The Army Speaks; Foer Dissembles
An Army investigation into the Baghdad Diarist, a soldier in Iraq who wrote anonymous columns for The New Republic, has concluded that the sometimes shockingly cruel reports were false.
“We are not going into the details of the investigation,” Maj. Steven F. Lamb, deputy public affairs officer in Baghdad, wrote in an e-mail message. “The allegations are false, his platoon and company were interviewed, and no one could substantiate the claims he made.”
New Republic editor Foer falls deeper into Mapes-Foer Syndrome:
In an e-mail message, Mr. Foer said, “Thus far, we’ve been provided no evidence that contradicts our original statement, despite directly asking the military for any such evidence it might have,” adding, “We hope the military will share what it has learned so that we can resolve this discrepancy.”
Foer is demanding evidence from the Army, but won’t offer the public his “evidence” for believing Beauchamp. His statement challenges the Army’s truthfulness, but given his willingness to stand by Beauchamp even after Beauchamp admitted that the badly burned woman he imagined hadn’t been in Iraq, this isn’t a surprise. There isn’t any way to describe this except Foer has decided to take the magazine with him on the long ride down.
Nothing from any of journalism’s bravehearts at The Plank. Status as a TNR writer/Foer protege –that must really be worth a lot, given what these writers are sacrificing for it.
Would any MSMer who believes Beauchamp’s original story, or anything like it, and is willing to stand side-by-side with Foer please make themselves known? No doubt Eason Jordan, Jayson Blair, Dan Rather, and TNR alum Stephen Glass have sent along notes of encouragement and solidarity to Foer, but I am interested if any pundit, reporter or editor is willing to publicly say “I think Franklin Foer is right to demand evidence from the Army while refusing to reveal his own and to stand by Beauchamp’s story –the modified version that is.” Any dean of any journalism school? Anyone not of the hysterical anti-war fringe?