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The New Republic questions report that Beauchamp recanted

From The Plank (the New Republic blog):

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

--The Editors

Update: Michael Goldfarb responds to TNR with an observation and a few questions.

Update II: John at Op-For makes some relevant observations about the seeming discrepancies between the Army statements and those of TNR. Hugh Hewitt says TNR is walking farther out on the "plank" running the CBS/Dan Rather playbook.

Update III: In one part of this this extensive post Bob Owens goes back to the Beauchamp stories published at TNR prior to "Shock Troops" and points out some of the fact checking that could have been done easily and quickly, but evidently was not. Read it all.


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Comments (64)

Was this denial they're dis... (Below threshold)
BrandonInBatonRouge:

Was this denial they're discussing faxed to them by Lucy Ramirez from a Kinko's location in Texas?

It seems that my initial th... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

It seems that my initial thoughts on the case are echoed by the dear Captain:

Second and more important, it seemed to me that the pushback on this story was out of proportion to Beauchamp's significance (and for that matter, TNR's as well).

Still, there is something of an overkill about this story that bothers me. It's not as if we can argue that cruelty doesn't occur in war. Of course it does; when it happens, our military investigates and punishes it. Baldilocks talked about this at length earlier in the story, and she's right. That's what separates us from our enemies. We prosecute cruelty, while they encourage it.

TNR doesn't have the influence it once had, and the stories that Beauchamp told really amounted to petty mischief more than war crimes. The Nation had a much more damaging piece regarding the experiences of fifty Iraq War veterans who now oppose the effort. While I don't believe those anecdotes can be extrapolated to make the argument that our military has gone off the rails, they are more substantial than anything published by Beauchamp and TNR.

Captain Ed


Maybe dhoggs and marc and the rest should tell the Captain how wrong he is.

Overheard at TNR:<blo... (Below threshold)

Overheard at TNR:

Yes I Did! No You Di'int! Yes I Did! No You Di'int!

Brandon, lol!

Barney: Can you plea... (Below threshold)

Barney: Can you please use the Blockquote HTML styling when quoting someone else's material? It was hard to tell *intially* where Captain Ed's words ended and yours began.

No Barney. It is not a big ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

No Barney. It is not a big deal. Right. The left got caught AGAIN making up stories to show the military in a negative light. That's right, the same left that always starts with the mantra "I support the troops but..." before they start ripping. So, when they get caught doing what we conservatives know happens all the time, we will talk about it. It is validation for the MSM and liberal rags that don't care what happens as long as it hits republicans. Of course, you and your ilk will defend the rag. Also, USA Today said the stories were false. What would be appropriate is for you liberals to just hush up on this OR just say they were very wrong and blinded by the bias. ww

Interesting...TNR ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Interesting...

TNR is either right or they are big time going down in a blaze of shame.

I suspect the latter but then I continually overestimate the ability of the media to pull their asses out of a fire.

The Weekly Standard sure as hell better have their facts right or they will look like the biggest media fools yet.

Especially considering Bob Owens' work, my money in on the Weekly Standard.

But one of them is going down.

As usual, <a href="http://w... (Below threshold)
mantis:

As usual, cooler heads are refreshing compared to the fevered lunacy driving around in circles on this blog. Bill sums it up nicely for those who aren't so quick to jump:

Apparently the veracity or fabulism of the TNR pieces remains contested. This sets up a massive plate of crow for either the Weekly Standard or the New Republic.

Indeed. For those who have already made up their minds (on both sides), keep em moving, boys!

TNR quotes PAO Lamb as not ... (Below threshold)
Laddy:

TNR quotes PAO Lamb as not confirming the recantation yet have never cited his statement that all allegations were investigated and determined to be false. Also the PAO has previously stated that Beauchamp is free to discuss anything about the matter he wants. TNR is obfuscating and playing at semantics.

>compared to the fevered lu... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>compared to the fevered lunacy driving around in circles on this blog.

Can you point me to an example mantis?

The Silence of the Lamb?</p... (Below threshold)
Paul:

The Silence of the Lamb?

