Matt Sanchez, a Marine Reservist, is currently in Iraq interviewing soldiers and visited the camp that was made famous not for heroic deeds, which I’m sure there are many such examples, but made famous due to one douchebag making stories up to sell to a liberal rag: (h/t Hot Air)
There’s no doubt the Baghdad Diarist comments distract from the mission. Lt. Colonel James Crider of the 1-4 Cavalry of Ft. Riley, Kansas gave me a Significant Acts (SIGACTS) briefing that included three car bombs, several IED’s and today’s near encounter with a lobbed grenade. No one has been injured due to information from locals. “The 1-4 Cavalry has been fairly successful in getting the people on our side,” said Lt. Colonel Crider with a slightly southern accent that translates well to the residents of this southeast Baghdad neighborhood…
With the dangers of the real mission in mind, soldiers at the PAO are frustrated that the major media has chosen to focus on the negative, a common complaint I have heard among troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
“The real question here is about accountability,” said Public Affairs Officer Major Luke Luedeke who was quick to debunk several statements in Private Beauchamp’s article “Shock Troops”, after several military bloggers, JD Johannes, Jeff Emanuel and Michael Yon, pointed out glaring inconsistencies in Beauchamp’s articles.~~~
After several terse conversations, it was obvious soldiers at FOB Falcon took the events described in The New Republic very seriously. What was not so obvious was how seriously The New Republic editorial staff treated the matter. If the investigation proves the “Baghdad Diarist” stories to be false, what will The New Republic do? Will they retract the story? Will they reveal the process they used to vet the original information? Every soldier I spoke to realizes he or she is accountable for what is said and done while deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Careers can be ruined because of scandals like the “Baghdad Diarist.”
And Michael Goldfarb received some clarification from Matt about his visit:
We emailed Sanchez to see if we could get anything more definitive. Sanchez reports that the New Republic has sent “one or two emails” to the PAO at FOB Falcon to ask what were called “lukewarm” questions as part of their effort to “re-report” the stories.
Sanchez added that:
No one has seen or heard of the melting lady. No soldier would confuse an officer with a contractor. It just wouldn’t happen. It’s a small base and most people have seen each other. I just got back today and all these people I haven’t seen in a month are welcoming me back. They don’t know me, but they’ve seen me before.
Meanwhile a comment left at Matt’s blog appears to indicate that Beauchamp is currently undergoing a Article 15-6 investigation. Not being Army I’m not sure what that is but I’m told its close to a Court Martial.
Right now, PV2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp is in the middle of an Article 15-6 investigation. If his allegations are true, then he’s a dirtbag who demeans disfigured women, tolerates the desecration of human remains and thinks that running over dogs is funny. If his allegations are false, he’s a walking honor code violation. Either way, I’m not impressed. Nobody on my tour did the kinds of things that he’s claiming.
Just rewards in my opinion. I’m hoping he gets a great view of some bars in the stockade very soon.
ChrisG in the comments updates me on what exactly a Art 15-6 is:
an Army Regulation (AR) 15-6 Investigation is a formal or informal investigation into allegations which requires a commissioned officer to act as the investigator working with JAG, CID, and the entire command to discover if there is enough evidence to proceed with judicial UCMJ (Court Martial), non-judicial UCMJ (ART-15), or some other action.
Article 15 and AR 15-6 get confused often.
This means that a commissioned officer, probably a captain (O-3) Company Commander, or higher because of the charge, has been removed from combat operations to be the investigator.
http://www.gordon.army.mil/osja/15-6.htm (Guide to investigators)
http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r15_6.pdf (Actual Regulation)
Good news to my ears.