Below are the ever-multiplying updates to the latest from The New Republic on the Beauchamp situation.
Update 3: TNR's last paragraph just doesn't hold water (much like the rest of the editorial). The claim that their attempt to "re-report" the case was stopped in-progress by the Army's opening of an investigation is belied by this statement made by the editors last week:
According to Major Kirk Luedeke, a public affairs officer at Forward Operating Base Falcon, a formal military investigation has also been launched into the incidents described in the piece.
Although the article was rigorously edited and fact-checked before it was published, we have decided to go back and, to the extent possible, re-report every detail
So last week, the Army investigation began before TNR's "re-reporting" did, and this week the Army's beginning its investigation halted TNR's already-in-progress "re-reporting"?
Update 2: Mike Goldfarb has posted his email exchange with TNR's Franklin Foer at the beginning of the controversy.
Update: Greyhawk points out via email:
Beuhring is a waypoint - a stop-off on the way into Iraq. As such, people come and go all the time, the population is extremely transitory but always large. Because of this, Beauchamp's current version of the story is one that will be impossible to prove or disprove - it's almost akin to claiming "actually I saw her at McDonalds in the Atlanta Airport one Saturday afternoon".
But ... the key point - this is a "pre-war" story, not a tale of the effects of war on American soft tissue.
This is a very important point; given TNR's claim that the entire purpose behind the series was to describe "the morally and emotionally distorting effects of war" (calling "Beauchamp's latest...a piece [that] was a startling confession of shame about some disturbing conduct, both his own and that of his fellow soldiers"), the fact that he carried out one of the most revolting acts he describes before he ever went to Iraq and experienced "the morally and emotionally distorting effects of war says far more about his breeding and his parents' poor job of raising him to be anything other than a horrible human being than it does about the horrible President Bush and his horrible war.
As Ace of Spades puts it:
he just happened to make an "error" that blamed his vicious cruelty on Bush's war in Iraq, when the actual fact (he did this before going to Iraq) suggests his vicious cruelty is due to his genetics and upbringing.
But not quite as good an opening graf that way, eh?
So he makes "a mistake," forgetting that Kuwait is not in Iraq.
- At 2:23 AM, Mike H. said...
Is there any chance that STB can get sent TAD to Saudi Arabia for about forty years, like Lt. Phillip Nolan of "The Man Without a Country?" That should be long enough for him to transgress Saudi law or custom.