Sunday, August 05, 2007

Beauchamp Busted

This should be of no surprise:

Col. Steven Boylan, Public Affairs Officer for U.S. Army Commanding General in Iraq David Petraeus, just emailed me the following in response to my request to confirm an earlier report that the U.S. Army’s investigation into the claims made by PV-2 Scott Thomas Beauchamp made in The New Republic had been completed. He states:

To your question: Were there any truth to what was being said by Thomas?

Answer: An investigation of the allegations were conducted by the command and found to be false. In fact, members of Thomas’ platoon and company were all interviewed and no one could substantiate his claims.

As to what will happen to him?

Answer: As there is no evidence of criminal conduct, he is subject to Administrative punishment as determined by his chain of command. Under the various rules and regulations, administrative actions are not releasable to the public by the military on what does or does not happen.

At best, the truth behind his story was an Urban Legend or Myth. That's a tad more than a "discrepancy" or a "confirmation."

More at Hot Air and LGF.

For real life at FOB Falcon, look here. For a reality-based view on troop behavior, check in with Ralph Peters:
While crimes committed by our troops can't be condoned (and they certainly aren't), official crime statistics make it clear that we have the best-behaved military in history - one that's vastly more law-abiding than our general population.

The here-at-home numbers are readily available from public sources. So let's compare some domestic crime rates with the misdeeds of those vicious storm-troopers of ours.

In the 19-month period - over a year and a half - from Jan. 1, 2006 until the morning you read this, misbehavior by our troops resulted in a total of 59 scheduled court-martials in Iraq - 21 of them general court-martials, which are reserved for the most-serious crimes (murder, rape, robbery, assault, arson and so forth). The other 38 were special court-martials, invoked for lesser offenses, such as disciplinary infractions or petty theft.

OK: 59 trials in 19 months, among an average troop population of almost 140,000. Compare that to civilian crime statistics back home, and it's clear that any of us would welcome the chance to live among such model citizens - even though our troops are overwhelmingly within the age window where criminal behavior is most frequent.

In all fairness, I suppose we can add Beauchamp's lies as a crime by a serviceman.

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