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October 24, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

MORE BEAUCHAMP....Drudge has more on the Scott Thomas Beauchamp affair:

On August 10, the editors at [The New Republic] accused the Army of "stonewalling" their investigation into the stories by preventing them from speaking with Beauchamp. The DRUDGE REPORT has since obtained the transcript of a September 7 [actually September 6 –ed] call between TNR editor Frank Foer, TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic, and Private Beauchamp. During the call, Beauchamp declines to stand by his stories, telling his editors that "I just want it to end. I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything really." The editors respond that "we just can't, in good conscience, continue to defend the piece" without an explanation, but Beauchamp responds only that he "doesn't care what the public thinks." The editors then ask Beauchamp to cancel scheduled interviews with the WASHINGTON POST and NEWSWEEK.

It's hard to judge whether this is damning or not. On August 10, the Army was stonewalling TNR. They didn't get to talk to Beauchamp until nearly a month later. And the fact that after a month of browbeating from his chain of command Beauchamp "just want[ed] it to end" is hardly surprising either. We still don't know whether Beauchamp was telling the truth the first time around when he wrote his pieces for TNR or the second time around when he recanted under pressure from the Army.

Still, this seems like something TNR needs to respond to. And if Drudge really has a transcript, he should put it up. Let's see the whole thing, not just the snippets he finds most titillating. (This is especially desirable since Drudge seems to have Beauchamp talking about himself in the third person in one of his quotes, suggesting a less than completely faithful transcript.)

UPDATE: Oh hell, the transcript is here and here. Since Drudge underlines stuff all the time, I didn't realize that those particular underlines indicated a hyperlink. Sorry about that.

UPDATE 2: Although the Army says its investigation discredited Beauchamp's stories (via interviews with other soldiers in his unit), Beauchamp himself has never recanted. I got that wrong. He's not speaking to the media, but neither is he saying that the incidents he wrote about in TNR aren't true.

UPDATE 3: Jeez, the story was posted at Drudge about 12 hours ago, but it's already gone. That was quick. I've reposted the transcript here and here. The Army report is here.

UPDATE 4: TNR editor Frank Foer talks to Howard Kurtz about Beauchamp:

Despite the contentious conversation [on September 6], Foer continued to defend the article days later. He did so again yesterday, reiterating that other soldiers whom the magazine would not identify had confirmed the allegations.

While Beauchamp "didn't stand by his stories in that conversation, he didn't recant his stories," Foer said in an interview. "He obviously was under considerable duress during that conversation, with his commanding officer in the room with him."

While the discussion "was extremely frustrating and engendered doubts," Foer said, Beauchamp defended his story in a subsequent conversation that was conducted with no superiors present.

Kevin Drum 2:23 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (140)

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Comments

Aaaaaagh! My eyes!...My eyes!
Kevin linked to Drudge.

Posted by: ckelly on October 24, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin: get a grip. You helped lead the progressive circle-the-wagon defense of Beauchamp when you 'predicted' that some minor parts of his story would turn out to be just a little bit off, nothing to worry about, and then the Wurlitzer would ratchet it all up.

You.Were.Wrong.

Literally every significant thing Beauchamp said was a lie. And it didn't take long to figure it out, either: as soon as it was clear that the key incident (mocking the wounded soldier), it happened at all, happened NOT in Iraq but in Kuwait, BEFORE he had been in combat, any idiot could see this guy was a poseur.

And.You.Said.Nothing.But.Crap.

Your approach played into the hands of every asshole wingnut who wants to hide behind the false charge that progressives hate the military and will leap to believe the worst about 'em.

Show more class than TNR -- 'fess up, apologize, and sin no more.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

Linking to Drudge -- an all time low for PA.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

How was the Army "stonewalling" TNR?

Posted by: Serenity Now on October 24, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

The transcripts ARE there. The links are the words 'Document #1' et al.

No possible reading of the transcript of the TNR call can lead to a conclusion other than that Beauchamp made all the stories up and that TNR has known it since Sept 7th.

Posted by: Lou on October 24, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it past time that the mods did something about the chaff spewing concern troll, tA? He long ago crossed my sufficiently annoying line.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Great scoop by Drudge. I suspect what happened was that Beauchamp's guily conscience got the better of him, and he now would rather it just end than to have to continue lying. Kevin, if you and other liberals like TNR weren't willing to so easily believe the worst of our troops, it would've never led to this. Instead we have several lives ruined and the liberal rag TNR having its reputation tarnished. No decent honest American would believe that left wing rag again or the liberal blogsphere.
On the upside, for conservatives this is another notch on the belt of conservatives and the right roots. Add this with the Dan Rather national guard story, Michelle Malkin's Graeme Frost expose, and the fake AP photographs it looks like conservatives just can't miss on exposing the lies of the mainstream media and their lackies in the liberal blogosphere. Congratulations to conservatives for another job well done!

Posted by: Al on October 24, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

No possible reading of the transcript of the TNR call can lead to a conclusion other than that Beauchamp made all the stories up and that TNR has known it since Sept 7th.

*yawn*

And I can supply transcripts that say the exact opposite, and that even include proof that the military waterboarded Beauchamp.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, I am not above an "I told you so" and I sure as hell did. I said his tales smacked of war stories and cooler heads should ought to wait and see how this was going to play out, and those rushing to defend the punk were likely to end up with egg on their face.

Bah!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Nice to see FISA put to good use.

Posted by: Memekiller on October 24, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

I said his tales smacked of war stories and cooler heads should ought to wait and see how this was going to play out,

I have no pony in this fight, but to equate "how this plays out" with anything posted on Drudge's site makes the same mistake you are inveighing against.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Okay, I am not above an "I told you so" and I sure as hell did. I said his tales smacked of war stories and cooler heads should ought to wait and see how this was going to play out, and those rushing to defend the punk were likely to end up with egg on their face.

If I recall correctly, you didn't say anything remotely that definitive, shoog. You said his tales smacked of war stories, yes, but you mostly played it straight down the middle with comments about your condemnation being broadcast 360 degrees and pronouncements about how everyone, defender or critic, should wait to see how this played out.

That last part was good advice.

Posted by: shortstop on October 24, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

[You will find no bridge here.]

Posted by: Rock on October 24, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Nice to see FISA put to good use.

exactly how did drudge get a copy of the conversation. a little help from his friends.

fuck drudge. karma bitches.

Posted by: mestizo on October 24, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

You're really covering yourself in glory today Kevin. Can't even find a simple clickthru. Jumping all over Obama when he's said he'll support the filibuster. Sometimes you ought to to just wait before posting.

Posted by: markg8 on October 24, 2007 at 3:04 PM | PERMALINK

Well, here's what seems like an extraordinary case of distortion/lies in Drudge's report:

Drudge says that in the transcript, document (document 2) "Beauchamp Admits to "Gross Exaggerations and Inaccurate Allegations" (Beauchamp Transcript Part 2)."

Yet the quote "Gross Exaggerations and Inaccurate Allegations" comes NOT from anything Beauchamp has said, and ONLY from an Army investigator's report on Beauchamp, which Beauchamp simply acknowledges he has seen.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:05 PM | PERMALINK

I CANNOT believe that there are still posters here (frankly0 being the most recent as I write this) that are still willing to defend Beauchamp.

What evidence- specifically- is there that he is telling the truth?

That's the question. As the 2 transcripts make clear, there's pretty much none. Maybe he was- highly, highly doubtful- but there is no evidence to support that view now.

Posted by: Yawner on October 24, 2007 at 3:08 PM | PERMALINK

In general, all I can see Beauchamp as having said in these transcripts is that he was, at that time, at a point in which he refused to say anything more about the whole affair, and simply wished to get on to his job there.

If anyone can find anything in those transcripts that admits to anything more, please point it out.

Because that is, again, ALL that I could find.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

You are correct shortstop. What I said in public forums was down the middle. In private with my military buds, I was a bit more vehement. But true, there is no public transcript of that. (Yet.)

Anyway - I am off to enjoy a glorious autumn day outside.

Toodles!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 3:11 PM | PERMALINK

Yawner,

I'm not really defending Beauchamp. I won't pretend to know all the relevant details of his story. I'm simply pointing out that I don't see anything in those transcripts that goes beyond Beauchamp refusing to make further comments on the whole matter.

Now I read them pretty quickly so it's possible I missed something relevant, I'll admit.

If there's a place in those transcripts in which he openly admits to something more, then quote them, OK? Don't simply assert that such things exist -- QUOTE THEM.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- man, how people react to something like this is REVEALING, ain't it?

Disputo first bitches about me (psst -- this ain't ABOUT me).

Then he announces that, well, to defend this bullshit story he'd be happy to LIE: "And I can supply transcripts that say the exact opposite, and that even include proof that the military waterboarded Beauchamp."

No wonder you believed Beauchamp: you're a liar, and that's what you value, Disp.

What you DON'T value is the honor and integrity of the folks who guard you while you sleep.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

You are correct shortstop. What I said in public forums was down the middle.

Well, I assumed that's what you were referring to in your post here in this public forum. Fair enough.

Posted by: shortstop on October 24, 2007 at 3:15 PM | PERMALINK

I don't know about Beauchamp -- for all I know, he's a liar.

But I DO know that Drudge is lying in his own report on what Beauchamp said (unless there's something important that I happened to miss).

See my post above for details.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

Where are the quotes showing that Beauchamp admitted in these transcripts to lying or distorting or making things up?

Crickets are chirping!

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

I'll back BlueGirl up -- she was blunt with me in private that Beauchamp made it up.

The truly damning new thing in today's news (Beauchamp's credibility was long gone) is that when it came crunch time, TNR told the guy NOT to talk to other journalists.

If anybody can come up with ANY legit reason for TNR not to have let real war correspondents rip this guy a new asshole, I got Yankees tix for the Series to sell cheap.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 3:19 PM | PERMALINK

You're linking to Drudge over Beauchamp? Ugh.

Posted by: JoshA on October 24, 2007 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not surprised that a concern troll like tA is too stupid to recognize snark when he sees it. Sorry, tA, next time I'll try not to write above your head.

My point of course is that Drudge cannot be trusted, that any transcript posted on his site has to be assumed to be manufactured, and that anyone dumb enough to believe anything he writes deserves to be lied to.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who thinks they know the truth in this is lying to themselves...

