One Arrogant Prick

I guess all those months serving at the feet of annointed God-General David Petraeus has turned Public Affairs Officer Col. Steve Boylan into one arrogant prick. While the authenticity of the first email is still in doubt, I think we can agree the subsequent ones are legit, and Boylan is a real jerk.

Compare the almost matter-of-fact responses that right-wing PR bots like the Confederate Yankee get, and the taunting and juvenile tone Boylan uses when addressing Greenwald:

I am interested in this issue. What I am doing about it does not concern you. Interesting is what I find it.

Whether I agree with what the email says or not is not an issue I wish to discuss with you, as I decided after our last exchange that I would not take the time or efforts to engage with you.

Is there a reason why you posted this?

Does it mean I hate the troops if I call Col. Steve Boylan an asshole?

At any rate, this all stems from Greenwald’s earlier post this week regarding the obvious and overt politicization of the military that has taken place during the past few years, and I think it is important to visit an older post from Stiftung Leo Strauss (thank you Jim Henley for turning me on to this guy):

Congress has devolved into a parody Duma. The White House its own parody – pick your favorite analogy. A liberal democracy should not be exposed thusly to a tightly organized, culturally aloof-if-not-disdainful, military fresh from defeat and facing budget cuts and perhaps future deployments. Even now, the rarity of service makes it almost mandatory to do obeisance before one who has. Regardless how one feels about the Warlord’s disasterous policies, this is not healthy for a democracy. Whether Dubya general shops, hides behind them or Petreus calls it as he sees it, the totemistic deployment of veterans and the outsourcing of decision-making to the military under these circumstances forecasts more disconcerting events on the horizon.

If Congress, the Judiciary and the Executive had not been so debased by the Warlord and Movement’s radicalism we might feel less concern. So here’s to a draft. Not just to “share the burden”. But also to ensure that our military shares liberal democratic culture and values.

There is cause for concern. The right wing is sowing the seeds for Dolchstoßlegende even while claiming victory or progress or positive trends or however we are euphemizing it today, and there appears to be a significant portion of the Officer Corps who are willing to go along with it. The arrogance of Boylan is not only a symptom of this problem, it is one of the intended outcomes.

*** Update ***

The Commisar has a question for me:

If Oberst Boylan had sent Greenwald an email threatening to run over his Beagle with a Panzer, would that be a serious threat to America, or not?

It would be weird, but no.

But that isn’t really what this is all about. And it wasn’t just a soldier sending a rude email to Glenn (does the Colonel even admit to sending the email yet?). It was a bizarre series of taunting e-mails (if legit) from the PAO who works (unless I am mistaken) directly for Gen. Petraeus. That takes us to a whole other ball game.

Again, I believe there is enough anecdotal and documented evidence of the politicization of at least a portion of the Officer Corps (the issues discussed in the original Greenwald piece cite a few, other examples that immediately spring to mind are the Air Force Academy imbroglio). I think that is problematic. Perhaps the Commisar thinks I am overstating the case. I hope he is right.

120 replies
  1. 1
    Davebo says:

    This is a Colonel we’re talking about here.

    Amazing.

  2. 2
    Peter Johnson says:

    Greenwald has had some tough things to say about Boylan. So Boylan gives it right back to him. It sounds like Glenn can dish it out but he can’t get take it.

    Guys like Glenn were trashing Petraeus before he even testified. And now they’re whining about an email. What a bunch of babies.

  3. 3
    Xanthippas says:

    Is Boylan seriously trying to suggest he didn’t send that email?

  4. 4
    jake says:

    The wheels are coming off and these bastards still want to pretend success is just around the corner. If they shared half a testicle they might be able to tell the truth. But, having fewer balls than a squad of bratty cheerleaders, snippy responses should not come as a surprise. Next it’ll be “No one understands me, why can’t you leave me alone, boo hoo hoo! [door slams]”

  5. 5
    RSA says:

    I didn’t realize it was possible to learn everything you need to know about being a Public Affairs officer on a schoolyard during recess. I guess Patraeus knows what kind of public affairs he wants. . .

  6. 6
    Peter Johnson says:

    If you scroll down you’ll see that Boylan was a victim of identity theft, so this could be a fake.

    That might explain why the tone is so different than the one he sent to CY.

  7. 7
    Mattius says:

    Remember Wesley Morgan? Scott Horton interviewed him after he spent this past summer with Petraeus in Iraq and saw the surge first hand. I got the impression that the kid was still young and impressionable – despite how intelligent he was – he saw sycophancy and toeing the line as the best way to ensure future success. That sounds like a cultural problem to me. It takes strong character to overcome the servile nature of a military hierarchy, and the military isn’t kind towards character. Military careerists need malleable character.

    This answer from Wesley was particularly distressing:

    “5. Michael O’Hanlon and Ken Pollack recently published a major op-ed piece in the New York Times concerning a recent trip to Iraq. They claimed that a number of positive developments in-country merit a more optimistic outlook on the prospects for US “victory” in Iraq. Have your travels and experiences confirmed or contradicted the O’Hanlon/Pollack assessment?

    I think O’Hanlon and Pollack hit the nail on the head. The article was a little overly simplistic, as it had to be since it was in op-ed form, but besides that I don’t have much to add.”

    When a towering intellect is coupled with stunted maturity you get people like Col. Steve Boylan. And now with Wesley, it looks like the next generation of military officers is being fit for the same mold. Flaks before problem solvers.

    http://harpers.org/archive/2007/08/hbc-90000981

  8. 8
    teh says:

    Meh, no one is going to be able to “prove” that it actually came from Boylan since you can spoof the source e-mail address and the routing information up until the point that it gets to Salon’s servers. Expect a lot of pointlessness where self-described experts claim that they can actually show something conclusive from this and turn out to be making it up.

