TNR – “Nice wife you have. Shame if something happened to her…”

Wow, take a day to write a proposal and all hell breaks loose in the blogosphere.

Drudge posted – and then took down – three documents represented as a) a transcript of a call between Scott Beauchamp and Franklin Foer (et alia); b) a memorandum of counseling, signed by Beauchamp acknowledging receipt; and c) the investigative report by Beauchamp’s command. Flopping Aces has them all here.

People with reasons to know have vouched for their authenticity, and Jonathan Chait was quoted as stating they were authentic.

Reading them, I’m damn glad that I canceled my subscription to TNR online.

If accurate, these paint a picture of a total lack of moral compass, professional responsibility or honor by the editors of a major magazine that intends to be influential in setting American policy.The side message about/from Beauchamp’s wife is the most disgusting thing:

Foer: I think, I don’t wanna…You’re obviously in a very uncomfortable position in that your wife is involved in this, and I wish she wasn’t involved because I, I… trust her, I care for her, I don’t want her to get hurt in all of this. But she just, she sent me a note to tell you that it’s the most important thing to her that you say that you didn’t recant. And I don’t…I feel that (unintelligible) in saying that to you because it puts me in an awkward position, but it’s what she wanted me to convey to you.

Followed closely by this:

Scoblic: What are you going to do after this job? Are you staying in the Army?

Beauchamp: Um, I don’t know what I want to do. Um I haven’t made up my mind yet what I want to do.

Scoblic: Ah…you’re not going to be able to write any more after this…you know that, right?

Beauchamp: I…I mean I really don’t care at this point. That’s not…that’s not…basically what I’m saying is that’s not what’s important to me.

For those who think Beauchamp has been bludgeoned into silence, I doubt it. With the resources of a major magazine keeping public attention on him, it would be impossible for the Army to mistreat – or even seriously punish – him without huge public outcry. And from Beauchamp’s POV that kind of mistreatment/punishment would be the golden ticket to a major book contract the second he was out of green.

So kudos to Beauchamp, who appears to be learning from all this, and brickbats to TNR for lying to us all and for showing themselves as the cheap thugs they certainly appear to be.

As of today, TNR is reduced to whining that the Army leaked the documents to Drudge. Somehow they never seem to whine when documents critical of the Administration are leaked if they think there is a story there – and there certainly is a story here.

Yes, the media are happy to do anything to get a story out – unless, of course, it’s about them – then they stonewall, hide, and lie. Just like the politicians they cover. Who says they aren’t peas in a pod?

62 thoughts on “TNR – “Nice wife you have. Shame if something happened to her…””

  1. Michael Yon wrote about L’affaire Beauchamp “today”:http://www.michaelyon-online.com/wp/beauchamp-and-the-rule-of-second-chances.htm

    bq. I was at a reconciliation meeting between Sunni and Shia in the West Rashid district of Baghdad on 24 October, and it happened by complete coincidence that I was with Beauchamp’s battalion… [There,] Beauchamp’s battalion commander, LTC George Glaze, politely introduced himself and asked who I wrote for. When I replied that I just have a little blog, the word caught his ears and he mentioned Beauchamp, who I acknowledged having heard something about. LTC Glaze seemed protective of Beauchamp, despite how the young soldier had maligned his fellow soldiers. In fact, the commander said Beauchamp, having learned his lesson, was given the chance to leave or stay…

    bq. Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not. He faced his peers. I can only imagine the cold shoulders, and worse, he must have gotten. He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it.

  2. Only TNR gets mentioned?

    “How about the Army leaking documents to Drudge?”:http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/horsesmouth/2007/10/army_promises_i.php

    Is this standard policy now?

    I really don’t care much about this issue. Beauchamp might have been lying, might not have been. But if this produces some clicks for ya, good on ya!

    I do agree with Yon’s thoughts, via AMac – Beauchamp is serving his country, dangerously, at least be neutral about his credibility. Especially given that “the military is working hand in glove with the rightwing”:http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2007/10/25/military/index.html

    “Throughout this year, the U.S. military in Iraq has become staffed with pure Republican political hacks — including long-time Bush/Cheney P.R. hack Steve Schmidt and former White House aide Gen. Kevin Bergner. These are the most partisan and politically-motivated people around shaping U.S. military conduct. And it shows, as the Army’s behavior in the Beauchamp case is exactly what one would expect from an increasingly politicized, Republican-controlled division of the right-wing noise machine.”

    That’s a problem for all of us, the same way the Justice department became a tool of rightwing hacks. It destroys the american way of life, having the military, and justice (which of course should be blind, not bleed republican red), are no longer neutral.