Posted by: elmo on October 24, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

1. That transcript contains nothing that remotely resembles a recant
2. That "Memo of Concern" is quite intimidating

Posted by: david on October 24, 2007 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Chirp!

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Ya know what, Disputo? I don't believe you: I meant what I said.

Frankly:

"Scoblic: .... How did it become Kuwait? Or rather, how did it become Iraq, rather than Kuwait?

Beauchamp: Um, I really should have said this before you started asking questions... I've sort of decided personally that I'm not really going to discuss with any media outlet my military experiences past, present and future. And like, that would include anything I've written. I'm basically saying, I want it to end. I'm not going to talk to anyone, really...

Scoblic (unintelligible) Are you standing by your story then?

Beauchamp: I'm not talking about it at all. I'm not commenting on it at all anymore. On any of my military experiences.

Scoblic: Look, Scott - I need... we're not another media outlet. You can't look at the New Republic which, you know published these stories as 'just another set of reporters that's beating down your door. The editor has placed a great deal of trust in you...."

(pulling more wings off)

The "Witnesses and Evidence" section of the formal memorandum, btw, includes:

"(5) Sworn statements from Private Beauchamp stating he did not hit or target dogs as a driver of a Bradley nor did he see a "mass grave" but did find animal bones during the initial occupation of Combat Outpost Ellis (Exhibit E)."

One more time, Kevin: 'fess up, apologize -- and sin no more.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sorry, frankly0- it's clear that nothing will convince you. The conference call transcript shows he had no spine, and even when talking to people that had defended him- nothing. Even when his wife is involved- nothing. No "it was the truth, but I'm not going to talk about it" statement. Nothing.

Where is your evidence that he told the truth?

Because he acknowledged receiving reports saying he had been untruthful, and there is no indication from him that he fought those statements in any way. AND he clearly caught TNR off guard when they found out he hadn't really been working to get him the statements. They sound sold out. As they should have.

You are making a joke out of yourself here, which is probably why no one is really rushing to your defense. The posters here who wanted Beauchamp to be found truthful have nothing to say, for the most part.

I bet TNR comments and tries to spin their way out of it within 24 hours, and makes it clear they can't defend him or the story.

Posted by: Yawner on October 24, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Props to Kevin for this post. He has the integrity to raise a topic that validates Michelle Malkin and embarasses some liberals.

The leak of these documents should end the controversy and also lead to some changes in leadership at TNR.

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 24, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Yawner: What evidence- specifically- is there that he is telling the truth?

That would be the other soldiers with whom TNR supposedly corroborated Beauchamp's stories, who now appear to have been lying themselves or figments of TNR's imagination.

Still, its not helping matters that the Army is releasing information through an embezzling ex-pornstar, the Weekly Standard and Drudge, whose collective credibility isn't much better than TNRs.

Posted by: Dwight on October 24, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

Because he acknowledged receiving reports saying he had been untruthful, and there is no indication from him that he fought those statements in any way.

That's it? That's all you've got?

He gets this "Memorandum of Concern", rife with veiled threats, and he simply acknowledges that he received that memorandum, and that somehow constitutes an admission that he was lying?

Are you for real?

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

As I said, the transcripts really establish nothing about whether Beauchamp was telling the truth.

But Drudge's description of them DOES establish that HE is a liar.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

Drudge has apparently pulled the story (it's off his front page anyways). And the links Kevin has in the updates are dead. And the Corner is now tentative on Drudge's "scoop."

Posted by: Jim E. on October 24, 2007 at 3:49 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: "ex-liberal" talks about integrity.

Posted by: Gregory on October 24, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

This story sounds like a hush-puppy. I quit reading The New Republic about six years ago, finding its work seriously wanting. So if they totally blew this story, it really doesn't surprise me.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on October 24, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist:

The quote you produce from the transcript establishes NOTHING. It is NOT a recant of his previous statements. It is nothing more than an extended "no comment" with the explanation that he generally refuses to talk about the whole affair to the public anymore.

I should like to think that your reading skills are sufficient to realize this yourself, otherwise, why am I wasting time arguing with you?

As for the formal memorandum, well, that's hardly a quote from Beauchamp himself. God only knows what really went on in that investigation to establish whatever admissions Beauchamp may have made, or just exactly what he admitted to. The expectation here, I had thought, was that we were to get out of the transcript itself a clear admisssion from Beauchamp in his own words, under circumstances we more or less understand, that he had lied.

I think we can pretty safely conclude that no such admission can be found, because no one, including you, has come close to producing a smoking gun.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Since TNR majorly supported the war, how is this anything except a screw-up by a war supporter? There isn't a bigger non-governmental employee war hawk than Marty Peretz.

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on October 24, 2007 at 3:58 PM | PERMALINK

This Beauchamp story is trivial compared to acts by others in Iraq and the stories of other soldiers
...In a diary entry in The New Republic, Beauchamp described how he ridiculed a woman in Iraq whose face had been severely burned: "I love chicks that have been intimate with IEDs" ...
Next, he described finding the remains of children in a mass grave uncovered while his unit constructed a combat outpost: "One private...found the top part of a human skull... As he marched around with the skull on his head, people dropped shovels and sandbags, folding in half with laughter...No one was disgusted. Me included."
Finally, Beauchamp described another soldier "who only really enjoyed driving Bradley Fighting Vehicles because it gave him the opportunity to run things over. He took out curbs, concrete barriers, corners of buildings, stands in the market, and his favorite target: dogs." ...

Posted by: Mike on October 24, 2007 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

I'd just note that the transcript says the conference call included Beauchamp's squad leader and a public affairs officer, so it's not like he was free of possible duress.

Posted by: heckblazer on October 24, 2007 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly, you've lost your marbles.

On its face, Beauchamp's stories are not particularly credible -- unless you're remarkably eager to believe bullshit stories. Beauchamp's tales have a couple intersections with reality, though, that are fairly easily tested: CAN you do what he claimed was done with a Bradley?

The manufacturer says, er, no.

Then you have Beauchamp's own pose, the hook for the series: How War Made Me Hard and Cruel, because (gasp! wrist against forehead) That Is The Nature of It.

Except that -- as Beauchamp himself has acknowledged for months -- the key incident happened BEFORE he had seen the elephant.

So we know that BY HIS OWN ADMISSION this guy was an asshole before he saw combat, whether in truth he mocked a wounded soldier or no. (And there ain't anybody who backs him up on that: NOT.ONE.SOUL.)

That's two strikes on two pitches.

Then you have the military's investigation, and Beauchamp's sudden change from being the 21st century's Hemingway or Churchill, to a clam.

Now -- if this guy had BUILT any credibility, that would be one thing. But there is literally nothing that he has said, nor anything that TNR has done in this affair, that passes the smell test -- or, for that matter, the belly-laugh test. (TNR is now evidently insisting that the exchange I quoted with Scoblic was a marvel of candor and journalistic integrity, in which Beauchamp... pointedly declined to stand behind the story that TNR is now trying to.... well, what, exactly?)

So now you have an official Army document citing a SWORN statement by this guy that his story was bullshit in TWO other places.

And you think... gee, that doesn't prove anything?

When Beauchamp gets his discharge, he and OJ are gonna look for the real killer.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

er...Kev? Links to the transcripts are gone...'no docs exist' and such...

Yawner on October 24, 2007 at 3:38 PM:

I bet TNR comments and tries to spin their way out of it within 24 hours, and makes it clear they can't defend him or the story.

Funny, seeing how Drudge has pulled the story off the front page and the links to the transcripts are down...How would have someone like Drudge got ahold of the transcripts in the first place?...hmmm...Either they were manufactured by some right-whinge liar or leaked from someone high enough in the right-whinge food chain to have access but not the approval to release said transcripts?...Enquiring minds want to know...

Posted by: grape_crush on October 24, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

tA, you have two choices.

When I wrote:

*yawn* And I can supply transcripts that say the exact opposite, and that even include proof that the military waterboarded Beauchamp.

You either:

1) think that I am being literal and that I have just announced to the world my intention to manufacture a transcript in order to back up Beauchamp's story, or

2) understand that I am using snark to point out that the Drudge transcripts have no credibility, and yet you choose to pretend that you believe (1) in a ridiculously infantile attempt to impugn my integrity and divert attention from the fact that you are a concern troll.

If (1), then you are dumber than a box of rocks.

If (2), then you have less integrity than a box of rocks.

So which is it, tA? Are you an idiot or a liar?

(You get bonus pts if you admit to being both.)

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

Since TNR majorly supported the war, how is this anything except a screw-up by a war supporter?

Is it a screw-up if it is intentional?

This has a Rather-style punking written all over it, with the fake Drudge transcripts just more disinfo.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

I don't care where Drudge got 'em. What matters is whether they are genuine -- and if they're not, TNR has finally! gotten a way out of this self-inflicted shitstorm. It'd be like they hit the equivalent of editorial integrity rescue Powerball. I don't think they're that lucky.

Anybody wanna bet that the transcripts ARE genuine, so TNR won't claim they're forgeries? Well?

I predict TNR will NOT claim the transcripts are false, only that (irony alert) that they can't vouch for their accuracy and, um, they weren't the ones who actually recorded what was said, and besides, er, if you read the Army version REAL close, Beauchamp didn't actually SAY he lied... when he pointedly refused to stand by his stories to the folks who published 'em, when they asked him.

Twice.

So it doesn't really matter (except as a sidebar) where Drudge got 'em. We're the good guys, remember? We DON'T dismiss stuff that looks bad by claiming 'executive privilege', and 'that's classified'; what counts is whether or not it's TRUE, not whether somebody lifted the damning document off a desk.

Journalism 101, folks.

Presumably, it's the Army guys who made the transcript. (Beauchamp was on speaker phone, there were a couple people in the room with him, and I don't think a TNR person would leak it, except possibly Scoblic, and I highly doubt THAT.) So the idea that the transcript was doctored -- something TNR could SAY, I suppose -- is a serious charge against some schmo in uniform, not to be made lightly.

What's potentially a far MORE serious charge (and could be why Drudge yanked it), is that it violates Beauchamp's privacy that the Memo was leaked. If there is a competent lawyer reading this (which lets Dice out): would Drudge be liable for violating Beauchamp's privacy by publishing government documents about him? Is he enough of a public figure?

No skin off my ass: I know (and so does Kevin) how a conversation between a writer and an executive editor is SUPPOSED to go. When an editor asks "Are you standing by your story?" the answer damn well better be: You betcha.

