Iraq

L'affaire Beauchamp: The sound of many knees jerking

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The Scott Thomas Beauchamp brouhaha, if you have been following it, is a proverbial tempest in a teapot. The claims Beauchamp made (as the barely pseudonymous "Scott Thomas") in his "Baghdad Diarist" New Republic article about American soldiers behaving badly are fairly trivial; the war in Iraq does not stand or fall on their truthfulness. Nonetheless, the blogosphere's reaction to the story has been sharply divided along pro-war and anti-war lines almost from the start, and this across-the-board knee-jerk response is, perhaps, the most interesting (if depressing) aspect of the entire affair.

Right meme: it's a liberal media conspiracy to besmirch the war effort by encouraging a leftist literary poseur to publish fictional or embellished stories painting soldiers as depraved sociopaths. Left meme: it's a right-wing cyber-lynching of a soldier telling the ugly truth about the war. TNR's announcement that it has confirmed the story to its satisfaction has not changed any minds.

There is no question that some of the right-wing rhetoric directed at Beauchamp and at TNR was indeed shockingly ugly, violent, and paranoid (Beauchamp was a leftist mole who had deliberately infiltrated the military in order to destroy it from within!). But the defense of Beauchamp from the anti-war camp seems misguided.  For one thing, the one detail that TNR admits he got wrong—the incident which opens his piece, in which Beauchamp and a buddy publicly mock a woman disfigured in an IED explosion, did not occur in Iraq but in Kuwait while awaiting deployment—is not a triviality.  After all, with the correct location, the anecdote would not have fit into Beauchamp's narrative. His point was that war messes up one's moral compass, including his own.  If this happened before he was in a war zone, there goes the moral of the story.

Far less attention has been paid to the curious matter of Beauchamp's first diarist piece, "War Bonds". In it, Beauchamp chats with a friendly Iraqi boy while changing a flat tire, only to find out the next day that the boy, who called himself "James Bond," had his tongue cut out by insurgents for talking to Americans. This horrifying tale abounds in improbabilities—above all, the fact that a month or two later Beauchamp sees the same kid back on the same streets, hanging around Americans and waiting for handouts, smiling happily and sprinting after a soccer ball.  His spirits are apparently undampened by the mutilation or by fear of further reprisals, and his family has not thought to keep him off the streets, or maybe try to get out of that neighborhood.  None of it rings true—though I'm certainly not denying that the insurgents could have done such a thing.  (For more analysis of that piece, see my post at The Y-Files.)  Of course, no one questioned that story because no one has a political or emotional stake in disproving atrocities by insurgents.

So yes, I think there are good reasons to question Beauchamp's accuracy, and neither TNR nor liberal bloggers are doing themselves any favors by coming uncritically to his defense. But conservative bloggers aren't covering themselves in glory either when they stridenly insist that TNR gave Beauchamp a platform in a nefarious plot to smear and slander the troops. TNR is not some far-left rag that revels in spitting on American soldiers; it is a centrist magazine that initially supported the war in Iraq. Indeed, while I think the story of the boy who had his tongue cut out raises further doubts about Beauchamp's credibility, it also points to the aburdity of claims that TNR editors were eager to publish Beauchamp because his writings put U.S. troops in Iraq in a bad light. I think Beauchamp wanted to write gritty, vivid, human-interest-rich accounts of the horrors of war, and TNR wanted to publish them.

I also think Andrew Sullivan probably has a point when he speculates that one reason for the Beauchamp brouhaha is that, unable to discredit the real bad news coming from Iraq, war supporters have targeted the Beauchamp story as a weak link. There are also far too many on the right who do not want to hear, or to accept, any bad news about the conduct or the morale of American troops.

But none of that changes the fact that a magazine like TNR owes its readers real accuracy, not just a "close enough." Truth in journalism matters; that's why the Beauchamp saga is not entirely trivial. And even those who are rightly disgusted by the hysteria about "slandering the troops" should not overlook this fact. In the end, Beauchamp and his persecutors may well deserve each other.

