The Army said this week it had concluded an investigation of Beauchamp's claims and found them false.The boldface is mine. "All" is a strong word. Somebody is lying.
"During that investigation, all the soldiers from his unit refuted all claims that Pvt. Beauchamp made in his blog," Sgt. 1st Class Robert Timmons, a spokesman in Baghdad for the 4th Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, based at Fort Riley, Kan., said in an e-mail interview....
After the pieces were questioned, the magazine said it extensively re-reported his account, contacting dozens of people, including former soldiers, forensic experts, war reporters and Army public affairs officers.
The New Republic said it also spoke to five members of Beauchamp's company, all of whom corroborated Beauchamp's anecdotes but requested anonymity.
Bob Steele, the Nelson Poynter Scholar for Journalism Values at The Poynter Institute school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla., said granting a writer anonymity "raises questions about authenticity and legitimacy."A publisher has a special responsibility when it provides anonymity. This responsibility is magnified many times over when the writing works to undermine our commitment to the war and to break down our trust in the individuals who have devoted themselves to fighting that war for us. This responsibility is magnified again when one of the things anonymity hides is the fact that the anonymous writer has an inside connection to the publisher. (Beauchamp is married to a woman who works at TNR.)
"Anonymity allows an individual to make accusations against others with impunity," Steele said. "In this case, the anonymous diarist was accusing other soldiers of various levels of wrongdoing that were, at the least, moral failures, if not violations of military conduct. The anonymity further allows the writer to sidestep essential accountability that would exist, were he identified."
TNR's silence is deathly.
UPDATE: TNR breaks the silence:
[I]t is our understanding that Beauchamp continues to stand by his stories and insists that he has not recanted them. The Army, meanwhile, has refused our requests to see copies of the statements it obtained from Beauchamp--or even to publicly acknowledge that they exist....
Part of our integrity as journalists includes standing by a writer who has been accused of wrongdoing and who is not able to defend himself. But we also want to reassure our readers that our obligations to our writer would never trump our commitment to the truth. We once again invite the Army to make public Beauchamp's statements and the details of its investigation--and we ask the Army to let us (or any other media outlet, for that matter) speak to Beauchamp. Unless and until these things happen, we cannot fairly assess any of these reports about Beauchamp--and therefore have no reason to change our own assessment of Beauchamp's work. If the truth ends up reflecting poorly on our judgment, we will accept responsibility for that. But we also refuse to rush to judgment on our writer or ourselves.