Archive for the ‘Soldiers’ Category

Seems I was right — the statements of the New Republic’s “Baghdad Diarist” didn’t pass the smell test.

Michael Goldfarb, who brought the Scott Thomas affair to light, apparently has broken news again — the formerly anonymous Soldier, Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, has apparently recanted his statements.

For background, see my last post on this.

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Inquiring minds want to know…

This first came to my attention from a link on the Drudge Report this morning to an article in the New York Times. It appears to be another mainstream media scandal in the making, with people openly questioning the veracity of a supposed Soldier diarist currently deployed to Baghdad and writing some biting commentary for The New Republic.

Scott Thomas is his pseudonym — his name has been changed to give him anonymity — and in 2007, he has been published in the magazine three times, most recently yesterday. Since he first appeared, people have been questioning whether or not he is indeed who he says he is, or an impostor.

Consider some writing from his latest publication:

One private, infamous as a joker and troublemaker, found the top part of a human skull, which was almost perfectly preserved. It even had chunks of hair, which were stiff and matted down with dirt. He squealed as he placed it on his head like a crown. It was a perfect fit. As he marched around with the skull on his head, people dropped shovels and sandbags, folding in half with laughter. No one thought to tell him to stop. No one was disgusted. Me included.

Or this one:

“In fact, I was thinking of getting some girls together and doing a photo shoot. Maybe for a calendar? IED Babes.’ We could have them pose in thongs and bikinis on top of the hoods of their blown-up vehicles.”
My friend was practically falling out of his chair laughing. The disfigured woman slammed her cup down and ran out of the chow hall, her half-finished tray of food nearly falling to the ground.

I know Soldiers. I spent four years surrounded by them. They can be crass. They can be vulgar. But they are almost always fundamentally good. (There are a few bad apples — case in point, Abu Ghraib.) But Soldiers are in the military — and stay in the military — out of a sense of duty and service. People like that are not the monsters depicted in this short piece.

This does not sound like the Army I know. I suspect, for those of you who have served, or are around those who serve, this doesn’t sound like the Army you know either.

The New Republic is currently looking into the veracity of the stories they published, but say that they are “near certain” that he is, indeed, a Soldier.

Do you have any insight into who Scott Thomas is? Inquiring minds want to know…

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