Extended version cross-posted at The Y-Files.

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  1. How much accuracy can you expect from media that say global warming is a certainty and the war on drugs is important and nessariy.We have a huge threat to food supplies from ethonol support,not to mention the drain on taxpayers,yet it is considered important to replace oil.

  2. The stresses of a war zone corrode sensibilities; people do things – like killing – that they would not normally do. The fact that soldiers are ordinary people means that, among them, the full range of human types exists. Some perform actions of incredible heroism; others – a tiny minority – use the lowering of moral standards to commit acts of depravity.

    The right is stupid to deny the fact that the depraved minority exists among US troops.

    The left is deceitful when it attempts to portray the actions of the minority as the norm.

  3. “His point was that war messes up one’s moral compass, including his own.” – Y

    Certainly his point is unremarkable, as other writers of other generations serving in the front line have documented in other, more brutal conflicts. In my recent post “The Old Breed. The New Breed.” I compare Beauchamp to E.B. Sledge. Sledge, a marine private who served in the South Pacific in WWII, wrote an unflinching memoir about far worse horrors inflicted by both sides in that conflict. His book is required reading at Military Schools today.

    What Beauchamp (and his publisher) failed to understand, is that if you are going to report on soldiers losing their moral compass, it is incumbent that you report with scrupulous accuracy, honesty, and your motivation be clear. Sledge’s work passes that test, Beauchamp’s does not.

  4. Cathy Young’s comment that TNR is a centerist mag brings her partiality into question. They are obviously left leaning.

    Are we so used to the far left of the MSM that a source only “left leaning” appears to be centerist?

  5. After the intense and powerful, blissful and pure intoxication from Rathergate the righties can’t seem to stop chasing that first high.

    Also, since backstabbers are needed to prevent the harrowing cognitive dissidence that results from getting everything you ever asked for in prosectuing the war and occupation and still end up failing miserably, then, by God, backstabbers will need to be invented.

  6. Michael Pack,

    You know that the New Republic is critical of both the drug war and ethanol subsidies, right?

    Maybe it would be worthwhile to look at the actual facts and personalities here, rather than interpretting everything in terms of a political narrative about “the left,” “the right,” and “the media.”

  7. Actually, my toungue really was cut out. However, it was not cut out by insurgents, but by the estate of Ian Flemming for trademark infringement.

  8. Heavens you just can’t trust the MSM. From now on I’m only believing stuff I hear from official government outlets, as they have proven themselves perfectly credible and honest at all times.

  9. I had never even heard of this until yesterday.

  10. cognitive dissidence

    dissonance, dissidence whatever.

  11. Wait – the *New Republic* published inaccurate reporting? That sounds so implausible.

  12. You know that the New Republic is critical of both the drug war and ethanol subsidies, right?

    So is Rolling Stone magazine. They even questioned the Federal Reserve.Doesn’t change the fact that they are “left leaning” media.

  13. Grotius, I had never even heard of this until I read this.

  14. Nonetheless, the blogosphere’s reaction to the story has been sharply divided along pro-war and anti-war lines almost from the start, and this across-the-board knee-jerk response is, perhaps, the most interesting (if depressing) aspect of the entire affair.

    I believe that this sort of observation underlies 90% of Cathy Young’s writing.

  15. SIV,

    But they are not even remotely left-leaning on the Iraq War. They were among its biggest boosters before it happened and for years afterwards, endorsing Joe Lieberman for President and piling on Howard Dean. Even today, they remain sharply to the right of the American public, arguing for a continuation of the war, defending its initial justification, and attributing its failure, a la John McCain, to the poor execution of the administration. Meanwhile, 70-odd% of the American public is to their right, denouncing the decision to go to war and the justification given for it, and calling for a swift withdrawal.

    They are left-leaning on health care and abortion rights, but so what? On the issue that is allegedly their motive for publishing “biased” reports, the war in Iraq, their political leanings are actually in the opposite direction.