  3. _Just like the politicians they cover. Who says they aren’t peas in a pod?_

    They *are* politicians. Albeit in a non-democratic, closed-system kind of way – like Soviet appartchiks – but consciously political actors nevertheless. Look at the ideology they teach in journalism schools, their self-proclaimed role as a fourth branch of government to check the Congress and the Executive, etc. etc.

  4. I hate to defend TNR who I agree has behaved poorly throughout this mess that STB and they created but I don’t think it’s fair to read Foer’s comments as somehow being a thinly veiled threat towards STB’s wife. If you read the entire transcript, Foer seems pretty consistent in coaching STB to get him to talk to them about whether the story was true and several times suggests that they cannot stand by the story if STB won’t defend it.

    I think she probably did send Foer an email asking him to encourage her husband NOT to publicly admit that he was a liar which would be devastating to her both personally as a wife who presumably loves her husband and professionally as the editor who vouched for him. And I think Foer probably just relayed the message because he has a personal relationship with STB’s wife and hoped that it might prod him to say something definitive rather than just continuing to stonewall.

  5. This should be a non story but it seems the citizen journalists just can’t help themselves.

    I feel sorry for this poor kid. Both for what the magazine has done to him as well as for what the Army, who should definately be above such things, has done for him.

    Was it necessary for his CO to be present while he had the conversation? Does that taint the dialogue in any way?

    It’s all quite fascinating especially given what I’ve been reading lately at Phil Carter’s site.

    But hey, it’s all a great distraction from the real issues concerning the US Army that some folks like Phil are willing to address.

    But hey, you’ve nabbed yet another phony soldier so you can at least take pride in that.

  6. No one who quotes Glenn Greensockpuppet about *anything* can be taken seriously (and the irony is rich, bringing him up in response to a post about someone else caught in an embarassing public web of lies and then stonewalling about it).

    But I do appreciate the laughs you provided by relaying the accusation that the U.S. military is becoming an “increasingly politicized, Republican-controlled division of the right-wing noise machine.” Pure comedy gold!

  7. Shad,

    By all means, laugh away. Glad you think it is fine that the military leaks to Drudge. Glad you think the paper trail of Republican partisan hacks controlling messaging for the Army is also “funny”.

    Whatever floats your boat, I suppose. But a suggestion – if you want to be taking seriously, address the actual CHARGES, not smear the messenger of those charges. After all, if all you have is smears, then to quote you “no one [who smears as a means of counter evidence – my insertion!] can be taken seriously”.

  8. Actually, the problem here is that journalists seem to have no regard at all for the truth, and grow quite petulant when others don’t help them lie. Beauchamp isn’t the issue at all any more. The questions are these: If the press cannot be relied upon to truthfully report even upon conversations it has participated in what good is it? And why should anything any reporter says, ever be trusted without verification? I’d love to hear a mature reporter discuss that… as opposed to Davebo and Hypocrisy rules.

  9. _”Glad you think it is fine that the military leaks to Drudge.”_

    God, where to begin on this nonsense.

    1.There is no evidence the military leaked these reports. That is an assumption. Guess who else had access to these items? TNR and Beauchamp himself. Of course TNR has been withholding this information from the public intentionally (and encouraging Beauchamp to do the same) but thats a different story.

    2. ‘The military’ is a rather liberal term. Did the joint chiefs authorize this? The White House? Or did some junior office do it on his own hook? We have no way of knowing, and any accusation is just so much conspiracy theory without any tangible proof.

    3. There are leaks every single day from ‘the military’ to the NYT, Washington Post, CNN… suddenly leaks as a source are horrific? Please. Though dost protest too much. If a leak from the military had been damning the other way, somehow i doubt hypos sputtering indignation would be present. Never recall hearing it when stories unflattering to Bush are leaked from the CIA or pentagon. Certainly TNR has a newfound outrage about leaks… considering they use them all the time. I suppose there is some new policy they are developing about leaks, or does it only apply when it is detrimental to TNR? Now there’s a gold standard in integrity for journalism. Talk about taking yourself out of the story…

  10. “And why should anything any reporter says, ever be trusted without verification?”

    It shouldn’t obviously. But that question cuts both ways wouldn’t you say?

    Should we take it for granted that, for instance, Al Qaida probably set the So Cal forest fires? Or should we believe that bombshell story citing only “administration officials who wish to remain anonymous”?

    Being leary of the press is a good thing. They should be held accountable for what the write or broadcast. But geeze! Is this the instance we want to use to point that out? This groundbreaking story of national import?

    I think not. AL and Michelle are free to disagree, after all this is America. But watching the right get all up in arms over this, playing with scale model Bradleys and all was pretty pathetic in my humble opinion.

