The continuation of Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

My Photo
Name: Ed Waldo
Location: of The West

I am a fictional construct originally conceived as a pen name for articles in the Los Angeles FREE PRESS at the 2000 Democratic Convention. The plume relating to the nom in question rests in the left hand of Hart Williams, about whom, the less said, the better. Officially "SMEARED" by the Howie Rich Gang. And now, smeared by Fox News and Sean Hannity, as well! Plus, FEARED by Ted Nugent! AND Hated by the Freepers!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Once more unto the breach, dear friends...

St. Crispian's Day!

Kicking and screaming, I am dragged back into the fray.

Didn't want to. Didn't mean to. But it is, as Kant notes, a Moral Imperative, no matter how hopeless I might reckon the effort.

But not here. Instead, HERE: at his vorpal sword, and at The Commonwealth of Blogistan. (They're NOT the same blog.) I also cross-post at numinous other sites.

Gentlemen in England now abed will hold their manhood cheap that did not blog here with us upon Saint Crispin's Day. (Or, HERE)

KING HENRY V (Wm. Shakespeare)

Act 3. Scene I

SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur.

Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scaling-ladders


Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect .... [MORE]

Courage. Grrrr.

Friday, August 17, 2007

so long & thx 4 all the fish!

With apologies to Magritte

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The End



Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Eyes of Texas are Upon You ...

hat tip to ThinkProgress

It is Buzz Windrip's dream come true, the wet dream of Tricky Dick Nixon, the paranoid fantasy of a thousand "libertarian" science fiction writers, right-wing columnists, lefty conspiracy theorists, and now it's come true: We ARE living in a Philip K. Dick novel.

From the Wall Street Journal:

U.S. to Expand Domestic Use Of Spy Satellites
August 15, 2007; Page A1

The U.S.'s top intelligence official has greatly expanded the range of federal and local authorities who can get access to information from the nation's vast network of spy satellites in the U.S.

The decision, made three months ago by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, places for the first time some of the U.S.'s most powerful intelligence-gathering tools at the disposal of domestic security officials. The move was authorized in a May 25 memo sent to Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff asking his department to facilitate access to the spy network on behalf of civilian agencies and law enforcement.

Until now, only a handful of federal civilian agencies, such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey, have had access to the most basic spy-satellite imagery, and only for the purpose of scientific and environmental study... [MORE]

But wait! (As they say) there's MORE!!

Plans to provide DHS with significantly expanded access have been on the drawing board for over two years. The idea was first talked about as a possibility by the Central Intelligence Agency after 9/11 as a way to help better secure the country. "It is an idea whose time has arrived," says Charles Allen, the DHS's chief intelligence officer, who will be in charge of the new program. DHS officials say the program has been granted a budget by Congress and has the approval of the relevant committees in both chambers.

Wiretap Legislation

Coming on the back of legislation that upgraded the administration's ability to wiretap terrorist suspects without warrants, the development is likely to heat up debate about the balance between civil liberties and national security.

Access to the satellite surveillance will be controlled by a new Homeland Security branch -- the National Applications Office -- which will be up and running in October.

Debate? What fucking DEBATE?!!?! Civil liberties? What fucking CIVIL LIBERTIES??!?

I remember writing in 1986 or '87 (or trying to write, since nobody would publish my political stuff. SEX stuff, sure, but important political stuff? Naw.) when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that you had NO right to privacy in the airspace above your home, that they'd opened the door to spy satellite surveillance on U.S. Citizens. This was, naturally, considered the wildest form of Leftie Paranoid Conspiracy Theory Wackiness.

Well, kiddies, here you are.

In a related story, the White House will be authoring the "surge" report in September. They're not even TRYING to hide the lying, the enabling acts, the arrogation of power, the illegal wiretaps, warrantless searches, gag orders, etc. etc. etc.

In such a climate, it is insane and dangerous for me to write about politics, or to put my neck on the line for the likes of you. Because, frankly, I don't love you that much.

So, to paraphrase Chief Joseph at the end of the Nez Percé War:

Hear me, my readers, I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will blog no more forever.

I'm ready for the boat to Leavenworth now, General Miles.


Crazy From The Heat, or It’s Only Logickal

doggie.jpg doggie.jpgdoggie.jpg

Welcome to the dog days of August. Originally having something or other to do with the heliacal rising of the Dog Star, Sirius, the Nile floods and the UFOs moving the Pyramids, they now seem to just be dog days.

Today they released a Wikipedia "scanner" that allows people to see WHO has been editing the popular on-line community-written encyclopedia. Little did anyone realize what mad hounds of paranoia would be unleashed in the increasingly fabulist world of the Rightie Blogosmear ...

Little Green Footballs:

NYT Bias Graphically Illustrated
Tue, Aug 14, 2007 at 11:31:44 am PST

Someone at the New York Times contributed the following edit to the Wikipedia page for George W. Bush: Wikipedia scanner results.

[NOTE: someone has added the word "Jerk" to Bush's Wikipedia profile. A mild descriptive, compared to how those whose children are dead in this war feel about him. -- HW]

UPDATE at 8/14/07 11:50:54 am:

Just to verify, here’s a WHOIS lookup on the IP:

UPDATE at 8/14/07 2:44:37 pm:

Auspundits has another gem of an edit, also by someone at the New York Times, in which they changed a description of Tom Delay from “a prominent member of the Republican Party” to “a Grand Dragon of the Republican Party.”

UPDATE at 8/14/07 2:47:27 pm:

Someone at the New York Times has also been editing the Wall Street Journal’s Wikipedia page: Riehl World View: New York Times Editing WSJ’s Wiki?

UPDATE at 8/14/07 2:53:03 pm:

Allahpundit discovered a Democratic Party IP that was apparently used to vandalize a page about Rush Limbaugh.

Gee. Somebody who works at the New York Times (perhaps in the mail room) added "jerk" to George W. Bush's page on Wikipedia. Ahh. THEREFORE, the TIMES is BLATANTLY BIASED!!!! (All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore: All men are Socrates. Logick is so much more funner than drinking used ter be.)

Oh, and Democrats might have said bad things about Rush Limbaugh. YA THINK?

(I must admit that calling Tom Delay "a Grand Dragon of the Republican Party" seems to me more like a sincere attempt to increase the accuracy of the entry in question than anything necessarily negative. But then, having been personally smeared on his website, I may be a tad biased.)

Hmmm, what other EARTH-SHAKING revelations have come to the dazed dogs?

Over at NewsBusters -- "Combating and Exposing Liberal Media Bias" -- this one seems right up their alley (as it were). Under an unintentionally ironic (as in, how he can write this with a straight face is beyond me) title, "Tool For Propaganda?" Matthew Shepherd (who works for Brent Bozell's "Media Research Center," of which NewsBusters is a wholly-owned, and just-turned-two-years-old subsidiary) writes:

This type of cybersquatting is quite widespread but up until now, difficult to track. That's changed however, with the creation of Wikiscanner, a search engine that allows you to see what organizations have been editing Wikipedia. You can, for instance, look up to see what Wikipedia users from different political groups, business, churches, and any other organization have been up to on the site. Early results are showing that many employees seem to have a habit of editing the entries of their own company/organization. You can also see that at least one person at the New York Times deliberately defaced Wikipedia's entry for George W. Bush with the words* "jerk" inserted into the page repeatedly.

