New Vent: Checking up on The New Republic; Update: Foer ducks; Update An interview with the Beauchamp investigator

posted at 11:07 pm on September 9, 2007 by Allahpundit

Michelle interviews The Weekly Standard’s Michael Goldfarb about the Scott Thomas Beauchamp scandal. We also stop by The New Republic’s office in Washington to see if editor Franklin Foer will talk with us.

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Update (MM): Foer responds.

Update (MM): Go to PJM and read Bob Owens’ exclusive interview with the Army investigator who probed Beauchamp’s lies. In a nutshell:

- Private Scott Beauchamp did not reveal that he was “Scott Thomas,” author of “Shock Troops,” until he was asked to sign a second sworn statement. It was after he signed this statement that his identity was revealed in The New Republic.

- Major Cross has seen no evidence of any sort of fact checking by The New Republic’s editors prior to publication, a sentiment shared by Army Public Affairs Officers in both Iraq and Kuwait. It is also worth noting that TNR editors have refused to publish PAO statements that contradict their claims.

- Major Cross was unable to find anyone in Beauchamp’s squad, platoon, or company that would corroborate the stories he told in “Shock Troops.”

- Beauchamp was the subject of a second investigation, which found him guilty of violating his unit’s operational security for which he could have been thrown out of the Army.

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FIRST!

YAY VENT!

ThackerAgency on September 9, 2007 at 11:21 PM

Sweetest words in this Vent… the last three.

Stephen M on September 9, 2007 at 11:21 PM

woot. great vent. Will a crush of emails from us to ffoer help or hinder the cause of a face to face?

TexasDan on September 9, 2007 at 11:24 PM

As any parent/cop/teacher/manager/anyone in any place of authoritative responsibility knows, If the story is complicated, it’s a lie.

- The Cat

P.S. The look on the reseptionists(?) face was priceless when Michelle started taking notes.

Foer is a coward for:

1. Not talking to Michelle.

2. Making the woman upfront deal with it.

3. Making the woman upfront lie. Listen to how her voice changes (gets shaky) when she starts talking about e-mail. If he were really going to get back to Michelle, he would have said something like e-mail me with times you have open and I’ll check with my schedule or would have had the receptionist take down Michelle’s contact info. Any number of things besides, “hey, get ahold of me in some way that I don’t have to talk with you.”

MirCat on September 9, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Cool! I was hoping for a Beauchamp update. I even asked about it a few days ago. Cheers to the HA crew.

Bad Candy on September 9, 2007 at 11:42 PM

Please keep their feet to the fire. The disgusting lack of pre-publication fact-checking, obfuscation after the fact, and agenda-driven anti-military journalism demands accountability. Strong work.

Stashiu3 on September 9, 2007 at 11:49 PM

Michelle or Bryan should do a Michael Moore style ambush interview on Foer if he refuses to cooperate.

Oh, and of note, Beauchamp’s blog is still up! I’m amazed he hasn’t handed off the password to someone to scrub it.

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Our boy is still checking his Myspace…

http://www.myspace.com/ghostswatchingtv

Surf around a bit, and you can see that he logged in, and even commented on someone else’s page just 4 days ago. Yet the military is preventing him from contact with TNR? Riiiiiiiiiight.

RightWinged on September 10, 2007 at 12:07 AM

Michelle or Bryan should do a Michael Moore style ambush interview on Foer if he refuses to cooperate.

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM

No, they shouldn’t do a Moore style… they should report it honestly. If you’ve ever checked out Moore movie debunking sites, you see that he often likes to splice together out of sequence video to make people say things they never said, especially when in between he throws up a graphic of some stats and narrates overtop… you might not even notice that someone is wearing 2 different outfits in the videos, and you’d think the clips were from the same speech. This is what Moore is all about, clever editing so he’s technically not lying, but pretty much any “knowledge” one would come away from his movies with, is complete BS.

RightWinged on September 10, 2007 at 12:09 AM

RightWinged on September 10, 2007 at 12:09 AM

*Sigh* Not that, you know what I mean, just wait for Foer to come out of his offices or a restaurant or something, and do an on the spot interview. I know Moore uses slimy editing techniques and splicing, I’m not saying do that, just do an honest ambush interview.

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:21 AM

Keep up the great work. The pressure on TNR needs to increase with all conservative poliblogs.

jediwebdude on September 10, 2007 at 12:22 AM

*Sigh* Not that, you know what I mean, just wait for Foer to come out of his offices or a restaurant or something, and do an on the spot interview. I know Moore uses slimy editing techniques and splicing, I’m not saying do that, just do an honest ambush interview.

