TNR: We can no longer stand by Beauchamp’s stories

posted at 3:35 pm on December 1, 2007 by Allahpundit

Hot off the presses. It’s 14 pages and will take awhile to wade through but here’s the big finish:

In retrospect, we never should have put Beauchamp in this situation. He was a young soldier in a war zone, an untried writer without journalistic training. We published his accounts of sensitive events while granting him the shield of anonymity–which, in the wrong hands, can become license to exaggerate, if not fabricate.

When I last spoke with Beauchamp in early November, he continued to stand by his stories. Unfortunately, the standards of this magazine require more than that. And, in light of the evidence available to us, after months of intensive re-reporting, we cannot be confident that the events in his pieces occurred in exactly the manner that he described them. Without that essential confidence, we cannot stand by these stories.

Off to read…

Update: I just noticed that the post date is December 10 and that the story isn’t linked on TNR’s front page. I’ve e-mailed my tipster to see how he found out about this.

Update: An interesting admission from page 3. I remember righty bloggers taking some static when the story first broke for noting that Beauchamp’s wife, Elspeth Reeve, worked for the magazine. It turns out to be relevant:

But there was one avoidable problem with our Beauchamp fact-check. His wife, Reeve, was assigned a large role in checking his third piece. While we believe she acted with good faith and integrity–not just in this instance, but throughout this whole ordeal–there was a clear conflict of interest. At the time, our logic–in hindsight, obviously flawed–was that corresponding with a soldier in Iraq is logistically difficult and Reeve was already routinely speaking with him. It was a mistake–and we’ve imposed new rules to prevent future fact-checking conflicts of interest.

Update: Comedy gold on page 8 as Beauchamp tells TNR that the disfigured woman was in fact at a base in Kuwait, not at FOB Falcon as he had claimed:

Beauchamp: theyre taking away my

laptop

tnr: fuck is this it for communication?

Beauchamp: yeah and im fucked

tnr: they said that?

Beauchamp: because you’re right the crypt keep WAS in Kuwait

FUCK FUCK FUCK

this is bad isnt it

tnr: yes

Update (Bryan): I was working on a post about this at the same time AP was, so we’ll consolidate reaction in this post.

Finally. After months and months and months and months of several metric tons of nonsense, and in a 14 page, 10,000 word essay that puts up more smoke than a forest fire, Franklin Foer has this to say:

When I last spoke with Beauchamp in early November, he continued to stand by his stories. Unfortunately, the standards of this magazine require more than that. And, in light of the evidence available to us, after months of intensive re-reporting, we cannot be confident that the events in his pieces occurred in exactly the manner that he described them. Without that essential confidence, we cannot stand by these stories.

Glancing over the piece, TNR still has room to assail the Weekly Standard’s “ideological motives” in questioning Beauchamp. And I’m sure that there’s more to chew on. Check page 7 for possible legal jeopardy for Beauchamp. Check page 8 to see TNR continue to blame their own investigation’s delays on the Army (as I’ve pointed out before, TNR could have sent its own reporter to Falcon to investigate rather than rely on the already doubted Beauchamp, who had obvious motive to lie once his stories had been questioned). This part, on page 9, jumps out at me for its inanity.

Kiple understood that he didn’t make the ideal witness, given his current predicament. But he did recall the events Beauchamp described. “I remember the woman,” he told me. “She didn’t go to Iraq; she was in Kuwait. She was bald with strands of hair–her hair was gray just a little bit. Her face was kind of mangled. It looked it like it was scarred or something. It wasn’t recent. It happened in the past. She looked recovered. She wore a brown uniform, BDU [Battle Dress Uniform], with pocketed pants. It didn’t have any rank. She looked like a civilian contractor or something. She looked like an American. We saw her about every day or every other day–maybe fourteen times. Usually, mostly during lunch chow–twelve, one p.m. Yes, we called her Mandrake’s Bride, some crazy mythology that Scott and one of our buddies made up for her. I don’t remember some of the shit that they used to talk about her.”

