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August 8, 2007
Media Picks Up On Beauchamp Caper
Both the Washington Post and the New York Times are reporting on the Scott Beauchamp fables.
Beauchamp is The New Republic diarist whose blood curdling stories of American military atrocities in Iraq he wrote about in the magazine he has now recanted, according to The Weekly Standard . The Post highlights the Army's own investigation and their findings:
Army investigators have concluded that the private whose dispatches for the New Republic accused his fellow soldiers of petty cruelties in Iraq was not telling the truth. But TNR is standing by the story:
The finding, disclosed yesterday, came days after the Washington-based magazine announced that it had corroborated the claims of the private, Scott Thomas Beauchamp, except for one significant error.
"An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by Pvt. Beauchamp were found to be false," an Army statement said. "His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims."
But New Republic Editor Franklin Foer is standing his ground. "We've talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account," Foer said. The magazine granted anonymity to the other soldiers it cited. Indeed, Stephen Glass should be much on the mind of Editor Foer. He may wish to stonewall for a while but there is no way he can prove what Beauchamp wrote is true. And the Army has rendered its verdict of Beauchamp by punishing him.
A military official, who asked not to be identified because the probe is confidential, said no charges were filed against Beauchamp. Instead, the official said, the matter is being handled administratively, with Beauchamp punished by having his cellphone and laptop confiscated for an undetermined period.
The Army probe provides ammunition to conservative critics who have accused the liberal magazine of publishing Beauchamp's "Baghdad Diarist" essays without adequate checking and being too quick to believe that American soldiers would engage in questionable conduct. It also revives fading memories of the magazine's 1998 fabrication scandal involving writer Stephen Glass.
If The New Republic had an ounce of integrity left, they would fire Mr. Foer.
Hat Tip: Ed Lasky