July 31, 2007

A Community-Based Reality

I think that the phrase borrowed from commenter at Riehl Word View quite accurately reflects a growing "conventional wisdom" among a peculiar group of bloggers that military and conservative bloggers attempted to claim that "Scott Thomas" didn't actually exist.

"Scott Thomas," of course, was the pseudonym chosen by U.S. Army PV-2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp when he posted a series of three dispatches in the magazine The New Republic.

The most recent post, "Shock Troops," (subscription required) became the focus of Michael Goldfarb on July 18 because of some very strong claims of various kinds of abuse alleged by "Scott Thomas" of himself and other soldiers. These claims are now the subject of investigations by the U.S. Army (real) and the magazine that carried the claims, The New Republic (which critics have dismissed as an attempt at face-saving and job-keeping by the editors, and little more).

Soon afterward, Beauchamp's previous post, "Dead of Night" came under scrutiny, and two claims he made there were conclusively debunked.

Military bloggers began zeroing in on the identity of "Scott Thomas" within days— Marine turned documentary filmmaker JD Johannes had his unit narrowed to the 1-18 Infantry by the following Saturday—forcing Thomas into a position where he felt the need to reveal himself days later.

On the afternoon Beauchamp came forward on July 26, severel prominent bloggers began to compose a narrative every bit as fictional as that of Beauchamp himself, and apparently, for equally dishonorable reasons.

On that afternoon in The Washington Monthly, Kevin Drum seems to have manufactured the controversy:

Conservative sites went crazy. Thomas didn't really exist. His stories were made up. The left hates the troops. Etc. etc.

At Sadly No!, Gavin M. claimed:

1) WingNet accuses soldier/journalist of being an impostor.

2) WingNet proven wrong.

At alicubog:

ATTENTION COMRADES! Previous meme "Scott Thomas does not exist" is no longer operative. Please to substitute "Scott Thomas Beauchamp is a bad man" or "Scott Thomas Beauchamp is Oliver Stone" or "Scott Thomas Beauchamp is a semiotic construct" or "We'll get Scott Thomas Beauchamp fired" or whatever damn thing you can think of.

By the next day, Americablog had latched onto this creative fiction as well:

Of course, the right wing blogosphere went nuts, accusing TNR of fabricating a soldier and lying about his experiences. There were repeated attempts to prove that Scott Thomas was a fake.

Even yesterday, at Mercury Rising yesterday, a blogger wrote:

Of course, once they found out about it, all of the Usual Suspects in the conservative’s mighty Wurlitzer - Malkin, Powerline, the whole schmear - set out to prove that “Scott Thomas” didn’t exist and that this was all just liberal lies to smear the armed forces and turn the country against the war. They went berzerk proving to themselves through “semiotic analysis” and other such crapola that this whole thing was just made-up liberal media lies.

And so it is that "this whole thing"—the claim that conservative bloggers said Thomas didn’t exist or wasn’t a soldier—comes squarely back onto the shoulders of liberal bloggers who created the meme themselves.

When pressed to provide a specific quote from any conservative blog stating that Scott Thomas didn’t really exist, was fabricated, or was an imposter, these and other liberal bloggers have utterly failed to do so.

Why they failed should now be obvious: they made up these claims themselves.

Update: A bit dog barks. Gavin M. at Sadly No! (cited above for claiming "WingNet accuses soldier/journalist of being an impostor") tries to support liberal bloggers' charges that conservative bloggers said Beauchamp didn’t exist, was fabricated, or was an impostor.

How does he mount his brilliant defense?

He cites devastating examples, such as Bryan at Hot Air using scare quotes around the word soldier... Twice. He also highlights a truism observed by Bryan in that post that anyone in the military would be able to tell the difference between a fellow soldier's uniform and that of a civilian contractor.

A great defense mounted so far, but wait, there's more!

Gavin M. blasts Charles at LGF for using the phrase, "purported to be written by a soldier." Charles used the "P" word to describe someone hiding behind a pseudonym? Why, that's the exact same thing as directly calling him an impostor, isn't it folks?

