Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How Does The New Republic Spin This?

I was totally fascinated reading the following "Flash" report on Drudge (scroll down for a copy), and then the "Document 1" when I took a break for lunch. When I returned, the "Shock Docs" item was gone from Drudge's front page, and the links to the documents no longer worked.

Apparently The New Republic is not giving up without a fight. In "Document 1" they were trying to talk Army Private Beauchamp into not giving interviews to the Washington Post and Newsweek, presumably not until he gives The New Republic a chance to frame the exposure of his (Beauchamp's) lies and fabrications in a more favorable light.

The New Republic editors Foer and Scoblic kept reminding Beauchamp how they stood behind him, and how he swore to them his stories were true.

I hope soon to see Documents 2 and 3, because Document 1 brought the points home that The New Republic was stuck with a story in print that they took on the word of its author, that the author and the Army both have repudiated many key points, and now that author doesn't want to have anything more to do with it.

Below is the article as originally posted on Drudge:


WED Oct 24 2007 12:29:44 ET

The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained internal documents from the investigation of THE NEW REPUBLIC'S "Baghdad Diarist", Scott Thomas Beauchamp, an Army private turned war correspondent who reported tales of military malfeasance from the Iraq War front. The documents appear to expose that once the veracity of Beauchamp's diaries were called into question, and an Army investigation ensued, THE NEW REPUBLIC has failed to publicly account for publishing slanderous falsehoods about the U.S. military in a time of war.

Document 1: Beauchamp Refuses to Stand by Story (Beauchamp Transcript Part 1)
THE NEW REPUBLIC has been standing behind the stories from their Baghdad Diarist, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, since questions were first raised about their accuracy over the summer. On August 10, the editors at TNR accused the Army of "stonewalling" their investigation into the stories by preventing them from speaking with Beauchamp. The DRUDGE REPORT has since obtained the transcript of a September 7 call between TNR editor Frank Foer, TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic, and Private Beauchamp. During the call, Beauchamp declines to stand by his stories, telling his editors that "I just want it to end. I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything really." The editors respond that "we just can't, in good conscience, continue to defend the piece" without an explanation, but Beauchamp responds only that he "doesn't care what the public thinks." The editors then ask Beauchamp to cancel scheduled interviews with the WASHINGTON POST and NEWSWEEK.

Document 2: Beauchamp Admits to "Gross Exaggerations and Inaccurate Allegations" (Beauchamp Transcript Part 2)
The DRUDGE REPORT has also obtained a signed "Memorandum for Record" in which Beauchamp recants his stories and concedes the facts of the Army's investigation -- that his stories contained "gross exaggerations and inaccurate allegations of misconduct" by his fellow soldiers.

Document 3: Army Investigation: Tales "Completely Fabricated," Beauchamp Wanted to be Hemingway
The third document obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT is the Army's official report on the investigation into the allegations made by Private Beauchamp. The Army concluded that Beauchamp had "completely fabricated" the story of mocking a disfigured woman, that his description of a "Saddam-era dumping ground" was false, and that claims that he and his men had deliberately targeted dogs with their armored vehicles was "completely unfounded." Further the report stated "that Private Beauchamp desired to use his experiences to enhance his writing and provide legitimacy to his work possibly becoming the next Hemingway." The report concludes that "Private Beauchamp takes small bits of truth and twists and exaggerates them into fictional accounts that he puts forth as the whole truth for public consumption."


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