TNR trusted this guy, and failed their readers.

Kevin, puh-leeze, do the right thing already: "hard to judge whether this is damning or not"????

THAT exchange with Scoblic over backing up his stories? The memo listing Beauchamp's sworn statements that he'd lied?

Get a grip.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Forget about what anyone writes about what people said. Just count the bodies that our soldiers kill while serving President W. Bush's mission. Almost every day now a new account of more civilians killed by American air power makes the headlines. Regardless of the attitudes of the American soldiers doing the killing, the killing continues. I think that should be the issue and our concern.

Posted by: Brojo on October 24, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

What matters is whether they are genuine -- and if they're not,

Well, it looks like tA finally got a couple neurons to fire and isn't so gullibly swallowing everything that Drudge spews just because he likes the way it tastes.

Maybe one day he'll also be able to write a cogent post. Maybe.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Thx Brojo.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

It would be interesting if Drudge's transcript were a fake that actually told the truth about Beauchamp. When the transcript was proved fake, it would make it hard for people to distinguish what was true in it, and what was false. They'd be tempted to throw up their hands and say, "Well, who knows?! The well has been poisoned now! Let's just forget about it."

Something about that scenario sounds familiar. Maybe it'll come to me later.

Posted by: cowalker on October 24, 2007 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- on the contrary, Disputo: I think you're a liar, and reverted to type. What you intended to be perceived as snark is pretty much a window into your values, which is how I read it.

It's not like "ooh, this is on DRUDGE, so it can't be true" is a hard argument to perceive. Trouble is, it's not a GOOD argument -- not in this case, anymore than it was when Drudge broke the stained dress or a couple dozen other stories.

Hell, the Enquirer has broken true news stories from time to time.

Basically, folks who believed Beauchamp in the first place (including, obviously, TNR's editors) bought into two themes:

1) that combat makes people cruel and hard (as Beauchamp tried to describe with eloquent language), and

2) that American soldiers act the way Beauchamp described.

Both of these could arguably be true, and fools figure that therefore, that's what the Beauchamp saga is about.

They're wrong.

I know a few people who've seen combat, but fewer than, say, Blue Girl has. If THEY told me stories like Beauchamp, I'd have been inclined to believe 'em -- but the stories they DID tell, aren't actually much like Beauchamp's tales in subtle ways. So while I suppose combat may make some people cruel and callous, I think it's a helluva lot MORE important than when Beauchamp claimed it had made HIM callous -- he hadn't in fact been in combat.

So he lied.

There are lots of cases (though fewer than some seem to think) of American soldiers committing crimes or generally being assholes in war zones, so it's not like it's impossible that somebody might witness some and write about it: hell, it happens all the time. But the ones I know of that are TRUE, don't sound much like Beauchamp's stories. And they hold up, which Beauchamp's don't.

So folks who STILL buy into Beauchamp's crap (and it remains to be seen if that still includes TNR's editors, and I betcha our host knows in his heart he was flat-out wrong to circle the wagons around this guy), are stuck with two DIFFERENT themes:

1) Not only was what Beauchamp described TRUE, but it's typical, despite ALL the evidence cited that it's bullshit. and

2) The Army intimidated an entire unit of soldiers, plus Beauchamp himself, to deny the stories; they're practically holding the poor bastard hostage.

See, this is where I think you're a typical progressive asshole, Disputo. You've lost sight of the goal (what's the truth here?), and so you're doubling down your efforts.

What IS true, no longer matters to you. Drudge publishes transcripts that on their face appear genuine, and an Army memo that sure as hell LOOKS and sounds and fits into the known facts like the real thing -- so what? Hell, YOU can make stuff like that up, too.

And when somebody says, well, that's just like you: you dodge -- oh, that was snark, you say.

No, it wasn't.

You simply don't believe in the integrity of ANY unit of American soldiers who are risking their lives for YOU. It wouldn't matter if it was Beauchamp or TNR or OJ who claimed that they were hotrodding around (in vehicles that CAN'T do that) to run over dogs, wearing a kid's skull on their heads, or mocking AMERICAN wounded -- cuz you'd eat that shit up with a spoon and ask for seconds.

I'm simply observing that's who you are, Disputo: somebody who eagerly eats what other folks know enough to keep off the dinner plates.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- on the contrary, Disputo: I think you're a liar, and reverted to type. What you intended to be perceived as snark is pretty much a window into your values, which is how I read it.

So you admit to being both an idiot and a liar.

Duly noted.

You simply don't believe in the integrity of ANY unit of American soldiers who are risking their lives for YOU. [etc. etc.]

And, if I didn't believe you the first time, you continue to pummel us all with more idiotic lies instead of addressing anything of substance.

Duly noted.

It's all pie for you from now on.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I lost interest in the Beauchamp story ages ago. I already know rightwingers smear everyone and every soldier exaggerates his war stories. I feel sorry for the kid; its not hard to imagine that there might be a few rightwingers in the military who will make his life a living hell.

The real story is: who at TNR leaked the transcript?

I bet Marty hired quite a few wingers willing to sell out the magazine to earn some brownie points at Redstate.

Posted by: jimmy on October 24, 2007 at 5:08 PM | PERMALINK

I'm still wondering why the right threw a hissy fit over someone hardly anyone had ever heard of writing in a magazine that became irrelevant long ago about stuff upon which most people have already formed an opinion.

Of course, it's funny that the group that has lied about and/or distorted every single shred of reality is suddenly worried about "the truth." Seriously ... it makes me giggle.

Posted by: Mark D on October 24, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Nothing Drudge prints is worth the shit he was molded from.

Posted by: JeffII on October 24, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

(snicker) Then DO tell, 'puto: what's the LEGIT reason TNR asked Beauchamp not to talk to the Post and Newsweek?

Beauchamp makes the point clearly that the Army wasn't censoring him. (He also clearly indicates that he hasn't exactly been helpful to TNR in getting the documents that establish that he lied.)

It's one thing for Beauchamp to tell TNR that even though THEY believed him, he will no longer stand behind his stories.

It's another for TNR, knowing this, to tell him not to talk to reporters that, unlike TNR, have nothing invested in this guy's utterly failed credibility.

Face it, dude: you've been caught believing a liar.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Good to see that tA likes pie.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 4:43 PM:

So it doesn't really matter (except as a sidebar) where Drudge got 'em.

Except that it does.

We're the good guys, remember?

Then we should behave appropriately, yes?

We DON'T dismiss stuff that looks bad by claiming 'executive privilege'..

Except that people with the legal authority to claim executive privilege frequently do...or stop disclosing the information, edit the information to fit the desired conclusions, or smear the messenger when they can't dispute the message.

..what counts is whether or not it's TRUE, not whether somebody lifted the damning document off a desk.

Or whether his wife suggested him as a candidate to go on that fact-finding mission...Or whether questions about the kerning on a document invalidate the entire story, yes?

Take a moment to think before you answer.

Posted by: grape_crush on October 24, 2007 at 5:19 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist,

Kinda funny how you ramp up your bombast just as Drudge apparently pulls down the story and the "documentation".

You good friend Drudge seems to have left you twisting in the wind.

And your reaction? You go into an endzone dance, and start trash talking.

You're really looking like a fool here, good buddy.

You're just embarrassing yourself.

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- not even Chait disputes the documents are accurate. But 'puto does -- which is why I noted you weren't snarking, dude, you were reverting to type.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

"Kinda funny how you ramp up your bombast just as Drudge apparently pulls down the story and the 'documentation'."

Since Druge is blocked here at work, please tell me this is true.

Not because I care about Beauchamp, but because I'd love to see tA's entire argument fall apart (well, more so than usual).

Posted by: Mark D on October 24, 2007 at 5:27 PM | PERMALINK

Did I mention that Drudge is full of shit?

Posted by: JeffII on October 24, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

LOL -- frankly, you're REALLY nuts, now. Chait his own self accepts the documents are accurate.

My bet stands. Takers?

Grape, you're mixing apples and oranges. (sic)

The Plame thing is a pretty straightforward factual dispute about a minor matter in a bigger controversy. Cheney' (small) spin was that Wilson was sent to Africa by his wife; the bigger spin was that this was all that nasty CIA, ought to get him cuz we all know how the CIA is anti-Bush, and wrong, and so ...

IIRC, the truth of it was that she was part of some informal discussion about checking up on the Niger stuff, and named her husband as somebody to send. So you either believe this is significant, or you don't: I don't. Beyond that, I don't care: it's not particularly relevant to what COUNTED (at least at that moment in time) which is that the Niger story was bullshit.

Then Cheney, et al, went after Plame herself, and the who suggested Wilson stuff, frankly, is simply evidence that these guys would compromise something important, like American non-proliferation intelligence rings, for something ephemeral, like political points on ... an OP-ED? Oy.

The Rather story is just bizarre. I dunno if the documents were accurate modern versions of old documents, but I'm reasonably sure that Bush pulled strings to get into the Guard and then bailed on his obligations. (I'd love to know if he blew off a drug test -- and WHY.)

But it's OOOOOLD news.

The vulnerability that progressives have for being reflexive believers in ANY anti-military crap that comes along, isn't old news. It's NEXT year's news -- so this bullshit exchange with 'puto and Frankly, and the call I made way up to Kevin, has some slight resonance.

What I was talking about isn't like Plame or Rather: either the transcript and the memo are real, or they ain't. (Watch 'puto and Frankly argue both sides -- first they will claim the documents are false, then they will claim that even though TNR -- Chait -- has said they're accurate, that doesn't matter, cuz of WHERE they were -- and where are they now? A-hA! As it happens, I have copies, and I suggested a reason upthread why Drudge might have pulled 'em down -- cuz Beauchamp may have a case to SUE him over 'em. So how Drudge got 'em and why they got pulled down isn't important.)

But it's pretty simple, and it's not at all like the Plame or Rather cases. Say you're an editor at a small town paper and you find yourself idly wondering if the city councilman who is promoting some zoning change to allow a strip mall has any financial interest in it. You happen to meet the guy's ex-wife at a bar, and let's say you happen to know that she's totally unreliable, a headcase, and yet: she tells you she has a deed that shows the guy owns the land in some REIT hidden name thing.

If you've got any sense, as an editor, you ask to the see this document, thinking in your head (don't be lying to me, you psycho witch).

