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Some time ago I advised folks not to focus on whether Jamil Hussein was actually an Iraqi police officer and instead concentrate on the accuracy of his claims. I'll now suggest avoiding the argument as to whether "Scott Thomas" is or isn't a soldier. The exhumation of a graveyard has already been corroborated, that alone leads me to believe Thomas is indeed a soldier here.
There was a children's cemetery unearthed while constructing a Combat Outpost (COP) in the farm land south of Baghdad International Airport. It was not a mass grave. It was not the result of some inhumane genocide. It was an unmarked commentary where the locals had buried children some years back. There are many such unmarked cemeteries in and around Baghdad. The remains unearthed that day were transported to another location and reburied. While I was not there personally, and can not confirm or deny and actions taken by Soldiers that day, I can tell you that no Soldier put a human skull under his helmet and wore it around.This neither proves or disproves any claim that a soldier pranced around wearing a "skull cap". I do know what would have happened to any such soldier were he to be seen by an NCO, an officer, a fellow soldier, or any one else around who wasn't also a complete asshole.
But allow me to shock you: There probably have been dogs struck and killed by vehicles in Iraq. There probably have been people insulted in DFACs. And there are assholes in the US Army. The New Republic wants people to believe those assholes are typical soldiers. I suggest my bottom line comments from my first take on the story might be useful.
I for one would like to know whether "Scott Thomas" and his buddies are the sick little pieces of shit described in The New Republic or simply figments of some other sick little piece of shit's imagination.I don't know the answer yet. Of course, if this guy is a soldier he's a pathetic excuse for the real thing, and he's going to face some repercussions for his actions. He either did what he says he did, and is an asshole, or he didn't and is fabricating stories, and is an asshole. Back to my first story:
Pretend for a minute his stories are true. He's not just reporting the actions of others, the Left's latest "war hero" is an active participant in the actions he describes. One wouldn't expect such a scumbag to take appropriate action within his chain of command to correct the numerous examples of "bad behavior" he reports, but I do concur with California Army National Guard Lieutenant Colonel Kurt A. Schlichter:If "Scott Thomas" actually is a soldier, you'll see an amazing example of Orwellian double-think. Any attempt by the Army to punish this douche bag for the behavior he confesses to (or for fabricating incidents, if his claims prove false) will be described by leftists in and out of the media as persecution for "speaking out". No one will commend the Army for cleaning it's own house. This is because Thomas' actions are seen by these same people as typical behavior of U.S. Soldiers - all of whom are as described in Thomas' dispatches. Thus the Army will be "hypocritical" for punishing (make that "scapegoating") one who will suddenly be described as a "whistleblower'.
If this guy saw improper conduct, he needs to report it up his chain of command. No senior guy is going to look the other way and let his career go down the toilet protecting wounded-abusing, dog-killing kid corpse desecrators.
If you believe leadership in his unit is perfectly willing to allow soldiers to run amok in this fashion then you are ignorant of the US military today. Case in point: a unit here in Iraq was using the radio call sign "Aggressive". They had to change it to something else. Reason: "Aggressive" presents the "wrong image". This isn't an Orwellian effort - it is much more exemplary of the mindset of military leadership today than the sort Thomas describes (or infers from his description of those they lead).
If he's actually in the military and he's lying, then words aren't sufficient to describe the sort of low life scumbag he is.
If he (or she) is not in the military and is simply demonizing U.S. Soldiers for fun and profit, then he (or she) is simply doing what so many reporters find irresistible these days - providing gullible Leftists with what they are eager to believe.
Meanwhile, a second storyline will also develop. This one will be about the humbling of bloggers who will be described as naive, or part of a cover-up. Whichever might be the case, the bottom line will be that bloggers have zero credibility. Here's how that happened in the Jamil Hussein story.
So lets make one thing clear. For the record - and for what it's worth - I hereby call on The New Republic to stop covering for this little dirt bag and turn him in to proper authorities. The New Republic's new "war hero" is not exposing bad behavior of others that's condoned by his seniors - he's confessing to that behavior himself. Since the New Republic won't release his identity, we can only conclude that either they support this sort of behavior by US troops or know that he isn't one. Neither option speaks well for anyone involved.
I further urge my fellow bloggers - and anyone else interested in the truth in this matter - to follow suit.