And yet Gavin presumably has a day job that doesn't involve balloon animals.

But hang on, he has more evidence... Ace of Spades also used the damning scare quotes... twice. Gavin's a regular Perry Mason, isn't he?

And the killing blow... before Beauchamp came out, Michelle Malkin, vile, prevaricating Malkin, addressed the liberal blogosphere's greatest unknown soldier as--and watch out for the scare quotes--as "alleged."

Purported and alleged, two bread-and-butter words in any journalist's quiver for when the facts are hazy in the least, have--according to Gavin--become the same as calling him an impostor. Using scare quotes in the same manner is morphed by Gavin into a declarative emphatically stating that he doesn't exist.

That's his case. Really.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at July 31, 2007 08:06 PM

I'll admit that I thought there was a distinct possibility that Scott Thomas was not a soldier. I really didn't think that a real soldier would choose creative license over telling the truth. Why would a soldier in a combat zone feel the need to make fabrications so stupid that almost anyone could see through them? Well anyone except the editors at TNR. I guess it comes down to one's influences. His influnces probably include Anthony Swofford, Jack Kerouac or Hunter S. Thomson. Writers that felt emotions and feeling were more important than facts. Too bad his influences didn't include Ernie Pyle, Stephen Ambrose, Mark Bowden or even Michael Yon. Those people wrote about combat and didn't feel the need to create extra facts to make their stories more angst ridden.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at July 31, 2007 09:45 PM

Hmm. Well you posted your own letter to TNR, dated 7/20, in which you ask them the following questions:

Did New Republic editors ask for credible documentation from "Scott Thomas" to prove his identity as a present duty soldier or as a discharged veteran? If so, did they receive such documentation, and did New Republic editors make an attempt to verify the accuracy of that documentation? Considering not dissimilar and thoroughly debunked claims by fake Ranger and former member of the Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) Jesse MacBeth, this would be the only prudent first reaction upon reading such dramatic claims as those made by Thomas, especially considering TNR's own Stephen Glass problem.

So when Gavin M. at Sadly No! says that the WingNet accuses soldier/journalist of being an impostor, and then proven wrong, he would've been right about the Confederate Yankee at least.

Posted by: The Voice of Reason at July 31, 2007 10:12 PM

Suggest remedial English class VOR.

You have obvious reading comprehension problems. Particularly in regard to questions versus declarative sentences.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 31, 2007 10:19 PM

Particularly in regard to questions versus declarative sentences.

In raising the question, he's holding it forth as a distinct possibility. It's the first question he puts to the editors! Of course the subtext is that it's not just possible, but plausible.

Posted by: The Voice of Reason at July 31, 2007 10:47 PM

I asked if TNR did their due diligence as editors... something then and now we suspect they did not, and with good reason.

This question you cite was the first question of seven, following several declarative paragraphs. It was the first question regarding this situation, because in a first-person narrative, establishing the credibility of the storyteller is a primary concern.

There is a world of difference in asking if TNR took the steps one would expect to verify the ID of their writer, and of declaring him a fabrication. Many left-leaning blogs purposefully jumped over that gap, as does VOR.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at July 31, 2007 11:11 PM

CY and VOR,

Help me out here. When knowledgable people started looking critically at Scott Thomas' TNR writing, they criticized its content as being wrong. As in, "this doesn't fit, Army units in Baghdad don't work this way, the stories don't ring true, the equipment's described wrong..."

It seems pretty reasonable to go on to wonder, "Is this guy for real? Really a soldier? Really in Baghdad?"

Whether CY made that assertion (as opposed to posing that question) or not in his letter to TNR, other bloggers certainly expressed doubts(there are a lot of them out there).

It turns out that Scott Thomas really is a USA soldier in Baghdad. Great! On to the key issue: his stories seem wrong. Are they?

The Gotcha! seems to be predicated on an implicit corrolary to entertaining doubts that Scott Thomas is a for-real soldier. It would go:

If a blogger expresses doubts that Scott Thomas is an actual soldier stationed in Baghdad, and Scott Thomas turns out to be an actual soldier stationed in Baghdad, then all doubts about Scott Thomas' accounts have been definitively vanquished.

That doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Posted by: AMac at July 31, 2007 11:11 PM

In raising the question, he's holding it forth as a distinct possibility.

The way truthers do when they raise the question if 9/11 was an inside job right? That makes it a "distinct possibility" right?

Will Richard Nixon rise from the dead? Its a "distinct possibility" you know right?

Posted by: Purple Avenger at July 31, 2007 11:42 PM
Whether CY made that assertion (as opposed to posing that question) or not in his letter to TNR, other bloggers certainly expressed doubts (there are a lot of them out there).

My emphasis, and my question: if there are "a lot of them out there," then why does it seem so difficult for those making these claims to actually support their assertions with direct quotes?

I've seen some that wanted to know if TNR vetted the guy prior to publication, and I've seen some guess at his identity--incorrectly--by identifying another soldier (Clifton Hicks) as the possible writer behind the pseudonym.

What I have not seen, despite claims by the liberal bloggers I cited (and quite a few I did not), is any direct quotes showing that conservatives stated "he didn't exist" as Drum and roy at alicublog and Mercury Rising assert, or was "an imposter" as Gavin M. stated, or that anyone was accusing TNR of "fabricating a soldier" as was claimed at Americablog.

John from Op-For and I even politely asked the bloggers at "Mercury Rising" to support their assertions with direct quotes, and instead, we had our quite reasonable requests deleted as a result of their being exposed.

Did a handful of milblogs or center-right blogs probably make those assertions? With literally tens of millions of blogs in existence, I feel rather certain that some probably did, but that was not something shared by bloggers on the overwhelming majority of the more popular and reputable blogs. It simply wasn't. It wasn't even a noticeable minority opinion.

This was a meme created, propagated, and self-reinforced by blogs on the left, and it is time that they own up to their own brand of fabulism.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 1, 2007 07:56 AM

Just after "Shock Troops" hit the stands, I could have registered at Blogspot and started a blog, naming it "Scott Thomas Doesn't Exist!!!" Each entry could have focused on this single conviction (postings would have dropped off on the day that Beauchamp was outed/stepped forward).

What I fail to understand is why cases equivalent to my hypothetical are assuming such importance among Beauchamp's champions. Would it weigh equally if I had loudly opined by the office water cooler, instead of blogging? If I had thought about it but kept my beliefs to myself?

Since there are tens or hundreds of thousands of web-logs, it is surely true that some bloggers have asserted Scott Thomas' non-existence or non-service. I haven't checked, because the point doesn't seem worth discussing (but here we are).

It is clear that critics-of-Beauchamp's-critics read these threads, and often jump in to comment. Two quick questions for you:

-- Why does it matter if some bloggers incorrectly accused Scott Thomas of non-service, and were then proved wrong?

-- Since it matters, can you link to posts of the high-traffic bloggers who have committed this infraction? Say, bloggers in the top-200 positions of NZ Bear's Ecosystem?

Thanks in advance.

Posted by: AMac at August 1, 2007 08:50 AM


I'm confused. I thought that all enlightened individuals were to question authority (TNR) and be relentless truthseekers (a la Michael Moore, Chomsky, etc.)or else be lickspittle automatons manipulated by greedy corporate interests into having their consent manufactured and pockets picked.

Maybe it is beyond the comprehension of some Leftists, but they do not have a monopoly on critical thinking skills. Their "truth" can get the reasoned pinata treatment too.

The difference between the 60's and today is that technology allows those with differing views and insights to publicly scrutinize the pieties and claptrap of the Left and expose shinola for what it is.

AMac is right on the mark in his comments. What this meme is meant to be is a debate stopper. How long will it be before the Leftie bloggers start throwing out the "backlash" and "chilling effect" memes too?

Posted by: wjo at August 1, 2007 09:16 AM

Correction to my first comment (7/31/07 11:11pm), where I wrote:

other bloggers certainly expressed doubts (there are a lot of them out there).
The antecedent for "them" was meant to be "bloggers" rather than "bloggers who expressed doubt." Correctly parsed, the point was, "since there are a lot of bloggers out there, it is not surprising that some (small) number expressed doubts."

