Dale Franks  finds enough blame to go all around on this Beuachamp thing.
The subtext(…In the Foer article…) is that the Army should have been more helpful, and that PVT Beauchamp should’ve been more helpful, and that conservative bloggers should’ve kept their pieholes closed.
In one sense, TNR is correct. The Army, once again, did its usual stellar job of incompetently handling relations with the press in general, and TNR in particular. Whatever the truth may have been, the Army utterly failed in handling this whole matter transparently, and providing a clear explanation of the methods and results of the investigation. But, that’s been SOP for the Army PIO for the last 40 years.
I’m less than sure I agree, here. I told him:
I have to wonder how much of the perception of lack of cooperation is actually the actions of TNR.
As someone who spent a good deal of time in end user support, I can tell you firsthand that there are a large number of people who will go to great lengths not to be cooperated with. Ask anyone on a help desk. Their one goal in life is to bitch loudly and blame the the other guy and prove them wrong, no matter the cost.
I have long suspected TNR to be one of these, where the military is concerned. In reading Foer’s bit, I am convinced of it.
Extending the thought in conversation with another commenter:
It seems quite clear to me, at least, that Beauchamp and TNR went into this thing looking for something negative to print about the army and its actions in Iraq. By definition, that is a hostile situation. Taken a step further, that relationship would result in to the smallest thing done by the army to be taken in exactly the wrong fashion; both Beauchamp and TNR were, like race hustlers, looking to be offended, and praying it happened, so as to further their agenda.
Its not the Army’s job to tie up all the lose ends for us. In a great deal of this case, its not even legal for them to do so.
That’s an important point, and should not be overlooked in all of this. There is much in the way of legal minefield surrounding these events, to say nothing of matters of intelligence during a time of war. All of that needed to be considered throughout, by the army. It’s a restriction, of course, that the mainstream media has demonstrated little respect for… and TNR, who was in effect fighting for it’s life, would have even less.
It’s a classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. Anything, and I mean anything, shy of the army admitting that everything Beauchamp said was true, would not satisfy TNR, because the agenda isn’t being satisfied.
Once that point is established, the complaints of TNR must be taken with a grain or three of salt… even when exclusive of the fact that Beauchamp fabricated the whole thing, and TNR printed it without fact checking, because it fit with the image they wanted to project of America’s military.
When those factors are added into the mix… well….