From a professor at the Air War College:
OK, let’s not get over OUR heads on this. One small point first: the report of the Army’s investigation is based on an Army regulation. “AR-15″ does not, in this case, refer to Article 15 of the UCMJ. The report may have been used pursuant to an Art 15. An “Article 15″ is short-hand for non-judicial punishment; as a former CO, I did plenty of these. The troop can refuse the Art 15 and opt for trial by court-martial if he thinks the evidence against him would not hold up in such a trial. If his CO pursued an Art 15, and Beauchamp was willing and able to “stand by his stories,” he must have had one heck of a useless lawyer if he accepted the punishment rather than go to trial. But I haven’t heard anything about Beauchamp “getting Article 15′d”, as we say. The applicable articles of the UCMJ are listed in Paragraph 3 of the investigator’s report itself.
Nevertheless, as I wrote earlier, TNR needs to get splitting hairs (confession? not a confession?) and address the Army’s findings–the story of the disfigured woman was labeled a “complete fabrication” (TNR blew off as inconsequential the fact that Beauchamp admitted to writing that piece of nonsense while in Kuwait, not Iraq). Likewise, he is deemed, by his own admission, not credible on the other elements of his stories, none of which could be corroborated in interviews with other soldiers. The report concludes that, based on the evidence, Beauchamp essentially takes a grain of truth and produces a wildly exaggerated story with it. And now, in his phone call with Foer, Beauchamp refuses to stand by his stories, while Foer successfully dissuades him from talking to other media outlets. Can TNR produce Beauchamp’s statement where he DOES NOT recant? If so, let’s see it. Moreover, negatively affected good order and discipline anytime, but more so in combat, is itself a big deal in the military. This just isn’t some G.I. spinning tall tales in a bar back home. Finally, is TNR willing to dispute the Army’s findings? If so, on what grounds?
Anyway, my two cents’ worth. I think the report and the transcripts show more than a kid in over his head; it shows a self-absorbed, immature liar, exploited by a liberal media outlet all too willing to believe this crap.