For the past few days, debate has bubbled on the right side of the blogosphere about “Scott Thomas,” an alleged soldier serving in Baghdad who penned a piece for The New Republic about war atrocities he allegedly witnessed. Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard (external - login to view) first raised questions and asked bloggers to look into the charges. Milbloggers dissect Thomas’s tales: Read Greyhawk (external - login to view) and Blackfive (external - login to view), where troops at the FOB where “Scott Thomas” is allegedly stationed respond to Thomas’s claims that a female civilian contractor with a “more or less melted” face works there and was ridiculed by cruel soldiers. Read them all.
This all haapened back in July...and now we find out it was b.s. all along, just as suspected.
SHOCK DOCS: THE NEW REPUBLIC 'SHOCK TROOPS' STORY COLLAPSES
WED Oct 24 2007 12:29:44 ET
The DRUDGE REPORT has obtained internal documents from the investigation of THE NEW REPUBLIC'S "Baghdad Diarist", Scott Thomas Beauchamp, an Army private turned war correspondent who reported tales of military malfeasance from the Iraq War front.
The documents appear to expose that once the veracity of Beauchamp's diaries were called into question, and an Army investigation ensued, THE NEW REPUBLIC has failed to publicly account for publishing slanderous falsehoods about the U.S. military in a time of war.
Document 1 (external - login to view): Beauchamp Refuses to Stand by Story (Beauchamp Transcript Part 1)
THE NEW REPUBLIC has been standing behind the stories from their Baghdad Diarist, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, since questions were first raised about their accuracy over the summer. 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.
Document 2 (external - login to view): Beauchamp Admits to "Gross Exaggerations and Inaccurate Allegations" (Beauchamp Transcript Part 2)
The DRUDGE REPORT has also obtained a signed "Memorandum for Record" in which Beauchamp recants his stories and concedes the facts of the Army's investigation -- that his stories contained "gross exaggerations and inaccurate allegations of misconduct" by his fellow soldiers.
Document 3 (external - login to view): Army Investigation: Tales "Completely Fabricated," Beauchamp Wanted to be Hemingway
The third document obtained by the DRUDGE REPORT is the Army's official report on the investigation into the allegations made by Private Beauchamp. The Army concluded that Beauchamp had "completely fabricated" the story of mocking a disfigured woman, that his description of a "Saddam-era dumping ground" was false, and that claims that he and his men had deliberately targeted dogs with their armored vehicles was "completely unfounded." Further the report stated "that Private Beauchamp desired to use his experiences to enhance his writing and provide legitimacy to his work possibly becoming the next Hemingway."
The report concludes that "Private Beauchamp takes small bits of truth and twists and exaggerates them into fictional accounts that he puts forth as the whole truth for public consumption."