Of course, our decrying of America’s aversion to vacation will only do so much to solve this growing crisis. Which is why we’re happy to say that, with the publication of this issue, The New Republic will try to do its part by joining those Iraqi M.P.s and taking some time off in August. It won’t be the month our Baghdad brothers will enjoy, only seven days, but that means the next issue of tnr won’t be published for another three weeks instead of the customary two. What you, dear reader, will do without tnr for that one week is hard to fathom, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t offer one suggestion: Maybe you should take a vacation, too.
Dean Barnett reviews some salient facts in light of this news.
LET’S REVIEW, SHALL WE? It’s been over two weeks since the Beauchamp Diarists hit the Internets and the storm they kicked up began. It’s been over two weeks since TNR’s editor-in-chief Franklin Foer began what he promised would be a dogged investigation to corroborate the details of those Diarists, something a responsible editor would have done before running the piece. It’s been almost two weeks since Franklin Foer said he unearthed “much to corroborate” the details of the piece and yet has declined to share those details with a curious public.
A couple more facts should be added: Blogger Matt Sanchez is at FOB Falcon and asking questions about Beauchamp at this moment. He has already destroyed the disfigured lady story:
No one has seen or heard of the melting lady. No soldier would confuse an officer with a contractor. It just wouldn’t happen. It’s a small base and most people have seen each other. I just got back today and all these people I haven’t seen in a month are welcoming me back. They don’t know me, but they’ve seen me before.
He has also reported that thus far, TNR has only asked a couple of “lukewarm” questions of FOB Falcon’s PAO, which would be the first place anyone would reasonably go to get confirmation on the stratified children’s mass grave story. That story doesn’t need the word of any of Beauchamp’s unidentified mates that TNR has cited, it just needs confirmation or denial from the base PAO and a quick tour to the site if it exists. And according to a comment at Sanchez’s blog there’s an
Article Army Regulation 15-6 investigation of Beauchamp underway. If that’s true and the investigation is centered on his TNR work, it’s likely to get to the bottom of the Baghdad Diarist’s portfolio in fairly short order.
I hate to be one to question the timing, but it’s certainly interesting that TNR has chosen this moment to go dark.
Update: Dean reports that this was previously scheduled vacation on TNR’s part.