More Wronger, More Louder

You know, going back to the Beauchamp story, you have to remember just how crazy this time period was for everyone. The wingnut narrative was in danger, and they just had to destroy Beauchamp for basically telling what everyone who has ever spent a day in uniform knows- all our troops are not angels, and some bad shit sometimes goes down. We had folks screaming for his own troops to “take care of him,” people wanting him court-martialed, and so on, and they went to extreme lengths to have the young man destroyed- while he was in theatre avoiding bullets and serving his country.

Just to remember how crazy the wingnut reaction was to the possibility that not all our troops are angels (and thereby threatening the war narrative and taking away the media as an excuse for everything going wrong in the war), you have appreciate this classic post at the Power Line, where reader Stuart Koehl “proved” that a track vehicle could not run over a dog by eyeballing a 1/32 scale model of a Bradley Fighting Vehicle. As Tbogg noted in one of the all time classic blog posts, “The role of the dog was played by a 3-inch My Little Pony named Princess Sparkle Snowflake Rainbow. Next up: Warren Commission report disproved using a Hot Wheels Terrordactyl Track.”

As to Stuart Koehl, what happened to him? Well rest assured, “expertise” like that is highly valued in wingnut circles, and he was rewarded with a guest appearance at none other than the Weekly Standard just a few months later:

There is a lot about Obama’s story that makes no sense. Let us start with the opening line:

    “You know, I’ve heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon–supposed to have 39 men in a rifle platoon. Ended up being sent to Afghanistan with 24 because 15 of those soldiers had been sent to Iraq.”

Well, captains command companies, not rifle platoons. A rifle platoon is normally commanded by a 2nd lieutenant, sometimes (if short handed) by a senior sergeant. So for starters, Obama betrays a woeful ignorance of military organization and the chain of command. Then he remarks that the platoon was under-strength because 15 of its men had been “sent to Iraq.” Sorry, the Army doesn’t work that way. Platoons are organic units, consisting of three rifle squads, a heavy weapons squad, and a headquarters section. You can’t break it up. It is the smallest building block in the infantry that can conduct fire-and-movement tactics.

You remember how this worked out, don’t you? Jake Tapper, in one of his best moments from last year, ended the wingnut screeches once and for all:

I called the Obama campaign this morning to chat about this story, and was put in touch with the Army captain in question.

He told me his story, which I found quite credible, though for obvious reasons he asked that I not mention his name or certain identifying information.

Short answer: He backs up Obama’s story.

The longer answer is worth telling, though.

The Army captain, a West Point graduate, did a tour in a hot area of eastern Afghanistan from the Summer of 2003 through Spring 2004.

Prior to deployment the Captain — then a Lieutenant — took command of a rifle platoon at Fort Drum. When he took command, the platoon had 39 members, but — in ones and twos — 15 members of the platoon were re-assigned to other units. He knows of 10 of those 15 for sure who went to Iraq, and he suspects the other five did as well.

The platoon was sent to Afghanistan with 24 men.

“We should have deployed with 39,” he told me, “we should have gotten replacements. But we didn’t. And that was pretty consistent across the battalion.”

He adds that maybe a half-dozen of the 15 were replaced by the Fall of 2003, months after they arrived in Afghanistan, but never all 15.

Jake then goes on to verify every claim Obama made.

So when you think back to this time period, remember what we were dealing with and the quality of “evidence” that the usual suspects on the right latched on to to defend their own personal fantasies. The second anecdote in this post is extremely relevant, as these jackasses have now spent the last few months accusing Obama of “dithering” in regards to Afghanistan.

Just wrong about everything, which is, of course, why David Gregory will have McCain on again soon.






68 replies
  1. 1
    SpotWeld says:

    The sort of “dithering” going on here is the same sort of care that would stop you from accidentally shooting a lawyer in the face, for example.

  2. 2
    ChrisS says:

    I assume Stuart Koehl then apologized for calling the President a liar?

  3. 3
    El Cid says:

    Also, the reason there is no global warming caused by CO2 is that CO2 is heavier than air. I know this ’cause I just talked through it in my head after hearin’ this one guy saying it.

