Was the West Wing of the White House the originator of this multi-pronged attack against a private serving in combat in Iraq?
Bob Owens, the current torch-bearer in The Weekly Standard‘s* blogger-cum-editor Michael Goldfarb’s orchestrated attack on The New Republic, is now getting to the real meat of the crucifixion: bloodying and perhaps destroying The New Republic — who will have to, at a minimum, either fight back against this swiftboating, or else sacrifice editor or editors. One is named in today’s “exposé” — horrifically reminiscent of what they did to Dan Rather (Little Green Footballs, who led that charge, is in on this one, HERE). From the Confederate Yankee (sic, I believe he means “Yanker”):
[*owned by Rupert Murdoch]
It’s quite interesting that in publishing the findings of an investigation in which the magazine’s very reputation hangs in the balance, that The New Republic somehow forgot to cite the names and positions of the experts who corroborate their magazine’s printed claims. Typically, the providing of such information is viewed as lending credibility to the organization attempting to defend itself.
Fortunately for The New Republic, I was able to find one of their experts, and the conversation I had with her was enlightening, to say the least.
In a response posted on August 3rd, [Major Renee D. Russo, Third Army/USARCENT PAO at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait] stated:
We have received other media queries on the alleged incident, but have not been able to find anyone to back it up. There is not a police report or complaint filed on this incident during that timeframe. Right now it is considered to be a Urban Legend or Myth.
I am still researching the incident and will have to get back with you later with any new developments.
This statement was viewed by many as quite problematic for the credibility of The New Republic and Beauchamp; not only had they been put in a position where they felt compelled to retract a key element that established the tone of narrative in “Shock Troops”–and one that fatally undermined Beauchamp’s premise that the horrors of combat had caused him psychological trauma, as he had not yet been to war–it also cast serious doubts on the claimed event having occurred at Camp Buehring as well, or perhaps at all.
After publishing the information above, that the Beauchamp story is “considered to be an urban legend or myth,” I asked Major Russo if she had been contacted by Franklin Foer or any other reporter or editor from the New Republic attempting to verify their new Camp Buehring claim.
Gosh! Too bad the Confederate Yanker can’t live up to his own high standards of truthiness, but that’s not the point. Having erred in their claims that the soldier in question did not, in fact, exist, they press shamelessly on, perhaps needing a coordinated attack to smokescreen this, reported today:
By Ryan Lenz
Sunday, August 5, 2007; Page A14
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky., Aug. 4 — A soldier convicted of rape and murder in an attack on a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and her family was sentenced Saturday to 110 years in prison, with the possibility of parole after 10 years.
The sentence was part of a plea agreement … Spielman, 23, of Chambersburg, Pa., received the longest sentence of four soldiers who have been convicted. Three other soldiers pleaded guilty under agreements with prosecutors for their roles in the assault and were given sentences ranging from five to 100 years… The case stemmed from the March 12, 2006, rape and slaying of Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, 14, and the killings of her parents and sister in Mahmudiyah, about 20 miles south of Baghdad.
Or, this, from today’s Salem (Ore.) Statesman-Journal:
Anyone who joins the Armed Forces gives up a lot and risks a lot. That certainly was true for Pat Tillman, who left a lucrative career in the National Football League to join the Army Rangers.
Tillman was killed by his fellow Rangers in Afghanistan in 2004. Three years later, his family still is trying to find out what really happened.
Their fight is America’s fight.
In the days after Tillman’s death, the military placed him on a pedestal, lauding him as a courageous hero in battle against the Taliban and awarding him the Silver Star — while concealing what actually took place that day. … Was this a homicide, not a tragic accident?
Three bullet holes in Tillman’s forehead indicated that he was killed by M-16 fire from only 10 yards or so away, according to Army documents obtained by The Associated Press.
There was no evidence of a Taliban attack — or any enemy fire — on Tillman’s unit. The very placement of his platoon should have raised suspicions.