    I’d say there are other much more important stories out that deserve attention such as the question of why in a Coin operation, in the first nine months of 2007, Air Force planes dropped munitions on targets in Iraq more often than in the previous three years combined.

    But for some reason such stories don’t draw the same level of interest in certain spheres.

  11. Davebo,

    I agree. Nothing any reporter says should ever be trusted without verification. Now for the other question. If they are that untrustowrthy ( apparently intentionally) what good are they? What is the point of the profession?

  12. _”But she just, she sent me a note to tell you that it’s the most important thing to her that you say that you didn’t recant.”_

    I’m dont know that Foer’s words are an implicit threat (funny that the same people claiming Beauchamps CO being in the room is an implicit threat think its outrageous that Foer bringing up his employee wife in this context might be manipulative!), but if

    _”But she just, she sent me a note to tell you that it’s the most important thing to her that you say that you didn’t recant. “_

    this is true, his wife is a real piece of work. I’d like to think the most important things to her might be his life, his integrity, and his career.. but it would seem her career took priority on that list. Or else Foer is indeed manipulating the man, which seems likely on some level (if short of intentional threats).

  13. hypocrisy:

    Glad you think it is fine that the military leaks to Drudge.

    Oh, where to start.

    You are aware, of course, that TNR has been accusing the Army of stonewalling and covering up for not revealing these documents.

    No one knows at this point, except the person who did it, who gave this information to Drudge. The person who did it – and I can well imagine that someone in the Army doesn’t like Scott Beauchamp – might be in more trouble than Beauchamp ever was if he’s caught. Unless it was Beauchamp himself.

    But of course people like you, and the utterly contemptible Franklin Foer, have already tried and convicted “The Army” for leaking information that they have previously condemned “The Army” for not leaking.

    People wonder why this issue is important. It’s important not so much for the events themselves, but as an astounding indicator of what journalism on the left has become.

    Scott Beauchamp, like Stephen Glass before him, knew what kind of editorial prejudice he was selling to. He knew what kind of things his TNR editors wanted to hear, and like Glass he prided himself in pushing the envelope as far as it would go. Like Glass, he was probably motivated by ego far more than politics.

    And like Glass, Beauchamp never did exceed the limits of TNR’s credulity. Only determined work from outside of TNR brought him down.

    TNR apologized profusely for Glass. Foer has obviously figured out that he has no need to apologize to the readership that TNR is pitching to now, because they will believe any kind of anti-war shit they’re told and will defend it down to the last letter and superscript.

    This isn’t about declining journalistic standards anymore, and it isn’t about Scott Beauchamp. It’s about a politics that rejoices in lies, and the more outrageous and insulting the lie, the better.

    We don’t win with them by proving, in minute detail, what shameless liars they are. They win, in their book, because they spit on the things we value and PISS US OFF.

    That’s it. That’s what it’s all about.

  14. “He knew what kind of things his TNR editors wanted to hear”

    Well, on this we agree. Surely given his relationship who new who Marty Peretz was and what TNR’s position on the war was and therefore had some idea of what they wanted to hear.

    Apparantly he disregarded that when writing the pieces. Which just adds to the overall oddity of all of this.

  15. “He knew what kind of things his TNR editors wanted to hear”

    Well, on this we agree. Surely given his relationship he new who Marty Peretz was and what TNR’s position on the war was and therefore had some idea of what they wanted to hear.

    Apparantly he disregarded that when writing the pieces. Which just adds to the overall oddity of all of this.

  16. _So kudos to Beauchamp … and brickbats to TNR_

    Yes, but what should we give the rest of the media?

    bq. _Beauchamp, with the Army’s encouragement, had agreed to talk to The Washington Post and Newsweek on Sept. 6, but canceled the interviews at the last minute at Foer’s urging. Foer said yesterday that “given everything we have on the line, we have a right to have this exclusive line of communication with him.”_

    “Kudos to Howard Kurtz”:http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/24/AR2007102402687.html for letting us know that the media protects its own.

    Take note, all of you doubters, one side of the story is encouraging independent media scrutiny, the other . . . not so much.

  17. Davebo:

    Surely given his relationship he new who Marty Peretz was and what TNR’s position on the war was and therefore had some idea of what they wanted to hear.

    Marty Peretz doesn’t own TNR anymore and he doesn’t dictate editorial direction. That direction has changed from Sullivan to Beinart to Foer. Jonathan Chait’s attack on William Kristol for supposedly orchestrating the Beauchamp problem is typical of the New New Republic.

    So if you’re looking for “oddity”, explain the oddity of the anti-war left providing a human shield to an allegedly pro-war magazine. Perhaps it’s the same counter-intuitive instinct that caused them to rush to the defense of the corporate media during Rathergate.