As far as I remember, no one in the military called anything worn by a civilian a “BDU.” That’s the name given to a military combat uniform, or as Kiple says, the Battle Dress Uniform. Calling anything other than a BDU a BDU just doesn’t make sense, and ought to have raised a flag with TNR’s editors that their witness wasn’t entirely reliable and that he may be making stuff up on the fly and slipping in details that didn’t fit. Details like that, if you’re aware of their significance, raise doubts about credibility. If a witness had told me about a civilian wearing a BDU, I would have pressed him on that point since it made no military sense.

I’m sure there’s more in there. Bottom line: After all this time, TNR finally retracts Beauchamp’s work. They should have done this months ago. And Foer & Co still have a lot to answer for, starting with publishing unverified tales and then smearing their critics when the tales unraveled.

Update: Another admission on page 10 follows a long stretch of soldiers corroborating Beauchamp’s stories and allegedly being coerced by the Army into signing statements that they never saw what they say they saw:

But we also found some reason to doubt Beauchamp’s reliability: In 2006, he had written a personal blog, Sir Real Scott Thomas, which we only discovered after the controversy erupted. He appeared an angst-ridden young man prone to paroxysms: “I shoot, move, communicate, and kill … the deaths that I inflict secure the riches of the empire.” With his excited prose and tendency toward overstatement, his blog did not inspire journalistic confidence. We had good reasons never to assign Beauchamp another piece.

Update (Bryan): More fun from page 10.

It wasn’t just the testimonials from the soldiers in his unit. Among others, we had called a forensic anthropologist and a spokesman for the manufacturer of Bradley Fighting Vehicles. Nothing in our conversations with them had dissuaded us of the plausibility of Beauchamp’s pieces.

Well, yeah, when you rig the questions, you usually get the answers you want. TNR is still generating more spin than a pulsar.

Update (bp): From page 11, a snort-worthy bit.

We never received this cooperation. But conservative bloggers who were fixated on this controversy–one arrived unannounced at tnr’s offices with a video camera, another later attempted to organize an advertiser boycott of the magazine–were treated differently.

Learn to count, TNR. There were two of us.

Update: On the bottom of page 12 Beauchamp claims he was under duress, with two army officers in the room with him, during the phone conversation he had with TNR that was leaked to Drudge in October. On the top of the same page, TNR calls shenanigans on the army for claiming that Beauchamp was allowed to speak when, they later admitted, he wasn’t. And then there’s this, from page 13:

In our interview, surprisingly, [Maj. John] Cross, [Army investigator,] bolstered Beauchamp’s credibility. He stated that Beauchamp had never recanted, flatly refuting what Goldfarb and others reported. In fact, he agreed that Beauchamp had carefully crafted his signed statements in an attempt to avoid contradictions. And he admitted that, in his investigation, he had neglected to interview a substantial portion of Beauchamp’s platoon.

Update: If you’re pressed for time, just read pages 12-14. Foer’s thesis here splits the difference between pronouncing Beauchamp a liar (note the raised eyebrow on page 10 about his overheated pre-war blog prose) and pronouncing him an honest broker silenced by the military by declaring that in the maelstrom of war, with men under stress, we can never really know what the truth is. Which, conveniently, absolves TNR for being unable to verify the details. Hence the title of the piece. From the bottom of page 12:

The more we dug into Beauchamp’s writings, the more clear it became that we might have been in the realm of war stories, a genre notoriously rife with embellishment. It is telling that Beauchamp and his comrades gave the disfigured woman mythological names–Crypt Keeper, Mandrake’s Bride–and made her the subject of telling and retelling.

And 13:

Beauchamp has lived through this ordeal under the most trying of conditions. He is facing pressures that we can only begin to imagine. And, over the course of our dealings with him, we’ve tried to give him the benefit of the doubt. Ever since August, we’ve asked him, first though his wife and lawyer and later via direct e-mail and phone calls, to personally obtain the sworn statements that the military had him draft and sign on July 26. And, ever since then, he has promised repeatedly to do just that. We are, unfortunately, still waiting.

