January 21, 2008

The Scott Thomas Beauchamp " Shock Troops" Military Investigation, Statements 13-24

Documents released by the Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Central Command at MacDill Air Force Base Florida, in relation to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests files for documents relating to the military investigation into the Scott Thomas Beauchamp "Shock Troops" article in The New Republic magazine.

The following are the never-before published statements of soldiers interviewed in the course of the investigation. Names are redacted per federal privacy laws.

Statement 13

Statement 14 (click to enlarge)

Statement 14, Page 2

Statement 15

Statement 16

Statement 17 (click to enlarge)

Statement 18 (click to enlarge)

Statement 19 (click to enlarge)

Statement 20 (click to enlarge)

Statement 21

Statement 22

Statement 23 (click to enlarge)

Statement 24 (click to enlarge)

More documents following throughout the day. Check back in later.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 21, 2008 10:57 AM

To my mind, the most damning statements (damning to Beauchamp, that is) are the following:

Statement 19, made by a staff sergeant: "[At COP Ellis] We did see some goat feces and goat parts that were very old. Nothing out of the ordinary was found there. Cop Ellis was obviously a farm at one time."

Statement 20, also by a staff sergeant: "No, I never saw any human remains at C.O.P. Ellis. There are some sheep bones and skulls there. (Illegible) 1/28 soldiers claim they found a decomposing body during the clearing of C.O.P. Ellis."

Statement 21, another staff sergeant: "When COP Ellis was being built we found dog, cat and other animal bones. We pilled [sic] them up and got rid of it."

Statement 22, no rank listed: "Q: Did you see anyone pick up a human skull and wear it? A: No I did not, what I saw was farm animal bones in a pile."

It seems clear where Beauchamp got the inspiration for his "mass grave" story.

Posted by: Robin Munn at January 21, 2008 11:56 AM

That is, among the new information that was uncovered, these statements are the most damning. We already knew that the FOB Falcon burned woman story was made up out of whole (tan, military-style) cloth, after all.

Posted by: Robin Munn at January 21, 2008 12:00 PM

Yeah, but it all could have been true.

Maybe Iowahawk can do the news media over, a la Beauchamp.

Posted by: Slartibartfast at January 21, 2008 12:46 PM

Hey CF: How's about making those PDF's?!

Posted by: Macker at January 21, 2008 12:48 PM

I guess they don't keep logs in the Army. In the Navy you would have seen more all-caps print, although without lines, the text would have been similarly out of alignment.

It makes me want to go practice my penmanship to improve my warfighting skills.

Posted by: Patrick S Lasswell at January 21, 2008 01:02 PM

Great research! Congratulations, and thanks for sticking with it!

There's only one problem: to the MSM, and especially to The New Republic, this will be "old news." The media will not report it, and TNR will not issue another statement -- hey, they've already issued one half-assed retraction, why should they say anything else? -- and Franklin Foer will keep his job.

The one effect these facts will have ... is that Scott Beauchamp will have to learn how to look blank and innocent in case some interviewer is nasty enough to bring this up when he's on his book tour. But nobody will. And the folks on the left who want to believe Beauchamp's hardhitting frontline reporting on the hell of war -- the gutwrenching mindthoughts of a real patriot, not some chickenhawk! -- won't ever care about any of this at all.

That's what we're up against, folks.

Posted by: Mike G in Corvallis at January 21, 2008 01:13 PM

"And the folks on the left who want to believe Beauchamp's hardhitting frontline reporting on the hell of war...won't ever care about any of this at all."

Worse, they will say these people were all in on the coverup.

Posted by: the wolf at January 21, 2008 01:28 PM

I doubt it will advance the public debate, just because most had come to this conclusion long ago. But an extraordinary accomplishment, Mr. Owens. Thank you for your work.

Posted by: Richard R at January 21, 2008 01:35 PM

Good job! I blogged about the faux diarist myself, and also published an e-mail I got from his First Sergeant. The whole thing reeked of bullshit from the get-go. TNR got punked by a problem child,and still won't apologize to those they slandered. They salivated over another military-bashing smear piece, and it back-fired.

Posted by: sfcmac at January 21, 2008 01:36 PM
Hey CF: How's about making those PDF's?!

These files came to me as a PDF... the file these were pulled from was 36MB after I ran them through a PDF compression utility. Sorry, but I can't post something that big, so I sliced and diced to publish the new and relevant information only.

I've copied the majority of the sworn statements, with the exception of one of those that read as cookie cutter of a previous statement, and multiple copes of those denying the burned woman story at FOB Falcon, as they all said the same thing. I cut blank second-pages as well.

