Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.

The Rightie blogs have declared victory in the Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp affair, this story from the WaPO (liberal press anyone?) can be read as further vindication if you’re already of a certain mindset, New Republic Iraq Stories Questioned, but look at what the story actually says,

“During that investigation, all the soldiers from his unit refuted all claims that Pvt. Beauchamp made in his blog,” Sgt. 1st Class Robert Timmons, a spokesman in Baghdad for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., said in an e-mail interview.

The Weekly Standard said Beauchamp signed a sworn statement admitting all three articles were exaggerations and falsehoods.

They’re repeating the Army’s official statement and is fine as far as it goes. Then there is sighting the Weekly Standard as a news source. An ultra Right magazine owned by Rupert Murdock that claims there is a sworn statement from Scott floating around somewhere – anyone seen that statement by the way. Scott might well have lied from sun up to sun down, who really knows. There’s nothing to celebrate one way or the other because there isn’t any proof.

The New Republic said it also spoke to five members of Beauchamp’s company, all of whom corroborated Beauchamp’s anecdotes but requested anonymity.

In the note, the magazine said the incident with the disfigured woman took place in Kuwait, not Iraq. The magazine also said the Army took away Beauchamp’s mobile phone and his computer and he “is currently unable to speak to even his family.”

The Associated Press has been unable to reach Beauchamp, and the Army said details of the investigation were not expected to be released. “Personnel matters are handled internally; they are not discussed publicly,” said Lt. Col. Joseph M. Yoswa, an Army spokesman.

Blogging shouldn’t necessarily be held to the same rules of evidence of a jury trial, but as a pretend jurists I don’t see the evidence presented so far as being the absolute last word on the matter. I will not link to wing-nut Hugh Hewitt directly, but here’s a by-product if you will of the Beauchamp incident from a centrist blog Hugh writes,

A question for lefties in love with this meme: Have you denounced The New Republic’s and Private Beauchamp’s slanders? Have you talked up the virtues of serving in uniform in time of war? Or do you dispute that we are in a war, and find it convenient to focus on alleged war crimes and other misdeeds of the military? Do you accuse the Administration of fighting for oil, or of misleading us into war? Are you tearing down the military and yet condemning people for not serving in it?

Would Hugh acknowledge that the Right acted like rabid dogs in it’s attacks on a soldier in Iraq fighting the war they say is the “front” of the war on terror, that at most committed some minor offenses. Just wondering. As far as I have seen the liberal and centrist blogs have objected to the viscousness of the attacks and the very sloppy evidence to support the Right’s case – then using the deeply flawed logic that if Beauchamp lied that any reporting that doesn’t jive with the right-wing meme on Iraq is also false. The fringe blogs and pundits like Hewitt, the grand masters of echoing a lie, a partial truth, a distortion until their version becomes holy writ are, we’re expected to believe just concerned with all the facts coming out. One of the more shrill right-wing bloggers named Sister Toldjah writes this without the slightest trace of irony,

Naw. It’s not about being a “know it all” (we leave that to the Democratic ‘leadership’ in Congress) – it’s about knowing how to spot liberal demagoguery that people try to pass off as being the ‘real truth’ a mile away. Careful, Hart. Yours and the left’s transparency on ‘supporting the troops’ is starting to show.

Kinda sad when people who claim to ‘support the troops’ in reality are hoping that the negative stories they read about the military are true, and furthermore go out of their way to try and spin them as true..

This is from the WMD in Iraq/ Iraq al Qaeda connection? crowd that put those soldiers in Iraq in the first place. The troops are simply pawns and cannon fodder to further the Right’s calamitous policies. Unlike Sister’s straw man liberal, the Right’s manipulations of the American public are real, Bush’s lies are real and Bush’s repeated failures in fighting actual terrorists are real – that’s according to his very own National Intelligence Estimate. Supporting the Big Lie is the Right’s pathetic attempt to redefine patriotism – the new way to support the troops to lie them to their death or lie them into becoming crippled (over 15,000 soldiers) that Sister and Hugh and the rest love so very very much. And the Right was really pushing the love for our troops when they let them recover in a pest infested run down hospital. As to what liberals want to hear. Just the truth. If a soldier commits murder I want to know about it, if a soldier saves a puppy I want to know about it, if a soldier commits rape I want to know, or if they help build a school I want to know. Like most Americans I just want the truth, good or bad. It must be election time. The manufactured scandals and outrage by the Right is on high simmer and is likey to get worse as they see the very real prospect of losing a few more seats in Congress and most likely the presidency.

Dangerous Privilege

It’s time to do something about executive privilege.

Having stretched the Constitution to the snapping point, the White House now brandishes “executive privilege,” talismanlike, to ward off discovery of its wrongdoing. White House counsel Fred Fielding not only refuses to provide specific evidence to Congressional committees investigating the firing of US Attorneys but makes the unprecedented claim that the President can block former advisers from appearing before Congress. Echoing an argument last heard in the infamous torture memo of August 2002, the President also claims unfettered control over federal criminal prosecutions–hence barring one way of challenging Fielding’s startling arguments.

This obfuscation, though, is not merely an extension of the Administration’s pet theory of monarchical executive power; it is also a calculated strategy to avoid accountability.

The “A” word accountability, its to the modern Strauss Right what bug spray is to roaches. The game involves making lots of noise, lots of straw man arguments, false accusations and create enough misdirection that they get out and get their government pensions before they can be found guilty. And if you don’t let them get away with it you’re a terrorists loving Marxist.

“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.”
Groucho Marx