And when she PRODUCES it -- and it appears in all ways to be valid -- it doesn't matter to you that she stole it, or HOW she got it: you check it out. If it turns out to be a real document, you've Done The Right Thing, no matter HOW you got it.

That's what's going on here: except that this isn't a NEW story, there's been lots of checking going on for a very long time.

To defend Beauchamp (or TNR) at this point, you've basically gotta believe a very long series of utterly improbable things for which there is literally no evidence, AND you have to discount a whole lot of quite likely things for which there is a ton of evidence.

For those of us who doubted the guy from the beginning, it's a little odd to see folks grasping at straws like this: I offered to bet before Chait conceded the documents were accurate.

Curious these other guys haven't been as plain and focused.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

Scoblic: I think Scott, what this is, you know, is that we're going to have to come out to say that...because you know, you're not going to talk to us anymore about the piece we just can't, in good conscience, continue to defend it. And so the way it ends is that there's going to be another round of stories and the story is going to be that an author lied to his editors. And they decided that they can't trust him anymore.

I have to agree with Mr. Scoblic. The only question is when does TNR take the next step?

Posted by: Marko on October 24, 2007 at 5:49 PM | PERMALINK

You can read the documents over at The Corner. If they are real, and NRO claims Chait does not dispute their accuracy, then it seems quite clear that, contra Kevin, they are pretty damning.

Nice work theAmericanist. The transcripts, if real, not only destroy Beauchamp's credibility (and integrity) but they also cast a very damning light on TNR (both in their efforts to stop Beauchamp from talking to other outlets and their use of his wife for emotional leverage).

Disputo, you are right of course that people can produce "evidence" to demonstrate anything. The initial reaction will be determined by whether or not the evidence passes the smell test and if it make sense given the facts as we know them. The documents Drudge linked to seem to meet that test, where say the TANG documents did not (in terms of their visual appearance as well as the terminology used in the letters). Drudge may be proven wrong which is why I won't go too far out on a limb based on the documents. But other than disparage Drudge in general you have provided no specific reason for us to cast doubt on the documents' authenticity.

Posted by: Hacksaw on October 24, 2007 at 5:55 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps these documents come by way of Beauchamp himself; he would have access to all of them.
He does not appear willing to pull TNR's ass out of the fire and has stated, in effect, that his loyalties are with the people with whom he serves. Foer definitely does not have his back.

WRT the Memo of Concern, it constitutes formal counseling and, for a combat soldier worthy of the label, would not be seen as either threatening or intimidating. Unless, of course, "We're watching you", makes a combat trooper weak in the knees. Beauchamp would have also had the opportunity to dispute, in writing, the counselor's contentions. He apparently choose not to do so.

This statement, btw, was signed upon completion of the Article 15 Investigation. Beauchamp's sworn statements acknowledging "distortions and fabrications" would be included in the Art 15 documentation (Exhibit E, I believe), not the Memo of Concern.

Posted by: belloscm on October 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

At least Beauchamp isn't a phony soldier, right?

Posted by: Roy Mustang on October 24, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

You can read the documents over at The Corner. Posted by: Hacksaw

Good to know they can now be found at a web site with unquestionable reliability and integrity.

Posted by: JeffII on October 24, 2007 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Two observations...
tA sure has a lot of spare time!
Where are all the kerning jokes? I sure love me some kerning jokes!

Posted by: Bush Lover on October 24, 2007 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

People are STILL wasting their time with this?

Posted by: Gus on October 24, 2007 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

I want to know if he had a waiver to get in. The year he enlisted, 17% entered on waivers. Was he one of those hinky soldiers? Did the Army know when they took him they were getting a pathological liar?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 6:05 PM | PERMALINK

Mark D, thanks ever so for the summary of why this isn't news.

I'm still wondering why the right threw a hissy fit over someone hardly anyone had ever heard of writing in a magazine that became irrelevant long ago about stuff upon which most people have already formed an opinion.

Perfect.

Posted by: TJM on October 24, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

JeffII,

It's a PDF file, either real or not regardless of where it is posted. Maybe it's time to stop shooting the messenger and actual examine the documents so you can reach your own assessment of them. But I suppose it is easier to just denigrate.

Posted by: Hacksaw on October 24, 2007 at 6:10 PM | PERMALINK

Okay - I went back to to August 3 - here is what I had to say then:

Jesus Christ, I want this whole fucking issue to go away. Nobody is coming out of this in any danger of looking too good, that is for damned sure.

Since nobody else is saying it, I will, and I hope Trashhauler will back me up on this...pretty much the only people who get off on war stories don't have any of their own to tell. People who can truly relate die a little inside when these tales are trotted out.

By the way - anyone who has ever given or transmitted an order would like to put a boot in his ass. It's just bad form to take to the pages of a national magazine before you talk to your top kick about the issues you might be having.

Sine that still allies, I'm done talking about it.

Back later when there's a fresh thread.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 6:17 PM | PERMALINK

*since that still applies...Duh...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

Drudge is a political gossip columnist, wingnut disinfo pimp, and keeper of one of the primary gateways into the Wurlitzer ecosystem. At best, he is entertaining; at worst, he's priming the pump for another smear campaign.

I am not saying that docs posted on Drudge's site can be assumed to be fraudulent. What I am saying is that docs posted on Drudge can not be assumed to be authentic -- any more than any random document found in a dumpster can be assumed to be authentic, and even less so.

People who do not take that into account are either playing the role of useful idiots or they are actively involved in the game.

Posted by: Disputo on October 24, 2007 at 6:19 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist,

I don't dispute that the documents are genuine. I have no reason to believe they aren't, nor have I claimed that they aren't.

What I dispute is that they establish anything like what Drudge was claiming. I've got to believe that that is why Drudge took them down.

Where's the smoking gun in these documents? You have come up with zilch. All you've done is repeat the story that pre-existed Drudge's report. How has this "scoop" in any way advanced the story?

For all your bloviating, we are where we were.

Look, Drudge took down the story for a reason. If he had a scoop, I'm sure he wouldn't have done so, no matter what.

Why can't you admit this obvious fact?

Posted by: frankly0 on October 24, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

But I suppose it is easier to just denigrate.
Posted by: Hacksaw

Duh.

I have no dog in this clusterfuck of a war other than wanting it to end yesterday. It has destroyed our nation's credibility, it's bankrupting the country and killed anywhere from 100,000 to 200,000 people.

I don't give a shit what this guy saw or didn't see. Watch Gunner's Palace if you don't think we've "lit up" a few non-combatants, run over their dogs or destroyed their property. The particulars don't matter. Only assholes like you think this one isolated incident of lying (or not) deserves the same sort of dissection that went missing when Shrub and company lied us into this mess. Go fuck yourself chicken hawk.

Posted by: JeffII on October 24, 2007 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

Frankly asks a question: "Where's the smoking gun in these documents?"

Exhibit E.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't it past time that the mods did something about the chaff spewing concern troll, tA? He long ago crossed my sufficiently annoying line

It's a blog AND a business. Look at all the scripts on this site:

statcounter
blogads
sitemeter
googlesyndication
zedo
about.blank
chrome

Hits and visits baby...it's all about the traffic.

Posted by: TJM on October 24, 2007 at 7:02 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe this will help:

"Scoblic: We were told you were setting up interviews with the Times and the Post?
Beauchamp: With Newsweek and the Washington Post, and it's basically to let the media know I'm not being censored. I can talk to the media, but I don't want to.

Scoblic: Scott, all that does is trigger another round of stories. I mean, (unintelligible)

Foer: (Unintelligible) You owe it to us ah to just ah .... you owe it to us to basically kind of report on ourselves and be able to put out whatever next thing ... I think you ought to basically talk to us, and let us control the way this story proceeds. I think that's the least you could do for us. I think it would be further evidence, further sign to us that you're just sticking it to us if you went and talked to these other guys before we could put out anything further.

Beauchamp: So, um ... what are you saying?

Foer: I'm saying that I'd rather you not talk to the Washington Post, Newsweek, or whoever else until we put our final judgment on your pieces."

It was TNR, not the Army that shut him up.

Posted by: Mike K on October 24, 2007 at 8:51 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not Scott Beauchamp was personally embellishing his stories or not, nobody knows and nobody ever will. The only established fact is that the Army successfully shut the guy up. Even a full recant and apology is meaningless when it comes as a result of coercion.

But JeffII is right: it's beyond dispute that stuff like this happens all the time: it's been captured on film and numerous anecdotes. The right-wing cares about this one because it was published in TNR. They hope to establish that if they can disprove Scott Beauchamp specifically, they have somehow disproved the behavioral archetype in its entirety.

And it's stupid. Saddamn Hussein's troops never pulled infants out of respirators and stomped on them during the invasion of Kuwait, it's been proven that that was a professional PR plant story, nevertheless Saddamn Hussein was still a bad guy. Whether or not you can find a liar (or, to be specific, someone without extensive proof who you can intimidate!!) and discredit him, doesn't mean you've proven the contrapositive.

I'd like to see tA go a little further and publicly state that US troops have never run over a dog in Iraq, so we can all have a good laugh.

Posted by: glasnost on October 24, 2007 at 8:57 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 5:46 PM:

Grape, you're mixing apples and oranges.

Oooh!...You forgot to think! Playing by right-whinger rules, being able to dispute an aspect of the story actually disputes the validity of the entire story...or does that only apply to stories that right-whingers want to be true? Hmmm?

Careful, your hypocrisy might be showing...

Posted by: grape_crush on October 24, 2007 at 9:01 PM | PERMALINK

Where are all the liberals hiding who were supporting Beauchamp on this site and claiming the attacks on his credibility were false. This includes Kevin, who will need to come a little cleaner than just posting and claiming it is hard to tell whether this is damning. But since Kevin is honest, he probably will.

These materials are obviously damning to Beauchamp and absolutely devastating to TNR. How could the presumably smart folks at TNR mess this up so badly?

Posted by: brian on October 24, 2007 at 9:06 PM | PERMALINK

Glasnost writes: "I'd like to see tA go a little further and publicly state that US troops have never run over a dog in Iraq..."

This pretty conclusively demonstrates that Glasnot is an asshole, since I devoted a whole POST to debunking this crap, viz: "There are lots of cases (though fewer than some seem to think) of American soldiers committing crimes or generally being assholes in war zones, so it's not like it's impossible that somebody might witness some and write about it: hell, it happens all the time. But the ones I know of that are TRUE, don't sound much like Beauchamp's stories. And they hold up, which Beauchamp's don't."

