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Thread: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Recently, the leftist The New Republic published a series of articles - Shock Troops - written under a pseudonym by a US soldier.

    These 'diaries' contained anecdotes of US soldiers doing terrible things - mocking a disfigured woman, playing with child's skulls, etc. Basically, it was designed solely to portray US soldiers as evil, inhuman monsters.

    The leftists, of course, said this was all completely plausible that military vets are horrible people because of their experiences and the nature of the military and war - which is always the most terrible thing in the world, and so therefore is anyone who supports it.

    People with military knowledge poked several holes in the stories, which TNR began to retreat from - acknowledging some of it may not have been entirely true.

    As it turns out, TNR have been helping a scumbag liar, who they have supported and stood behind, claiming it was true, but now it turns out the writer - Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp - has recanted:

    THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp--author of the much-disputed "Shock Troops" article in the New Republic's July 23 issue as well as two previous "Baghdad Diarist" columns--signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods--fabrications containing only "a smidgen of truth," in the words of our source.

    Separately, we received this statement from Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad:

    An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblog...mp_recants.asp

    Hmm, too bad for the lefties - turns out all our soldiers aren't terrible people.

    Crazed Rabbit

    *The term lefties, as always, is generalized to American leftists and even then it's still a generalization.
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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    I wondered when that would finally be debunked- the allegations he made we pretty outlandish by anyone's standards. Of course, TNR claimed all along that they had corroborated his stories and they weren't based solely on his accounts. Guess that was an exaggeration too.
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    smell the glove Senior Member Major Robert Dump's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    whats wrong with playing with a skull? it's freakin dead.
    Baby Quit Your Cryin' Put Your Clown Britches On!!!

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    I haven't followed this bit of blog-scuffle, but in the interest of fairness, here's TNR's defense of the guy.

    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.

    In the second anecdote, soldiers in Beauchamp's unit discovered what they believed were children's bones. Publicly, the military has sought to refute this claim on the grounds that no such discovery was officially reported. But one military official told TNR that bones were commonly found in the area around Beauchamp's combat outpost. (This is consistent with the report of a children's cemetery near Beauchamp's combat outpost reported on The Weekly Standard website.)

    More important, two witnesses have corroborated Beauchamp's account. One wrote in an e-mail: "I can wholeheartedly verify the finding of the bones; U.S. troops (in my unit) discovered human remains in the manner described in 'Shock Troopers.' [sic] ... [We] did not report it; there was no need to. The bodies weren't freshly killed and thus the crime hadn't been committed while we were in control of the sector of operations." On the phone, this soldier later told us that he had witnessed another soldier wearing the skull fragment just as Beauchamp recounted: "It fit like a yarmulke," he said. A forensic anthropologist confirmed to us that it is possible for tufts of hair to be attached to a long-buried fragment of a human skull, as described in the piece.

    The last section of the Diarist described soldiers using Bradley Fighting Vehicles to kill dogs. On this topic, one soldier who witnessed the incident described by Beauchamp, wrote in an e-mail: "How you do this (I've seen it done more than once) is, when you approach the dog in question, suddenly lurch the Bradley on the opposite side of the road the dog is on. The rear-end of the vehicle will then swing TOWARD the animal, scaring it into running out into the road. If it works, the dog is running into the center of the road as the driver swings his yoke back around the other way, and the dog becomes a chalk outline." TNR contacted the manufacturer of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle System, where a spokesman confirmed that the vehicle is as maneuverable as Beauchamp described. Instructors who train soldiers to drive Bradleys told us the same thing. And a veteran war correspondent described the tendency of stray Iraqi dogs to flock toward noisy military convoys.
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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Dang it all, CR, now you've gotten me interested in this story. A little Googling turns up some interesting tidbits:

    According to WaPo, no charges have been filed against Beauchamp, which is kind of weird considering the Army is claiming he defamed his unit and, um, the Army:

    A military official, who asked not to be identified because the probe is confidential, said no charges were filed against Beauchamp. Instead, the official said, the matter is being handled administratively, with Beauchamp punished by having his cellphone and laptop confiscated for an undetermined period.

    Furthermore, The Weekly Standard's claim that Beauchamp recanted is unconfirmed:

    Foer said the New Republic had asked Maj. Steven Lamb, an Army spokesman, about the allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, and that Lamb had replied: "I have no knowledge of that." Before going incommunicado, Beauchamp "told us that he signed a statement that did not contradict his writings for the New Republic," Foer said.

    "Thus far," he added, "we've been provided no evidence that contradicts our original statement, despite directly asking the military for any such evidence it might have."

    The whole thing is a bit suspicious. The Army confidentially investigates, won't release any evidence or statements, but comes to the conclusion that any stories about bad things happening are false? Color me surprised. This is the same Army that pinned everything that happened at Abu Ghraib on the lowest-ranking soldiers it could lay hands on.

    None of this exonerates TNR, a magazine which I must confess I do not read, and so I can't give an intelligent opinion on them. However, as an outsider to this entire business, I have to agree with this guy:

    Mark Feldstein, a journalism professor at George Washington University, called the Army's refusal to release its report "suspect," adding: "There is a cloud over the New Republic, but there's one hanging over the Army, as well. Each investigated this and cleared themselves, but they both have vested interests."