  16. thoreau

    Are you complaining that Ms Young’s writing is too balanced for this forum? (This is an honest question, not a trollish attempt to bait anyone.)

  17. Edward-

    It’s not that she’s too balanced. There’s nothing wrong with balance. If you want to consider an issue and analyze pro and con arguments, go for it.

    That’s somewhat different from observing that “Yep, yet again, people are polarized, especially the predictable partisans.”

  18. But they are not even remotely left-leaning on the Iraq War.

    So you are equating war support with ideology?

    Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan on the Left. Joe Lieberman and The New Republic on the Right?

    No one supports the war more than Bush, yet the “hard right” regards him as a moderate centrist.

  19. SIV,

    No, the people accusing the New Republic of running anti-war propaganda because they’re “left-leaning” are confusing war support with ideology..

    I’m just pointing out that their argument fails even on its own terms.

  20. thoreau

    I think you have a point.

  21. thoreau: Yes, the fact that so much political commentary today, whether on blogs or in more “traditional” punditry, consists of knee-jerk, polarized, “my side good/other side evil” reactions is an issue of paramount concern to me. I don’t apologize for that. However, “90% of my writing” consists of reiterating that observation? This page has a list of my articles for January on Reason.com; how many of them fit your description?

    Actually, there’s a lot more to this post than “the left and the right are being predictably partisan”; I also discuss, for instance, the issue of journalistic integrity.

  22. Michael Pack

    How much accuracy can you expect from media that say global warming is a certainty …We have a huge threat to food supplies from ethonol support,not to mention the drain on taxpayers,yet it is considered important to replace oil.

    Wow. Talk about your tolerance for cognitive dissonance. What makes the media organization making claims about ethanol being “a huge threat to food supplies” credible while those reporting on the UN IPCC are not?

    Shouldn’t your skepticism be aimed at both claims. Wouldn’t the degree of evidence for one claim over the other matter in your determination of credibility?

  23. As for The New Republic… well, Eric Alterman has castigated the media for referring to TNR as liberal or centrist despite their hawkish foreign policy.

  24. What the New Republic owes its readers is what they will pay for.

    Anything else is prolly socialism of some sort.

    And come on, who reads the New Republic anyway…OK I do, but for the same reason that back when the Soviets shot down the Korean airlines back in the day when Ronnie was pres, I turned on the 700 hundred club to find out what the White House reaction would be. Thankx to that, I knew hours before my friends who watched CNN back then would find out.

    The New Republic readers no more want accuracy than Fox news viewers do. They want their biases confirmed. Hell, Aristotle wrote about that, and little has changed since.

    Anyone who trusts writers, or politicians for anything even remotely approaching the truth, I have got an excellent bridge to sell you.

  25. I also think Andrew Sullivan probably has a point when he speculates that one reason for the Beauchamp brouhaha is that, unable to discredit the real bad news coming from Iraq, war supporters have targeted the Beauchamp story as a weak link.

    This is the same tactic employed by Intelligent Design proponents and conspiracy theorists. They treat the pile of evidence that goes against their pet theory as being incredibly fragile. Instead of a big pile of rocks, they see The Opposition as a supremely intricate construct, where every individual piece-no matter how insignificant-is a keystone, and that if they could but pluck out any single pebble from the structure, the entire thing will collapse.

    Nitpicking has replaced serious analysis.

  26. You’re right, Cathy, there was a lot more to this post than just “Look, polarization!”

    My bad.

  27. If the New Republic, a pro-war magazine editted by a man on the board of the Scooter Libby Defense Fund, is only working to confirm its readers’ biases, then why would it run stories that tend to make the war look bad?

  28. Speaking of “moral compasses”, I am convinced that The New Republic has not given a damn about facts for so long that they do not realize how inaccuracies can actually be different from each other and have different impacts. Impact like Cathy has already covered here is waived away by the editors at TNR as just a minor detail.

    Cathy, glad you covered ‘story’ 1, I had not paid it any attention but will check it out now, thanks to you.

