are pinning all your hopes on a former porn star, prostitute who is being investigated for fraud. Hey - maybe Sanchez will prove to be right - but don't you think you should do a little fact checking first?

Here's the deal. I do not for a moment believe TNR fact-checked a damn thing. I think they took Beauchamp's word because he is married to one of their employees and he was saying what they wanted to hear. From what I have read - and I have read it all - there is only one soldier who backs-up his story and he is unnamed so he has no more credibility than Beauchamp. Aside from that, the whole premise of the TNR story was that war dehumanizes soldiers and Beauchamp was barely human before he got there considering how he says he acted to that still missing scarred-faced woman.

The ONLY thing that is proven is that Beauchamp is a soldier. Every thing else is unproven, and I bet the Army report conclusively proves he was lying.

Of course then it will just be an Army cover-up, right?

Finally, I don't know, nor care, if Sanchez is gay or straight or bi or likes warm apple pie as his lover. If what he says is true then his sexual preferences don't play into it.

Except to the left that is.

NSC said...

Oops, sorry for the multiple posting. Damn blogger to hell. :)

Synova said...

Gosh, I donno DTL. I seem to remember that when this story broke reading that soldiers killed dogs but driving a Bradly the way it was described would get the driver in trouble. We know that soldiers have played with bones and I doubt that anyone on the military side of things would argue that they never do, only that it gets a person in trouble if they aren't careful. What I believed least was that soldiers anywhere would mock someone who appeared to have IED wounds or at the very least they'd face punishment or retaliation if they did.

So what did Beauchamp claim that he was telling the truth about?

He described a woman who was shunned, had no friends, that he and his buddy loudly taunted until she cried and no one did a single thing about it in an exceptionally crowded chow hall on a FOB where everyone pretty much knows everyone. And this could happen because of the dehumanizing effects of war.

Truth... if he and his buddy actually did reduce a scarred woman to tears (as "confirmed") it was in an uncrowded chow hall on a base with a large and transient population and maybe someone over heard them. And this was before they'd been to war and got dehumanized.

Beauchamp didn't write "I heard someone talk about killing dogs." or "I heard a story about some bones." Because he didn't, the fact that someone killed a dog or played with some bones does not mean he told the truth.

Oh, and, hate Sanchez much?

vnjagvet said...

"The New Republic has verified every single incident in this story, except for the location of one incident."

I am afraid I cannot agree with dtl on this assertion.

Unfortunately, any links which I would provide to support my position would be to sites that DTL does not credit. He would link to sites which I have read, but whose analysis of this issue I don't buy.

I have read both versions of this story, and believe that Mr. Beauchamp's story does not (in the immortal words of Joe Pesci and Marisa Tome in My Cousin Vinny) "hold watah".

This is because of my pesky experiences in a war zone (one year), and living day by day with enlisted men and officers (three years).

This will not persuade folks like the editors of TNR or dtl, but my WAG is that veterans will share my
view about 80-20.

What do the vets here think?

Revenant said...

The New Republic has verified every single incident in this story

Correction: the New Republic says it has verified two of the three incidents. The third incident consisted of two points:

(a) That Beauchamp is a sick asshole with no sense of decency, and
(b) That war made him like that.

They have confirmed that (b) was a lie. I'll concede point (a); Beauchamp is, indeed, a sick asshole with no sense of decency. Far be it from me to deny it. If I ever suggested that Beauchamp's claim of being a sick asshole with no sense of decency was a lie, well, I totally take it back. My apologies.

Now, getting back to the word in boldface above: the New Republic is accused of publishing false information, either because of institutional incompetence or deliberate malice. They are now belatedly insisting that they have a single anonymous source allegedly supporting the key details of the other two incidents. It is not clear if that's one guy per incident or one confirming both. In either case, while the TNR claim is fascinating it is unclear why anyone should believe it -- especially given their institutional history of getting hoodwinked by their reporters for years at a time.

The intelligent thing to do is wait for the Army investigation to complete. We know that the Army leadership in Iraq is willing to nail people who engage in this sort of behavior (they were prosecuting the Abu Ghraib losers months before the public even heard about it), and certainly the Army has a solid interest in publicly purging any such deviants from the ranks. So let's see if they exist. If they do, then they can be published right alongside Beauchamp. That way everyone -- or at least all the decent people -- can be a winner.

Synova said...

Rev, you have to be careful. Wanting the scumbucket element of the military punished for being bad means you don't support the troops.

You have been warned.

Vnjagvet, 80-20 sounds about right to me.

downtownlad said...

The intelligent thing to do is wait for the Army investigation to complete. - Revenant

What a load of crap. Every right-wing wingnut blog has been attacking Beauchamp, inclding invading into details of his personal life, for the last week.

You still don't have one piece of evidence to back up your false charges except for one piece of evidence provided by the New Republic.

This is because of my pesky experiences in a war zone (one year), and living day by day with enlisted men and officers (three years). - vnjagvet

Oh that's right. Our soldiers couldn't have possibly done anything wrong.

Now explain this - http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=6445f9fdd7

From what I have read - and I have read it all - there is only one soldier who backs-up his story and he is unnamed so he has no more credibility than Beauchamp. - nsc

Well obviously you haven't read it all. From The New Republic Press release.

Most important, we spoke with five other members of Beauchamp's company, and all corroborated Beauchamp's anecdotes, which they witnessed or, in the case of one solider, heard about contemporaneously. (All of the soldiers we interviewed who had first-hand knowledge of the episodes requested anonymity.)

downtownlad said...

Rev, you have to be careful. Wanting the scumbucket element of the military punished for being bad means you don't support the troops.- Synova.

No Synova. You support the scumbucket element of the military. You supported those who commited atrocities as Abu Ghraib. And you support the members of Beauchamp's troops who wear children's skulls on their head and who kill dogs for fun.

You just don't support Beauchamp - because he dared to write about it.

Revenant said...

What a load of crap. Every right-wing wingnut blog has been attacking Beauchamp, inclding invading into details of his personal life, for the last week.

First of all, whining that a guy who published a story of his mockery of a war victim has had his personal life "invaded" is just stupid. He's a public figure publicly admitting to atrocious behavior. He has no expectation of privacy.

Secondly, what we've been saying for the past while is that Beauchamp is a liar and a scumbag. Well, it has been proven that he's a scumbag. Whether or not he's a liar is still up in the air.

What we have NOT been claiming -- or at least, what I have not been claiming -- is that it is a proven fact that Beauchamp is a liar. You're trying to claim that TNR has now proven that he was telling the truth. That's moronic; nothing has been proven, least of all by that leftie rag. Anonymous "confirmation" related by the very people accused of wrongdoing doesn't even count as EVIDENCE, let alone proof.

Last week when Beauchamp's identity went public, military bloggers and war supporters condemned him and expressed our opinion that he was a liar. Nothing has happened since then to refute that view; indeed, it has been partially confirmed, since he has now admitted to lying about having been driven to mockery of the wounded by his experiences in war.

Revenant said...

Most important, we spoke with five other members of Beauchamp's company

Read the whole article, dipshit.

You'll see that the actual atrocities had one anonymous "witness" each. The rest of the five only confirmed that a graveyard had been found -- something which nobody had claimed was false, and which military bloggers had already confirmed was true.

downtownlad said...

Revenant - Nobody was claiming that Beauchamp is a saint.

