Ed Driscoll

"Misty Watercolor Memories, Of The Fog of War"

Iowahawk goes dumpster diving yet again, this time stumbling over the first draft of Franklin Foer’s “epic blamestorm”, buried within a dumpster “behind Marty Peretz’s townhouse!”

By now, the identity of Scott Thomas is publicly known. He is Scott Thomas Beauchamp, age 24. He first came to our attention nearly a year ago by way of Elspeth Reeve, one of three reporter-researchers who work at TNR as essentially yearlong interns and whose responsibilities include fact-checking and making sure that the break room has plenty of Coffeemate non-dairy creamer. When she sent along a piece from her friend Scott in Iraq, we were intrigued. “Hmm,” we thought, intriguigedly, “here is a young man in thick of great tragedy of our time, who will bring readers an introspective view on the day-to-day life of a typical soldier, whether it involves massacres of innocent villagers or a humdrum fragging of a psychopathic sergeant.” When, before publication, Beauchamp asked for a pseudonym, we granted it. We felt that a soldier in a war zone could write most honestly about his feelings and experiences under a penumbra of anonymity. In return, we asked for a 25% share of book royalties, with a 10% option on future theatrical film and DVD gross.

His first piece, a Diarist titled “War Bonds” published in our February 5 issue, described the woes of an Iraqi boy named Ali Baba who found a magic lamp from which emerged a bikini-clad Genie, only to be killed when his magic carpet was downed by an insurgent RPG. This first piece didn’t receive much attention, but the attention it did receive was positive. In any case don’t remember any Hawks bitching about that one.

Several weeks passed before Beauchamp sent us another story–one recounting dialogue between French soldiers along a guard tower, taunting and catapulting cows at British SAS forces, which we rejected. During that time, he took leave in Germany with Reeve. The two had been casual friends at the University of Missouri and resumed a relationship online, which quickly turned into something serious. During Beauchamp’s leave, he and Reeve left Germany…

…And the rest is Blogosphere history. Read the whole thing.