…appears to be over. The Weekly Standard reports:
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.
Separately, we received this statement from Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad:
An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.
According to the military source, Beauchamp’s recantation was volunteered on the first day of the military’s investigation.
The New Republic didn’t bother to verify Beauchamp’s stories, apparently because it found them to be self-authenticating: a depiction of America’s soldiers that just had to be true. It appears that Beauchamp’s yarns will be another chapter in the sad history of “fake, and not accurate, either” news stories. Whether the New Republic can survive this debacle, in view of its history of falling for hoaxes, remains to be seen.
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