TNR: Army has silenced Beauchamp; Army: No, we haven’t

posted at 6:16 pm on August 11, 2007 by Allahpundit

TNR, yesterday:

Although the Army says it has investigated Beauchamp’s article and has found it to be false, it has refused our–and others’–requests to share any information or evidence from its investigation. What’s more, the Army has rejected our requests to speak to Beauchamp himself, on the grounds that it wants “to protect his privacy.”…

Scott Beauchamp is currently a 23-year-old soldier in Iraq who, for the past 15 days, has been prevented by the military from communicating with the outside world, aside from three brief and closely monitored phone calls to family members.

The Weekly Standard, today:

We are not stonewalling anyone. There are official statements that are out there are on the record from several of us and nothing has changed.

We are not preventing him from speaking to TNR or anyone. He has full access to the Morale Welfare and Recreation phones that all the other members of the unit are free to use. It is my understanding that he has been informed of the requests to speak to various members of the media, both traditional and non-traditional and has declined. That is his right.

We will not nor can we force a Soldier to talk to the media or his family or anyone really for that matter in these types of issues.

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so comm outage is Beauchamp’s decision?

Too ashamed to phone home and confess that he hoodwinked em?

John from OPFOR on August 11, 2007 at 6:20 PM

We will not nor can we force a Soldier to talk to the media or his family or anyone really for that matter in these types of issues.

Oh, that is beautiful. But I doubt he’s too ashamed… I suspect he’s trying to figure out a way out of this where he can still be the Victim(TM).

Laura on August 11, 2007 at 6:23 PM

Beautiful. I can hardly wait to read TNR’s creative spin on this news. Perhaps they’ll go straight for, “Although technically he is free to speak, he is being pressured by the Army behind the scenes not to do so.” Or, maybe they’ll be bold and go straight for, “the Army is lying.”

TheBigOldDog on August 11, 2007 at 6:25 PM

TNR will come up another lame riposte, never fear. The can’t just admit they are wrong, and won’t ’til they’ve no other other option.

Bob's Kid on August 11, 2007 at 6:26 PM

TNR: Are too!

see-dubya on August 11, 2007 at 6:29 PM

TNR keeps digging its self deeper.

xplodeit on August 11, 2007 at 6:31 PM

Kinda makes me wonder what the average age is at TNR. I wasn’t aware that children ran the show over there.

.

GT on August 11, 2007 at 6:32 PM

I suspect he’s trying to figure out a way out of this where he can still be the Victim(TM).

Laura on August 11, 2007 at 6:23 PM

I agree.

xplodeit on August 11, 2007 at 6:32 PM

By the way …

The TNR article as of now:

Scott Beauchamp is currently a 23-year-old soldier in Iraq who, for the past 15 days, has been prevented by the military from communicating with the outside world, aside from three brief and closely monitored phone calls to family members.

The cached TNR article:

Scott Beauchamp is currently a 24-year-old soldier in Iraq who, for the past 15 days, has been prevented by the military from communicating with the outside world, aside from three brief and closely monitored phone calls to family members

Obvious question: Is this the first time TNR stealth-edited articles about Beauchamp?

Niko on August 11, 2007 at 6:32 PM

pwned

Purple Fury on August 11, 2007 at 6:35 PM

Either way he should be dishonorably discharged and given a swift kick in the rear on his way out.

kiakjones on August 11, 2007 at 6:37 PM

I think there’s a remote possibility that Private Beauchamp is buckling down and getting to work. And if so, we should wish him well because important work it is.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 6:40 PM

This is starting to become bizarre, like the Monty Python “argument clinic” sketch …

TNR: Scott Beauchamp’s story has been verified.
U.S. ARMY: No, actually, it’s false.
TNR: Liar. It’s true.
U.S. ARMY: No. Beauchamp’s completely bogus.
TNR: Of course you’d say that, you liar.
U.S. ARMY: Ask Beauchamp yourself.
TNR: You’re holding him incommunicado.
U.S. ARMY: No, we’re not.
TNR: Liar.

Ali-Bubba on August 11, 2007 at 6:43 PM

So… what was the exact time TNR went troother…

elgeneralisimo on August 11, 2007 at 6:48 PM

Actualy Beauchamp is hiding out while recovering from the Blanket Party his squad mates gave him.

I wouldn’t show my face either…

but little TNR Wifey is probably pretty pissed…

Romeo13 on August 11, 2007 at 6:51 PM

Time for the Clintonian parsing:

What’s more, the Army has rejected our requests to speak to Beauchamp himself,

English: Beauchamp won’t return calls, and the Army rejected TNR’s request to put him on speaker phone.

on the grounds that it wants “to protect his privacy.”…

The Army doesn’t force people to talk to reporters.

has been prevented by the military from communicating with the outside world,

That part of the outside world he doesn’t want to talk to anyway

aside from three brief and closely monitored phone calls to family members.