Medical examiners tried to get the Army to investigate his death as a crime. The military initially stalled, finally conducted a criminal inquiry and declared that Tillman died of accidental friendly fire.
The irony in all of this, is that the Rightie blogosmear has been hounding The New Republic over a story in which the anonymous Baghdad soldier, outed and exposed to the hazing of the locker room, to fragging, to the displeasure of his chain of command via the blogosmear’s yowling, delineates THREE incidents that the Righties insist OUR soldiers couldn’t have possibly engaged in:
- The taunting of a disfigured woman
- A soldier’s macabre play with the skull of a dead child
- A humvee driver running over dogs for fun
That’s nothing close to the friendly fire death of Pat Tillman, nor of the horrific rape and murder of a FOURTEEN-YEAR-OLD GIRL and then the murder of her family in their home. So I guess I don’t understand what all the outrage was about. Our soldiers rape and murder underage girls. What’s so “scandalous” about running over dogs? Unless, of course, it’s another disinformation scam. Like the “uniformed soldier” at the YearlyKos convention, which has made it to the front page of DailyKos, and has become the “controversy” that the selfsame Rightie bloggers (many of whom teleconferenced with the White House last week, to coordinate) intended.
And it’s an astonishing “burden of proof” to lay on TNR, when every blogger who has attacked has severe-to-unbelievable credibility problems of their own.
It’s the same strategy — using more sophisticated means — that they used to hamstring the Clinton White House, and, therefore OUR governance for eight years. (Aided and abetted by The Wall Street Journal‘s editorial page, among others.)
Without asking “Freedom Rapture,” since I have no way of doing so, I’ll quote from his/her comment on my DailyKos posting yesterday on the concerted smear of YearlyKos that’s simultaneously under way.
These guys are fanatical. I noticed Drudge was hyping the story and then Malkin and all the other nuts went berserk. First they literally threatened Beauchamp’s life. Now they want to lionize this Bush soldier for violating UCMJ. No doubt gay porn star Matt Sanchez will join in soon enough.
Sadly, the right-wing own the media framework simply because people respond to hate. I could find a homeless hispanic immigrant living under a freeway overpass, and he could be hyped up to join these freaks because racism, scapegoating, and prejudice are so juicy and invigorating. The whole Right-Wing blogosphere is buzzing with delight at the confrontation and the soldier is going to be featured all week on FOXnews.
Why the hell can’t our side get dirty like these Republican pigs. I’m telling you, it’s the only thing to combat their viscousness. (sic) We have got to get black ops specialists, propaganda geniuses, and dirty-tricksters. The Repukes will win again and again and again because they know how to slime someone in an instant. I will never forget what they did to Howard Dean – over one goddamn weekend – over an enthusiastic holler. Unbelievable!
You’re prescient, but late
Matt Sanchez jumped in with both feet, traveling to FOB Falcon (?) the base that Beauchamp is at. While Beauchamp had been stripped of cel phone, internet or any ability to communicate with the outside world, Sanchez was interviewing soldiers there, putting video on his BRAND NEW blog site (Mattsanchez.com) switched over from http://mattsanchez.blogspot.com/ on July 1, and was touted on ALL the Pajamas media sites, Malkin, Malkin’s “HOT AIR,” etc. and, I’m fairly sure, on FAUX NOOZ.
July 31, 2007
After a helicopter ride around Baghdad, this afternoon I arrived at Forward Operating Base Falcon, where the mood was somber. The Army has begun an official investigation into The New Republic articles of the “Baghdad Diarist”, Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Officials at the Army Public Affairs Office (PAO) pointed out that until the initial allegations are investigated, there will be little or nothing to add to what has already been pubicly released. Still many questions about facts, accountability and credibility remain.
Update: Nice to see how others report the story,
Michael Goldfarb of The Weekly Standard* (owned by Rupert Murdoch), you will recall, STARTED and has orchestrated the attack on The New Republic, as their fellow print media have stood by, dumbly, in the way that all television newsmen and newswomen stood by and watched Dan Rather crucified.