  18. Mark B: _if . . . this is true, his wife is a real piece of work_

    But what do we make of Mike Crowley’s “statement”: http://rossdouthat.theatlantic.com/archives/2007/08/beauchamp_one_more_time.php that she is “absolutely the sweetest person that I know.” If she is absolutely the sweetest person Crowley knows, some people at TNR might be outraged that Foer is using her. They might even leak information damaging to Foer that might protect her from being fired.

  19. Note that Beauchamp’s “CO” was decidedly NOT in on the interview, nor for that matter was his Battalion Commander, Command Sergeant Major, First Sergeant, Platoon Leader, or even Platoon Sergeant. Just his Squad Leader (a Staff Sergeant) and a Specialist from the PAO (not even a non-commissioned officer, let alone an officer.

    A Squad leader may have 10-12 troops who answer to him, he’s the first line leader. Sometimes only a buck Sergeant (E-5) or even Corporal (E-4, but an NCO).

    Wow. His unit wanted to intimidate him so much, they trusted his squad leader to sit in with him with no other more senior oversight. That’s one heck of a trustworthy SSG there, or said intimidation was non-existent.

    Some folks here need to learn a little bit about the military before they make themselves look as a$$-hatted as the boys and girls at TNR.

    More commnetary at http://dadmanly.bl*gspot.com/2007/10/leaks-and-recriminations.html.

  20. “Marty Peretz doesn’t own TNR anymore and he doesn’t dictate editorial direction.”

    He’s the editor in chief of the magazine. To claim this position gives him no influence over the magazine is a bit of a stretch wouldn’t you say?

  21. Davebo, its been observed that TNR has not published much on the Iraq War of late other than Beauchamp’s pieces. I believe Bill Kristol argues that TNR has switched positions on the war, but a less severe conclusion might be that TNR’s original position on the Iraq War is not popular with its readership (or potential readership) and publishing the Beauchamp pieces allowed TNR to move left on the war (or appear to do so) without actually confronting its prior position (or even describing its current position).

  22. PD Shaw.

    In many ways I agree with you. TNR hasn’t however published anything to indicates it no longer supports the war.

    So, given the obvious change in editorial tone regarding the war, yet the fact that the magazine has refused to publish it’s change of heart on the subject what can we derive vis a vis Peretz influence?

    And let’s be clear here, it’s original position on the war is not just unpopular with many of it’s 60k or so subscribers.

  23. Haha the meme of leaking documents being brought up to attack this is hilarious, especially from Team Lefty whose silence on a host of major actually damaging leaks is deafening.

    Keep pissing in the wind with this one kids.

  24. Davebo:

    To claim this position gives him no influence over the magazine is a bit of a stretch wouldn’t you say?

    Unless you speak for Marty Peretz, we’re still waiting to hear what he thinks about this.

    In fact, TNR readers are waiting to see what anybody there thinks about this. Unless they are expected to supplement their reading by following Foer’s rants about the Army and right-wingers in other publications.

    Publications which have had their access to Beauchamp successfully blocked by Foer and Scoblic.

    Why don’t you give me your explanation?

  25. So, I read the first 5-7 pages or so, didn’t have time to finish. Basically, the gist I got is that TNR published stories that an author claimed to be true (how these stories were fact-checked, we still don’t know), and when pressure came on, the author redacted those stories and left TNR out to dry. I’m sure he’s still trying to help them, but he’s in a warzone, and it seems like he’s caging up inside himself.

    I’m sure Beauchamp is a good person, and that he is now doing the right thing by serving out his military time. Still, his stories (which currently seem to be fiction) are going to destroy TNR (again). You would think this magazine (in particular) would be smarter about this, but apparently not.

    At the same time, you have to feel for these editors. I didn’t think any veiled threats were intended, but I’m sure these guys can basically see their entire careers falling apart around them, and they are panicked (& unintentionally hostile) and the one guy who they’ve gone out on a limb for (the one guy who can help them) is totally indifferent, and just wants the whole thing to “go away”.

    Again, he’s in a warzone, that’s understandable. He’s got enough problems under his belt. But this is never going to go away. Not for any of these people involved. It will haunt them forever.

  26. Publications which have had their access to Beauchamp successfully blocked by Foer and Scoblic.

    Those must be two extremely powerful individuals. Did they threaten the publications, or the soldier with lawsuits or something?

    To date, the only entity that has blocked access to Beauchamp has been the US Army and possibly Beauchamp himself right?

  27. Oh, and by hurt, I’m pretty sure he means that she will be hurt emotionally from his recantation. Again, don’t see any veiled threats.