    Also, we ain’t got to obey the President ’cause he ain’t the Constitutionally recognized leader, so we gon’ start our militia where we believe the only real law enforcement officer in the nation is the county Sheriff.

  4. 4
    Pangloss says:

    In fairness to Gregory, modern journalistic ethics demand that responsible journalists balance out the “sober policy analysis” with “a whole lot o’ crazee.”

  5. 5
    beltane says:

    Imagine if today’s Republican party had been running things during WWII. On second thought, don’t imagine this; you will have nightmares.

  6. 6
    Violet says:

    And we don’t need a public option because my neighbor has health insurance and it’s working okay for him, so this whole claim that people are suffering because they don’t have health insurance is a big lie. There can’t be any suffering if my neighbor has health insurance. That’s just a fact.

  7. 7
  8. 8
    bemused says:

    John, when I read your posts, I cannot picture you being a republican even tho I know you were. You are rational & talk common sense.

  9. 9
    Stooleo says:

    Imagine if today’s Republican party had been running things during WWII. On second thought, don’t imagine this; you will have nightmares.

    And speaking German.

  10. 10
    tc says:

    This was also the same time period of Jamal Hussein, the Baghdad police officer who supplied reliable information to the AP, and then was accused of the crime of not actually existing. Malkin et al shrieked to the point where someone actually had to risk their life to go and verify that there actually was a Jamal Hussein.

  11. 11
    Eric U. says:

    the thing that really makes me sick about the current republican party is the lack of any respect for the military when they are not actively promoting whatever wingnut idea the republicans want promoted at that particular moment. And the fact that the republicans seem to see the act of getting injured in Bush’s vanity war as an anti-Republican statement.

  12. 12
    Llelldorin says:

    I’m sorry, but that last story simply doesn’t make sense. As an experiment, I put my Real Army Lieutenant action figure into a sandbox for over a year, and it never became a Real Army Captain.

  13. 13
    MikeJ says:

    @Llelldorin: The Air Force would have promoted it.

  14. 14
    Mike in NC says:

    David Gregory will have McCain on again soon.

    It would be bad enough if Obama were merely dithering about Afghanistan, but he’s dithering with empathy for the troops!

  15. 15
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    This post should be printed out and stuffed down the throats of all those braying wingnuts. Fuck. Them.

  16. 16
    kay says:

    @Violet:

    The public option is the oddest, because it polls so well.

    The public option is the most popular part of health care reform by far.

    I’ve looked at the poll questions and people seem to intuitively “get” the idea that an option would be handy to have around. People are freaking desperate for an option. They’re shackled to employers (to get employer-provided insurance) and feeling victimized by their insurance provider, so I completely understand why “option” makes them so happy. “I could be….free!” They’re thinking.

    Inexplicably and incredibly, Senators hate it.

    The big, scary bugaboo of this whole debate is what people want, hand’s down. Politicians are just stubbornly resisting the one thing nearly everyone agrees on.

  17. 17
    soonergrunt says:

    You can’t possibly be surprised.

  18. 18
    David Hunt says:

    @kay:

    Inexplicably and incredibly, Senators hate [the Public Option]

    Nothing inexplicable about it. The fact that their constituents overwhelmingly favor the Public Option is totally overshadowed by the fact that the Insurance Companies that help finance their re-election campaigns hate it. To (mis)quote Charlie Wilson’s War, “I’m not elected by voters; I’m elected by contributors.”

    To view it in the more favorable light, these pussy Senators are afraid that some other guy is going to be fronted by the insurance companies and they’ll be stuck trying to get a job in the real world.

    In a less favorable light, these slimy Senators either have a financial stake in insurance companies and other major players in the Medical Industry prospering or are effectively sending out a “resume” to the insurance industry for a lobbying position when they leave Congress to make real money.

  19. 19
    Seebach says:

    Listening to MSNBC discuss the Sarah Palin book tour fans makes me just want to die.

  20. 20
    J in WA says:

    Thanks for reminding us of these stories, John. With the bustle of the relentless “news” cycle (which is mostly just commentary and opinion, anyway), these things slip below the surface all too fast. And we need to be reminded of just how wrong these people can be.

