Let me make one thing clear at the outset: To question the veracity of a soldier’s accounts of war atrocities in Iraq is not to question that such atrocities ever happen. They do. But when such accusations are made pseudonymously, punctuated with red flags and adorned with incredible embellishment, the only responsible thing to do is to raise questions about his identity and agenda without fear or apology–and demand answers.
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 first raised questions and asked bloggers to look into the charges. Milbloggers dissect Thomas’s tales: Read Greyhawk and Blackfive, 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.
At Villainous Company, Cassandra compares Thomas to the old Winter Soldier and points to this passage in Goldfarb’s piece ripping into Thomas’s anecdote about the alleged mocking of the female civilian contractor allegedly burned by an IED:
Is it possible that American soldiers would be so sadistic when confronted by a badly burned woman, who may be a fellow soldier? Well, yes: Anything is possible when it comes to human depravity. But consider: these are enlisted men who, by the author’s own account, don’t know who this woman is or what rank she might hold. (Incidentally, wouldn’t soldiers be able to distinguish a soldier from a contractor–especially if she is a regular at the chow hall?) Would they really ridicule her with raised voices in a public place, on “one especially crowded day”?…
Power Line wants TNR to explain.
Hot Air coverage here and here.
Paging Media Mythbusters…