  28. _”At the same time, you have to feel for these editors. I didn’t think any veiled threats were intended, but I’m sure these guys can basically see their entire careers falling apart around them, and they are panicked (& unintentionally hostile)”_

    What are you kidding? Pride, thats the sin that caused their current problems. Had they acted responsibly when the initial questions surfaced this wouldnt be an issue. Sometimes the best of journalists get fooled or caught up in a story or dont fact check as well as they should. Thats understandable, but of course the coverup is what kills you. These guys lashed out at their critics, made grandious assurance, staked their reputations on a bad hand, and then clammed up when it became apparent they were screwed. That it not a recipe for saving your career. They couldnt stand being proved wrong by a bunch of guys in pajamas from an idealogical sect they disdain, end of story.

  29. For those outraged at the leaks of the three documents: will you be just as vehement about the next rounds of Pentagon/military/Security Establishment leaks? Even if they reveal something truthful that damages Bush or the war effort?

    Same question in reverse for those not outraged, of course.

    I suspect that “the Army” is p.o.’d about this leak–it makes them look bad. Plus, these or similar documents were in the process of being vetted for a FOIA request, and the facts they reveal would likely have come to light shortly, in any case.

    By the way, there’s apparently a timestamp on each PDF that suggests that they were made in the Baghdad time zone–dunno if that adds anything to the mystery of who the leaker was. For more on the mechanics and ethics of this leak, read “Bob Owens”:http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/244574.php on the subject.

    As far as “What about Right-Wingers In The Military/Abu Ghraib/Global Warming?” — it seems to me that there’s often a willingness to leave awkward smaller issues unexamined because there’s a bigger issue next door. The virtue of things like The Case of the Baghdad Diarist is that it’s possible to learn something definitive about this little piece of reality that doesn’t depend on the Politics that one brings to the party.

    There’s the picture that “Scott Thomas” painted of a deranged, low-morale brigade where soldiers routinely derail their mission because they just don’t care. There’s an alternative view that’s suggested by a read of Lt. Col. George Glaze’s counseling letter (one of the leaked PDFs).

    Drawing (tentative) conclusions here helps other parts of the big picture come into better focus.

  30. Wow – amazing.

    My point in the post is simple; there is no construction you can put on TNR’s behavior that I can imagine that isn’t flatly unethical by any standards I understand journalists to operate under.

    TNR could have deflated this whole thing by honestly reporting information that they had in hand after this phone call; but like the BAE ‘interview’ done by the TNR staffer, it was really about ticking boxes to ensure that the story would stand as long as it possibly could.

    People f**k up; all systems of management and government have to be designed with the clear understanding that they do and will. There’s a kind of Schumpeterian imperative to admit mistake; it allows for the brush to be cleared so new, stronger understandings can grow.

    TNR has not demonstrated any interest in getting to truth – even the truth that we really don’t now what to say about what Beauchamp wrote (although the Army did investigate it and – assuming they didn’t flatly lie – put Beauchamp’s claims to rest).

    Instead we get a “he was coerced, we had another call where he wasn’t, trust us”. Why in the world should we?

    Getting to truth is what they are here for – if not, they’re just another noisemaker in the partisan circus that’s substituting for real government today.

    And yes, it sure appears Beauchamp is soldiering up and has decided that the troops with him today are more worth his care than his hypothetical book agent in New York City three years from now. Good for him; the kudos I offered were genuine, and I wish him well.

    As for TNR – to quote another great political thinker of the day – “screw ‘em”.

    A.L.

  31. Maybe, A.L.,

    But the U.S. Army comes off rather creepy in this matter.

    Proudly leaking the results of a successful re-education.

    Worse than the Pat Tillman fiasco, IMHO.

  32. When this particular inccident is considered in light of the media’s recent record (TANG memos, Fake Burning Suni story, Koran in the toilet story, Haidtha Marines story, Katrina stories that turned out to be untrue, Plame coverage in which journalists promised every other day that Karl Rove was going to get indicted, feauxtography, the entre coverage of the Israeli Lebanon war etc, etc) One is forced to ask is the institution of journalism merely corruption masquerading as virtue?

  33. alphie, not in the same ballpark, league, or sport as the shameful Tillman coverup. In fact, TNR and the military bureaucrats who covered up the facts in Tillman’s death seem well-suited for each other.

    A.L.

  34. Alternate interpretation, based on cursory review:

    Foer was attempting to nail down the truth of what Beauchamp submitted.

    Beauchamp couldn’t nail that down (either because it was untrue, or because he had the clamps applied).

    This back and forth phone call is the result.

    What is the “information they had in hand”, after this phone call?

    The ins and outs of nailing down a story, isn’t the story. The truth of the original story, is the story.

