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August 05, 2007

TNR: Not Quite All the News that's Fit to Print

***Major Correction Below***

A funny thing happened on the way to The New Republic's verification/justification/re-investigation of the series of stories published in TNR by one Scott Thomas Beauchamp.

The editors of The New Republic declared:

... After questions were raised about the veracity of his essay, TNR extensively re-reported Beauchamp's account.

In this process, TNR contacted dozens of people. Editors and staffers spoke numerous times with Beauchamp. We also spoke with current and former soldiers, forensic experts, and other journalists who have covered the war extensively. And we sought assistance from Army Public Affairs officers...

It's quite interesting that in publishing the findings of an investigation in which the magazine's very reputation hangs in the balance, that The New Republic somehow forgot to cite the names and positions of the experts who corroborate their magazine's printed claims. Typically, the providing of such information is viewed as lending credibility to the organization attempting to defend itself.

Fortunately for The New Republic, I was able to find one of their experts, and the conversation I had with her was enlightening, to say the least.

As noted above, among the experts that TNR relied on were Army Public Affairs Officers, or PAOs.

Among the reasons The New Republic contacted Army PAOs was an attempt to verify this claim:

Beauchamp's essay consisted of three discrete anecdotes. In the first, Beauchamp recounted how he and a fellow soldier mocked a disfigured woman seated near them in a dining hall. Three soldiers with whom TNR has spoken have said they repeatedly saw the same facially disfigured woman. One was the soldier specifically mentioned in the Diarist. He told us: "We were really poking fun at her; it was just me and Scott, the day that I made that comment. We were pretty loud. She was sitting at the table behind me. We were at the end of the table. I believe that there were a few people a few feet to the right."

The recollections of these three soldiers differ from Beauchamp's on one significant detail (the only fact in the piece that we have determined to be inaccurate): They say the conversation occurred at Camp Buehring, in Kuwait, prior to the unit's arrival in Iraq. When presented with this important discrepancy, Beauchamp acknowledged his error. We sincerely regret this mistake.

The New Republic posted the results of their investigation, including the passages cited above, late on the afternoon of August 2nd.

On August 3rd, I contacted Major Renee D. Russo, Third Army/USARCENT PAO at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, in an attempt to fact-check the new claim that the verbally assault on a female burn victim occurred at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, and not at Forward Operating Base Falcon in Iraq as he had claimed after his series of articles published by The New Republic was first disputed.

In a response posted on August 3rd, Major Russo stated:

Mr. Owens,

We have received other media queries on the alleged incident, but have
not been able to find anyone to back it up. There is not a police
report or complaint filed on this incident during that timeframe. Right now it is considered to be a Urban Legend or Myth.

I am still researching the incident and will have to get back with you
later with any new developments.

This statement was viewed by many as quite problematic for the credibility of The New Republic and Beauchamp; not only had they been put in a position where they felt compelled to retract a key element that established the tone of narrative in "Shock Troops"--and one that fatally undermined Beauchamp's premise that the horrors of combat had caused him psychological trauma, as he had not yet been to war--it also cast serious doubts on the claimed event having occurred at Camp Buehring as well, or perhaps at all.

After publishing the information above, that the Beauchamp story is "considered to be an urban legend or myth," I asked Major Russo if she had been contacted by Franklin Foer or any other reporter or editor from the New Republic attempting to verify their new Camp Buehring claim.

It seemed odd to me that with their magazine's reputation on the line, they would go to press without attempting to verify the story of Beauchamp's location shifting.

It so happens that Jason Zengerle, Senior Editor of The New Republic did contact Major Russo. What did Major Russo tell Editor Zengerle?

According to Major Russo:

I released the same information that I gave you. The process and answers are the same when dealing with media queries.

In other words, the Army PAO contacted by The New Republic was told by the PAO that the claim could not be verified, and that the burn victim story was regarded as an "urban legend or myth"... and The New Republic ran their story without disclosing this apparent contradiction.