[* The last time I checked, "jerk" was one word. "Repeatedly" would mean that one word was used several times.]

I guess I stand in slack-jawed awe at someone who can take an organization the size of the New York Times, and, based on the actions of one employee in putting "jerk" into the Wikipedia entry for George W. Bush, divine that the ENTIRE organization, including Arthur Sulzberger himself, were squeezed into that basement cubicle, beside the xerox machine, egging that bored employee on to put digital graffiti into the Wikipedia description of Bush. Ahahahahahah!!!! (Mad Scientist cackle goes HERE.)

You see, that "traditional value" that the Righties pride themselves on, classical Logic, has been quietly supplanted by classical Logick, which is what allows the Inquisitor to logically prove you to be a witch. Therefore, you are in league with the Devil. Therefore ... (well, you get the idea.)

If the defacer of The Decider had been an employee of Kentucky Fried Chicken, Inc. we could, therefore logickally divine that every smiling stylized picture of long-dead figurehead Col. Sanders is actually oozing contempt and liberal bias right into the drumsticks.

Or, perhaps, had it been an employee of the State of Texas, we could logickally divine that the government of Texas had turned against the Commander Guy, and safety precautions would have to be taken on a massive scale, up to and including the invading and subduing major areas of discontent, such as Austin, Fort Worth, and Luckenbach.

Going mad with the heat, the blog at Hot Air -- an enterprise entitled with the opacity of the obvious and the obliviousness of the truly opaque -- Allahpundit unleashes the dogs in the garden to root for gophers ...

Awesome: Wikipedia edit tracker shows who’s editing which pages
posted at 1:34 pm on August 14, 2007 by Allahpundit

They’re getting slammed with such immense traffic that it’s actually crippled their search function for the moment. But I’m going to link anyway, first and foremost so that you can bookmark it for use later when the wave subsides and second because the “Editor’s Picks” search terms in the sidebar do work — and some of them are tasty indeed. For example, select “Democratic Party” and it’ll bring up all the edits made to all Wikipedia pages from the range of IPs (allegedly) assigned to Democratic Party computers. Scroll down to the one for Rush Limbaugh and click the number in the “diff” column and you’ll see this. The pre-edit version is in the red text in the yellow box at the top and the post-edit is in the red text in the green box. Needless to say. Click to enlarge:


That should start you off. I’ll leave you to find the other easter eggs for yourself; I’ve already found a few myself. Feel free to report back in the comments below. Thanks to L[ittle G[reen] F[ootballs] for the heads up.

Er ... yes. Easter eggs. That's Logickal, if you're an Inquisitor doggie. Which makes perfect sense if you feel as though you've fallen down a rabbit hole.

And look! A doggie named Wizbang has dug one up. Turns out someone from the (GASP) New York Times has CHANGED the Condoleeza Rice entry to alter "pianist" to "penis," thus resulting in the hilarious sentence "At age 15, Rice began classes with the goal of becoming a concert penis."

Juvenalia, right? The kind of stuff you remember from grade school. But NOT to the Logickal attack dogs. No, with dogged determination, they will hunt down their prey. They must track and tree the infamous PENIS Writer, the Pianist Enhancer at the NYTimes. Wizbang writes:

Interestingly there are several edits from that address for specific New York Times employees. By frequency the most updated entry is the one for Nick Bilton, who was hired at the Times via Jeff Koyen. Koyen had a nasty departure from the Times in 2005 and edits from inside the Times building after he left suggest that Bilton may have been the author editing Wikipedia from the address.

Only The New York Times knows for sure if that's the case. We've sent an inquiry to the Times and will report their response...

As the attack dogs of the Rightie Blogosmear go mad in the August heat.


Now, for a completely hilarious posting -- and don't be drinking liquids when you read it -- please go directly to Sadly, No! Read the short post AND the comments. Do not pass "GO." Do not collect $200. (Well, OK, collect the $200.) Good luck.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Carolina Fabulist

The Mad Hatter
[OUR STORY SO FAR: This refers to the ongoing New Republic/Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp "controversy" that has raged in the Rightie blogosmear since the Rupert Murdoch-owned, William Kristol-edited Weekly Standard's BLOG, run by Michael Goldfarb, called for, on July 18, "Fact or Fiction? A mission for milbloggers:" and then used the blog as a central clearing house for the top Rightie blogs -- Michelle Malkin, Little Green Footballs, Powerline, Captain's Quarters, etc. -- to pile on to a series of "Baghdad Diaries" written by an anonymous soldier. First, they disputed whether the 'soldier' even existed. Then, when the soldier revealed himself, dug up every old blog posting they could find on the internet. They found that he had been for Howard Dean at the University of Missouri in 2004. They "found" that his wife worked at the magazine. They catalyzed an Army investigation of the soldier, who is currently either being held incommunicado -- if you believe the magazine that his wife works for -- or else is incommunicado by choice, if you believe the chief PR officer in theater, Col. Boylan, whose confirming letter that, supposedly, Beauchamp had recanted all was received by Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee, trumpeted by Michael Goldfarb, and was the basis for both the New York Times and the Washington Post stories on this sordid mess last week. Now, the story continues ...]

Well, they tried. Really they did. Yesterday, amidst the complete slam that the Rove resignation put on the blogosphere, The Weekly Standard's blog (Michael Goldfarb) and The Confederate Yankee, Bob Owens, tried to buttress their increasingly shaky declaration of victory.

Five days shy of their first month of hyper-parsing and ultra-critical textual reading of The New Republic's "Baghdad Diarist" Private Beauchamp, the Yanker thought he'd caught a BIG LIE in a prior article According to The Weekly Standard's blog:

(Updated) Another Beauchamp Story Debunked

Bob Owens, the Confederate Yankee, had debunked another claim made by Private Beauchamp in his columns for the New Republic. This is from Beauchamp's second dispatch, titled "Dead of Night":

As we slowly started moving back toward the Humvee, we could hear the dogs filling in the space behind us. I turned around and saw their green eyes flashing in the deep shadow where we'd left the body. Part of me thought we should have shot the dogs or done something to keep them from eating the body, but what good would it have done? We only would have been exposing ourselves to danger longer than we needed to.

Back in the Humvee, Hernandez started talking to me without looking in my direction. "Man, I've never seen anything like that before," he said.

"What? A guy killed by a cop?" I asked.

"No, man, zombie dogs. That shit was wild," he said, laughing.

Something inside of me fought for expression and then died. He was right. What else was there to do now but laugh?

"I took his driver's license," I said.

"You did?" questioned Hernandez.

"Yeah. It said he was an organ donor."

We chuckled in the dark for a moment, and then looked out the window into the night. We didn't talk again until we were back at our base.

Owens sent a couple of quick emails and was able to discover that the Iraqi DMV does not, in fact, provide driver's with the option of donating their organs. Owens quotes from an exchange with Hassan Elsaadaoui, a CPATT liaison with the Iraqi Interior Ministry in Baghdad:

I think in the Iraqi or Muslim tradition they don't accept this practice of donating organs. Maybe in the future, it will be possible. There is no indication now on the back side of Iraqi driver's license. Also our medical system and doctors are not ready for this type procedure, because of the situation. They do not have the equipment and many of the very good doctors are now outside the country.