    So, you guys want to say “there are leaks all the time”. Okay, true – but pointing out the hacks who leak for hack purposes, in the military (those that do, such as the Tillman example), is news that shows lack of bias.

    But again, I wish to God you guys that gets so worked up over this, would get more worked up over all the corruption issues facing the Congress, why Bush thinks he needs retroactive legal immunity for telecommunication companies, when he at the same time, insists everything his administration did, and what the telecom companies did, is perfectly legal.

    Maybe some stuff about the no man’s land of Gitmo, where people are trapped forever, and can’t be tried for crimes, because all the information gleaned under torture is suspect, maybe some outrage about the president’s million signing statements, the cover up of outrageous corruption in the Iraq event, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc…

    ad nausuem.

    No – “oh my God! TNR’s backpages soldier story is false (maybe)! Certainly THE important thing to talk about!

    Whatever floats your boat!

  35. To A.L., AMac, Glen,

    Since I come over here, and play in the other side of the pond (should get some credit for that?), why don’t one of you, go over to “Balloon Juice”:http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=8920, and play in that side of the pond?

    Is John Cole wrong when he says:

    “Nothing new was covered in the interview, an interview in which they clearly felt their source was under duress, and in a subsequent off the record conversation he reassured them. TNR had nowhere to go, no new information.”

    Right or wrong?

    And A.L., if you are so sure, that it’s shameful, despicable, etc, why are you only willing to argue it out on YOUR site? Use your high dudgeon to good purpose, by educating the Balloon Juicers.

    You won’t get hurt – except for possibly your ego.

  36. Heh, you slay me. “Mote meet beam”. I assume that’s some cutting repartee?

    Head, meet rock.

    Forehead, meet slap of hand.

    Eyebrows, meet cheeks.

    Back, meet Head up **s.

    Of course, in this case, the truth is:

    Internet poli-geek, meet internet poli-geek. Long may you type.

  37. hypo, I’d like to think that you’re relatively well-treated here – it’s important to me that you and other folks who disagree with the ‘mainstream views’ here (whatever they are) are well-treated – because without different opinions, you can’t have argument, and without argument, the intellectual brush never gets cleared.

    With all due respect, I can’t think of a leftie site where that’s true. I have a high personal regard for Kevin Drum, and a very high regard for Phil Carter. Both of their comments sections tend to deteriorate rapidly into namecalling (Phil’s less than Kevin’s). I’m just not interested in standing on a soapbox screaming next to five other people trying to outscream me. If I was, I’d participate in a different kind of site.

    John Cole is a bit of a chestbeater, and while I’d be happy to have an interblog debate (I tried one of those with Kevin, and he lost interest, sadly), I think being in the comments there would be a waste of time.

    Sadly.

    A.L.

  38. The Press, Left and Right is a sewer. It lives on spreading fear, distrust and division. I doubt it has ever been much difference. The coverage of the War in Iraq and its build up has been a case study in disinformation, spin, backbiting and venality.

    There does not seem to be any interest in truth, but rather a gotcha mentality, hoping only for their worthless, shallow and incredibly uniformed opinions to triumph. A sad state of affairs. It is impossible to follow the charade.

    Drudge, TNR, the Army? All outstanding advocates of truth over their own self interest, correct? Just one more incident in a continuing and very sordid story.

    They all make my skin crawl.

  39. AL, “I can’t think of a leftie site where that’s true.”

    Maybe you should try a moderate site. Maybe Pat Lang (Sic Semper Tyrannis), American Footprints, Belgravia Dispatch….
    just a name a few.

    These are all posted and commented by serious people (for example, take a look at Pat Lang’s credentials).

    I think you will find these sites populated by very well reasoned arguments, by experienced and knowledgeable people who disagree with you, mostly, but who treat you with respect. Generally name calling – even the use of juvenile terms such as “leftie” are not permitted or tolerated.

    Come on. Step on up.

  40. avedis, first of all, I hate dares. I’m not in junior high school. I do talk with other bloggers, but with all due respect, I have a blog, and conduct my dialog here. If I ever give the blog up, I’ll certainly comment on other people’s blogs – but I don;t have the bandwidth to do this well, much do both.

    Sorry.

    Why don’t you start a blog, and we can debate between them?

    A.L.

  41. OK, then maybe just read them.

    This is not a dare.

    It’s a suggestion made under the assumption that you are truly interested in informed opinions counter to your own as opposed to simple (and juvenile) bashing of lefties, etc.

    You do link to other blogs, both those that agree with you and those that do not (and, to your credit, some in between). Thus, I assume that you read other blogs.

    I think that there is much rabble rousing on both side of the political spectrum and much stupidity expounded by far too many couch potato dimwits with a key board and a URL.