  21. 21
    Punchy says:

    I cannot believe Beauchamp stayed in active duty, line-of-fire gigs. He had to know at the time the likelihood for a fragging was approaching infinity. This guy has more stones than his whole platoon.

    Was it his book/article that led to his commander’s demise? Was it that article that opened the investy?

  22. 22
    Jean says:

    That whole MSNBC discussion of Palin’s book tour is sickening. The snippet from the Beck interview with her over Ft. Hood is worse. Wake me when she leaves the public arena.

  23. 23
    cmorenc says:

    Stuart Koehl DOES have plenty of military knowledge and experience to back up his claims – which he acquired while honoroably serving the past several years as a Lt. Col. in the 42nd fighting keyboard brigade, and the 82nd HotAirBorne Division. He has also earned the Medal of Valor in Verbal Combat from Brig. General William Kristol.

    What credibility does some anonymous alleged Army Captain have against such solid credentials as Lt. Col. Koehl has?

  24. 24
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    So when are you going to go on Colbert to discuss this, John?

  25. 25
    Comrade Dread says:

    Imagine if today’s Republican party had been running things during WWII. On second thought, don’t imagine this; you will have nightmares.

    “Well, son, after George Bush declared war on Japan, we fought on and invaded their country and then we all sort of lost interest in it and decided to go ahead and bomb and invade China cause, hell, I don’t know, they probably looked alike to him so they were obviously hostile to America, plus you know, some kind of bulls*** about Dragons of Mass Destruction.

    We all kept telling him we should really devote our efforts to finishing off Japan and helping the Brits fight the Nazis, but they kept shrieking Pearl Harbor changed everything and were busy labeling sushi ‘Liberty Fish’ and organizing boycotts of RKO for putting out ‘that communist propaganda’ Citizen Kane.

    And that, kid, is why we speak German today. Any questions?”

  26. 26
    Stefan says:

    and the 82nd HotAirBorne Division.

    Also known as the Screamin’ Chickenhawks.

  27. 27
    soonergrunt says:

    @Stefan: The Screaming Chickenhawks Chickenshits.

    There, FIFY.
    Or as I like to call them, the Oxygen Thieves.

  28. 28
    Stefan says:

    Ballad of the Yellow Berets:

    Fighting typists from the sky
    fearless men who spin and lie
    men who don’t mean what they say
    the brave men of the Yellow Beret
    Cheetoh stains upon their chest
    these fat boys, America’s best
    one hundred men will type today but
    only three win the Yellow Beret
    trained to live off wingnut welfare
    trained to cheat and just not care
    men who skulk by night and day
    courage taken from the Yellow Beret

    (Chorus)
    Cheetoh stains upon their chest
    these fat boys, America’s best
    one hundred men will type today
    but only three win the Yellow Beret

  29. 29
    Stefan says:

    and the 82nd HotAirBorne Division.

    I served with the 101st Chairborne, myself.

  30. 30
    Docrailgun says:

    Our soldiers not angels? Blasphemy! Traitor! (insert other interjections here)

    Seriously, though… people do stupid things all the time, especially when you train them to kill, give them a weapon, and point them at a dehumanized enemy that supposedly wants to kill said soldier because he’s “free” (they hate us because we’re free, the Great Leader said). That’s not an excuse for the stupid and horrifying things, far from it. In fact, what I’m suggesting to the wingnuts is that just because someone is a soldier “fighting for our freedoms” or a politician ordering torture “to keep us safe” doesn’t absolve them of the crime they committed.

    We actually have ways in our civil legal system to protect people who do horrible things when they’re insane.

    Republicans are supposedly the party of law and order, why can’t they trust the law and the courts to do the right thing? For a group of people who love to rally around the Founders dislike of monarchy, they certainly do sound autocratic… it seems like the wingnuts only believe that rule from on high by an elightened theocratic despot works. Though that amusingly (to me) sounds a lot like Iran. Hmm.

    Honestly, I don’t know how people like Turdblossom, Skeletor Rumsfeld, and Darth Cheney live with themselves.