On the very first page, Foer introduces Beauchamp’s pieces as exercises in “how war distorts moral judgments.” That’s what they wanted to hear, that’s what they got. Their explanation for why they have to cut Beauchamp loose now: War distorts mental judgments, too. Perfect.

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I’m shocked and appalled!

Dash on December 1, 2007 at 3:38 PM

Ah so its “Lets throw Beauchamp under the Bus ?”

Beauchamp is paying for his mistake. Its Franklin Foer who is skating now

William Amos on December 1, 2007 at 3:39 PM

Sort of a mealy-mouthed conclusion, isn’t it?

Mr. Bingley on December 1, 2007 at 3:40 PM

I have yet to read their piece but I’ll bet it amounts to “fake but accurate”.

Any takers?

MikeZero on December 1, 2007 at 3:40 PM

HAHAHAHAHA!

baldilocks on December 1, 2007 at 3:40 PM

Good greif is Foer really passing the buck. He really shamelessly has no ethics not even to those who were also involved in this tragety

William Amos on December 1, 2007 at 3:42 PM

Bloggers Pwned the MSM once again

HA-HA!

Defector01 on December 1, 2007 at 3:48 PM

Shattered Glass, Which Is Then Shattered into Ever Finer Particles Until It Resembles Table Salt

Jim Treacher on December 1, 2007 at 3:49 PM

TNR?
I thought they went out of business after some debacle where they reported lies about our troops, were proven wrong and stood by the stories anyway… does some person out there still listen to what they say? do advertisers still pay them to represent them? do people still do interviews with them, and trust them to write the truth? or at the very least correct the lies? if so then too bad for them…

Kaptain Amerika on December 1, 2007 at 3:51 PM

Am I hoping too much to hear TNR appologize to US troops for slandering them or is it all Dan Rather defense of “Hatemongers on the right kept te true story from getting out” ?

William Amos on December 1, 2007 at 3:55 PM

I like how they throw out this choice tidbit

The Army didn’t announce this to The New York Times or even The Weekly Standard, let alone in a public report. It first gave the story of Beauchamp’s supposed fraudulence to a former porn actor turned blogger named Matt Sanchez.

As if what Sanchez used to do is somehow relevant.

Mr. Bingley on December 1, 2007 at 3:55 PM

In retrospect, we never should have put Beauchamp in this situation.

Seems to me he put himself in that situation by purposely telling lies.

He was a young soldier in a war zone, an untried writer without journalistic training.

How much training is required to tell the truth?

We published his accounts of sensitive events while granting him the shield of anonymity–which, in the wrong hands, can become license to exaggerate, if not fabricate.

So, TNR is in the wrong hands? Quite an admission.


When I last spoke with Beauchamp in early November, he continued to stand by his stories. Unfortunately, the standards of this magazine require more than that.

What standards?

Jeez….this is sooooo easy.

.

GT on December 1, 2007 at 3:57 PM

If TNR showed 1/10th the transparency and accountability they demanded of others, they would all resign and shut down the magazine.

TheBigOldDog on December 1, 2007 at 4:00 PM

I have yet to read their piece but I’ll bet it amounts to “fake but accurate”.

If you put the word probably in there, you about summed it up. Of course the unmentioned part is that the whole theme – that war turns you into a monster, is unaddressed. A theme overthrown by the facts: Kuwait, Germany, etc.

Spirit of 1776 on December 1, 2007 at 4:01 PM

Had they done this a few DAYS after the facts became known, I might have been swayed.

But their months of bullying, delaying, denying tactics make their mea culpa about as convincing as Dan Rather’s while he was still at CBS.

sulla on December 1, 2007 at 4:03 PM

I honestly never thought Id see a greek tragety play out in modern day times.

You have heroclies the war scarred veteran lamenting to the chorus about the evils of war. And his bride to be at home worried about the evil demons that threated to possess her husband in a foriegn land

Then the wise old philospher who hears the tale of heroclies and spreads the warning to the world as an abject lession about how society uses its military men.