And so does ABC News
I think the most credible explanation is that this "Scott Thomas" douchebag is a teller of tall tales built up from trivial factual incidents.
for instance: N years ago, a bradley driver accidentally runs over one or two dead dogs in the road, gets ragged on for it by his buddies, and after a few dozen retellings he becomes the proud slayer of dozens of live dogs.Posted by Bill at July 25, 2007 03:58 PM
Case in point: a unit here in Iraq was using the radio call sign "Aggressive". They had to change it to something else. Reason: "Aggressive" presents the "wrong image".
Posted by ScottM at July 25, 2007 04:39 PM
This is far more disturbing than any of "Scott Thomas's" claims.
Excellent points, Greyhawk! Thanks or the wise advice.Posted by FbL at July 25, 2007 05:02 PM
Couldn't agree more....Posted by Andi at July 25, 2007 05:42 PM
Yes. I was thinking about American Pie: This one night, at band camp...Posted by kat-missouri at July 25, 2007 06:18 PM
You are surely correct in your assessment of the character and relative worth of "Scott Thomas" regardless of how factual or anti-factual his fables eventually turn out to be. I suspect that ultimately, The New Republic will essentially say "We're standin' by it, and you can't prove it's not true, you redneck rightwing peckerwoods, nyah, nyah!" That's essentially where we are at the moment, isn't it?
So we're left with analysis based on the "author's" accounts, and that's the problem here. To those who understand the military, who know firearms, who know armored vehicles, who don't have a leftist, defeatist agenda, while certain aspects of the fables are at least barely plausible, overall, they reek of falsity. Could an American soldier driving a Bradley have run over a dog? Sure. In the manner, and in the ways put forth by "Thomas?" Highly unlikely. Could a soldier have been rude to an IED victim? Yes, but as described by "Thomas?" Almost certainly false. Square fired Glock brass? Doesn't exist. Soldiers misusing body parts? Yes. As described by "Thomas?" Highly, highly unlikely.
If we're waiting for TNR to provide facts and real evidence, we'll be waiting a long time indeed. We'll probably have to rely on this old, but valuable maxim: "if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck." These fables are quacking loudly enough to be heard all the way from Iraq.Posted by Mike at July 25, 2007 06:34 PM
The exhumation of a graveyard has already been corroborated, that alone leads me to believe Thomas is indeed a soldier here.
May I ask why?
Given that it was described as "one of Saddam's dumping grounds" and a mass grave, I think you're giving far too much credit where it is due.
This reminds me of the "Winter Soldier Investigation" Many of the accounts were shown to be fabricated and false. John Kerry - mister credibility -summarized the investigation before congress.Posted by JCH at July 25, 2007 08:11 PM
By keeping "Scott Thomas" identity secret, The New Republic is protecting him from prosecution for the things he admits to doing. This make TNR his accomplices. If his account is true. If it's false ..., well I can't think of language strong enough. But Treason comes to mind.Posted by LarryD at July 25, 2007 09:19 PM
Agreed,Scott Thomas is dillusional either way,he's either a want a be soldier and can't measure up so he tries to bring them down to his level.Their high school pranks,a young lad trying to be a man,whos idol was clearly an idiot..Hes still got no guts,no nads,and clearly no honor! Semper FiPosted by referman at July 25, 2007 09:53 PM
Scott Thomas and Jamail Hussein are symptons of arguably the most difficult aspect of covering and understanding Iraq. How do you chase down and confirm facts like this that, like the six burning Sunnis, contribute to the negative drumbeat and so strongly influence the public's perceptions about the war. MSM sources and mainstream, "legacy" journalism outlets, still can't really be held accountable for what they write.
Posted by jordan at July 25, 2007 11:00 PM
re: the grave.
Most likely he heard about the cemetary from another soldier. For his story, children buried individually in winding sheets becomes a layer of clothes, a layer of children in a mass grave.Posted by monkeyboy at July 26, 2007 03:14 AM
Couldn't agree more Greyhawk,but is this really that surprising? The anti-war blame America first nutcases are playing their last card. Turning the soldiers into some deranged crazed lunatics. They want the public to turn on the soldiers, just like Vietnam. I mean just look what Hollywood is doing next year. All these "war films" coming out next year on trouble Iraqi Veterans. The terrorists must think we are so weak. They must be laughing there asses off. There isn't a place hot enough in Hell for these traitors.Posted by pete dawg at July 26, 2007 03:35 AM
No, it's not surprising. This is the next logical step for the anti-war crowd.
First, it's "support the troops but not the war".
Then, after the troops have been succesfully portrayed as criminals, they are forced (through no fault of their own - so convenient!) on moral grounds to withdraw that "support" of the troops as well.Posted by MaryAnn at July 26, 2007 02:40 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(5) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)