  31. 31
    HyperIon says:

    @David Hunt: To view it in the more favorable light, these pussy Senators are afraid that some other guy is going to be fronted by the insurance companies and they’ll be stuck trying to get a job in the real world.

    Think about it. Would you want to give up such a great gig as being a senator? After all the BS you had to swallow and peddle to get there?

    Let’s face it. Principles are now, as ever, in short supply.
    And these days the stakes are just too high for mere principles. That’s why we need religion…to scare people into doing right. ;=)

  32. 32
    Mojotron says:

    Stefan, I think “dough (or doughy) boys” sounds better than “fat”, plus has the 2x entendre thing going for it. Otherwise golden.

  33. 33
    Liberty60 says:

    Is it a coincidence that the same people who insist vehemently that “our glorious troops are America’s best” and practically deify anything military, are almost always the same ones who have never served?

    No, in fact is is for this very reason they act this way. Because they never served, they view the military as a magic tool, that solves any known problem.

  34. 34
    Ugh says:

    Stefan – if you’re going to steal my material at least give me credit.

    And I’m pretty sure I put that up as a comment here as well but too lazy to look right now.

  35. 35
    John Sears says:

    I feel just awful for Beachamp. Here you have a man who’s trying to do the right thing, serving his country but also serving the truth, writing about a group of people who, you know, were later exposed as murderers. He gets slandered all across the world, and when, in fact, he’s proven absolutely correct, not a word of apology is ever given. Disgraceful.

    If My Lai happened today you’d have The Weekly Standard ‘proving’ that the massacre could not have occurred with a bag of green plastic army men and a Transformer from under the Power Line Christmas tree.

  36. 36
    lutton says:

    That’s President McCain. Huzzah!

  37. 37
    lutton says:

    Also. These nuts were so emboldened by the whole ‘rathergate’ incident that they now individually and collectively seek the ‘glory’ of such outcomes in any scenario.

    God, I hope that Rather lawsuit bears some fruit to further discredit those morans…

    What’s going on with that suit anyway?

  38. 38
    Stefan says:

    Stefan – if you’re going to steal my material at least give me credit. And I’m pretty sure I put that up as a comment here as well but too lazy to look right now.

    Damn! Didn’t see it before, swear to non-denominational deity or lack thereof. Just goes to show that some great ideas suggest themselves.

  39. 39
    Cromagnon says:

    Sorry, the Army doesn’t work that way. Platoons are organic units, consisting of three rifle squads, a heavy weapons squad, and a headquarters section. You can’t break it up. It is the smallest building block in the infantry that can conduct fire-and-movement tactics.

    Actually fire and movement tactics can be conducted by just two soldiers, a fire-team, or a squad, so no a platoon in not the smallest formation that can conduct such tactics.

    As for understrength platoons, thats nothing new at all. I was a grunt in the 82nd Airborne in the early ’80s, at a time the division was alledgedly and officially staffed at over 100%, yet I never once saw a full strength infantry platoon or squad. Ever… I always called it ‘Army math’

  40. 40
    Jeff Fecke says:

    Come on, John, what do you know about the military? Have you ever been pinned down in your mother’s basement, out of Mountain Dew, Cheetos supplies dangerously low, hoping against hope that you can find some bit of ammo in Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism: The Totalitarian Temptation from Silly Putty to Satan to hold back the liberal horde for just a few more minutes, until Michelle Malkin can arrive with reinforcements?

    Remember the true heroes, John. Not those namby-pamby “soldiers” who “fight” our “enemies” while risking their “lives.”

  41. 41
    El Cid says:

    @John Sears:

    If My Lai happened today you’d have The Weekly Standard ‘proving’ that the massacre could not have occurred with a bag of green plastic army men and a Transformer from under the Power Line Christmas tree.

    First, no newspaper would touch the story until it had been published by the tiny leftist New Dispatch News Service and several local ‘alternative’ monthly and less frequent papers around the nation.