He was closely monitoring the minutes on his cell phone.

pedestrian on August 11, 2007 at 6:56 PM

Kowboy on August 11, 2007 at 6:57 PM

Asshole. He’s doing a lot more patrolling than you are these days.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Asshole. He’s doing a lot more patrolling than you are these days.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 6:59 PM

Yeah, I am. But I did my time in the military a long time ago. My son is doing his now.

Have you?

Kowboy on August 11, 2007 at 7:03 PM

Actualy Beauchamp is hiding out while recovering from the Blanket Party his squad mates gave him.

Oh, here it comes – “Who ordered the code red?!” Doubtless it was Rove. ;-)

Laura on August 11, 2007 at 7:04 PM

Laura on August 11, 2007 at 7:04 PM

In Beauchamp’s case, would that be a “code pink”?

GT on August 11, 2007 at 7:10 PM

HAHAHAHAHAHA!

baldilocks on August 11, 2007 at 7:11 PM

Seriously, even if his squad wanted to administer a beating, I doubt that they would. That’s the absolute LAST thing this situation needs – it would be a huge black eye for the Army and they must know that.

Laura on August 11, 2007 at 7:11 PM

Have you?

Yes, but it it doesn’t have anything to do with it. Whether civilian or military, right or left, it makes no damn business.

The young man screwed up. His reputation was damaged because of it. I’m sure he still has many bizarre ideas running around his head as evidenced by his writing.

But that is no reason — even in jest assuming you were — to wish harm on one of your soldiers.

Your bizarre idea trumps his. Congratulations.

I noticed that your comment has disappeared: Because it was hateful and reflects badly on those of us here who are not.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:14 PM

*difference

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:15 PM

I noticed that your comment has disappeared: Because it was hateful and reflects badly on those of us here who are not.

Indeed.

Allahpundit on August 11, 2007 at 7:15 PM

Seriously, even if his squad wanted to administer a beating, I doubt that they would.

That won’t stop him from writing a story about the many beatings he received, and how his squadmates were laughing and wearing parts of his shattered skull under their helmets.

pedestrian on August 11, 2007 at 7:16 PM

Tis a joy to the heart to watch a tool have his “Absolute Moral Authority” card taken away!

csdeven on August 11, 2007 at 7:18 PM

Indeed.

Allahpundit on August 11, 2007 at 7:15 PM

My apologies AP. It was meant as a joke, but was in bad taste.

Kowboy on August 11, 2007 at 7:18 PM

pedestrian, true, but barring any actual evidence like photos of bruises, he’ll have a hard time selling it to anybody who doesn’t already believe him. And, as Christoph pointed out, there’s at least a chance he’ll straighten up and fly right, as my Gram used to say. A beating wouldn’t be helpful in either case.

Laura on August 11, 2007 at 7:19 PM

Laura,

According to my son, blanket parties are still usually reserved for internal situations. A situation like this, with all the media attention, would only become worse if it were to happen.

Kowboy on August 11, 2007 at 7:31 PM

Either way he should be dishonorably discharged and given a swift kick in the rear on his way out.

Perhaps. It’s a valid viewpoint and many share it. armylawyer on his site has a dissertation about why this isn’t possible legally, but there are some administrative options the army could use, which would result in a something like a general or for the good of the service discharge, but not dishonorable.

And you may be right that the above should be pursued.

But… how do you know his commanding officer is not trying to salvage him as a soldier and as a man?

Maybe/maybe not. But I won’t write Beauchamp off yet at his age. When I think of the stupid things I did or beliefs I held then I’m stunned I’m as smart as I am now, and better looking than ever.

:-P

But seriously… I wish the man well whatever he does and I especially hope he buckles down morally and makes something good of himself.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:35 PM

Amazing that they are continuing to do this to themselves. It’s almost exactly like the Dan Rather episode. What a train wreck.

Dash on August 11, 2007 at 7:37 PM

A “blanket party” would have been used in basic or his first posting. The idea being that you need to get the clowns out of the Army before they are in a position to watch your back. Regardless of Beauchamp’s stories, if he can cover his battle buddies backs in a firefight, I wonder if the rest would mean a thing?

csdeven on August 11, 2007 at 7:40 PM

I’ll say this… Beauchamp made less (of a serious) effort to hide and accepted more responsibility than TNR.

