Columnist Kathleen Parker is also interested in the mindset of the New Republic editors who published the “Baghdad Diarist” and his scurrilous stories about U.S. soldiers:

“It may be that The New Republic editors and others who believed Thomas’ journal entries without skepticism are infected with Nifong Syndrome — the mind virus that causes otherwise intelligent people to embrace likely falsehoods because they validate a preconceived belief.

“Mike Nifong, the North Carolina prosecutor in the alleged Duke lacrosse team rape case, was able to convince a credulous community of residents, academics and especially journalists that the three falsely accused men had raped a black stripper despite compelling evidence to the contrary.

“Why? Because the lies supported their own truths. In the case of Duke, that ‘truth’ was that privileged white athletes are racist pigs who of course would rape a black woman given half a chance and a bottle o’ beer.

“In the case of Scott Thomas, the ‘truth’ that American soldiers are woman-hating, dog-killing, grave-robbing monsters confirms what many among the anti-war left believe about the military, despite their protestations that they ‘support the troops.’

“We tend to believe what we want to believe, in other words.

“Whether Scott Thomas is real and his reports true remains to be determined. In the meantime, it is tempting to wonder: What if we believed in American honor and victory in Iraq?

“What would those dispatches look like?”