    So I offered to you, in friendly fashion, a few blogs that I think you would find informative and challenging. That’s all.

    As for my own blog……interesting concept, but I don’t have time to dedicate to consistently maintain at the standards I would hold myself to for self respect reasons ( My wife and I did – just for fun – briefly have a horse training site, but couldn’t keep it going due to day job and farm schedules).

    Maybe I could be a guest poster here from time to time?

  42. A.L.,

    I disagree.

    Tillman was dead, and really beyond anything the Army did to him.

    Scott Beauchamp is an active duty soldier that the Army tracked down and threatened at the request of far right bloggers.

    I don’t really understand their thinking. For every right winger made happy by this, the Army probably loses the support of of many more moderate Americans.

    I think the Army has become so politicized that it should be completely disbanded and rebuilt from scratch now.

  43. Alphie, what source do you have that claims the Army “threatened” Beauchamp?

    This debate has nothing to do with Tillman or the kooky conspiracy theories about him and (insert evil bush crony here) conspiring to take him out for wanting to speak to Chomsky, aliens, Zombie Elvis or any other equally viable fantasy figure.

    I don’t see “moderate Americans” being turned off by this, I see many people disgusted by a media outlet that has by all appearances lied to the public about what information it had, stonewalled and obfuscated anyone who questioned them, and then had the gall to continue to think that no one should call them to account for some really horrible journalism (if you can call it that).

  44. Alphie, good luck with your ‘disband the US Army” program.

    Was that sarcasm? Possibly an oblique reference to the situation with the Ba’athists in Iraq? Or were you serious?

    Assuming for the moment you were serious: How’s that going to happen? Short of some sort of development on the world scene that made the US military about as relevant as, say, Belgium’s?

  45. I am serious, NM.

    I think we should bring everyone home, discharge them with a decent check, and start over from scratch.

    The Founding Fathers knew the problems with standing armies.

    So did Gen. Eisenhower.

    Everything they worried about has come to pass.

  46. Those must be two extremely powerful individuals. Did they threaten the publications, or the soldier with lawsuits or something?

    Come on, Davebo. Read the transcript.

    Before anyone responds further to alphie, please consult “this thread”:http://patterico.com/2007/10/24/the-new-republics-great-fall-has-arrived/ and make sure that you are not telling him something that he already hasn’t been told 100 times.

    There are an estimated 6 X 10(78) electrons in the observable universe, and we need to start thinking about conservation.

  47. From *AL* at the start
    _The side message about/from Beauchamp’s wife is the most disgusting thing_
    You know, this may just be honesty – as harsh as it is to say, she probably went to bat at TNR for him at one point or another. And now, with him not standing up in the story, she’s left twisting in the wind.

    AL, maybe your antagonism makes you read it as TNR using the wife as a lever. Maybe they’re letting him know that since she was a fact checker and reporter – and likely the one who brought the story in – it’ll be a long time before her word can be trusted, and not just by TNR but by anyone. Regardless of their failures in addition.
    The whole “now it’s very public you’ve been lying to your wife” can’t be all that good either.

    From *PD Shaw way back at 10*
    _If she is absolutely the sweetest person Crowley knows, some people at TNR might be outraged that Foer is using her. They might even leak information damaging to Foer that might protect her from being fired._
    Some of what is above, but I also believe she moved on, 1 year contract or something.

  48. Michael Yon said in his blog article about Beauchamp:

    bq. As for The New Republic, some on the staff may feel like they’ve been hounded and treed, but it’s hard to feel the same sympathy for a group of cowards who won’t ’fess up and can’t face the scorn of American combat soldiers who were injured by their collective lapse of judgment. It’s up to their readers to decide the ultimate fate.

    bq. The New Republic treed like a bandit . . . personally, I think they would make a nice Daniel Boone hat.

    Hoo-Rah! To paraphrase someone above – nail meet hammer!

    Nortius – I think Glen Wishard has a good idea. I am only given so much time on this earth and there are only so many words I can read. I therefore scroll right on past alphie and some of the others who are either less than serious or deliberately disingenuous. Not enough time for them, I am afraid.

    I am sitting in Chino Hills, Ca and the air is heavy with smoke. Clogged my sinuses 5 minutes after landing at Ontario. I wish long, cruel prison terms on those who have committed arson out here. The air from the air resembled something from the first few moments of Bladerunner. Yuck.

  49. #44 from avedis at 2:15 am on Oct 26, 2007

    “simple (and juvenile) bashing of lefties, etc.”

    It might be a good policy to discourage the uses of buzzwords like these. They actually mean nothing and give people an excuse to be intellectually lazy.

