At this point, if TNR’s defenders engage this story at all — and providing they don’t simply accuse military investigators of coercing Beauchamp into recanting — we are likely to see sarcastic outbursts about how “this definitively proves that our troops are, to a man and woman, angels.”
No blogger following this story ever made that assertion, as far as I’m aware. What we have argued, repeatedly and in other contexts, is that our counterparts in the Iraq debate have lost all perspective with their focus on American “atrocities” as opposed to Al-Qaeda atrocities. Demand for evidence of the former is so high — and documented abuses so relatively scarce — that we have ambitious aspiring writers willing to lie and exaggerate in order to get published in prestigious national journals, and the editors of those journals willing to believe even the most dubious accounts of wrongdoing
You see- thousands of hours had to be spent because we were losing track of the fact that the “terrorists are worse.” It was a perspective issue, you see. They were afraid that we might think our soldiers are just as bad as the terrorists. BEAUCHAMP HAD TO BE REFUTED.
Really, what can you say to that kind of idiocy?
The narrative of this war, as far as the efforts of our soldiers are concerned, is not one of them being systematic abusers. The narrative is of good men and women who went into a hellhole to do the impossible, were under-equipped in many cases and overextended in most, and did everything they could to get their mission done. If there even is a subnarrative of abuse associated with the soldiers (which there really is not), most certainly Abu Gharaib and Haditha and other documented atrocities would take precedence over some jackass running over a dog. Even then, in the case of Abu Gharaib, if you ask the leftist pinko commies who have lost “perspective,” they do not blame the troops. They blame Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and senior leadership for creating Abu Ghraib.
At any rate, like Jim Henley, I know when I am beat. When the right is willing to bring out the ‘TERRORISTS ARE WORSE’, the wingnut equivalent of 5 aces in poker, there is simply nothing you can do but mock them some more for pure entertainment.
*** Update ***
Rick Moran is going to catch hell from the patriots for this post.
*** Update ***
Ruh roh, the story lives on:
We’ve talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, “I have no knowledge of that.” He added, “If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own.” When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, “We don’t go into the details of how we conduct our investigations.”
Why does Major Lamb hate the troops?