Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Steven Boylan Is Not a Moron

This week Glenn Greenwald claimed that he received an email from General Petraeus's spokesman Lt. Col. Steven Boylan attacking the blogger for claiming that the military had become politicized and partisan. Since the email itself sounded like the work of an ignorant partisan hack, it would have been pretty ironic if a military spokesperson had actually written it since it basically proved Greenwald's point. But although the email came from the same email address and apparently the same computer as previous correspondence from Boylan, Boylan completely denied that he had sent the email and I think we should take him at his word.

Although I get the distinct impression that Greenwald doubts Boylan's denial, I think this is really unfair. Boylan would have to be some kind of a moron to have sent an email as idiotic as the one Greenwald received. It's difficult for me to believe that a military spokeperson would send such an unprofessional email unless he was drunk or the stress of his job had driven him temporarily insane or he had developed multiple personality disorder and the email was sent by one of his crazed partisan personas. So unless you believe that Boylan has an IQ in the double digits, is a dipsomaniac or has gone completely bonkers, I don't see how you could think he would have sent this email.

To believe that someone with the credentials of Col. Boylan could possibly have sent this email is to smear our brave soldiers in Iraq. I mean, if this dunderheaded email represents the caliber of our military, then we might as well surrender right now and pack up and go home. Maybe Glenn Greenwald believes that our military is so incompetent as to promote someone who is capable of writing an email that is so wrongheaded it completely boggles the mind, but I certainly don't believe that.

And even if you believed that Boylan could have written such an undeniably dim-witted email, then you would also have to believe that he was also a baldfaced liar since he has totally denied writing it. It's hard to believe someone with the long distinguished career that Boylan has had could be such a fool as that unless he thought that his superiors would back him up. But to believe that, you would have to believe that General Petreus is also a liar and a fool, which would be tantamount to treason.

Unfortunately, even some conservative bloggers seem to be accepting at face value Greenwald's assertion that Boylan wrote the email. Dread Pundit attempted a particularly incompetent defense of Boylan by claiming that Greenwald only published excerpts from the email in his post (although he did link to the full text) and that reading the entire email changes the meaning. A lot of other conservative bloggers seemed to buy his explanation although it is clear they didn't actually read the entire badly written and excruciatingly boring email themselves since in context the excerpts only sound worse. Dread Pundit claimed that Greenwald's use of ellipses somehow changed the meaning of what the Boylan imposter wrote and apparently thinks we have to quote every email and blog post in full from now on to avoid taking things out of context. I really hope we don't have to do that since reading blogs will become even more tedious than it already is. I think Dread Pundit just needs a lesson in how ellipses can change the meaning of something if used improperly. So here is an example of how not to use ellipses using his own post:

"Colonel Steven A. Boylan, Public Affairs Officer for General Petraeus … flirts with …Greenwald… [in] the full text of the email."

See, that would be wrong, as Nixon once said. Of course, Dread Pundit didn't write that and neither did Col. Boylan write the email Dread Pundit falsely attributes to him. I think Dread Pundit owes Col. Boylan an apology for assuming that he probably did write it, which is an incredible insult not only to Col. Boylan personally but to all of our fighting men.

I don't know if terrorists have hacked into Boylan's computer, but whatever happened you would expect that the military would want to investigate. Yet Greenwald apparently doubts they are conducting any kind of investigation at all. He says that no one from the military has asked to see a copy of the fake email that was sent in Boylan's name. But that doesn't mean anything. The military doesn't work according to bloggers' schedules. It hasn't even gotten around to questioning all of the soldiers in Beauchamp's company yet in its thorough investigation of the charges against him and it still hasn't gotten around to releasing the documents it promised to give The New Republic. Nor has it apparently gotten to the bottom of who leaked those documents to Matt Drudge. It could be months before the military gets around to asking Greenwald for a copy of the email in the course of an official investigation. In fact, it may even take as long for the military to find the real emailer as it has taken O.J. Simpson to find the real killer. Meanwhile, there may be more fake emails sent from Boylan's email address and computer, which he'll also have to deny sending. My advice is not to believe anything "Boylan" says until this whole mess is straightened out.

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19 comments:

moneymonk said...

Did I send that out loud?

TomMil said...

Mr. Swift;

That Dread dude is a whole new catagory of stupid. I've heard of half-wits but this may be my first encounter with a quarter-wit.

markg8 said...

Boylan either sent the email or someone hacked his account and sent it. It is written in Boylan's own inimical style.

I agree with you that whoever wrote it sounds like some kind of moron. It probably was Boylan and seeing as the US Army is promoting and paying bonuses
to just about any officer or soldier willing to stay in the service and in Iraq I wouldn't doubt for a minute
that Boylan is a highly politicized moron prone to getting drunk and emailing bloggers he disagrees with partisan screeds.

ed waldo said...

Minor correction: He's now plain old "Colonel" Boylan. He got a promotion last year from LTC.

melior said...

