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October 24, 2007

Foer Speaks, Sort Of

To the fairly friendly NY Observer.

Franklin Foer, editor of The New Republic, said in an interview that the documents Matt Drudge posted this afternoon--and removed several hours later without explanation--could have only come from the Army.

Mr. Foer said he contacted TNR’s contact there, Major Kirk Luedeke, as soon as the documents appeared on Drudge’s Web site. According to Mr. Foer, Major Luedeke told him that the Army was “investigating the source of the leak,” though they did not explicitly take responsibility for it.

“It’s maddening to see the Army selectively leak to the Drudge Report things that we’ve been trying to obtain from them through Freedom of Information Act requests,” Mr. Foer said. “This fits a pattern in this case where the army has leaked a lot of stuff to right wing blogs.”

Mr. Foer said TNR had been trying since July to get access to some of the documents Mr. Drudge posted, but that the Army had not cooperated.

The Army is selectively leaking? Foer had a phone call with his own "source" who refused to re-affirm the story and refused to report that to the public.

That seems pretty selective, doesn't it?

From the phone call we know that Beauchamp himself had to authorize the release of his records to TNR -- and that TNR knew that (Foer was present when the lawyer said the Army would want such an authorization).

If Beauchamp has thusfar refused to sign such an authorization, how the fuck is that due to the Army's failure to cooperate?

And Foer has always had access to his own fucking conversation with Beauchamp -- what, precisely, prevented him from reporting that? The Army again, I suppose? He needed the Army to provide a transcript of a call he himself was almost certainly recording?

Here are the two possibilities:

1) Beauchamp never authorized the release of these documents to TNR, and TNR is trying to claim the Army has a special duty to give them to TNR, even with Beauchamp stubbornly refusing to sign the release.

2) Beauchamp did authorize the release of all documents specifically pertaining to himself, which is all he could authorize, but that authorization does not cover the statements made by other troops in the unit. So TNR is spinning its failure to get permission from the other soldiers to view their statements as A) due to Army non-cooperation and B) absolving them from having to report any further on the story until they get these documents (which they never will).

In other words, TNR is using the impossibility of getting other soldiers to sign authorizations of their private records to be released to TNR as a pretext to claim "We can't yet judge this matter on the merits." They know those authorizations will never, ever come, which puts their day of reckoning conveniently on the Twelfth of Never.

Foer, Chait, and TNR have yet to speak to anyone willing to ask them why they concealed this phone call and these records -- which they admit seem "damning."

They seem to be only willing to talk to people who'll be considerate enough to not ask them any difficult questions.

And for a media organization to complain about government leaks....!

It is. To laugh. The entire "Baghdad Diary" series was itself an unauthorized leak!!! And a false one, as it turns out.

Thanks to Goldfarb, who's taking a well-earned victory lap, taking time to kick the corpses as he jogs around the track.

Jeff Emmanuel also wets his knife in the carcass of TNR.

PS, Foer: Maybe if you didn't outright lie and claim the Army was blocking you from speaking to Beauchamp, someone in the Army wouldn't have felt it necessary to release a call in which you yourself (or your colleague) accuses Beauchamp of "dodging" your calls.

You think you're allowed to lie about the Army and they have to just take it?


You lied that it was the Army blocking you from getting at the truth. In fact, it was your own wannabe-Hemmingway Beauchamp doing so.

And now you're pissed the Army may (or may not) have leaked a transcript proving you knew Beauchamp was "dodging" you all along?

Maybe you shouldn't have lied. People get pissed off when they're lied about. Sometimes they do horrible things, like leaking a telephone call with the media that you already knew about but chose to conceal to save your own ass.

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posted by Ace at 06:44 PM

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