I wonder if Major Lamb is so pissed at TNR that he gave them this carefully worded non-committal quote hoping (knowing) they would play it up only to have more egg on their face.

I doubt a professional member of the military would play games with TNR... but then I don't. lol

Can you point me to an e... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Can you point me to an example mantis?

This post's thread is full of it, including the post itself, even though you temper it with

"Unless the Weekly Standard's source is way off base, it looks like the New Republic has egg on its face - again."

This allowance doesn't exactly jibe with the rest of your post, specifically:

The score stands at Weekly Standard 1, New Republic 0

The whole time he's telling the New Republic the story is true, he's telling the Army it ain't.

It's probably just as well for the New Republic that the gig is up

Though on this thread you sound less sure of things (giving odds - 5:2 for WS, perhaps?).

But Barney, JFO, Yo, WildWillie, and others are much more certain, and don't leave themselves an out the way you do. It's a wonder their knees don't hit them in the face.

FWIW, considering that FOX has apparently confirmed the results of the DOD investigation, I would agree that things don't look good for TNR. I'll still wait and see if TNR can produce a verifiable confirmation, though. Btw, my second link above didn't work. Here it is.

Hello gang - I'm new to thi... (Below threshold)
Tomcat52:

Hello gang - I'm new to this site. Would someone be kind enough to explain

"please use the Blockquote HTML styling when quoting someone else's material"

Thanks

Mantis is going down with T... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Mantis is going down with TNR. Sweet to watch. ww

Mantis,honestly, i... (Below threshold)
yo:

Mantis,

honestly, if it looks like a steaming pile of sh*t, smells like one and has the same basic chemical make-up ..., well then, I'm calling it out.

Even if Beauchamp's articles are 100% accurate, he's either guilty of complicity in those reports, or he's guilty of not following the military's code of conduct.

My complaint about him is that he's a buddy f**ker. And ask anyone who's spent any time in the military and they'll tell you exactly what they think of guys like that.

Mantis, go find me a square... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

Mantis, go find me a square back 9mm shell casing. Next, figure out a way to make part of a childs skull fit on a standard issue U.S. Military helmet. I refer you to Kerry's Ghengis Khan speech. Sucker.

As to sources, OpFor has on... (Below threshold)

As to sources, OpFor has one, and this source has a name.....and rank. For the doubters, I just don't believe this colonel is going to put his career on the line for an E-1 who has pissed so much on his unit.


http://op-for.com/2007/08/he_said_she_said.html

Bias is one thing.... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Bias is one thing.

But when news agencies make things up or pass things made up without due scrutiny, it deserves to be railed against.

And these articles weren't a direct assault on the conduct in Iraq. They were an assault against the character of the men (and women) serving there. So although there may have been no broad accusation of serious war crimes, it was an attempt to make such claims easier for you to believe.

Check out <a href="http://w... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Check out this post by Michael Goldfarb of the Weekly Standard. (my emphasis)

Now that the military investigation has concluded, the great unanswered question in the affair is this: Did Scott Thomas Beauchamp lie under oath to U.S. Army investigators, or did he lie to his editors at the New Republic? Beauchamp has recanted under oath. Does the New Republic still stand by his stories?

Beauchamp's stories were either made up or he has no credibility. Either way, he's not to be believed.

from the Weekly Standard... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

from the Weekly Standard:

" Beauchamp Recants: Update
The editors of the New Republic have responded here. Three points:

(1) They neglected to report that the Army has concluded its investigation and found Beauchamp's stories to be false. As Major Lamb, the very officer they quote, has said in an authorized statement: "An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims."

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

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


Posted by Michael Goldfarb on August 7, 2007 04:06 PM | "

mantisFrom your Co... (Below threshold)

mantis

From your Cole link:

There is nothing official, yet, but I think I speak for everyone when I state that I think this definitively proves that our troops are, to a man and woman, angels, there never have been any jerks in the military, and we can all expect a decrease in violence in theatre now that the Jihadi's who were worked up into an America hating-frenzy after reading Beauchamp's pieces in the TNR read that the Weekly Standard has debunked them. Hallelujah.

