Update 8/7 9:20pm Eastern. The NYTimes files a story on the latest developments. It closes with this:
In an e-mail message, Mr. Foer said, “Thus far, we’ve been provided no evidence that contradicts our original statement, despite directly asking the military for any such evidence it might have,” adding, “We hope the military will share what it has learned so that we can resolve this discrepancy.”
WaPo’s story here.
More from milblogger Juliette Ochieng at Baldilocks:
My problem with Beauchamp is that he, via TNR, put forth as truth anecdotes which portrayed the military in the opposite manner. I keep repeating that Beauchamp’s anecdotes sounded implausible simply because no formally designated leader–trained to act to correct such breach of military discipline–stepped up to make the necessary corrections. Such leaders are an integral part of the military’s justice system–and its honor. Had the Beauchamp anecdotes actually occurred with no such subsequent correction, the idea of a rogue US Armed Forces, composed of stupid-brutal members, would have gained that much more traction. This would have been no small thing.
I contend that the Beauchamp chronicles, small though they may have seemed, were like drops of water on a rock; intended to slowly wear down the American public’s high opinion of the military and, therefore, the military’s mission in Iraq and Afghanistan. And that’s why this “tempest” deserved every bit of the scrutiny it received.
Update 8/7 4:25pm Eastern. Another MNF-I statement via Op-For.
And Michael Goldfarb responds to TNR with questions that have yet to be answered.
Update 8/7 3:20pm Eastern. Video – Fox News report here. Bob Owens weighs in here: “Showing poor-form, TNR editors seem to be laying the framework to claim that they could have proven their contentions, gosh-darn it, if that mean old military would just let them dig into the military investigation, Beauchamp’s personnel records be damned. Is there a moral to this story? Perhaps. If you’re going to stick to your guns, make sure they don’t fire square-backed bullets.”
Rusty at the Jawa Report: “The worst punishment given to this guy will be from the men and women who have to put up with his presence.”
Update 8/7 2:30pm Eastern. TNR’s terse response…
We’ve talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, “I have no knowledge of that.” He added, “If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own.” When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, “We don’t go into the details of how we conduct our investigations.”
This morning, military officials said their review is over. “The investigation is complete and the allegations from PVT Beauchamp are false,” Maj. Steven Lamb, a spokesman for Multi National Division-Baghdad, says in an e-mail to On Deadline. “Anything that may or may not happen from his actions are personnel related and we don’t share that publicly.”
Update 8/7 1:03pm Eastern. Read Blackfive.
More: In case you missed it, Jeff Goldstein analyzes the semiotics of Scott Thomas Beauchamp.
Rick Moran offers a cautionary note, to which I respond by re-linking Bryan Preston on why military bloggers and veterans care.
Update 8/7 10:45am Eastern. Notice how in defending his criticism that my blogging on this topic has been “ludicrous,” this supposedly “reasonable” conservative doesn’t bother to link a single one of my posts. Ludicrous, indeed. Also see the comments thread. You’ll enjoy Ace and Jim Treacher’s presence.
And here’s a sneak preview of the cover of Beauchamp’s upcoming memoir.
Update 8/7 9:45am Eastern. A diagnosis of pre-traumatic stress syndrome.
And now, for some no-B.S. news, reporting, and analysis on the war and the troops: The Dawn Patrol.
Is it time for Shattered Glass, Part Deux? Photoshop thanks to Suitably Flip.
Michael Goldfarb at the Weekly Standard’s Worldwide Standard blog reports tonight:
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp–author of the much-disputed “Shock Troops” article in the New Republic’s July 23 issue as well as two previous “Baghdad Diarist” columns–signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods–fabrications containing only “a smidgen of truth,” in the words of our source.
Separately, we received this statement from Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad:
An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.
According to the military source, Beauchamp’s recantation was volunteered on the first day of the military’s investigation. So as Beauchamp was in Iraq signing an affidavit denying the truth of his stories, the New Republic was publishing a statement from him on its website on July 26, in which Beauchamp said, “I’m willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name.”
How’s that vacation going, TNR editors?
Goldfarb’s parting questions: “Now that the military investigation has concluded, the great unanswered question in the affair is this: Did Scott Thomas Beauchamp lie under oath to U.S. Army investigators, or did he lie to his editors at the New Republic? Beauchamp has recanted under oath. Does the New Republic still stand by his stories?
Ace breaks out the flaming skull and a quote about Franklin Foer that bears a second look. Or a first look, for all the Johnny-come-latelys now changing tune and jumping on the bandwagon.
Milblogger Baldilocks weighs in.