But Mr. Goldfarb and his colleagues were not to let go that easily, and on August 6 he seemed to get his reward.
“An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by Pvt. Beauchamp were found to be false,” Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad wrote in a statement that he released to Mr. Goldfarb. “His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.”
What’s more, Mr. Goldfarb confidently pronounced that Pvt. Beauchamp himself had signed statements recanting the stories he had written for TNR, attributing the news break to an anonymous source.
Pvt. Beauchamp, he claimed, “signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods—fabrications containing only ‘a smidgen of truth’…”
TNR? What do you have to say to that?
“We’ve talked to military personnel directly involved in the events that Scott Thomas Beauchamp described, and they corroborated his account as detailed in our statement. When we called Army spokesman Major Steven F. Lamb and asked about an anonymously sourced allegation that Beauchamp had recanted his articles in a sworn statement, he told us, “I have no knowledge of that.” He added, “If someone is speaking anonymously [to The Weekly Standard], they are on their own.” When we pressed Lamb for details on the Army investigation, he told us, “We don’t go into the details of how we conduct our investigations.”
So who is telling the truth? Who is lying? Is it Pvt. Beauchamp, the soldier with the harrowing stories? The anonymous source speaking to the eager Mr. Goldfarb? The soldiers who told army officials they knew Pvt. Beauchamp’s stories to be false?
“Without any knowledge of the military’s investigation, it becomes hard to know what to do with the statement they put out,” said Franklin Foer, editor of The New Republic, by phone on August 7.
And without knowing who Mr. Goldfarb’s anonymous source is, it’s hard to figure out the basis for the claim Pvt. Beauchamp has actually recanted his story.
Mr. Beauchamp had, however, told The New Republic that “he had signed statements, but the statements he signed were consistent with the pieces he wrote for The New Republic.”
“All I can tell you is that I don’t believe Beauchamp is standing by the story,” said Mr. Goldfarb, reached by phone on August 7.
“First of all, it’s my understanding that the investigation has concluded,” Mr. Goldfarb said, “and Beauchamp has access to a phone.”
He added that the military has “proven the allegations false.”
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