I'm trolling through the comments at other blogs to see what other useful information we can dig up...
Over at Ace of Spades, commenter PJ (#39) writes:
36 I have been awarded the Army Tracked Driver's Badge for driving a Bradley. It's not a common award (or wasn't in my day). I know what I am talking about.
There is no way this story is true. A Bradley cannot routinely bust through concrete. It would have a bit of trouble destroying a car (though it would succeed). It is loud and cannot pivot as quickly and easily as a M113 or M2a1 because of the steering system. There is no way that this story is true.
I think it's interesting that many of our informed readers have more trouble with the Bradley story than anything else--perhaps because it is the most easily debunked element of the story given the milblog communities intimate knowledge of the vehicle. We also had our pal Stuart Koehl write in yesterday ( you can read his comment beneath the original post) to say that there is simply no way that a driver would be able to see a dog off to the right of the vehicle, and further, that the vehicle would not be able to pivot as the author, "Thomas", describes.
I also thought this comment reflected a pretty common reaction, again from ACE, comment #54:
Also, with the disfigured woman, its incredulous to me that she would just sit there and take it. As if being injured is a mark of shame. And in this warrior society, she must sit and meekly cry in her tea. Its as if the reporter thinks that this is some high school cafeteria where the nerds have to take being talked down to, if injuries were actually something be ashamed of. Sorry, one word to someone's superior from corporal all the way to a 3 star general (and if she is a contractor, its more likely that she has access to high level brass than not) and that soldier's life and career are in the shit.
Another common reaction, this one from a commenter at Op-For:
"The private wore the skull for the rest of the day and night."
Sorry, as a former NCO and combat veteran I call BS. No one told him told him to stop!! Not one NCO or officer?
We keep hearing this, that an NCO or officer would at some point have intervened, to stop a PFC from wearing a skull around, to stop a soldier from driving over animals, to reprimand the soldiers for ridiculing a disfigured woman...
WWS pal Dean Barnett continues to pound away at this, with another post this morning:
It's a common trope on the left that they support the troops. Those of us who have read the leftwing blogs and the New York Times editorial page the last four years have found it impossible not to get the sense that even though they purportedly support the troops, they sure do seem to relish every setback the troops incur. Some members of the American left have conjoined every car bomb and every casualty with a tiresome political agenda.
With this piece, you have one of the most respected bastions of liberal opinion bending journalistic rules to publish a story that paints our soldiers as sadistic sociopaths. If TNR had run the story by a single person familiar with the military situation in Iraq prior to publication, that person would have called into question their correspondent's reporting. And yet a story like this one was apparently too delicious to subject to any intellectual or factual scrutiny.
Seriously, go read the whole thing, and it sounds like Dean will be discussing this extensively on the Hugh Hewitt show tonight... Again, one reader said he'd been at FOB Falcon the last eleven months and had not seen this woman, another said he'd been there for six months but had left the base eight months ago. He also said he hadn't seen this woman.
So what we need is someone who can push that date back even further...anyone who served at FOB Falcon before summer 2006 and can provide information as to whether this woman was, in fact, at the base.
More to follow...