I challenge anyone to dispute me on this.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:44 PM

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:35 PM

Believe it or not, I agree with you. Let him serve out his enlistment. He may have joined for the wrong reasons initially, but perhaps the experience will help him grow up. I know it did for me.

And I’m sorry if I offended you with the earlier comment. It sounded good out loud, but in retrospect didn’t look good at all in writing.

Kowboy on August 11, 2007 at 7:45 PM

In the Hollywood version, he’s shunned, experiences some threatening situations and practical jokes, but redeems himself under fire.

For better or for worse, the world isn’t Hollywood, but maybe he’s been given the chance to serve out his term honorably, and even finds his duties something of a haven from the the storm he’s stirred up in our pseudo-real world. Would hardly be the first time a screw-up got his head together in uniform. Given the professionalism, perspective, and maturity far beyond their years exhibited by most US soldiers, as well as the governing command philosophies in the contemporary Army, it would not be surprising if his comrades are actively encouraging him to straighten out.

That’s all idle speculation, of course, but there’s no reason to assume the worst about the situation and the reactions of the common soldiers – to do so would be altogether Beauchampian.

The one shred of honor that TNR has hung onto so far has been in their reluctance to burn their writer. If he’s refusing to talk to them, he’d be stretching their patience. At some point, his silence, if maintained, gets very loud indeed – and TNR is left with nothing against the long line of on-the-record skeptics, experts, officers, non-coms, and soldiers who have spoken against the stories. Sooner or later, someone will get the word, and we’ll finally move to the last act (“judgment” and “responsibility”) already foreshadowed in TNR’s last statement.

CK MacLeod on August 11, 2007 at 7:45 PM

Hear, hear, CK MacLead. I couldn’t have put it better myself. As shown by the fact I didn’t.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:48 PM

Oh, except for the part about TNR not “burning” its writer. Beauchamp has plainly burned them with his statement he wasn’t telling the truth and refusal to communicate with them.

This is just ass-covering.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:50 PM

Kowboy on August 11, 2007 at 7:45 PM

Apology accepted, Kowboy. I’m glad we disagreed so we could sort out our common ground.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:51 PM

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:51 PM

Thank you. I’ve talked to my son about this. He’s Navy, but he told me his Marine buddies are pretty much to a man upset about what Beauchamp did. If it’s anything like when I was in, he will be under a cloud of suspicion for a long time to come. The only good option he really has if he’s allowed to serve out his enlistment is to prove himself a capable soldier in their eyes.

Kowboy on August 11, 2007 at 7:59 PM

Cool! I didn’t feel like the ball was in the Army’s court like some yesterday (not at HA that I noticed, though) but, dang, the ball TNR is holding now has got a s**t load of glue on it.

Dusty on August 11, 2007 at 8:07 PM

[see-dubya on August 11, 2007 at 6:29 PM]

ROTFL

Dusty on August 11, 2007 at 8:09 PM

Most of our scorn should be with TNR not with the soldier. As has been said, he may turn out ok. He’s got plenty of great role models right next to him. TNR on the other hand has no excuses for how they’ve handled this.

Capitalist Infidel on August 11, 2007 at 8:10 PM

[Niko on August 11, 2007 at 6:32 PM]

Nice catch, Niko. I’ve been screencapping things as they come out or copying. It won’t go uncheckable, if needed.

Dusty on August 11, 2007 at 8:12 PM

Thank you. I’ve talked to my son about this. He’s Navy, but he told me his Marine buddies are pretty much to a man upset about what Beauchamp did. If it’s anything like when I was in, he will be under a cloud of suspicion for a long time to come. The only good option he really has if he’s allowed to serve out his enlistment is to prove himself a capable soldier in their eyes.

That’s a long shot. He may just want to get out and get a job working for dKos or similar.

But… political views aside… he may have enough fight not to want to fail utterly in front of his buddies and to himself so who knows?

The point is, I wish him well and included in that is character development.

If he continues to be a grade-A butthole forever, I may reconsider.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 8:12 PM

If he was a zero, he could put himself in for some purple hearts, and eventually marry a old gold digging slattern.

TheSitRep on August 11, 2007 at 8:27 PM

the funny thing is that beauchamp was programed before he went over to Iraq. He believe all the BS about this is “Bush’s war”

One would hope fighitng along side his fellow soldiers would disabue him of that notion. you ultimately dont fight as much for your leaders or your country as you do for your freinds beside you.

