Army spokesman: We told TNR we couldn’t find any evidence to corroborate Beauchamp’s burned woman story

posted at 2:06 pm on August 5, 2007 by Allahpundit

And yet this fact went unmentioned in TNR’s story. What’s really odd is that TNR claims to have found no fewer than three witnesses to the incident; that the Army couldn’t find one actually works to TNR’s advantage in suggesting either that the troops involved are afraid to tell their commanders the truth or the Army’s not doing a thorough job of investigating. And yet — no mention.

In any case, it’s considered standard journalistic practice to print a denial from the other side if you’ve actually got one, right? Then again, so is fact-checking. Oh well.

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I find it hard to believe that if there were three wits, the wits would not tell their commanders the truth as opposed to allowing their friend, Beauchamp, to twist in the wind.

Blake on August 5, 2007 at 2:18 PM

I’m more inclined to believe what the Army has to say before taking the word of a left wing rag.

Zorro on August 5, 2007 at 2:29 PM

that the Army couldn’t find one actually works to TNR’s advantage in suggesting either that the troops involved are afraid to tell their commanders the truth or the Army’s not doing a thorough job of investigating.

It’s at least as likely that they found 3 people willing to lie to TNR anonymously than they were to lie to the command on the record. Had these things happened, more than 3 people would have seen them. There are too many people involved to cover it up.

Then there’s the possibility that they didn’t find 3 people to corroborate, and the one they did is named “Lucy Ramirez”

Pablo on August 5, 2007 at 2:34 PM

I need to get a few copies of TNR for my bathroom in case I run out of pages in my Koran.

And no, I do not read either of them.

JayHaw Phrenzie on August 5, 2007 at 2:34 PM

It’s at least as likely that they found 3 people willing to lie to TNR anonymously than they were to lie to the command on the record.

Yeah, but if they’re lying, why would they tell TNR the incident happened in Kuwait? Why not just say, “Yeah, FOB Falcon, just like Beauchamp said”? No one can prove them wrong.

Allahpundit on August 5, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Franklin Foer, the NEW Steven Glass.

Time to tear down TNR’s offices and replace it with something useful — a taco stand.

georgej on August 5, 2007 at 2:56 PM

Yeah, but if they’re lying, why would they tell TNR the incident happened in Kuwait? Why not just say, “Yeah, FOB Falcon, just like Beauchamp said”? No one can prove them wrong.

Moving targets are harder to hit…

elgeneralisimo on August 5, 2007 at 3:37 PM

When caught in one lie they just cover it with more lies.
Not exactly a new trick.

Maybe event in question actually occured in Germany. There are at least six unnamed people who saw it there. Oh, and not a very clever trick either.

TunaTalon on August 5, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Yeah, but… but… you’re all WINGNUTS!

Jim Treacher on August 5, 2007 at 3:57 PM

My concern here is that the military is going to do the same thing the Bush administration has done for most of the last 5 years. They will fail to directly respond to and debunk the story. They will issue their “we find that it is not true” statement and decide that is enough as any reasonable person would believe them. While the military has acknowledged on several occasions that the war of public opinion is as important as the war on the ground, both they and the administration have failed to effectively fight the war of public opinion at home.

If indeed the military has interviewed every single person in Beauchamp’s unit as they implied (the wording of the statement left some ambiguity), and if every single person in his unit denied all the allegations, the military should so state in the most direct, unparsed language possible. If, on the other hand, any part of the allegations are true, even in a much milder version than reported, the military should address each allegation in Beauchamp’s stories point by point, admitting the truth in any, pointedly refuting the others and stating point by point on which activities disciplinary action has been taken against the offenders. There is not need to name the offenders, but to simply state that each have been disciplined in accordance with the UCMJ and that the specifics are private information. Failing to directly address the story will leave too many in the middle waivering on these issues even more vulnerable to the truther type’s vitriolic spin.

deepdiver on August 5, 2007 at 4:02 PM

Yeah, but if they’re lying, why would they tell TNR the incident happened in Kuwait? Why not just say, “Yeah, FOB Falcon, just like Beauchamp said”? No one can prove them wrong.

Allahpundit on August 5, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Of course the Army isn’t calling any hypothetical people “liars.” That would be exactly as insane as saying that hypothetical people were telling the “truth.” Those terms are completely irrelevant when TNR keeps concealing key facts and changing its story.

All the Army is saying is that the story cannot be corroborated.

Turns out that’s just a little bit hard to do when tiny little details – like the date, circumstances, and COUNTRY of the supposed incident – keep changing.

So, what’s next? The Army confirms the new claim doesn’t wash, and then it turns out no, it wasn’t a woman after all, it was a man. And it wasn’t an IED injury, but more like a really bad rash?

The story is not true or false; it is ludicrous. Whenever a full grown person says that his anonymous (i.e., imaginary) friend told him something, that should have been the END of the investigation; not the beginning of it.

logis on August 5, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Yeah, but if they’re lying, why would they tell TNR the incident happened in Kuwait? Why not just say, “Yeah, FOB Falcon, just like Beauchamp said”? No one can prove them wrong.

Allahpundit on August 5, 2007 at 2:49 PM

Because too many people know it didn’t happen in Iraq. No one on this site has said it didn’t happen in Kuwait, or Germany or wherever else the story gets moved next.