    I think it would be positive and elevate the level of debate and force people to examine their own opinions more closely. Faschist would be another one at the top of the list.

  50. Glen #49 — Wise words on the conservation of matter.

    Robohobo #52 — After a look-see, I can’t imagine wanting to comment at Balloon Juice. It’s another call-and-response choir, preached to.

    TOC #55 — Double-posts deleted.

    avedis #42 — Thanks for the blog recommendations. Familiar with Phil Carter and Belgravia, not the others. Look forward to your guest post. Off topic, I wanted to direct readers of “this Glittering Eye post on Health Care Insurance”:http://theglitteringeye.com/?p=3251 to an insightful comment you’d left on the subject at WoC around late Aug/early Sept., but I can’t find it… maybe you can?

  51. AMAC: _Same question in reverse for those not outraged [by the leaks], of course._

    My lack of outrage is grounded in the view that the government maintains too many secrets. Two types of leaks are outrageous though: national security and pending criminal investigations. This appears to be a leak of personnel matters which the government employee has some rights to privacy. To me, not so outrageous.

    To give a local example. The felony crimes unit of my local police force has been planting evidence on criminals in order to get warrants. When discovered, the state police opened an investigation on the police department and then gave the resulting report to the mayor. The aldermen, the elected representatives whose job it is to check on the mayor and city government, were denied access to the report because it would violate the privacy rights of government personnel. The outrage was that the public was being denied information that could be used to prevent this kind of crap from happening again.

    Back to Beauchamp. He opened this can of worms by publishing misconduct by members of his unit. A legitimate public issue was joined. I think the public has a right to know the results of the subsequent investigation. I don’t think the Army should release his social security number or details about any extra-marital affair; that’s harassment. I certainly see no privacy implicated in a taped phone-call with a magazine.

    So, no I am not outraged. If the Army can find the leaker, he/she should receive the appropriate reprimand. But I doubt that they will find the leaker unless they go after Drudge.

  52. Was that sarcasm? Possibly an oblique reference to the situation with the Ba’athists in Iraq? Or were you serious?

    He’s serious and I’m starting to see this meme popping up all over the place on various lefty blogs.

    It seems the left has woken up to the fact that the logical end result of decades of abuse, bashing, and insults combined with the complete non-participation of the left in the military results in, surprise surprise, a rather right tilted military.

    Of course it’s all the fault of the naturally evil military that it leans right…

    Actually I found the army’s behavior in l’affaire Beauchamp superb. They could have fried the kid, he was either guilty of libel or of failing to report misconduct. Instead they, in the face of considerable political pressure, have decided to salvage the kid’s career. The XO on the ground in particular appears to have put his personal hide in the line of fire to shield the kid.

    Compare and contrast with the way TNR handled the wife, who seems to be mysteriously no longer employed with them…

  53. The only reason these Army memos were important in the first place is because Foer and TNR decided to make a diversionary issue out of them. They insisted that they had to have documentary information from the Army in order to make editorial decisions.

    That was nonsense from day one. TNR is responsible for what TNR publishes. If something can’t be substantiated they should either not publish it, or fess up to being the kind of rag that publishes unsubstantiated stories.

    As all of us extra-super-extreme right-wing ax-swinging Beyond the Palers have been insisting from the start, there were serious problems with these accounts that editors should have recognized at once. Instead they accused the Army (falsely, as we have seen) of silencing their correspondent, and then demanded that the Army release documents to prove its innocence.

    And all of this Tammy Wynette bullshit about TNR standing by one of their writers is another lie. Beauchamp has been effectively fired, having been told he can no longer write for TNR. His diaries had already disappeared. He’s appaerently been flushed from the archives.

    He’s a dead Soviet cosmonaut. Scott who?

  54. Bob Owens published an update/summary of where the story stood this morning, “here.”:http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/244674.php

    Meanwhile, TNR’s editors put up a post at “The Plank”:http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2007/10/26/a-scott-beauchamp-update.aspx today. Lots of fodder for another round of “Spot the Misdirection,” but I don’t want to play today. Judging from the comments, Loyal Readers of TNR are happy with what the magazine says, whatever it says.

    Armed Liberal’s earlier point was that from TNR’s view, much of this story should be about their performance as a journalistic entity–ethics, honesty, timeliness, that sort of stuff. In the aftermath of “Shattered Glass,” the people at the magazine had the decency to be ashamed of their performance.

    This time around, that sort of self-awareness is brazen in its absence.

  55. “Shattered Glass” vs. Pat Tillman, etc., AMAC?

    Google “Scott Beauchamp” and see which sites come up first.

    This is a story that the far right is flogging to death…and it looks like it’s another “Jamail Hussein” loser for them.

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