    And the idea that “identity theft” would have anything to do with this is absurd. How does someone go from stealing your credit card to spoofing e-mail headers? How are they related, at all?

    And the implication from Glenn’s previous exchanges is that they did not use PGP or anything so that they could trust each other’s identity. You would think it would be worthwhile for the military to make it easier to spot fake e-mails coming from their senior PR officers.

  9. 9
    brent says:

    Greenwald has had some tough things to say about Boylan. So Boylan gives it right back to him.

    Whatever one thinks of Glenn’s “attacks” they are very rarely personally directed and they have not been in this case. He argued that the Military is being very overtly politicized and provided evidence to that effect. But whether one agrees with that even, is irrelevant. GG is a private citizen. If he is behaving inappropriately (and I don’t agree that he is) that is one issue. This is a Col in the United States military and one, in particular, who is responsible for public relations. This sort of behavior is completely unacceptable for a person in that position, whatever one imagines to be the sins of Glenn Greenwald.

    And now they’re whining about an email. What a bunch of babies.

    Interesting characterization but it is quite clear that noone here is “whining” at all. He is using the letter to make a simple point about the lack of professionalism and detachment that currently exists among some elements of the military. This basic truth seems undeniable if the letter is authentic. But more to your point, GG’s post about the letter is almost the precise opposite of whining. It is a forceful and direct criticism of the party involved in sending the letter.

  10. 10
    Michael Brown says:

    “Glenn can dish it out but he can’t take it.”
    OK, PJ, as long as we’re going to reduce this to the level of a schoolyard dustup:

    Sounds to me like Boylan’s throwing a squeling, spitting, hissy fit over the fact that Glenn keeps questioning him and his top, Petraeus. He certainly can’t seem to handle it without turning snarky and childish, and then pretending he didn’t turn snarky and childish.

    I know high-school girls with a few more cojones than that.

  11. 11
    brent says:

    If you scroll down you’ll see that Boylan was a victim of identity theft, so this could be a fake.

    His point about the identity theft is perhaps his most bizarre response of all. What the hell would identity theft have to do with a spoofed email? The two are completely unrelated crimes.

  12. 12
    Mary says:

    And the idea that “identity theft” would have anything to do with this is absurd. How does someone go from stealing your credit card to spoofing e-mail headers? How are they related, at all?

    Exactly. And the tone of the first denial sounds awfully shifty. “Interesting email and no. Why do you ask?”? The subsequent tap-dancing about the mail being on the web and the nonsense about identity theft is also bizarre. What’s wrong with a simple, “No, I did not send that email and I want you to issue a public correction immediately.”?

    I’m prepared to believe that Boylan sent the original email just because of his history, the headers (which show an identical path, not just an identical IP address), and his weakass denials.

  13. 13
    Wilfred says:

    , the totemistic deployment of veterans and the outsourcing of decision-making to the military under these circumstances forecasts more disconcerting events on the horizon.

    Nail on the head – totemization of the military as a whole, I’d say. The whole thing is complete nonsense ideology foisted upon people desperate and stupid enough to believe in it. Fuck all of them.

  14. 14
    KCinDC says:

    Teh, it’s true that the headers can be spoofed up to the point it reaches Salon’s server, but the first message wasn’t just sent through some random server with forged headers. The important thing is that the messages both were delivered to Salon’s server from 214.13.200.111, which is indeed 02exbhizn02.iraq.centcom.mil. So unless someone’s compromised the Centcom mail server to forge messages from Boylan, or perhaps sneaked into Boylan’s office and used his computer to send the mail — either of which would be something that should provoke a serious investigation of Centcom’s computer security — it looks like the first message was from him, and he’s just playing games as a distraction.

  15. 15
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    Does it mean I hate the troops if I call Col. Steve Boylan an asshole?

    Yes. Yes it does. Enjoy the United Caliphate of America, terrorist-lover.

  16. 16
    KCinDC says:

    If Bush values the same qualities in diplomats that he does in public affairs officers (and he does, as we saw with John Bolton), then it’s little wonder the US has become so much more hated around the world since 2001.

  17. 17
    capelza says:

    Dickhead.

  18. 18
    teh says:

    KCinDC,

    You are correct. I was actually about to post the same thing now that I actually looked at it. (Citizen journalism!) It looks like the e-mail definitely came to Salon from an iraq.centcom.mil server, and the same one that Boylan used before.

    It’s possible that he didn’t send it, but yeah, it would probably involve really bad security at some level on the part of Centcom to let people route fake e-mails through their servers.

  19. 19
    Jim Henley says:

    Scott Beauchamp sent it to make Boylan look bad! Bastard!

  20. 20
    ActualRealPatriotAmericanGoreSucksRedStateMan says:

    KC is spot on – why aren’t Boylan and Centcom in a major upfreak about the fact that someone is going to these lengths to forge emails from their officials spokespeople? wouldn’t this be, say, a MAJOR F’ING P.R. CRISIS?

  21. 21
    Wilfred says:

    The important thing is that the messages both were delivered to Salon’s server from 214.13.200.111, which is indeed 02exbhizn02.iraq.centcom.mil.

    Nonsense. 214.13.200.111 is the address of a Kinko’s in downtown Abu Dhabi that handles all the xerox for al Qaeda. Check your kerns.

  22. 22
    ThymeZone says:

    Oh, sorry. I saw the thread title and thought it was about me.