Owens has other experts saying the same thing...organ donation is not common in Iraq, and there is certainly no indication of organ donation status on the Iraqi driver's license. Go read the whole thing. Was Beauchamp's buddy just joking? Was the whole story a joke?

Update: Owens now wonders if the whole thing isn't a joke...I read it that way, too. But I think his update pretty much captures my sense of the thing:

I think in the Iraqi or Muslim tradition they don't accept this practice of donating organs. Maybe in the future, it will be possible. There is no indication now on the back side of Iraqi driver's license.

[Gee, you suppose that Owens could debunk THIS? Here I'll start it out: These three soldiers stop at an Iraqi farmhouse. The farmer says, you can spend the night, but you'll have to sleep with my daughter. Now, the first soldier .... ]

All right, there is serious intent here. Bob Owens is now the "point man" for the debunking squad, the fellow who Petraeus' top PR officer, Col. Boylan sent the "confirming" email that led to the declaration of victory last week that the blogosmearers seem to feel increasingly needs buttressing like, oh, debunking jokes. (It WAS a joke, for those of you, like Goldfarb and Owens, who are paranoid and utterly lacking any sense of humor, or the gallows humor that characterizes extremely stressful situations ... like combat, for instance.)

And Owens himself must be held the the standard that he holds up so proudly. Let's see how he scores.

In late 2005 Crooks and Liars named Bob Owens, The Confederate Yankee for the prestigious WORST POST OF THE YEAR* non-award for what can only be described as paranoid rightie fabulism. (* tip o' the hat to Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money)

Bob Owens' winning post? "Google Mocks Christ on Christmas Eve." (12-24-05)

Again, there is serious intent here. Remember, Owens is now the "Woodward & Bernstein" of Goldfarb's vendetta, and the vendetta is about "fabulism." Let's see how he stacks up as a fabulist. Putting two and two together, Owens comes up with five:

While trying to find a nativity image for my last post before Christmas, I did an (sic) search for "baby jesus" on Google.

This is the result. (Screen capture).
Notice that the top search result is for a sex toy that mocks Jesus. [NB: "Baby Jesus Butt Plug" -- HW]

Other results on this search results page have more link traffic. A quick review of page's code shows no HTML meta information that should give it a favorable ranking. The page itself has a raw relevance ranking (search word divided by total words) of less than five percent. The only conclusion I can draw is that this page position ranking was done manually by a Google staffer.

Google's message to the Faithful seems obvious:

"Merry Christmas, assholes."

Google? Right. Like the search engine consciously intends to alienate a huge segment of its audience, lose money and market share, just to serve their master, Satan. This is rather insanely paranoid, but now that Bob's got the bad idea in his cranium, he can't seem to get it out, and becomes increasingly defensive and paranoid:

Update: Some folks have made the argument that this is the result of Googlebombing or other SEO tricks. Others say that it is merely the result of Google's search programs. They would absolve Google of all responsibility.

I do not.

Google's algorithms are man-made, coded by human programmers, as are any exclusionary protocols. These people ultimately decide if search results are relevant. I think it is fair to say that a butt plug is not a relevant search result for 99-percent of Google users searching for information on Jesus Christ as a baby.

So either Google has manipulative coders, or a fouled algorithm in their baseline technologies that suggests their massive capitalization is based upon a a house of cards. (sic) I'll leave individual readers and investors to make the call.

Yes, the 'baby Jesus butt plug' is the result of manipulative liberal algorithm coding. Er ... really? (I admit that the techno-mumbo is hard to follow. But the braiding in of paranoia and preconceived conclusion is present as well.) OK. Crooks and Liars points out the inherent absurdity of this fabulism. Bob's response?

Update 2: Crooks and Liars calls this post 2005's Worst Post of the Year. Coming from such a den of delusion and paranoia (not to mention abject political failure), I consider it a compliment.

Also, I guess he didn't see this, though technically it isn't a blog post, just the worst idea of the year.

I'll save you the click. Some group named Louis Farrakhan their 2005 "man of the year." This, to racist and/or religious bigot Bob, is so incredibly, laughably absurd (since Farrakhan is both Black AND Muslim) that he offers it as an absolute DEFENSE of his insane post. Which is, in itself, a rather stunning self-indictment of Bob's objectivity, his powers of analysis, his deep paranoia, and steadfast refusal to admit that -- no matter how absurd his proposition -- he CANNOT be wrong.

And he's accusing Beauchamp of ... what? Fabulism?

But it gets worse. Bob is also DOGGEDLY wrong. He can't let this go, and finishes this masterpiece of paranoid misinterpretation with this, evidently from the following spring (and HE QUOTES HIMSELF):

Good Friday Update: As I said previously:

Google's algorithms are man-made, coded by human programmers, as are any exclusionary protocols. These people ultimately decide if search results are relevant.

A current Google search reveals that Google has changed their search algorithm to exclude the sex toy site from at least their top 50 results in a unfiltered search. (sic) I was right, liberals were wrong.

Not that this comes as a shock to anyone...

"I was right, liberals were wrong."

Which is exactly what Owens is trying to maintain today, vis-à-vis his attacks on Beauchamp. But there's enough blame to go around. Goldfarb, the primary source and svengali of all the media hoohaw thus far, NOW uncritically quotes the Confederate Yanker's latest absurdity, even adding Owens' increasingly paranoid and weird formulations, 'analysis,' and justifications -- even though they now ADMIT IT WAS A JOKE. It is an almost pathological need to be 'right' -- even after the premise of the attack is proven false, somehow, the attack is still justified, and WE CONTACTED THE IRAQ DMV, you GOT THAT?!!??!


So who are the REAL fabulists here? And, can they stand the sort of rigorous critical scrutiny that they demand from The New Republic and Private Beauchamp?

Don't make me laugh.


UPDATE: 10:10 AM PDT: Old Bob's at it again. If it weren't enough that he's a "Newsbusters" media "critic" today's posting screams about lies, and why The New Republic owes an apology or a firing, or execution at dawn by a firing squad. Increasingly, the shrill tone of these posts belie any belief in the so-called "repudiation" theory allegedly advanced by the Army. I thought they said they'd "won." Hmmm.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Never Let Your Right Wing Know What Your Other Right Wing Is Doing

Funny. After yowling like coyotes on a full moon, the literary micro-parsing has continued in the blogosmear. The New Republic and Private Beauchamp continue to be the favored whipping boy of the fake media, as the attempt to port the 'controversy' into the mainstream media continues, with Rush Limbaugh vacation fill-in host and ex-Canadian arts critic Mark Steyn writing in his syndicated colummn (From the Orange County Register):

Warm-mongers and cheeseburger imperialists
by Mark Steyn

... According to the Weekly Standard-, army investigators say Pvt. Beauchamp has now signed a statement recanting his lurid anecdotes.

Gee. The Rupert Murdoch-owned, William Kristol-edited Weekly Standard, whose blogger Michael Goldfarb's anonymous confirmations and Army PR Officers' emails seem to have provided the basis for both the Washington Post and the New York Times pieces? THAT Weekly Standard?

Well, suddenly and for the first time, Saturday, A DIFFERENT staffer posted a letter from Col. Stephen Boylan, General Petraeus' InfoWar officer (the one responsible for making sure the right stories get in the right places, for "embedding" journalists, etc.)