Apologies for the misleading grammar on that point.

Posted by: AMac at August 1, 2007 09:41 AM


All this is just BS.

The real question is where the heck is that proof that TNR was supposed to provide.

Frankly I think they've ducked the whole thing and are hoping it'll all either blow over or other leftie websites will help them reconstruct the issues in a way that'll let them escape responsibility.

Personally I don't plan on letting them.

Posted by: memomachine at August 1, 2007 10:01 AM

This is a lot like the "Jamil Hussein" AP fiasco. His stories were debunked but the AP produced someone who used the pseudonym "Jamil Hussein". That didnt make his lies any less dishonest and the crappy AP reporting and less crappy.

Posted by: ME at August 1, 2007 10:24 AM

General J.C. Christian is still around? I thought he went into hiding after that "own goal" he created on that Nashville blogger. Putz.

Posted by: daleyrocks at August 1, 2007 11:27 AM

This recent thread, "Scott Beauchamp's Troubles are Just Beginning," attracted 141 comments, many from defenders of Beauchamp and debunkers of those who are skeptical of his claims.

I hope they offer some answers to the questions posed in this post, as well.

Posted by: AMac at August 1, 2007 12:06 PM

And the debunking of the Beauchamp-doubters continues apace...

*** crickets chirping ***

Posted by: AMac at August 1, 2007 06:29 PM


Do we have to wait until after TNR's vacation?

Posted by: memomachine at August 2, 2007 09:33 AM

Part of the issue is what the Left seems to believe constitutes necessary versus sufficient proof.

For those who are skeptical, or simply with a bit more analytical rigor, there's several things that are necessary for a story to be true.

The first, as evidenced by CY's questions, is that the person actually exist, both physically (not a complete fiction) and exist as described (as a soldier, as a soldier in Iraq).

From there, other pieces of evidence are necessary for the story to be given credence: details need to be accurate, opportunities described need to have occurred, the people described need to have existed.

The Left, having concluded that Beauchamp is the fulfillment of their dreams (an artist witness to the depravities of LT Calley), have concluded that providing proof that Beauchamp existed is SUFFICIENT, when it is not.

As ME notes, this is precisely like the Jamil Hussein kerfuffle. If Hussein exists, he must therefore be telling the truth.

The irony, of course, is that when the Left opposes a meme, say, that the surge is working, evidence from witnesses, on the ground, in Iraq, who can provide photographic evidence (I'm thinking Michael Yon) are dismissed as "shills."

If anyone ever wants to see the double standard of liberal-think in action.....

Posted by: Lurking Observer at August 2, 2007 11:31 AM


About that Jamil Hussein. One thing I kinda missed, mostly due to boredom, was whether or not the Jamil Hussein that that the Iraqi Interior Ministry found was the same Jamil Hussein that the AP had been quoting.

Did the AP come out and explicitly state that this specific Jamil Hussein was *the* Jamil Hussein that they had been quoting?

Any answers would be great. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: memomachine at August 2, 2007 02:30 PM
About that Jamil Hussein. One thing I kinda missed, mostly due to boredom, was whether or not the Jamil Hussein that that the Iraqi Interior Ministry found was the same Jamil Hussein that the AP had been quoting.

Did the AP come out and explicitly state that this specific Jamil Hussein was *the* Jamil Hussein that they had been quoting?

This is not now, nor has there ever been, a real Jamil Hussein. Jmail Hussein is a pseudonym for Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Gulaim Innad XX XXXXXXX [last name, as always, redacted for his safety], who leaked stories from all over Baghdad to Iraqi stringers working for the Associated Press. Only a handful have ever been independently confirmed as true.

Whenever the issue is brought up, AP's former (Linda Wagner) and current (Paul Colford) Media Relations Directors always point to a January 4 Steven R. Hust article, where they state Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman Brigadier General Abdul-Karim Khalaf confirmed the existence of Jamil Hussein, just as they said all along.

The problem with that story is that it simply isn't true. I'd consider going so far as to call it a direct, willful, ass-covering lie.