  23. 23
    Peter Johnson says:

    KC is spot on – why aren’t Boylan and Centcom in a major upfreak about the fact that someone is going to these lengths to forge emails from their officials spokespeople?

    It’s easy to spoof emails from a regular account. They have secure accounts used for sending out important information such as troop orders. The regular accounts are only used for things like communications with the press. And these regular accounts are as easy to spoof as yours or mine email accounts would be.

  24. 24
    TenguPhule says:

    Shorter Peter Johnson: A Partisan Military Leadership raises no alarmbells for me, because just because this has eventually led to military coups and wanton bloodshed in other countries doesn’t mean it can happen here.

  25. 25
    mk says:

    More and more it’s looking like, if that email was spoofed, it was spoofed from within the DoD. Somebody, somewhere has some explaining to do.

  26. 26
    ActualRealPatriotAmericanGoreSucksRedStateMan says:

    to peter johnson, assuming you are serious about this discussion:

    … Then why won’t Centcom simply disavow and issue a spoof warning — natural behavior for any entity that presumably doesn’t want:

    a) people to innocently misinterpret emails with all the trappings of Centcom officialdom, since Centcom p.r. traffics extensively in emails to multiple legit press and media and online news outlets.

    b) to require multiple extensive time-consuming backs and forths over authenticity with news outlets, bloggers etc. who want to avoid falling for spoofs.

  27. 27
    RSA says:

    Whether the original email came from a spoofed IP address or not is less interesting than why Boylan is playing games now. His job, which we indirectly pay him for, is to be one of the public faces of the military, not to dick people around. Put yourself in his position: if someone from the general public calls you up or writes you an email, and you have nothing concrete to say, you simply don’t respond. Why is he wasting Glenn’s time as well as his own?

  28. 28

    There was never any reason to believe that the Bush administration’s dedication to creating a hackocracy did not extend to the military, every bit as much as it did to FEMA, GSA, DOJ, EPA, etc.

    It’s still pretty damn depressing.

    I had wondered if this email was a spoof, but his Col. Boylan’s subsequent dickishness and seeming indifference to the possibility of someone sending out emails under his name clinches that it’s real, IMHO.

  29. 29
    HeavyJ says:

    Now he disavows the email. Sort of.

    Why? No one in Bushco will fire him for this.

    Add “coward” to “arrogant prick.”

  30. 30
    jake says:

    Peter Hugh Johnson enthuses:

    Greenwald has had some tough things to say about Boylan. So Boylan gives it right back to him. It sounds like Glenn can dish it out but he can’t get take it.

    But then he mumbles:

    If you scroll down you’ll see that Boylan was a victim of identity theft, so this could be a fake.

    Shorter Peter’s Johnson: Boylan a tough guy giving it right back to Greenwald, except he isn’t really.

    Whew! I’m getting dizzy.

  31. 31
    Happy Jack says:

    This sounds like it calls for a press conference. Who wants to play David Gregory? Danby, very well.

  32. 32
    Bluto says:

    Glenn should be able to figure this one out, after all, he’s an expert on sock puppets.

    Btw, a leftist calling an American officer serving in Iraq a “coward.” Maybe you should put your money where your mouth is and go join your buds in the jihad, chickendove.

    Thanks for the screencap – makes visiting this sewer almost worth it.

  33. 33
    Pinko Punko says:

    Peter Johnson,

    The Super Geniuses club called, they want to make you their President for Life. The vote was unanimous. Congratulations, you’ve earned it!

  34. 34
    John Cole says:

    Glenn should be able to figure this one out, after all, he’s an expert on sock puppets.

    Btw, a leftist calling an American officer serving in Iraq a “coward.” Maybe you should put your money where your mouth is and go join your buds in the jihad, chickendove.

    Thanks for the screencap – makes visiting this sewer almost worth it.

    Go blow it out your ass, punk. Free Republic and and Blackfive are that-a-way.

    And don’t let the door hit you on your patriotic ass.

  35. 35
    Bluto says:

    I tremble at the image of your virtual wrath, John Cole (irony: actually I never, ever tremble at online blowhards).

  36. 36
    DougJ says:

    I tremble at the image of your virtual wrath, John Cole (irony: actually I never, ever tremble at online blowhards).

    I am not worthy. That is brilliant spoof. And you hooked John too.

  37. 37
    jake says:

    Shorter Blotto: Oh noes!1! Don’ be means 2 teh desk jockeys!

  38. 38
    John Cole says:

    I am not worthy. That is brilliant spoof. And you hooked John too.

    Damnit. Did I fall for another spoof? Do I need to match his IP with yours, DougJ?

  39. 39
    Andrew says:

    I tremble at the image of your virtual wrath, John Cole (irony: actually I never, ever tremble at online blowhards).

    Are you, by any chance, wearing two wet suits right now?

  40. 40
    RSA says:

    I love irony (irony: I actually don’t like irony when it’s done badly (irony^2: this is done badly)).

  41. 41
    John Cole says:

    Are you, by any chance, wearing two wet suits right now?

    Eww.

  42. 42
    Bluto says:

    Are you, by any chance, wearing two wet suits right now?

    Why no. Were you hoping for a mind image to pleasure yourself by?

    John Cole: don’t feel bad, I never, ever tremble at offline blowhards, either.

  43. 43
    Mona says:

    Col. Boylan or one of his confidants with access to his computer account sent the email currently at issue. In Greenwald’s post months ago containing that older email exchange with Boylan, Greenwald never referenced whether he had requested, nor whether Boylan had given, permission for Greenwald to reprint those older emails. (And I don’t believe that a military PR flak should have to give such permission for the recipient to ethically then publish the emails, unless his emails are preceded by an agreement to be “off record.”)

