At the Weekly Standard site, Michael Goldfarb inquires whether a pseudonymous New Republic article entitled “Shock troops” by “Scott Thomas” (“a freelance writer and soldier currently serving in Baghdad”) is “Fact or fiction?” The New Republic article describes three scenarios involving disgraceful incidents featuring American soldiers serving in Baghdad. Goldfarb summarizes them and puts out a call to readers who may be able to shed light on them:
We contacted the New Republic in order to get any information that might help us to verify the authenticity of “Thomas”‘s disturbing account, and the magazine, while insisting that it had promised to protect the identity of the author to shield him from retribution by the military, did provide us with some additional details. “Scott Thomas” claims that the incident at the chow hall occurred at Forward Operating Base Falcon. And the mass grave, he says, was discovered a couple miles south of Baghdad International Airport in farmland. We have also contacted the Pentagon in the hopes of getting more information to either corroborate or disprove “Thomas”‘s account.
But we believe that the best chance for getting at the truth is likely to come from the combined efforts of the blogosphere, which has, in the past, proven adept at determining the reliability of such claims. To that end we’d encourage the milblogging community to do some digging of their own, and individual soldiers and veterans to come forward with relevant information–either about the specific events or their plausibility in general.
Does anyone who has served at FOB Falcon remember hearing about or seeing the humiliation of this woman? Do they know her name and how we might get in contact with her to confirm the author’s account of the events that day?
Is anyone familiar with a combat outpost a few miles south of the Baghdad airport where a mass grave of Iraqi children was discovered? What about the other parts of the story? And does anyone else know of Bradleys careening wildly through the streets of Baghdad?
Please email any information, thoughts, and suggestions for further lines of inquiry to the WORLDWIDE STANDARD at email@example.com. We’ll report back as information comes in.
Is this another Stephen Glass moment for the New Republic? I trust that, one way or another, the truth will out.
UPDATE: John Podhoretz comments here, Thomas Smith comments here, Dean Barnett comments here, and Allah comments here. Allah writes (with links): “I