Thursday, August 09, 2007

Someone Is Lying

Ann Althouse points out what I and others have been saying from the outset in the ScottScam mess at The New Republic.

Someone is lying.

If that someone (or group of people) is lying to the US Army, they're going to face serious repercussions under Army regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. If they're lying to TNR, the problem becomes TNR's.

Note that the US Army says that they interviewed all members of Beauchamp's unit and found no truth to the matters asserted in Beauchamp's TNR pieces. TNR claims that they spoke to five members of Beauchamp's unit and TNR claimed that they corroborated Beauchamp's story.
The Army said this week it had concluded an investigation of Beauchamp's claims and found them false.

"During that investigation, all the soldiers from his unit refuted all claims that Pvt. Beauchamp made in his blog," Sgt. 1st Class Robert Timmons, a spokesman in Baghdad for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., said in an e-mail interview.
That's the Army's angle, and they investigated the matter under oath. Those who made statements did so with the threat of violating the UCMJ if they lied. So, what did TNR do? Well, they didn't exactly fact check before publication, and it took questions from milbloggers and curious readers to get TNR to reexamine Beauchamp's work:
After the pieces were questioned, the magazine said it extensively re-reported his account, contacting dozens of people, including former soldiers, forensic experts, war reporters and Army public affairs officers.

The New Republic said it also spoke to five members of Beauchamp's company, all of whom corroborated Beauchamp's anecdotes but requested anonymity.
Actually, TNR never named any of their sources - in the military, forensic experts, or war reporters. They did mention Major Lamb, but his comments saying that the Army found Beauchamp's pieces were baseless was curiously missing from TNR's 8/2 statement. TNR continues to ignore the US Army position in its ongoing hole-digging exercise.

Ace still wonders how TNR is counting their corroborating witnesses. Hot Air notes that TNR's vacation can't last forever [me: sure it could - a permanent vacation could be forthcoming for the editors who pushed the bogus stories in the first place and then defended the indefensible]. When you have the AP and other outlets banging down the door asking questions on the journalistic ethics of running the Beauchamp stories, you know you have problems.

Michael Goldfarb weighs in on the latest AP report.

TNR's behavior has gone into Rathergatesque territory. As you may recall, CBS claimed that they had experts review the materials and they claimed it proved the veracity of the documents showing that President Bush didn't complete his service in the Texas Air National Guard and that his reviews were less than stellar. Well, those experts turned out never to have actually seen the documents.

TNR claimed to have gotten in touch with the manufacturer of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, which was featured in one of Beauchamp's pieces, and was last seen running over dogs and running through reinforced concrete buildings.

Well, Bob Owens got in touch with Doug Coffey [ed: incorrect attribution/typo fixed], who is spokesman for BAE, which makes the Bradley. That's when things got interesting.

Let's just say that the permanent vacation option for editors at TNR just got a whole lot more real.

Did someone say Permanent Vacation?

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