    The author of today’s emails knows for a fact that no permission was sought or given, and criticizes Greenwald for it. Only Boylan or someone he confided in would know that.

  44. 44
    DougJ says:

    I checked out that Dreadpundit site: maybe this Bluto guy is serious. If so, it’s even better.

  45. 45
    Punchy says:

    Christ, now Greenwald has linked to Cole. Absolutely the world is coming to a violent end; we can only pray it happens in the next few hours before the f’in BoSox sweep another World Series…

  46. 46
    chopper says:

    bluto would be more entertaining if he actually made a point instead of talking tough.

  47. 47
    paradox says:

    Identity theft!! The CBS memos were faked!

    Every chance they get they fall back on this, the source must be fake, the soldier is phony, that family was lying to get healthcare.

    Yes, this guy easily is a first class prick, I knew it when he characterized Glenzilla’s writing as a “diatribe.” I have never, ever seen Greenwald rant, that god damn lawyer always produces the cleanest and reasonable text I have ever seen. His sources are always up-front and clean, he doesn’t know how to be anything else, Jesus, how come that’s not obvious?

    Glenn is a good guy with a calm voice, his sources are real, now will you motherfuckers attempt to deal with the truth? Ever? Accept the truth, it’s what the rest of us adults do!!

  48. 48
    Bluto says:

    bluto would be more entertaining if he actually made a point instead of talking tough.

    My apologies, chopper. I don’t often make it into the fever swamps and forget that most of you folks need to be spoonfed.

    Here’s the point. I’m not inclined to take the word of a known sock puppeteer. And, even if I suspended my skepticism…I would applaud the Colonel for speaking truth to power.

  49. 49
    John Cole says:

    And, even if I suspended my skepticism…I would applaud the Colonel for speaking truth to power.

    Tears of laughter are STREAMING down my face. The link to Ace as an authority on anything other than titty-bars was a brilliant set-up, but the use of “truth to power” was just too much for me.

    Please stop before you hurt me.

  50. 50
    Anne Laurie says:

    I never, ever tremble at offline blowhards, either…

    One of Life’s Little Mysteries: Why must the least effective debaters and most obvious ball-less wonders plaster themselves behind the fiercest bad-ass intellectually-overreaching blognames?

    Are they intellectually stuck at the grade-school-recess level, or do they secretly want the rest of us to make fun of their blatant posturing?

  51. 51
    DougJ says:

    Let me just say that this thread is truly hilarious.

    Thank you, John, for making all of this possible. It’s a gloomy Sunday afternoon, I messed up my car door while screwing my Garmin instead of watching where I was backing up, and…okay, sportswise everything is all good as Sox/Pats fan, but boringly so.

    Anyway, this thread really made my day. Bluto is the funniest thing I’ve read in months.

  52. 52
    Bluto says:

    John Cole would be more entertaining if he actually made a point instead of talking tough.

  53. 53
    Bluto says:

    Anne Laurie: you found The Princess Bride “intellectually-[sic]overreaching?” Ooookay then.

  54. 54
    Mona says:

    The link to Ace as an authority on anything other than titty-bars was a brilliant set-up,

    Vaginas, John. Ace is most preoccupied with the cabbage- or bacon-like qualities of vaginas, or something along those lines. Brad at Sadly,No! has implored Ace to stop writing about vaginas, because Brad rather likes them, and doesn’t want this fondness to cease as a result of exposure to Ace’s bizarre and obsessive discussions of them.

  55. 55
    chopper says:

    Here’s the point.

    wow, so after all that your point is look at this other guy’s blog.

    that’s nice. wait, no, what’s the word…’tedious’.

    then again, i’d expect nothing else from a guy named after an overweight cartoon date-rapist.

  56. 56
    Bluto says:

    Not “look at,” chopper, “read.” Feel free to move your lips on the big words.

  57. 57
    VidaLoca says:

    DougJ —

    I messed up my car door while screwing my Garmin instead of watching where I was backing up

    Can we assume there’s a “with” missing from that sentence somewhere?

  58. 58
    Jordan Orlando says:

    @ mona:

    You had a real Sherlock Holmes moment earlier (both here and on Unclaimed Territory), wherein you showed pretty conclusively that the original email is genuine.

    It’s too bad that nobody even acknowledged your “knockout punch,” but that’s what happens in real life: the truth requires just a bit too much cleverness to see. The “Inspector Lestrades” of the world always prevail.

  59. 59
    Bluto says:

    I love the way you type, “vaginas,” Mona. And three times in the same post! Now that’s art!

  60. 60
    hueydood says:

    This officer’s job is to speak for the command. His job is not 9-5.

  61. 61
    Pablo Collins says:

    The Captain’s Quarters wannabee should change his name from “Bluto” to “Benito” seems much more apt.

  62. 62
    jake says:

    Vaginas, John. Ace is most preoccupied with the cabbage- or bacon-like qualities of vaginas, or something along those lines.

    ???

    Aside from some Georgia O’Keefe paintings I have only a passing acquaintance with that body part* but I’m pretty sure cabbage or bacon-like qualities would be a sign a woman needs to see her Ob/Gyn STAT.

    Shit, if ANYONE finds anything red and white streaked and smelly or green, bumpy and smelly on them, go to the ER. Please. Check now. Yech.

    j

    *Hi mom!

  63. 63
    Bluto says:

    The Captain’s Quarters wannabee should change his name from “Bluto” to “Benito” seems much more apt.

    I’m not the one whining about the possibility that a soldier may have exercised his First Amendment rights.