As I released in an exclusive on February 15, BG Abdul-Karim denies the AP's printed claim, and in fact, says that it was AP's Iraqi stringers that confirmed to him on two separate occasions that XX XXXXXXX is the guy referenced by AP as Hussein.

I can also tell you that AP refuses to dispute my account, though they've had about six months--and my repeated invitation--to do so.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 2, 2007 02:53 PM

It looks like PV2 Beauchamp is a real soldier, and his tales are true.

You can move on to calling some other media outlet liars now.

Posted by: R. Stanton Scott at August 2, 2007 03:38 PM

The boys at Sadly, No! have assembled examples from Hot Air, Malkin, Ace of Spades, and LGF all doubting that Thomas was a real soldier.

Are they now part of the vast left-wing conspiracy that oppresses you? Or were you completely wrong?

Posted by: TR at August 2, 2007 07:37 PM

TR - Has that famous research lab over at SadlyNoonehome proved the Troofiness of Beauchamp's stories from their reporters on the ground or other means yet? Are they good for anything other than snark? I guess that was a rhetorical question. Most of their snark sucks, involves bathroom humor, and is written at the third grade level in honor of their readership.

Posted by: daleyrocks at August 2, 2007 07:50 PM

I'd consider going so far as to call it a direct, willful, ass-covering lie.

Much like this post, as TR and others have pointed out.

That Malkin, Ace, LGF and other prominent right-wing bloggers expressed the possibility that Soldier Scott did not exist and presented this possibility as a distinct one is pretty clear. They pushed this meme in lockstop, as per normal. I can understand you wanting to twist words or intentions to CYA, but this post and its idea that the meme was made up by Drum and other lefty bloggers is just ignorant on its face. C'mon, really. You can parse better than this.

Posted by: dgbellak at August 2, 2007 09:53 PM

With the TNR "Statement" now up, I'll post a link to my thoughts on the matter (comment 18 at this Winds of Change thread).

FWIW, I think the Statement is written with great care, to claim what it can. And the claims of truthfulness TNR is now making are not the same as the important claims in Beauchamp's original essay.

Posted by: AMac at August 2, 2007 10:57 PM

Please, just apologize for being wrong and move on. Or even just move on. All this backtracking and spinning really discredits anything this blog has to offer.

Posted by: hpl99us at August 3, 2007 07:04 AM

My problem with the TNR affair was that the actuality of the individual involved was secondary to what was being reported, but NOT up the chain of command or to the necessary military justice organizations available in the Armed Forces. There is a responsibility that goes with 'freedom of the press' as a part of 'freedom of speech', indeed the press is function of individual rights, not that of an organization or set of organizations put broadly under 'journalism'. As such individuals who are reporters are accountable to the exact same laws and restrictions for their reporting as any individual is who is not a journalist and yet publicizes information. Beyond the concept of 'sedition' and its US Code instantiation, there is this thing known as 'adhering to treaties' that have been codified under the US Code. We do, indeed, have freedom of speech within our Land, but those doing reporting from foreign lands are only free to report on what is allowed via treaty. In most instances that is a broad spectrum of ideas, but in wartime the actual signed conventions and treaties put hard and fast restriction upon such reporting. Actions taken that are contrary to those treaties and conventions covering warfare are this thing known as: war crimes.

Clear on that? Freedom of speech upheld in the US, but external to it circumscribed by treaty and during wartime and other times of combat operations overseas treaties define what can and cannot be done and the US Code then upholds those things. We agree by our Constitution that this is the case by the separation of powers and the giving over to Congress to write laws to uphold treaties. No one branch gets say on this and the judicial does its part to make sure that the Constitutional separations and grants of limited power to government do not over-ride civil rights. Well known, well respected, observed by all, right?