I refuse to hold an opinion on this matter until the intrepid investigators of Power(TM)Line conduct a thorough analysis of the email's kerning. It's entirely possible that it is the exact same font that Dan Rather once used on some occasion for something, and I'm certain that they will tell us that means something very important.

Dusty said...

Damn you Jon..whenever I am down and depressed I stop by here and laugh my moronic ass off. Then get a tad pissed of course at the idiocy of our "leaders".

Thank you kind sir!

Elayne said...

I don't know about Col. Boylan, but that photo suspiciously resembles Inspector Clouseau. Is Glenn Greenwald his minkey?

Trevor said...

Way to stick the landing, Jon.

Lefty said...

No offense, but if you're running around believing that someone in a prominent position in THIS government couldn't possibly be a moron then YOU sir, are the moron here. Where have you been for the last 7 years?!? How many more political hacks and good old boys need to be put in charge of important offices for you to accept that it's at least POSSIBLE that someone simply could be in a position for which they are not qualifed or smart enough for?

We have seen time and time again the rightwing lose all emotional control when confronted with actual questions, attacking the messenger's character without addressing the actual issue.

If someone had hijacked my email account and was correspoding with people and misrepresenting me, I would be quite upset. The fact that Boylan has not even bothered to notify people that this is being investigated implicates him as either endorsing the views or having authored it.

I agree that the jury is out here, but to say that you can't imagine him being this stupid means you are so far behind the curve that I'd have to seriously question your judgement of anything else you ever post.

Barry said...

Seriously? That's the basis of your defense of Boylan? That he could not *possibly* be a moron? Considering that this administration has made staggeringly poor decisions from day one (and by "poor," I mean that they have not produced the results that they were designed to produce) this should come as no surprise to a reasonable person.
Has it occurred to you that he may have been *chosen* for that position *specifically because of* his strong partisan leanings?
Apparently that's how you get a job in the "green zone" with access to *billions* in cash with zero accountability.
Love your tribute to the "swifties" those guys who are so loved that "to swift boat" is now a popular verb that means to betray a comrade for financial and political gain.

Batocchio said...

My two favorite bits:

To believe that someone with the credentials of Col. Boylan could possibly have sent this email is to smear our brave soldiers in Iraq. I mean, if this dunderheaded email represents the caliber of our military, then we might as well surrender right now and pack up and go home.

See, that would be wrong, as Nixon once said.


…Although your last sentence is a gem, too.

Lefty said...

I will assume your lack of response like the good Colonel's betrays a lack of a defense. Moron.

Barry said...

Typical. What the right wing calls "arguing" is really just name-calling and personal attacks. When the conversation goes substantive, they either go ballistic or go home. Kinda pitiful for a bunch with so much hubris.

Jon Swift said...

Welcome to my blog, Lefty. Didn't your mother ever teach you never to assume because it makes "a ss of u and me"? I'm not sure what a "ss" is, but I always assumed it was something I didn't want to be, though if I had learned my lesson well I wouldn't have assumed anything at all, I suppose.

If you were a regular reader of this blog (and I hope you will be), you would know that I rarely make it down into the cellar where the comments are kept. Occasionally, I do bring a few up and expose them to the light of day in my weekly-ish column "Swift Reactions." But for the most part my regular commenters do such a good job defending me and attacking me and each other, that I feel my presence is largely superfluous.

As far as the Colonel's lack of defense, I think the Colonel did defend himself. The problem is it's hard to know if it really was the Colonel defending himself. I think we'll just have to wait for the military investigation to finish, which could take a very long time. Meanwhile we'll have to assume under the American system jurisprudence that since he is not accused of being a terrorist he is innocent of whatever you might think he is guilty of until he is proven guilty.

Did I say assume? You know it really is very dark and dank down here.

Marius Key said...

I agree that Dread Pundit's defense of Boylan was embarrassing and incompetent. But do we know for sure that Dread Pundit made that post? Maybe someone hacked into his blog and put that up in order to make him look like an idiot. Or even worse, maybe Dread Pundit is secretly a liberal who is pretending to be a conservative and being deliberately stupid in order to make conservatives look bad.

In this new Internet age, where you can't tell who's who, I think the best idea is to not believe anything you read unless you already know that it's true.

Lefty said...

Wow, ass-hole, you caught a typo. Congratulations! Victory is yours! LOL.

It's not hard to know anything about this. The colonel is yet another rightwing partisan hack abusing a position which is historically impartial. If you don't care that someone might be impersonating you online, then something is up.

What this whole episode really illustrates is the fundamental weakness of the rightwing. You have had complete control over the government and it's institutions for a good long while and no longer possess the ability to make compelling arguments. Anyone with a brain can see the results of the ideology you have promoted. You have also dominated the media who set up every battle for you to win in the Hannity vs Colmes template. The only media in which you do not win every time is the internet. So please, continue to ignore the arguments that I make and attack my grammar. It only reinforces your inability to make convincing arguments.

