Day two since the illegal release of documents, and several things are clear:
1.) The alleged recanting in the testimony released yesterday is no such thing. At no point does Beauchamp recant, and at no point does it sink through the thick skulls of the blogospheric right that when someone is being monitered by a SSG and another and having their conversations recorded and transcribed, they may not feel comfortable to speak completely freely.
I really don’t understand how to make them understand that, particularly when it is clear they do not want to understand. If Beauchamp was telling the truth in his dispatches, he clearly is not going to corroborate them now while standing in front of the full weight of UCMJ. Additionally, it is stated that in later conversations with Beauchamp (after the interview published yesterday), he reassured Foer that he stood by his stories.
2.) It is telling that not one person on the blogospheric right is even remotely upset about this:
Foer said the Army has refused to turn over supporting documents in the case, despite a Freedom of Information Act request, and then “selectively leaked” material to Drudge. In an e-mail to the magazine yesterday, Army spokesman Maj. Kirk Luedeke said he was “surprised and appalled that this information was leaked” and that the military would investigate.
Instead of outrage over what is clear political maneuvering with the private files of a soldier serving in Iraq, the right-wing continues their assault on Foer and the TNR, and refuses to acknowledge that until those files were leaked to Drudge, TNR HAD NO ACCESS TO THEM.
Imagine for a second, if you will, what would have happened if the shoe had been on the other foot. Imagine what we would be reading today if, rather than someone in the Army selectively leaking documents to Drudge the TNR wanted access to, it had been Franklin Foer leaking documents to the Daily Kos that they had been keeping from Army. You don’t have to try really hard to imagine what would be going on today:
Michelle Malkin would take some time off from her new schedule of racially profiling dishwashers and would have 73 updates on this clearly illegal and unethical behavior. Bob Owens would have called every fax manufacturer, examined the kerning of the faxes, and have narrowed down the transmission of the fax to three states. The Free Republic would have posted the annual income and personal details of every employee of TNR, and speculated who would be most likely to be bribed to release the documents. Protein Wisdom would have written six new dick jokes related to the affair, and then issued a 62 page memorandum on why this is a typical narrative of the type of behavior illustrated by ‘teh left.’ The Instapundit probably would have broken a finger after typing ‘heh, indeed!’ ad infinitum while linking to tales of TNR perfidy from lesser known bloggers (“Jake at Minnesota Rambling says he once saw a copy editor for the TNR be rude to a waitress at a sushi bar- and asks, ‘Does their arrogance know no bounds?’ Heh. Indeed!”).
Stop laughing. You know I am right. At any rate, why didn’t TNR discuss this interview, you might ask? Well, we already covered that. Because Beauchamp said nothing new, other than that he didn’t want to talk about it anymore (for obvious reasons, notwithstanding his squad leader standing over his shoulder). Additionally, the military refused to release the documents pertaining to their investigations. In other words, Foer and the TNR had nothing new to work with.
Now, I understand that if you think the TNR is an evil left-wing rag who released these stories only to hurt the morale of our troops in the greatest most epicest struggle of our time, that is not an acceptable answer. To those of us on Planet Earth, it makes sense. 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.
3.) It is also interesting that months after this, none of our intrepid investigators has bothered to look into this Beauchamp dispatch:
The next day’s mission set list didn’t include me. I had tower guard from 0400 until 0800 instead. I went to guard shift, then got some sleep. When I woke up, the next day’s patrol had already returned, and, as usual, the gaggle of guys who walked in and out of my room gave me updates on what had happened, who had been shot at, who had fucked up, who had chickened out, who had pulled off some great stunt of ingenuity. One of the privates sauntered in with a somewhat bemused expression.
“Hey, we were in Little Venice today, talking to LNs and shit.”
“Sort of. That James Bond kid you were telling me about–did he run around in an Adidas hat?”
“Those fuckers cut off his tongue.”
“Shia militia, the police, I don’t know. Apparently he had been talking to too many Americans.”
“No fucking way.”
“Yeah. Fuck them, man. I hate when this shit happens to kids.”
We didn’t go back to Little Venice for a raid or patrol or mission of any type for quite some time–maybe a month or two. But when we did eventually go back, I didn’t have to look very hard to find Ali. He was mixed in with the throng of children who waded up to our convoy screaming for us to throw them chocolate or soccer balls. Of course, he wasn’t screaming, but he was smiling and his hands were outstretched to catch whatever a soldier with a generous streak might be kind enough to throw at him. I wanted to yell, “Hey, James Bond! I hope you get to California!”–but I didn’t. I just watched him scramble for the soccer ball that went bobbing away toward an alley and out of my field of vision.
It seems to me, of all the stories, this would be the easiest to verify or disprove.
4.) So here we are, months later. Did someone run over dogs in a Bradley? Who knows? Who cares? I am having too much fun watching Greater Wingnuttia act like insane people. Maybe when they are done with this, they will get on that whole WMD story.
*** Update ***
This whole “scandal” is even funnier when you consider this is the attitude of most folk on ‘teh left’:
As a liberal, I’m wondering why anyone would want to “rescue” TNR? Peretz is such a scumbag and there’s the whole Super War Cheerleader thing that they’ve got going on. Why should I care if they backed a wrong gee?
*** Update #2 ***
*** Update #3***
BTW- Where is the signed confession? Why wasn’t that leaked?