With the blowback against alleged New Republic Baghdad fabulist Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp going full bore, the soldier-turned-reporter is getting support from an unlikely group of men: his fellow soldiers.
As TNR‘s anonymous “Baghdad Diarist” Beauchamp chronicled abuses by soldiers serving in Iraq, including the wearing of a skull, desecration of the remains of a child, poking fun at a woman maimed by an IED, and targeting dogs with their armored vehicles. The claims set off a hunt for Beauchamp’s identity with questions about the stories’ authenticity. But TNR editors closed ranks and admitted no error. Yesterday, Drudge posted, then removed, a link to a military investigation that found the stories to be wrong as well as links to a transcript of a Sept. 7 conversation between TNR editors, Beauchamp, and one of his superiors, in which the writer would neither confirm nor recant his stories, leaving angry TNR editors hanging out to dry.
Today, independent journalist Michael Yon writes about finding himself in Beauchamp’s unit and offers insight into why the author wants the whole thing to go away.
“I was at a reconciliation meeting between Sunni and Shia in the West Rashid district of Baghdad on 24 October, and it happened by complete coincidence that I was with Beauchamp’s battalion,” Yon writes. “I was with his old company commander for much of the day, although I had no idea for most of it that I was with Beauchamp’s old company commander.”
[More from Yon after the jump…]