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:21 AM

I know, I just saw the opportunity to slam Moore there, and took it… I in no way thought you wanted them to be slimeballs like him. Sorry if you took my comments as a serious critique of yours, it wasn’t, I assure you… just saw an opening to explain Moore’s methods to those who might not know.

RightWinged on September 10, 2007 at 12:30 AM

You forgot this gem I sent you Allah from Huff Puff

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-fiderer/proof-that-the-debunking_b_60647.html

Proof that the “Debunking” of the Scott Thomas Beauchamp Story was a Conspiracy to Defraud

David Fiderer

Actually, getting caught up in a debate over Scott
Thomas Beauchamp’s veracity is the essence of the
trick. Magic tricks and frauds are all about
distractions. Three-card monte works because, while
the cards are being shuffled, your eye is distracted.
Money laundering works because, after a series of sham
transactions, regulators are distracted from the
origins of illegal proceeds.

The trumped-up cause celebre over Beauchamp’s articles
is a fraudulent scheme, executed through a series of
tricks, designed to create one big distraction. The
essence of the scheme is to compel a debate about a
trivial subject — the details of Beauchamp’s
dog-bites-man stories — in order to sow confusion
that distracts us from the bad news in Iraq. To
analogize, it would be as if Fox News forced the Red
Cross to debate the quality of food at Thereisenstadt,
in order to distract everyone from the packed trains
moving eastward.

For everyone’s benefit, I’ll schematically outline the
sequence of deceptions that constitute the overall
fraud, which was spearheaded by Fox News. It’s an
indictment against behavior that, while protected by
the First Amendment, is highly immoral. The evidence
shows beyond all reasonable doubt that Fox News and
cohorts engaged in the same intentional deception in
order to create the same false impressions.

I’ll walk through the written evidence that proves the
dishonest and deceitful intent of Charles Krauthammer,
Morton Kondracke, Fred Barnes and others. We know
their deceits were intentional because their
characterizations of the incidents described by
Beauchamp as shocking and as atrocities is so at odds
with everything else being reported about Iraq. Also,
they all characterize the reporting as not having been
properly vetted and authenticated prior to
publication, which they also know to be untrue. The
consistency in their deceptions, and their known
affiliations with Fox News, is evidence of the
conspiracy.

It’s the stories that he weaved about the people in
the unit that you spent time with, prancing around,
putting child skulls, the skulls of an Iraqi child on
their head and apparently under their helmet, which
seem very hard for me to imagine could be done. I
mean, I was there. Even I was in Iraq. And it would be
hard to put anything, even a headband underneath a
helmet.

But then also, the cruelty that he alleged that his
unit was involved in, laughing at a woman who was
disfigured by an IED. And it just doesn’t seem to pass
the smell test, does it, J.D.? ,

Michelle Malkin, The O’Reilly Factor, July 27, 2007

“Many of these allegations have been challenged
unlikely or even impossible by bloggers identifying
themselves as troops in Iraq. The Weekly Standard
editor Bill Kristol tells the Washington
Post’.”appears the articles are frauds and that no one
individual has confirmed any part of them.’
All of Beauchamp’s accusers making their living are
news people whose job requires them to keep abreast of
news coverage about the Iraq War. The have staffs
working for them who scan the press – especially the
liberal press whom they love to malign – every day.
There is no way they can credibly assert they were
unaware of the avalanche of documented reporting from
high profile news outlets about abuses committed by
the U.S. military in Iraq.

William Amos on September 10, 2007 at 12:35 AM

The New Republic is in “bunker mode” hoping the whole thing will just blow over. But Michelle’s got their number and its not going away.

Come on TNR… be brave and come on out of the bunker, Michelle’s got a few questions for you.

Maxx on September 10, 2007 at 12:35 AM

Oh, and of note, Beauchamp’s blog is still up! I’m amazed he hasn’t handed off the password to someone to scrub it.
Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:00 AM

Of course it’s still up, he’s too in love with himself to consider taking it down. I expect he acts somewhat remorseful around the leadership, but inside he’s thrilled with all the attention.

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity except your own obituary.” Brendan Behan

Stashiu3 on September 10, 2007 at 12:44 AM

The (sic) have staffs working for them who scan the press – especially the liberal press whom they love to malign – every day. (emphasis mine)

The most telling sentence in that whole screed.