Funny that the Weekly Standard continues to be the central clearinghouse for this story, after literally CALLING for the blogosmear to rip the THR/Beauchamp story to shreds. But I guess that they want to diffuse the personal vendetta against Franklin Foer, editor of the New Republic, whose head is specifically being called for as the specter of a scandal is raised that took place NINE years ago, BEFORE Foer ever had anything to do with the magazine? (The Stephen Glass scandal.) Er, how is he responsible, or culpable for a scandal that occurred before he began working for the The New Republic? Why they even got the story onto NPR (NationalPublic Radio) Thursday. Complete with reference to the Glass scandal. Hmmm.

And now, Ladies and Gentlemen, for the first time, ever,S OMEBODY else posted this excerpt from a letter to HIM from Colonel Boylan. Gee, the Times and the Post could only get Maj. Lamb, Boylan's deputy to talk to THEM. And the AP could only get a sergeant that one of their reporters knew from Kansas. But The Weekly Standard's BLOG and private "Laz-Y-Boy" blogger Bob Owens get the Commanding General's P.R. Deputy making semi-official statements on the case. What's wrong with this picture?
Here's from Saturday:

Posted by Bill Roggio

The Army Responds

I recently emailed Col. Steve Boylan asking for whatever information he could provide regarding the status of the investigation of Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Here is his response:

His command's investigation is complete. At this time, there is no formal what we call Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) actions being taken. However ... (sic)

Hmmm. The gist of it -- aside from Boylan's appalling use of syntax -- is that Col. Boylan specifically denies The New Republic's statement of Friday that the Army wasn't allowing Pvt. Beauchamp to speak with them. And, for the first time, SOMEONE else posted, perhaps to cover the tracks of a very personal-seeming vendetta. After all, the media shell game of quoting either the reviewer's name or the reviewer's newspaper is well known to all critics. The Weekly Standard sounds so much more authoritative than "Michael Goldfarb." Or, now, his amanuensis du jour, Bill Roggio.

One, naturally wonders what "recently" means, since "recently" as in "I emailed Gen. Petreaus' PR Officer as soon as TNR's latest statement came out on Friday" would mean one thing. And if "recently" means "I received this reply but have been waiting for the propitious time to publish it," I suppose that would mean something else.

And, Saturday, naturally, the piling on talking-point of the Rightie blogosmear was now about how the "liar" Pvt. Beauchamp was in the final phases of the kind of lying scandal the way that the Stephen Glass scandal had been played out and was refusing to answer his phone, the lying weasel. (The serpent bites its tail.)

(Oh, and that other talking point: Beauchamp will now get a book deal and a best-seller, which, by implication, had been his nefarious scheme, or, as has been noted before, the awesome spectacle of Republican ideologues being against capitalism, the free market, and the profit motive. If, as when Justice John Roberts used the same argument to prove two opposite conclusions in two cases at the end of the last Supreme Court term, surely "capitalists against capitalism" isn't that much more of a stretch. Sort of like the anti-global warming "scientists against science." In this case it's that old Roman army tactic of killing the inhabitants, poisoning the wells and salting the earth so that no one could live there again. The campaign to destroy Private Beauchamp is now personal. Jules Crittendon deserves censure by all professional journalists for his most egregious attempt at this practice.)

No focused talking points. No specific targeting of Franklin Foer by the Weekly Standard's blog. Certainly no test run of a disinformation machine prior to a presidential campaign. That's for damn sure.

But, as I said, having declared victory they will have to move on. The other half of Mr. Steyn's column today is the gleeful and uncritical acceptance of the refutation of global warming last week. (Others have dealt at length with the "refutation"). This, naturally belies last week's Newsweek cover story on the denial campaign.*

[* Since the late 1980s, this well-coordinated, well-funded campaign by contrarian scientists, free-market think tanks and industry has created a paralyzing fog of doubt around climate change. Through advertisements, op-eds, lobbying and media attention, greenhouse doubters (they hate being called deniers) argued first that the world is not warming; measurements indicating otherwise are flawed, they said. Then they claimed that any warming is natural, not caused by human activities. Now they contend that the looming warming will be minuscule and harmless. "They patterned what they did after the tobacco industry," says former senator Tim Wirth ... MORE]

Which, in turn, has nothing to do with the Weekly Standard's campaign against The New Republic, Michael Goldfarb's stealth vendetta against Franklin Foer or the Army's campaign (OK, General Petraeus' campign) against Private Beauchamp.

Which remains a secret, according to their latest press release.

Denying Friday's TNR statement that the Army was holding Beauchamp incommunicado.


Meanwhile, Beauchamp, who the Army's TOP Information/Disinformation Officer in Iraq said could be reached for comment couldn't be reached for comment.

Those are the facts, as nearly as I can recount them. Happily, if I made ANY errors, I'm sure to hear about them.


UPDATE: The National Review Online -- which has been happy to go along with The Weekly Standard in this -- has Col. Boylan's letter excerpted today in their blog. The author? Mark Steyn.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sadists On Parade

[Language Warning: If easily offended, please stop reading now. OK, you've been warned. -- HW]

If ever the casual viciousness of the Right were on public display for all to view -- and gape with astonishment at -- it is now. With all the self-awareness of the sadistic boy who delights in pulling the wings off of flies and butterflies, sticking firecrackers in frogs' mouths and bludgeoning prairie dogs to death, the Right is now piling onto the Beauchamp story, having declared victory, so that pussies like Charles Krauthammer can come along and "discover" the story -- as if it weren't all-but-plagiarized on Page A-13 of today's Washington Post:

The Baghdad Fabulist

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, August 10, 2007; Page A13

For weeks, the veracity of the New Republic's Scott Thomas Beauchamp, the Army private who has been sending dispatches from the front in Iraq, has been in dispute. His latest "Baghdad Diarist" (July 13) recounted three incidents of American soldiers engaged in acts of unusual callousness. The stories were meant to shock. And they did....

After some commentators and soldiers raised questions about the plausibility of these tales, both the Army and the New Republic investigated. The Army issued a statement saying flatly that the stories were false. The New Republic claims that it had corroboration from unnamed soldiers. The Weekly Standard quoted an anonymous military source as saying that Beauchamp himself signed a statement recanting what he had written.

Amid these conflicting claims, one issue is not in dispute. When the New Republic did its initial investigation, it admitted that Beauchamp had erred on one "significant detail." The disfigured-woman incident happened not in Iraq, but in Kuwait....

Alas! Krauthammer's descriptive powers fail him. His "After some commentators and soldiers raised questions about the plausibility of these tales..." deserves an "Honorable Mention" in the Palace of Lies' Hall of Shame.

More accurately, the Jingo Monkeyhouse went bugfuck CRAZY, with the shrieking of the chimps at a fever pitch, and feces being flung in all directions. But I don't need to tell YOU that, gentle reader. I've chronicled the "raising of questions" by those "commentators." and the vitriol that's been spewing nonstop for almost a month now. We expect this sort of puling, plagiaristic "me-too"ism from fading roué of the Right Krauthammer. The casual sadism and phony self-righteousness are nothing new, so we turn instead to the Washington Post-owned SLATE "Magazine" (quotations since it only exists online) for this:

I am deeply skeptical about the veracity of Beauchamp's dispatches, particularly the last one, but disinclined to offer definitive pronouncements at this time. Partisans on both sides of the political spectrum seem to harbor no such doubts. Based solely on the content of these dispatches, some were happy to leap to conclusions about the author's veracity without regard for the facts. And as the argument grows louder, each side turns toward the troops, using them to stand in for their own preconceived ideas about this war...

