THE PLANK JULY 26, 2007
As we've noted in this space, some have questioned details that appeared in the
Diarist "Shock Troops," published under the pseudonym Scott Thomas. According to
Major Kirk Luedeke, a public affairs officer at Forward Operating Base Falcon, a formal
military investigation has also been launched into the incidents described in the
Although the article was rigorously edited and fact-checked before it was published,
we have decided to go back and, to the extent possible, re-report every detail. This
process takes considerable time, as the primary subjects are on another continent,
with intermittent access to phones and email. Thus far we've found nothing to
disprove the facts in the article; we will release the full results of our search when it is
In the meantime, the author has requested that we publish the statement below.
My Diarist, "Shock Troops," and the two other pieces I wrote for the
Republic have stirred more controversy than I could ever have
anticipated. They were written under a pseudonym, because I wanted to write
honestly about my experiences, without fear of reprisal.
Unfortunately, my pseudonym has caused confusion. And there seems to be
one major way in which I can clarify the debate over my pieces: I'm willing
to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real
I am Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp, a member of Alpha Company, 1/18
Infantry, Second Brigade Combat Team, First Infantry Division.
My pieces were always intended to provide my discrete view of the war; they
were never intended as a reflection of the entire U.S. Military. I wanted Americans to
have one soldier's view of events in Iraq.
It's been maddening, to say the least, to see the plausibility of events
that I witnessed questioned by people who have never served in
Iraq. I was initially reluctant to take the time out of my already insane schedule
fighting an actual war in order to play some role in an ideological battle that I never
wanted to join. That being said, my character, my experiences, and those of my
comrades in arms have been called into question, and I believe that it is important to
stand by my writing under my real name.
--Private Scott Thomas Beauchamp