But it turns out that the wise Philosopher is a tyrant in disguise who weaves a fictional story to advance his own status and heroclies and his bride are nothing more than stage props in a fictional drama.

Somewhere in this whole play the idea of Hubris is mentioned and its the real warning that went unheeded.

William Amos on December 1, 2007 at 4:11 PM

TNR is clearly a farcical operation these days. Like a bad hook of the tee…”Foer left!”

Jaibones on December 1, 2007 at 4:25 PM

Let’s see, all they did was publish a young soldier who was obviously prone to embellishment if not out right lies, who’s wife was an employee of the publication and who was the fact checker and editor to the soldier’s writings, and then when it was brought to their attention, denied, denied, denied for months and months. Then in a climb down, blamed everyone except themselves, and threw the young soldier under the bus for writing such outlandish, explosive untruths. Is that about it?

d1carter on December 1, 2007 at 4:27 PM

Off to read it now, but when I see this…

In retrospect, we never should have put Beauchamp in this situation. He was a young soldier in a war zone, an untried writer without journalistic training.

…I note that TNR still doesn’t get that the other half of the problem was that they were publishing war stories without any military background or input that would have made the fabrications jump out at them.

Karl on December 1, 2007 at 4:37 PM

I just noticed that the post date is December 10 and that the story isn’t linked on TNR’s front page. I’ve e-mailed my tipster to see how he found out about this.

So is this piece embargoed and subject to change?

bnelson44 on December 1, 2007 at 4:51 PM

You think that’s funny? Go check out John Cole’s latest head in arse post about “Wingnuttia”, as he calls it. Not to get banned or anything, but I believe that his home would be properly titled Completebullshittistan.

And I used to think Kos was deranged.

Physics Geek on December 1, 2007 at 4:55 PM

Liberals always have a convoluted explanation that makes no sense. Someone ought to teach them the fine art of Mea Culpa.

T J Green on December 1, 2007 at 4:57 PM

The post date is “Post Date Monday, December 10, 2007″ for the TNR Fog of War piece. Don’t know what that means. Surely, they would release it on Saturday afternoon when they think no one will notice.

Valiant on December 1, 2007 at 5:00 PM

I’d like to think that I’d go down way more gracefully than this…but then again, I’d like to think my ideological bent wouldn’t make me so blind to truth that I’d promulgate something like this.

If I ever do, I’m counting on you guys to fact check me, too.

Sheesh. How embarrassing for TNR. Or it would be if they stopped passing the buck. Proper response is two words: Mea culpa.

Or three words if you want to really get it right: Mea maxima culpa.

Bob's Kid on December 1, 2007 at 5:02 PM

Valiant on December 1, 2007 at 5:00 PM

Well it’s hitting the blogsphere now, see:
http://memeorandum.com/

bnelson44 on December 1, 2007 at 5:04 PM

William Amos on December 1, 2007 at 4:11 PM

This is why the Classics never get old.

Bob's Kid on December 1, 2007 at 5:05 PM

Be sure to head over to the article at tnr and leave a comment so you can be heavily censored. MM made the best observation of the piece with:

In an act of grace, the magazine has thanked its critics and apologized to the military.

No, just kidding about the thanking and apologizing part.

Valiant on December 1, 2007 at 5:11 PM

The fog of war lying.

drunyan8315 on December 1, 2007 at 5:20 PM

“TNR: We can no longer stand by Beauchamp’s stories”

Really? Smells more like half-baked ‘plausible deniability’ bullshtt to me.

Dissonant juvenile @sswipes.

Grow up!

locomotivebreath1901 on December 1, 2007 at 5:25 PM

So they needed 14 long-winded pages to obfuscate the fact that nobody at TNR will be held accountable?

Nice.

LagunaDave on December 1, 2007 at 5:29 PM

Update: I just noticed that the post date is December 10 and that the story isn’t linked on TNR’s front page. I’ve e-mailed my tipster to see how he found out about this.

Allah, someone noted that the other TNR piece, the one about atheists, is also dated for December 10th.