    Maybe you should change your name, Pablo.

  64. 64
    The Other Andrew says:

    Center and left bloggers are the “power” in “truth to power”, while powerful military officials are merely railing against them? Wow, we’ve come a long way in the last week.

  65. 65
    hueydood says:

    A prudent PAO would not use a .mil address, rank and/or position to exercise his 1st amendment rights.

  66. 66
    John Cole says:

    Center and left bloggers are the “power” in “truth to power”, while powerful military officials are merely railing against them?

    Stop it, or I am going to laugh so hard I start crying again.

  67. 67
    Mona says:

    love the way you type, “vaginas,” Mona.

    All inspiration and credit to Ace!

  68. 68
    Pablo Collins says:

    Here is what “Ace” had to say about the subject:
    “Eh, a lot of guys don’t dig [cunnilingus]. Who the hell knows what’s going on down there. It’s like H.R. Geiger giving up ink and canvas to work in the avant-garde medium of Play-Doh and bacon.”
    I couldn’t possibly improve on what has been written about this already.

  69. 69
    Mona says:

    medium of Play-Doh and bacon.”
    I couldn’t possibly improve on what has been written about this already.

    Yes, Pablo, that was one of Ace’s myriad explorations (written, that is; his actual or healthy exposure is in some doubt) of the female nether parts. Another Ace contemplation of my gender’s genitalia, if I recall correctly, had to do with pastrami sandwiches, in an invidious comparison.

    For a guy who presents as straight, he do got him some issues with teh ‘ginas.

  70. 70
    John Cole says:

    I like to picture ‘ginas as a figure skater. They wears like a white outfit, and they does interpretive ice dances of my life’s journey.

  71. 71

    Just remember, this was the same Col. Boylan who confirmed the ‘recanting’ of Beauchamp to Confederate YankeeBob, but had his subordinate — Maj. Lamb — confirm it to the New York Times and Washington (Howard Kurtz) Post.

    I think that speaks about his priorities. As does the Greenwald letter confirm his perceived enemies.

    Eerily, I wrote about Boylan’s blog manipulation yesterday, whilst complimenting Mr. Cole’s brilliant Saturday post.

  72. 72
    ActualRealPatriotAmericanGoreSucksRedStateMan says:

    IT GETS BETTER ALERT. FROM McCLATCHY VIA ATRIOS:

    BAGHDAD-Ahmad Chalabi, the controversial, ubiquitous Iraqi politician and one-time Bush administration favorite, has re-emerged as a central figure in the latest U.S. strategy for Iraq.
    Chalabi “is an important part of the process,” said Col. Steven Boylan, Petraeus’ spokesman. “He has a lot of energy.”

    REAL OR SPOOF – AND DOES IT MATTER?

    WHAT SAY YOU, PETER JOHNSON?

  73. 73

    Hey, it worked for the Vietnam War. That war was lost because the Vietnamese didn’t want us there and didn’t want to be what we wanted them to be. So the blame went to the hippies and whoever else didn’t want to keep fighting the Vietnam War, which by 1975 was pretty much everybody.

    But here’s a prediction: While blame will be heaped on the Left for not clapping loudly enough while Tinkerbelle died, expect an old favorite will be trotted out for the blame. The Jews. After all, we have PNAC involved here. So expect a variation of “The Devil Made Me Do It,” with the Jews deceiving the poor Christian soldiers marching onto their deaths.

    The reason why I see this happening is that ultimately the Right can’t blame the Arabs. After all, they have the oil. And the Right can’t accept responsibility for the mess they’ve created. So it’s back to the old game plan. It’s been working for two thousand years.

  74. 74

    From TODAY:
    Chalabi “is an important part of the process,” said Col. Steven Boylan, Petraeus’ spokesman. “He has a lot of energy.”

  75. 75
    jake says:

    Who the hell knows what’s going on down there.

    Jesus (NTZYM). If you think something’s “going on” conduct a visual check before inserting anything. If that is too alarming a thought, peruse a book on basic human anatomy. “I don’t know what’s goin’ on down there but, I’m gonna send ol’ stumpy in to explore!”

    If fear of the vagina dentata* is a common affliction of Der Right, it explains a fuck of a lot about those freaks.

    Including the popularity of Ann Coulter.

    j

    *Note to easily freaked out rwingers: There is no such thing as a vagina dentata. Women do not meet and plot to Lorena your boners … at least until they meet you. After that you’re on your own.

  76. 76
    Canoodle Vajayjay says:

    THIS JUST IN… Col. Steve Boylan has been officially nominated for the 2007 Department of Defense Staff Puke of the Year, awarded for unctuous, egregious or otherwise embarrassing conduct above and beyond the call of doody.

  77. 77
    demimondian says:

    If fear of the vagina dentata is a common affliction of Der Right, it explains a fuck of a lot about those freaks.

    I don’t think it’s fear, jake. I think it’s castration envy.

  78. 78
    Dr Rick says:

    I’m not the one whining about the possibility that a soldier may have exercised his First Amendment rights.

    Yeah, only Rush Limbaugh is allowed to do that.

  79. 79
    TenguPhule says:

    I’m not the one whining about the possibility that a soldier may have exercised his First Amendment rights.

    From the same people who argue that soldiers don’t have first amendment rights if they speak out against the war.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    Maybe you should put your money where your mouth is and go join your buds in the jihad, chickendove.

    Brought to you by the same people too gutless to put their own bodies and treasure where their mouths are on the TEH MOST IMPOTANT WAR EVAH!

  81. 81
    jake says:

    Whathafwa???

