Wow, take a day to write a proposal and all hell breaks loose in the blogosphere.
Drudge posted - and then took down - three documents represented as a) a transcript of a call between Scott Beauchamp and Franklin Foer (et alia); b) a memorandum of counseling, signed by Beauchamp acknowledging receipt; and c) the investigative report by Beauchamp's command. Flopping Aces has them all here.
People with reasons to know have vouched for their authenticity, and Jonathan Chait was quoted as stating they were authentic.
Reading them, I'm damn glad that I canceled my subscription to TNR online.
If accurate, these paint a picture of a total lack of moral compass, professional responsibility or honor by the editors of a major magazine that intends to be influential in setting American policy.
The side message about/from Beauchamp's wife is the most disgusting thing:
Foer: I think, I don't wanna...You're obviously in a very uncomfortable position in that your wife is involved in this, and I wish she wasn't involved because I, I... trust her, I care for her, I don't want her to get hurt in all of this. But she just, she sent me a note to tell you that it's the most important thing to her that you say that you didn't recant. And I don't...I feel that (unintelligible) in saying that to you because it puts me in an awkward position, but it's what she wanted me to convey to you.
Followed closely by this:
Scoblic: What are you going to do after this job? Are you staying in the Army?
Beauchamp: Um, I don't know what I want to do. Um I haven't made up my mind yet what I want to do.
Scoblic: Ah...you're not going to be able to write any more after this...you know that, right?
Beauchamp: I...I mean I really don't care at this point. That's not...that's not...basically what I'm saying is that's not what's important to me.
For those who think Beauchamp has been bludgeoned into silence, I doubt it. With the resources of a major magazine keeping public attention on him, it would be impossible for the Army to mistreat - or even seriously punish - him without huge public outcry. And from Beauchamp's POV that kind of mistreatment/punishment would be the golden ticket to a major book contract the second he was out of green.
So kudos to Beauchamp, who appears to be learning from all this, and brickbats to TNR for lying to us all and for showing themselves as the cheap thugs they certainly appear to be.
As of today, TNR is reduced to whining that the Army leaked the documents to Drudge. Somehow they never seem to whine when documents critical of the Administration are leaked if they think there is a story there - and there certainly is a story here.
Yes, the media are happy to do anything to get a story out - unless, of course, it's about them - then they stonewall, hide, and lie. Just like the politicians they cover. Who says they aren't peas in a pod?