Cole's comments stink for this reason: instead of expressing dismay he piles on snark and sarcasm about our troops. Actually, he sounds like a teeneager...."everyone else is an angel, right? Never been any jerks out there but me, right? Now (Mom and Dad) that you've pissed off all my friends .....Hallelujah"

Agree with HughS...<p... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

Agree with HughS...

And all it takes is a single jihadi to get worked up from Beauchump's fiction to have very dire consequences.

This is not a victimless crime.

Offtopic, Tomcat, but consi... (Below threshold)

Offtopic, Tomcat, but consider this text:

foo

Now consider this text:

foo

The difference is that in the second case, I typed:

<blockquote>foo</blockquote>

That is a blockquote.

The point to my previous po... (Below threshold)
Zelsdorf Ragshaft III:

The point to my previous post was Scott Thomas wrote some things that anyone with knowledge of military items and firearms would know Mr. Beauchamp was full of it from the very start. The fact The New Republic did not have anyone on their staff with knowledge in any of the areas Beauchamp made reference to is disturbing. I am suprised J.K. Rowling has not sent them a novel they publish as fact.

Jeff Medcalf,Thank... (Below threshold)

Jeff Medcalf,

Thanks for blockquote explain. I didn't know either. And you can

quote me
on that.pudge

barneyGRUBBLE:... (Below threshold)
marc:

barneyGRUBBLE:

"Maybe dhoggs and marc and the rest should tell the Captain how wrong he is."

Would that before or after pointing our your a disingenuous fool.

Ed isn't "wrong" he has just place a lower emphasis on this story than others have.

That aside, your only reason from quoting him (which you actually didn't due to lack of quote marks) is a grade school type of gottcha game. "see... seee... seee barney says, Capt Ed disagrees with you"

Asshat!

Jeff,Look what you... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Jeff,

Look what you started. What are you going to do next, show them how to do tables ¿

 Weekly Standard New Republic Score10
Screw tables. CSS, divs an... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Screw tables. CSS, divs and spans.

As long as it's XHTML compl... (Below threshold)
marc:

As long as it's XHTML compliant mantis.

Mantis, you call <blo... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Mantis, you call

The score stands at Weekly Standard 1, New Republic 0

The whole time he's telling the New Republic the story is true, he's telling the Army it ain't.

It's probably just as well for the New Republic that the gig is up

"fevered lunacy driving around in circles"

Surely you jest.

btw mantis... You ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

btw mantis...

You did link John Cole as an example of "fevered lunacy driving around in circles" right? right?

To go back to Barney's orig... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

To go back to Barney's original snark... er... comment...

One of the biggest reasons that this has become a big thing is because TNR is digging its heels in and getting highly defensive.

If they'd posted even a half-hearted explanation or apology, it probably would have blown over and gone away.

But because they're insisting that they are right and the Army is wrong, they've got a fight on their hands.

By the way, TNR is the one taking the big risk here, not The Weekly Standard (TWS). If it turns out the "recanted" story is wrong, TWS can just say their unnamed source was wrong. If it turns out Beauchamp did recant, tho, TNR is in a world of hurt for getting so defensive.

Zelsdorf RagshaftI a... (Below threshold)

Zelsdorf Ragshaft
I agree with your point and will add this: TNR probably didn't have anyone on staff with the experience to vet the articles by whatshisname.

The shame of this whole mess is that that TNR knew where to find people who could vouch for the articles but, as with the CBS fake memo scandal, they chose not to. This predisposition to paint the millitary in a bad way goes back to Vietnam and will not end for generations thereafter.

The Watergate/Vietnam template thrives in our universities today. The good news is that a new template is now being engraved by the blogosphere. Thousands of small voices are quieting the ABCNBCCBSWAPONYT monolith.

