The optimum result for The New Republic’s credibility in the matter of “Scott Thomas’s” shocking articles on troop behavior from Iraq would have been for Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp, who stepped forward as the author, to be found guilty of misconduct.

Since Beauchamp’s behavior and that of his fellow soldiers was clearly not acceptable, some sort of punishment from the military was likely if his bizarre tales were true. Here is the latest:

“THE WEEKLY STANDARD has learned from a military source close to the investigation that Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp–author of the much-disputed ‘Shock Troops’ article in the New Republic’s July 23 issue as well as two previous ‘Baghdad Diarist’ columns–signed a sworn statement admitting that all three articles he published in the New Republic were exaggerations and falsehoods–fabrications containing only “a smidgen of truth,” in the words of our source.

“Separately, we received this statement from Major Steven F. Lamb, the deputy Public Affairs Officer for Multi National Division-Baghdad:

“An investigation has been completed and the allegations made by PVT Beauchamp were found to be false. His platoon and company were interviewed and no one could substantiate the claims.

“According to the military source, Beauchamp’s recantation was volunteered on the first day of the military’s investigation. So as Beauchamp was in Iraq signing an affidavit denying the truth of his stories, the New Republic was publishing a statement from him on its website on July 26, in which Beauchamp said, ‘I’m willing to stand by the entirety of my articles for the New Republic using my real name.'”

The editors basically cleared Beauchamp, except on one not-so-minor matter of the placement of one incident.

Stay tuned.