Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

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.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Another Update On The Beauchamp Mess

Yesterday, TNR released a statement regarding their investigations into the Baghdad Diarist controversy. Here is the link to the statement. It is lengthy, about the size of a column, and its veracity sounds like that of a child trying to weasel out of a punishment for doing something wrong.

In their statement they claim that they have corroborated everything that Private Beauchamp said. Oh, save for that one little thing that I reported on yesterday, namely that the mocking of the disfigured woman did not occur at FOB Falcon, but rather at a staging base in Kuwait, Camp Buehring. Now remember what I said yesterday, about how much you could trust this story with just this little mistake? Ace weighs in:

Yep -- his confirming witness, upon whose word he claims vindication, apparently changed his story along the way. Because originally Foer wrote to Michael Goldfarb that the "melted" woman was "confirmed" exactly where Beauchamp claimed she was, FOB Falcon, but now can only seem to "confirm" her in another country, admitting the previous "confirmation" was an "error" or a "mistake."

Why did Foer's "confirming witness" change his story, praytell? And why should we trust his "confirmations" on the other claims, such as they are, won't also wind up ultimately having taken place in Kalamazoo, MI at Dungeons & Dragons Camp?

I said yesterday that with the admission of TNR that they made a mistake, they immediately threw the whole piece into question; a point that was not lost on Ace last night as he went through their statement, and shredded every last little questionable detail. With that in mind, I present the military's answer to Franklin Foer,and it is not one he is going to like much. As a matter of fact, given their statement, Mr. Foer has some "'splaining" to do:

After a thorough investigation that lasted nearly a week the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division has concluded that the allegation made by Private Thomas Scott Beauchamp, the "Baghdad Diarist", have been:

"refuted by members of his platoon and proven to be false"

Whoops. You all catch that? "refuted by members of his platoon." It has a nice ring to it, almost like his own comrades telling him to pound sand. On the heels of that statement, Ace has the $64,000 question:

Anyone willing to venture a guess why TNR broke its vacation and rushed out a half-assed non-confirmation YESTERDAY, conveniently beating this report to market?

The answer is dirt simple. TNR is trying to obfuscate their complicity in publishing lies. The rush to get their statement out throws the issue into contention. They say the story checks out. the military says it is crap. TNR hopes that its readers will buy their side, and ignore the military's own internal investigation, despite the fact that he is being called a liar by the members of his own platoon. It is, in essence, a "he said, she said" moment, and TNR is counting on dragging this out rather than doing the right thing and admitting they printed uncorroborated lies.

Speaking of which, Confederate Yankee sent off an inquiry this morning regarding the disfigured woman at, now, Camp Buehring. The officer he contacted was one Major Rene D. Russo, Third Army USARCENT PAO. This was her response:

We have received other media queries on the alleged incident, but have not been able to find anyone to back it up. There is not a police report or complaint filed on this incident during that timeframe. Right now it is considered to be a Urban Legend or Myth.

I am still researching the incident and will have to get back with you later with any new developments.

(This needs to be on record for "doubting Thomas's out there about Major Russo. Her identity is confirmed by Bryan @ Hot Air as she was the PAO that helped him and Michelle on their trip to Iraq and Kuwait earlier this year.) I expect that he will receive a letter shortly confirming the urban legend/myth. Think about this for second. If the woman's face was truly as bad as Private Beauchamp claimed, then why was she still abroad? Civilian contractor or not, why was she still in Iraq instead of back here in the states recovering, and receiving corrective surgery. My God, the wonders of medical science, people; her face could have been corrected from such an explosion. Or was the embellishment supposed to show a hard @$$ woman, that deep down inside, she breaks down and cries when someone makes fun of her. The whole thing sounded implausible from the start, and it is even more suspect now.

According to Ace, TNR claims they have three soldiers that confirm her existence, but only one confirms the incident because he claimed he joined in on the mocking of her. (Is this the same "corroborating witness" TNR used to confirm that the incident occurred in another country, and nine months from the date it supposedly happened?) Evidently it is. But what about the regular, well-respected journalistic code that says you need two witnesses to confirm a story. Furthermore, TNR uses the New York Times vaunted "unnamed source" tactic, and they still expect detractors and critics to buy this story.

As for the letter that Confederate Yankee received, Ace weighs in with this little nugget:

As for the lack of a police report: That's not really strong proof either, because even though I imagine this behavior could get someone in trouble, one could also imagine this "melted" woman, if she exists, was so mortified by the cruel mocking of Scott Beauchamp himself (before he was scarred by war -- imagine what he's like now) that she couldn't bring herself to file one.

But the Kuwait PAO, who I imagine knows his way around the base, doesn't seem to recall this woman either -- or at least he doesn't say so. If he knows of this woman, he could presumably just ask her about it.

Ironically, if Scott Beauchamp did viciously mock this war-scarred woman, she could be the one to save his ass by telling the world he did in fact drive her away from the chowhall in tears.

And yet, somehow, I'm not sure if she'll be particularly eager to do so.

If you were in her shoes, would you be willing to do so? As she was not in uniform (a MUST in the Army, per regulations), she would likely leave him twisting in the wind as payback. that is, of course, provided that she exists.

The thing that strikes me is that TNR is doing it's best to spin this, putting them and Private Beauchamp, in a good light. that he did tell the truth, and they have corroborated his statements. The military claims that TNR is full of horse hockey, but what do "grunts" know, right. This is disgusting. TNR is standing behind their man, despite the evidence that keeps mounting from the military that he lied, and they are simply dropping the whole incident in the court of public opinion hoping that the public will believe them over the military investigators.

Ace is spot-on. Franklin Foer does not want to tell Elspeth Reeve that Private Beauchamp, her husband, is a lying sack.



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