AP maybe they know how to lie better than you.

TunaTalon on August 5, 2007 at 4:15 PM

what’s that I hear? the sound of TNR rounding the toilet on it’s way down the drain…

Kaptain Amerika on August 5, 2007 at 4:18 PM

AP wrote:

Yeah, but if they’re lying, why would they tell TNR the incident happened in Kuwait? Why not just say, “Yeah, FOB Falcon, just like Beauchamp said”? No one can prove them wrong.

First, I don’t think it is true that an Army investigation would be unable to show which contractors were on base. Those contractrs could confirm or deny a deformed employee.

Second, AP asked this yesterday and I answered it more broadly, but he must have missed it, so here it is again.

Quite simply, anyone who works in the criminal justice system will tell you that co-defendants or purported alibi witnesses will often not have their stories straight, even if they have time to work on it.

AP could easily ask why does the “corroboration” of the mockery story have the poor woman at a different table, not the same one (as STB wrote)? Why did the anonymous sources not corroborate that someone wore the skull for days, even on a mission? Why is the method of killing dogs described in “corroboration” not remotely close to what STB wrote?

Maybe because they never read STB’s original articles and didn’t have time in the middle of a war to get his cover story down pat. Maybe STB was so dumb as to not give them the details. Maybe one of the “corroborators” is embellishing every bit as much as STB. Maybe one of them intentionally gave different details so he could tell his buddy he corroborated while soothing his conscience by actually undermining STB’s account. There are any number of reasons one can give.

Karl on August 5, 2007 at 4:31 PM

that the Army couldn’t find one actually works to TNR’s advantage in suggesting either that the troops involved are afraid to tell their commanders the truth or the Army’s not doing a thorough job of investigating.

In much the same way that the government’s denial regarding involvement in 9/11 works to the “advantage” of the Truthers in suggesting that there really IS a big, sinister cover-up, I suppose.

“He said, she said” works much better when both sides have some credibility to fall back on.

Misha I on August 5, 2007 at 4:41 PM

Maybe one of them intentionally gave different details so he could tell his buddy he corroborated while soothing his conscience by actually undermining STB’s account. There are any number of reasons one can give.
Karl on August 5, 2007 at 4:31 PM

To start an analysis of, or speculation about, anonymous collaborators requires first buying into them as real, not just an extension of the lie. As long as the “collaborators” are anonymous I will assume that they are imaginary friends of a single person. There is no need to examine the testimony of people who don’t exist and it will only muddy the waters with endless speculation.

Speculation about the sorry souls may be more salacious but firm facts are more fun.

TunaTalon on August 5, 2007 at 5:19 PM

Whenever a full grown person says that his anonymous (i.e., imaginary) friend told him something, that should have been the END of the investigation; not the beginning of it.

logis on August 5, 2007 at 4:05 PM

Hey, now–don’t be hatin’ on “Tommy”!

ReubenJCogburn on August 5, 2007 at 5:24 PM

Allahpundit on August 5, 2007 at 2:49 PM

TNR may feel like their very existence is at stake and therefore simply lied about having witnesses. What do they have to lose at this point?

TheBigOldDog on August 5, 2007 at 5:35 PM

TNR may feel like their very existence is at stake and therefore simply lied about having witnesses. What do they have to lose at this point?
TheBigOldDog on August 5, 2007 at 5:35 PM

The obvious answer would be their credibility. But that has never been at stake. TNR won’t go out of business over this, no matter how it turns out.

News organizations don’t LOSE credibility by making up their sources; that’s how they GAIN credibility.

So what if they get caught in another lie? What difference does that make? They’ve run ten thousand other “anonymous source” stories that will never – and in most cases can never – be proven wrong. So their accuracy rate is still through the roof as long as people continue to take this kind of idiotic reporting seriously in the first place.

This is the kind of lunacy that’s been going on for so long that people don’t even question it. It used to be that news organizations withheld the identity of sources they used to GET the story – which is fine; I couldn’t possibly care less where their hunches and tips come from, as long as the final story they print is complete on its face.

But for decades now, liberal news agencies have been running countless stories where the statements of the anonymous source (i.e., imaginary friend) IS the story. And people gobble up that crap like it was candy.

What’s up with that?

Seriously, sometimes it seems like the whole world is taking crazy pills or something.

logis on August 5, 2007 at 8:14 PM

logis on August 5, 2007 at 8:14 PM

You’re right. They don’t even have to be desperate to simply decide to pile on another lie.

TheBigOldDog on August 5, 2007 at 10:41 PM

So what…the logical people will turn their back on TNR, the ones that want to believe will believe. To them it is the truth. That is what the left is made of, people living in their own world, talking to their own people, belieiving their own stories.
I would bet if you had an “unnamed source” state that they saw President Bush taking machine gun practice and killing civilians while visiting Iraq, you would have the majority of the left progressives believe it, and their would be a congressional investigation. After being cleared, several months later you would read some idiot exclaiming that the president killed civilians but was never caught.
You can’t reason with a crazy person. And the left has learned that stating a false fact (oxymoron?) is just as good as stating the truth. Enough false statements and the left accepts a certain percentage.

right2bright on August 6, 2007 at 9:44 AM

Further Confirmation: No ‘Burned Woman’

TheBigOldDog on August 6, 2007 at 1:55 PM