His case, for some reason, has reminded me of Jessica Lynch. The making of a fake hero/anti-hero out of a silly kid. And the fact that armies are made up of kids, more or less.
With Jessica Lynch, I still remember the New York Times piece by Douglas Jehl and Jayson Blair (another major embarrassment, of a different kind) that ran in 2003:
[...] ''I can say I've been to places that half of Wirt County will never see,'' Private Lynch, 19, wrote with the wonder and awe of a country girl who had not visited Charleston, the state capital, until she graduated from high school but had now embarked on what she plainly saw as a great adventure.
''She kept saying that this is what New York City must be like,'' said Glenda Nelson, a family friend who took Private Lynch on her first visit to Charleston for a shopping trip, just before she left for her Army post at Fort Bliss, Tex.
The two spent several hours shopping for clothes and other items Private Lynch needed, and Ms. Nelson said the young woman was much impressed by the lights and buildings in the state capital, a city of about 200,000. [...]
One of the corrections to this piece notes that "the population of Charleston is about 55,000, not 200,000."