    In the “Shock Troops” story, then PFC Beauchamp (he has been serving in his second-award of PV2 since before these stories were published) wrote about a Bradley IFV incident he claimed to hear on the radio, IIRC, and additional details by the alleged driver.

    From PV2 Bauchamp’s other statements about his mechanical aptitude, I can see where a Bradley driver could tell the guy a tall tale and he repete it as fact. No track commander is letting his driver bust through concrete barracades and buildings. That is a good way to break the final drive and be stuck in a hostile area. TNR did not bother to reveal what their ‘research’ found on this item.

    They also failed to reveal who the Public Affairs Officers that they “attempted” to contact were either. Other members of the media have not had much trouble contacting the PAOs and TNR could easily reveal who they contacted and who did not return messages.

    Actually, there is not telling what the original stories were and how much fairbanksing (google is your friend) went into the final product.

    As for the IED victim, the only thing revealed was that the woman was scarred and then PFC Beauchamp began spouting off about IED victims. Even if the woman does exist, there is no telling how much exaggeration there is to her appearance or what caused her injury.

    The point about TNR being generally pro-Iraqi Freedom and supporting the Global War on Terror is somehting that the Rightleaning ‘bloggers don’t seem to grasp. Then again, the people who point this out tend to miss the fact that TNR seems to believe that the wrong political party is running the war. They certainly are not centrist, they are pro-liberation Leftists (a rare find, too bad they are so sloppy).

    Another bad aspect to this affair is that this Private happens to be married to one of the only decent writers at TNR, Elspeth Reeve. Odd how that happens, but I hope she continues to do well.

    All in all, I don’t believe anything from PV2 Beauchamp just from looking at the nonsense in his online journal. This whole deal sounds like he heard and made things up, passed them along to the editors at TNR who in turn made more things up while trying to make a readable story out of PV2 Beauchamp’s notes back to the office.

    It is odd how TNR is silent about firing a staffer for confirming that PV2 Beauchamp is actually married to Elspeth Reeve, even though the editors reveled the relationship within a day or two.

    The “investigation” post by TNR reads like a child trying to convince parents that an elephant stepped on their broken toys.

    All in all, that publication is nothing but bad fiction that the staff believes as fact and no fact will change that.

  29. joe,

    (an answer:Vietnam-era nostalgia for spitting on the “troops”?)

    I expect inconsistency from the left. The New Republic could approve of the Democracy-spreading , Nation-building foreign policy activism of the war while still holding a negative view of the American military.I imagine the political landscpe in regards to the war would be quite different if President Gore was leading the United Nations coalition forces after 4 years in Iraq.

  30. SIV

    I expect inconsistency from the left.

    As opposed to from the right? The middle? The libertarains?

    Not trying to put words in your mouth, but is there a partisan group you expect consistency from?

  31. Cathy Young,

    Yes, the fact that so much political commentary today, whether on blogs or in more “traditional” punditry, consists of knee-jerk, polarized, “my side good/other side evil” reactions is an issue of paramount concern to me.

    That seems to be a constant throughout this republic’s history.

  32. Well, SIV, President Gore wasn’t an irredeemable fuck-up, so maybe the political situation surrounding the war would have been diffferent.

    Nice admission that your perception is based on myths, though. Lotta names on the Spat Upon Troops Monument, are there?

  33. C’mon joe, you know the myth that no soldiers were spit on was the result of partial indexing of newspapers.

    We can’t visit that alternate universe where Gore received more votes down in Florida to see what President Gore’s War on Terror would look like. Perhaps he is an even bigger fuck-up over there?

  34. C’mon joe, you know the myth that no soldiers were spit on was the result of partial indexing of newspapers.

    Awesome. “It’s true because there’s no evidence.”

  35. BTW, in case someone missed the most important indicator of PV2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp being a trouble maker who deeds to be watched closely: he appears to have a BA degree.

  36. Some soldiers do remember being spit on as they returned from Vietnam yet some guy did “research” that found no newspaper accounts prior to the early 1980s that reported this so he termed it a myth. There were contemporary press references to the spitting only the newspapers had not been indexed in databases at the time of his research.
    Although literal spitting was a rare reception for returning Vietnam vets it did happen and was most certainly not a myth.

