I've had a lot of folks question why I think that Beauchamp is sincere in wanting to move past this, and asking why in the world I'd think that he's being anything other than an opportunist in this case, as well, with simply a setback in his original plan to use his military experience to become a great writer later on. Here's what I have to say in response, and most of it comes from the TNR/Beauchamp phone transcript:
Peter Scoblic (exec editor of TNR): What are you going to do after this job? Are you staying in the Army? ...you're not going to be able to write anymore after this...you know that, right?(emphasis added) Again, I believe him. Nobody else has to, but I think I understand what he's going through, and I wish the best for him. Nobody is obligated to follow my lead, of course :-)
Beauchamp: ...I don't really care at this point. That's not...what is important to me...all I really care about is the job I'm doing here. I really don't care about the media at this point. I'm sorry. I know it may sound insane from your point of view, but all I care about right now and I realize that's the one thing I've learned from all of ths is basically I mean, I ... what's important to me right now is taking care of the people to the left and right of me.
...Basically I'm not saying anything about the stories to anyone anymore. ...I have nothing but...the utmost respect and love for the people I'm serving with and this is really...there's been a lot of heartache for them.
[Update:] From an email from J.D. Johannes, an embedded documentarian who was at FOB Falcon (Beauchamp's base in Iraq) with me in April and May, and who worked with STB's unit:
I felt a subtext in that transcript. When the chips were down, and it was time to turn over the hole card, STB's chain of command was willing to stand beside STB. Not vouch for him, not back him up, not condone his actions, but stand there with him.