    Second, the public reaction backing the convicted Calley was not just among some obscure right wing writers:

    Many in America were outraged by Calley’s sentence; Georgia’s governor Jimmy Carter instituted “American Fighting Man’s Day” and asked Georgians to drive for a week with their lights on.[6] Indiana’s governor asked all state flags to be flown at half-staff for Calley, and Utah’s and Mississippi’s governors also disagreed with the verdict.[6] The Arkansas, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey, and South Carolina legislatures requested clemency for Calley.[6] Alabama’s governor George Wallace visited Calley in the stockade and requested that Nixon pardon him. 79% of Americans polled disagreed with Calley’s verdict.[6]

    Yeah, that’s right — conservative Southern Democrat and Georgian Jimmy Carter was outraged that William Calley had been convicted by a military court of the premeditated murder of 22 Vietnamese civilians.

    And a lot of pop culture sided with Calley too.

    The Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley is a 1971 spoken word recording with vocals by Terry Nelson and music by pick-up group C-Company… The song is set to the tune of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. It offers a heroic description of Lieutenant William Calley, who was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for murdering Vietnam civilians in the My Lai… The song was written in April 1970 by Julian Wilson and James M. Smith of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. In November 1970 a few copies of it were issued by Quickit Publishing. In March 1971 Shelby Singleton, publisher of “Harper Valley PTA,” obtained the rights to the song and issued a new recording under his Plantation Records label[1]. The single sold over one million copies in just four days, and was certified gold by the RIAA on 15 April 1971.[2] It went on to sell nearly two million copies,[2] and got “a lot of C&W airplay”.[1]

    As a society, we really would like to believe that we’re better about these sorts of things than we really have been.

  42. 42
    pgbsan says:

    This is clearly great news for John McCain.

  43. 43
    John Sears says:

    @El Cid: Well, yes. Our behavior back then was hardly any better.

    I was more mocking our current batch of whackos than excusing previous batches.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    As a society, we really would like to believe that we’re better about these sorts of things than we really have been.

    The deeper I get into “Nixonland” — and then put the book down long enough to see stories about our corrupt and ineffectual Congress, teabaggers, neocons, ad nauseum — the more I’m convinced that not one god damn thing has changed in this country in the past half century. Someone please tell me I’m wrong.

  45. 45
    Amanda in the South Bay says:

    I think I sorta know who Stuard Koehl is-in a previous life, I may have recognized his name from Byzantine Catholic/Eastern Orthodox message boards. A smart guy, never spent a day in uniform as far as I know (like another real life civilian military analyst named Stuart that I know of), and must fancy himself the undisputed expert on all things military.

  46. 46
    Notorious P.A.T. says:

    Powerline, the Blog of the Year.

  47. 47
    Rudi says:

    Stupak is a Democrat.
    http://blogs.jta.org/politics/.....enate-bill
    http://www.house.gov/stupak/
    http://www.house.gov/stupak/district.shtml
    He represents the upper section of the lower penisula and Upperland. Upperland is beyond rural, more wilderness and inbred Scandinavians…

  48. 48
  49. 49

    @Mike in NC:

    Actually, things have changed — you can’t say “ni–er” out loud in public, so you have to speak in code.

    Lynchings are no longer events that occur in public squares in broad daylight, with the crowd dressed as if for a party.

    A lot of what we’re seeing now is the last wild writhings of a doomed and mortally wounded ideology that has enough strength left to make a lot of noise and do some harm before it dies. But Obama’s election was the crucial blow — a black man was elected to and now occupies the White House, and is our Commander in Chief.

    The next decade — especially the next two years — will be stormy. But we will be better off as a result.

  50. 50
    Gunner says:

    This sort of thing happens all the time in the comments here. In the “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” post below, some guy calling himself “techno” posted the following (responding to an earlier comment that calling Nazis atheists may be a little off because they wore things like “Gott mit uns (God with us)” belt buckles on their uniforms):

    “The Gott mit Uns belt buckle was from World War 1. Yeah I know—hard to keep them apart. Not.”

    If you scroll down the comments, you’ll see people were able to come up with evidence showing techno was full of it, that the “Gott mit uns” buckles were part of Nazi paraphernalia. Surprisingly, techno never got around to replying to those comments.