Esthier on December 1, 2007 at 5:30 PM

I remember righty bloggers taking some static when the story first broke for noting that Beauchamp’s wife, Elspeth Reeve, worked for the magazine. It turns out to be relevant.

Yeah, I remember that, too. Actually, the part I remember most vividly is when I pointed out the obvious – that Mrs Reeve was involved in the editing process of Beauchamp’s fairy tales – and then being told by a certain Hot Air writer, “Lay off his wife, please. She hasn’t done anything wrong.”

Niko on December 1, 2007 at 5:32 PM

14 pages, and not one “sorry”.

SoulGlo on December 1, 2007 at 5:33 PM

Ya gatta admire how TNR just SPRUNG into action with this.

N. O'Brain on December 1, 2007 at 5:37 PM

I remember righty bloggers taking some static when the story first broke for noting that Beauchamp’s wife, Elspeth Reeve, worked for the magazine. It turns out to be relevant:

That would be John Podhoretz sniffily commanding everyone to “chill out” about the relationship, insisting that:

The only issue here was, and remains, whether the stories Beauchamp told in his Diarist (and in the two that preceded it) were matters of fact, or embellishments of tales he had heard around the base, or were invented out of whole cloth.

Memo to JPod: looks like the relationship might have compromised the fact checking and thus negatively affected “the only issue”.

Kensington on December 1, 2007 at 6:06 PM

As if what Sanchez used to do is somehow relevant.

I thought that was pretty unprofessional as well. Although I suppose it might be interpreted as Foer saying, “I am less reliable than a porn star.”

calbear on December 1, 2007 at 6:15 PM

On the very first page, Foer introduces Beauchamp’s pieces as exercises in “how war ideology distorts moral judgments.”

The fundamental mistake was beginning this venture in the first place. It was wrong on multiple levels that were clear from the very first moment. He wasn’t a journalist. His wife worked for the magazine. They knew nothing about him. Nothing. Then, the first story comes in and it’s everything they could have hoped for and more. That was their final chance to save their reputations and they passed on that one too. Why? Because they don’t care about the truth or integrity. They only care about advancing their ideology at any cost.

If you assume for one second they didn’t see all these problems from the start, then you have to draw the conclusion they are completely incompetent and should either resign or be fired. They saw them, they ignored them, they hide them, because all that really mattered was advancing their ideology.

TheBigOldDog on December 1, 2007 at 6:26 PM

Hey,

Is his unit the 2BCT 1ID? Aren’t they coming home now? Could that be the reason for the TNR piece now?

http://www.2bct.1id.army.mil/Primary%20Sites/

Or do I have the unit or timing wrong?

bnelson44 on December 1, 2007 at 6:29 PM

Shattered Glass, Which Is Then Shattered into Ever Finer Particles Until It Resembles Table Salt

Jim, I was going to go with Shattered (Bull) Sh*t. It’s got a nice ring to it.

MamaAJ on December 1, 2007 at 6:40 PM

They perpetrated a fraud that smeared the U.S. Military, displayed gross incompetence in editing and fact checking, spent months defending the indefensible, and then finally write 14 pages of nonsense to cover their posteriors.
Nice job, TNR. I believe Dan Rather’s looking for a job. It’s a marriage made in heaven — or maybe that other real hot place — depending on how you look at it.

Nichevo on December 1, 2007 at 7:39 PM

Back when I was doing science fiction anthologies twenty years ago, Bob Shaw introduced a wonderful concept called “slow glass.” Made of Bose-Einstein Condensate, it slowed light to a snail’s pace, so that it took, if I recall correctly, seven years for the incoming image to exit the other side. In Shaw’s original short story, from outside his house, a man who had lost his wife and child, could still see their inside images years later.
Considering the enormous time it took TNR to deal with this issue, I was reminded of slow-glass. And I can’t help wondering if it wasn’t somehow involved.

Dr. Charles G. Waugh on December 1, 2007 at 7:58 PM

Ka-BOOM!

Great job with the fisking, Allah & Bryan.