The right wing blog has been claiming first, that he didn't exist. Then when that was proven wrong, they claimed he wasn't a real soldier. They then had some scumbag intern at TNR attempt to leak his name. So Beauchamp outed himself. Then, after they were proven wrong that he did indeed exist and was a soldier that served - they went after his wife.

And you approve of that tactic?

Then they claimed that the entire story was a lie. They said the cemetary was a lie. They said it was IMPOSSIBLE for a soldier to wear it as a hat. They said a Bradley couldn't possibly kill a dog. They said that NO soldier would ever kill a dog, i.e. IMPOSSIBLE to happen. They also said it was IMPOSSIBLE for a soldier to make fun of a disfigured woman.

Pretty rediculous claims to make if you ask me, because writing about soldiers making jokes about women or mistreating dogs or making fun of a skeleton is really not that hard to imagine. And it's not even really that shocking. Who really cares? These guys are fighting a war, and I'm sure they have some strange ways of dealing with stress.

Now the right-wing blogs are using disgusting anti-gay language saying "FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG!" to insult Beauchamp.

Do you support that tactic as well?

Maybe when you get some real evidence that TNR and Beauchamp were lying, you can talk. In the meantime, the bulk of his essay (and it was good one by the way - you should read it) is correct. It was a freaking diary for Christ's sake, not a news story.

So stop trying to make this story about Beauchamp's character. That's not what this was about.

He's a soldier fighting a war. And the right has chosen to bring him down because they don't agree with him.

Disgusting.

downtownlad said...

Revenant - Aren't you bored? Why don't you go gay-bashing. It's a Friday night and we know that's your favorite hobby.

vnjagvet said...

Oh that's right. Our soldiers couldn't have possibly done anything wrong.

Again, dtl, you use freshman argument techique. Set up a straw man and knock it down.

I did not say or imply that soldiers couldn't possibly have done anything wrong. That would be a naive statement that I would never make. Indeed, I spent a goodly portion of my four years in the service prosecuting soldiers who did wrong things.

The questions before this group are whether the bad things Beauchamp said happened in fact happened at all, and, if so, whether those bad things happened the way Beauchamp said they happened?

It is those questions and those questions alone I answer in the negative.

Harkonnendog said...

Everyone who wants to believe what TNR says has enough cover to believe it. Doyle needs very little to suspend his disbelief, and the Doyles are all TNR cares about.

Stephen Glass did not teach TNR to fact check, he taught TNR to cover for their "reporters" no matter what, because the Doyles will believe anything that confirms their narrative.

After all, the very base of Doyle's narrative is the belief that there is no capital T Truth, only competing narratives.

downtownlad said...

VNJAGVET - Funny, when Abu Ghraib came out, the right wing nutosphere went ballistic. Not about the atrocities and torture. But that they were reported.

Hmm - Wonder which side you were on?

Harkonnendog said...

Downtown lad your characterizations of blogs talking about this are just a bunch of lies.

Not that I care about whether you lie or not, but there may be some people here who don't read blogs, who actually believe you.

downtownlad said...

The questions before this group are whether the bad things Beauchamp said happened in fact happened at all, and, if so, whether those bad things happened the way Beauchamp said they happened?

Bullshit. The argument on the right was that it was IMPOSSIBLE for soldiers to do anything that bad. Thus, it couldn't possibly be true. Which was a dumbass argument if you ask me. Of course soldiers can do dumb things.

That's still your argument. TNR has supporting evidence that all of the incidents have taken place. The only discrepency now is that one of them took place in Kuwait instead of Iraq. But it still happened.

Now until you have some real evidence saying otherwise, you are just speculating. It's funny, you have ZERO qualms making charges against TNR and Beauchamp when you have zero facts to back you up.

Until then - I'd get your facts in order before making charges against Beauchamp.

downtownlad said...

Downtown lad your characterizations of blogs talking about this are just a bunch of lies. - Harkendog.

You're the liar. Name one mischaracterization of mine. And I'll find you evidence to prove to everyone that you're a complete and utter moron.

Cedarford said...

Doyle - But the reason the wingnuts demanded an investigation was because the story made the US military look bad. Can you imagine a similar investigation into the accounts of pro-war soldiers?

In fact, the not "pro-war", but honorable, extraordinary deeds of America's men and women at war are vetted. Occasionally, they muff it, journalists or Army, in investigating John Kerry's 2 fake purple hearts, Pat Tillman getting a phony silver star, LBJ getting a phony silver star, or journalist's "fake but accurate" investigation into GW Bush's service as a high-risk F-102 pilot rated in the top 3% of his peers.

Making it more applicable to Doyle, there is no need to investigate reports of his "good deeds" like Doyle supporters saying he gave a wino a 10 buck bill in front of a crowd of liberals as much as a report that Doyle savagely anally raped a young boy as a crowd of Lefties watched on and didn't report it.

downtownlad said...

Here's the youtube that Sullivan posted.

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

Yeah - I'm sure it would have been IMPOSSIBLE for Beauchamp to write about a few incidents of soldiers acting stupid. SURELY he had to make them all up.

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

Vnjagvet - So what did Beauchamp do that was so horrible?

Please tell.

Harkonnendog said...

Here's your assertion Downtownlad:

"The argument on the right was that it was IMPOSSIBLE for soldiers to do anything that bad."

Go to work, lol.

EnigmatiCore said...

Downtownlad,

I take Beauchamp at his word that he did the things he said he did, even if he got the timing wrong and apparently overstated massively how many people were aware of what he did.

Which makes Beauchamp a monster. Heck, that was his own word, only he blamed Iraq for making him that way.

Only he now admits his actions were before Iraq, at least the most incomprehensible of them.

So he was a monster before, of his own volition.

If you want to defend him, that's fine. You are defending a monster. If you want to hold him up as an example of what a progressive soldier is like, I would have argued in the past, but with how much effort the progressives are making towards defending this prick, I guess he really must represent exactly who they are.

vnjagvet said...

dtl:

I was in favor of a full investigation and punishment for any perps at AG and those who ignored warning signals there, if any.

Further, I was not critical of honest coverage, as I think that that is the type of thing that should be fully exposed to the public.

As noted above, I prosecuted some jerks as bad as the bad guys and gals there. The investigations and trials were wide open to the press back then and they should have been. I do not think much has changed from what I read.

Whatever "right wing blogs" have said, I am merely presenting to you what I think. I am not a right wing blog, nor am I right wing. I am a vet with strong views of appropriate military behavior.

Beauchamp has not exhibited it IMHO.

PS: I think I am as qualified as anyone, including dtl, to have an opinion about this.

Whether that opinion is right or wrong, I will leave to the readers.

Synova said...

Considering that just about everyone believes that Abu Ghraib was only ever investigated because reporters broke the story I simply can't *imagine* why pro-military people would be upset.

downtownlad said...

Harkendog - Done.

Here ya go.

http://powerlineblog.com/archives/018282.php

Money quote:

"The skull-hat tale raised some mental red flags on my end, simply because of Thomas's timeline. The thought of a soldier (a) so grossly and openly violating the UCMJ and (b) wearing human remains for the better part of the day without an NCO or an officer spotting him is absolutely unbelievable."

Synova said...

So DTL...

Suppose someone wrote a story about something bad done by homosexuals. Homosexuals are people and they do bad things sometimes, right? So suppose someone wrote about, oh, an incident at a gay bar where someone did this bad thing and you read it and it seemed like the person telling the story couldn't have been in a gay bar at all because all of the details were wrong.

The people in the bar acted in a way that didn't seem authentic to you, a gay person.