Gee, you think you could bee MORE effete? Stare down your nose at EVERYBODY a little more? (But watch out, your eyes might permanently lock in the crossed position that this article seems written from).

The author is one "Phillip Carter" a fellow who seems to think that standing by, effetely 'tsk tsk'ing that "this isn't cricket, boys" while the witchburning continues in all of its obscene glory. 'Flaccid' is the term that comes to mind.*

[*To be fair, according to his tagline "Phillip Carter, an Iraq veteran, is an attorney with McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP and a principal of the Truman National Security Project." One presumes from his prose that he served in the Tea Service Division, enforcing 'extended pinkie' regulations.]

Excuse me, but has ANY literary work of the 21st Century received this kind of microscopic examination and "semiotic analysis" by would-be literary critics, sleuths and folk-with-axes-to-grind? Could ANY author withstand this sort of agenda-driven parsing?

What is most disturbing is that the effete, Olympian distancing, the "I'll only touch this with surgical gloves on" prissiness of the prose is exhibited by BOTH Krauthammer and Carter. Literary Viagra™ seems in short supply -- within the "mainstream media," at least, who are only NOW rousing themselves from comatose somnambulism with a "what's all this then!" red-nosed snort and belch.

A month has passed, idiots. Where were you? (And they wonder why respect for the MSM has fallen to new lows?) The tail wags the dog.

And that's a huge part of this story. This tale was ginned up in the Rightie blogosmear, and, as it emerges into the mainstream, it does so WITHOUT an opposing viewpoint. The Right has all their ducks in a row, and the Left is left to their traditional position on such questions: ducking. (And were taken by surprise as it emerged, fully formed).

Why? Because TNR and Beauchamp aren't PERFECT.* And, therefore can't be defended without long, fey sniffs, a la Mr. Carter, et al, etcetera, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. They expect us to pussy out, and, fulfilling those expectations, we do.

[Could the Righties live up the standard they push forward? One doubts it.]

For a solid month, now, The Weekly Standard (A News Corporation publication) and Michael Goldfarb's minions -- by whose open soliticitation , the blog-attacks on TNR began, and were then PUBLICIZED in Goldfarb's official TWS blog -- have been stomping on Beauchamp, have been looking under every stone and stoning every dissenter to crucify Beauchamp and The New Republic and its editor Franklin Foer. Indeed, the drumbeat for Foer's firing is so widespread and so insidious, one wonders what girlfriend Foer stole from Goldfarb in a D.C. bar that such a stealth campaign to wreck his career is being pursued.

Because, make no mistake, this whole episode bears the overt stamp of a personal vendetta against Foer by Goldfarb, and an attempt to destroy The New Republic by The Weekly Standard -- which seems odd, given that their audiences overlap not a whit.

Fortunately, one puff of wind in this fartstorm has arisen today, in the form of The New Republic's statement 2 hours ago (as I write this), which attempts to present the other side of a story that no one's willing to even lend creedence to. The sheer weight of numbers (and oh-so-precious sniffers, like Mr. TK and his "disinclined to offer definitive pronouncements at this time" -- who gives a FUCK what you think, pal? Talk about an Olympian overestimation of one's own place in the Universe!) merely confirms what I told you two days ago:

The lie that "TNR lied" is now a "fact" and the piling on has begun in earnest. In this battle for rhetorical "reality," two plus two now equals five, and Beauchamp continues his assignation at the Ministry of Love, while the Ministry of Truth gleefully tears off another gossamer wing.

Here is what the editors of The New Republic wrote in defense:

... 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. Earlier this week, The Weekly Standard's Michael Goldfarb published a report, based on a single anonymous "military source close to the investigation," entitled "Beauchamp Recants," claiming that Beauchamp "signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods--fabrications containing only 'a smidgen of truth,' in the words of our source."

Here's what we know: On July 26, Beauchamp told us that he signed several statements under what he described as pressure from the Army. He told us that these statements did not contradict his articles. Moreover, on the same day he signed these statements for the Army, he gave us a statement standing behind his articles, which we published at tnr.com. Goldfarb has written, "It's pretty clear the New Republic is standing by a story that even the author does not stand by." In fact, it is our understanding that Beauchamp continues to stand by his stories and insists that he has not recanted them. The Army, meanwhile, has refused our requests to see copies of the statements it obtained from Beauchamp--or even to publicly acknowledge that they exist. [emphasis added]

But those technically correct debate points are meaningless in a rhetorical arena driven by the paranoid fantasies and 'fan fiction' of the true fabulists of this story. Listen to the triumphalism posted at 5 AM (EDT) by the National Review Online:

Embedded Hostility
A case of “Beauchamping.”
By Jeff Emanuel

Baghdad, IraqThe Scott Thomas affair has, for all intents and purposes, come to a close.

Questionable from the very start, the stories penned by the then-pseudonymous Scott Thomas Beauchamp have now been declared false. The New Republic, which published the pieces by the Baghdad Diarist, defended them vigorously when their author came under fire. But according to Mjr. Steven F. Lamb, the deputy public-affairs officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad, “an investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate [his] claims.” ...

Remember what I said? They'll declare victory and move on AS IF the issue were resolved? Well, call me Cassandra. Listen to the patently bullshit "magnanimity" of the "victors" as the Declaration of Victory continues:

What they published was shown not to be simply “inaccurate” or “exaggerated,” but false — and TNR, along with its defenders, went to the mat for it.

The motivation for this is likely not as sinister as some ascribe to TNR — it is highly doubtful that they went to press with a story that they knew to be false, from a source they thought untrustworthy. In all likelihood, they simply found a story that validated their views about the “morally and emotionally distorting effects of war,” which also served as “a startling confession of shame about some disturbing conduct, both [the author’s] and that of his fellow soldiers.” Thinking the source unimpeachable, they ran with it.

A massive part of the problem with TNR and others who seek to run to press with the first available scandal is that, to them, such behavior is the rule in the United States military, rather than the exception (as it is in reality).

Oh, and the tag? Why, this Jeff Emmanuel is Mr. Macho! (And not some faggoty little puke like me):

Jeff Emanuel, a columnist and special-operations military veteran, is currently embedded in Iraq and will be reporting from “Inside the Surge“ throughout August and September.

OK, let's get this straight. WHO says that Beauchamp was lying? The Army. You know, the same Army in which Beauchamp's theater Commanding Officer says that 190,000 weapons that are missing in Iraq are the result of "clerical errors," according to Gen. Petraeus. (110,000 AK-47s and 80,o00 pistols, IIRC).

The same Army who's covering up the death of Pat Tillman by "friendly fire" in Afghanistan with a blizzard of "I don't knows" and this bizarre situation:

Censured general evades subpoena to appear before Tillman hearing
Michael Roston
Published: Wednesday August 1, 2007

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) revealed in a Wednesday hearing that Lieutenant General Philip Kensinger, who was censured Tuesday by the Army for deceiving investigators regarding the announcement of the death of Army Specialist Pat Tillman, has evaded a subpoena issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

"General Kensinger refused to appear today," Chairman Waxman said in his opening statement. "His attorney informed the committee that General Kensinger would not testify voluntarily, and if issued a subpoena would seek to evade service. The committee did issue a subpoena to General Kensinger earlier this week, but US Marshals have been unable to locate or serve him."

