Well, that was fun; sort of what I imagine a fox-hunt to be, with a pack of hounds and a merry collection of red-coated hunters on swift steeds. The successful conclusion of the milblogosphere kerfuffle-du-jour, the beat-down of aspiring fabulist Pvt. Scott Thomas Beauchamp was just like one of those exhilarating hunts beloved by viewers of the very high-quality BBC dramas that have been exported to the lonely outposts of Peoria, Tujunga and Boise for lo, these many years.

There was the wily fox; not as wily as he thought he was, obviously… spinning an oh-so-tempting yarn for the editor of TNR, who eagerly snapped it up. And over there is a hound, a hound with a very clever nose who thinks something stinks and begins to bay, and a huntsman with a horn blows “tally-ho”, as the hounds quarter the rough ground, yapping noisily as they discover more and more interesting little discrepancies. No wounded woman at FOB Falcon? A small graveyard and not a dumping ground for victims of an atrocity? And where are the officers and NCOs, and how the hell is it possible for a clumsy tracked vehicle to run over a nimble street-mutt anyway? And for someone to find himself jaded and degraded by war… before he even arrives in theater?

So the hunt went off, in full cry, hounds and horses pounding over the rolling field and between the trees, spilling through the gaps in the fences, in hot pursuit of the nimble fox… who runs and runs and runs, twisting and backtracking. But every time he looks over his shoulder, the pack and the hunters are closer behind. And when the fox looks ahead, suddenly there is another hunt… a hunt of grim-faced people in mottled green and brown cammies, with lots of stripes on their sleeves or dull-metal stuff on their collars.

And the fox runs to ground. But he is hauled out by the scruff of his neck by the grim-faced people, and held so that everyone in the milling crowd… the hounds, the hunters, a great crowd of spectators can take a good long look. The fox squeaks out a few words admitting that everything he wrote was not true, whereupon he is sentenced to clean latrines with his long bushy tail for the foreseeable future.

Oh, there was a hunt-saboteur who tried to run interference for the fox, insisting that everything the fox said was of a high degree of truthiness… most everything had been confirmed by other foxes and experts, but that he just couldn’t share their names just yet, and why was everyone being so mean?

Well, that’s what the hunt-saboteur was saying just as he got trampled by the hunt, so he went off on vacation, and is there still, nursing some bruises and wondering what he did to deserve this, no doubt.

I shouldn’t worry, though. There’ll be another fox and another hunt, any time now. Just listen for the hounds and the sound of a horn, ringing over the blogosphere. And it will be fun!

Overview from the Washington Post, here.

Sgt. Mom is a freelance writer to lives in San Antonio. This essay is crossposted at “The Daily Brief” Sgt. Mom’s latest book is available here.

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