Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Scott Thomas Beauchamp Controversy ...

continues to traverse the proverbial rabbit hole. At this point, who knows what the truth is. The Weekly Standard reports, according to some "source," that Beauchamp has recanted his stories in sworn affadavits. And apparently the military has concluded that there was falsehood in the Beauchamp stories. What that falsehood entails, specifically, the military investigators refuse to say, which does cause eyebrows to raise. For instance, one would expect that if there were definitive and conclusive evidence that specific things mentioned in Beauchamp's stories were untrue the military investigators would provide specific reference to such evidence. But all we have is some military investigator saying that its review of its own bad behavior has caused it to determine that reports of its bad behavior are ... gasp! ... false! That's like Ken Lay conducting a private investigation of Jeff Skilling and determining that, surprise!, Skilling did nothing wrong. Or, better yet, it's like Dick Cheney investigating Scooter Libby and reporting that, surprise!, Scooter Libby is as clean as a whistle. Why would the military want to air out its dirty laundry when it can try to bury it under the vague platitudes of some nebulous claim that Beauchamp fibbed without specifying what he exactly fibbed about. And then there is The New Republic's statement claiming that they have still not received any evidence to disprove the claims in Beauchamp's stories and that the military investigators refuse to clue them in on what evidence they managed to dredge up that would disprove the claims that the TNR says has been corroborated off-the-record by Beauchamp's fellow soldiers. In fact, the military's point person, Steven Lamb, has refused to corroborate to TNR the Weekly Standard's claims. And I find that such refusal to do so is inconscionable, now that the Weekly Standard is throwing such a claim out there based on its own anonymous sourcing.

Who knows what to believe? But one would think that the military should have specific and concrete evidence one way or the other. Why won't they reveal this evidence, or at least be specific in terms of outlining which of Beauchamp's stories are false and how they know that? I'm sorry, but if the military authorities expect me to believe them just on blind faith, they're mistaken. That's not to say that I believe either Beauchamp or The New Republic either. I don't know whom to believe at this point. But I do know that, as much as one might question the way Beauchamp and TNR have handled this matter, the way the military investigators have handled this matter also doesn't inspire confidence in trusting what they say is the truth.

4 comments:

Don_cos said...

Huck

Isn’t it up to the accusers (Beauchamp and his supporters) to prove the charges? Why does the military need to prove them wrong? Or doesn’t that innocent until proven guilty thing apply to military personnel?

You can do better than this.

Huck said...

If it is innocent until proven guilty that runs the game, why is Beauchamp not considered innocent? The military has declared Beauchamp guilty of fabricating lies without providing any concrete evidence to prove this. They just say he lied without actually specifying how they arrived at that conclusion. The person on trial here, so to speak, is Beauchamp and whether his stories are true. The military is not on trial here. Where is the presumption of innocence for Beauchamp?

Don_cos said...

No the people an trial here are the soldiers he is slandering. And unless formal charges are brought against him the Army is not obligated (I do however beleive it would be in the Army's best interest to provide the evidence) to prove anything.

Huck said...

Which soldiers, specifically, is he slandering? Or is it just soldiers in general? Then there's The New Republic, which claims to have multiple sources from among Beauchamp's fellow soldiers that have confirmed the events. Whom to believe? I don't know; but the ambiguity is such that any claims of slander are purely speculation based on a "he said/he said" approach. As you said, it would behoove the military to provide the evidence, it would put a definitive end to the controversy, and it makes no sense that they don't, which makes one wonder whether they actually do have any real substantive evidence that what Beauchamp said is false.