Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Beauchamp Redux

No reasonable person is claiming that Beauchamp’s claims are incontrovertibly true. If I were to try to characterize TNR’s point of view, I think it would be something like “It passed our process,” not “this is what we’re claiming is the truth.” The loud clamor, screaming “BEAUCHAMP IS A LIAR!” is based on what, exactly? The closest thing to a factual claim is today’s Weekly Standard Beauchamp Recants headline. Does anybody, besides ideological fellow-travelers take Bill Kristol’s paper seriously any more? The article cites an Army investigation. How did the investigators arrive at the point where the guy “recants?” Every assertion regarding the truth value of the bulk of Scott Beauchamp’s assertions is still suspect. I think Julian Sanchez’ point “Normally, the goal of fact checking is to catch errors, taking for granted that that the writer is not deliberately fabricating stories” is a good rebuttal to the swipes at TNR’s and Franklin Foer’s integrity by the likes of Ace and Malkin.

None of which is to say that Scott Beauchamp is not a liar. There isn’t any unambiguous evidence either way.

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