I love Golfarb's point #1</... (Below threshold)
Paul:

I love Golfarb's point #1

(1) They neglected to report that the Army has concluded its investigation and found Beauchamp's stories to be false. As Major Lamb, the very officer they quote, has said in an authorized statement: "An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims."

heh- game over

heh <a href="http://op-for.... (Below threshold)
Paul:

heh game over II

Hi Richard,

An investigation of the allegations was conducted by the military and found the allegations were false. In addition, members of Thomas' platoon and company were all interviewed and no one could substantiate
his claims.

The rest of will or won't happen is to be handled internally within the unit and are not discussed publicly.

Best,

Steve

Steven A. Boylan
Colonel, US Army
MNF-I CG, PAO

Sorry for the lunacy mantis.

The Watergate/Viet... (Below threshold)
The Watergate/Vietnam template thrives in our universities today.

The sad thing is, is that democrats consider those two events their twin shining examples of success in the last forty years.

Just the latest installment... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Just the latest installment, Paul. It's easy to detail what I'm talking about, though. This has been bouncing back and forth on blogs for what, about two weeks now? It's been an absurd cycle of breathless accusations. You've been bouncing between certainty and hedging yourself. I don't see anything from you prior to Beauchamp's identity being disclosed, but at that time you claim that "the right has known from the beginning that the stories where bullshit."

Yet over the past two days you've bounced around from to "unless the source is bad" to "lies" "either one or the other is wrong." I'm sure you'll soon be certain again that it's bullshit, and then if TNR comes up with something it will be "someone is lying, maybe I'll lean this way now." The circular lunacy I was referring to is primarily in the comments, but you're having fun with it too. The absurd part of all this is the damned thing didn't get any attention until the right decided to blow it up. If it's fake then it was justified on one level, but the way I see it TNR never should have run the diaries in the first place, and it's unfortunate that you all decided to make it your cause célèbre of the week, elevating to a level where it will do far more damage to everyone, especially the military. You've succeeding in pulling attention to The Nation's piece that probably otherwise would have gone largely ignored outside certain circles; how's that for a feather in your cap?

I for one would rather see our levels in Iraq decrease soon, with the intention of handing the country back to the Iraqis, not under the cloud of accusations of atrocities. The right, by elevating this story way beyond where it would have gone, has done the military a disservice. A lot of people will not believe the Pentagon's veiled denials, and the negative effects of this will be greater than if it stayed buried behind the subscription wall of TNR and in a few blog entries. All the effort and time has been spent on something that bill benefit no one and hurt us all in the long run. Good work.

And no, Cole actually takes into account what TNR's position has been over the past five years when deciding whether they, as Ace claims, desperately want "stories coming from that correspondent to be as horrific and morale-killing as possible." He is calling into question the value of putting so much into this story. He's right.

Mantis, I will tell you wha... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Mantis, I will tell you what I told Barney before, and what has been echoed by other commentators.

This probably would have quietly gone away had TNR admitted that it hadn't fact-checked Beauchamp and retracted the stories.

The fact that they dug their heels in and insisted that they were right and the US Army, as well as all those others that pointed out inconsistencies, were wrong, is what elevated this to the status it has today.

Here is another link to the... (Below threshold)
LAB:

Here is another link to the Beauchamp thingy:

"According to the Pentagon, the "Baghdad Diarist" writes fiction."

"But a military investigation has concluded that Beauchamp's stories were full of falsehoods."

P.S. Foo is a cute word.
Hm. Doesn't look right. B... (Below threshold)
LAB:

Hm. Doesn't look right. Back to the drawing board.

LAB, you probably forgot th... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

LAB, you probably forgot the / on the /blockquote tag.

Aha! That's the t... (Below threshold)
LAB:
Aha! That's the ticket! Thx, C-C-G!
My pleasure.<blockquo... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

My pleasure.

Happy blockquoting!
barneyGRUBBLE:<p... (Below threshold)
barneyGRUBBLE:

"Maybe dhoggs and marc and the rest should tell the Captain how wrong he is."