    Demi, please say you mean Penis Envy. The thought of critters like Ace of Basement with castration envy is making sparks fly out of my ears.

    Unless they’re jealous because they can’t coupe Le Clenis…

  82. 82
    Kathleen says:

    “I’m not the one whining about the possibility that a soldier may have exercised his First Amendment rights.”

    ha ha ha ha ha ha . In other words:
    counterpoint: Scott Beauchamp.

  83. 83
    bago says:

    I like to picture vaginas. That is all.

  84. 84
    chopper says:

    Not “look at,” chopper, “read.” Feel free to move your lips on the big words.

    shorter bluto: they stoles mah bucket!

  85. 85
    Cyrus says:

    Mona Says:
    (And I don’t believe that a military PR flak should have to give such permission for the recipient to ethically then publish the emails, unless his emails are preceded by an agreement to be “off record.”)

    The general reporting practice is that a conversation (conversation, e-mail exchange, whatever) is on the record unless specifically agreed to otherwise. And the agreement has to be in advance — if an interview subject lets something interesting but embarrassing slip and regrets it, or thinks it’s OK to talk about something but their lawyer later tells them they shouldn’t have, nothing important would ever be published if the subject could just say “Oh, wait, forget I said that.” In practice, a reporter will often not publish something like that because it might not be all that important or he doesn’t really need to be an asshole, but he is under no obligation to do so. When the reporter is a blogger and the subject is a military spokesperson, there’s no reason at all not to publish.

    Shorter me: Mona’s right, Greenwald has the right to publish the e-mail, Boylan is an asshole and apparently pretty dumb as well.

  86. 86
    Bluto says:

    Good God BJ peeps, you’ve had all night to come up with an argument, as opposed to witless invective, and you’ve failed miserably.

    Perfesser Cole, your readership is embarrassingly juvenile, and laughably uninformed; a reflection on your communications skills.

    I’ll be charitable and give you an incomplete, pending some adult stepping up to the plate.

  87. 87
    Bluto says:

    Wait a minute! Kathleen made an effort!

    Kathleen: Scott Thomas Beauchamp did not get into trouble for free speech. He got in trouble for lying. Nice try, though.

  88. 88
    Xanthippas says:

    Good God BJ peeps, you’ve had all night to come up with an argument, as opposed to witless invective, and you’ve failed miserably.

    That’s really saying something Bluto, considering the only substantive point you’ve made is that Glenn Greenwald uses sock puppets, a claim which only Google-obsessives on the right believe, and a claim which in no way makes any point about what we’re ACTUALLY talking about, which is Col. Boylan being an ass, and the affinity between some members of the military and right-wing blogs that rises to the point of leaking documents to those blogs.

    So, try again.

  89. 89
    Bluto says:

    And that’s ONE point more than any of your brain trust here has managed to make, Xanthippas, unless you think the wetsuit post or the vaginas posts made some coherent point.

    Try to pay attention, Glenn’s fondness for sock puppets is an indication that he might not be an entirely forthcoming individual.

    That’s been confirmed to my satisfaction by the full text of the email, which I’ve posted, and which shows that Greenwald redacted it less than honestly. And Charles Johnson apparently agrees.

  90. 90
    TallDave says:

    So GG spends months saying truly nasty things about the military, including that people in “shiny military uniforms” were lying ahout the Anbar situation, and gets a little snark back from the Col., then has the gall to whine about the fact Americans respect the military and believes the military should make military decisions (what a concept) as though this is some sort of grave existential threat to democracy, like Boylan’s buddies are going to carpet the Capitol building or something.

    And Boylan is the asshole here?

    Please.

    John, you and Glenn are so removed from reality at this point I can only feel sorry for you.

  91. 91
    TallDave says:

    sb carpet-bomb above.

    I can’t believe I used to seriously read this site. Sheesh.

  92. 92
    TCinLA says:

    The problem of undue politicization of the military has been with us for quite some time.

    In 1960, General Robert L. Scott, Jr. – the author of the great aviation classic “God Is My Co-Pilot” – was fired by President Eisenhower for appearing in uniform before a gathering of the right wing (I think it was the John Birch Society)and advocating a military coup to “save the country from communism.”

    A good friend of mine, a Naval Aviator in Vietnam, was essentially run out of the Navy despite having been promoted to the “20-year position” of Lieutenant Commander, when he expressed doubt about the war. This despite the fact he was considered the best fighter pilot in his squadron. As he once put it, “Naval Aviators are mostly Republicans, and they don’t like somone having an original thought that wouldn’t be accepted at the country club.”

    One can go into example after example. Another good one is how then-Major Colin Powell was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel following his submission of the original Army investigation of the My Lai Massacre – a report later labeled “a whitewash” by all later investigators. That story is also Powell’s entire career in a nutshell.

    One can also include here the harassment of non-Christians at the Air Force Academy for their opposition to overt evangelization by the school’s leadership – the problem of Christian Right influence throughout the military is the elephant in the room few want to mention. This is particularly strong in the Air Force, that part of the military most eager for further warfare against “the infidels” in the mideast.

    What is significantly different is that before, when this sort of stuff was found out, the civilian leadership punished the transgressors. Nowadays, the transgressors are the ones promoted. That sends a message.

    One need only look at the Roman Republic to see the danger of a politicized military – and the imperial military dictatorship that followed.

  93. 93
    Jake says:

    And Boylan is the asshole here?

    The Democrats are, terrorists are, Glenn Greenwald is worse!

    Unless you believe Peter Hugh Johnson’s second version of events and think some mean nasty person is pretending to be Boylan and writing the snark to Greenwald.