  51. 51
    Stuart Koehl says:

    It is amusing to see the standard of discourse here has not improved over time, and that my reportage–indeed, my very existence–still grates with your readers, whose knowledge of military affairs is about on par with that of my cats.

    Whenever any of you have anything substantive to say about my writing, you know where I live. In the meanwhile, I wish you all happiness in your perpetual circle jerk.

    Sincerely,

    Stuart Koehl

  52. 52
    eyepaddle says:

    @Gunner

    What? Was there a point to that? Are you saying that a mistaken comment about an arcane detail of German Army uniforms negates the fact that Beauchamp’s NCO has in fact been convicted of murder?

    Because if htat is your point I am TOTALLY with you on that–those two items are completely equivalent.

    And Hi Stu! I am giving you a lot of credit for being able to come in here and manage to be pompously dismissive and insulting without actually saying anything which even approaches being susbstantive. Here’s a tip: even if you are a complete master of all things military, you still owe Beauchamp, and Obama apologies for the two items discussed in this post. You made conclusions based on assumptions, in specific identifiable instances those conclusions have been refuted–deal with it.

  53. 53
    darms says:

    @lutton:
    The Rather lawsuit against CBS? Tossed out in entirety by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court. Supposedly will be appealed to the New York Court of Appeals…

  54. 54
    Stuart Koehl says:

    Do I owe Beauchamps an apology? Were any of his accusations ever proven true? Did he really see a Bradley driver twitch his 30-ton tracked behemoth to run over a dog he couldn’t even see? Has it been proven physically possible to put on a Kevlar PSSGT helmet while simultaneously wearing a rotting human skull on one’s head? Has the badly burned servicewoman supposedly ridiculed by her fellow soldiers ever been identified?

    Regarding the case of the platoon leader sent short-handed to Iraq: if Barack Obama wants to tell tall tales, then he should (a) get the facts straight (i.e., identify the officer as a lieutenant); and (b) be able to put them in context. No rifle platoon in a combat area is ever at full strength. In World War II, the typical Army platoon had a paper strength of 42 men. Most were lucky to have 25 on hand. The rest were either killed, wounded or detached. Big deal.

    Given that, on any given morning I forget more military history than the rest of you chuckleheads will ever know, you can say pretty much what you want. It is true, I have never served in the military. I have worked with the military my entire adult life. It is my experience that those who wear or have worn the uniform vary as much in the quality of their analysis of military affairs as those who have not. Some of the greatest idiots ever to have put pen to paper on military subjects have worn stars on their shoulders. Some of the most perceptive and influential military analysts never spent a day in uniform.

    If you want a hint: evaluate the arguments on their merits, and not on their authors. I haven’t seen anyone on this forum ever address a military issue in a substantive manner, and I am happy to say, this visit has not been any different.

  55. 55
    eyepaddle says:

    Stuart, I feel oddly honored to be going discussing this with such an illustrious wing–err person from Power Line.

    At any rate, it seems that when Obama spoke to the officer in question he WAS a Captain, a Captain who related a story about an experienced that occured when he HAD been a Lieutenant. In other words Obama spoke correctly about the conversation he had had.

    As to Beauchamp, well, he wrote that people he served with weren’t behaving universally as angels, and since one of those soldiers is now a convicted murderer (for murders which occured before Beauchamp put pen to paper) That’s really the main thing. Whether or not you can simulataneoously wear a helemt and a skull is akin to debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

    Or I suppose I could just bring up some unrelated point about how the FM-2 Wildcat used a Curtiss-Wright radial engine instead of the previous model Wildcat’s Pratt and Whitney–and none of them had Water Methanol boosting. That has to prove something, doesn’t it?

  56. 56

    Koehl,

    Has it been proven physically possible to put on a Kevlar PSSGT helmet while simultaneously wearing a rotting human skull on one’s head?

    In Beauchamp’s own words, it was a skull fragment worn “like a yamulke.”

    Has the badly burned servicewoman supposedly ridiculed by her fellow soldiers ever been identified?

    Again, read Beauchamp’s words. She was a contractor.