  37. Good posting Cathy, and I agree with a lot of what you wrote. That said, I think you’re a bit overcritical of TNR. Beauchamp’s tales are part of what’s probably so common that it can be called an element of the human condition: the tendency to embellish war stories.

    Singling out Beauchamp or TNR seems a bit unfair. How about Michael Yon, the right-wing blogger who concocted a fairy tale about al-Qaeda soldiers eating a young girl? Or the one about the Iraqis taking babies out of incubators in Kuwait? Not to mention the Army’s own confections about Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman.

    Next to those things, I’d say Beauchamp looks like Walter Cronkhite. Oops, CBS. How about Jim Lehrer?

    What really sticks out here was the willingness of the right wing to go absoultely crazy about this one. Not just with the threats and all, but you even had The Weekly Standard sourcing “reports” by none other than Matt Sanchez, the latest Republican answer to Jeff Gannon and Ted Haggard. You just KNOW the end must be near when they get this desperate!

    Next to

  38. Damn Guy beat me to it.

    Looks like most of that Right Meme was true except for MAYBE TNRs motivation.

  39. I am still betting that Eve Fairbanks worked on those stories in some capacity.

    If it is summer in DC it is Fairbanksing time.

  40. Thanks for the link Guy
    McNellis piece was good

  41. A little slow, but in perfectly scripted fashion, the Left says it is a coverup.

  42. His point was that war messes up one’s moral compass, including his own

    Too bad he couldn’t make his point without lying, eh?

    And isn’t it interesting that, when a Western journalist goes to Iraq and decides to write a story about depravity and atrocity, they are much more likely to make one up about Americans than report truthfully about AQ?

  43. Andrew Sullivan probably has a point when he speculates that one reason for the Beauchamp brouhaha is that, unable to discredit the real bad news coming from Iraq, war supporters have targeted the Beauchamp story as a weak link.

    This strikes me as a more sophisticated version of “truthiness” and/or “too good to check” – the underlying narrative of American evil and incompetence is a given, written in the stars, so inconvenient facts need not apply.

  44. TNR is making me bust a gut at their inadiquately horrid responses to their sloppy reporting and research.

    The latest? TWS has an anonymous source who said that PV2 Beauchamp voluntarily recanted his stories on the first day of questioning. TNR says this is some sort of “proof” that their anonymous sources are the ones to believe.

    They never address the Public Affairs Officer (PAO) who has responded to no less that 4 inquiries with the same message, ALL of PV2 Beauchamps stories are found to be false.

    The Fairbanksing never ends at TNR.

  45. Um, Guy? A couple of things.

    First, the Army batted down the Weekly Standard’s “scoop.” Second, the “scoop” has all the earmarks of having come from Matt Sanchez, a participant in 39 gay porn videos and a male prostitute for at least four years and almost certainly a good deal longer.

    Last spring, Sanchez acknowledged his prostitution, but began to cover it up as soon as he learned that the Marine Corps was investigating it. But he didn’t manage to delete his old “Excellent Top” website. Find the “Hear My Voice” link on that site, and then compare it to the narrator of his on-line videos.

    The, uh, moral of the story is that the Republican Party and The Weekly Standard really need to find better smear merchants than Matt Sanchez. I can imagine that some of you would want to ride that horse, but not into battle. Ha!

  46. CW,

    The Army did not “bat down” anything. TNR has taken a statement from the Army about people adding EXTRA information anonymously and hooked people like you with it.

    Also, are you now trying to tell us that you have always heald the position that anybody who ever committed a homosexual act should be barred from military service, or is this a new position for you? Or, should they just be barred if they disagree with you?

  47. Um, Guy? Being gay is not the same as having a career as a porn actor and being a male prostitute for at least four years running. Your wingnut “reporter” is in a different category; he’s someone with experience in telling clients what they want to hear.