Apparently, The New Republic decided for their readers and critics that they did not need to know that the military considered Beauchamp's claim an urban legend.

It makes one wonder if any of their other un-credited, unnamed people relayed a similar tale, only to have that news covered-up by the editors of The New Republic.

Update/Correction: Though he has not attempted to refute these claims directly with me, Jason Zegerle, senior editor at The New Republic, is disputing them via John Podhoretz at The Corner:

Zengerle has emailed me to say he actually received an communique about this from Maj. Renee Russo (yes, that's her real name), an Army public-affairs officer, the day after the Note was published rather than before. He also points out that Russo's email to him differs from other statements by Russo in that she told him "a couple of soldiers did say that [they] heard rumors about the incident, but nothing based on fact. More like an urban legand [sic]."

The public-affairs officer told Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee that "we have received other media queries on the alleged incident, but have not been able to find anyone to back it up. There is not a police report or complaint filed on this incident during that timeframe. Right now it is considered to be a Urban Legend or Myth." She did not mention the "couple of soldiers" who "did say that [they] heard rumors about the incident," but the repetition of the "urban legend" term kind of implies that.

Is Zengerle's claim that he didn't receive word from Russo until after the August 2 TNR investigation accurate?

I don't know that for a fact, and didn't know that for a fact when I published, and so I owe Jason Zengerle an apology.

It doesn't much matter if what he says is factually true; what matters is that I made an assumption that in my mind was obvious. It was, in retrospect, guided by what I thought was probably true based upon the way the magazine has and continues to act, instead of what I could support with the facts.

I apologize to Jason Zengerle, and I apologize to my readers for making that unsupported assumption.

That said... why did TNRdecide once again to publish before their fact-checking had been complete?

Posted by Confederate Yankee at August 5, 2007 06:44 AM
Comments

Ouch! That'll leave another mark.

But don't forget, Beauchamp exists, Bob. They got that part right. You can't deny that. 1!one!11!!

Posted by: daleyrocks at August 5, 2007 08:11 AM

Hmmmm.

I think it's clear now that TNR will have to release the names of those people contacted so that the independent verification process can continue.

Posted by: memomachine at August 5, 2007 09:15 AM

Sometimes you step in some stinky stuff and no matter how much you scrape and scrape, it just will not come off.

Posted by: 1sttofight at August 5, 2007 09:55 AM

I'll point out that there is a character like the one mentioned -- a woman disfigured by an IED, written about by Brad Thor.
However, she appears in a FICTIONAL thriller... Perhaps Beauchamp is a Brad Thor fan?

http://www.scifan.com/writers/tt/ThorBrad.asp

Posted by: thanos at August 5, 2007 11:37 AM

I heard it was the Easter Bunny that was the first to make fun of the disfigured woman. Batman and Robin then joined in on the insults.

Posted by: El Guapo at August 5, 2007 11:42 AM

Next announcement from TNR: "The character of Scott B. is a composite of many people who were made up to say made up stuff to provide an insight which will satisfy democrats about Iraq."

Posted by: graham p at August 5, 2007 11:47 AM

Nice research, Thanos.... :)

Posted by: Ma Sands at August 5, 2007 11:54 AM

CY,

A followup question. TNR and later you contacted Maj. Russo, the PAO at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait. TNR now claims that the "corroborated woman" [sic] has been placed by a witness at Camp Buehring in Kuwait, and that Beauchamp has conceded that he and a pal (a number of pals?) did the taunting there, before being deployed to FOB Falcon in Baghdad.

Does Russo serve as the PAO for Camp Behring as well as for Camp Arifjan? Or is there another PAO for Camp Behring who should be available for comment?

Second question: is the timeline of Beachamp's arrival in Kuwait and departure to Iraq known well enough to provide "not earlier than" and "not later than" dates for the chow hall incident?

Posted by: AMac at August 5, 2007 12:12 PM

How long will it be before TNR comes out with the old cover: "Names and places were changed to protect the innocent"?

