Everyone knows the story of the “Bagdhad Diarist” who embellished what could not be woven out of whole cloth, thereby staining the honor of those who served alongside. People are increasingly aware that, under pressure from a clearly self-interested editorial staff at The New Republic to corroborate his own calumnies, he refused to cave in even when Franklin Foer gracelessly brought his journalist wife into the discussion. Beauchamp said he had done with all that, that she was a journalist and he was a soldier.
What I did not realize was that Beauchamp had been offered the opportunity to leave Iraq and instead chose to stay, serving in a dangerous part of Baghdad.
Beauchamp is young; under pressure he made a dumb mistake. In fact, he has not always been an ideal soldier. But to his credit, the young soldier decided to stay, and he is serving tonight in a dangerous part of Baghdad. He might well be seriously injured or killed here, and he knows it. He could have quit, but he did not. He faced his peers. I can only imagine the cold shoulders, and worse, he must have gotten. He could have left the unit, but LTC Glaze told me that Beauchamp wanted to stay and make it right. Whatever price he has to pay, he is paying it.
People make mistakes. Some are man enough to stand up to the consequences. Some fewer look for a way to make it right. As far as I’m concerned, Scott Thomas Beauchamp has paid his debt.
He’s good with the house.