The right has gotten itself into a lather over Beauchamp — see the indefatigable Krauthammer’s column for example — but I just don’t get it. Assuming his reports were fabricated — I don’t assume that personally, BTW — are they arguing that US troops are without sin?
Because even if his dispatches are false, that doesn’t have anything to do with, for example, the fact that a court of military law found US soldiers guilty of gang-raping a fourteen year old and then shooting her and her entire family to cover it up — one of the soldiers was sentenced to 110 years this week. It doesn’t change the story I relayed last week about a group of marines that had gone looking for a suspected insurgent to mete out some vigilante justice, and, failing to find him, took his neighbor — a father of ten– out and executed him for nothing (two of the marines in that case were discharged this week after serving less than two years). It doesn’t change the fact that 24 unarmed civilians were massacred in Haditha — one of the marines in that incident was arraigned this week and evidence was presented that he had shot women and children — including several little girls — to death in cold blood. Beauchamp’s reports also had nothing to do with the soldier accused of premeditated murder for executing an unarmed and wounded detainee. He testified this week that he was just following his commander’s order to “finish him off.”
So, what impact does it have if Beauchamp’s stories about playing with the skull of a dead Iraqi or running down dogs in a Humvee aren’t true? They pale in comparison to what’s being revealed every week in military courtrooms. read more