So you said this can't be true. It doesn't make sense. The details are wrong and the portrayal of the *culture* which you know about is just all wrong.

And then it turns out that a gay person did do the thing described but in a different location, in a different situation, and in a way that clearly didn't prove that this bad thing was actually and really a part of gay culture.

Can you get your mind around that analogy?

Harkonnendog said...

this is another classic:

"Now the right-wing blogs are using disgusting anti-gay language saying "FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG!" to insult Beauchamp."

Matt Sanchez is the one whose sexual preference was brought up by Media Matters and the Nation.

vnjagvet said...

DTL asks what was so wrong about what Beauchamp.

First, he misrepresented that by being stationed in Iraq, and living next to GI's there, he had been turned into an insensitive, nasty person that would insult a female disfigured by an IED.

His unstated premise was that he had been exposed to such horrors and such callous colleagues that his behavior was "par for the course" among Iraq troops.

That story is false not in detail but in the main and surely in its intended point. That it is false in that regard is proven from Beauchamp's latest admissions. As such, it quite simply libels his colleagues.

I think this is wrong, dtl, in case that is not obvious.

downtownlad said...

If you want to defend him, that's fine. You are defending a monster. If you want to hold him up as an example of what a progressive soldier is like, I would have argued in the past, but with how much effort the progressives are making towards defending this prick, I guess he really must represent exactly who they are. - Enigmatic core

Who's defending what he did? Please find me ONE left-wing blog that is defending this guy's actions. Heck - not even Beauchamp is defending his actions.

But that's not what this was about. Beauchamp wrote an article about some silly and juvenile things that some soldiers did. And he felt ashamed about it. Big. Freaking. Deal.

What I'm upset about is that the right-wing blogs have called him a liar and doubted his very existence from day one - WITHOUT ONE IOTA OF EVIDENCE.

And they have the gall to say TNR is not fact checking.

My whole point is that they should fact check themselves before throwing stones - before destroying a soldier's life.

And just because Beauchamp did one dumb thing (making fun of a wounded woman) does not make him evil. It does not make him a bad person. And to judge his entire existence, to defame his character, to delve into the private life of his wife, to use gay-bashing against Beauchamp.

THAT my friend is evil.

downtownlad said...

VNJAGVET - I think he used the disfured girl story to purposely make it look like he was NOT criticizing his fellow soldiers, because he did bad stuff too.

Are you saying that war has zero impact on our soldiers. That killing people day after day has zero impact on their psyche.

That's absurd.

I have nothing against the soldiers who killed dogs or wore a child's skull on their head. Pretty minor in the scheme of things, since it happened in the middle of a war. And entirely forgivable.

If it happened outside of a war, I'd be less forgiving.

I still don't think you even his essay.

Harkonnendog said...

Rofl! No wonder you believe TNR if that's your standard of evidence. So now one quote from one post by one blog is evidence that

"The argument on the right was that it was IMPOSSIBLE for soldiers to do anything that bad."

LOL!!! By that standard, yeah, everything in that TNR piece has been proven true, beyond any doubt whatsoever. Not only that, Stephen Glass's pieces were true too.

downtownlad said...

Should we delve into the private life of these soldiers?

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

Why not? Why is it ok to destroy Beauchamp's life, but not these guys?

EnigmatiCore said...

"Please find me ONE left-wing blog that is defending this guy's actions."

I never said you were defending his actions, although the lack of condemnation for his actions and his responsibility for his actions is rather striking.

Rather, I said that you guys were defending him. Why you would invest so much in doing so truly escapes me. You guys truly want to show that no one should mess with one of your own. Well, part of that is the implicit acceptance that he is one of your own.

If he is not, then flush him like the piece of shit he is.

Synova said...

Which of those things have been shown to be not true, DTL?

a) maybe if you insist that "openly" just means someone picked up a bone and played with it and one other person saw him.

b) explain how someone can wear a "skull cap" all day and not be noticed by an NCO or officer?

The two things together are absolutely unbelievable.

downtownlad said...

Harkendog - It was Powerline - and it linked to about six other blogs saying the same thing.

That was the standard line on right wing blogs about a week and a half ago. That our wonderful soldiers couldn't have possibly done such a thing, therefore the story must be fake.

Then they moved the goalposts. And suddenly it wasn't written by a solider.

Then they moved it again - and the soldier couldn't be in Iraq.

Then they moved it again - and Beauchamp was a soldier - ok - but he was lying.

Then they moved the goalposts again - and now his wife and TNR planted him there just to make up stories.

Then they moved the goalposts again - and a skull can't fit under a helmet. And a Bradley can't run over a truck. And a soldier can't make jokes about a wounded woman.

They're still sticking to that story - although they've decided to say that Beauchamp is a FAG! FAG! FAG! and they have evidence and his marriage is a sham.

And so on, and so on, and so on.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Why is it ok to destroy Beauchamp's life, but not these guys?"

Actually, I am all fine with revealing to the world who those asshats are, so that they can suffer our scorn as well.

That said, Beauchamp is worse because not only was he cruel like them (although I suspect the kids had access to water; if not there would be a lot of dead kids strewn about for Beauchamp to wear their heads of like crowns) but because he then went to say that war made him that way, when the revised timeline shows he was already that way. In doing so, he tried to blame others for his own foibles, and that makes his awfulness worse.

Hoosier Daddy said...

And just because Beauchamp did one dumb thing (making fun of a wounded woman) does not make him evil.

Well we went from horribly scarred with a melted face to 'wounded'. Well in my book making fun of someone like that isn't dumb, its evil. Especially coming from someone who claims he did so because of the 'dehumanizing effect of war' and it turns out, had not seen a second of combat to that point.

That pal, is evil. And if you can't grasp that, then there is no point discussing it further. You believe your story I'll go with mine.

downtownlad said...

Harkendog - Meet Synova.

She can explain to you how it is impossible for the incidents that Beauchamp described to have happened.

I never said you were defending his actions, although the lack of condemnation for his actions and his responsibility for his actions is rather striking.

Why is it striking. Testosterone and 120 degree weather and war and boredom will make guys do stupid things. Big. Freaking. Deal.

So some stray dogs were killed. YAWN. It's no different than hunting if you ask me. And Muslims hate dogs anyway, so it is doubtful that it will build up any ill will in that country.

downtownlad said...

So I suppose Hoosier has never, in his entire life, made fun of a woman's looks. Never made fun of a woman who was fat, or had a big nose. Or never made fun of a midget.

Never in his entire life.

Yeah right.

Harkonnendog said...

"And they have the gall to say TNR is not fact checking."

TNR did NOT fact check. If they had, they would have known that the disfigured woman story did not happen in an FOB in Iraq when Beauchamp claimed it did. Rather, it happened in KUWAIT 9 months earlier, IF it happened at all.

Also, they would have known that no MASS GRAVE was found where Beauchamp claimed it was. Or maybe they figured a children's grave yards was the same thing.

TNR is a source you can trust, not that Matt Sanchez, after all he's homosexual.

EnigmatiCore said...

"And just because Beauchamp did one dumb thing (making fun of a wounded woman) does not make him evil."

Uh, yes, actually, it does.

Not as bad as flying planes into buildings, mind you, but pretty damn bad.

And killing dogs for fun isn't a sign of a good soul either, I might add.

The guy is rotten to the core.

If you want to defend him, then accept him as a good representative of who you are and what you think is not representative of evil.

Oh yeah, that's right. That is just what you are doing, if you meant to or not with your defense of him.

downtownlad said...