As much as I like Cap'n Ed, as marc said, he just didn't see it as important as others.
The reason others jumped all over it is so that in six months some democrat isn't standing on a stage, quoting TNR's story by Beauchamp as gospel, declaring that is what happens to our "kids" when we send them to fight in George Bush's misbegotten, illegal war.

Mantis, you're smart... (Below threshold)


Mantis, you're smarter than this....


"I for one would rather see our levels in Iraq decrease soon, with the intention of handing the country back to the Iraqis, not under the cloud of accusations of atrocities."

Mantis, that is a utopian wish.....what occupied country in our history ( excepting those in our hemisphere) could claim such?

"The right, by elevating this story way beyond where it would have gone, has done the military a disservice."

....BS on that point Mantis...the "Right" didn't write this tripe and publish it in a blatant attempt to smear our troops. The Left did that.


"A lot of people will not believe the Pentagon's veiled denials, and the negative effects of this will be greater than if it stayed buried behind the subscription wall of TNR and in a few blog entries. All the effort and time has been spent on something that bill benefit no one and hurt us all in the long run"

There are no "veiled" denials at work here.


http://op-for.com/2007/08/he_said_she_said.html

Mantis, you are one of the very few bright and informed leftist commenters on this site. Don't throw yourself on the fire.

It's 10:00pm; do we know wh... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

It's 10:00pm; do we know where Bill Burkett is?

This seems a little weird<b... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

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

I would think that he lied in a national magazine cast a bad light on the military the punished would have more...
also what is the big secret....
With this sealed neither side can fully claim vindication...
... after Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman how much credibility does any Army PR have...
There is no official record that will be released to indicate that he recanted or didn't...
Meanwhile in the "Thanks but No Thanks" category (I think we can ALL agree,,this is despicable)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6935517.stm

Nogo, your ignorance about ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

Nogo, your ignorance about the military is truly astounding. I never served and still I know more about it than you.

The US Armed Forces are not, as you appear to believe, a bunch of Neanderthals who just run around making up rules and punishments as the whim strikes them. There is a written document that spell out what the rules are and what the possible punishments are for breaking each of the rules. It is called the Uniform Code of Military Justice, or UCMJ for short ("Uniform" because it applies equally to each branch).

I have no doubt that Beauchamp has been or will be punished to the fullest extent possible under the UCMJ for his wrongdoing.

However, as the US Army is not made up of savages, they will not go beyond that. Especially in a high-profile case such as this one.

I know you probably loathe the military, but you could at least try to educate yourself about it so as to avoid making a complete and utter fool of yourself.

nogo, you seem to think thi... (Below threshold)

nogo, you seem to think this

Iraqi interpreters who have risked their lives to help UK forces will not get asylum, a report has claimed.

is despicable.

And yet, if we pull out of Iraq, the wholesale slaughter of any Iraqi who aided the Coalition will take place. That's just a small sample of the bloodshed that will ensue. That's why everytime our freakin' stupid democrats start talking pullout and time lines it hurts the entire effort in Iraq - because at that time it becomes dangerous for any Iraqi to help us.

I have to believe that our disloyal democrat congresscritters know that, yet they continue to do it. Why? Oh, no doubt, it's a concerted, conscious effort to impair our progress. The worst thing that can happen to democratics is for us to achieve victory.

Scum.

Wow, the desperate spin man... (Below threshold)

Wow, the desperate spin mantis is attempting to put on this is making me dizzy.

Pardon me while I throw up now...

Mantis, that is a utopia... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis, that is a utopian wish.....what occupied country in our history ( excepting those in our hemisphere) could claim such?

We had the conviction of Jesse Spielman last week, this garbage from Beauchamp, and the Nation article from last month is getting more attention. If we end up leaving quicker than we should (we will start leaving soon) because of outcry over atrocities, real and fabricated, the consequences will be felt everywhere, especially in our military, which is in trouble as it is. I'm not talking about utopia, I'm talking about salvaging what we can.

....BS on that point Mantis...the "Right" didn't write this tripe and publish it in a blatant attempt to smear our troops. The Left did that.

TNR did that, and they shouldn't have. That's what I thought as soon as I heard about it. But they did, and the reaction to it will only make things worse, even if everything is proven false without a doubt.

