1/18 Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division, rotated out of Iraqi several weeks ago to their home base in Schweinfurt, Germany. This included noted fabulist Scott Thomas Beauchamp. Whether Beauchamp is still in Germany or has been allowed home on leave is rather irrelevant; he matters quite little now that he has established that he will not support his dark fantasies on the record.
What does matter is that Franklin Foer and The New Republic have lost yet another excuse in their continued failure to account for the actions of the magazine's editors since "Shock Troops" was first questioned July 18, over four months ago. Now that Beauchamp is out of the war zone and back in western civilization, Foer is unable to claim that he military is muzzling his communication or that of his fellow soldiers.
Rumor has it that Franklin Foer is presently attempting to pen his final justification of the story, and that it will be published in a December editor of the magazine.
Foer's story needs to include only three key elements to be successful, and without these three elements Franklin Foer's career and the integrity of The New Republic is shattered.
What is the name of the fabled woman with the melted face? What was the name of the other soldier in the chow hall that participated in this alleged verbal assault along with Beauchamp against this woman? What is the name of the soldier that wore a fragmented child's skull on his head? What was the name of the Bradley IFV driver who ran over three dogs in one mission?
Will Scott Thomas Beauchamp stand behind his stories on the record, or not?
How does the magazine justify standing behind the central theme of "Shock Troops"—that war made the author into a horrible person—when the magazine itself now claims that the alleged verbal attack took place before the author ever entered combat?
Why has it taken so long for the magazine to mount a defense for an article that the editor claims was fact-checked prior to publication?
Where is the "Saddam-era dumping ground" filled with, "All children's bones: tiny cracked tibias and shoulder blades"?
It All Comes Down to This.
Does The New Republic have the solid factual evidence to support these stories?
Did the editors of The New Republic act unethically by burying collected testimony, deceiving their readers, misleading and hiding expert witnesses, and falsely attacking the military as it conducted a formal investigation?
Franklin Foer's next article on the "Shock Troops" scandal needs to contain names, places, dates, and unimpeachable justifications for unethical behavior that have been sorely lacking in the nearly five months up until this point. If he cannot provide these details, this next article in The New Republic should be his last.
I'm sure TNR's few remaining advertisers will be watching.
Cross-posted at Confederate Yankee.