And killing dogs for fun isn't a sign of a good soul either, I might add.

Except Beauchamp never killed any dogs. His fellow soldiers did.

You OBVIOUSLY didn't read the essay.

But you have no problem making up LIES about him - by accusing him of killing dogs.

downtownlad said...

Also, they would have known that no MASS GRAVE was found where Beauchamp claimed it was. Or maybe they figured a children's grave yards was the same thing.

Harkendog obviously hasn't read the essay either.

EnigmatiCore said...

Ok, permit me to admit that I was projecting a bit on Beauchamp when I said he claimed to have run over dogs.

He claimed his buddies did, without him intervening. With him laughing about it, although after some time he wondered about what kind of monster he had become.

Because he laughed at things like that and because he taunted a badly injured woman for her wounds.

Except that he did that before heading to Iraq.

Because he is not evil.

Because he shares your ideology.

We all understand now, downtownlad. He's one of yours. Defend him to the last. Be proud to call him one of your ideological soul mates.

Synova said...

DTL, I just spent a couple of days following the comments on a very civilized liberal blog and listening to people without a single doubt in their mind explain with an air of authority just what exactly the military does to strip recruits of their humanity.

If you can't understand bigotry and the things that fuel it, I don't think I can help you.

What Beauchamp wrote in the *style* that he wrote it with the subtext that *he* put in it sounds ever so reasonable and confirming to the sorts that so kindly pointed out that war degrades and coarsens and does just this sort of thing to the people in it. Soldiers lose their ability to show compassion.

Not one guy who acts like a jerk.

Everyone.

Think of every gay stereotype out there.

Now think of every anti-military soldier stereotype out there.

Then think of a sweet church lady being oh so reasonable about how homosexuals simply can't help going after little boys.

Then think of a sweet and utterly compassionate soul explaining how soldiers can't really help being subhuman since the military taught them to kill without question.

If you say Beauchamp didn't have those things in his stories I can only say that people see them there and laud him as telling just exactly that "truth."

Harkonnendog said...

No Dwntnld,

I read the righty blogs pretty regularly. The original reaction was more like, "Hey, this smells, I bet this is bullshit. Soldiers aren't evil the way this guy paints them, and he has too many juicy details that fit in with the left's narrative that soldiers are either sociopaths or idiot victims. I bet this guy isn't even a soldier. But be careful, he might be a soldier, and remember that the fact that someone existed who could have been Jamil Hussein was enough for the left to say that every story he said was true."

Having said all that, I still don't believe somebody walked around with a child's skull on their head all day. Beauchamp, who has already been shown to be a bald liar at worst, and a heavy exaggerator at best, claims it is true. TNR backs him, claiming they have proof. I don't trust either source. It could be true, it could not be true. But I have zero reason to assume it is so, given the source.

Same goes for the Bradley allegations, and the face melting claims.

I'd rather believe Matt Sanchez, if I had to choose to believe someone.

downtownlad said...

Enigmaticcore - Please don't put words in my mouth.

And read the essay before commenting further on this matter.

Beauchamp himself admitted he was shocked that he made fun of the woman.

"Am I a monster? I have never thought of myself as a cruel person. Indeed, I have always had compassion for those with disabilities. I once worked at a summer camp for developmentally disabled children, and, in college, I devoted hours every week to helping a student with cerebral palsy perform basic tasks like typing, eating, and going to the bathroom. 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--to still be able to recognize that the things we soldiers found funny were not, in fact, funny.

Revenant said...

The right wing blog has been claiming first, that he didn't exist. Then when that was proven wrong, they claimed he wasn't a real soldier. They then had some scumbag intern at TNR attempt to leak his name.

Oh, "the right wing blog" did that, did it? Shame on "the right wing blog", whatever it is. The "right wing" blogs I read, like The Corner and (if you call it right wing) Instapundit, didn't do that.

More importantly, *I* didn't do that, so sniveling to me that "the right wing blog" was mean to that sick little Beauchamp loser is meaningless. You're demanding that I be held accountable for behavior I never engaged in, which is just silly. If some blog I don't read behaved badly I simply don't care.

Now the right-wing blogs are using disgusting anti-gay language saying "FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG!" to insult Beauchamp.

Trust you to find a way to bring your obsession with homophobia into this. Beauchamp mocks war victims to their face, invents a fake story about how his war experiences drove him to it, and uses the incident to jump-start his writing career at the expense of military morale... and all you care about is that some nameless blog you can't be bothered to link to called him a "fag". Typical.

downtownlad said...

Synova - You do realize that The New Repubic was PRO-INVASION at the start of the Iraq war, don't you?

Beauchamp wrote three essays for TNR. Were the others lies as well? Oh - that's right. His first essay made the insurgents look like monstors - so of course THAT essay must be true.

downtownlad said...

Revenant,

Michelle Malkin released the name of Beauchamp's wife to the public. Not to mention blogs such as Hugh Hewitt, Powerline, Hotair, etc. which all revelead the same info. Ace of Spades gay-bashed him today.

And I did link to it - but you're too stupid to see something that's right in front of your face.

Revenant said...

I like that downtownlad, like much of the leftie nutosphere, is now trying to spin Beauchamp as a whistleblower.

He didn't report the bad behavior -- his own or his fellow soldiers' -- to his superiors. He sold the tales -- complete with fabrications to fit a "war is dehumanizing" narrative -- to an opinion magazine, insisting that they not identify any of the wrongdoers by name or even identify which unit they were in. That's whistleblowing, is it? Interesting.

"Someone, somewhere in the army, wore a kid's skull for a hat!" Wow... thanks for that hot crime tip. We've been able to narrow our list of suspects down to "everyone who ever served in Iraq".

Harkonnendog said...

Dwntld:
"Harkendog obviously hasn't read the essay either."

These were Beauchamps words. "No one cared to speculate what, exactly, had happened here, but it was clearly a Saddam-era dumping ground of some sort."

Sounds like he's claiming it is a mass grave to me. I guess for some that's the same thing as a chidlren's graveyard. Here's TNR's so called "fact checking":

"But one military official told TNR that bones were commonly found in the area around Beauchamp's combat outpost. (This is consistent with the report of a children's cemetery near Beauchamp's combat outpost reported on The Weekly Standard website.)"

Synova said...

Ace called him a fag in response to the idiocy about Sanchez.

"However, if full and umblemished record of lifelong heterosexuality is now, according to lefties, some sort of requirement for reliability, well, it seems Scott Beauchamp's got a whole new credibility problem.

I'm so sick of the fucking left. If someone says something they don't like, they just bleat over and over "FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG!"

Well, fuck self-restraint. If that's the game we're playing, then game on."


In other words... the "left" started it.

Harkonnendog said...

Ace of Spades gay bashed in response to Media Matters and the Nations outing of Sanchez. You must know this if you actually read the post where they gay bashed. Here's the quote:

If lefties (such as Max Blumenthal, currently serving in the Peshewar area; google it, I won't link) want to say an allegedly gay dude's claims are inherently suspect because he digs on cock, then maybe they ought to address Beauchamp's apparent deficiencies in this area:

EnigmatiCore said...

"Please don't put words in my mouth."

Sorry if you find it inconvenient for me to point out how your statements fit together and what a reasonable explanation for your posts are.

As for your quote--

""Am I a monster? I have never thought of myself as a cruel person. Indeed, I have always had compassion for those with disabilities. I once worked at a summer camp for developmentally disabled children, and, in college, I devoted hours every week to helping a student with cerebral palsy perform basic tasks like typing, eating, and going to the bathroom. 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--to still be able to recognize that the things we soldiers found funny were not, in fact, funny."

