TNR‘s statement is maddening. They admit that Beauchamp’s story about mocking a disfigured woman didn’t happen in Iraq — and play it off like this is a minor error. It isn’t.
Beauchamp’s story was intended to suggest that the horrors of war had turned him callous and sadistic. Except now this incident is supposed to have happened in Kuwait, before Beauchamp had been exposed to those horrors. See Michael Goldfarb for more on the significance of this.
Ace is rightly fuming about how less-than-forthcoming Frank Foer has been. Foer said last week that TNR had “confirmed the woman” — if what they had in fact confirmed is that the incident happened in an entirely different country, Foer really should have said so. It certainly would have saved Matt Sanchez some time; he’s asked more than fifty soldiers at FOB Falcon if they remember a disfigured woman.