    I know all about “media whores,” but I’d say Matt Sanchez takes that to a new level. And it’s fun to watch him be embraced by the Republican Party, which seems to have found itself with a string of these spokesmen.

  48. CW,

    With statements like that, coming from someone who can not understand the simple statement: An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims. – MAJ Steven F. Lamb, Deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad I can sort of see why you think that stupid attack on a reporter who disagrees with you “proves” your version.

    Also, somehow, you take a “source close to the investigation” as being some Marine Reservist reporter who is standing near the investigation. Context is not that hard. Try it sometime.

    Sounds like Mr. Foer actually uses your “logic” too, when he says the Army should provide him with information from their investigation.

    If Mr. Foer believes PV2 Beauchamp then he has a criminal on his staff who engaged in sexual harassment and conduct unbecoming a soldier at the very least. He also has in his hands evidence of war crimes and violations of the UCMJ. He is coddling criminals who participated in crimes and people who witnessed crimes.

    If anybody should be turning over evidence it is Foer to the US Army where it can be viewed in a public trial of the scum he protects.

    However, if any of that were uncovered by the Army, there would be trial boards assembled as we sit here and type without the help of Mr. Foer.

    Now, for you Mr. Wilson, run along with your little outing games and insinuating that gay/formerly gay folk can’t be trusted to report or anything else. You bring a complete lack of evidence to this discussion and believe in the silliest fables. Continue your support of war criminals and their supporters too, if you like, and feel free to speak your mind so that the rest of us know what sort of person we are dealing with.

  49. BTW, I have not used a single Sanchez refrence in any of my posts. Why you are so hung up on the man I will never know and I really don’t want to find out either.

  50. Correction:

    BTW, I have not used a single Sanchez article refrence in any of my posts. Why you are so hung up on the man I will never know and I really don’t want to find out either.

  51. Um, Guy? I’ve never insinuated that “gay/formerly gay folk can’t be trusted to report or anything else.” Nor have I “outed” anyone.

    Matt Sanchez’s sexual orientation isn’t at issue here. He credibility is. Mr. Sanchez is a former (?) prostitute, and has a long track record of lying about that and other issues. He is not a credible source of information.

    I suspect that The Weekly Standard sourced is now-discredited “scoop” through Matt Sanchez. But my suspicions and a buck and a half will get you a tall coffee of the day somewhere.

    As for the underlying issue of who’s telling the truth, the Army, Pvt. Beauchamp, the wingnutosphere, or The New Republic, I can’t say. As with my suspicions about your buddy Matt Sanchez, I can only suspect and deduce.

    I suspect that everything Beauchamp reported actually happened. I also suspect that he exaggerated his stories. You know, dramatic license and all that. I suspect that the Army doesn’t know its ass from a hole in the ground, and that this is on purpose.

    Their asking the soldiers in Beauchamp’s unit whether these things happened is a knee-slapper. Come on, what soldier is going to be stupid enough to corroborate those stories and face prosecution, administrative sanctions, and a general shitstorm for it, as opposed to saying, “Nosir, I didn’t see a thing?” How naive do you think people are?

    I also suspect that TNR is covering its ass. Anyone with half a brain can see that Beauchamp’s diary is exaggerated. Not that the wingnuts complained earlier this year when the target of his exaggerations were the insurgents, and not that anyone complained when wingnut bloggerista Michael Yon came up with a sale of cannibalistic al-Qaeda fighters.

    What really matters here is the fervor with which the wingnutosphere has approached all of this. Beauchamp’s stories were par for the course in wartime. They were sordid but not shocking or even very surprising. But, because they weren’t wrapped in red, white and blue tinfoil, the wingnuts went crazy. Why?

    I think it’s because you and your crew are terribly frustrated over the ongoing American defeat in Iraq. You know you can’t turn that around, so you take out your anger on some lowly private first class who failed to toe the propaganda line.

    Love the way you people support the troops. And the tool of your support — a Republican, evanglical Christian, porn acting, male prostitute — well let’s all just call Matt Sanchez a bit of comic relief in this otherwise ugly little story of wingnut rage.