After four months of obfuscations and misdirection, I see CanWest and TNR as having no choice on this matter any longer – Foer must go to serve as a lesson to all who dwell in the bowels of fabulism.

notta_dhimmi on December 1, 2007 at 8:08 PM

Bryan says,

Calling anything other than a BDU a BDU just doesn’t make sense, and ought to have raised a flag with TNR’s editors that their witness wasn’t entirely reliable and that he may be making stuff up on the fly and slipping in details that didn’t fit. Details like that, if you’re aware of their significance, raise doubts about credibility. If a witness had told me about a civilian wearing a BDU, I would have pressed him on that point since it made no military sense.

Yeah, he has a tendency to lace his stories with random little factoids that just sound kind of awkward. I noticed that when I was taking apart his blog. You can see it on his entry on May 08, 2006, he says the following,

“Sh*t, I don’t know…put a 556 in his head”

(the * is mine)

Who says it like that? I haven’t been in the military, but would anyone really say “five fifty-six” like that? (not that our guys are at all like what he says in his stories) It just doesn’t sound right, its like he writes quotes as if whoever said it was talking to a civilian who didn’t know anything about the military. I dunno, just wondering if that’s a quirk in his writing that anyone else sees.

Bad Candy on December 1, 2007 at 9:01 PM

“Her face was kind of mangled. It looked it like it was scarred or something. It wasn’t recent. It happened in the past.”

At least he didn’t say, ‘It happened in the future.’

Kevin M on December 1, 2007 at 9:12 PM

As far as I remember, no one in the military called anything worn by a civilian a “BDU.” That’s the name given to a military combat uniform, or as Kiple says, the Battle Dress Uniform. Calling anything other than a BDU a BDU just doesn’t make sense, and ought to have raised a flag with TNR’s editors that their witness wasn’t entirely reliable and that he may be making stuff up on the fly and slipping in details that didn’t fit. Details like that, if you’re aware of their significance, raise doubts about credibility. If a witness had told me about a civilian wearing a BDU, I would have pressed him on that point since it made no military sense.

DLA civilians and other contractors deployed to the theatre wear the same camouflaged uniforms that the units they’re supporting wear. Of course, for the Army the uniform is now the ACU, or if she was supporting the Air Force, the BDU would be the wrong color…it’s the woodland pattern camouflage I wear to work. For those that have not yet converted to the ABU, the uniform they’d use in desert areas is the 3-color DCU.

James on December 1, 2007 at 11:46 PM

If a witness had told me about a civilian wearing a BDU, I would have pressed him on that point since it made no military sense.

Not that I would support TNR or Beauchump any but during the Gulf War, there were a number of Red Cross volunteers who wore DCU’s.

From a distance they looked like absolute ragbags with the sleeves rolled weird, tops unbuttoned, pockets not buttoned etc. Getting up close, they wore a little Red Cross insignia on their collars.

91Veteran on December 2, 2007 at 12:15 AM

We had good reasons never to assign Beauchamp another piece.

In addition to those good reasons, they had a lot of good reasons to retract the crap they published as well, but they chose not to. They chose instead to ignore the good reasons they found, as well as those pointed out to them, then attack those who pointed them out.

Nice Frankie.

91Veteran on December 2, 2007 at 12:26 AM

And yet, IVAW is going to replicate the ridiculous Kerry ploy of a “Winter Soldier” investigation?

US War Vets to Speak Publicly About War Crimes

Maybe they will call Scott Beauchamp and Jesse MacBeth both to “tesitfy.”

LewWaters on December 2, 2007 at 3:00 AM

From 07/21/2007:

As the criticism mounts, Foer says he sees an ideological agenda.

“A lot of the questions raised by the conservative blogosphere boil down to, would American soldiers be capable of doing things like the things described in the diarist. The practical jokes are exceptionally mild compared to things that have been documented by the U.S. military. Conservative bloggers make a bit of a living denying any bad news that emanates from Iraq.”

jaime on December 2, 2007 at 3:27 AM

Don’t you understand yet that these people are just smarter than you and should not ever be questioned?

