Sunday, October 28, 2007

Our Non-Political, Well-Informed, Professional Military Officers

This morning, Glenn Greenwald received an e-mail from Col. Steven Boylan, Gen. Petraeus's spokesperson in Iraq. If there existed any doubt as to how thoroughly politicized the U.S. military has become, this communication will dispel it. Glenn put up the complete e-mail here, and posted excerpts on his blog at Salon. Here are a few paragraphs for flavor:

I am not sending this as anyone's spokesperson, just a straight military Public Affairs Officer, with about 27 months overall time in Iraq who is concerned with accuracy, context and characterization of information and has worked with media of all types since joining the career field in 1991. The issues of accuracy, context, and proper characterization is something that perhaps you could do a little research and would assumeyou are aware of as a trained lawyer.

I do enjoy reading your diatribes as they provide comic relief here in Iraq. The amount of pure fiction is incredible. Since a great deal of this post is just opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinions, I will not address those even though they are shall we say -- based on few if any facts. That does surprise me with your training as a lawyer, but we will leave those jokes to another day.

You do have one fact in your post -- then Brigadier General Bergner did work at the National Security Council on matters concerning Iraq. Not surprising as he had returned from a year plus deployment to Iraq as the Multi-National Division - North Assistant Division Commander. It would seem reasonable that someone with Iraq experience would work issues at the NSC that was familiar with and had experience in Iraq. All else after that portion in your post about Major General Bergner is just your wishful thinking to support your flawed theory.

Glenn's take:
Everyone can decide for themselves if that sounds more like an apolitical, professional military officer or an overwrought right-wing blogger throwing around all sorts of angry, politically charged invective. Whatever else is true, it is rather odd that this was the sort of rhetoric Col. Boylan chose to invoke in service of his apparent goal of proving that there is nothing politicized about the U.S. military in Iraq.

Indeed. Not to mention that, for someone who has so much experience with the media and cares so much about "accuracy, context, and proper characterization," Col. Boylan's own writing ability and understanding of grammatical conventions is surprisingly poor.

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