Soldiers Have Baghdad Fabulist's Back

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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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.

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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."

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More from Yon after the jump...



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