Stashiu3 on September 10, 2007 at 12:51 AM

Stashiu3 on September 10, 2007 at 12:44 AM

I’m not so sure. I realize that, but he’s gonna be hounded relentlessly when he’s back stateside, and not in a good way, he has to know that, leaving that big chunk of evidence up is damning(yes, I say that even if I have copies of many of his posts, and others have screencaps).

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:51 AM

Great Vent. I like the way you guys sneaked that email addy in there…

I just sent Mr. Foer a little love note.

infidel4life on September 10, 2007 at 1:16 AM

I thought putting the guy’s email address up was a cheap move.

When did the conservative movement aspire to victory by any means necessary?

That’s a liberal thug tactic. We’re better than that.

unamused on September 10, 2007 at 1:49 AM

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:51 AM

I’ve seen way too many personality disorders (and I would bet a month of retirement pay that a psychiatrist would diagnose that, at a minimum) to believe he understands how damning it is. He figures that his options are still open… whether it is to claim he told the truth and was suppressed by the Army, that he can still let it all blow over, or use the notoriety as a foot in the door as he acts contrite claiming to have learned his lesson.

To his thinking, nothing he did was illegal, so he’ll convince himself he did nothing wrong. We administratively separated dozens of guys like him before they could deploy. They’re just too destructive to good order and discipline. Deeply entrenched maladaptive behaviors are almost impossible to correct.

Stashiu3 on September 10, 2007 at 1:53 AM

unamused on September 10, 2007 at 1:49 AM

Already available here. If it wasn’t easily available, or of a personal (as opposed to professional) nature, I might think differently. Disseminating public contact information (that was given also by someone who knew they were being videotaped) is appropriate. If it wasn’t subtitled, it would still have been clear on audio.

Stashiu3 on September 10, 2007 at 2:09 AM

Since PV1 Beauchamp last logged in on his Myspace page on September 6, 2007, but won’t answer e-mails from TNR, MM, or anyone else, who is going to do an ambush interview of him in Iraq?

http://www.myspace.com/ghostswatchingtv

slp on September 10, 2007 at 6:43 AM

Great Vent Michelle! What a welcome surprise on a Monday morning. Thanks.

Keep after them Michelle. Patience and persistence will pay off.

Zorro on September 10, 2007 at 6:58 AM

That’s strange that Beauchamp is getting on Myspace. According to my brother (who’s currently deployed) the Army is restricting use of YouTube and Myspace.

Either Beauchamp doesn’t know or he’s not in Iraq anymore.

JasonG on September 10, 2007 at 8:07 AM

JasonG on September 10, 2007 at 8:07 AM

Did your brother say that applied to personal computers as well as government ones? They usually don’t restrict your personal account, just hold you responsible for any inappropriate content or activity. I’m out now and hadn’t heard the specific policies.

If talking strictly about government computers, his (STB’s) not knowing wouldn’t make a difference. When they restrict a site, they firewall it so that access takes a definite effort and skill level. That way anyone caught can’t claim it was accidental. I would like to be able to say that nobody would knowingly violate any policies related to computers after what STB was slammed for. Unfortunately, I can easily imagine him to be that stupid/arrogant.

Stashiu3 on September 10, 2007 at 8:29 AM

Government ones, Stashiu3. The Army really doesn’t care what you do with your PC (hell, I’m on mine right now). But maybe he’s not in Iraq any more? I’ve heard of people getting sent home for dumber things.

JasonG on September 10, 2007 at 8:37 AM

TWENTYSEVENTH!

YAY VENT!

TheSitRep on September 10, 2007 at 9:36 AM

TNR has all the credibility of CBS.

TheSitRep on September 10, 2007 at 9:37 AM

The Big Picture for me is that I want to do whatever I can do to help support this enterprise here, so that our intrepid reporter, Madam Malkin, continues to have the economic freedom to pursue stuff like this.

In our previous life, this would just go away. Everyone in the media was a leftist, and they would just clam up. But they can’t really shut her up, and it must be making them a little crazy.

(I’ll even quit saying really stupid, scary stuff for a while…just to show Allah that I can.)

Jaibones on September 10, 2007 at 11:01 AM

I thought putting the guy’s email address up was a cheap move.

Yeah, publicizing his business e-mail address was bad form.

Obviously, it would have almost been impossible to find out what his e-mail address was by, oh, say, going to the TNR site and looking at it there. Or maybe some super-intelligent code-breaker could have spent years and years working on the hyper-secret, Enigma-level code structure used when creating Mr. Foer’s TNR e-mail address.

