On August 10, the editors at TNR accused the Army of "stonewalling" their investigation into the stories by preventing them from speaking with Beauchamp. The DRUDGE REPORT has since obtained the transcript of a September 7 call between TNR editor Frank Foer, TNR executive editor Peter Scoblic, and Private Beauchamp. During the call, Beauchamp declines to stand by his stories, telling his editors that "I just want it to end. I'm not going to talk to anyone about anything really." The editors respond that "we just can't, in good conscience, continue to defend the piece" without an explanation, but Beauchamp responds only that he "doesn't care what the public thinks." The editors then ask Beauchamp to cancel scheduled interviews with the WASHINGTON POST and NEWSWEEK.It's hard to judge whether this is damning or not. On August 10, the Army was stonewalling TNR. They didn't get to talk to Beauchamp until nearly a month later. And the fact that after a month of browbeating from his chain of command Beauchamp "just want[ed] it to end" is hardly surprising either. We still don't know whether Beauchamp was telling the truth the first time around when he wrote his pieces for TNR or the second time around when he recanted under pressure from the Army.
Still, this seems like something TNR needs to respond to. And if Drudge really has a transcript, he should put it up. Let's see the whole thing, not just the snippets he finds most titillating. (This is especially desirable since Drudge seems to have Beauchamp talking about himself in the third person in one of his quotes, suggesting a less than completely faithful transcript.)