Whose lawyer, today, sent RAW STORY an email excuse that sounds eerily like what I reported yesterday in "Wrong is Right"? THAT Army is the "credible" one, and The New Republic is the INcredible one? Gee, Righties. What happened to that microscopic parsing? That stratospheric high bar for accuracy? Where did all that skepticism go? Hmm. The Army is lying to congress, stonewalling, has admitted to a cover-up in the death of Tillman, and NOW their leaks and statements (without any details, and with Beauchamp in information blackout) THOSE are credible, but TNR is full of it?

Good God.

Now, I will reiterate the charge that "Confederate Yankee" (and first recipient of Iraq Central Command emails claiming Beauchamp lied) Bob Owens so "witheringly" attempted to debunk: this sort of focused, agenda-driven story doesn't appear by accident. And, if not by accident, then certainly not without a specific PURPOSE.

And it doesn't enter the mainstream via "military leaks" without the direct complicity of the White House. If only because they'd shut it down, otherwise.

A solid month has been spent on this non-story.*

Is Beauchamp Hemingway? Because that's the kind of literary attention that's been given to his prose. Sadly, a writer receiving that kind of universal, negative acclaim often commits suicide. As a soldier serving as a private in one of the heaviest combat zones in Iraq, if he got killed by, say, one of those AK-47s that are missing, we'd all understand.

These pricks, these would-be defenders of fucking freedom have decided that Beauchamp is "dishonoring" the defenders of fucking freedom, and focus every possible energy at killing the kid. THAT is what we're talking about, after all. Jesus H. Christ what insane and sadistic crap has been focused on him, on his writing, and on his wife. And he's in the fucking Army in fucking Iraq with the fucking Army PISSED off at him.

If Private Beauchamp survives this shit, he will have the biggest balls of anybody who's ever lived. I'm with you, kid. It doesn't matter what you wrote. You never deserved to be treated like this.

And these pricks call themselves "Christians."

Jesus H. Christ.

Let me say that again: this information is not released to the media without the direct complicity of the White House. Oh, there may be "plausible deniability," but in the court of public opinion, I put it to YOU, jurors: Could this transpire without White House approval? Would the fingerprints of anonymous officers and confirmations and the insistence on "secrecy" and "privacy" come from the Pentagon or from the West Wing?

When the malefic muppets of the Right are finally reduced to the hands that moved the lips, the buck stops at the top. Not with Michelle Malkin. Not with Michael Goldfarb or even William Kristol. Not with Charles Krauthammer or with Major Lamb, Colonel Steven Boylan or General Petraeus.

The "frame" is precisely what the White House wants to push, it's a classical "forking attack" (As I noted HERE), pinning Democrats as "defeatocrats" and no one on the Left dare touch it. It was "confirmed" via official Army leaks at the highest level, but is being STONEWALLED by claims of "confidentiality," and concern for the "privacy" of the silenced soldier, Private Beauchamp.

Where did TNR make their mistake?

First of all in "outing" Private Beauchamp (whether by his decision or by theirs). Nothing has come of it, save for attacks on his character, a microscopic analysis of his life, his blogs, and even the accusation that something was "WRONG" because his fianceé (now wife) worked for TNR*.

[*This implicit charge of nepotism was, weirdly, repeated by Howard Kurtz in the Washington Post -- a newspaper who have never had the slightest public problem with the fact that columnist Sally Quinn was sucking Editor Ben Bradlee's COCK while everyone pretended that the office affair wasn't going on, and then MARRIED the sonofabitch and are now the Regal Couple of D.C. Where were the nepotism charges then? Implicitly OR explicitly? If there were any, I sure as hell haven't seen them. And no comment AFTER the couple outed themselves! I apologize if this seems gross, or grotesque, but I would suggest that you take your high dudgeon to Bradlee, Quinn and the Washington Post, whose slimy, sorded business it either is, or else, whose mouth OUGHT to remain shut on such matters. Journalists, I have found, NEVER hold themselves to the same sort of scrutiny that they would hold others to.]

Secondly, by getting TNR to "fact check" and they, stupidly and honorably, admitting to an error of PLACE (which may have been intentional on the writers' part to PROTECT THE perpetrators and the victim), they opened themselves up to amateur literary analysts like Krauthammer who use the "error" as a brush to tar EVERYthing with.

And we must ask: was this an abberration? A fluke? A "weird" story that showed up in the traditional summer's season of slow news days and low readership?

No: this either came from the top (remember, the White House and/or Rove has been in open collaboration with bloggers and talk show hosts -- calling both last week for pow-wows on how to defang the Alberto Gonzales perjury charges), or else it was ENABLED from the top. Keep your eyes on the pea.

As usual, the shells move with bewildering speed.

This is coordinated. This relies on Usual Suspects (Little Green Footballs, Michelle Malkin, et al). This is being run THROUGH a Rupert Murdoch right-wing rag that happens to be run by a FAUX NOOZ regular, William Kristol, and is aided and abetted by OTHER FAUX NOOZ regulars -- Michelle Malkin, Matt Sanchez, etc.

It covers up the Pat Tillman affair. It provides a smokescreen for the rape-murder convictions of several soldiers regarding a 14-year-old girl, and her family. It raises the red flag of "Lefties don't support the troops!" It silences Beauchamp. At a minimum, it chills TNR, and -- they seem to hope -- gets Franklin Foer, TNR's editor fired (as they are, increasingly and openly calling for).

And while you're at it, Google "Franklin Foer" if you want to see who's being set up to take the fall. (Google news: 200 hits) Hugh Hewitt's lackey Dean Whatsisname even posted this vile piece of tripe three days ago on Hewitt's Townhall dot com blog:

Place Your Bets! Introducing the Franklin Foer Dead Pool!
Town Hall, DC - Aug 7, 2007
SO WHAT ELSE HAVE WE to do but form a Franklin Foer Death Pool?

At this point, I don't care about whether or not Beauchamp was utterly truthful, or pulling it all out of his ass. The response has been disproportionate, unfair, uncivilized and filled with a casual viciousness that makes one question whether these sadists are actually human beings at all, or merely demons from the pits of hell sowing destruction, disease and death.

The death of truth, that is: the "reality by assertion" riff that's killing democracy in the USA. Or, as Tomm writes (reproduced with permission of):

There is supposed to be a "disaster fatigue," where too many catastrophes -- the Utah mine disaster, the Manhattan flooding (which I barely missed during my visit last month), the missing weapons in Iraq (who was in charge? Why, General Petraeus!) -- but the outrage fatigue is greater. We are doomed. Television is again beating the drum for war and persists in refusing to expose the level of filth and malice and evil from these bastards. They go on Fascist Radio to score their points. They organize smear campaigns against ordinary soldiers and translators and other citizens trying to do their jobs.

And meanwhile, power is increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few and fewer and the middle class is wiped out, tuition is unafordable, health care is destroying our morale and misery is rising around us like the temperature at the North Pole as hope evaporates like ice at the North Pole and we are all polar bears drowning....

OK, Krauthammer, why don't you finish this all off with a pissy tagline?