As desecration of graves is specifically prohibited starting at least in the 1899 Hague Convention governing the rules of law on land, since when does TNR get away with NOT going to the Armed Forces *first* on that story? They even account, in their attempted clarification, that it took place. Their responsibility upon confirmation was *not* to publish because that grave site was something that could now be considered to be a crime scene by the desecration and violation of the interred there. Respect for the dead in areas under control of one's military overseas and, indeed, all buildings, areas and other places that have no function in or for warfare is strictly prohibited beyond its useful function, and is to be treated as private property and with respect. That also goes for State owned places that do not have function for warmaking. Very old idea, that once you control territory you treat the land and inhabitants with respect... especially and particularly the resting places of the dead. No matter how shabbily the locals treat such places, those rules of warfare apply to those troops in control of such areas, which TNR *also* confirms for itself.

We appear to be too civilized to treat graveyard desecration and necrophilia during wartime as the crime it is.

Soon we will not have a civilization at all if we cannot make such simple things a part of our responsibilities to our Nation and ourselves.

My horror and disgust was not only in the actions put forth in the article, but in the absolute lack of ethics on the part of TNR in their reporting.

Posted by: ajacksonian at August 3, 2007 07:12 AM


Follow the links.

"move on," indeed.

Posted by: AMac at August 3, 2007 07:44 AM

I love this. So no putting quotes around a word does NOT suggest that it is not actual or real.

So when I say

We are "winning" in Iraq

I'm being serious?


Posted by: Dhalgren at August 3, 2007 08:46 AM

I love this. So now putting quotes around a word does NOT suggest that it is not actual or real.

So when I say -

We are "winning" in Iraq

I'm being totally serious?

Brilliant, CY!

Posted by: Dhalgren at August 3, 2007 08:46 AM

TR - Has that famous research lab over at SadlyNoonehome proved the Troofiness of Beauchamp's stories from their reporters on the ground or other means yet?

Way to move the goalposts, champ.

CY insisted that no one on the right had ever doubted that Beauchamp was a real soldier. That was the issue here, and the SN folks proved that CY was - as always - incredibly wrong.

As for Beauchamp's claims, TNR seems to have handled that well, but you people are in such a state of denial you'll never believe it.

Fine. Keep your head in the sand, and see how many more of your fellow Americans you can alienate with your insanity. It's about 3-to-1 against you now. Keep it up.

Posted by: TR at August 3, 2007 09:57 AM

Are they good for anything other than snark?

It's a humor blog. Snark is sort of in the job description.

Unlike this site, which is unintentionally hilarious.

Posted by: TR at August 3, 2007 10:01 AM


Who is moving goalposts?

Libs claims that conservative bloggers directly said Beauchamp didn’t exist, was fabricated, or as Gavin directly stated, was "an impostor."

None of that has held up, no matter how much you try to read behind the lines or take things out of context. Sorry, champ, but you've been chumped, as even your own examples show.

No conservative blogger that you've been able to produce said that "Scott Thomas doesn't exist." Nor did you find anyone declaring that "Scott Thomas isn't a soldier." Nor is their any evidence to support Gavin's claim that any conservative said "Scott Thomas is an impostor."

What is interesting is that Kuwait-based PAOs have now called his burn victim an urban legend, after Foer shifted the goalposts out of Iraq.

There is also an as yet unconfirmed report that the military investigation is over, and that Beauchamp's own platoon--where Foer claims Beauchamp's witnesses were from--have refuted his stories, and proven them to be false.

I'm waiting for an official verification of this claim, butit appears you've been punked four times now... how much more will it take for that to sink in?

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at August 3, 2007 10:13 AM

If they didn't doubt he was a solider, then why all the parsing?

Why put the word "soldier" in quotation marks if they thought he was a real solider?

Why say things like this -- "The story of the woman in the DFAC makes no sense for the simple reason that the soldier claims not to know whether she was civilian or military. A real soldier ought to know at a glance whether she was one or the other if he was as close to her as he claims to have been" -- unless you mean he's not "a real soldier"?

Why say things like " 'Scott Thomas,' an alleged soldier" and "purported to be written by a soldier" unless you doubt that he's actually a solider?

Why would Malkin say there were "questions about his identity " if she didn't mean that there were, well, questions about his identity?

Your parsing of language would make Bill Clinton blush.

You were wrong. Sack up and admit it.

Posted by: TR at August 3, 2007 11:14 AM

Hmm… let’s examine this sentence.