  94. 94

    John Cole Says:

    I like to picture ‘ginas as a figure skater. They wears like a white outfit, and they does interpretive ice dances of my life’s journey.

    October 28th, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    I like to picture ‘ginas as the lead singer of a rock ‘n roll band. I like to party, so I like my ‘ginas to party too.

  95. 95
    jvill says:

    So…

    Someone “spoofed” an email to say what the colonel would have said, in a similar way how he would have said it, citing issues about his exchange with GG that likely only he knew about?

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    I certainly don’t know better than anyone else looking at the header info, but c’mon. When asked about the email Boylan acting the same way our interns do when they get busted coming in late to work, “Who, me? Am I late? right now? Is that clock right? Why do you ask?”

    From where I stand, seems pretty likely the colonel is lying.

    Not that it means anything, since (as Glenn originally wrote in his closing) the whole escapade, whether Boylan is a liar or not, basically reinforces the fact that military PR is treating as non-citizens the 70% of Americans who disagree with this war and are seeking information.

  96. 96
    Kathleen says:

    Bluto:Scott Thomas Beauchamp did not get into trouble for free speech. He got in trouble for lying. Nice try, though.

    I am afraid that “free speech” doesn’t have a “lying” exemption. You are too stupid to understand this, apparently.

    ps. Claiming that the Malkin-o-sphere ginned up the Beauchamp contorversy because of his “lying” is almost as funny as your “truth to power” comment earlier.

  97. 97

    […] But now, I see, if a soldier sends Glenn Greenwald a rude email, then that is very, very serious: re: Boylan’s email There is cause for concern. The right wing is sowing the seeds for Dolchstoßlegende even while claiming victory or progress or positive trends or however we are euphemizing it today, and there appears to be a significant portion of the Officer Corps who are willing to go along with it. The arrogance of Boylan is not only a symptom of this problem, it is one of the intended outcomes. […]

  98. 98
    rh says:

    Hey guys, look what Bluto’s been up to!

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/g.....index.html

  99. 99
    D-Chance. says:

    Bluto Says:
    … Glenn’s fondness for sock puppets is an indication that he might not be an entirely forthcoming individual.

    That’s been confirmed to my satisfaction by the full text of the email, which I’ve posted, and which shows that Greenwald redacted it less than honestly. And Charles Johnson apparently agrees.

    I’m not sure which is better… the reposting of an email that GG already posted in full, or the Chaz Johnson namedrop.

  100. 100
    rea says:

    Perfesser Cole, your readership is embarrassingly juvenile

    Does he think John Cole = Professor Juan Cole?

    Glenn should be able to figure this one out, after all, he’s an expert on sock puppets.

    Good point–it was probably Col. Boylan’s live-in boyfriend using the Col.’s computer to defend him.

  101. 101
    Xanthippas says:

    That’s been confirmed to my satisfaction by the full text of the email, which I’ve posted, and which shows that Greenwald redacted it less than honestly. And Charles Johnson apparently agrees.

    I don’t, and I’ve read it. Therefore, allegations of sock puppetry are irrelevant (and insupportable, by the way.) But then, I’m not a right-wing blogger with an ax to grind.

  102. 102
    Pinko Punko says:

    Hey, if you’ve scared TallDave away, I’m in hear like Flynn. Jumpin’ Jehosophat does that guy need an enema. Ad hominem ad hominem!

  103. 103
    lysias says:

    Funny you should mention Robert Lee Scott, Jr. He was born in Macon, GA (but studied at West Point). Colonel Boylan attended Mercer University, in Macon.

    Scott died only last year, at the age of 97.

  104. 104
    Tim says:

    This kind of behavior is rewarded. There’s one fat, donut eating sergeant in the press office at Ft. Myers that makes it a habit to spend his duty days trolling the internet, looking for critical military posters to turn in. Not only has he managed to threaten several of those, he’s tried to reach into civilian lives as well.

    Look up txradioguy on FR.

    He actually gets promoted for doing this sort of thing, it seems. There seem to be no cares about how he spends his “duty day”, if you can call it that.

  105. 105
    vigilant says:

    Did Col. Steve Boylan start the SoCal fires?

    Or was it FOXNEWSCORP?

    Choose one only.

  106. 106
    MilBlogs says:

    Military officers: right-wing nut jobs

    John Cole and Glenn Greenwald, I think, are starting to wonder what color that helicopter circling their house is. The right wing is sowing the seeds for Dolchstoßlegende even while claiming victory or progress or positive trends or however we…

  107. 107
    jw1 says:

    Hmm.

    Shall we refer to the theory of Occam’s Razor?

    That the simplest method/solution is often true.

    Hmm. Compromised or spoofed military emails?

    Or Col. Steve Boylan did actually send them?

    Hmm.

    jw1

  108. 108
    G.I. says:

    Juan Cole Asks: “Does it mean I hate the troops if I call Col. Steve Boylan an asshole?”

    Nope. Means you have a decent respect for the honesty democracy requires, Mr. Cole. That is, after all, what our troops are supposedly fighting for, democracy.

    On an aside, someone should ask Col. Boylan, in the most respectful of terms of course, if he agrees with this statement: as democracy requires a well-informed public, anyone who intentionally deceives the American public on issues of national interest has in effect betrayed democracy itself and the public attempting to live under it.

    Would love to hear his response.

  109. 109
    Moses says:

    Not a regular on this blog, by any means, but it’s been very interesting to watch the RWNJ (right-wing nut-jobs), like clockwork, be ever so wrong, superficial and shallow in their positions and analysis, yet claim another great victory. As if shouting loudly and arrogantly can make a victory, no matter how wrong you are.

