Comments: Killing Themselves Softly

C'mon Bob, they said they talked to another journalist who spent time in Iraq who said he had "heard" of such stories, but hadn't seen incidents first hand. That makes it a fact checked not an urban legend.

Posted by daleyrocks at December 5, 2007 01:55 PM

I think it's pretty clear that there is some truth to Beauchamp's Bradley accusations -- namely that animals get killed by vehicles -- and TNR is desperately trying to move the goalposts there. I think it's important to emphasize that no one thinks it implausible that a Bradley has run over a dog on occasion, whether in Iraq or somewhere else. It's also possible that there is a Bradley driver who is not particularly heartbroken over these accidental run-ins. Just like me -- we hit a dear with the van a couple of weeks back, and I am considerably more bummed by the damage to the van, and the hassle of getting it fixed and paid for, than I am sympathetic to the deer with the broken hip who was probably brought down by coyotes later.

But the part in the Fog of Foer where he basically claims that they were just about to recant Beauchamp's fabulisms when they were arrested by the news that Bradleys occasionally do hit and kill dogs is very telling. They seriously fixated on this, and still seem to think that what matters is whether or not Bradleys can kill dogs in a collision, rather than whether a Bradley has the manuverability to allow a driver to deliberately kill a dog. Because, of course, the whole point is that a Bradley is significantly less manuverable than a minvan, and as everyone who has ever faced a deer in the headlights knows, it's all up to the deer at that point. Even if there is a Bradley driver out there who is keeping a book listing dog collisions, it is a record of bad luck and bad decisions on the part of the dogs, and has nothing to do with the skill of the driver at all.

Posted by cathyf at December 5, 2007 03:06 PM

Bob, I think this piece of the sorry Beauchamp saga is by far the most incriminating against TNR as it shows a deliberate attempt on their part to obfuscate the truth while using the BAE people as a way to give crediblity to this canard. In this case, a TNR checker deliberately asked misleading questions in an attempt to circumvent the truth. The most telling indicator was that TNR never even gave the BAE person a copy of the Beauchamp piece for review. How the owners of a magazine would allow such conduct to stand as responsible reporting/fact checking is beyond words.

Posted by DaveB at December 5, 2007 03:53 PM

I wrote a similar comment to a number of different media outlets when this came out, but also pointed out that in an environment in which any piece of debris can hide an IED, no track commander would permit his driver to run over items in the road just for fun. In addition, the crew would be tossed around like ice in a shaker. It's one thing to be thrown against an armored compartment in order to avoid an RPG or IED, it's another to get tossed because your driver likes to run over dogs. A driver who did stupid, dangerous things for his own amusement would soon find himself relegated to the back of the track while his replacement did the job.

Media Matters got it right (for once) when they pointed out that TNR had no one on staff who knew enough about the military to spot this, but they are hardly alone in this. The elite media despises us and they'd be more likely to socialize with a homeless drug addict than a Soldier or Marine.

Posted by Mike Harris, MAJ, USA at December 6, 2007 05:15 PM

Major Harris,

Thank you for your service. I would like to take this opportunity to cyber-shake your hand. If you are ever in Cheyenne, WY I'll buy dinner and drinks for you and your entire family.

Thank you for doing something I cannot physically do and desperately wish I could.

Posted by Mark at December 6, 2007 09:38 PM