Grape, if you think I've shown hypocrisy in ANYTHING I've ever written about Beauchamp, back it up: use quotation marks.

Cuz at long last, I'm fucking sick of progressives who are so eager to give the right wingnuts a club to beat us with that y'all LEAPED to defend a guy who is obviously a liar, and now you're too fucking stooopid to stop.

Why do I say Beauchamp is a liar? CUZ HE ADMITTED IT. There's a whole fucking CATEGORY in the documents, of the sworn statements he's made admitting that he lied and distorted what happened.

You still believe the stories, well: take it up with the guy who wrote 'em, who will NOT vouch for their accuracy. HE'S the primary evidence that they're bullshit now.

Why do I say that you're eager to give the wingnuts a club to beat us with? Cuz that's what the TNR/Beauchamp mess IS.

For shame.

You guys ought to recognize in a fucking HEARTBEAT that we should have been the FIRST to jump up and defend our guys from this asshole's bogus claim that "ooh, combat makes us cruel and callous" -- cuz HE was cruel and callous to begin with: combat had nothing to do with it. Dayum, what's an opportunity to be patriotic got to DO to get you folks to see it?

TNR published this crap? All the better -- they were stooopid cheerleaders for the war in the first place.

But no! y'all were too ... SMART for that. Kevin had to insist that, well, Beauchamp might have gotten a little detail wrong here or there, but the TRUTH of what this liar wrote was still, er, true...

Except it wasn't. And it isn't. And why in the name of all things godly would Kevin think THIS asshole somehow presented a matter of fact or principle to defend?

LOOK at this, fercrysakes. You guys are defending the proposition that BECAUSE OF THIS GUY'S CREDIBILITY (like Paris Hilton's virginity), we all KNOW that Americans shoot non-combatants, run over dogs, wear children's skulls for a joke, and mock wounded AMERICAN soldiers.

This can't be said gently: FUCK THAT.

When Americans commit war crimes: we PROSECUTE them.

When American soldiers do cruel and callous stuff in wartime: they get BUSTED. (Article 15, in fact -- ya know, the section under which Beauchamp has made MULTIPLE sworn statements admitting that he lied in his TNR stories.)

Oh, yeah -- then there's TNR. Did they fact check this story? Nope -- Beauchamp's wife WORKED there. Why check?

Was the Army stonewalling 'em? Maybe -- but I notice SIX FUCKING WEEKS AGO they asked Beauchamp TWICE if he would stand by the story, and he wouldn't do it. Turns out it wasn't the Army, it was THEIR GUY who wouldn't give 'em documents -- the documents in which he said: 'I lied."

But has TNR retracted the story? Nope. As we see here, the truth doesn't matter to some folks.

And how did they handle the astonishing revelation that as of early September that they were looking at stories with DOZENS of holes shot in 'em, but the author wouldn't stand by 'em? THEY TRIED TO USE THE GUY'S WIFE AS LEVERAGE, to help 'em "control" how it all played out.

How's that working out?

It wasn't the ARMY that kept this guy from answering the direct questions of REAL war correspondents: it was TNR.

Ya want to get out of Iraq yesterday? DEFEND the guys who are fighting the war against assholes like Beauchamp.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 10:23 PM | PERMALINK

Can we all keep in mind that Beauchamp's very first story for TNR ( http://www.tnr.com/politics/story.html?id=a420fc77-246f-4dc9-b62c-8cc98b6f1109 ) concerned a Iraqi boy who supposedly got his tongue cut out by evil insurgents for befriending US troops, but continued to befriend them anyway? Which, of course, confirms that, whether he's a liar or not, neither he nor TNR have been setting out to Discredit Our Boys. (By the way, there are some odd aspects to that story, too -- "his lower torso swallowed by one of Little Venice's excrement canals"? -- but we didn't hear a peep about them from the Fighting Keyboarders until he wrote that other story actually saying negative things about US troops. Wonder why?)

Posted by: BruceMoomaw on October 24, 2007 at 10:24 PM | PERMALINK

"When Americans commit war crimes: we PROSECUTE them."

Hmm. Do the words "My Lai" ring a bell? (To say nothing of the number of high-ranking officers intimately linked to the Abu Ghraib affair who got off on extremely questionable grounds.) The really remarkable thing about Beauchamp's accusations is how absurdly penny-ante they were compared to some things that we KNOW US troops have done -- and the sort of minor bad-taste routines he reported in that story are the sort of things that have happened in every war, justified or otherwise.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw on October 24, 2007 at 10:27 PM | PERMALINK

My bet stands. Takers?

What, exactly, is your bet? You know me, theAntiChrist, I don't read. I shoot from the hip. So please explain...

Posted by: elmo on October 24, 2007 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

You guys ought to recognize in a fucking HEARTBEAT that we should have been the FIRST to jump up and defend our guys from this asshole's bogus claim that "ooh, combat makes us cruel and callous" -- cuz HE was cruel and callous to begin with: combat had nothing to do with it. Dayum, what's an opportunity to be patriotic got to DO to get you folks to see it?

Ooh, what tough talk. Combat DOES make one cruel and calloused. And Guess what, asshole? Training for war make one "cruel and callous" too. It's sort of a prerequisite...

Posted by: elmo on October 24, 2007 at 10:50 PM | PERMALINK

The really remarkable thing about Beauchamp's accusations is how absurdly penny-ante they were compared to some things that we KNOW US troops have done -- and the sort of minor bad-taste routines he reported in that story are the sort of things that have happened in every war, justified or otherwise.

That's the point. See, if idiots like tA can discredit these trivial tales then they can ignore the war crimes that are the backbone of Bush's assault on the people of Iraq.

As for mocking, here's an actual "joke" from 1986:

Q: What color were Christa McAuliffe's eyes?

A: Blue. One blew this way...

I always thought the obsession with the mockery demonstrated just how unserious those attack the story were. But I guess talking about that avoids the issue of why we, as a nation, started slaughtering the Iraqis in the first place.

For the record, there isn't a single soldier in Iraq risking his life for me. There isn't a single dead Iraqi who was a threat to the United States of America. From the babe in arms killed in an air strike that missed its target to Saddam Hussein. Not one citizen of Iraq was going to cause more damage to the United States than the United States inflicted in a single bombing run on Baghdad.

Posted by: heavy on October 24, 2007 at 11:03 PM | PERMALINK

"How could the presumably smart folks at TNR mess this up so badly?"

Because they are -- or at least some of them are -- complete idiots who lost their collective fucking minds quite some time ago.

This has been another edition of etc. etc. etc.

Posted by: Mark D on October 24, 2007 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

My problem with this whole circle jerk is that while we are endlessly discussing some hinky, piss-poor, get-this-joker-the-fuck-out-of-my-command dipshit, it detracts from the real atrocities. You know, the discussion we should be having?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 24, 2007 at 11:19 PM | PERMALINK

That, BGRS is exactly why you see tA channeling Melville on this very topic.

(note to self, what's the use of using the preview feature if you aren't going to fix obvious idiocies like "attack" in place of "attacking?")

Posted by: heavy on October 24, 2007 at 11:42 PM | PERMALINK

As for mocking, here's an actual "joke" from 1986


Thank GOD that wasn't a Bill Buckner "joke"

Posted by: elmo on October 25, 2007 at 12:16 AM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist on October 24, 2007 at 10:23 PM: ..Grape, if you think I've shown hypocrisy in ANYTHING I've ever written about Beauchamp...

Oh, but we weren't talking only about Beauchamp, were we? Nice attempt at a dodge.

You guys are defending the proposition that BECAUSE OF THIS GUY'S CREDIBILITY...we all KNOW that Americans shoot non-combatants, run over dogs...

..torture prisoners, disappear captives to secret prisons...

No. We know that war changes people, and not necessarily for the better. Knowing that made Beauchamp seem more credible, not the reverse.

When Americans commit war crimes: we PROSECUTE them.

That's already been handled by other commenters.

..then there's TNR. Did they fact check this story? Nope..

Um, nope. TNR claimed that they validated Beauchamp's story with members of his unit. That's either a lie or the truth, and it's easy for TNR to verify whether or not any type of due diligence was done.

As we see here, the truth doesn't matter to some folks.

But hot air and outrage is all-important, eh, tA?

Ya want to get out of Iraq yesterday? DEFEND the guys who are fighting the war against assholes like Beauchamp.

What? Now there's a War On Assholes? You, uh, may want to hide for a while, tA...

Posted by: grape_crush on October 25, 2007 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

Poor, poor tA...

Posted by: elmo on October 25, 2007 at 1:11 AM | PERMALINK

The funniest thing about this is how TNR said for two months that the Army was not allowing Beauchamp to speak and now we learn that TNR editors talked Beauchamp out of talking to WaPo and Newsweek. Hilarious.

The part about them begging to be the ones 'controlling' the story is pathetic.

Guess they still havent learned anything from the Stephen Glass affair except for more cover-up.

TNR is in tatters.

Posted by: harkin on October 25, 2007 at 6:39 AM | PERMALINK

You guys have an astonishing capacity to miss the point.

I noted upthread that "There are lots of cases (though fewer than some seem to think) of American soldiers committing crimes or generally being assholes in war zones, so it's not like it's impossible that somebody might witness some and write about it: hell, it happens all the time. But the ones I know of that are TRUE, don't sound much like Beauchamp's stories. And they hold up, which Beauchamp's don't."

Twice. This is the third time I've said it, and I've said similar things in every thread on the subj.

So give up the notion that the reason folks recognize Beauchamp is a liar is cuz.... they want to discount TRUE stories of fuckups????

I'm pounding on you over this because YOU MAKE THE RIGHT WING'S JOB EASY. If y'all were any stoooooopider, I'd think you were smart: but working for Grover.

Blue Girl is exactly right: ya wanna talk about real atrocities, DON'T DEFEND BEAUCHAMP.

Kevin did exactly the wrong thing here, and, like TNR, he's compounding the error: he circled the wagons to defend this guy, with the idea that well, it might turn out that Beauchamp got a minor thing wrong here or there, but...

How's that working out, Kevin?

So look at it: Chait and Foer have now acknowledged that the transcript and the memo are accurate. (Re-read that a few times, it takes time to sink through the concrete on your heads.)

