Sunday, August 12, 2007
Come Out, Come Out, Where Ever You Are
...we continue to investigate the anecdotes recounted in the Baghdad Diarist. Unfortunately, our efforts have been severely hampered by the U.S. Army. Although the Army says it has investigated Beauchamp's article and has found it to be false, it has refused our--and others'--requests to share any information or evidence from its investigation. What's more, the Army has rejected our requests to speak to Beauchamp himself, on the grounds that it wants "to protect his privacy."
At the same time the military has stonewalled our efforts to get to the truth, it has leaked damaging information about Beauchamp to conservative bloggers.
Here is how the Weekly Standard (by Michael Goldfarb who now owns this story) responds, with a note from Col. Steve Boylan :
We are not stonewalling anyone. There are official statements that are out there are on the record from several of us and nothing has changed.
We are not preventing him from speaking to TNR or anyone. He has full access to the Morale Welfare and Recreation phones that all the other members of the unit are free to use. It is my understanding that he has been informed of the requests to speak to various members of the media, both traditional and non-traditional and has declined. That is his right.
We will not nor can we force a Soldier to talk to the media or his family or anyone really for that matter in these types of issues.
As Mark Steyn writes, quoting Goldfarb: ...the army isn't stonewalling, Private Beauchamp is.
Steyn has more here.
So the Army won't produce what it has discovered because of statutory confidentiality and TNR won't let anyone else interview the 5 'corroborating' soldiers, to which it continues to cling to like a drowning man a straw, because it granted them anonymity, something a lot of truth tellers need and desire. Crickets madly chirp as the two gunfighters stare at each other under the scorching Arizona sky.
I predict the dam will burst by this time next week. The deluge will not touch Goldfarb and the other "people with ideological agendas" questioning this tempest in a teapot set of stories. I wonder if any real journalist will throw TNR editors a lifeline?
UPDATE: Krauthammer, as usual, had some good thoughts on the subject.