via AOSHQ and Jules Crittenden TNR has at long last admitted the Beauchamping of its series of war diaries, in a long-winded, self-serving, blame-avoiding, reckless charge hurling piece with a much obfuscation and distortion as its original Storm Troopers correspondent used to throw around.
All this is unsurprising. Who in the world would expect Foer and Co. to gracefully admit they are unprofessional hacks who lied and stone-walled when faced with the truth that their soldier-reporter was, in fact, a fiction writer, not a journalist.
Foer spends a great deal of time in his rationalization posing as an explanation lashing out at the right-blogs for having the temerity and bad manners to continue to question the article. He conveniently avoids the fact that none of this would have come out had some tenacious freelance investigators not rooted out the truth of the matter.
Others have written on this extensively. What I keep coming across is the scorn and blame heaped on the Army over its role. Of all the entities involved in this fiasco, I fail to see how the Army is at fault.
In one sense, TNR is correct. The Army, once again, did its usual stellar job of incompetently handling relations with the press in general, and TNR in particular. Whatever the truth may have been, the Army utterly failed in handling this whole matter transparently, and providing a clear explanation of the methods and results of the investigation. But, that’s been SOP for the Army PIO for the last 40 years.
According to Instapundit, the author at QandO has 40 years experience with military public affairs and information.
Well, I certainly don’t have your experience in dealing with the Army, or the military. In fact, I don’t have any at all.
However, I don’t see where its incumbent on the Army to “handle” the press at all in this type of situation. They are hamstrung by privacy laws in releasing a lot of pertinent info that could help “communicate”. Therefore, its impossible for them to really give a complete picture of these cases and be “transparent”.
Personally, I think its in the Army’s best interest, and their only real duty, to investigate public claims of malfeasance and misconduct by their own soldiers, as in the Beauchamp case.
After investigating, when the case is concluded, they either close the investigation as unproven or false, or they find the subject culpable and mete out appropriate disciplinary actions, as they apparently did.
Why is it the Army’s duty to help clear up TNR’s mess or publicly refute or confirm a soldier’s stories?
I think the Army did exactly what the Army is supposed to do: investigated wrong-doing by one of its own, got his statement in writing, meted out proper discipline, finding his actions severe enough to merit discipline but not egregious enough to merit discharge, gave him the option to leave or stay.
He elected to stay, and according to Michael Yon, at least, whom I happen to trust implicitly, Beauchamp is at least attempting to do his duty to the best of his ability.
He will not have completely atoned for slandering his comrades, no matter how good a job soldiering he does from here on out, until he recants his lies about them and the Army in general, insinuating that the abuses he described are pervasive and tacitly allowed by authorities.
Really, I continue to read how the ARMY screwed this up. I do not think its the Army’s duty to vet every story coming out about Iraq and then explain the entire investigative process to the world.
Their duty is to keep their soldiers doing their job in a moral, legal and effective way. As much as all of us here in blogland would love to know all the teensy details of the investigation (mostly so we can continue to bash TNR and gloat how right we were) its hardly in the Army’s best interest to expend resources to do so.
You know, we don’t even know the real providence of the “leaks”, we assume it was the Army. We don’t know for a fact. They may have been from Beauchamp himself.
I think the Army acted completely correct in this manner. The important thing was to investigate crimes or unbecoming conduct of its soldiers, it did so, it meted out punishment, decided the fate of the perpetrator, and moved on.
Its not the Army’s job to tie up all the lose ends for us. In a great deal of this case, its not even legal for them to do so.
I find zero on which to blame the Army in this case. I think most of the vitriol and blame thrown at them now is because we all want more story, and the Army is not bending over backwards, or even forwards, to give it to us.
Its not their job to do so, and I certainly don’t expect them to do so, even if it would be ’good public relations’ and ’engender good will’.
All that said, chalk up another scalp for the righty blogs: Dan Rather, Mapes, Eason Jordon, Reuters Fauxtography, TNR, have I missed any big ones?
All the leftwingnuts have is Jeff Gannon.
QandO Blog: TNR Pulls the Eject Handle
Michelle Malkin: Bombshell…TNR ‘fesses up: The Beauchamp stories are bullcrap
Ed Driscoll.com: The New Republic Folds Its Cards
The American Pundit: TNR: We Can’t Stand by Beauchamp’s Stories
KyleSmithOnline: The New Republic Issues Retraction
Blue Crab Boulevard: Fourteen Pages And Run For Cover
American Digest: New Republic Editor Twists Slowly in His Own Wind
Peenie Wallie: The New Republic Comes Clean
small dead animals: The Baghdad Fictionalist, Updated
BitsBlog: TNR gives in
Captain’s Quarters: TNR’s Iraq And A Hard Place
This ain’t Hell: Final chapter of the Scott Thomas Beauchamp saga
Right Wing Nut House: TNR Finally Surrenders
Borderpundit: Beauchamp’s Fictions and The New Republic’s New Fictions
Powerline: Fog of Foer
Protein Wisdom: Frankly FUBAR
Patterico: The New Republic Retracts Beauchamp Stories
Confederate Yankee: TNR Folds