As just about everyone knows by now, Scott Thomas is Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp. So it turns out the Baghdad Diarist, who quoted himself saying, "I love chicks that have been intimate with IEDS. It really turns me on -- melted skin, missing limbs, plastic noses," is really a soldier. But as Jack Kelly writes at Real Clear Politics,
If what Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp wrote in the New Republic isn't true, he's in trouble, and so is the magazine.
If what Pvt. Beauchamp wrote is true, he's in bigger trouble.
So could his story be true? It could, but there is this to consider:
On his blog (Sir Real Scott Thomas), Pvt. Beauchamp indicates he's an aspiring writer who joined the Army to establish credentials for voicing his liberal political opinions.
"I know that NOT participating in a war (and such a misguided one at that) should be considered better than wanting to be in one just to write a book," he wrote May 18, 2006. "But...maybe I'd rather be both."
But is Pvt. Beauchamp telling the truth about what he sees in Iraq?
In a blog entry for May 8, 2006, Pvt. Beauchamp describes an atrocity: "'Put a 556 in his head.' (The caliber of an M-16 rifle is 5.56 millimeters.) On the street below, the man's brown face dissolves in a thick red mist. The lights in the city's houses shut off in unison. Electricity rationing. Water rationing too. You ever tried to survive for more than a few hours in 120 degree weather?"
On May 8, 2006, Pvt. Beauchamp was in Germany, where temperatures rarely reach 120 degrees, and the electricity and water work just fine.
OK. I'm back in vacation mode now.