We already knew from all of America's armed conflicts -- including Iraq -- what war can make men do. The only thing we learn from Scott Thomas Beauchamp is what literary ambition can make men say.

Good attack dog; here's your Scoobie snack.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

Mitt Gott Spin, Truth Gott Zip

"And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all."

-- Edgar Allan Poe, "The Masque of the Red Death"

I lied to you, yesterday. OK: No I didn't. But, in the interests of the sort of clarity that our "new media" and "old media" are now addicted to, you can have it both ways, either way, or no way at all. It doesn't matter.

Because, hell, truth doesn't matter. Only spin matters, only assertion matters, only fabulism about fabulists (the new buzzword of the neocons) and can I no longer can see this as a matter of "facts," and "information." Why buck popular opinion?

Rather, it is a literary festival, and should be approached as a literary critic. Fortunately I have the chops for this.

Remember Beauchamp? Welcome to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade Beauchamp, an enormous balloon filled with helium and floated above the adoring fans as the Romney parade passes by. Hugh Hewitt, one of the Mittster's biggest fans (and author of the quasi-official Mitt apologia A Mormon In The White House?) has PERSONALLY weighed in on his TownHall dot com blog (he usually leaves daily posting to lackey Dean Barnett).

Let us dip into the prose stylings of Hugh Hewitt, and ask ourselves the literary question ... well, I'll be back after the blockquote for that:

Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Romney Ambushed By Anti-War Activist, Abetted By AP, To No Effect

Posted by Hugh Hewitt 6:47 PM

The AP, with lefty bloggers in tow, is trying to make an issue out of an ambush question at a Romney campaign forum today. Rachel Griffiths, a member of the "Quad City Progressive Action for the Common Good" asked the "why are your kids chickenhawks" question: "Thank you so much for being here and asking for our comments and I appreciate your recognizing the Iraq War veteran. My question is how many of your five sons are currently serving in the U.S. military and if none of them are how do they plan to support this war on terrorism by enlisting in our U.S. military? Romney responded:

[video & transcript]

AP left out both the text of the question and all of the italicized comments. Nice reporting, eh?

The Romney campaign quickly released the YouTube video of the exchange, though given the fundamental inability of the chickenhawk meme to move the average American voter, and the widespread rejection of such logic by the uniformed military, it might have been better to let the "controversy" play out a bit as a way of demonstrating how in the bag the AP is to the anti-war fringe.

A question for lefties in love with this meme: Have you denounced The New Republic's and Private Beauchamp's slanders? Have you talked up the virtues of serving in uniform in time of war? Or do you dispute that we are in a war, and find it convenient to focus on alleged war crimes and other misdeeds of the military? Do you accuse the Administration of fighting for oil, or of misleading us into war? Are you tearing down the military and yet condemning people for not serving in it?

Just wondering.

Ah. So BEAUCHAMP is the reason that Mitt's sons aren't serving? Huh?

BRILLIANT argument, Hugh. Now, go and clean your bong. It must be clogged from all the use it got in ginning up THIS weird defense.

But, because this wasn't enough for Hugh -- who probably sobered up, read what he'd written and made a frantic phone call -- evidently, he sent his lackey to post further "logical" arguments to defend Mitt this morning:

Thursday, August 09, 2007
Campaign Update
Posted by Dean Barnett | 10:51 AM

SPEAKING OF CANDIDATES OF CHOICE, it’s been an interesting week for mine, Mitt Romney. Last Thursday, he went into talk show host Jan Mickelson’s studio and engaged in a heated discussion over “the Mormon issue.” I thought Romney came across great in that exchange, and so did most other bloggers and commentators. The YouTube has been viewed over 170,000 times, something that probably makes the Romney campaign very happy.

On a less sunny note, yesterday, at an “Ask Mitt Anything” session, Romney was asked to defend his five sons against the charge that they’re chickenhawks. Romney started out extremely well by saluting our volunteer army and mentioning his niece’s Reservist husband who had just been activated, and then concluded rather clumsily by saying his sons are serving the country by trying to help him get elected president. Generally speaking, volunteering and sacrificing for political campaigns is a noble thing and shows a level of civic involvement that most people respect. But there was something a little off about Mitt saying his sons were serving the country by serving his campaign, especially in the context of discussing military service. Listening to the tape, it seems Romney intended it as a joke and the crowd did laugh. But it wasn’t a particularly good joke, and it definitely was an ill-advised one. It was exactly the kind of comment that the press would replay as a “Gotcha!” moment. (Here’s the entire clip if you’re interested.)

Obviously this isn’t a big deal. The chickenhawk thing is a Democrat obsession, not a Republican one. And family members, even if they’re involved in the principal’s campaign, are widely considered civilians by everyone except the left-wing blogging community and sometimes Mike Wallace. I’ve never heard a single Republican complain that the Bush twins aren’t in Iraq....

OK. 'Chickenhawks' is meaningless. It's OK to send other people's children (like my son) to die, but you feel no patriotic need to send YOUR children. That's what POOR people are for!

[For more go HERE.]

Again, no debate only smear and slur and insult and belittling. That's where we've come to. The only serious task left is to criticize the literary aspects of the insults. OK: They're not that good. As to being specious, well, they're not too good.

As I noted yesterday, the swiftboating of Private Beauchamp and TNR has moved mysteriously to "fact" without ever becoming fact. Today, the AP piled on (as predicted) and, well, if you cared for the "truth" of the matter, don't worry about it. It isn't your ass on the line. It isn't your home they'll burn the cross on the lawn of. It isn't your family that will be stalked. Go back to sleep. I know I intend to:

New Republic Iraq Stories Questioned
The Associated Press
Thursday, August 9, 2007; 12:00 AM

NEW YORK -- A magazine gets a hot story straight from a soldier in Iraq and publishes his writing, complete with gory details, under a pseudonym. The stories are chilling: An Iraqi boy befriends American troops and later has his tongue cut out by insurgents. Soldiers mock a disfigured woman sitting near them in a dining hall. As a diversion, soldiers run over dogs with armored personnel carriers. Compelling stuff, and, according to the Army, not true.

Three articles by the soldier have run since January in The New Republic, a liberal magazine with a small circulation owned by Canadian company CanWest Corp. The stories, which ran under the name "Scott Thomas," were called into question by The Weekly Standard, a conservative magazine with a small circulation owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. The Standard last month challenged bloggers to check the dispatches.

Since then, Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, of the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry, has come forward as the author. The New Republic said that Beauchamp "came to its attention" through Elspeth Reeve, a reporter-researcher at the magazine he later married.

I guess I still wonder what that last crap is supposed to mean? That you DON'T get jobs in publishing through WHO you know and not WHAT you know? Thirty-one years in this business belies that bullshit. Publishing is nepotistic as hell, and any writer who would advance this as a "slur" obviously hasn't had their head out of their ass for a long, long time. Besides, with so much to crucify Beauchamp/TNR with, why do they keep harping on THIS meaningless detail? And, more tellingly, HOW is it that the NYT, WashPo and AP stories all feature this fact, minus any context. Two words: Press Release. The AP story even quotes the "news" source of THE WEEKLY STANDARD as if it were some uninterested observer, and not the "official" blog driving the story.

Facts be damned. The story goes on:

The Army said this week it had concluded an investigation of Beauchamp's claims and found them false.

