Investigating Michael Bellesiles, Again

Jim Lindgren has more, and it doesn't look good for Bellesiles--there just aren't any deaths in Iraq that match up to the death he described in a moving article on teaching military history to someone whose brother had recently enlisted.

There's the possibility that Bellesiles, say, changed a marine to an army enlistee, and Afghanistan to Iraq.  If that's the case, and he can prove it, I think he'll be able to claim that he was legitimately simply disguising the identity of his student.  I think that's rather dubious, for reasons Lindgren goes into: it's hardly necessary to entirely relocate the death from one conflict to another, and given the anti-war valence of the move, one has to question it.  But the tendency in these cases is to give the accused the benefit of the doubt.  That's a tendency I support.  The world is not in need of more witch-hunting.

But if he didn't have someone in his class whose brother was killed . . . well, it's hard to fathom.  Surely, he would have known that eventually someone would ask questions?