There are no "veiled" denials at work here.

They have cut Beauchamp off from all communication, and blandly stated that they've talked to everyone and nothing is true. They have not released their report. They could be telling the truth, and no one confirmed any of Beauchamp's claims, but you can't really claim they're being open about this. Both TNR and the Army are under a cloud here, and both claim they are in the right. Someone is going to have to prove something or this shit will just go on and on.

Mantis, you are one of the very few bright and informed leftist commenters on this site. Don't throw yourself on the fire.

Believe it or not, I'm trying to take the long view here. I'm not backing up TNR. Even if everything that Beauchamp wrote is absolutely true, and they can prove it, I still think they shouldn't have run it. It was bad that they did, it's been made worse by the reaction, and I fear it will get even worse the more coverage it gets. If TNR folded tomorrow I couldn't care less. Abu Ghraib was terrible for the US and our armed forces. I don't want to see that shit again.

Oh, btw I don't see the Bea... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Oh, btw I don't see the Beauchamp diaries to be anywhere near the level of Abu Ghraib, but they could be a piece in an overall narrative of abuse and callousness towards Iraqis that could take hold in the media.

Some lefties are trying to ... (Below threshold)

Some lefties are trying to hide behind a "the Weekly Standard says this, but TNR says that, so who's to say?" fig leaf, but look at it this way: if you only read about this brouhaha in the eeeevil right wing Weekly Standard, you'd actually know what TNR's position is. But on the other hand, if all you read was TNR, there would be huge chunks of the other side of the story that you'd be completely ignorant of.

This ought to tell you who's interested in the actual truth of the matter, rather than just spin.

Ok mantis... I see I confus... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Ok mantis... I see I confused you... lemme try to disabuse you a bit.

Let's start by separating "fact" from "option."

When I said everyone on the right knew the stories where bullshit weeks ago... OBVIOUSLY we where not ALL in Iraq and we didn't technically KNOW they where bullshit.

So -ya got me- that was an opinion.

But we all knew they where bullshit weeks ago. (didn't you?)

NOW fast forward to last night....

The WS comes up with an anon source (you know how I loathe those) who gave us a supposed fact.

**It would be entirely possible that the WS source lied AND the stories where bullshit.**

The stories where bullshit from the beginning. You can't wear a kids skull under a regulation helmet. -- But the validity of the new WS source is a different issue.

To put it in set theory terms, they are completely disjointed sets.

No circular lunacy, quite the contrary, I'm keeping things in order.

If Beauchamp has been isola... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

If Beauchamp has been isolated, it's probably because he's being prosecuted for his statements. Under the UCMJ and US Code what he did in making those false statements is one of the few "easy" Treason and Sedition busts there is.

Mantis', correct me if I'm ... (Below threshold)

Mantis', correct me if I'm wrong, but I get the impression you're saying that, at least, this story in particular should have been ignored and imply that if it was ignored it would have just died on the vine. You may be right, but I'm not totally convinced of that myself. And you're holding the right accountable for the fact that it has become such a contentious issue.

I have to wonder which would have been worse. To just be silent and write off Beauchamp's stories as the fevered imaginings of a naive aspiring writer while others accepted them as gospel, or at least indicative of general behavior, filing them away as just one more reason (along with the Koran flushing story, Murtha's proclamations of "cold-blooded murder", Kerry's "terrorizing in the middle of the night" announcements, Durbin's gulag analogies and various and sundry "fake but true" stories) to bolster their view of a US military running roughshod over obviously innocent people, killing and maiming without oversight, showing no honor and behaving in a manner unacceptable to civilized society - all with the blessing of their superiors (or at least a blind eye).

Beuachamp's stories were indicative of a much larger campaign (although not a coordinated one) to malign the military and anyone connected because it's just another front of their "war on the war on terror". If they have to malign anonymous people to do it, then so be it. People who are rarely named so they cannot defend themselves from these accusations.

It's, to me, like dying of a thousand paper cuts. At what point can others say, "Enough!"

