Erick at RedState handled this yesterday, and I'm a little busy, but I did want to weigh in this one last time on Le Affaire STB.
When presented with what they viewed as a validation of their beliefs, as well as the Next Big Story about American military depravity, The New Republic decided to rush the story to press, rather than to take the chance that fact-checking would reveal a chink in their superstar contributor's armor.
Even if TNR's masthead, and their vociferous supporters in the leftosphere, will not alter their views of the American military as a result of this incident, it is important for the public to learn that these tales of depravity and inhumanity turned out simply to be the exaggerations and fevered delusions of one troubled young man who, as the alleged incident with the woman shows, was in such a state long before he ever experienced the horrors of war.
When I was embedded with the 1-4 Cavalry at FOB Falcon this spring, the unit had nearly reached double-digits in school refurbishments. They had secured large swaths of their area of operations in Baghdad, and had made possible the return of several families, displaced by the heavy fighting there previously, to their homes. While so many soldiers in the US Army are -- and long have been -- young in years, and often act as such when off duty, I never once witnessed a single soldier acting even remotely like Beauchamp portrayed them in his incredibly offensive Baghdad Diaries.
While proving them to be incorrect is satisfying, and serves to validate the majority opinion that our soldiers are not inhuman monsters, dwelling on his accounts at any length takes away from the time which we could be using to recount the far greater number of stories about US military goodness, courage, and heroism.
When the Beauchamp story was first beginning to be sniffed out as being possibly false, I made an offer to TNR to investigate the veracity of Beauchamp's claims for them, as I will be back at FOB Falcon this September as part of my current two-month front line embed in Iraq.
They never responded.
I believe that far less damage would have been done to them if they had.