More are on the way early this evening.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at January 21, 2008 01:44 PM

I'm afraid we haven't seen the last of SB nor his BS. The Left has to rehabilitate him. I can see the meme now:

"Scott Beauchamp, now a civilian and freed from the intimidation of his commanders is also free to tell us the truth about the atrocities he witnessed while fighting heroically in Iraq."

Posted by: Fred Beloit at January 21, 2008 01:51 PM

"I guess they don't keep logs in the Army."

Yeah, we do, on DA Form 1594. All caps aren't particularly common in the Army, unless it's someone who can't type.

For some reason, whoever invented the sworn statement never thought to put lines on it so it could be neat.

BTW, Confed Yankee: make sure that whoever you got the PDFs from *properly* redacted the names. It's very easy in Adobe Acrobat to draw a text box over the names so it *looks* like they're gone but are still accessible to someone who knows what he's doing.

Posted by: ben at January 21, 2008 02:14 PM

CF --- As the documents are public domain (I presume), making them available unaltered would be a good thing. Try uploading the PDF to MediaFire, or a similar service.

Posted by: Ian Hamet at January 21, 2008 02:15 PM

It's probably been said before, but it is worth saying again because we need to understand how liberals think:

TNR did not "slander" the military by its own standards, because they were simply trying to reveal an ugly truth that they KNOW is there. Unfortunately, this guy did not really have the experiences he claimed he did, but they KNOW that ugly truth is still out there. All they are looking for is a MEANS to reveal what they already are certain of.

See, TNR could no more "slander" the military than most of us could "slander" OJ Simpson - we are esentially certain he did it, so we would not be contrite if we quoted someone accusing him, even if it turned out didn't have any proof... simply because we don't think we NEED any proof!

To TNR, the military is ugly by definition in the same way that OJ is guilty by defintion to most of us.

Posted by: sherlock at January 21, 2008 03:30 PM

Perhaps my memory is inaccurate, but didn't TNR claim to have interviewed corroborating "witnesses" to the things Beauchamp wrote in his articles?

It seems clear now that either they did NOT conduct such interviews during their "internal investigation/stonewall" or that Beauchamp had people lie to the TNR "investigators" to support his story.

Given the huge publicity and negative coverage these allegations attracted, I would have thought the Army would also have asked those other soldiers if they had provided any such "confirmations" to TNR or anyone else.

Posted by: Jim Addison at January 21, 2008 03:58 PM

Sherlock gets it half right. Not only are Beauchamp in TNR correct because, even if the "facts" cited cannot be confirmed, there are surely unreported incidents at least as heinous perpetrated by the U.S. military in Iraq every day. But the left would, if necessary, carry that quasi-religious belief even one step further. It doesn't matter if such morally reprehensible actions are occurring. The fact that the U.S. military is an instrument for defense of Western culture and projection of its power is, in and of itself, an offense against all that is good and true. The U.S. military promotes white, patriarchal, Western values against those poor, oppressed "brown" cultures that cannot defend themselves. Ipso facto, U.S. military - bad - heroic resistance - good.

Posted by: boqueronman at January 21, 2008 04:08 PM

Interesting that one statement, statement #6 from a Private First Class, mentions a human skullcap (not the complete skull) being found from someone he judged to be 5-10 years old at time of death. If true (and he did swear to it, so he must have been aware of the penalties for perjury) then it explains better where Beauchamp would have gotten the inspiration for his story.

Still doesn't excuse the "the soldier wore it on his head" or the "mass grave" fabrications, though.

Posted by: Robin Munn at January 21, 2008 04:45 PM

The sworn statement form is done that way so it can be typed, or have drawings made on it. Its Da Form 2823. I used to carry a type writer so it stayed neat. Some investigators draw lines when they have people with poor writing skills.

Posted by: Jeremy at January 22, 2008 10:59 AM

Oh, this is so ridiculous. Why doesn't TNR just do its dream cover story: SOLDIERS TRAINED TO KILL PEOPLE. Isn't that what this is all about? Sheer horror that an armed service exists? Confederate Yank, you have done a great service.

Posted by: Susan Katz Keating at January 22, 2008 02:22 PM

Hey Bob, aren't these the documents that the stupid killbot Army refuses to release so they can impede TNR's "investigation" into the truthiness of the matter?

Yeah, I thought so. I wonder how Frank Foer's FOIA request is coming along. TNR is silent on the topic today.

Posted by: Pablo at January 23, 2008 01:06 AM