Nothing to see here – move along

The US military investigates its own and concludes they are innocent.

An Army investigation has found no truth in a soldier’s claims of inhumane conduct by US troops on the battlefield, which were published in The New Republic earlier this year. But the magazine is standing by its story, and debate over Scott Thomas Beauchamp’s honesty continues to rage in the blogosphere.

All I can say is, thank God for that. After one of the troops was found guilty of rape and murder, I was beginning to lose faith in the moral infallibility of the US military.

Of course, there is only one problem.

The same witnesses who were interviewed by the military had been interviewed by TNR only a few days earlier and had a very different story.

A STATEMENT ON SCOTT THOMAS: We’ve talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, “I have no knowledge of that.” He added, “If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own.” When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, “We don’t go into the details of how we conduct our investigations.”

The Editors

Surely only a cynic would think that such a retraction was coerced. I mean, it’s not like this has ever happened before, right?

“It is not clear whether investigators might have pressured Beauchamp into disavowing the articles by indicating that charges might otherwise be filed against him under the military justice code,” writes the Post’s Howard Kurtz.

Of course. Beauchamp was unable to comment since his laptop and cell phone were taken from him. Just as well. We don’t want him reporting any more lies, do we?

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