Or is it better to call these things, large and small, what they are when they crop up - lies and exaggerations designed by some to paint a picture of a morally bankrupt military, while they claim out of the other side of their mouths that they support the troops? (Frankly, I just can't wrap my mind around how some people can constantly, and seem to unendingly, criticize the military from generals down to the lowest ranking members and then say they support them.)

The fact is, the moment someone questioned the veracity of Beauchamp's stories scores of those on the left charged in, giving the very clear impression that they were inclined to believe the stories without actually saying so and began attacking everyone who wanted accountability.

So who really made it such a big deal?

From my standpoint, it looks more like Beauchamp's defenders, and others who create, believe without question and perpetuate such stories, were simply given the opportunity to fall on their own swords.

Nice demonstration of BDS.<... (Below threshold)
kim:

Nice demonstration of BDS.
===============

Paul,The storie... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Paul,

The stories where bullshit from the beginning. You can't wear a kids skull under a regulation helmet.

Well, he does write "the top part of a human skull," which one could conceivably wear on one's head under the helmet. I'm not saying it happened, but it's possible.

To put it in set theory terms, they are completely disjointed sets.

Ok, you did confuse me. Kind of tortured reasoning, but who am I to criticize considering my stance here?

List,

If Beauchamp has been isolated, it's probably because he's being prosecuted for his statements. Under the UCMJ and US Code what he did in making those false statements is one of the few "easy" Treason and Sedition busts there is.

What I've read is that he is not being charged with anything, and his only punishment has been that they've taken away his laptop and cellphone. Unless that's false, it looks like you won't be getting your easy treason bust.

Oyster,

So who really made it such a big deal?

Come on. You know who made it such a big deal.

From my standpoint, it looks more like Beauchamp's defenders, and others who create, believe without question and perpetuate such stories, were simply given the opportunity to fall on their own swords.

Ok, but from what I've seen is most of his "defenders" were just making fun of the right for questioning, and outright refuting, his claim to be a soldier in theater.

And you're holding the right accountable for the fact that it has become such a contentious issue.

I'm saying choose your battles wisely. This one is doing more harm than good.

The incidents in themselves were not that terrible. At worst, all they said is there are a few assholes, or sick assholes, in the military. Is this so shocking? Did it really need to elevated the way it has? Who does that benefit?

I'm saying choose ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
I'm saying choose your battles wisely. This one is doing more harm than good.

Then why are you still fighting this one?

Take a look around the comments section here for a moment, Mantis. Go ahead, I'll wait.

(humming)

Ya back? Okay. You probably noticed that there are threads that go on and on and on, and those that sort of fizzle out.

What distinguishes them? Generally (though not 100% of the time), a thread goes for a long time because someone--usually a lefty, but sometimes a conservative--goes into "stonewall" mode and gives ground only very grudgingly, if at all.

On the other hand, when there is no stonewalling by one side or the other, the thread is usually pretty quiet.

Thus it is with TNR. I said before (and you ignored--twice--that if TNR had quietly retracted the story, this would not have happened. I even posted quotes from other commentators whom I do not know personally echoing that sentiment.

And, you are making the same mistake yourself right now. You are in "stonewall" mode right now, not willing to accept that TNR themselves are even partially responsible for this becoming the "big thing" it has.

You, among all the lefties here, have had my respect--even if I didn't show it too often. You are better than this. You are too intelligent not to see that you are stonewalling.

Don't throw the respect that you've earned here away in a defense of the indefensible.

You are in "stonewall" m... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You are in "stonewall" mode right now, not willing to accept that TNR themselves are even partially responsible for this becoming the "big thing" it has.

Oh, they are definitely responsible, and I agree that if TNR had quietly retracted the story, this wouldn't have blown up the way it has. I agree with that completely, and I apologize for not saying so until now (I thought I had). But you and I know that if TNR does have confirmation from other witnesses (even if it is suspect), they would not just retract. I never believed they would do anything but dig in, which of course only fuels the desire of bloggers to get another scalp. So it goes.