Please remember that we now know two things about this. One, it happened before he went to Iraq, and two when he said that everyone in the room heard it and was laughing, that wasn't the case.

But actually, thanks for quoting that. Because that is the quote that makes it most clear that he was trying to slime soldiers, in general, by projecting his actions on to them.

So, downtownlad, answer a question honestly. When he said "the things we soldiers found funny", do you think he was trying to talk about him and his buddy, or do you think he was talking about soldiers in general finding things like mocking disfigured women, killing dogs, and wearing the skulls of dead kids to be funny?

Further, do you think many or most troops do find things like that funny? Do you think many or most troops are like Scott Beauchamp, at least up until the point where he starts being "reflective"? Do you think many or most troops are cruel? Yes or no?

downtownlad said...

"I like that downtownlad, like much of the leftie nutosphere, is now trying to spin Beauchamp as a whistleblower."

Keep lying Revenant. You're good at that.

I never said Beauchamp was a whistleblower. I said his essay was actually pretty mundane. Why the right-wing is flipping out about it is astounding actually.

Harkendog - Your quote from Beauchamp about the cemetary proves nothing. He's purely speculating on why the bones were there. So he speculated wrong. And???? It's irrelevant to the point he was talking about - that a soldier put the skull on his head. Why would it matter if it was a mass-grave from Saddam or a simple children's cemetary? What exactly is your point?

Revenant said...

Michelle Malkin released the name of Beauchamp's wife to the public.

I noted above that Beauchamp had no expectation of privacy, having forfeited that by going public with the tales of his own behavior. As it turned out, the revelation that he had married into the New Republic's fact-checking department was an important one.

In case you're missing the point: Malkin's action was, and is, praiseworthy. She performed actual journalism; TNR should look into the concept.

Ace of Spades gay-bashed him today.

The closest thing to a "gay bash" of Beauchamp I can find on that page is a reference to him as "Scott 'Three Queens' Beauchamp". Where's the "FAG! FAG! FAG! FAG!" you claimed had been posted on right-wing blogs (plural)?

downtownlad said...

Synova/Harkendog - Guess what. Anti-gay bigots like you don't get to choose when homophobia is happening.

Gay people get to decide.

Matt Sanchez - who is a male prostitute and is under investigation from fraud by the military is not the most reliable source. And Matt Sanchez also happens to be an anti-gay bigot. And he's a member of the military. So when it is revealed that he likes to suck cock on film, the gay community is allowed to call Matt Sanchez a hypocrite. They are allowed to question why anti-gay blogs suddenly rush to the defense of a gay criminal, only when he parrots their talking points. These anti-gay blogs want gays linguists kicked out of the military. But a gay porn star, prostitute gets a pass, because - SHOCK - he's self-loathing and attacks gay people.

That does not give Ace credence to attack Beauchamp with anti-gay insults.

But you're both anti-gay bigots. And you've probably convinced yourself that you're not. Thus - you will NEVER get it.

Harkonnendog said...

DTL,

My point is he's full of crap. There was no mass grave, nothing that was an "obvious dumping ground." Also, he was not transformed into a monster who makes fun of women whose faces were melted by war, he was like that before he went to war. My point is he's caught in two obvious lies, and only caught AFTER TNR is forced to fact check by righty blogs. So why should anyone believe anything else he says? Especially, why wouldn't you believe he's exagerrating wildly?

The only reasons I can think of are 1) you WANT to believe him
or
2) you trust TNR. But TNR has already proven itself full of shit. They claimed they fact checked before they ran the stories, but just happened to miss the fact that there was no Saddam-era dumping ground, and that there was no face-melted woman at the FOB. So TNR is full of shit.

So, why would you believe him?

Now, add to that, the fact that Matt Sanchez has claimed the army investigated Beauchamp's stories and decided they were full of shit. Why would you believe Beauchamp over Sanchez?

Revenant said...

I never said Beauchamp was a whistleblower.

You wrote the following:

you support the members of Beauchamp's troops who wear children's skulls on their head and who kill dogs for fun. You just don't support Beauchamp - because he dared to write about it.

So, yes, you said that Beauchamp was a whistleblower. You cooked up your usual lies about how war supporters like soldiers who commit atrocities, and said that the only reason we dislike Beauchamp is that he "dared to write about it".

A person who "dares to write" about atrocities he is personally aware of is called "a whistleblower".

vnjagvet said...

Yeah, dtl I read his essay. And I think I drew from it the point he intended to make.

The problem is that his method was disingenuous. Had he written an acknowledged fictional story using the same details, but it clearly would not have have the same impact in that form. So he used a purportedly non-fiction format, and fictionalized it. Why? To increase his journalistic/writing impact.

Many have written effective essays, fictional short stories, or novels about the horrors of war. Beauchamp could have written any of these. He did not. He chose the first person "I'm on the spot" voice used so effectively by Winston Churchill (Boer War) and Ernie Pyle (WWII). That was deceptive in my view. And it was wrong.

And it was not well written, I am sorry to say.

downtownlad said...

So, downtownlad, answer a question honestly. When he said "the things we soldiers found funny", do you think he was trying to talk about him and his buddy, or do you think he was talking about soldiers in general finding things like mocking disfigured women, killing dogs, and wearing the skulls of dead kids to be funny?

I not only think most soldiers would find it funny. I think the majority of the male population would find it funny if placed under the same circumstances.

Further, do you think many or most troops do find things like that funny? Do you think many or most troops are like Scott Beauchamp, at least up until the point where he starts being "reflective"? Do you think many or most troops are cruel? Yes or no?

Just because they laugh at incidents like this does not make them cruel. It makes them typical 20-year olds.

You know - like when Value Jet crashes into the Everglades and you make crocodile jokes for the next week at the watercooler. Big. Freaking. Deal.

Harkonnendog said...

I'm not an anti-gay bigot, you tool. My calibash brother is gay. I couldn't give a fuck about whether someone's gay or not, unless it is a woman, which is a mild turn on if the woman is hot.

And no, gays don't decide what constitutes homophobia, any more than any other minority gets to decide what constitutes bigotry towards that particlar minority. bashing. Gay bashing is gay bashing.

Here's your argument back at you. YOU'RE the anti-gay bigot, but you've decide you're not one, so YOU'LL never get.

Lol.

Harkonnendog said...

Btw, I don't find Sanchez particularly believable either. I just don't see why he's less believable than Beauchamp.

downtownlad said...

Sorry Harkendog - If you're defending Ace's post, which is one of the most homophobic rants I've read in a while, you're an anti-gay bigot.

And the fact that your brother is gay means absolutely nothing. Sorry.

My brother and sister and mother are three of the most homphobic people I have ever met.

Revenant said...

Anti-gay bigots like you don't get to choose when homophobia is happening. Gay people get to decide.

Yeah, but the collective opinion of three percent of the population only matters if a good chunk of the other 97% can be convinced to care.

You're welcome to squeal "homophobia! FAG FAG FAG FAG" all day long if you please, but nobody here is taking you seriously. You can flash your Official Gay Spokesperson card and pray we don't notice its a fake (since the other gay posters here seem to share the popular opinion that you're a jackass), but in the end you'll need to substitute an actual intelligent argument. Assuming you're capable of such.

EnigmatiCore said...

"My brother and sister and mother are three of the most homphobic people I have ever met."

