Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Continuing the New Republic spin

While the kids are busily attacking their new column idea, I'd like to serve as a conduit, in their stead, of updating readers about the New Republic flap that exploded across the blogs last week. Brief recap:

The New Republic posted story called "shock Troops" written by a supposed soldier under the pseudonym of "Scott Thomas." If you have no read the initial piece, please stop by the Weekly Standard, and read Mr. Goldfarb's story covering Mr. "Thomas's" assertions. Unlike the liberal blogs, Mr. Goldfarb continually updates the blogger's responses and research regarding the piece. The milbloggers have done a phenomenal job -- a true yeoman's service -- in basically debunking Mr. "Thomas's" allegations. They have not used snide comments, but rather their own experiences in the field to shed light on the half-truths and misnomers that were originally cited in the piece.

Over at Hot Air, Bryan notes the "snarky" attitude Franklin Foer expressed towards bloggers, in general, when Howard Kurtz spoke with him:

As the criticism mounts, Foer says he sees an ideological agenda.

“A lot of the questions raised by the conservative blogosphere boil down to, would American soldiers be capable of doing things like the things described in the diarist. The practical jokes are exceptionally mild compared to things that have been documented by the U.S. military. Conservative bloggers make a bit of a living denying any bad news that emanates from Iraq.”

I read the piece in question and I disagree with Mr. Foer. The "practical jokes" are beyond the pale, and is comparable to conduct unbecoming. Furthermore, I fail to see where an officer or a senior NCO would allow such behavior with relation to the tree excerpts. While I have never served in the military, I do enough people in the military that would not have accepted or appreciated the outbursts of unprofessionalism.

I also take issue with Mr. Foer's allegation that conservative bloggers do not notice when bad news comes from Iraq. On the contrary, we are among the first to acknowledge that things have not gone well over there. On the flip side, the liberal side of the equation refuses to acknowledge when good occurs in Iraq, such as the early and steady success of the surge mission being conducted by Gen. David Petreus.

Lastly, the tone of Mr. "Thomas's" piece is one in which many soldiers are painted int he same light. That being that they all act this way. That is patently false. If Mr. Foer is comparing these unproven incidents with the likes of the abuse from Abu Ghraib, it should be noted that the media jumped all over that particular story, and like the diarist, they painted the troops all in the same light.

From a legal point-of-view, Mr. "Thomas" has quite a bit to prove here. After reading through the analysis provided by milbloggers, his "detail" mistakes raise red flags that the person penning these pieces is either A) not in the military; B) is relaying stories told by soldiers in Iraq, thereby never having been in Iraq; or C) has a vivid imagination. One of the statements Mr. "Thomas" made about "square-back" Glock rounds makes no sense. Glocks, like all other weapons used by the US military, all have ammunition that is round. Square ammunition would not be fed properly through the firearm, into the chamber, and it wouldn't be ejected properly fromt he firearm in question.

Mr. Foer's defense is a worthy one, but it fails to address the criticism being voiced by military professionals and experts with regard to the details. Either someone is embellishing fictional incidents, or he is outright lying. And if he is lying about this, can we be sure that he is telling the truth with regard to his identity? The New Republic needs to be less snide about this, and more forthcoming. Questions have been raised, and the burden of proof lies in Mr. Foer's court. It is time he proves that Mr. "Thomas" is who he claims to be, and then it is up to Mr. "Thomas" to prove that these things happened.

Sabrina McKinney

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good blog. The New Republic credits Thomas being a free lance writer soldier serving in Iraq. I question he's a soldier serving in our ranks. Our troops have a sense of humor that civilians don't necessarily understand but Thomas has attacked the troops. The troops would know he's "writer" and they would not put up with his condemning them. His superior's would know what he writes. He's bound by the UCMJ. He should be charged. There's something that smells about him. Rawriter

July 22, 2007 at 2:38 PM  

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