    Whatever your professional qualifications to speak about the military, you don’t begin to engage in basic reading comprehension. Or even bother with basic grammar — “You know, I’ve heard from an Army captain who was the head of a rifle platoon…” is correct if the individual was a captain when you spoke to them and at some time in the past was a rifle platoon leader.

    Moron.

  57. 57
    Stuart Koehl says:

    I see the esteemed Mr. Elliott is a master of the cutting rhetorical comeback. I am wounded to the quick.

    Fact: You cannot wear anything under a Kevlar fritz hat other than, perhaps, a thin knit cap. The helmets are fitted, and have very close tolerances. You can’t put one on while wearing something hard with sharp edges (not to mention really, really smelly).

    Fact: the woman in question, whether contractor or service personnel, has never been identified or come forward; the incident has never been verified by another person willing to go on record, and thus it ought to remain just what it is–a figment of Beauchamp’s imagination.

    Fact: Whenever liberals get caught out in a whopper, they resort to grammatical and syntactical games (as in, “depends on your definition of is”. Truth be told, doesn’t really matter whether the officer was a captain or a lieutenant, whether he commanded a company or a platoon, his story was not unusual in any war at any time, so why would Obama make it one, other than his lack of familiarity with military realities?

    To Eyepaddle:

    If you read my works in their entirety, you would see that I have a very unvarnished, unromanticized view of the American soldier (or any soldier, for that matter). I could tell you stories of the GI of World War II that would make your hair stand on end, if it did not cause you to faint or lose your cookies. So, what do you want for examples? Killing prisoners out of hand? Raping women? Wanton destruction of property? Desecration of the dead? Desertion in the face of the enemy? I can provide numerous documented examples from the Greatest Generation, and from any other war you care to name. It brings out the worst as well as the best in men. What I can say, with a high degree of confidence, is this army, fighting in this war (or “these wars”, if you prefer to keep them separate) are incomparably more professional, incomparably better behaved, and in many ways more consistently heroic than their forefathers. When you compare them to their adversaries, the contrast is even more stark.

    Beauchamp’s sin was not in saying that (as Kipling put it), “single men in barracks don’t grow into plaster saints”, but in calumnizing U.S. forces as a whole through fictionalized accounts (not very good ones, at that) attempting to paint them in the worst possible colors and to turn public opinion against them. There is a legal term for writing defamatory falsehoods about a person in a publication: libel. Unfortunately, libel applies only to individuals, not groups. If it did, Beauchamp would be the defendant in a massive class action law suit. That aside, the truth has always been an affirmative defense against charges of libel, and if Beauchamp had the goods, all he had to do was produce them.

    Inter alia, I do not blog on Power Line.

  58. 58
    ChrisS says:

    Nice to see who’s on the receiving end of wingnut welfare and military-industrial complex welfare. Nice, twofer if you can get it without actually getting your hands dirty.

    “If you want a hint: evaluate the arguments on their merits, and not on their authors.”

    On the merits, your argument is a load of shit. Oh, ACORN. Also.

  59. 59
    Stuart Koehl says:

    Again, to ChrisS:

    Quod erat demonstrandum. You seem to have problems getting beyond your inchoate rage in order to muster something that might pass for rational discourse. I hope you don’t intend to mount your thesis defense (assuming there is one) in the same manner.

  60. 60
    jon says:

    Mr Koehl if this was your arguement:

    Regarding the case of the platoon leader sent short-handed to Iraq: if Barack Obama wants to tell tall tales, then he should (a) get the facts straight (i.e., identify the officer as a lieutenant); and (b) be able to put them in context.

    No rifle platoon in a combat area is ever at full strength. In World War II, the typical Army platoon had a paper strength of 42 men. Most were lucky to have 25 on hand. The rest were either killed, wounded or detached. Big deal.

    Then why didn’t you just make it in your original post? The fact is you were accusing Mr Obama of making the story up and when proven wrong you change the arguement. So unbecoming of someone of your skills!