"During that investigation, all the soldiers from his unit refuted all claims that Pvt. Beauchamp made in his blog," Sgt. 1st Class Robert Timmons, a spokesman in Baghdad for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., said in an e-mail interview.

We are now down to interviewing Sergeants. Long drop from Petraeus' PR/psywar officer, ain't it? (I'm still waiting for my "official" response from the Army, BTW.) The story lurches on ...

The Weekly Standard said Beauchamp signed a sworn statement admitting all three articles were exaggerations and falsehoods.

Calls to Editor Franklin Foer at The New Republic in Washington were not returned, but the magazine said on its Web site that it has conducted its own investigation and stands by Beauchamp's work.

Sgt. 1st Class Robert Timmons, a spokesman in Baghdad for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., said in an e-mail interview.

Well, there you go. The AP has resolved the controversy, based on one of their reporters' contact with a Kansas soldier that the Wichita, Kansas AP writer John Milburn knows -- the tag reads "Milburn reported from Topeka, Kan." The story lurches forward, like the undead collection of parts that it is (get the torch, Igor! IGOR!!)

The Associated Press has been unable to reach Beauchamp, and the Army said details of the investigation were not expected to be released. "Personnel matters are handled internally; they are not discussed publicly," said Lt. Col. Joseph M. Yoswa, an Army spokesman.

Bob Steele, the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla., said granting a writer anonymity "raises questions about authenticity and legitimacy."

"Anonymity allows an individual to make accusations against others with impunity," Steele said. "In this case, the anonymous diarist was accusing other soldiers of various levels of wrongdoing that were, at the least, moral failures, if not violations of military conduct. The anonymity further allows the writer to sidestep essential accountability that would exist, were he identified."

Steele said he was troubled by the fact that the magazine did not catch the scene-shifting from Kuwait to Iraq of the incident Beauchamp described involving the disfigured woman.

"If they were doing any kind of fact-checking, with multiple sources, that error -- or potential deception -- would have emerged," Steele said.

Well, now we have a pompous press guru weighing in. In a fictional note of historical (novel) irony, it was his preincarnation who weighed in, in Seville, Spain on August 8, 1498, regarding Chaim Levi:

If only he'd have accepted Christ and the Holy Teachings of the Church, Torquemada wouldn't be forced to burn him at the stake. Clearly, Levi had every chance to stop this and didn't.

I'd like to thank Sister Toldjah for naming me her "Moonbat of the Week":

8/4/2007 - 2:59 pm
Moonbat of the week: “Harto”
Didn’t have one for the week before, believe it or not, but we’ve got a live one for this week >:)

In response to my link to his post at the Democratic Daily blog about the revelation that TNR screwed up big time with their ‘military blogger’ Scott Thomas, blogger Hart Williams writes:
Your thesis is laughable — that an “internal investigation” reported through a blogger who claims “insider connections” to know the outcome of the investigation before any official information has been released.
Oh, and it clears the Army and discredits Private Beauchamp (who you didn’t believe was a real person when Goldfarb began this witch hunt on July 21?
Sure. THAT’s credible.
Your question is a rhetorical monstrousity. The only persons who “believe” that way are the straw men you’re obviously trying to set up. So let me ask YOU a question:
ince you want to ignore the various ‘military lies to us’ scandals, WHY did you decide to endanger the life of a soldier fighting in the sandbox? Because you didn’t like what he said? Is THAT “supporting the troops”?
Or are you still laboring under the delusion that we’re “spreading democracy” and that endangering MY son because you don’t have an exit strategy, refuse to discuss an exit strategy, and would rather be right and watch more of our soldiers die than admit that this war has been a disaster and end it?
Must be amazing to know it all. Kinda makes you like God, don’t it?
Naw. It’s not about being a “know it all” (we leave that to the Democratic ‘leadership’ in Congress) - it’s about knowing how to spot liberal demagoguery that people try to pass off as being the ‘real truth’ a mile away. Careful, Hart. Yours and the left’s transparency on ’supporting the troops’ is starting to show.

Kinda sad when people who claim to ’support the troops’ in reality are hoping that the negative stories they read about the military are true, and furthermore go out of their way to try and spin them as true, even when it turns out they’re not. These same types of people want us to give accused murderers here at home the benefit of the doubt, but don’t extend that same courtesy to the men and women who put their lives on the line so they can have the right to spout their idiotic, troop-hating nonsense.

Scratch “sad.” It’s actually sick. Very sick.

Well, me being "very sick" and all, no one should mind that Sister Toldjah still hasn't figured out what "Scott Thomas"es' actual name is. After all, she has all the facts. She and her yowling band of baboons have been having quite a bit of fun debating arguments that they've hallucinated I made. You can check it out HERE: Moonbat of the week “Harto” responds. (But please don't bother commenting or defending me in any way. Your words would be wasted on them anyway-- at least the multi-syllabic ones. Enjoy the bar-b-que!)

And, finally, Confederate Yanker and "sore winner," Bob Owens weighs in on The Democratic Daily to "debate" my last post in that polite manner that this whole "Baghdad Diarist" matter has been conducted in (even as he "piles on" to his own story, just in case Beauchamp/TNR hasn't been stomped into the mud completely. I'm honored that he could take time from his busy character assassination schedule to pay attention to l'il ol' moi):

# Bob Owens Says:
August 9th, 2007 at 4:41 am edit


I’m still trying to figure this out. Are you shooting for a sophisticated parody like the guys over at “Blame Bush,” or are you really serious?

If you are serious… well, then I’m a bit concerned for your psychological well-being.

Either way, I’ll reveal my big secret: I made contact with a PAO some months or a year ago (I don’t even remember which one or what the story was), and asked intelligent questions no one else was asking. From that, I was able to network a little bit, with the old, “Captain Smith, I got your name from Major Jones at FOB blah-blah-blah…”

I’ve also been able to contact some civilian contractors, some Iraqi citizens, and some NGO officials and journalists in both countries. That is how I get my info; good old, old school, rubbing elbows and establishing relationships, like reporters have done for decades… but digitally, of course.

You could probably make the same sort of contacts yourself if you were willing to, but it takes a tremendous amount of personal time to do so, and you’d have to stop running the half-baked conspiracy theories in every other post.

Gee, if I was an Army PAO with a full plate of media requests sitting in front of me and a very limited amount of time in my 12-hour day, who do I choose?

Do I go with the the guy who says he knows m buddy Steve and who has a reputation as being fair with what we give him,


Do I respond to the crank that last week accused General Petraeus of running a “rogue operation” and is batty enough to think that the President is running a media campaign through a small blog run from a La-Z-Boy sofa in Raleigh, NC?

Try hard, harto, and you might just see why you aren’t taken very seriously, or why some don’t even know if you’re trying to be taken seriously.

Keep up the great work, “Superfan.”



I love that "respectfully" part. It sort of floats there like an anti-turd in the septic tank punchbowl of rightie discourse. You've got to admit that, after writing a comment like that, it takes a supreme degree of unselfconsciousness to cap the slurs with "respectfully."

Hate to think of what Bob would have said if he WASN'T being respectful. (Or actually knew what that word means).

Mitt Gott Spin. Hugh Hewitt Gott an amenuensis. Harto Gott slammed. Truth Gott zip.