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.
Intrepid defender of the troops Bob Owens with the “scoop.” Our brave defender of the soldiers honor opines:
Let’s look at that once more: “members of Thomas’ platoon and company were all interviewed and no one could substantiate his claims.”
Presumably thorough, in-person interviews of all of Alpha Company, 1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division, and Beauchamp’s platoon within Alpha Company by military investigators, and not one of those soldiers could confirm Beauchamp’s stories as told in The New Republic.
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.
But what about the OPSEC violations! NO CRIMES? DOES THAT MEAN NO EXECUTIONS FOR TREASON?
And no- these were not proven “false.” Not in any sense of the word- not from interviews alone. What it means is that the military can’t corroborate it, and of course they can’t- what idiot is going to cop to what Beauchamp described under the threat of punishment? Seriously. If interviews were the only thing done in this investigation, it proves nothing (“O.J.- did you kill your wife? No? Ok.”).
And this is not to blame this on the military or the poor bastards at the Public Affairs Office who have been dealing with idiots like Owens for the past two weeks- what are they supposed to do? Search for canine corpses in the desert? Go the the KBR records and line up a name with every meal served in Kuwait?
No- they did the only thing they could do- they asked the soldiers, and surprising no one, found no one willing to cop to the behavior. Again, this should come as NO surprise, and only in the world of make believe would this mean that the story is finished. Kudo’s to Allahpundit for asking the right questions:
NR claims to have corroborated the various elements of Beauchamp’s story with five different members of his company, four of whom had firsthand knowledge of the incidents. The statement Bob got suggests (but doesn’t quite explicitly say) that every last man in the company was interviewed and, to quote the spokesman, “no one could substantiate [Beauchamp’s] claims.” Assuming both Foer and the spokesman are telling the truth, five guys in the squad are lying to someone. They all have a motive to tell the Army the incidents never happened given the trouble they’d be in for not reporting them at the time; assuming they’re all friends of Beauchamp and want to protect him from a career-destroying mistake, they also all have a motive to tell TNR that the incidents happened the way he said. (Although if they’re lying to TNR, why then dispute the location of burned woman incident? Why not just corroborate him on that detail too? Maybe because there are too many people at FOB Falcon who could disprove it?)
Unless the Army comes up with compelling evidence disproving his story it’s going to end up as the military version of a he said/she said where each side simply believes whom they’d prefer ideologically to believe and leaves it at that. Let’s hope what they’ve got is as specific as Goldfarb’s quote implies.
Allah is probably right. At any rate, hopefully a few things will happen:
1.) Bob Owens and the other nitwits will leave these guys at the Public Affairs office alone and let them get on to more important things. Like, for example, fighting a war- one that really isn’t going very swimmingly. I am betting their 100% attention to that would probably be a good thing.
2.) Scott Beauchamp will get his computer back and will be allowed to talk to his parents again.
3.) Somewhere in Greater Wingnuttia®, someone will cry that a little extra duty is not punishment enough, and I will be blessed with another week’s worth of easy blogging material- making fun of really, really stupid people.
Finally, let me close with the observation that it is Doug Feith’s profound misfortune that Tommy Franks never met Bob Owens.
*** Update ***
Mandatory Troll Disclaimer- Thinking this investigation as currently described proves nothing in no way means that I think Beauchamp’s writings are accurate, nor do I want them to be true. Nor do I want the terrorists to win, nor do I hate America, nor do I plan to move to France and share a condo with Barbra Streisand.
*** Update #2 ***
The whooshing, clattering sound you hear is the strict rules of evidence that they so recently applied to the New Republic being slam-dunked into wastebaskets, as the broad official denial suddenly becomes the gold standard of investigative research.