    Another summation
    of where this stands:

    So will this boil down, in the end, to The Weekly Standard saying its anonymous sources say the stories are solid…and TNR saying its sources are solid

    One thing: if TNR sticks by the story and says its sources confirm it, anonymous, unnamed sources from The Weekly Standard will not be judged (in other than totally partisan circles) as having proven the allegations untrue. But The Standard talked about a signed, recanting confession. That’s a yardstick. True? Case closed. NOT true? Then that is a huge issue. If it’s false and was passed onto The Standard then it would represent a new low in political misdirection.

    This may be something for the dreaded, cursed, denigrated mainstream media to sort out.

    And us? We’ll refrain from any blow-by-blow posts on this until this is resolved. Remember that The Weekly Standard enjoys high-level Bush administration sources. Will their report prove to be factual, or inaccurate? Stay tuned..
    Last edited by Lemur; 08-08-2007 at 16:19.
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Well Lemur - it seems TNR just can't stop lying.

    Anonymous sources aside, here's the Weekly Standard's smackdown of their statement:

    The editors of the New Republic have responded here. Three points:

    (1) They neglected to report that the Army has concluded its investigation and found Beauchamp's stories to be false. As Major Lamb, the very officer they quote, has said in an authorized statement: "An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims."

    (2) Does the failure of the New Republic to report the Army's conclusions mean that the editors believe the Army investigators are wrong about Beauchamp?

    (3) We have full confidence in our reporting that Pvt Beauchamp recanted under oath in the course of the investigation. Is the New Republic claiming that Pvt Beauchamp made no such admission to Army investigators? Is Beauchamp?
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblog...nts_update.asp

    CR
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    CR, I have no dog in this fight. If TNR is wrong, that's fine by me, and if The Weekly Standard is wrong, that's also fine by me. What's intriguing me is the level of murkiness. There's definitely misdirection and misrepresentation going on, and the interesting thing is that it's hard to tell who's lying to whom.

    Note that the Weekly Standard, which as The Moderate Voice noted has great connections with the White House, just asserts that the soldier recanted. No links, no quotes, no named sources. As far as I can see, they're on the same footing as TNR.

    So an Army spokesman has declared that their investigation shows everything is false. Fine. But why haven't charges been filed against the soldier? And where is a named source who will confirm that this guy has recanted? He can't confirm himself, since his only punishment, apparently, has been a confiscation of his cell and laptop.

    Curiouser and curiouser. I don't really give a hoot, but it's interesting watching this play out. Let's break down the motivations:

    TNR is an anti-war publication, so they have every reason to misrepresent and show the war in a bad light.

    Weekly Standard is a pro-Bush publication, so they have every reason to misrepresent and show TNR in a bad light.

    Army has every reason to brush this under the rug and make it go away.

    Soldiers have every reason to tell a different story to Army investigators than they did to a guy who they didn't know was writing stuff down.

    Note, I am not saying that any one of these groups did lie, I'm just saying all of them have good reason to do so. It's like an Agatha Christie novel -- who had cause to kill Mister Marpole? Was it the jealous niece, the greedy uncle, the butler with a mysterious past, or the dusky moor?
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    Στωικισμός Member Bijo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Fascinating. I, too, am now interested in this. What I would really want, though, is undeniable proof that is not falsified to... well, to prove anything (!)
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Its classic WIFOM.

    Publisher can claim it is true and that any debunking is a cover-up. Argument spins in circles endlessly depending on who you choose to trust.
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    Arena Senior Member Crazed Rabbit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Quote Originally Posted by Lemur
    Note that the Weekly Standard, which as The Moderate Voice noted has great connections with the White House, just asserts that the soldier recanted. No links, no quotes, no named sources. As far as I can see, they're on the same footing as TNR.

    So an Army spokesman has declared that their investigation shows everything is false. Fine. But why haven't charges been filed against the soldier? And where is a named source who will confirm that this guy has recanted? He can't confirm himself, since his only punishment, apparently, has been a confiscation of his cell and laptop.
    As you state, TWS actually does have a named source saying the articles are false, if not a named source for the recanting.

    I'm sure more will be revealed about this in due time, but for now I'm going to go with TWS, given what I know.

    Crazed Rabbit

    PS - Congrats on the moderatorship!
    Ja Mata, Tosa.

    The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail; its roof may shake; the wind may blow through it; the storm may enter; the rain may enter; but the King of England cannot enter – all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement! - William Pitt the Elder

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Quote Originally Posted by Seamus Fermanagh
    Its classic WIFOM.
    Okay, you've stumped me. Urban Dictionary doesn't have it, Google definitions doesn't have it, so I'm forced to ask -- WIFOM?
    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them ... well, I have others." — Groucho Marx

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    The very model of a modern Moderator Xiahou's Avatar
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    Default Re: Turns Out The New Republic are Accomplices to a Scumbag Liar

    Wine In Front Of Me, I'm guessing.
    "Don't believe everything you read online."
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