  52. Cathy,

    EVERYTHING from “Shock Troops” is a UCMJ violation under 934. ART. 134. GENERAL ARTICLE. Why is Franklin Foer shielding war criminals, if he really believes the story as strongly as he says?

    If you were submitting articles that were generally okay and then dropped a story on Nick where you participated in crimes and then Nick confirmed with your conspirators that, indeed, they helped you commit crimes, wouldn’t Nick be morally obligated to forward the evidence to the proper authorities? Wouldn’t it be silly of Nick to demand the authorities fork over their investigative documents to him so Dave and Radley could write another story about the investigation?

    That is the latest that Mr. Foer is demanding.

    BTW, the BAE Bradley Expert that TNR interviewed is Mr. Doug Coffey and he holds a differing opinion from what TNR “re-reported” in their ‘investigation’.

    CW,

    It the extent that it is worth responding to you, I post the following:

    Matt Sanchez’s sexual orientation isn’t at issue here.

    Yet your only “criticism” of his work is that he did some gay porn.

    I suspect that everything Beauchamp reported actually happened. I also suspect that he exaggerated his stories.

    Nice! It happened, but it did not happen in any fashion described. Really nice! Do you have a BA degree?

    Their asking the soldiers in Beauchamp’s unit whether these things happened is a knee-slapper.

    The “knee slapper” here is Mr. Foer asking the Army to hand over it’s notes so that he can write another story, rather than TNR hand over their notes about the folks Mr. Foer swears committed these crimes. EVERYTHING from “Shock Troops” is a UCMJ violation under 934. ART. 134. GENERAL ARTICLE. Why is Mr. Foer shielding war criminals? He says that he believes the story. If he believes it then he is shielding grave desecrating, property destroying, sexual harassing criminals. Why are you supporting war criminals?

    Actually, I really don’t care what you think any more. You have shown your “greatness of thought” and if I want to hear any more of it I will venture to the Student Union and listen.

  53. Yet your only “criticism” of his work is that he did some gay porn.

    If you really believe that, then you suffer from a serious reading comprehension problem.

    Nice! It happened, but it did not happen in any fashion described.

    That’s not what I wrote.

    Actually, I really don’t care what you think any more.

    Oh yes you do, or you wouldn’t respond to what I have written.

  54. Oh, and by the way? The spokesman for the vehicle manufacturer did not refute TNR’s version. Rather, he told the wingnut blog that it would be imprudent to drive a vehicle in the way Beauchamp said it was driven.

    Or, to use a phrasing that wingnuts just love:

    What part of I can’t pretend to know what may or may not have happened in Iraq don’t you understand, Guy Montag? You people are really desperate!

  55. Cathy,

    In TNR’s latest blame tossing, they blame PV2 Beauchamp’s failure to contact them on some imagined isolation of the fellow from communications equipment.

    Earlier they demanded copies of the DD2824s that their own “diarist” can send them any time he likes (the sworn, signed statements) BUT the Army is prohibited by law from releasing without PV2 Beauchamp’s permission.

    There is no legal reason why TNR can’t release it’s own investigation. One of their “experts” was tracked down and refuted what TNR said about him.

    Now, just because the guy does not feel like talking to them it is some sort of military “cover up”. He can call his wife, a reporter for TNR whenever he likes too.

    They pulled the same nonsense last year, just look up the Howard Kurtz Washington Post story “Mr. Wrong”.

    Their writers pull this nonsense everyplace they write, even at The Examiner, where their current editors write false stories. See “Big Shame in a Small World”.

  56. Guy, once again: What part of I can’t pretend to know what may or may not have happened in Iraq don’t you understand? Repeating the lie that “One of their ‘experts’ was tracked down and refuted what TNR said about him” won’t make it true.

    You people are terribly desperate, aren’t you?

    By the way, you might be interested in what your star reporter has been posting on the Internet lately. Scroll down to comment #56 and click the word “track.” He’s yours, Guy. All yours.

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