The only thing correct at the TNR is their name... they want to replace the old republic with a new one they learned about from their leftists teachers (indoctrinators) back when they happened to show up for the sit-in at college.

Posted by: ThinkPeople at August 5, 2007 12:23 PM

Did it ever occur to you guys that 5 soldiers just may have told the Army that they didn't know about the events because none of them were worth getting in trouble over? Can you at least admit that this hypothesis is in the realm of the possible?

Posted by: The Voice of Reason at August 5, 2007 12:41 PM

Beachamp's has now been fully identified as John Stoltz of Daily Kos whose job description is to make US soldiers out to be barbarian unAmerican aliens! Alas, the citizenry refuses to be bullied into accepting their lies and misinformation campaigns. Long live the US Military who spend their lives (all too often, literally) defending our freedoms--even the freedom to be fools and charlatens such as John Stoltz and Thomas Beachchamp.

Posted by: marlowe anderson at August 5, 2007 12:52 PM

"Did it ever occur to you guys that 5 soldiers just may have told the Army that they didn't know about the events because none of them were worth getting in trouble over?"

Isn't that reversing the burden of proof? TNR was challenged, as to the credibility of an author, and has now admitted that the circumstances of the most important allegation were factually incorrect - Kuwait before seeing combat, not Iraq after seeing combat.

No evidence to support that it happened in Kuwait, either, has been produced, and your hypothesis is that "5 soldiers" would commit a crime by lying to an investigative officer because none of the events "were worth getting in trouble over?"

Sorry, but it doesn't pass the laugh test.

Posted by: Bruce Rheinstein at August 5, 2007 12:59 PM

Sure Voice, but isn't it more reasonable that Scott is a lieing sack of dog poo?

Posted by: David at August 5, 2007 01:01 PM

No evidence to support that it happened in Kuwait, either, has been produced, and your hypothesis is that "5 soldiers" would commit a crime by lying to an investigative officer because none of the events "were worth getting in trouble over?"

An investigative officer? I thought it was a PAO asking the questions.

Posted by: The Voice of Reason at August 5, 2007 01:09 PM

Hmmmm.

@ The Voice of Reason

"An investigative officer? I thought it was a PAO asking the questions."

1. Try to keep up. The PAO is in Kuwait, the soldiers are in Iraq. The official investigation is in Iraq, where the soldiers are. The "researching" is being done in Kuwait by the PAO because the official investigation wasn't extended to Kuwait.

And to forestall some additional silly comment about this the most probable reason why the US Army isn't investigation this latest allegation by Beauchamp is because we don't have any direct evidence that **Beauchamp** did in fact change his story so it occurs in Kuwait. So far only TNR's editor Foer has made that allegation. For all we know Foer has falsely claimed that Beauchamp agrees that the incident with the disfigured woman happened in Kuwait.

Why? Because changing his story like this, particularly if he *didn't tell the investigators first*, could cause the US Army to re-open it's investigation only this time in Kuwait.

Plus Beauchamp would be in even more trouble.


2. If you're thinking 5 soldiers lied to US Army investigators, in an incident that has come to the direct attention of General Petraeus, because they think it's no big deal, then you are absolutely wrong.

The conduct described can, and would, earn an Article-15 of the UCMJ. But that's just administrative punishment. Restriction to base, loss of specific privileges, reduction in rank and loss of pay are the punishments meted out for an Article-15.

Lying to investigators is a whole new set of issues that can lead directly to military prison.

I can guarantee you that no soldier in his right mind will risk being slammed with a court martial in order to avoid an Article-15.

Posted by: memomachine at August 5, 2007 01:33 PM

Voice, you apparently missed the part where an official investigation was conducted at FOB Falcon, and that no one in the company nor in Beauchamp's platoon corroborated Beauchamp's allegations.