So much for all the bullshit Disputo and others were pumping: let's hear an apology from them, not that I'm gonna hold my breath. (Note to Disputo: I pointed out that it doesn't MATTER that Drudge was the guy who broke the story, nor that he yanked 'em later. What matters is that they are accurate. TNR has admitted that. Speak up, asshole. Tell us again how snarky you are.)

Now Foer has managed to put TNR into an even more untenable position, which I frankly didn't think was even possible: he told Kurtz that, um, the transcripts ARE accurate, but later, when there wasn't a transcript made cuz there was only Beauchamp and TNR on the line, suddenly this guy showed some secret guts and whispered, but the stories really are true....

That would be the stories that he declared under oath were lies?

Ya can't have it both ways: the guy can't be the gutsy truth-telling combat soldier AND the chickenshit who says one thing for the record and another when he thinks he can get away with it -- the pen name, the wait-until-they're-gone and I'll tell you how I lied under oath.

The Army confronted him, and Beauchamp stated under oath that his stories were lies and distortions. (BTW, the military has far more protections against self-incrimination than civilian courts.) Scoblic confronted him, and Beauchamp pointedly refused to stand by his story. QED.

Elmo (who is worthless) exemplifies the utter folly of Beauchamp's defenders: the whole point of the stories was that COMBAT, not training, made the guy into a callous asshole. (And if Elmo is saying that he knows combat vets let REMF's mock wounded vets, so much for ELMO's cred.)

But that, the central theme of Beauchamp's stories, was a lie. He hadn't been to Iraq and had never seen combat when he claimed that he and another guy mocked an American soldier, a woman, who had been disfigured in combat. The whole premise of his stories was false.

Just THINK about what you're defending here. It's not the general proposition that Americans are capable of being cruel and callous, cuz of course we are. It's not specific evidence of any war crime or vulgar act, cuz if that's what this was, there would be, yanno, EVIDENCE?

It's a set of stories published by a magazine with low standards and an established record of publishing made up stories just like these. There is literally not one incident in Beauchamp's tales that can be independently verified yet EVERY SINGLE INCIDENT recounted turns out to have an abundance of contrary evidence, including not ONLY circumstantial (the manufacturer pointing out the Bradley can't do what this creep claimed it did) but also THE GUY'S OWN SWORN STATEMENTS that the stories were lies and distortions.

Why on earth do y'all have so much emotionally invested in THIS guy's dissolved credibility? Elmo? Frankly? KEVIN????

You're managing to take what OUGHT to be progressives' strongest suit in getting us out of Iraq -- that we believe in our guys -- and turn it into Kerry's vulnerability to Swiftboating, and the wingnuts don't even have to DO anything: we're doing it ourselves.

It's a question who you identify with, I suppose. I've lost two friends in Iraq, I've had family cycle through there, I got family there now. I identify with the guys who are there to do their patriotic duty, who actually have considerable success: I admire the Sisyphean way they keep at it. I want 'em home, alive -- and honorably.

I do NOT want 'em tarred with Elmo's brush, but what's more to the point, the way to GET 'em home is NOT to make Elmo's brush your primary tool.

If you doubt the wisdom of that admonishment, ask President Kerry.

You guys seem to have selected BEAUCHAMP, of all people, to identify with: but you can't make up your minds whether he was a liar from the beginning, but it doesn't matter because, well, the stories MIGHT have been true (how's that defense feel?), or ... that the Army waterboarded him? Yeah, THAT'S gonna rescue TNR from this mess.

Gimme a red, white and blue break: Kevin, 'fess up, apologize, and sin no more.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

The right wing's got to be pretty desperate to keep whipping this dead horse. The Obama "flair" scandal flopped after three days, and the Dem candidate for '08 could be found in bed with a dead girl AND a dead boy and still have a fighting chance. Their lack of equanimity facing the catastrophe in the polls is deranging some people.

Fact is, The New Republic started severing its liberal ties around the time Peretz tried pitching his Rembrandt on the cover. Beauchamp's connection with TNR was a red flag that he wouldn't exactly be Ernie Pyle once the fact checkers got done with him or that they'd check it at all.
Or that he'd be Hugh Thompson under pressure.

Posted by: Steve Paradis on October 25, 2007 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Exactly right -- give UP on this one, already. Hugh Thompson, he ain't.

Well, Kevin?

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 9:11 AM | PERMALINK

One wonders whether most of these posters have ever been in the army. It must be apparent to even the most stupid that the army is putting huge pressure on this guy and believe me the army knows how to put pressure on its members. Most of the world has moved on past this story if the world ever knew about it. I have no problem believing 90% of what he said was more or less accurate but the way the right try to keep this thing alive is hardly worth the effort. One is reminded of Kissingers remark that disputes in the academic world are so vicious because the stakes are so small.

Posted by: John on October 25, 2007 at 9:16 AM | PERMALINK

Will Drudge face charges for releasing secret documents? Will Drudge face criticism for releasing secret documents?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on October 25, 2007 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

As a liberal, I'm wondering why anyone would want to "rescue" TNR? Peretz is such a scumbag and there's the whole Super War Cheerleader thing that they've got going on. Why should I care if they backed a wrong gee?

Posted by: Jeffrey Davis on October 25, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

the manufacturer pointing out the Bradley can't do what this creep claimed it did

WOW! Maybe the "manufacturer" should have told the Army that before they sold them those pieces of shit! I mean, how could they put our soldiers in a vehicle that cant even hit a mangy mutt trotting across a Bagdad street! Maybe the Army should get something with a little more maneuverability.

If you want to learn about that "broad brush" join the infantry, you fuckn 'chickenhawk, or REMF, it's all the same to me...

I do NOT want 'em tarred with Elmo's brush

Then don't send them to war.

Posted by: elmo on October 25, 2007 at 9:54 AM | PERMALINK

Just like all the other 'winter soldiers' - just a pack of lies which the terror symps are so glad to hear.

Posted by: bandit on October 25, 2007 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK

Note how the burden of proof has been shifted, for some at least. TNR should have the obligation of proving that the stories are true. Yet, some will believe the stories until TNR recants. Even though TNR has not been honest, as has been pointed out in earlier posts.

Nor has TNR been honest when they claim to have verified the stories with witnesses they refuse to name. The Army report said every soldier interviewed in Beauchamp's unit could not recall such a disfigured woman and called the account "completely fabricated." So, TNR was lying when they said they had verified this story.

One blogger found out something about TNR's "verification" process:

TNR mentions that they spoke to a spokesman of the company of manufacturers the Bradley.

Guess what? I did, too.

Doug Coffey is the Head of Communications, Land & Armaments, for BAE Systems, the Bradley IFV's manufacturer that TNR wouldn't name.

He was indeed contacted by a TNR staffer, but that the questions asked by the researcher were couched in generalities.

Bob, I received your earlier email and wanted to talk to some others about the specific questions you asked. To answer your last question first, yes, I did talk to a young researcher with TNR who only asked general questions about "whether a Bradley could drive through a wall" and "if it was possible for a dog to get caught in the tracks" and general questions about vehicle specifications.

In short, the TNR researcher did not provide the text of "Shock Troops" for Mr. Coffery to review, and only asked the vaguest possible questions. It seems rather obvious that this was not an attempt to actually verify Beauchamp's claims, but was instead designed to help The New Republic manufacturer a whitewash of an investigation.

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

Posted by: ex-liberal on October 25, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: "ex-liberal" criticizes TNR for not being honest.

Posted by: Gregory on October 25, 2007 at 11:03 AM | PERMALINK

...and cites Treason in Defense of Slavery Yankee -- excuse me, "one blogger" -- to back up his claims of dishoensty.

I see "ex-liberal" has dropped his recent pretense -- however unconvincing -- of being a good faith commenter and returned to his psychodrama of posting insultingly obvious bullshit.

Posted by: Gregory on October 25, 2007 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

Those on both left and right who care about individuals, namely Beauchamp, over agenda, should read this and stop being ignorant.

http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/beauchamp-and-the-rule-of-second-chances.htm

Posted by: John Hansen on October 25, 2007 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

The way this travesty gets defended("It is true unless you can prove beyond any possible doubt that it is false.") just demonstrates how low the practice of journalism has fallen over the past few decades.

So the "Washington Monthly" has decided to throw it's reputation and weight into the defense of Franklin Foer and TNR, while those defended keep mum in their own publications? If there were any honesty behind it, that would be a noble though gullible action on the part of the "Washington Monthly."

But clearly all that really behind the defense it is just a circling the wagons to protect a member of the Journalism Guild.

Remember when Journalism was a practice and not a club?

Posted by: J. Lewelling on October 25, 2007 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

From your Update 2 like were you state he never recanted, but reading that report you linked:

"We did an investigation, and we found that the incidents described in the article did not take place. He admitted those himself to the investigators, and so we proved that they were unfounded, and the soldier who wrote the piece has been counseled by the chain of command and allowed to assume his duties as an infantryman."

Well according to this he DID recant to the investigators. Do you even read the information you post links to?

Posted by: Jeff on October 25, 2007 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

One more error to show how bad this article was written.

"On August 10, the Army was stonewalling TNR. They didn't get to talk to Beauchamp until nearly a month later."

Well again reading the transcript of the conversation:

"Beauchamp: Um I, I really should probably have said this before you began asking questions. I sorta had an idea of things I wanted to say first. And one was- the whole reason I decided to formally take interviews you know, let the media know that the Army was not censoring me. That I could have had interviews. ..."

In other words it was Beauchamp, NOT the Army who was stonewalling TNR. He could have talked to them any time he wanted, it was just that he chose not to.

Posted by: Jeff on October 25, 2007 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Irony alert: John Hansen chides others about being ignorant.

Posted by: Gregory on October 25, 2007 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 8:06 AM: Blue Girl is exactly right: ya wanna talk about real atrocities, DON'T DEFEND BEAUCHAMP.

'Cept that's not quite what she said, isn't it?

Kevin...circled the wagons to defend this guy..

Gee, I must have missed that. Can you point to the spot in his 'More Beuchamp' post where he's defending Beauchamp? All I'm seeing are observations of what's going on, tA.

So look at it: Chait and Foer have now acknowledged that the transcript and the memo are accurate.

The transcript provides nothing that either confirms or denies the veracity of Beauchamp's articles. The memo? It's an official-looking doc that throws the accuracy of Beauchamp's articles into question...But the official line doesn't always reflect the reality; unfortuately I'm to cynical to take the Army report completely at face value.