With them having had to deal with you, I don't blame them, frankly.

Revenant said...

You know - like when Value Jet crashes into the Everglades and you make crocodile jokes for the next week at the watercooler. Big. Freaking. Deal.

In front of a person who lost family members in the crash? Big freaking deal, eh?

The revelation that you're as amoral as Beauchamp isn't actually much of a revelation, but I would expect you to have the wits to hide it. It undermines your argument, or would if you got around to making one.

downtownlad said...

Harkendog - I didn't say Beauchamp is believable. I've said that TNR has verified his stories with five other soldiers.

And until I see evidence otherwise, it is obscene to attack TNR.

And the essay is mundane and boring. But no matter. Because it's mildly anti-soldier, the right-wing blogosphere goes into full-blown attack mode.

They reveal his identify. They reveal his wife's identify. They make personal insinuations about him. They attack gay people (just for the fun of it) as a way of attacking Beauchamp.

Disgusting - And more evil than anything Beauchamp has ever done.

downtownlad said...

So Revenant is now resorting to gay bashing to attack my arguments.

Shocker.

downtownlad said...

Let's see Revenant.

YOU ENDORSE TORTURE.

You've endorsed torture time and time and time again on this blog.

Killing innocent people is a ok in your book - as long as they have brown skin.

If you want to see evil - take a look in the mirror.

Harkonnendog said...

DTLD,

Sorry but you're wrong. Refusing to be angry that people are discrediting Sanchez by discussing his sexuality shows you're an anti-gay bigot. Not being able to see that a post is written ironically to protest discrediting someone because they're gay says something else.

And I don't have a brother. A calabash brother is, er, like a brother you choose. Someone you grew up with who is as close as family. You'll believe what you like, but in this context it is kind of like you're accusing me of being a Nazi.

Harkonnendog said...

DTL,
"it is obscene to attack TNR."

That's the craziest assertion you've made yet. How in the world can it be obscene to attack a magazine? Especially one that has already admitted to massive errors it its past?

Cedarford said...

DTL - So I suppose Hoosier has never, in his entire life, made fun of a woman's looks. Never made fun of a woman who was fat, or had a big nose. Or never made fun of a midget.

Never in his entire life.

Yeah right.



Yeah, right indeed, DTL. If you ever tried taunting and abusing a war-wounded female comrade on an American Military Base - your only shot, your only hope is an officer like me, or a NCO - that despite their emotions, would do their duty to take you to a safe place, rather than permit the troops to crunch your face in with rifle butts.

In the 6 years I served, I never saw such a thing. I took 1 white racist and 2 black ones to Capatains mast, but I never saw any soldier engaged in monstrous abuse of a female comrade over facial injuries.

I admit that I would have had a hard time taking and escorting such a perverted creature to safety, from his fellow troops - rather than let soldiers's justice play out.

And I for one don't believe that any part of Beauchamp and his fabulist friend abusing a female witb war wounds is any truer than Beauchamp, torn and ravaged and degraded by the "ravages of pre-combat" is any likelier that Beauchamp and his fantasy buddy engaged in a loud attack on "dumb nigger females" to their faces in a mess hall.

YOu just don't mock, berate and abuse a fellow comrade in a war zone in a room with hundreds of other people present anymore than you wear corpse parts for day in front of a military band of brothers.

Finally, DTL, you seem to both want and invite gay-bashing as a Jewish gay who sticks his nose in everyone else's business and slimes & denounces them...begging for a beating.
My suggestion is if you are into Jewish self-loathing as a child who failed his parents, dishonored them, was incapable of giving them grandkids and so deserve punishment and scorn......

That you at least have the decency to pay for your guilty S&M needs, and take the punishment you want from gay pros that will torture you until you feel better about being a letdown to all that once had their hopes invested in you.

Come on, Downtown, less defense of a troop-smearing Lefty, more time for you playing eager "bottom" to a gay stud in Nazi gear!!!

From Inwood said...

Guys

One thing is certain: dtl is not a real debater.

Make that two things: he is determined to be the last person commenting on this thread.

Q: If dtl & a few other TNR true believers could organize their thoughts & send them in to a magazine would “their editorial boards” print any of it? Would they be demanding to know why dtl is so intent on keeping up his marshalling of non-responses, non proof, irrelevancies? Would they ask for something of substance other than that these stalwarts know that somewhere, somehow, out there some soldier is doing some bad things, such bad things caused by a bad war & a bad President, defended by bad Rightwing bloggers asking bad questions these stalwarts can’t answer because these bloggers & The Weekly Standard are really asking dtl & his merry band of Truthers to downplay dtl’s Truthiness about TNR’s Tuthiness about Scotty’s Truthiness. And anyway TNR has answered all rightwing nuts’, including The WS, objections to the article, as has TNR’s evasive, OOPS, pervasive Press Release & Queeg, er, dtl is extremely glad that you asked him because he wants to get his side of it all on the record.

Queeg, er, dtl plunged his hand into his coat pocket and brought out two glistening steel balls.

Queeg, er, dtl passed on to a review of the TNR article and the right-wing Blogosphere, which he said was a conspiracy to discredit him, TNR, & Scotty. Then he discussed the failures in the rightwing bloggers’ arguments, the incidents dating back to the battle of Brooklyn in the Revolutionary War detailing soldiers sounding like Joe Pesci doing bad things & he went on from point to point cataloging his grievances against the rightwing Blogosphere. He hardly paused for breath. He seemed unable to pause. His narrative became less distinct as he wrote, his jumps in time and place more sudden and harder to follow. He wrote on & on rolling the balls, his face glowing in satisfaction as he scored all these successive points in his, TNR’s & Scotty’s vindication.

Queeg, er, dtl went on & on this way & ended up “well, naturally I can only cover these things roughly from memory but if I’ve left anything out why you just ask me specific questions and I’ll tackle them one by one, but I believe I’ve hit the main points.”

Click, click went the steel balls.

(Apologies to H. Wouk, "The Caine Mutiny", Queeg Versus Greenwald.

downtownlad said...

Refusing to be angry that people are discrediting Sanchez by discussing his sexuality shows you're an anti-gay bigot.

Um sorry - harkendog - they are criticizing Sanchez because he's a male PROSTITUTE. That's illegal if you didn't know. And it's offensive that you're implying that being a prostitute is the same thing as being gay.

And Matt Sanchez does not claim to be gay. He has gone on anti-gay homophobic rants. He defends don't ask, don't tell. Yet, he thinks its ok for him to suck cock and still serve in the army. And his pals Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and Ace of Spades say the same thing. Yet they then advocate for kicking out gay linguists. They then advocate for passing Constitutional Amendments against gay people.

So sorry - if Matt Sanchez is going to do that, and deny being gay - I have zero problem saying - oh by the way - here's a PUBLIC interview of your "straight" spokesman.

http://www.kristenbjorn.com/BBS/LaBranche.html

vnjagvet said...

Kinda fun trying to engage DTL in real debate.

Slippery characters like him seem to expose their character as things get more heated.

downtownlad said...

Finally, DTL, you seem to both want and invite gay-bashing as a Jewish gay who sticks his nose in everyone else's business and slimes & denounces them...begging for a beating.
My suggestion is if you are into Jewish self-loathing as a child who failed his parents, dishonored them, was incapable of giving them grandkids and so deserve punishment and scorn......

That you at least have the decency to pay for your guilty S&M needs, and take the punishment you want from gay pros that will torture you until you feel better about being a letdown to all that once had their hopes invested in you.