The entire liberalshpere, from the liberal teen to the most powerful Senator Liberal, they all hate being questioned…see: CNN and Wolf Blitzer

They’re always right.

benrand on December 2, 2007 at 6:50 AM

Beachamp can get a job after the service in a blue-state used bookstore, checking in books from customers who complain how little they pay for books and how much they sell them. He can blow off steam by emoting his poetry at stand-up night, where an unemployed Foer will enthusiastically applaud for him.

silverfox on December 2, 2007 at 9:46 AM

I’m actually pleased that nobody at TNR is going to be dismissed over this debacle. It allows TNR to remain a pure specimen of the entire left, in sharp relief: unable to make its points without lies and fabrications, living in an outcome-based reality where inconvenient facts are discarded, and quickly reduced to a whining, blubbery defensive crouch when caught in the act, following the Clinton strategy of hiding your own wrongdoing behind a blizzard of foam-flecked accusations against those who caught you. At this point, it’s obvious that only a complete idiot, or completely blind ideologue, would take anything TNR writes seriously. It can be useful to have all the complete idiots and blind ideologues in one place. Congrats to the Hotair gang, and the righty blogosphere in general, for another stunning victory. Of course, the lefty blogosphere hasn’t been completely without victories of their own… so fight on in memory of our fallen hero, Jeff Gannon! (cue “When Johnny Comes Marching Home”)

Doctor Zero on December 2, 2007 at 10:08 AM

Actually, the silliest thing in the entire 14 page Foer retraction is his whine that Michelle Malkin made a surprise visit to the offices of the New Republic. What normal person would have any objection to Michelle Malkin making a surprise visit to his office?
At our office, Michelle is welcome any time!

Larraby on December 2, 2007 at 10:18 AM

Beachamp can get a job after the service in a blue-state used bookstore, checking in books from customers who complain how little they pay for books and how much they sell them.
silverfox on December 2, 2007 at 9:46 AM

Nice… good to see such unqualified support for the troops who complete their service honorably.
Must be nice to be as perfect as you.

His commanders allowed him to continue to serve. They must see some redeeming qualities and are willing to take a chance with him. Ditto his fellow soldiers.

Bradky on December 2, 2007 at 11:01 AM

His commanders [Beauchamp’s] allowed him to continue to serve. They must see some redeeming qualities and are willing to take a chance with him. Ditto his fellow soldiers.

Bradky on December 2, 2007 at 11:01 AM

Maybe, maybe not.

Consider the media firestorm that would have erupted if Beauchamp was discharged so quickly following this incident. Regardless of the facts surrounding this entire mess, the MSM would have made tons of political hay over any perceived “hasty” reaction by Beauchamp’s commanders.

eanax on December 2, 2007 at 11:25 AM

We are innocent so he must be guilty

The important thing is we admitted it

Our common decency is intact

We have proven ourselves once again

I love me

entagor on December 2, 2007 at 11:46 AM

TNR … ask them no questions, they’ll tell you no lies

TNR may as well be the old Soviet Union’s PRAVDA. Anti-America and anti-truth in every way, shape, and form.

Despicable journalism at its best, trying in vain to shape the conscience of America with nefarious fabrications and covering it up with red herrings when the cat’s out of the bag.

The only acceptable outcome of TNR’s emulation of the Master of Deception and Falsehood is closing up shop. They can never ever be trusted, not one iota, again. Anyone whom thinks otherwise after this is just part and parcel of the grand deceptions and lies at every turn regarding America and the neverending resolute attempts at undermining her very soul.

SilverStar830 on December 2, 2007 at 12:19 PM

Some of the civilians that were in theater wore DCU’s that said “DOD Civilian” or somesuch – I could see the BDU confusion, but if she was working in Kuwait (where I spent time at all of the posts at one point or another) she wouldn’t have been wearing DCU’s at all – they wore civilian clothes, had access to leave post and go shop in the economy, etc.

The military wouldn’t have coerced him not to speak about the information he’d already released, as a matter of fact, they would have applied pressure for him to clear the air on the matter!

