August 2, 2007

TNR Stands by Story

"Kuwait, Iraq -- one of those sandy, hot countries..."

The New Republic has completed its review of the "Scott Thomas: Shock Troops" story and has found only one error. The mess hall where the diarist claims to have personally mocked a woman who was disfigured with war wounds was in Kuwait, not in Iraq. "We sincerely regret this mistake."

The manufacturer of the Bradley vehicle says it is agile enough to hit a dog, so the story of a US military professional who routinely risks his life, civilians and the crew for sadism stands.

No doubt it could be true. I still find it instructive that TNR can find little space for military victories, heroic exploits, or the overwhelming kindness shown by soldiers and contractors, yet they can make space for a column disparaging the troops. At least the story has a happy ending:

Although we place great weight on the corroborations we have received, we wished to know more. But, late last week, the Army began its own investigation, short-circuiting our efforts. Beauchamp had his cell-phone and computer taken away and is currently unable to speak to even his family. His fellow soldiers no longer feel comfortable communicating with reporters. If further substantive information comes to light, TNR will, of course, share it with you.

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...

UPDATE: Dean Barnett, who has really owned this story, provides a more thorough and harsher reaction to the TNR defense.

UPDATE II: ThreeSources friend Perry is not buying it.

Media and Blogging Posted by John Kranz at August 2, 2007 6:23 PM