Come on, Downtown, less defense of a troop-smearing Lefty, more time for you playing eager "bottom" to a gay stud in Nazi gear!!!


Another disgusting anti-gay rant from Cedarford. Perhaps his best yet. And he wonders how someone could possibly make fun of a female soldier. After he attacks every single gay person in the country with his disgusting slurs.

I'll let Ann digest that one tonight when she reads the comments.

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

vnjagvet: Kinda fun trying to engage DTL in real debate.

I was wondering where those last 100 comments came from.

Synova said...

If gay people get to decide what is homophobia then military vets get to decide what is slandering the military.

I can live with that.

downtownlad said...

And "from inwood" joins into the fun, calling me "queer" (purposely misspelling it) about three times.

Like I said - if you disagree with the right wing nutsos - they go for the politics of personal destruction.

It is so fun to watch them get into the gutter.

downtownlad said...

Synova - You're the one attacking the troops, not me.

Synova said...

I'll let troops decide if I'm attacking the troops, DTL.

Those are your rules and I'm sticking to them. You don't get to decide if I'm attacking my fellow veterans or troops. They do and I do.

Synova said...

Oh, and I don't think you're attacking the troops.

I think Beauchamp was... what do they call it? I learned a new term lately, Blue Falcon? A buddy f**cker.

I think Beauchamp was slandering every man and woman on his FOB.

downtownlad said...

Well Synova - If you weren't an anti-gay bigot helping to get anti-gay bigoted laws passed, I would actually be allowed to serve my country.

So I guess I'll just end this by adding that all soldiers are anti-gay bigots. Including Beauchamp.

From Inwood said...

dtl

Er, "Queeg" (probably a play on Melville's Queequeg, in Moby Dick; God knows what you think that title refers to) is the name of the main character in one of the best novels of WW II.

It is not a codename for "queer".

Click, click go the steel balls.

This is about par for your version of fact checking.

Kinda takes all the fun out of parodying you when you are too uninformed to understand the parody.

Click, click go the steel balls.

Bye Bye.

From Inwood said...

Guys

Gresham's Law (God knows what dtl thinks that is a code word for) of Blogging has set in. I'm leaving this thread.

Click, click go the steel balls.

Kevin said...

downtownlad:

So I guess I'll just end this by adding that all soldiers are anti-gay bigots.


LOL. Your postings read like a caricature. Of something.

Pogo said...

Scott Thomas Beauchamp and The New Republic are a disgrace. Beauchamp faces a tough few weeks ahead, and maybe some time in jail. TNR will admit nothing, or claim to have been vindicated, if only because Beauchamp was a soldier in Iraq, though nothing else was true.

Thucydides, in writing the history of the Peloponnesian War warned that in war
"Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them."
When words lose their meaning, language is corrupted, and culture collapses. The foucauldian decontruction of thought first fomented in universities is now the standard of practice in the media. The desired narrative now completely trumps truth, and truth thereby ceases to exist.

Pravda never really died. Its methods were merely co-opted by the US media.

vnjagvet said...

DTL:

At least you could respond to my last post. I was not engaging you in anything but reasoned debate. No ad hom or anything. Yet you seemed to rather respond to flaming than reason.

That says something.

Cedarford said...

Come come, DTL!

You are Jewish, and a self-loathing gay one at that.
You have written about how family and relatives rejected you.

Such guilt.

So you play out your guilt in safe ways, cruisin' for a bruising to give you the proper punishment you know you deserve and crave....and so you can emerge from whatever fights you pick... with bitchy squeals of "Gay Bashing! Gay Bashing!"

Come on, DTL, you may have Jewish guilt about what a huge disappointment you were to your mother. But why bring your "issues" to strangers?

Why not pay the gay S&M guy in Nazi gear to thump your ignorant ass?
Why not just walk up to a bar full of gay truck drivers or tough black studs and show them you are the potty-mouth little bitch you are, just looking for a beating and rough sex from "The Bears" of the homosexual community?
Could it be you are scared of the "real gay deal" and just do "practice runs" on the Internet to prep yourself for the punishment you deserve because your parents and Rabbi considered you perverted?

Why not just check your act out with the gay Bear-Man you covet so?
Why spend time on the Internet when you could present your little greased bottom to blacks who enjoy slapping Jewish gay guys around and taking them on the "Down-low"?

Come on, bitch boy! Come on!

vnjagvet said...

Gawd Cedarford, you don't like him, do you?

Jeff said...

Wow. Just wow. Well, if the new standard for fact checking is TNR, I look forward to the apologies from everyone who accused Bush of being AWOL since that threshold has been vastly surpassed by the Bush side.

I am sure all that TNR reported is true, except for the mocking of the woman part, and the Bradley driver targeting dogs part and the wearing of the skull all day part. Other than that, total truth. Or a greater truth if you will.

So if a gay guy links to a source, that source is compromised? I got that right? How about if another news outlet links to the same source? Does it still have the taint of gay porn attached to it? How about if a gay porn guy goes anti bush and anti war? Has he reclaimed his credibility?
"conservative blogger claims sun comes up in east"
DTL "FAG FAG FAG. SUCKS COCK. SUN PROVEN TO COME UP IN WEST. TNR HAS ANONYMOUS SOURCE. STUPID NEOCON FAGS. STUPID ANTIGAY BIGOTS"
Otherwise is it lifetime baggage and he only allowed to do gay porn for the rest of his days, since clearly you just cant walk away from it to any other career? So many rules.
Oh, and DTL can serve his country in the military. Just have to give up being a practicing homosexual. Stupid rule, I know. Personally I have nothing against gay people getting married or serving in the military. Make my cousin and some friends suffer the pains of divorce like the rest of us. See if they like loosing half their stuff. But you are not prohibited from serving in the military.
Does it ever occur to you that people you meet day to day just don't like you? That maybe it has nothing to do with being gay?
Christ, sometimes I wonder if DTL isnt really a conservative Moby.

Revenant said...

YOU ENDORSE TORTURE. You've endorsed torture time and time and time again on this blog.

I endorse the use of torture when it is the lesser of two evils, sure. Only an idiot would think that means I endorse Abu Ghraib or defiling cemetaries, though... oh, wait. That explains why you think I endorse those things. The world makes sense again.

Killing innocent people is a ok in your book - as long as they have brown skin.

"Torture the guilty" and "kill the innocent" aren't synonymous, but whatever. I'm glad to see you've branched out from nonsensical accusations of gay-bashing to nonsensical accusations of racism, though. Good for you.

Revenant said...

Wow. Just wow. Well, if the new standard for fact checking is TNR, I look forward to the apologies from everyone who accused Bush of being AWOL since that threshold has been vastly surpassed by the Bush side.

Oh, even better than that, Jeff. You see, the Bush Administration swears that it double-checked its sources, and they agree that Iraq definitely had weapons of mass destruction and posed a clear threat to the United States.

So that clears that up. Now that we know that it is an unquestionable fact that Iraq really did have WMDs, the only question is what happened to them. Someone must have... TAKEN them! Let's invade Syria, they might be there.

Cedarford said...

vnjagvet said...
Gawd Cedarford, you don't like him, do you?


Yeah, I'm a little sick of him and his passive-aggressive "I'm a gay victim" act.

He comes into a civil conversation, insults the hell out of everyone, then any ad hominems directed at him are instantly converted in his twisted mind into DTL accusations of "Bigot! Gay Basher!" and so on.
Anyone that opposes gay marriage or supports the soldiers honestly, (not the Lefts faux "Of course I support the baby-killers in the American military") - gets called a Gay-Hater.

