Matt Sanchez reports from FOB Falcon that the Army wrapped up its investigation into Scott Thomas Beauchamp’s Baghdad Diarist claims late Wednesday. Head over to Matt’s blog to see the results for yourself. Matt has done great work on this, in fact doing the on-the-ground reporting that TNR never did either before or after publishing Beauchamp’s work.
TNR’s credibility is effectively destroyed.
Update: I agree with Bob’s Kid, it’s a shame that TNR has wrecked its credibility over this. But it has. I’ve emailed FOB Falcon’s PAO about Sanchez’s post, just in case they have anything additional to say. For now, here’s a report sent to WS’s Michael Goldfarb from Camp Buehring, where TNR has attempted to re-locate the melted woman story. It’s not definitive, but it’s persuasive.
I have been at Camp Buehring for 9 months, and it is the only “staging” and training area for troops going north. I would like to think I am well-tuned to the activity here on camp, but I would be deluding myself if I said I knew everything going on here at Buehring. If Scott Beauchamp came through Kuwait, he came through Buehring, period. If he saw a burned woman here, then I would like to know where she is, because I haven’t seen her in the whole 9 months. That’s not to say she doesn’t exist – she could – but I haven’t seen her, at least not here. Maybe she was visiting from another camp. The chances of him getting off Buehring to go to another camp are very slim, just because of the OPSEC measures and restrictions on travel. Again, not to say it is impossible, just very unlikely. Wish I had better information to give, but that’s pretty much it.
I have the emailer’s name and email address, which I’m keeping off the site at his request. Suffice it to say that he’s legit.
Confederate Yankee has done follow-up with public affairs in Kuwait, and learned the following from Maj Renee Russo (yes, that’s her real name):
We have received other media queries on the alleged incident, but have`not been able to find anyone to back it up. There is not a police`report or complaint filed on this incident during that timeframe. Right now it is considered to be a Urban Legend or Myth.
I am still researching the incident and will have to get back with you later with any new developments.
Maj Russo assisted Michelle and I during our trip through Kuwait to Iraq earlier this year, so we know her personally. Most if not all reporters or bloggers who have embedded with US units in Iraq know Maj Russo.
Update (AP): Incidentally, the left’s attempts to discredit Sanchez’s reporting on this story by mentioning his past in porn have already started at HuffPo and elsewhere. Usually when they want to float a sex smear, they do it in the guise of alleging hypocrisy; in the same way that lawyers try to get hearsay evidence admitted by offering it (ostensibly) for another purpose, the hypocrisy dodge is the left’s way of calling someone a pervert while pretending to follow the progressive principle of not judging anyone on his sexuality. Except … they’re not alleging hypocrisy here, are they? They’re suggesting quite plainly that Sanchez can’t be trusted because he used to be a porn star — and a gay porn star at that, which, you’ll notice, they’re very careful to emphasize when writing about this.
Maybe they think the right hasn’t heard about him yet and will dismiss his reporting once we find out he’s one of Them? Unlikely, if so. Or maybe they’re just using this to demonstrate their special brand of progressive nuance when it comes to gay issues? Here’s my question to them: given how deeply and fragrantly they love the troops, as they never fail to remind us, does Sanchez’s status as a Marine reserve do anything to rehabilitate the credibility he allegedly lost when he did porn? Makes it sort of a mixed bag at least, right?