Right wing hysterics over Scott Thomas

For those not familiar with the Scott Thomas saga, he’s a soldier in Iraq who wrote a couple of columns (using a pseudonym) for The New Republic (TNR), describing the ways in which war robs us of our humanity. He cited examples of one soldier who dug up a skull and wore it on his head. Another one amused himself by running over dogs in his Bradley. Thomas himself mocked a woman who had been disfigured by an IED.

Predictably, wingnut sites went crazy. Thomas didn’t really exist. His stories were made up. The left hates the troops. Etc. etc.

Glenn Reynolds led the charge:

“It’s all made up–there is no Scott Thomas! He’s obviously not a soldier! He’s obviously never been to Iraq! Bradleys don’t do that! There’s no hair on skulls! Stephen Glass!!11!!!1!” to,

“Well, he’s probably a liar since he’s a Democrat.”

Yes, it’s all so obvious, though Reynolds doesn’t bother to explain how Bradleys decide on behalf of their drivers what they will and will not run over. Anyway, following the revelation, Reynolds was still holding out for possible doubts by his fingernails :

“SCOTT THOMAS” REVEALED, and the spin is as predicted. Plus, as Bruce Carroll notes: “The New Republic has still not corroborated anything Private Beauchamp wrote.”

They’re hoping you won’t notice that.

Pathetic isn’t it?

As luck woud have it, Thomas does exist (he went public on TNR’s blog) and so far nobody has any evidence that he’s made anything up. What’s more, his point is almost banal by today’s standards that it begs the questions, why the hysteria? Andrew Sullivan has a theory:

Mainly, it seems to me, the conservative blogosphere has taken such an almighty empirical beating this last year that they have an overwhelming psychic need to lash out at those still clinging to sanity on the war. This Scott Thomas story is a godsend for these people, a beautiful distraction from the reality they refuse to face.

It combines all the usual Weimar themes out there: treasonous MSM journalists, treasonous soldiers, stories of atrocities that undermine morale (regardless of whether they’re true or not), and blanket ideological denial. We have to understand that some people still do not believe that the U.S. is torturing or has tortured detainees, still do not believe that torture or murder or rape occurred at Abu Ghraib, still believe that everyone at Gitmo is a dangerous terrorist captured by US forces, and still believe we’re winning in Iraq.

It doesn’t take a genius to predict where this is going.

Once again, as I’ve said all along, you can’t “support the troops” while publishing agitprop that suggests the troops are a bunch of sociopaths.

Supporting the troops only applies to those who stick to the rules (ie. shut up and do as they’re told).

Not only Thomas’s character will be dragged through the mud (Michelle Malkin is putting in the tough yards over at her site), but eventually some small part of Thomas’s account will turn out to be slightly exaggerated and the peanut gallery will declare they were right all along! Thomas did make up his stories! The left does hate the troops! The war is going swimmingly! At least, it would be if the MSM weren’t undermining it, and the troops, at every turn.

UPDATE:

Already, the right wing slime machine is gathering speed. Some of these sick puppies are quietly hoping that one of Thomas’s comrades gives him the Pat Tillman treatment.

Your character, or more accurately, your complete lack of it has already been noted and your experiences, being mostly fiction matter little. If any of them happened, you will face punishment, but as we know telling BS stories is not a crime. As far as writing under your own name, as I noted above JD Johannes had already identified you down to Company (100+ troops) level and you used your first and middle names as your pseudonym you freakin’ pinhead. You were already fronted out and I would assume it was some members of your unit that “politely” invited you to name yourself. You are a disgrace Beauchamp, a wannabe intellectual lacking the brainpower to do much more than embarrass yourself in public. Well Bravo, you have shown yourself to be a back-stabbing petty BS artist. Congratulations on that. Now you need to get busy watching your back, ‘cuz if you think you were disliked and unloved before……Heh. Now your time is up, we are done making fun of you, Uh buh bye.

The mentality of these people is truly astounding. You are a member of the the sacred collective and so long as you remember this, you will be praised (unless of course you are killed or wounded, in which case there is no use for you anymore). Do not even think about violating the code or you will be destroyed, because you know, we support the troops.

Meanwhile, John Cole gives these vermin a lesson in logic 101:

The funniest thing (saddest) about this whole affair is that but for the outrage noise machine in the right wing blogosphere, no one would have even known what this guy wrote. I sure as hell didn’t until the professional idiots started their link circle jerk and it made it to memeorandum.com. But now, you all have worked yourself into such a lather it is only a matter of time before Howard Kurtz and someone else pick the story up and run with it- and it gets national and international attention. BRAVO. Way to smear the troops, knuckleheads.