    It reminds me of an interview I saw with a German who grew up during WWII. He said he knew Germany was going to lose the war when Goebbels kept touting each great German victory against the Russians, but there was an inescapable fact that each “great German victory” was closer to Berlin.

    Bluto, in reprising Goebbels, has shown us his great victories in his “masterful take-down” of Glenn “Sock Puppet” Greenwald. Post after post. Imagined victory after imagined victory.

    Yet, each one closer to Berlin. And each one as phony as first.

    Until Glenn proves that Bluto simply jumped the shark. And Bluto finds nothing to say when the fact that Greenwald did, in fact, link and properly quote the e-mails in this post titled “Abject Stupidity Defined” featuring Bluto.

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/g.....index.html

    (You know, sometimes that 15-minutes of fame just isn’t worth it… )

  110. 110
    Albert says:

    John Cole Says:

    “Glenn should be able to figure this one out, after all, he’s an expert on sock puppets.

    Btw, a leftist calling an American officer serving in Iraq a “coward.” Maybe you should put your money where your mouth is and go join your buds in the jihad, chickendove.”

    If just half of one percent of the people who support this war would just sign up their would be no troop shortages.
    A typical chicken hawk

  111. 111
    Tom Paine says:

    Quote: “Juan Cole Asks: ‘Does it mean I hate the troops if I call Col. Steve Boylan an asshole?'”

    No, but you only hate the troops when you fail to actually acknowledge that Boylan is only a Lieutenant Colonel and not a “bird” colonel

  112. 112
    Glen Tomkins says:

    The other solution

    “So here’s to a draft. Not just to “share the burden”. But also to ensure that our military shares liberal democratic culture and values.”

    Look. We spend many times more on our armed forces than the rest of the world combined. We don’t need nearly that much of what we’re buying with all that money. If we had no military at all, the two oceans would provide us with more security from the armed forces of potential adversaries than most countries less fortunately situated have even after they institute a draft. No, oceans don’t protect us from terrorists, but neither do armed forces.

    We could remove the threat posed by a politicized military much more effectively than with a draft, by doing what we had always, up until 1947, done between wars — disband our military establishment. Okay, don’t disband it completely. Leave us enough to handle the threat of a Mexican-Canadian alliance invading our territory. Two brigades and two or three squadrons should about do it. Problem of right-wing military culture solved, and trillions saved to boot.

  113. 113
    rmiller says:

    If you’re a public face or spokesperson you must engage even the sharpest points among the public with grace and something approaching good humor. If Boylan wrote the Greenwald email, then he’s a jerk who doesn’t understand the core concepts of public relations. Period. Even a high-schooler’s analysis of this suggests chaos behind the curtain–unless (worse) General P. authorized it. If that happened, then we’re really in serious trouble. My guess is that cooler heads will prevail and Boylan will find himself out of a job–or kicked upstairs.

  114. 114
    Horst Graben says:

    The truth is that the arrogant prick and his asshole bosses don’t GAF what you “people” think do or say.

    That is why you are over-reacting to this non-event.

    Too funny.

    On a side note, you and your “community” don’t have the real world experience (and I’m talking the physical world, not law or news and airy fairy claptrap) to have any earthly idea what an arrogant prick truly is.

  115. 115
    jones says:

    Glenn “Socky Sockpuppet” Greenwald is an expert on fake identities ;)

  116. 116
    TheOtherKen says:

    So, if an asshole calls someone an asshole can you just immediately discount his opinion due to the asshole status of the caller? or should you give the asshole caller’s opinion even more weight based on the amount of asshole experience the asshole clearly has?

    All I know is that if I ever find the good Colonel in a bar he won’t ever have to take his wallet out.

  117. 117

    […] Apparently, Col. Boylan is now officially denying sending the initial e-mail, but not the subsequent follow-up emails. As such, my thesis still stands: Boylan is a dick. […]

  118. 118
    jummy says:

    HOLY SHIT! IT’S HAPPENING NOW!TEH BOOSH JUNTA HAS OFFICIALLY TURNED THE U.S. MILITARY INTO TEH FREIKORPS!!!!

    QUICK JON! WE’RE ACTIVATING THE UNDERGROUND NOW!

    LIBERTAE!!!! WWAAAAAUUUUUGGGGGHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  119. 119
    jummy says:

    “Does it mean I hate the troops if I call Col. Steve Boylan an asshole?”

    no. it means that anyone who critisizes you for asserting that the military has developed a proto-nazi culture are the “real” traitors.

    the “heads i win tails you lose” thing will keep working for the left for some time into the future. you can calm down.

  120. 120
    txradioguy says:

    “Tim Says: ”

    What a pathetic loser you are. Go pull your stalker routine somewhere else.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Apparently, Col. Boylan is now officially denying sending the initial e-mail, but not the subsequent follow-up emails. As such, my thesis still stands: Boylan is a dick. […]

  2. MilBlogs says:

    Military officers: right-wing nut jobs

    John Cole and Glenn Greenwald, I think, are starting to wonder what color that helicopter circling their house is. The right wing is sowing the seeds for Dolchstoßlegende even while claiming victory or progress or positive trends or however we…

  3. […] But now, I see, if a soldier sends Glenn Greenwald a rude email, then that is very, very serious: re: Boylan’s email There is cause for concern. The right wing is sowing the seeds for Dolchstoßlegende even while claiming victory or progress or positive trends or however we are euphemizing it today, and there appears to be a significant portion of the Officer Corps who are willing to go along with it. The arrogance of Boylan is not only a symptom of this problem, it is one of the intended outcomes. […]

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