Well, apologies to Jeff's brother and the 99% of gays out there that are decent human beings - but DTL has cruised for a bashing ever since he started posting. I have gay friends, co-workers, had a gay enlisted man or two in my division back when...My family's favorite restaurant is run by four flambouyantly gay men. Normally, I don't consider it important at all and think every gay person is entitled to respect and dignity like any other person....unless they make a quest out of shoving their militant gayness and fake outrage in everyone's face - as DTL does.

Especially after he viciously attacks an "incorrect-thinking" gay as a Fag, a cocksucker, a prostitute.

My speculation is he wants it, he seeks & needs that bashing because he is self-loathing and feels deep down he needs the punishment.

My plea to him is why do so half-ass? Be a simple Internet-only wuss of gay self-victimization? He should seek satisfaction of his "special" needs in the gay community. Plenty of S&M professionals, "rough sex" seeking big, hairy Gay Bears, and black toughs on the "down-low" - to give him the abuse he craves for letting himself and family down..To have his self-disgust and guilt pounded, propitiated...out of him..There are no shortage of gay guys looking for a schmielish "bottom-boy" to boss around and abuse -so sweetly.

I know I'd happily slip a 50 to a gay pro Master in black leather and Nazi gear that would give DTL what he needs - as long as the Master sold tickets so people could watch the show..

Being gay, self-loathing, not too accomplished in life, and riddled with Jewish guilt is one twisted up package:

My brother and sister and mother are three of the most homphobic people I have ever met."

Is "homophobic" simply code for all the people you think would dislike you and be disappointed in you if they got to know you better, DTL? Like your family?
Have you tried a rabbi or psychologist to see if your fear is rational?

(I can see the rabbi. "Oy vey! Half an hour with this meshugganah and I can see his family has a point!")

Badger 6 said...

I don't have time to read all 167 comments, but have blogged about the likelihood of some of this stuff happening.

I have no doubt we have Soldiers more than capable of doing all the things Private Beauchamp described. However, as I have commented here before in regards to law school, Army training does not turn people into sociopathic punks with no regards to others, they arrive that way.

My main objection to the plausibility of these stories has been the indication of a massive break down of the chain of command. Not just within the Private's discrete unit,but on his FOB, now to include Camp Buehring. I suppose that their are people out there that believe that is what has happened along time ago, but I would suggest that those people have ideological construct that is not informed by the current situation here in Iraq and whatever I say will not persuade you. My experience has not indicated that such a breakdown on a massive scale has occurred.

The anonymity for honesty meme is also quite tiring. I have blogged extensively about the war and while I have some clear pro-mission opinion pieces on my blog, you will also find many entries that are simply about life here both on and off the FOB.

Of course I am a Captain, an officer, so I must be "the man." I have a Soldier who blogs at http://acutepolitics.blogspot.com. I invite you to visit his blog and email him and ask him how much censorship he has experienced.

The fact is that outside of Operational Security (OPSEC) issues there is no meaningful censorship. Private Beauchamp's problem of course is that he was admitting to violating standards and norms within the US Army that would have led to reprecussions if he admitted to them. He wanted the attention of being a writer without the consequences of his misdeeds.

NSC said...

Way too many comments to read since I went to bed last night, but in case it hasn't been mentioned Confederate Yankee has reported that the Army's investigation found Beauchamp's stories to be FALSE. Not part of his stories. All of his stories. And they were not iffy. Not exagerations. Not partially true. Not unverifiable. They were FALSE.

False.

He lied. TNR enabled his lies. All the rest is bullcrap.

Can we move on now?

Bruce Hayden said...

In this long thread, I was frankly surprised that TNR and Beauchamp lost as badly as they did. Usually, the trolls are out in force, and I personally don't consider DTL anywhere near that category. And he wasn't here either.

I see the TNR stuff as part of the same meta message that Kerry pushed to Congress some 35 years ago (and which ultimately lost him the election, IMHO), that war is hell, and that brings out the worst in men, and, most relevantly, in American soldiers.

I would not be surprised if Vietnam did have a lot more breakdowns in command. After all, a lot of the men over there were not there by choice, esp. in the later years. Obviously never at anywhere the level that Kerry was claiming, but some likely did happen.

The difference here is that our military is all volunteer now, and as a result, is far more professional than ever before. So, stuff that might have been done by draftees in a bygone era is just not tolerated any more.

But what probably did in Beauchamp here were people like Badger 6 below who have been there, in Iraq, and in his case, in command. That sort of thing just isn't tolerated. What triggered scrutiny was mostly that just too many details were implausible for the situations, according to those who have been there.

For example, yes, you can maybe apparently hit a dog with a Bradley. But you had better not try doing it with a load of combat ready soldiers on board. It is not that it is dangerous for the dog, but rather, that it is dangerous for the soldiers riding in the back.

I am not surprised to find that some of the stuff that was alleged to have happened in Iraq really happened in Kuwait, where Beauchamp may not have had a Badger 6, and his junior officers and NCOs keeping an eye on him.

Of course, abu Ghraib was the same meta message. And there was some truth to that. But what is routinely missed by the references to that is that it was already under investigation when the story broke. There was a breakdown in command, and ultimately some soldiers ended up serving hard time, and the discipline ran all the way up to their commanding general.

The other thing to keep in mind is the number of soldiers, etc. who have rotated through combat zones in this war, with barely any whiff of impropriety. As Badger 6 points out, the soldiers mostly have unprecedented ability to get news out (as long as it doesn't affect operation security). Yet, the fact that so many hundreds of thousands of soldiers, Marines, etc. have served there, and that many of them are the same ages as those in college, is significant in itself. They are far, far, better disciplined than their peers in college back in the States. Almost like day and night. So, even if DTL cuts them some slack because of their ages, their commanders, like Badger 6, don't.

dick said...

What I want DTL to address is the fact that the DADT policy of the military is because of a law passed by the democratically controlled Congress and Senate in the first term of Clinton and signed by Clinton. Now all of a sudden it is all because of the homophobic right wing part of the country. If he is so adamantly against DADT and wants to serve his country, he has a majority of the House and the Senate on his side to pass it. Get to work.

Of course that also means you would have to give up accusing the right wing of doing all this but I am sure that you realize that it was the LLL dems who passed this legislation in the first place and a LLL dem president who signed it into law. I am sure that when he does the fact checking (he does fact check, doesn't he??) he will realize the truth of this and acknowledge that his claims were false but in the pursuit of truth and honesty he will be sure to do that.

TMink said...

DTL wrote: "My brother and sister and mother are three of the most homphobic people I have ever met."

Sorry, that sucks.

It also explains a lot about your posts. How you see anti-gay bigotry in most people who disagree with you for instance.

Trey

Hoosier Daddy said...

So I suppose Hoosier has never, in his entire life, made fun of a woman's looks. Never made fun of a woman who was fat, or had a big nose. Or never made fun of a midget.

Um, maybe when I was 8 but then I grew up and matured. What's Beauchamp's excuse since he can't use the 'dehumanizing effects of the war'.

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

Hoosier Daddy: Um, maybe when I was 8 but then I grew up and matured. What's Beauchamp's excuse since he can't use the 'dehumanizing effects of the war'.

How about this for an excuse - he copped an urban legend! And, better still, TNR knew it, and reported otherwise! Ha! This story just gets better and better!

Hey lefties, don't spend your thirty pieces of silver all in one place.