Eats shoots and leaves.

Does it mean the same thing as?

Eats, shoots and leaves.

You see, the addition of that single comma substantially changed the meaning of the sentence. Zowee!!!

Let's take another example.

Confederate Yankees intelligence and thoughtfulness are a joy to behold.

Confederate Yankees “intelligence” and “thoughtfulness” are a joy to behold.

Numerous right wing bloggers clearly implied Beauchamp did not exist, just because they said it in quotation mark for as opposed to text does not change the meaning of the words they wrote.

You see kids, punctuation is important.

Posted by: over_educated at August 3, 2007 11:45 AM

Seems to me the right continues to focus its energy on the substance of Beauchamp's articles, which is what generated the entire controversary, while the left remains stuck on stupid debating what he is.

TR and over_educated, do you believe what he wrote is accurate or fiction?

Posted by: daleyrocks at August 3, 2007 11:57 AM

I believe, on the whole, that the events Beauchamp described occurred. Was he completely accurate? No. Was he accurate within a margin of error that is acceptable? Yes, I can forgive misrecalling the mess hall an event occured in and inaccurate descriptions of shell casings. I know you all think it is convincing to harp on a minor innaccuracy thinking that it completely discredits your opponent, it doesn't, it just makes you look like a tool.

The fact is we have an eyewitness account corroborated by other eyewitnesses. What level of proof do you need? Video tape?

But this post wasn't about Beauchamps accuracy. It was a claim that right wing blogs didn't at first suggest that Beauchamp was fabricated, which, as has been pointed out, they quite obviously did.

Posted by: over_educated at August 3, 2007 12:47 PM

TR and over_educated, do you believe what he wrote is accurate or fiction?

On one side, you have Beauchamp, corroborated by other soldiers and fact-checked by TNR.

On the other, you have refutations from Matt Sanchez, who apparently had a career in gay porn before becoming the darling of the right.

I'll go with the first group.

Posted by: TR at August 3, 2007 01:18 PM

Sanchez, by the way, is currently being investigated by the Marines for soliciting money for an Iraq deployment he never took. Sounds very trustworthy, indeed.

Posted by: TR at August 3, 2007 01:27 PM

I'll eventually figure out what not to include in comments here.

I find it terribly ironic that the tolerant left is lambasting a gay(?) black American because his past theoretically renders him incapable of being honest. Nice spin from the left. Can you point to any specific problems with what he has written or is it just wishful thinking. I wasn't aware that porn was illegal. Do Barney Frank's up close and personal associations with gay prostitution, which is illegal, render him dishonest and unfit for public office according to your standards evenly applied?

That investigation you mentioned into raising money for an embedded reporting assignment which never occurred, has it been resolved unfavorably to Sanchez or are you just throwing dirt on him for shits and giggles?

Your tunnel vision on whether Beauchamp existed is pretty funny given that the controversy starts with what he wrote. Are former or serving soldiers supporting what he wrote apart from the anonymous sources in TNR's "fact checked" re-release? If they are, why not provide some examples folks.

Posted by: daleyrocks at August 3, 2007 03:21 PM

"Your tunnel vision on whether Beauchamp existed is pretty funny given that the controversy starts with what he wrote."

Well, that is what this blog post is about. It is supposedly refuting the fact that right wing bloggers initially claimed Beauchamp didn't exist. We are pointing out that they did do just that. There are voluminous other threads discussing what he wrote, we are just reponding to the OP's original assertion.

Posted by: over_educated at August 6, 2007 07:46 AM


@ over_educated & TR

Right wing *blogs* didn't advance the opinion that Beauchamp didn't exist. **Commenters**, such as myself, advanced that opinion.

And there is a vast difference between the two so no BS from either of you.

I personally advanced the opinion that Beauchamp was a fraud because no soldier with any sort of experience would refer to a 9mm shell casing fired by a Glock as "square-backed".

That Beauchamp is a soldier *and* was ignorant enough to refer to that 9mm shell casing as "square-backed" speaks volumes for the man.

Posted by: memomachine at August 6, 2007 09:45 AM