By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Tag: Scott Beauchamp

More on the Scott Beauchamp saga

Last week I linked to Spencer Ackerman’s report for Radar alleging that the real scandal involving ex-“Baghdad Diarist” Scott Beauchamp was that The New Republic had failed to stand behind Beauchamp’s accounts of loathsome behavior on the part of U.S. troops (himself included) in Iraq.

Today the story gets even more interesting. The blog Moon of Alabama observes that an Army sergeant who’s been implicated in killing four blindfolded, handcuffed Iraqi detainees and then dumping their bodies in a canal has exactly the same name as a sergeant who had denounced Beauchamp’s reporting as fiction — First Sgt. John E. Hatley.

I have no idea who or what Moon of Alabama is. But the story about the alleged murders is in today’s New York Times, and all Mr. or Ms. Moon has done is connect the dots.

Still nothing on The New Republic’s Web site. And a hat tip to Media Nation reader L.A., who sent me to this Laura Rozen blog item.

A media scandal that wasn’t?

Remember the Scott Beauchamp scandal? Beauchamp was the soldier who wrote a series of essays for The New Republic documenting some pretty atrocious behavior involving him and his comrades who were serving in Iraq, including running over dogs and playing with a human skull.

As you may recall, Beauchamp was discredited after he admitted to “exaggerations and falsehoods.” Except that Spencer Ackerman, in an explosive story for Radar, now says Beauchamp never made any such admission, and that TNR editor Franklin Foer threw Beauchamp overboard in an attempt to get the magazine’s right-wing critics off his back.

Ackerman admits that there’s bad blood between him and Foer, and that Foer would not be interviewed for the Radar piece. But Ackerman has a lot of on-the-record material backing up his claims. Fascinating stuff.

As I wrote for the Guardian a year ago this week, the Beauchamp scandal gave war supporters an excuse to ignore a dauntingly well-documented report on ugly behavior by American troops that had been published by The Nation.

Now it looks as though the real Beauchamp scandal may have been that The New Republic allowed his reputation to be sacrificed for no good reason.

Nothing on the TNR Web site so far.

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