First they came for Bert and Ernie
and I said nothing
because I was not a Muppet.
Then they came for Tinky Winky
and I said nothing,
because I was not a Teletubby.
Then they came for SpongeBob
and I said nothing,
because I was not an asexual cartoon sea creature.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak up.
— Bugs Bunny (attributed)
Will the KOSsacks do the same? Or continue to belie their name?
Every new opinion, at its starting, is precisely in a minority of one. — Thomas Carlyle
The disinformation attack is finally, laughable, when you consider that two years ago FAUX NOOZ won an appeal of a jury award to two reporters who were fired for REFUSING TO FABRICATE FACTS!
(TAMPA) … After a five-week trial in 2000, a jury decided unanimously that [fired reporter] Akre was fired solely because she threatened to blow the whistle to the FCC the broadcast of a false, distorted or slanted news report. The panel that found in Akre’s favor awarded nothing to [fired reporter] Wilson who represented himself at trial.
The Fox appeal was largely on an argument that it is not technically illegal for a broadcaster to deliberately distort the news on television.
See? The New Republic doesn’t HAVE to print the truth at all, if it doesn’t want to. Fox has proven THAT in court. TNR can, legally, say anything it damned well pleases unless it prints libelous or other actionable material (e.g. “wilful malice”). Get that? The facts DO NOT matter. So it’s a question of ethics. And thems what gots none OUGHT to keep their cake holes shut about thems what do.
As Rightie Blogosmear current torch-bearer Bob Owens proves. Who will bear the torch next? And how soon before Michael Goldfarb CITES this latest posting on his Weekly Standard blog? (The serpent, as I’ve noted, loves to bite his own tail.)
But, finally, this is all about coordination, and I’ve got to ask this, in light of Bob Owen’s seemingly-cozy relationship with the Iraq military public relations machine, and in light of the endless cross-linking of this whole, artificially whipped up firestorm: Was the West Wing of the White House the originator of this multi-pronged attack?
Who would have read the New Republic‘s piece, had this tempest in a teapot not been whipped into a fine froth by Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard? Because it “didn’t ‘smell good’ the first time we* heard it.” Unquote.
[*The “we,” one presumes, being Twain’s editorial tapeworm: Goldfarb wrote the words. But FAUX NOOZ regular William Kristol IS the editor of The Weekly Standard, so he might be the actual tape worm. And we all know how completely disconnected FAUX NOOZ is from the White House, what with Tony Snow being the press secretary after serving as a FAUX NOOZ anchorman, and undoubtedly to serve as one AGAIN after he’s either fired or Bush leaves the White House.]
Since Michael Goldfarb undoubtedly knows jack shit about serving in combat, one presumes that the smell was detected by his masters as a means of deflecting attention from Tillman and the rape/murder of a teenaged Iraqi girl. No! Our soldiers don’t do that kind of Abu Gharib, Guantanimo Bay stuff. This soldier’s a FAKE! OK. He’s real. But he’s a LIAR! OK, the ARMY PR officer serving under General Petraeus tells Rightie blogger Bob Owens the the formal investigation turned up NO soldiers who were willing to tell the Army that they’d committed the crimes (under Army rules) delineated in the anonymous Baghdad Diary.
That’s every bit as credible as the principal of your high school questioning the football team about the “mooning” incident. Do you really think that any of them would do other than deny everything? And do you think Beauchamp is now in physical danger for his life in combat in Iraq? Because that’s where Goldfarb’s plea for this firestorm has put him.
Did the White House initiate this attack on The New Republic?
Because that would mean that a private in the army, serving in combat, is being bitch-slapped (back door) by the White House so that it can “get” The New Republic magazine, like they “got” Dan Rather at CBS News.
Or do you believe that Little Green Footballs was acting completely on his own in muddying the waters about George W. Bush’s shameful dereliction of duty during the Vietnam War?
Didn’t General Patton get in trouble for something like this?