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October 24, 2007

Questions For TNR

1) Why did the editors decide not to report on Beauchamp's September 7 phone call, in which he steadfastly refused to re-affirm his stories, despite TNR's pressure that without such re-affirmation they would be forced to retract?

a) Note that even if it's TNR's opinion that this call was "not as damning as it seems," TNR must justify its decision to conceal the phone call entirely. Not offering its own take -- simply refusing to report it at all.

2) If Franklin Foer really wanted a full and honest account from Beauchamp, why does he tell Beauchamp that it is incredibly important to his very own wife that he never recant the story?

3) Why did TNR claim that the Army was preventing them from speaking to Beauchamp when their own statements to him accuse Beauchamp of "dodging" them? They do not accuse the Army of blocking access to Beauchamp in this call; they accuse Beauchamp himself of blocking access. Beauchamp admits this, more or less. So why did TNR make a statement they knew to be false, and furthermore never correct this false statement after it was no longer even debatable that Beauchamp could speak to TNR, but was choosing not to?

4) Similarly, why did TNR claim it needed the Army to release the relevant documents to TNR, when TNR knew in fact that it was Beauchamp himself who needed to sign the release forms but was not doing so? Again, they accuse Beauchamp of, basically, lying about his efforts to get the documents released. Again we have TNR knowingly blaming the Army for what they know to be Beauchamp's failure to abide by his promises and responsibilities.

5) Why did TNR falsely assert they wished the Army to allow Beauchamp to speak to "any other" media outlet, while in the conversation with Beauchamp they pressure him to not speak to any other outlet before affirming the stories to TNR themselves? Why did Foer represent his magazine as wanting the truth to come out, no matter what the magazine or venue, when he states to Beauchamp, "Let us control this story"? That doesn't evince a willingness to let the story be told to "any other" magazine or news outfit.

6) Why did TNR misrepresent Beauchamp's single corroborating witness as three corroborating witnesses in a misleading account of precisely how much corroboration TNR had? Why did they not later report that this witness had denied the events when questioned by the Army?

6 a) If this one witness is, as seems likely, Scott Beauchamp's best friend in the unit, shouldn't TNR have at least suggested to readers that this witness might have personal reasons for backing Beauchamp's tale?

7) Why did TNR misrepresent the spokesman for the manufacturer of the Bradley Fighting Vehicle as being able to easily run down dogs in the street, and easily able to burst through walls without suffering any damage? Confederate Yankee tracked down this source and when he was asked about Beauchamp's specific claims, he said he found them highly unlikely, at the very least. For that matter -- why did TNR not report the name of their source for this? He didn't seek anonymity; he was more than willing to have his name be used by Confederate Yankee. Can TNR point to any other reason for obscuring the source of these quotes other than the obvious motivation of denying other reporters the ability to follow-up with him and ask more specific questions?

8) Why, exactly, did Elspeth Reeves leave TNR? Was this decision due to the Beauchamp Affair? And if so: Why is she the only person in the story to lose her job due to this fiasco?

And finally:

9) TNR promised a full and fair investigation of this matter. Both before and since making this promise, they have deliberately misrepresented the facts, twisted interviews, misled on the number of corroborating witnesses, refused to admit their one corroborating witness told the Army a different story, and concealed the phone call with Beauchamp which they implicitly admit seems "damning" on its face.

Does TNR consider this record to be consistent with a full and fair investigation of the matter? Or would it be more accurate to say that they have comported themselves deceitfully and self-servingly at every step of the process?

If the GOP or a corporation behaved in this manner as TNR was conducting an investigation into it, would TNR be satisfied that such an organization had conducted a full and fair investigation into their own alleged misdeeds?

Or would TNR believe they were being dishonest and self-serving?

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posted by Ace at 05:31 PM

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