Posted by: SWLiP at August 5, 2007 01:36 PM

The PAO doesn't ask questions of privates. They put out the information obtained by whoever investigated... in this case the commander or 15-6 officer. Besides, the whole point of the article was to show the dehumanization of troops after exposure to the horrors of war. Beauchamp hadn't been to Iraq yet. The fact that the rest of his tall tales are also false is beside the point. His premise is a lie, unless you too subscribe to the "fake, but accurate" school of journalism.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at August 5, 2007 02:06 PM

Either Beauchamp is telling the truth, in which case he should be punished and discharged as soon as possible, or he's telling lies, in which case he'll make a fine TNR journalist with a lucrative side-gig 'discoursing' at Lefty gatherings.

Posted by: Clioman at August 5, 2007 02:12 PM

"Voice of Reason"? Not so much.

Voice of Rationalization, more like.

Posted by: Ian Hamet at August 5, 2007 02:14 PM

I prefer "Voice of Desperation."

Posted by: Fatmouse at August 5, 2007 03:06 PM

The burden of showing the stories true should be TNRs. They are not doing a very good job of that.

At this point, I don't believe anything TNR says because their timeline is bad.

1) Beauchampís story is published
2) Criticism comes in
3) TNR "investigates" and "fact checks"
4) TNR continues to support the story as told
5) Criticism still comes in
6) TNR "investigates some more
7) TNR declares only one error found, one story was from Kuwait

If they fact checked at step 3, they would have found the location error the first time. Yet they supported the whole story as having been double checked. Their double check would have involved talking to the people in the unit in Iraq, not Kuwait. They would have known immediately. Once the first rechecking of the story was done, the story can't change locations because they re-verified it at the location listed in the story.

So Foer is lying about the location, his fact checking or both. I tend to think both and that the stories told were made up in the first place. Their purpose in printing the article doesn't match the new story very well. They have boxed themselves in, with no way out.

Jeff

Posted by: Jeff at August 5, 2007 03:17 PM

I read a comment on some blog early on in this imbroglio that I thought was the best anecdotal refutation of the DFAC incident so far. The poster mentioned that Beauchamp and his buddy had no clue who they were insulting and could have potentially been insulting an officer or a contractor with access to influential officers. Seems to me most soldiers at that point would be worldly wise enough to not go shooting off their mouths without knowing if the person had rank to make them pay for those insults.

Posted by: Chas at August 5, 2007 03:22 PM

Was Brad Thor the origin of the disfigured woman or Oliver Stone?

Posted by: capitano at August 5, 2007 03:23 PM

Up above, Thanos wrote that Brad Thor writes fiction; and in his fiction he has a woman who is disfigured by an IED.

In all likelihood BeauCHUMP took this fiction; and wove it into the story he SOLD TO The New Republic. TNR still claims the story they printed is accurate. And, then they closed shop for 3-weeks, and toodled off for vacation.

There's currently a movie out there, SHATTERED GLASS. If you've seen it; or even if you've just seen the trailer; you know it's about TNR, and their other LYING reporter. With the line in it; that the only truth in the article Stephen Glass authored was that "Nevada is a state in America."

Whoopie, for getting that one right. In a sea of lies.

As to John Stolz and Wesley Clark, lending their names to the current Kos Kids attempts to insult our soldiers; AGAIN, I SMELL BACKFIRE. Smells as good as napalm in the morning.

And, because of the Net we're protected. This stuff happens fast! I wouldn't touch a TNR magazine. Don't look for them. Don't buy them. Don't open them if I'm in a doctor's office waiting for an appointment, because I bring my own books.

HOWEVER, this BeauCHUMP story broke a a few of the blogs I read every day. Very early on, at (JUST ONE MINUTE: JOM) I learned that someone had gone over BeauCHUMP's pay records, and discovered that he had been demoted BEFOREHAND from Private First Class, to 2nd class.)

In a sense, because of the wonderful research that you get from the many people who come aboard the Net and comment, even Franklin Foer at TNR can learn something, he'd never learn with his own fact-checkers.