Two things mantis... First ... (Below threshold)
Paul:

Two things mantis... First I assume that was an apology for you calling some of my writings "lunacy."

But second, you said:

But you and I know that if TNR does have confirmation from other witnesses (even if it is suspect), they would not just retract.
That's just bullshit. The SAME GUY they are quoting as saying he can't comment on the leak is also telling everyone who will listen that the investigation is over and the military found the accusations to be false. Period.

Forget a retraction... TNR won't even publish that fact. We only know that because of the evil right-wing blogosphere.

TNR is flat lying. Period.

So if the media is going to lie to you, don't you think it is a good idea that someone call them on it????

Two things mantis... Fir... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Two things mantis... First I assume that was an apology for you calling some of my writings "lunacy."

Yes, sorry. They're not lunacy. I was confused. The lunacy remark was more general anyway and I really shouldn't have associated it with what you were writing, even though it looked inconsistent.

That's just bullshit. The SAME GUY they are quoting as saying he can't comment on the leak is also telling everyone who will listen that the investigation is over and the military found the accusations to be false. Period.

Forget a retraction... TNR won't even publish that fact. We only know that because of the evil right-wing blogosphere.

I agree that they should deal with Lamb's statement about the investigation, but they do link to the Weekly Standard piece which contains that statement. That they ignore the Lamb statement and only respond to the alleged Beauchamp statement is bullshit, I agree. However, that the military investigation is over and the claims disputed doesn't necessarily mean that TNR doesn't in fact have independent witnesses. All I said was if they do, they wouldn't retract, regardless of what the army says. I don't see how that's bullshit for me to say. And I'm not necessarily saying that they would retract if they didn't have a leg to stand on, which they very well may not.

So if the media is going to lie to you, don't you think it is a good idea that someone call them on it????

Yeah, I do, but I also worry about impact. I predict that things are going to get really bad in the coming months. The government and infrastructure in Iraq is disintegrating, and things will be getting uglier. I want to see this thing end in the best possible way, not framed as "look how awful American soldiers are." That's all I'm saying.

>I don't see how that's bul... (Below threshold)
Paul:

>I don't see how that's bullshit for me to say

I worded that poorly... That's a "bullshit cop-out" on their part. They are hiding the truth that they know... saying the have witness can't make up for the fact they are hiding the truth.

>The government and infrastructure in Iraq is disintegrating

I'm not so convinced. Remember the Iraqis in downtown Baghdad have never had a electrical grid that ran 24 hours a day... even at its prime.

What we in the states would call a complete infrastructure breakdown would often be called an upgrade in Iraq.

(on the political side) I dunno I'm dubious of all reporting from Iraq. Remember the "48 hour" rule in the blogosphere?

I'm increasingly becoming convinced that on matters of Iraq that the "48 year rule" will be more effective.

(see also botched Katrina coverage and that was in the medias' home country)

Oh, they are defin... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:
Oh, they are definitely responsible, and I agree that if TNR had quietly retracted the story, this wouldn't have blown up the way it has. I agree with that completely, and I apologize for not saying so until now (I thought I had). But you and I know that if TNR does have confirmation from other witnesses (even if it is suspect), they would not just retract. I never believed they would do anything but dig in, which of course only fuels the desire of bloggers to get another scalp. So it goes.

Okay, you have my respect again.

However, I don't think there's any confirmation from other witnesses, else it would have been trotted out by now. Sure, they've claimed to have it, but actual witness reports with names (and ranks, if applicable) are very scarce from TNR.

And you know and I know that "anonymous" or "off the record" witness accounts are highly suspect. Therefore, if that's all they had, they should never have run with it.

Which brings us full-circle back to my original point... they pretty much said "this is too good to fact-check" and ran with it, and for that, they deserve every little bit of the bovine fecal matter that gets heaped upon their collective heads.

By the way, Mantis, please ... (Below threshold)
C-C-G Author Profile Page:

By the way, Mantis, please drop me an email (you can find it through my blog)... got something that may interest you.




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