  61. 61

    Jesus H. Christ, Koehl, you are so full of shit. Beauchamp doesn’t describe his comrade as wearing the skull fragment UNDER his helmet: “One private…found the top part of a human skull… As he marched around with the skull on his head, people dropped shovels and sandbags, folding in half with laughter … No one was disgusted. Me included.”

    Like I said, you lack reading comprehension skills of the sort taught to high school sophomores.

  62. 62
    formerBradleydriver says:

    The Bradley Fighting Vehicle is controlled using a yoke. If a dog, or any other object, were towards the rear of the vehicle, it would be impossible not to hit it if you just jerked the yoke really hard. Also, dogs run in front of vehicles all the time. Of course, Stuart Koehl would already know this from his extensive military experience, and anyone advising him wouldn’t have an agenda.
    Koehl also claimed that a skull fragment wouldn’t fit under a kevlar? The pads under an ACH (Army Combat Helmet) appear nearly an inch thick (I’m looking at them now, without the benefit of ruler though). Take a few of them out and unless its a fragment of T.Rex skull, you can fit it under the helmet.

    I guess its not enough to think that American soldiers are morally incapable of doing the wrong thing, Koehl also wants to believe that its physically impossible? What an ass.

  63. 63
    formerBradleydriver says:

    Its not so hard to believe that no one in Beauchamps unit came forward about running over dogs or playing with bones…I mean, they kept the canal executions secret (for a time), how hard would it be to not come forward about dogs?

    And why would the burn victim ever come forward? Assuming that she even followed the story, if she really wanted some sort of revenge its pretty obvious that not identifying yourself would be a better sort of vengeance.

    And how was Beauchamp suppose to gather supporting evidence when his soon to be convicted 1SG took away his computer, phone, weapon, and free time?

    Why is Koehl more outraged at at Beauchamp for writing about wrong doings than at the murderers who, besides breaking a variety of UCMJ articles, did something that was counterproductive to the entire war effort?

  64. 64
    Koz says:

    Wth does this have to do with the price of tea in China? Obama has been President for nine months already. The problem with Obama’s Afghanistan strategy isn’t that it hasn’t worked, it’s that he doesn’t know what it is yet.

    Well figure it out then. If you’re short on time, cut out a few fundraisers or press releases about Sarah Palin.

  65. 65
    Stuart Koehl says:

    Dear Former Bradley Driver.

    I know the Bradley is controlled by a yoke. I’ve been in one, ridden in one. Certainly, you can tug on the yoke (hard), but that doesn’t affect the issue of how you even know a dog is on the right side of the vehicle. As a driver, you must know that’s your blind side, and you can’t see anything at all over there. Furthermore, your blind zone extends to about six or eight feet in front of the bow, so that’s also kind of a dog-free zone. Overall, I find the story ludicrously improbable, unless, of course, Iraqi dogs are so doped up on whatever it is Iraqi dogs smoke that they won’t get out of the way of a clanking, roaring, twelve foot high, thirty ton monster.

    By the way, the ACH wasn’t being used back in ’04-05; most troops had the old PSSGT fritz hat.

    Stuart

  66. 66
    formerBradleydriver says:

    Stuart Koehl –

    Ships have bows, Brads have decks. And theres a reason why the BC’s have “Pope Glass” around the tops of the hatch – because they’re always standing up, helping to guide the driver. Most experienced drivers don’t really need the guidance much. I didnt, after a while.
    The entire right side is not a blind side. Sorry, its not. Your vision is limited somewhat by the fact that the brad is not entirely symmetrical, that’s true. But you can still see.
    And dogs do run into large vehicles. I’ve seen it.
    I appreciate your trying to convince me that these things are impossible, but I’ve witnessed them. While serving in Iraq. Thanks for the lesson in whats possible on the battlefield, but I’ll just trust my own experiences over your politically motivated, condescending, second-hand BS. Hope it makes you feel like one of the boys.

  67. 67
    Stuart Koehl says:

    Former Brad Driver must not have looked closely at the blind zone diagrams in FM 3-21.71.

  68. 68
    Stuart Koehl says:

    Former Brad Driver must not have looked closely at the blind zone diagrams in FM 3-21.71.

Comments are closed.