The problem here is that because TNR has a spin that they have to put forward here. They assume that because they’re so willing to spin the truth, accept stories that are patently false, but fulfill their political aims and refuse to check on their facts, that everyone else – particularly the Army, is willing to do so, as well!

FM 3-61.1 – Public Affairs – The army’s own manual on reporting, as well as DOD directives clearly state that public affairs is not allowed to withhold or classify information simply to protect the government from criticism or embarrassment.

But, I guess, as soldiers, they (TNR) feel we have some special conspiracy to commit all sorts of atrocities and that once we put on the uniform, we cease being human beings at all – except, of course, those in uniform who tell them what they wish to hear…

no matter how atrocious or improbable the events…

RustMouse on December 2, 2007 at 2:05 PM

I’m sure that Columbia Journalism Review and Romensko will undoubtedly jump right on this Monday morning.

…along the lines of…
Angry right-wing bloggers continued their over-the-top attacks on respected editor Franklin Foer and “The New Republic”, and poor young confused American soldier.

MikeHu on December 2, 2007 at 4:24 PM

eanax on December 2, 2007 at 11:25 AM

You are speculating. His commanders are responsible for the lives of their troops – letting Beauchamp stay in his unit says volumes about their assessment for his fitness for duty.

If he were reassigned to the motor pool and left waxing staff cars for the remainder of his enlistment I could see you having a point. But if they trust him in a combat unit I am inclined to go with that the commanders on the ground know better than the rest of us.

Bradky on December 2, 2007 at 5:03 PM

You are speculating. His commanders are responsible for the lives of their troops – letting Beauchamp stay in his unit says volumes about their assessment for his fitness for duty.

If he were reassigned to the motor pool and left waxing staff cars for the remainder of his enlistment I could see you having a point. But if they trust him in a combat unit I am inclined to go with that the commanders on the ground know better than the rest of us.

Bradky on December 2, 2007 at 5:03 PM

No, it’s an analysis of the situation. No one is questioning Beauchamp’s physical or psychological ability to perform the duties for which he was trained.

The point I am making is if Beauchamp had been removed for the TNR issue, the negative PR campaign would have begun in earnest and that’s something the military wants to avoid. The best thing to do is stay low and let the entire thing blow over.

The military, like many organizations, is not immune from wanting to maintain good PR. And this is just the way things are today in a 24/7/365 global multimedia, multi-sourced environment.

eanax on December 3, 2007 at 11:04 AM

OK, Monday morning, and Romensko?:
http://www.poynter.org/column.asp?id=45

Howard Kurtz? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/03/AR2007120300457.html

>

Move along folks, nothing to see here… nope, nothing….

MikeHu on December 3, 2007 at 11:08 AM

I forgot the -crickets chirping- part…

MikeHu on December 3, 2007 at 11:09 AM

And this is just the way things are today in a 24/7/365 global multimedia, multi-sourced environment.

eanax on December 3, 2007 at 11:04 AM

Then you don’t trust the integrity of the commanders on the ground? A statement like that is kind of like what the left likes to portray the military as; a bunch of children incapable of knowing what is good for them.

Bradky on December 3, 2007 at 6:35 PM

Then you don’t trust the integrity of the commanders on the ground? A statement like that is kind of like what the left likes to portray the military as; a bunch of children incapable of knowing what is good for them.

Bradky on December 3, 2007 at 6:35 PM

Strawman.

Apparently, you are having a hard time processing and comprehending my point. There is a PR decision to be made that goes beyond Beauchamp’s commanders — how to minimize and contain yet another negative story regarding our military and, more widely, the War in Iraq.

If Beauchamp’s commanders were to do anything to him, discipline-wise, the media would have a field day with ‘how the military is punishing one of its own for spreading the truth about what’s going on in Iraq…’

If you believe there’s zero consideration taken into account with this situation, regarding Public Relations, then you aren’t paying attention to realpolitik.

eanax on December 3, 2007 at 10:25 PM