But then this is also a guy who bragged that his fellow soldiers would frag him one day. With that goal really have to wonder how screwed up mentally this guy is

The best thing for our side is to get beauchamp to talk. He sounds incredibly stupid and sticking him in front of cameras would do far more to discredit him than anything else

William Amos on August 11, 2007 at 8:29 PM

Yes, the young man is surrounded by good examples, so I am cautiously optimistic.

Unfortunately, TNR is surrounded by even worse examples, who lie much more cleverly and subtly, and to a wider audience.

I ask you, how did our free press become the most effective weapon of the enemies of freedom?

drunyan8315 on August 11, 2007 at 8:31 PM

Oh, except for the part about TNR not “burning” its writer. Beauchamp has plainly burned them with his statement he wasn’t telling the truth and refusal to communicate with them.

I’ve been following this story closely since it broke, and I’ve been as critical of TNR and even more of its defenders as anyone. They showed ludicrously poor judgment in assigning the stories, in publishing the stories, in lashing out at critics (calling Goldfarb and THE WEEKLY STANDARD “reckless” and accusing them and others of launching “smears”), in repeatedly mis-characterizing criticisms, in withholding important information from their own readers, and in attempting to shift the blame to others (now it’s the Army that’s at fault). Still, even acknowledging all of that, and in keeping in mind that a full accounting should probably include Franklin Foer’s resignation, TNR does at least owe it to their writers – any writer, even and especially ones at the center of controversy – to stick by them until they’ve had a chance to respond to claims against their integrity. An editor has to give a writer like Beauchamp a chance at least to speak for himself, and can’t seem to place greater trust in third parties who may or may not be acting selflessly.

Many people have also asked where TNR’s publisher, its most prominent writers and editors, and its gray eminence Marty Peretz have been in all this. I think their relationship to Foer is similar to Foer’s relationship to Beauchamp. They may have concluded early on, on a simple reading of the disputed stories, and possibly after reviewing Beauchamp’s personal connection to TNR staff, that Foer had blown it on this one, but simply cutting an editor or writer loose as soon as they come under fire from hostile parties isn’t an option. It was in their interest to give Foer a chance to defend himself, to rectify the situation if possible, or, failing that, to give himself enough rope to hang himself.

They’ll have a lot of work to do if they hope to recover their credibility (and any right to the snidely condescending tone that dominates most of their articles), but at least they can tell their supporters and subscribers, as well as their future editors and writers, that it won’t mean they’ll knuckle under at the first whiff of controversy. TNR may or may not be ruined by this fiasco – I have no idea – but a political magazine that’s afraid of its critics really would be utterly worthless.

CK MacLeod on August 11, 2007 at 8:51 PM

but at least they can tell their supporters and subscribers, as well as their future editors and writers, that it won’t mean they’ll knuckle under at the first whiff of controversy

You’ve got a point, BUT it would have been more useful to them to demonstrate they take journalistic integrity seriously.

As if.

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 8:55 PM

This is just another case of BJ Clintons “Don’t ask don’t tell” Beauchamp is a panty waist trying to get headlines. Guess he didn’t think his words would get checked out. Such a mindless tool, typical lefty who thinks he knows it all.

bones47 on August 11, 2007 at 9:02 PM

As is the way of the MSM, they put an unsubstantiated report then ask you to prove a negative.

pocomoco on August 11, 2007 at 9:03 PM

Your mother wears combat boots.

Ok in the forties it was a good comeback. But now that phrase is just silly, and fitting for this thread.

TunaTalon on August 11, 2007 at 9:10 PM

Christoph on August 11, 2007 at 7:35 PM

I admire your attitude, and agree.

mikeyboss on August 11, 2007 at 9:43 PM

The military is a good place to grow yourself up. The question is whether our intrepid reporter chooses to avail himself of that, or to consider himself a victim.

As for TNR, is he not talking to his wife? Is she not talking to him?

Oh, and it’s time to fire Franklin Foer.

Pablo on August 11, 2007 at 10:41 PM

TNR’s position of saying members of the unit had confirmed STB’s story was a shallow thing, since if they were really digging into it, most likely the sources would have provided additional details and not just confirmation.

At this point though , TNR is probably considering each additional data point they put out since they have seen how the Army of Davids have all sort of connections available to check various details out.

They probably had a big pucker moment when Confederate Yankee found the same guy at BAE they talked to about BFV.

That really showed the depth and quality of their fact checking.

Yes you can have lesser requirements for day to day stories, but just from the nature and potential outrage with this one, they really showed poor judgment not fully getting their ducks all in a row.