And, BeauCHUMP is married, and is supposed to marry Elsbeth, again, in October. So, the NET WINS. Hands down. While all you can be sure of is that to Franklin Foer that article from BeauCHUMP is just an expense.

Posted by: Carol Herman at August 5, 2007 04:18 PM

chas,

You might think that, but anyone can make stupid decisions before considering the consequences. I did it as a private and learned why it was dumb. What makes me disbelieve it is that supposedly nobody took issue with the idiots. Even in a busy DFAC, someone running out in tears would be noticed and if, as Beauchamp claimed, she had been around a while, one of the officers or NCO's would have taken care of those morons.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at August 5, 2007 04:18 PM

Stashiu3, you can't take care of "fictional reporting." It was passed off as the real deal.

Now, all you've got is a story full of holes.

While TNR "vacations."

Posted by: Carol Herman at August 5, 2007 04:22 PM

Did it ever occur to you guys that 5 soldiers just may have told the Army that they didn't know about the events because none of them were worth getting in trouble over? Can you at least admit that this hypothesis is in the realm of the possible?

shorter voice of reason: can't you guys toss TNR a bone?

Posted by: R30C at August 5, 2007 04:40 PM

I prefer "Voice of Desperation."

Nah, the whiff of desperation is coming entirely from the right here.

This is the best you guys can come up with to prove the insidious plot by the so-called Liberal MSM to tarnish the reputation of our fighting forces and destroy America?

Regardless of whether or not this guy lied -- and right now the evidence makes it all just he said/she said -- we're still talking about whether a woman got ridiculed and some dogs got ran over. On the scale of the monumental catastrophe that is Iraq, I just can't see how it matters whether Beauchamp's allegations are true or not. Yet here you guys are, clinging to this story as if it were as important as...I don't know, pick ANY story coming out of Iraq.

Posted by: The Voice of Reason at August 5, 2007 06:11 PM
On the scale of the monumental catastrophe that is Iraq, I just can't see how it matters whether Beauchamp's allegations are true or not.

Why did it matter that Stephen Glass made up a software company? Why was he fired for it? Why was a movie made about it? Did his little indiscretion mean the software industry doesn't have problems?

Posted by: Jim Treacher at August 5, 2007 06:26 PM

Why did it matter that Stephen Glass made up a software company? Why was he fired for it? Why was a movie made about it? Did his little indiscretion mean the software industry doesn't have problems?

Imagine going to the trouble of making up events in Iraq that you could sell as a story. Wouldn't you try for something a little more incendiary than running over dogs? I mean, there are plenty of real incidences there that beat this, hands down.

Posted by: The Voice of Reason at August 5, 2007 07:11 PM

Well if this "incidence" isnt true maybe the "plenty of real incidences there that beat this, hands down." arent either. How many anti-war vets spewing stories of atrocities have to be proven liars before the left will believe that the military isnt a pack of homicidial maniacs? when did the left abandon the truth and decide a narrative supporting what they want to be true would suffice?

Posted by: chas at August 5, 2007 08:01 PM

"Regardless of whether or not this guy lied -- and right now the evidence makes it all just he said/she said -- we're still talking about whether a woman got ridiculed and some dogs got ran over.

Then why do you feel the need to keep commenting. The truth is that he tried to smear the military with a bunch of lies. It's not he said/she said any more than anyone else who is guilty saying, "I didn't do it!" Beauchamp's story has been completely refuted by the Army, physical laws of nature, and his own stupidity. Allegations of war crimes (and desecration of human remains is certainly one he wrote about) are serious business and deserve more than administrative punishment. Unfortunately, I'm not his commander and unable to make that call.

Your defense, as pitiful as it is, of his ass-hattery is the only desperation I see going on. Continuing to minimize and rationalize this just makes you look stupid. Give it up.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at August 5, 2007 08:10 PM

Beauchamp's next missive from the battlefield would have featured this notorious incident:

"And then, when we drove the Bradley back to the FOB ... caught on the door handle was a bloody, dangling hook!"

