Beauchamp and The New Republic Hung by Their Own Petard

What a shocker. Now, maybe the fabulist/diarist will fade into long-overdue obscurity.

SHOCK DOCS: THE NEW REPUBLIC ‘SHOCK TROOPS’ STORY COLLAPSES
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.

…..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.

……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.

……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.”

Link: http://www.drudgereport.com/flash8.htm

For some reason, the documents containing TNR’s interview with Beauchamp were pulled from Drudge but Michelle Malkin and HotAir.com were able to save them:

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The Army findings:

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The entire story and additional information here:

http://hotair.com/archives/2007/10/24/drudge-leaked-documents-prove-tnrs-beauchamp-story-has-collapsed/

and here: http://michellemalkin.com/2007/10/24/drudge-the-beauchamp-transcripts/

TNR is still trying to cover their ass.  Admitting they fucked up beyond belief might have saved at least a shred of credibility.  Just reading the interview and Beauchamp’s blithe responses makes me want to vomit.  So far, there’s been a deafening silence on the TNR website. I can hardly wait to read their final sorry-assed excuse.

Update: Foer broke his silence long enough to whine:

“It’s maddening to see the Army selectively leak to the Drudge Report things that we’ve been trying to obtain from them through Freedom of Information Act requests,” Mr. Foer said. “This fits a pattern in this case where the Army has leaked a lot of stuff to right wing blogs.”
Link: http://www.observer.com/term/51326

How dare the Army interfere with our efforts to censor and spin this story the way we see fit?  How dare they leak documents that prove Beauchamp was the fraud everyone knew?

TNR has claimed throughout this sordid espisode that the Army forbid Beauchamp to comment or speak to the media. That, as evidenced by the transcripts, is an out and out lie. Beauchamp was free to talk, TNR knew this, but told him to keep quiet. Then they turn around and accuse the Army of gagging him.

Foer and company need to step back, take a breath and write a detailed apology for their journalistic malfeasance. Redactions have become nothing more than cover-ups and lame excuses instead of dignified, truthful explainations.

Foer, you’ve been Glass’d.

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