Monday, July 30, 2007


Although I've been following the story of "Baghdad Diarist" Scott Thomas (whose real name is Scott Thomas Beauchamp), I haven't felt the need to comment on it.  Others--people who put a lot my time and energy into their blogs than I do--have done a more than sufficient job covering the story.  But there is one thing I feel compelled to point out.

When I first heard about Beauchamp's claims of troop misconduct, I was skeptical.  I figured he was probably a too-smart-for-his-own-good malcontent who was getting a little payback on the Army and the unit he thinks has treated him poorly.  If you've ever served in the military, you've probably met at least one of thses guys.  My guess is that he took a couple of real incidents he witnessed or (more likely) heard tell of, and exaggerated them for effect.  Essentially, adding credibility to urban legends by giving them TNR's stamp of journalistic integrity.

At any rate, the part of Beauchamp's account that really pegged my bullshit meter was the story of the Bradley driver that intentionally ran over the dog that was lying next to the street.  Aside from the usual arguments that have been put forth (all quite sensible, by the way) centering on the speed and maneuverability of a Bradley versus the reflexes of your average canine, there is one reality in play here that I haven't seen mentioned:  the Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) being employed by the bad guys in Iraq include hiding IEDs in the carcasses of dead animals.  With this in mind, who in their right mind would swerve toward a dog lying by the side of the road?  And who--among this guy's leadership or peers--would let an act this ridiculously unsafe go by without comment (or an ass-kicking, for that matter)?

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