I mean, really, who could have ever possibly guessed in a million years that Franklin Foer’s TNR email address would be ffoer@tnr.com?

wiserbud on September 10, 2007 at 11:07 AM

I like Foer’s response: “Thanks for the offer. I’m going to decline.” Hasn’t that process already begun?

Jim Treacher on September 10, 2007 at 11:55 AM

Way to keep the heat on.

Foer and the rest of TNR/supporters know that they have been caught with their metaphorical pants down and so badly want this thing to just go away so that they can pretend it never happened. They must be cringing every time they are reminded of it, and should be made to do so as much as possible.

These are the wages of slandering the troops to push a political agenda. Deal with it, TNR cowards.

thirteen28 on September 10, 2007 at 12:13 PM

“Mr. Foer, Mr. Foer! How do you FEEL now that your take-down of the war has gone nuclear in your face due to semi-nepotistic shenanigans that would have embarrassed a Hearst?”

mojo on September 10, 2007 at 12:15 PM

Heh, true wiserbud.

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:55 PM

slp on September 10, 2007 at 6:43 AM

Good question, is there an embed that can do that?

Bad Candy on September 10, 2007 at 12:57 PM

Way to send out the elderly woman to guard the door. “Mr. Foer’s been especially busy lately…trying to cover his ass.”

saint kansas on September 10, 2007 at 1:21 PM

We’re better than that.
unamused on September 10, 2007 at 1:49 AM

No were not, speak for yourself.

right2bright on September 10, 2007 at 1:33 PM

just do an honest ambush interview.

For some reason, reading that made me laugh.

taznar on September 10, 2007 at 1:39 PM

Curious.

I have heard that Scott’s last name is actually pronounced “Beecham”

Perhaps he should give Michelle a call and clear that up.

It’s a terrible thing to mispronounce someone’s name, even if it’s spelled funny. He might get the impression that we don’t like him.

dinasour on September 10, 2007 at 5:07 PM

I have heard that Scott’s last name is actually pronounced “Beecham”

It might be a Missouri thing. I lived there for a few years a while back and had a horrible time with the place names. Things like Bolivar pronounced “BALL-iver”, El Dorado Springs (“El Dor-AYE-do”), and Miami (Miam-a).

Nosferightu on September 10, 2007 at 7:25 PM

I guess my point was lost on some.
We need to be careful how we deal with our opponents. They will hold us to the same standards we’ve held them to, but that’s not the biggest reason to mind our manners.

The more we show signs of being the anti-liberals, as opposed to what we really are–conservatives–the more we will lose the respect of those on the fence. I’ve noticed the professionalism of this site go down this year. It’s become more sensational, more knee-jerk, less matter-of-fact. It’s disappointing.

If I have to explain why it’s poor judgment to put what is obviously an already public email address of the editor of a private publication into the site-produced video of a site with good traffic…..then my original post wasn’t meant for you.

Let me put it another way: how many of you would have emailed Foer after watching that video had HA not included the segment where the receptionist gives his email? Additionally, what are your emails going to accomplish? Is deluging the inboxes of people we are disgusted with an acceptable practice? If so, how does that jive with our contention that conservatism is better than liberalism? If it is better, then we act better. Not just when we agree with people, but when we vehemently disagree with people.

Either we will stand for something or we will fall for anything.

unamused on September 10, 2007 at 9:09 PM

Did we post the TNR street address? Did we post Foer’s home number, or even his office number? No. We posted what the lady said, in the context of everything else she said, the point being that with us right there in the office, Foer said (presumably from under his desk) that he wanted us to email him about meeting for an interview. If I’d redacted the email, some enterprising blogger would have taken two seconds and come up with it on their own, and the fact that we redacted it would have it an even more interesting target.

I’m sorry that you have a problem with this, but there’s no need to use that to attack our ethics or professionalism over it. And honestly, I’m more than fed up with the right’s wimpiness when it comes to dealing with people like Foer. He published smears and has accused the Army of lying after the fact, and has accused us here and other conservatives on other blogs of all sorts of misconduct — when nearly all the misconduct in the Beauchamp affair is Foer’s own. Since returning from vacation, he’s been trying to make this whole thing just go away. We’re not going to let him.

Bryan on September 10, 2007 at 11:35 PM

Doing the job DailyKos wouldn’t do.

hadsil on September 11, 2007 at 1:29 AM

A couple of weeks ago I got into a discussion with a reader over a DailyKos who said that ‘the evidence was still out’ on Scott Thomas and that I was just ‘jumping to conclusions’.

There is a very sizeable group of people over there that want to believe the military is evil. It’s sad.

BadgerHawk on September 11, 2007 at 2:07 PM