Conservatives continue to be haunted by credibility and moral relativity problems

When it comes to controversies that center around the military the Right has an abysmal track record. The right-wing blogs and pundits have, depending on the day’s agenda put the military on a pestal of unquestionable perfection or unapologetically dragged them through the mud. So far they have collectively left the entire Rightie blog punditries credibility in tatters. If the net worked like TV their ratings would have tanked and their blogs canceled.

One partial success, the Killian documents (more here).

The documents were reported to showed that George W. Bush disobeyed orders while in the TANG. While we may never know if the documents were fake or not the Right managed to throw up enough dirt that the major media outlets have all but given up trying to find out. Still there are facts not in question as to this day Bush has never produced proof of completing his service. Then there is the simple fact that Bush used ducking into the Guard as a way to avoid service in Vietnam.

We can all thank the Right for making Swiftboating a part of political and popular culture. Swiftboating began with Senator and Vietnam war hero John Kerry(D) . Swiftboating is an all out attack the Right uses when they cannot win on the facts or on the merit of their ideas. Marine veteran, war hero and Congressman John Murtha (D) got the Swiftboat treatment when he had the temerity in a democracy to disagree with George W. Bush about the conduct of the invasion of Iraq. The Right couldn’t say that they disagreed with Congressman Murtha and state their reasons why, nor did they slowly work up to vicious personal smears. Immediately from November 2005 when Murtha’s sentiments became known he became the target of a right-wing hate-fest. This kind of behavior from a political party that swears almost daily fedeilty to the military and likes to claim they are the party of new ideas is at the least hypocritical.

More recently The Rightie blogs claimed nothing illegal or immoral happened at Haditha. The incident was investigated and it was found that unarmed women and children were killed – Marine recounts Haditha killings . There were and are some questions to be answered about this incident, but the Right was all too willing to let it go without an investigation – found innocent by pack mentality. While said not under oath and thus not admissible as evidence Lance Corp. Stephen B. Tatum said, ‘ told investigators that he shot the victims because “women and children can hurt you, too.” ‘ Then there was the blanket assertion that Jamal Hussein a witness to the killing of six Iraqis outside of a mosque didn’t exist. Yes war is messy, but even in war there are rules. So far over 200 of violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have been the cause of official charges,

There is no denying that some American troops have committed violent crimes against Iraqi civilians during more than four years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Military prosecutors have won convictions against soldiers and marines in more than 200 cases of violent crimes, including murder, rape and assault, military records show. One the most heinous episodes occurred last year, when a group of soldiers from Company B of the First Battalion, 502nd Infantry, 101st Airborne Division raped a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and killed her and her family, Army prosecutors said.

We’ve all watched enough TV to know that most police forces have an Internal Affairs division which investigates wrong doing by police officers. Yes police and soldiers are under tremendous stress at times and split second decisions are made, but we have this kind of oversight for our police and our military because while most do their jobs honorably some do not. The argument that simply being in a war justifies even the most abhorrent behavior is dangerous. Killing unarmed women and children is not acceptable behavior. Raping children cannot be justified by wrapping it in the flag. Behavior such as that has nothing what so ever to do with defending America or patriotism or support for the troops.
All a rather long winded way of getting to the Right’s latest crusade against Scott Beauchamp and The New Republic. Beauchamp has not been accommodating to the Right’s sugar frosted version of events in Iraq so like many other soldiers and Marines ( Wes Clarke, John Murtha, John Kerry, etc) that don’t tow the ideological line he has been singled out for a thorough trashing by the self appointed keyboard warriors, Scott Thomas Revealed

Jonah Goldberg is attacking Beauchamp while Mark Steyn argues that Jonah isn’t attacking him viciously enough.

That’s just crazy. All these people need to stop. They need to take a deep breath. They need to apologize to the people at TNR who’ve wasted huge amounts of time dealing with their nonsense. And they need to think a bit about the epistemic situation they’re creating where information about Iraq that they don’t want to hear — even when published in a pro-war publication — can just be immediately dismissed as fraudulent even though the misconduct it described was far, far less severe than all sorts of other well-document misconduct in Iraq.

Related to this Digby notes, Private Peter Pan

But the story has become something of an obsession in the rightwing blogosphere evidently. (Sadly No has a nice run-down of how it developed.) After a tremendous amount of wingnut pressure on TNR to prove they hadn’t been duped by an imposter, now that they know he does in fact exist, they are working their way into a complete frenzy going after this soldier as if he were al Qaeda and acting as though the hawkish New Republic has just endorsed Cindy Sheehan for president. It’s like watching a bunch of piranhas attack some kids who accidentally fell into the water.

This soldier certainly had no idea what he was dealing with, and I suspect TNR didn’t either. (Up until now, the right has been sympathetic with their editorial line on the war, after all. For all the disdain for the blogofascists of the left, this is undoubtedly the first time TNR’s felt the full force of the wingnutosphere, which makes our little ideological disagreements look like kisses on the cheek. )

The cognitive dissonance of the Right continues to amaze. They have two simultaneous though opposing points of view of the military’s behavior in Iraq. One is that anything they do, even the most egregious war crimes are perfectly alright given the circumstances. This is in direct opposition to their outrage that a pro Iraq war soldier has committed the kinds of atrocities that they claim are justified. The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness

Their stories, recorded and typed into thousands of pages of transcripts, reveal disturbing patterns of behavior by American troops in Iraq. Dozens of those interviewed witnessed Iraqi civilians, including children, dying from American firepower. Some participated in such killings; others treated or investigated civilian casualties after the fact. Many also heard such stories, in detail, from members of their unit. The soldiers, sailors and marines emphasized that not all troops took part in indiscriminate killings. Many said that these acts were perpetrated by a minority. But they nevertheless described such acts as common and said they often go unreported–and almost always go unpunished.

We’re back to the bad apples scenario. The bad apples wouldn’t have a chance to be bad if Bush and the neocons would get the troops out of the hell they manipulated them into. The Right not infrequently accuses moderate Americans of being unable to face life’s hard choices, life’s harsh realities. It looks like once again it is the Right that cannot or will not face the hard truths.

The Right will be moving on soon they have another rubber doll to inflate, White House runs conference call on executive privilege for right-wing bloggers

At the urging of top conservative bloggers, the White House set up a Friday morning conference call to promote its message on the subject of executive privilege, RAW STORY has found.

“The White House hosted a blogger conference call to discuss the issues surrounding the Bush administration’s use of executive privilege in the probe of the firings of eight federal prosecutors,” wrote Ed Morrissey, who produces the blog Captains Quarters. “The White House arranged the call based on a recommendation by this blog, in order to familiarize the blogosphere with the legal and political arguments on which the administration will rely to prevail in the upcoming fight regarding the contempt citations Congress seems likely to approve.”

The White House did not immediately respond to queries about the conference call from RAW STORY.

Morrisey did not name any other participants in the call or identify the administration official who spoke to the assembled bloggers.

Was Pat Tillman murdered?

But, according to the AP, medical examiners questioned the close proximity of three bullet holes in Tillman’s forehead, fired from ten yards away. There are questions — which will be difficult to hear, considering Tillman’s heroism — that Tillman was not well-liked within his unit. Other elements of the circumstances surrounding Tillman’s death appear difficult to reconcile with the friendly-fire ruling — which came after the Army announced that Tillman died in combat: