Yesterday, TNR’s editors claimed—without a hint of irony--that the Army had "rejected our requests to speak to Beauchamp himself, on the grounds that it wants ‘to protect his privacy,’” and, thereby “stonewall[ing] our efforts to get to the truth.”
From those assertions of "truth," TNR requested that the Army
make public Beauchamp's statements and the details of its investigation--and we ask the Army to let us (or any other media outlet, for that matter) speak to Beauchamp.
One problem, the Army doesn’t simply "want" to protect Beauchamp’s privacy, it is required to do so by that law passed back in 1974; the one which the Left holds so sacred. (Call this "Things Which The New Republic’s Editors Don’t Know About The Military, Episode 5970.")
Michael Goldfarb Bill Roggio published a letter he received from Col. Steve Boylan, General David Petraeus’s PAO. Col Boylan:
We are not preventing [Beauchamp] from speaking to TNR or anyone. He has full access to the Morale Welfare and Recreation phones that all the other members of the unit are free to use. It is my understanding that he has been informed of the requests to speak to various members of the media, both traditional and non-traditional and has declined. That is his right.Busted yet again, eh TNR? End this.
We will not nor can we force a Soldier to talk to the media or his family or anyone really for that matter in these types of issues.
We fully understand the issues on this. What everyone must understand is that we will not breach the rights of the Soldier and this is where this is at this point.
(Thanks to Hot Air)
UPDATE: Bob Parks:
For 18 months or so, I worked in the Public Affairs Office onboard the USS Midway so, unlike Pvt. Beauchamp and The New Republic, I have a good understanding of how these things work. [SNIP]That TNR's editors were ignorant of these facts is obvious--it's why TNR felt that it made sense to blame the Army for the former's "lack of access" to Beauchamp. Even if the Army were still restricting his communication access--which it apparently did during the time period of Beauchamp's administrative punishment--it has every right to allow or restrict the privileges of its members. As Mr. Parks said, it's in the contract.
While The New Republic continues to refer to Beauchamp as their "writer", the private is under contract exclusively with the United States Army, and I would doubt they would formally recognize any relationship with TNR as valid, that is unless Beauchamp was given prior approval up the chain of command.
The New Republic may believe they have a right to speak to Beauchamp, but that illustrates their ignorance of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, which for military personnel, is the U.S. Constitution. Certain rights do not apply, such as the right to free speech. This is for the obvious need to maintain discipline and morale. So the Army has no obligation to allow Pvt. Beauchamp to speak to the New York Times, let alone The New Republic. It's apparent they do not understand this.
But the fact that the Army claims that Beauchamp's communication privileges are not--or, rather, no longer--restricted is hilarious. TNR ran with the "nefarious, secretive" Army trial balloon and the Army shot it down most effectively, if you'll pardon the pun. Beauchamp simply refuses to talk to them.
Again, I call on TNR to cease and desist. You're making yourselves look really, really bad.
(Thanks to Gerard Van der Leun)