Posted by: Mike G in Corvallis at August 5, 2007 08:19 PM

Voice of Reason:

The "why this is important" reason is that Beauchamp's narrative, if believed, would show a unit out of control. The narrative is not just that he is less than a gentleman, but that all his pards are also depraved and acting in a sick fashion, all with the tacit--- if not acknowledged--- consent of their chain of command.

That is why so many military folks opining here think it is slandering shinola. A bad soldier can and does exist (there will always be a&^holes among us), but a bad command is a different story. I'm sure Beauchamp's Captain and Lieutenant are less than happy with his sorry butt right now because what he wrote is a direct reflection on their leadership.

Posted by: wjo at August 5, 2007 10:06 PM
Imagine going to the trouble of making up events in Iraq that you could sell as a story. Wouldn't you try for something a little more incendiary than running over dogs?

I would pick something incendiary enough to impress the editor, but not incendiary enough to attract widespread attention from people who could pick holes in my story. Back luck, Beauchamp.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at August 5, 2007 11:00 PM
Imagine going to the trouble of making up events in Iraq that you could sell as a story. Wouldn't you try for something a little more incendiary than running over dogs?

Trouble is, Voice, that Beauchamp himself wrote on his blog that he intended to write a book about his experiences when he got out of the Army. He seemed to think that his service would give him Absolute Moral Authority, not unlike Mother Sheehan's. Alas for Scottie, he turned out to be a screwup and recognized as such by his superiors, who busted him in rank at least once. Apparently he seldom (if ever) went out on patrol, and instead was assigned to motor pool or ditch-digging detail, so his actual combat experiences were nonexistent. And if he wrote about the horrors of combat in his book, any claims could be refuted immediately.

So instead he wrote about an incident in a "chow hall" (hey, everyone has to eat), and about an incident during a cemetary exhumation and reburial (that supposedly happened to someone else), and about the driver of a BFV (again, someone else). And about how this damned obscene war dehumanizes us all ... even before we reach the war zone.

Or as Tom Lehrer put it ...

With the hell of war he's come to grips,
Policing up the filter tips!
It makes a fellow proud to be a soldier!


Posted by: Mike G in Corvallis at August 6, 2007 12:08 AM

Excuse me, but it's irrevelant if people don't say the truth to avoid Article 15s, because their actions will cause ripple effects through the unit and through the base itself.

Sergeant sees idiot walking around with Iraqi baby skull under his helmet, bitches him out for causing a sanitation nightmare and being an ***hole. Goes into the mess, and bitches about it with the other sergeants; the story goes around.

Scuttlebutt goes around the BFV community at the FOB about the psycho driver who likes to run over things, causing thrown tracks, and to avoid him like the plague.

Posted by: Ryan Crierie at August 6, 2007 06:19 AM

I mean, there are plenty of real incidences there that beat this, hands down.

Thing is - they get reported and there are real consequences for the malefactors. Like the guy who raped the girl and killed the whole family to cover it up. He just got sentenced to like 100 years in case you didn't notice.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at August 6, 2007 08:06 AM

Wait... Bob, you're telling us that an Army PAO says he can't confirm information potentially embarrassing to the Army?

Well, that seals the deal for me. As a reporter, I've never known any publicists/public affairs people to ever lie or be less than absolutely forthcoming with the truth. Nope, never ever.

Posted by: Alex at August 6, 2007 08:09 AM

There is a very simple explanation as to why TNR got a different story than what the Army got. Statements and answered questions in a 15-6 investigation are written down and then signed by the soldier, going on record as official statements. If the answers or statements prove to be fabrications, this is tantamount to perjury, and are a violation of Article 107 of the UCMJ. The maximum punishment for making False Official Statements is dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and confinement for 5 years.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at August 6, 2007 08:10 AM

Wait... Alex, you're a reporter? So what's your position on TNR clearly not vetting their story before publication? I mean, why would they have to confirm, then re-confirm, and re-confirm again if they had performed due diligence the first time? Also, have you ever built anything with chicken-wire to see if you could melt it?