..suddenly this guy showed some secret guts and whispered, but the stories really are true...That would be the stories that he declared under oath were lies?

Heh. Ever know someone who got pulled over by a cop but didn't think they were speeding or didn't know what the speed limit was?

Afterward, they probably went home and told their friends that they got stopped for going fifteen miles over the speed limit.

Ya can't have it both ways: the guy can't be the gutsy truth-telling combat soldier AND the chickenshit who says one thing for the record and another when he thinks he can get away with it.

Why on earth not? Soldiers are human, not some 50's-era comic book hero.

Let's look at Beauchamp's possible motivations for telling two stories, one to the Army and another to TNR:

Army: Beauchamp doesn't want to get himself or the guys on his squad court-martialed or imprisoned or whatever for what he's described -OR- Beauchamp's decided to take his lumps for writing the articles without authorization.

TNR: Beauchamp hasn't refuted his articles because they are either a) true, b) true in perspective, but with factual errors that would not qualify the articles as being true accounts, or c) he doesn't want to admit that he's lied to several people, including his wife, in order to get published on a fairly obscure political rag.

Note that I'm not endorsing or eliminating any of these options; in addition, there may be others that I haven't thought of that may apply.

The Army confronted him, and Beauchamp stated under oath that his stories were lies and distortions.

No, that's not how the transcript reads. Check the official statement at the end; He just wants to stop talking about it.

But that, the central theme of Beauchamp's stories, was a lie.

Then why have I seen that theme repeated in other writings about war, tA? That, probably by necessity, the military can make you a hard person.

Just THINK about what you're defending here...It's a set of stories published by a magazine with low standards and an established record of publishing made up stories just like these.

I don't recall defending The Weekly Standard. As for TNR, they seem to be the ones that are getting the shaft in this whole tempest-in-a-teacup. It looks like they did some due diligence in verifying Beauchamp's articles, and Beauchamp hasn't recanted...So what else are they to do other than continue as they have been?

Why on earth do y'all have so much emotionally invested in THIS guy's dissolved credibility?

Personally, I don't. It's just fun egging you on to greater-and-greater degrees of hyperventilation.

You guys seem to have selected BEAUCHAMP, of all people, to identify with..

No, that would be my brother-in-law over in Afghanistan, the place where we should have finished the job before invading and occupying a country that wasn't a military threat to the US.

And with that, I'm off this subject until something else concrete develops.

Posted by: grape_crush on October 25, 2007 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Jeff on October 25, 2007 at 2:04 PM:

In other words it was Beauchamp, NOT the Army who was stonewalling TNR. He could have talked to them any time he wanted, it was just that he chose not to.

Eeesh. Try reading past the first page of the transcript, Jeff...Apparently the request had to go through the proper channels, as stated later in the transcript.

Posted by: grape_crush on October 25, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Grape, I got news for you: the notion what "war is all hell" is not original to Beauchamp or TNR.

The truth of what it does to the people who kill people and destroy things cuz WE ask 'em to, is not limited to this particular asshole's stories.

Are you REALLY this fucking stooopid that you can't see that placing the level of credence in Beauchamp that TNR and the Washington Monthly, specifically Kevin, continues to do, makes it much harder for REAL stories about the war to get out and be believed?

Are you THAT fucking blind that you can't see how much this is like the way Swiftboaters took what should have been an asset (Kerry's Vietnam service) and turned it into a liability ("reminscient of Genghis Khan")?

Remember, Kevin's initial take (which is the only reason I spoke up 'tall) was the prediction that Beauchamp would turn out to have made a minor error here or there, nothing to worry about, and definitely not worth giving in to the vast right wing on the guy's basic credibility.

And Kevin, if I wrong you in that: speak up.

Some of us caught on this guy was a poseur immediately.

Put it this way -- God forbid the next abu Ghraib or Hugh Thompson happens to need TNR or the Washington Monthly to go to bat for him.

Grape, did you even READ the looooong sections of the transcript where the only thing TNR cares about are how bad it makes THEM look?

Did you happen to notice that they were talking to a guy on combat duty in a WAR zone, but expected him to fax a signature to his lawyer ASAP?

Did you happen to notice that TNR doesn't seem to know the difference between a "commanding officer" and a staff sergeant?

But then, hey, I must have missed something, too: the part where TNR fulfilled its promise to report on its investigation.

This plays into the worst images of elite journalism -- that it's all about the relationships between highly educated people who couldn't care less about the truth (TNR reminding Beauchamp that to his wife, a TNR employee, the MOST important thing was that he not recant), but only how they can 'control the story'.

How about you tell us, Grape, how backing Beauchamp is gonna help the next time a TNR or a Monthly wants to go after a Judith Miller?

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Some of us caught on this guy was a poseur immediately.

Gosh, I wonder why that might have been.

Takes one to know one, bullshitist. Now go play military dressup again, before momma makes your dinner.

Posted by: ahem on October 25, 2007 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

What's amazing to me is how much time and effort both sides have put into the Scott Beauchamp story, while other stories alleging US brutality on a vastly greater scale have been totally ignored. How come so little attention has been paid to this story by Christopher Hedges & Laila Al-Arian in The Nation which alleges that:

"Over the past several months The Nation has interviewed fifty combat veterans of the Iraq War from around the United States in an effort to investigate the effects of the four-year-old occupation on average Iraqi civilians...

Their stories, recorded and typed into thousands of pages of transcripts, reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq. Dozens of those interviewed witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings; others treated or investigated civilian casualties after the fact. Many also heard such stories, in detail, from members of their unit. The soldiers, sailors and marines emphasized that not all troops took part in indiscriminate killings. Many said that these acts were perpetrated by a minority. But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported--and almost always go unpunished."

Posted by: Peter H on October 25, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

You're catching on, Peter H.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 4:47 PM | PERMALINK

It's hard to judge whether this is damning or not

Then you aren't all that bright are you Kevin? Beauchamp has already undermined his first article about the stresses of war leading him and his mates to abuse a disfigured woman. You, without any substantiation whatsoever, accuse the military of harassing him into his current position of refusing to comment further. You try to gloss over the fact that Foer was trying to intimidate Beauchamp with the threat that his career as a writer will be over unless he stands by his stories (didn't Stephen Glass just write a novel?). You ignore the fact tht Foer censures Beauchamp by brow beating him into cancelling his interviews with Newsweek and the Washington Post. You also conveniently ignore Beauchamp's own statement that the Army hasn't been censuring him. He could have called the New Republic whenever he wanted.

Beauchamp's stories were lies. Perhaps Kevin's liberalism prevents him from distinguishing the truth from lies. However, one thing is clear, the New Republic has been engaged in one big, dishonest cover up. The fact that they haven't published a retraction is just plain dishonest. Even if you cling to the fantasy that the stories haven't been disproven, they certainly haven't been supported with creedible evidence.

Posted by: jt007 on October 25, 2007 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 3:30 PM:

Grape, I got news for you: the notion what "war is all hell" is not original to Beauchamp or TNR.

Never said it was, but apparently you have some issues that prevent you from being intellectually honest in your arguments.

The truth of what it does to the people who kill people and destroy things cuz WE ask 'em to, is not limited to this particular asshole's stories.

No shit, sherlock...I thought the movie Full Metal Jacket illustrated the point well, among several other examples.

..you can't see that placing the level of credence in Beauchamp that TNR and the Washington Monthly, specifically Kevin, continues to do..

Where, exactly, does Kevin (or me, for that matter) do this? You still haven't addressed that oint from earlier, tA.

...makes it much harder for REAL stories about the war to get out and be believed?

How? There's plenty of 'real stories' about the occupation of Iraq out there. Pick up a newspaper. Throw a virtual rock. Pull your head out of your ass.

Are you THAT fucking blind that you can't see how much this is like the way Swiftboaters took what should have been an asset...

I guess so, because the analogy makes little sense. Who is being 'swiftboated'? Beauchamp, TNR, the military....who, exactly? And who exactly is doing the 'swiftboating'? You, Drudge, The Weekly Standard, the military...who? And what is the strength that is being turned against whoever? Beauchamp's veracity (which you say doesn't exist), TNR's journalistic integrity (which you say doesn't exist), or the military's habit of taking care of their own?

Please explain, because to someone who's 'fucking blind' like me, your analogy is crap.

Remember, Kevin's initial take (which is the only reason I spoke up 'tall)..

Yeah, I doubt that. You come off like a right-whinger with an axe to grind posing as a progressive.

..was the prediction that Beauchamp would turn out to have made a minor error here or there..

A prediction which still hasn't been invalidated, by-the-way. It might still be, but there's a lot of conflicting information out there.

And Kevin, if I wrong you in that: speak up.

He doesn't need to; what is needed is for you to grab a paper bag and breathe into it until you stop hyperventilating...then grab a glass of water, take your meds, and wait for the whole story to come out instead of relying on a Drudge post that Drudge yanked from his site a few hours after posting it.

And how did Drudge get those documents, anyway?

Grape, did you even READ the looooong sections of the transcript where the only thing TNR cares about are how bad it makes THEM look?

I did. So?

Did you happen to notice that they were talking to a guy on combat duty in a WAR zone, but expected him to fax a signature to his lawyer ASAP?

Yes, they were talking to him from a place that had the ability to conference in another individual...chances are that there's a fax machine available somewhere, or Beauchamp wouldn't have agreed to doing it...Besides, it's not like Beauchamp was ducking bullets while taking the call. Are you this dense all the time?

Did you happen to notice that TNR doesn't seem to know the difference between a "commanding officer" and a staff sergeant?

Again...So?

This plays into the worst images of elite journalism..

TNR is 'elite'? News to me...

..but only how they can 'control the story'.

Only if blowhards such as yourself keep pushing that narrative. TNR has supported Beauchamp; it's well within expectations that they should "make as statement about [TNR's] business before other people do."

How about you tell us, Grape, how backing Beauchamp is gonna help the next time a TNR or a Monthly wants to go after a Judith Miller?

The public's confidence in the MSM's integrity is important, yes...But when that confidence is broken, whoever did it usually gets purged from the MSM...Judith Miller no longer works for the NY Times, Malkin got bumped from Fox (suprised at that, but okay), and if the worst-case scenario came true - Beauchamp lied his ass off - then he and his wife won't be associated with TNR anymore; an editor may get fired.