The rightwing is falling apart because they have yet to learn that manipulation and intimidation is not the same thing as actual persuasion.

As I said, your pathetic arguments here have convinced me that you have no perspective or judgement that has any value. So welcome me if you must, but I will not be returning to this flaming bag of poo you call a blog.

P.S. I spellchecked this so I wouldn't be subjected to your "humiliating" mockery. LOL!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lefty and Barry -

Ahem.

I hardly ever come here but even I know that this article is pure snark. And pretty hilarious snark at that.

See, the name of the blog is one giveaway.

Catch the drift?

IOW, lighten up doods.

I.M. Small said...

HOW TO EMBROIL AN INCOMPETENT LIKE BOYLAN

With general incompetents like Boylan in the league
Can it be any wonder that there is so much intrigue?

The military of today excessive partisan
Is like the kind of force you would expect in Pakistan--
Defending not the rule of law and civil policy
As set by Congress, now it chooses with whom to agree:
It was impartial long ago but now those days are gone,
Wherefore upon democracy one finds the setting sun.

With general incompetents like Boylan in the league
No wonder that the apparatus suffers from fatigue.

Hot-headedly so he will falsify (or so it seems)
In his abusive emails, truthful content by the reams,
Defending of Petraeus stooping no matter how low--
You see now how pervasively infection seems to go:
It is a virus, culture nurtured by the Neocons
To boast self-worth superior while shitting for the nonce.

With general incompetents like Boylan in the league
Can it be any wonder that there is so much intrigue?

Petraeus, as ambitious, like begins to forward sprint,
While calling from the sidelines there has been no minor hint
That he should run for president: I see it coming soon,
For people grow enamored of that military tune,
And so his flunkies (Boylan´s name immediately comes to mind)
Shore up the man for all his lapses to which playing blind.

With general incompetents like Boylan in the league
Where is the wonder that the structure suffers from fatigue?

Democracy depended on an exercise of reason,
Till those who exercised it suffered calumnies of treason,
From which day, so it seems, instead of subtle analyzing,
Hot-headedness, pomposity and gain are the comprising
Factors as motivate--severely in partisanship--
All sorts of "civil servants" trying hard to get a grip.

Then is it any wonder? No the wonder is perhaps
Skullduggery no sooner caused the structure to collapse.

kamakula said...

Hey lefty. . .what typo are you talking about? I don't see any in your post. Which must mean that you deliberately created a straw man argument to distract from the fact that you have no real basis on which to attack Jon Swift.

Keep in mind, military leaders are NOT appointed by the president. Irregardless of who is in office, the military's leadership is independent of that politicking. That being said, we assume that the military's methodology of promoting people through their ranks tends to weed out the incompetent. We can accept a dumb Sargent or Lieutenant, but by the time someone makes Colonel, that BS should be OUT.

You next make the statement that We have seen time and time again the rightwing lose all emotional control when confronted with actual questions, attacking the messenger's character without addressing the actual issue.

Funny how YOU "lefty" lost all emotional control when confronted with reasonable analysis and started attacking a messenger's character:
No offense, but if you're running around believing that someone in a prominent position in THIS government couldn't possibly be a moron then YOU sir, are the moron here. Where have you been for the last 7 years?!? How many more political hacks and good old boys need to be put in charge of important offices for you to accept that it's at least POSSIBLE that someone simply could be in a position for which they are not qualifed or smart enough for?

Oh, I see your typo now! you typed qualifed instead of "qualified". Gotcha. Though I don't see Swift's mentioning of that. Perhaps both of you edited your comments to remove the details or will you tell me this is all a big right wing conspiracy?

Moving on, you suggest that Boylan's lack of warning to other people about the hijacking of his account suggest that he is complicit in the "fake" email sent. That sir (I assume you are a guy but if not, then madam) is a pretty big stretch. You mention no intimate knowledge of military procedures when electronic communications have been compromised. Alerting others to this fact only lets the terrorists know that we KNOW what they've done. Now, they can start covering their tracks. As usual, leave it to a Lefty to want to give aid and comfort to the enemy.

But I see there is still hope for you. Though you say: I agree that the jury is out here, but to say that you can't imagine him being this stupid means you are so far behind the curve that I'd have to seriously question your judgement of anything else you ever post.
you still responded to Jon's comment. Obviously, you must still in some manner hold Jon's words to heart, otherwise you'd not waste time responding to them. I mean, kids learn early on that to get someone to stop bothering you, you ignore them. Your lack of ignorance. . . shows you care about Jon!

BTW, Jon has not been in government. He is a reasonable conservative. I'm sure if he had been president, you'd be singing the praises of the rightwing. I'm not sure why you hate the right so much, after all, you are part of the leftwing of the same eagle!

I leave you with this P.S. I spellchecked this so I wouldn't be subjected to your "humiliating" mockery. LOL!

Unfortunately, spellchecked is not a word (i.e. spellcheck is not a verb so any conjugations of it are still not words).

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