The Weekly Standard Has No Shame
Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard maintains the fiction that American soldier Scott Thomas Beauchamp is the creation of New Republic editors. Kristol's reasoning is that TNR hates America and the military. This op-ed is shameless in so many ways.
But what is revealing about this mistake is that the editors must have wanted to suspend their disbelief in tales of gross misconduct by American troops. How else could they have published such a farrago of dubious tales?
Spencer Ackerman is a noted TNR basher. He was fired from the magazine. Ackerman writes that Kristol's anti-soldier assertion doesn't pass the laugh test.
Whatever disagreements I've had with Frank (Foer), I know from experience that he does not assign, approve or edit stories to cast aspersions on the military. Even subconsciously, he would not express any eagerness to publish Thomas's story for anything remotely approaching that reason. Kristol is wrapping himself in the mantle of people much braver and nobler than himself (and myself) to disguise his enormous strategic misjudgment. He's crying a river of crocodile tears. And he knows that the motives he's ascribed to TNR's editors are complete bullshit.
Beauchamp is real. He is with the 1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division. The Pentagon has taken away his laptop. He is also married to a TNR staffer. All of this can be easily confimed. Which makes this passage in Kristol's op-ed all the more vile.
Since the Nation has held this view of every American war (except when we were fighting side-by-side with Stalin's Soviet Union), and loves nothing more than accounts of American war crimes, its story is no surprise. At least they interviewed real soldiers on the record. The New Republic, in its July 23 issue, takes a different tack. Its slander of American soldiers appears to be fiction presented as fact, behind a convenient screen of anonymity.
Kristol then has the audacity to talk about journalism ethics.
We at THE WEEKLY STANDARD are well aware that editors make mistakes. We have made our share.
The Weekly Standard was so wrong on this story. They never bothered to fact-check the existence of Scott Thomas. They were only interested in discrediting the Thomas Scott articles because it hindered their neoconservative support of the Iraq war. That's all this was ever about.