And right-whingers will use the incident to discredit any article that contradicts their viewpoint, because they want to control the story as well...As for the 'real' stuff not getting noticed, well, that happens a lot when the media's focus is elsewhere.

Posted by: grape_crush on October 25, 2007 at 6:43 PM | PERMALINK

Some of us caught on this guy was a poseur immediately.

Just like a chickenhawk to call an infantryman, in the field, during war time, a "poser".

theAmateur, I got news for you: You will be a pussy for the rest of your life...

Posted by: elmo on October 25, 2007 at 7:43 PM | PERMALINK

Elmo, ya got issues. Get therapy.

Grape, you obviously know little about a lot, me included. I note, now and again, that I have more and better lefty credentials than most folks who post here. Ya wanna know more, email me.

Let us all just admire the utter stupidity of Grape's "point" here: "TNR has supported Beauchamp; it's well within expectations that they should "make as statement about [TNR's] business before other people do."

They knew at least as of early September that 1) Beauchamp wouldn't stand behind his stories anymore and 2) he wouldn't let 'em see the sworn statements in which he repudiated 'em.

Just how long d'ya figure it would be reasonable to wait for TNR to let us know these things?

Hmmm?

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 8:44 PM | PERMALINK

Why the fuck do we have to email you, Paul Donnelly? Just tell us whatever it is that you are so proud of yourself for. And I did email you, but it was never answered.

There I just sent another one...

Posted by: elmo on October 25, 2007 at 9:54 PM | PERMALINK

Ahh... I hadn't made the connection. (The previous email had been tagged as spam.)

My invitation was to Grape. Unless it's really relevant, I generally leave my meatspace life out of posts like this, and I make a practice (which I actually practice most of the time)to stay away from thread debates that come too close. Besides, the thread isn't about me, and getting mis-cast as a right whinge (?) isn't the worst distortion I've seen here. So I invited Grape to email me if she wanted to know more -- not you, Elmo.

Since this is the second time you've emailed me directly, it's something like stalking, given the things you say here and the utter lack of anything useful in any of your posts.

(to the mods) So I'm taking the precaution of forwarding his emails to me, and a couple of Elmo's posts regarding me, to the FBI.

Like I said, dude: you've got issues. Get therapy.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 25, 2007 at 10:47 PM | PERMALINK


LOL! I can't wait to get questioned by the FBI!

You begged me to email you a month ago or so ago so I did. Today I send you another since you are so proud that you leave your actual email address. And you call me a stalker. ROFLMAO!

Let me close this debate once and for all. I mean, you've been fun to play with, but this has run it's course.

BEAUCHAMP is a grunt. I don't care if he is the worst performing of the bunch in Iraq, he is there. There are very few things that I will let you get away with in criticizing a grunt. And Beauchamp haven't come close even if everything he said was a lie. I don't care if he wipes his ass with the flag you're going to show him respect or I'm going to hand your ass to you Every. Single. Time.

His brothers get to set him straight if needed, you need to stay the fuck out. Because even if he is a big fat liar, his brothers on his team will defend him from you no matter how much a fuck up he is.

Here, let me tell you a story...

In my days as a tank hunter killer team leader I had the pleasure having a grade A fuck up on my team. PVT. Williams. On his first mission, after doing reasonably well as a spotter one a successful kill of a tank, he decided he could not carry his ruk and SAW on the 17 mile march back to the FOB. We were in a time crunch so the rest of the team carried his gear while he walked in only his BDU's. Not a word was said during that march, but everyone was pissed at PVT. Williams. About 100 meters from the FOB I pulled the team into the brush and gave Williams a little talkn' to. After ripping him a new asshole I instructed the rest of the team that the issue was over and that it would stay in the team. Period. We walked into the FOB as studs all and not a word was said about Williams. He became a damn good soldier after that and our hunter killer team was the best in the company.

PVT. Williams may have been a fuck up, but he was there.

Posted by: elmo on October 25, 2007 at 11:58 PM | PERMALINK

http://blindintexas.blogspot.com/2007/10/paul-donnelly-sicks-fbi-on-elmo.html

Posted by: elmo on October 26, 2007 at 1:27 AM | PERMALINK

"There are very few things that I will let you get away with in criticizing a grunt."

"The disfigured woman slammed her cup down and ran out of the chow hall."

Get therapy.

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 26, 2007 at 7:41 AM | PERMALINK

Shut up, phony.

Posted by: elmo on October 26, 2007 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

"There are very few things that I will let you get away with in criticizing a grunt."

-Elmo

"The disfigured woman slammed her cup down and ran out of the chow hall."

- Beauchamp

"Shut up, phony."

- Elmo

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 26, 2007 at 9:53 AM | PERMALINK

"theAmericanist is a fake-ass loser with tiny little balls"

-Elmo

Posted by: elmo on October 26, 2007 at 10:16 AM | PERMALINK

"Get therapy.
Posted by: theAmericanist on October 26, 2007 at 7:41 AM | PERMALINK "

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 26, 2007 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

"Get a clue"

-Elmo

Posted by: elmo on October 26, 2007 at 10:59 AM | PERMALINK

Elmo, serious question: what ARE you doing here?

The point of the thread, and the larger argument about Beauchamp, is about stuff like

"The "Witnesses and Evidence" section of the formal memorandum, btw, includes:

"(5) Sworn statements from Private Beauchamp stating he did not hit or target dogs as a driver of a Bradley nor did he see a "mass grave" but did find animal bones during the initial occupation of Combat Outpost Ellis (Exhibit E)."

So far as I can tell, you've added literally nothing.

What are you doing here?

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 26, 2007 at 11:25 AM | PERMALINK

What are you doing here?

Bitchslapping an idiot.

Posted by: elmo on October 26, 2007 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

"(5) Sworn statements from Private Beauchamp stating he did not hit or target dogs as a driver of a Bradley nor did he see a "mass grave" but did find animal bones during the initial occupation of Combat Outpost Ellis (Exhibit E)."

But I'll give Michael Yon the last word, cuz the contrast with Elmo, not to mention Kevin, is important:

"...what struck me as most important was not that Beauchamp wrote some bad combat stress fiction, but that a media organization printed it as truth.

And what of Beauchamp? Because he was the man who originally wrote the lurid overwrought fable of puppy-killing among the grave-desecrating cretins who made fun of a woman disfigured by bombs, the tepid outcome left many people unhappy. Especially those who wanted to see him humiliated (he has been plenty humiliated). Beauchamp was allowed to stay in the Army and suffered only a minor administrative setback.

I was at a reconciliation meeting between Sunni and Shia in the West Rashid district of Baghdad on 24 October, and it happened by complete coincidence that I was with Beauchamp’s battalion. In fact, I was with his old company commander for much of the day, although I had no idea for most of it that I was with Beauchamp’s old company commander.

At the reconciliation meeting, Beauchamp’s battalion commander, LTC George Glaze, politely introduced himself and asked who I wrote for. When I replied that I just have a little blog, the word caught his ears and he mentioned Beauchamp, who I acknowledged having heard something about. LTC Glaze seemed protective of Beauchamp, despite how the young soldier had maligned his fellow soldiers. In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was given the chance to leave or stay.

The reality of war is hellish enough: the IED that left this massive crater in the road in Mosul also killed four soldiers and an interpreter.

It can be pretty tough over here. The soldiers in Beauchamp’s unit have seen a lot of combat. Often times soldiers are working in long stretches of urban guerrilla combat dogged by fatigue and sleep deprivation. This is likely one of the most stressful jobs in the world, especially when millions of people are screaming at you for failures that happened three years or more ago, and for decisions to invade Iraq that were made when you were still a teenager. Just as bad is the silence from the untold millions who have already written off your effort as hopeless. Add that to the fact that buddies are getting killed in front of you. (More than 70 killed in Beauchamp’s brigade.) I see what these young men and women go through, and the extraordinary professionalism they nearly always manage to exude awes me on a daily basis.

Lapses of judgment are bound to happen, and accountability is critical, but that’s not the same thing as pulling out the hanging rope every time a soldier makes a mistake.

Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not. He faced his peers. I can only imagine the cold shoulders, and worse, he must have gotten. He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it.

So much depends on soldiers who are sometimes all too human.

The commander said I was welcome to talk with Beauchamp, but clearly he did not want anyone else coming at his soldier. LTC Glaze told me that at least one blog had even called for Beauchamp to be killed, which seems rather extreme even on a very bad day. LTC Glaze wants to keep Beauchamp, and hopes folks will let it rest. I’m with LTC Glaze on this: it’s time to let Beauchamp get back to the war. The young soldier learned his lessons. He paid enough to earn his second chance that he must know he will never get a third.

Though Beauchamp is close, I’m not going to spend half a day tracking him down when just this morning I woke to rockets launching from nearby and landing on an American base. Who has time to skin Beauchamp? We need him on his post and focused.

As for The New Republic, some on the staff may feel like they’ve been hounded and treed, but it’s hard to feel the same sympathy for a group of cowards who won’t ’fess up and can’t face the scorn of American combat soldiers who were injured by their collective lapse of judgment. "

Posted by: theAmericanist on October 26, 2007 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

You've been backpeddling since this whole debate started. You and the rest of the wingnuts claimed his stories were a lie because what he said COULD NOT HAVE POSSIBLY HAPPENED. Complete with sandbox displays. You punks jumped all over him because he made war look bad.

In contrast, when things go bad in war and false stories are given to the media, not one word from the wingnuts, because they made war look good. Remember Pat Tillman?

But you wont debate honestly because of your war agenda. So you can eat shit and die. I'm still waiting on that visit from the FBI. Punk.

Posted by: elmo on October 26, 2007 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

James W wrote (a whole lot of ignorant, jingoistic war-worshiping shit, but that's beside the point) Oh, you must be talking about the atrocities that Jesse MacBeth committed. You know...the "phony soldier".

No, I was referring to the atrocities of the Stephen Greens and Lindie Englands and Charles Graners and the unknown unnamed warrant officers in the photos. You pretending like the whole sorry mess is all hunky dory is revolting.

You would rather be a chickenhawk than a liberal? Fine by us. Hang with the losers, fools and warmongering fuckwits if you like. We won't miss you, or the rest of the 24%-ers.

And by the way, if you would have read the whole thread, instead of cherry-picking, you would have seen that I have been skeptical of the stories from the get-go.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on October 26, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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