Col. Steven Boylan, Public Affairs Officer for U.S. Army Commanding General in Iraq David Petraeus, just emailed me the following in response to my request to confirm an earlier report that the U.S. Army’s investigation into the claims made by PV-2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp made in The New Republic had been completed.
To your question: Were there any truth to what was being said by Thomas?
Answer: An investigation of the allegations were conducted by the command and found to be false. In fact, members of Thomas’ platoon and company were all interviewed and no one could substantiate his claims.
As to what will happen to him?
Answer: As there is no evidence of criminal conduct, he is subject to Administrative punishment as determined by his chain of command. Under the various rules and regulations, administrative actions are not releasable to the public by the military on what does or does not happen.
Note that the investigation didn’t just stop by stating that the claims were uncorroborated; Col. Boylan states categorically that Beauchamp’s allegations were false. Not a lot of wiggle room there.
Matt Sanchez (blogging from Iraq) and Bob at Confederate Yankee are both independently reporting that the Army’s investigation into the “Scott Thomas”/”Shock Troops” allegations at The New Republic are false. I have also emailed a contact I have at CENTCOM in Iraq for independent verification of the conclusion of the Army’s investigation.
From Sanchez on the ground at Forward Operating Base Falcon (who is actually in Iraq… and is actually with real Army people who don’t make up stories and “verify” each other’s lies)…..
After a thorough investigation that lasted nearly a week the 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division has concluded that the allegations made by Private Thomas Scott Beauchamp, the “Baghdad Diarist“, have been
“refuted by members of his platoon and proven to be false”
The official investigation the 4th IBCT Public Affairs Office qualified as “thorough and professional” concluded late August 1st. Officials would not speculate on the possibility of further action against Private Beauchamp, nor would they confirm his current whereabouts or status.
Sergeant First Class Robert Timmons, the acting public affairs official of the 4th IBCT, 1st ID, in the absence of Major Kirk Luedeke, remarked that despite the high level of attention this case received in the American media, soldiers at the 4th IBCT, 1st Inf. Div, a “surge” Brigade, have not been distracted from their missions.
Update: All allegations were demonstrated to be false according to officials at Army Public Affairs.
On the specific allegation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp made regarding the facially-disfigured woman that he found so funny… Bob at Confederate Yankee has found out from Major Renee Russo, Third Army Public Affairs Office in Kuwait, that the story of the woman is “an urban legend.”
Will The New Republic finally admit its major-league error? Will there be a Dan Rather-like purging at TNR? Will TNR apologize to the members of the US military for these fictionalized atrocities being elevated to relevant news?
Not surprisingly, Andrew Sullivan continues to be an apologist for his old magazine and so far hasn’t reported that the Army investigation shows Beauchamp to be a fiction writer.
Don’t hold your breath, folks. No wonder more Americans trust the US military much more than the US news media.
[Related Story: New Republic Stands By The Manchurian Columnist – GayPatriot]