I have a full day tomorrow and won’t be able to blog, so I better get this in before I am accused of avoiding the controversy. Via the Memeorandum, the Weekly Standard is reporting that Beauchamp recanted and has signed a statement recanting:
THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp–author of the much-disputed “Shock Troops” article in the New Republic’s July 23 issue as well as two previous “Baghdad Diarist” columns–signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods–fabrications containing only “a smidgen of truth,” in the words of our source.
There is nothing official, yet, but I think I speak for everyone when I state that I think this definitively proves that our troops are, to a man and woman, angels, there never have been any jerks in the military, and we can all expect a decrease in violence in theatre now that the Jihadi’s who were worked up into an America hating-frenzy after reading Beauchamp’s pieces in the TNR read that the Weekly Standard has debunked them. Hallelujah.
As I have stated all along, it would not surprise me if Beauchamp was a liar or if everything he said was not true:
And this is all besides the point- I have never really been very invested in whether he did or did not do these things, I have been focussing on the idiocy of those who have been insisting he didn’t, that it is all a lie designed to smear the troops, and that they can prove it because the Powerline has a scale model of a Bradley.
That is where the real story is- the depths of stupidity in a certain segment of the blogosphere.
Add to it that I have always maintained it is entirely possible that he is a fabulist- it would not be the first time. What I disagree with is the notion that everything has been proven false- everything he has written is entirely plausible, and more than likely, the military will have no way of proving things one way or another, and this whole story will disappear.
And, as it certainly seems at this point, he is a fabulist, something that was not uncovered by scale models of Bradley’s determinging it is impossible to run over a dog, or the other pitched and heated ‘debunkings,’ but by his own word (which, apparently, they now seem quite eager to accept).
And yet again, in Uncle Jimbo’s call to arms:
My position on Beauchamp has been clear- who cares? Really, while you all are trying to excuse your chest-thumping groupthink by claiming “TERRIBLE CRIMES HAVE BEEN COMMITTED” and whipping yourself into a lather screaming about how much this hurts the troops and it just can’t be true, the rest of us are looking at you and wondering what the hell is wrong with you. First, the enemy doesn’t read TNR. They really don’t. Al Qaeda in Iraq is not going to justify their next IED because Beauchamp reported that some GI’s made fun of a woman in a mess hall. Saying otherwise is absurd.
Second, I don’t know how many people read TNR, but I never even heard of Beauchamp until I saw the hysterics brigade massively linking the issue on memeorandum.com. Your childish and goonish antics and response have given this story 100 times the play it ever would have received. Seriously- try this at a bar tonight- ask if anyone knows who Scott Beauchamp is. Then, enjoy yourself trying to explain to the people who just looked at you quizzically and shrugged their shoulders that IT IS A SUPER BIG DEAL AND THE TROOPS ARE IN DANGER AND THAT MICHELLE MALKIN THINKS IT MEANS THE LEFT HATES AMERIKKA. Seriously, have fun with that. The absurd response has given this stupid story far more legs than anything the TNR PR department could dream up.
Finally, is it possible that Beauchamp is just the company shitbird and many of these claims, while rooted in truth, are exaggerated? Absolutely. Are you telling me that you have no faith in his NCO’s taking care of this, and that unless you keyboard comandos go crazy and make sure Beauchamp is publicly executed, he is going to get off scot free for lying? Sheesh- as a former NCO, I am a little miffed you all have so little faith in our current Army’s non-coms.
I still maintain one of the first things I wrote about this absurd story:
The funniest thing in all of this is that there is no way to prove one way or another Beauchamp is lying, but now, even if Beauchamp is lying, he comes out looking better than the asshole armchair commandos attacking him.
An upside to this whole charade is that I am now, more than ever, convinced that a certain segment of the Republican party and the right wing blogosphere is certifiably insane. And one really funny thing about this is that a diary that very few people ever read in the first place will now gain immortality. Now what the hell is Michael Moore up to?
*** Update ***
One last thing- in the comments, someone suggested his Officers coerced him into signing the statement (if, in fact, there is one). I reject that. I don’t think that is fair- there is no evidence that his Officers would do something like that, and that is a smear, unlike Beauchamp’s writings of various minor misdeeds done by anonymous people. We can easily find out who his officers are, and claiming they would do something like that is a direct attack on their honor. I think if he signed a sworn statement, you have to take him at his word.