CommentGuy on August 12, 2007 at 12:38 AM

I think Scott T.B. is just waiting for an iPhone.

profitsbeard on August 12, 2007 at 12:40 AM

We are not preventing him from speaking to TNR or anyone. He has full access to the Morale Welfare and Recreation phones that all the other members of the unit are free to use. It is my understanding that he has been informed of the requests to speak to various members of the media, both traditional and non-traditional and has declined. That is his right.

I wondered about this and glad to see a military spokesmen setting the record straight.

I can not speak about the MWR tents that Thomas has access to, however when I was deployed to “Al’s Garage” in 1996 the MWR phones were generally packed, to get a phone you had to wait/come back later. (After midnight worked best).

Rather then wait for an MWR phone; I generally called home on an office phone. Regardless…

Once you got a phone, it was easy to call an Advon operator stateside, and from there they would re-route your call to loved ones at home. (You called the Military base operator closest to you loved ones, and the operator would fwd your call to your loved ones phone #.)

That being said unless Thomas was under orders not to call home, it would have been easy for him to dial home.

It would be interesting to see, if any Advon calls were made from Iraq to his wife or TNR phone numbers.

F15Mech on August 12, 2007 at 1:10 AM

Just rereading a comment thread over at The Plank at TNR is a revealing exercise as to the mindset of the participants over there.

One poster basically cut and pasted the Confederate Yankee debunking of the TNR review of fact with BAE.

That person was called by many others a troll simply because of pointing out the obvious.

There amazing willingness to attack the poster without even considering the issues posed by the content of the provided information says volumes.

In my experience trolls rarely provide verifiable fact and mainly only snarky commentary, and when the do, it is to some less than credible source.

CommentGuy on August 12, 2007 at 1:49 AM

Their are actually posters over there, who rather than addressing the factual matters presented are questioning the grammar and the punctuation of the commenters asking questions related to the issues of factual posts rather than addressing the issues and the conflict with TNR’s position.

So much for the posters over there who try to put on airs of being such elite ponders.

CommentGuy on August 12, 2007 at 2:02 AM

That being said unless Thomas was under orders not to call home, it would have been easy for him to dial home.

Should be

That being said even if Thomas was under orders not to call home, it would have been easy for him to dial home if he wanted to.

F15Mech on August 12, 2007 at 2:20 AM

Just rereading a comment thread over at The Plank at TNR is a revealing exercise as to the mindset of the participants over there.

CommentGuy on August 12, 2007 at 1:49 AM

The commenter over there called ‘Ochieng’ is me, BTW. I just wanted those folks to know what it going on. :-)

baldilocks on August 12, 2007 at 2:45 AM

what it going on=what is going on

baldilocks on August 12, 2007 at 2:46 AM

Holy Crap! I didn’t see this story coming!!

StoutRepublican on August 12, 2007 at 4:07 AM

Enough about Beauchamp. I’m a lot more concerned about the low standards at TNR.

I remember when the left had intellectual standards. Now we find TNR making errors that could have been caught by a phone call to any ROTC program in the Tri-State area — hardly a difficult task for a fact-checker at a (formerly) prestigious cultural magazine. A simple “We got punked” editorial would do them a world of good, but their extreme case of BDS apparently makes that impossible.

It’s not just TNR, either. The same behavior, in less extreme forms, is apparent at the Times, Vanity Fair, Harper’s, etc.

Snark all you want, but it can’t be good for the nation when the intellectual vanguard of roughly 20%-30% of public opinion is, in the most basic sense, decadent and corrupt.

Anton on August 12, 2007 at 9:22 AM

The cached TNR article:

Scott Beauchamp is currently a 24-year-old soldier in Iraq

C’mon. Do you realize how difficult it would be for the TNR staff to find someone with that level of personal detail about his life?

It’s not like they can just ask his wife.

saint kansas on August 12, 2007 at 9:56 AM

All these touchy feely comments about Beauchamp are making me feel queasy. He’s a jerk and a liar, plain and simple. I care about the men and women in his unit who have to be around him. He wrote disgusting lies about them, they have my smypathy, not him.

As far as TNR, this won’t taint them a bit, unfortunately.

moonsbreath on August 12, 2007 at 10:45 AM

Owned?

Ortzinator on August 12, 2007 at 5:38 PM

Scott Beauchamp is currently a 23-year-old soldier in Iraq who, for the past 15 days, has been prevented by the military from communicating with the outside world, aside from three brief and closely monitored phone calls to family members.

If they couldn’t contact him, how were they able to say that this is the case? No contact means no information. Who told them the “closely monitored” detail if noone is talking to the press about this? File under “fraudulent copy” with the rest of TNRs releases on this issue. How to destroy your credibility in one easy step, indeed.

Freelancer on August 13, 2007 at 9:50 AM