You've definitely re-confirmed my opinion of reporters. Pondscum rates higher.

Posted by: Stashiu3 at August 6, 2007 09:18 AM

I'd trust a public relations officer before I'd trust a far left wing ideological hack of a reporter like Alex.

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 6, 2007 10:03 AM

Hmmmm.

@ Alex

"As a reporter, I've never known any publicists/public affairs people to ever lie or be less than absolutely forthcoming with the truth."

Except that a PAO is a commissioned *officer* in the US military and is held to a specific code of conduct. Violating that code of conduct, such as lying to the public/reporters, can result in dismissal, reduction in rank and host of other punishments.

At the very least it would end that officer's career in a bad way because the US military has a universal "up or out" policy. If you don't get promoted after, I believe, 2 promotion boards then you're "encouraged" to resign your commission. After the third one they dismiss you.

And something like this on a personnel jacket wouldn't be an advantage.

Posted by: memomachine at August 6, 2007 10:05 AM

voice of reason,

Regardless of whether or not this guy lied -- and right now the evidence makes it all just he said/she said -- we're still talking about whether a woman got ridiculed and some dogs got ran over.

No, we're talking about whether The New Republic is printing agitprop. Beauchamp is less than meaningless. TNR is the most egregious actor here, and the problem is that they'd print such a fabulist without doing due diligence.

Alex,

Well, that seals the deal for me. As a reporter, I've never known any publicists/public affairs people to ever lie or be less than absolutely forthcoming with the truth. Nope, never ever.

And how about TNR? What's your experience with their history of veracity?

Posted by: Pablo at August 6, 2007 11:24 AM

Alex,

If you've ever been lied to by a PAO, please report it to the military and they'll take immediate action. If not, please retract your snide statement.

You seem to think that the military world (i.e. publicists vs. PAOs) works the same as the civilian world; THAT is the fatal flaw of most reporters view of the military.

Posted by: JFH at August 6, 2007 11:43 AM

Clearly TNR screwed the pooch. It should have been child's play to corroborate Beauchamp's BS.

The actions as related by Beauchamp would have had dozens, perhaps, hundreds of eye witnesses--some potentially hostile to the US. If it was common practice for the crazy BFV driver to ram into buildings, wouldn't there be Iraqi eye witnesses?

Posted by: Old Dad at August 6, 2007 12:33 PM

JFH

"most reporters?" How about ALL liberals?

Posted by: Capitalist Infidel at August 6, 2007 12:35 PM

One thing that amzes me, and that I've not seen raised before, is that IF Beauchamp and his buddies had been insulting a burned woman in a mess hall/rec hall, I'd have expected a number of other soldier to have dragged them "out back" and "explained" to them that such conduct was not tolerated.

Posted by: Ralph at August 6, 2007 09:19 PM

CY,

Your Update/Correction/Apology to Jason Zengerle is noted. It is proper to take Zengerle at his word that he didn't hear back from the PAO in time to include that information in the 8/2/07 Statement that the TNR posted on their website.

Here is the final sentence of that Statement:

If further substantive information comes to light, TNR will, of course, share it with you.

I see no further Statement, or any Update or Correction to that one.

Once its mighty Presses have started inking the newsprint, it's hard for a biweekly magazine to alter content.

I thought most Web publishing software now included workarounds to address that problem.

Posted by: AMac at August 7, 2007 08:15 AM

So, where's Voice of Reason? Where's Alex-the-reporter, telling us why it's all lies by the PAO?

I'm sure, if they show up, it'll be a song-and-dance about why Beauchamp lying doesn't change the underlying reality.

You know, "fake, but accurate."

Or, to borrow from Evan Thomas, editor at Newsweek: The narrative was true. It's just the facts that were off.

Posted by: Lurking Observer at August 7, 2007 01:01 PM