Comments: A Few Notes on "Emailgate"

Well said. He is making himself look like a bigger idiot than he usually does.

Posted by Pam at October 31, 2007 04:47 PM

Hey Glenn -- help me out here:

You've said recently:

The overt politicization of our military in Iraq -- working closely and in secret only with Drudge, The Weekly Standard and right-wing blogs -- seems at least as important as the monumental issue of what Franklin Foer knew and when he knew it.

Now Glenn, I'm sure some here might take that as a bit of sarcasm, but alas, we know better.

We also know that your latest monumental issue is quite dear to you personally. Whether or not you were pantsed by a sockpuppet or a real PAO (insert irony alert) must weigh heavily on your mind. (Being pantsed is already in evidence)

Could we please ask you to put aside your work on today's monumental issue and set your sights back to the Beauchamp/TNR affair? So many would thank you for putting your investigative talents to use there. Perhaps you might ask Franklin Foer if he in fact aware of Scott Beauchamp's real IP address. After all, whether or not Beauchamp actually sent these articles to Foer has yet to be proven - it might have been a sock. Your reknown mastery of IP addresses should quickly help us determine who said what and when. Please give this some thought.

Heckofajob Greenie.

Posted by Justacanuck at October 31, 2007 05:08 PM

I would gently ask the noted First Amendment scholar Greenwald to note where it states that soldiers give up all their constitutional rights to free speech once they put on a uniform.

And I’ll gently reply, Bob, that there are quite a few “free speech” activities that someone wearing a uniform cannot engage in and are prohibited by law from doing.


Federal Law (Titles 10, 2, and 18, United States Code), Department of Defense (DOD) Directives, and specific military regulations strictly limit a military active duty person's participation in partisan political activities.

Cannot - Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.
Cannot - Participate in any radio, television, or other program or group discussion as an advocate for or against of a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.

Cannot - Allow or cause to be published partisan political articles signed or written by the member that solicits votes for or against a partisan political party, candidate, or cause.

There is a long list of other “cannots” that you might want to familiarize yourself with.

http://usmilitary.about.com/cs/militarylaw1/a/milpolitics.htm

Posted by Steve at October 31, 2007 06:20 PM

Oh, I am well aware of at least some of those--especially as it relates to speaking at political events, which has gotten soldiers in trouble recently--I've just seen no evidence that Boylan or other PAOs have done anything approaching that, protests from the Naomi Wolf/Glenn Greenwald wing of the Democrat Party duly noted.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 31, 2007 06:27 PM

Salon.com has done a complete article about this, including interviews with a number of computer experts. It's highly unlikely that anyone other than Boykin sent the message. If you will quit jerking your knee long enough to look at the evidence, you'd see that too.

Posted by John at October 31, 2007 06:45 PM

John, If you read Salon closely, you'll note that they said essentially the same thing I did: the header information were able to narrow it down to a couple of computers on the military network. They never indicated that they were able to see beyond a mail server, which is what I speculated these computers may be even before I read their article.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at October 31, 2007 06:50 PM

Steve - You need to remember that Bush isn't running in 2008 and that the Iraq War was approved by a bipartisan majority of both houses of Congress. Correcting misinformation is not a political activity even if Greenwald believes it to be so.

The e-mail in question wasn't supporting or questioning individual candidates or parties. Where do you see the offending violations?

Posted by daleyrocks at October 31, 2007 07:09 PM

Bob - Another point to add. Greenwald has also concluded that the Army is doing nothing to investigate the e-mail matter or its IT security because they have not informed HIM of what they are doing in those regards. The clowns.

Posted by daleyrocks at October 31, 2007 07:11 PM

It all boils down to whether the Army's network assigns IP addresses dynamically or statically, and if statically, how often they are renewed, and whether or not they are assigned new addresses at renewal time.

Basically, a dynamic IP address changes every time a computer logs on. A static IP address is "leased" for a certain period of time (90 days is pretty standard in the non-military world, not sure what it would be in the military). The network administrator (a/k/a the "Alpha Geek") can also set most networks to renew the same address every time, or force a new address each time it is renewed... for ease of administration, most civilian net admins choose to renew with the same address... Alpha Geeks are notoriously lazy.

Therefore, without that information being released by the Army (and for their own computer security, I would expect that they will never release details like those), all Greenwald and his ilk can do whine.

Posted by C-C-G at October 31, 2007 07:37 PM

So Socky McSockpuppet's rag has yet another post up on this silly affair. Greenie's bunkmate Farhad Manjoo has posted a rambling bunch of quotes and links seeking to portray Boylan as passionate about his job. Who knew?

Amongst all that waste of electrons can be found this huge steaming pile:

But neither Michelle nor Steven Boylan had anything to do with a curious e-mail recently sent to an elderly Vermont man. Late in September, the Brattleboro Reformer, a newspaper in southern Vermont, reported that police had uncovered an effort to defraud 81-year-old Fred Humphrey, who was looking to rent out his vacation cabin in nearby Guilford. Someone claiming to be Lt. Col. Steve Boylan (Boylan was promoted to colonel from lieutenant colonel) had inquired, in a series of e-mails, about renting the cabin as a surprise present for his godson in England. The e-mailer even sent Humphrey a check for $3,000, $2,500 over the asking price, asking that the difference be remitted to an address in New York. Police contacted Boylan in Iraq and determined that he wasn't the fellow behind the rental request. The $3,000 check, unsurprisingly, turned out to be bogus.

Salon attempted to acquire the fake Boylan e-mails from Humphrey in order to examine their headers, but Humphrey did not return our calls. The company through which Humphrey rents his cottage would not provide Salon with the e-mails without Humphrey's consent. In the Reformer's report, however, Humphrey describes the fake Boylan's letters as "worded in rather stilted language" and missing key words. "It didn't seem like someone who had risen to the rank of lieutenant colonel would write like that," Humphrey said.

The disputed e-mail messages to Greenwald -- as well as all of the blog posts bearing Boylan's name on the Web -- are not at all stilted. Indeed, they all share a strident tone, oozing confidence.

It's now quite apparent the brilliant researchers at Salon have never even thought to ask their very own IT department to explain the mysteries of IP addresses, mail servers and spam to them. If they had in fact bothered to get out from behind their keyboards to ask a few questions, they might have a working hypothesis of who might be behind Boylan's e-mail.

And if any of the crack Salon researchers had actually talked to someone in IT, this brilliant report by Farhad Manjoo would not have included the breathless 291 words I've quoted above. If Farhad or SockyGreenPuppet had bothered to ask one of their IT geeks - any geek who knows anything at all about e-mail, they wouldn't be wasting their impressive investigative skills trying to obtain an e-mail sent to an 81 year old.

Instead, we now know that Farhad and/or his researchers are incompetent and perhaps by the time I post this, someone will have already clued him in on what a 419 scam is.

What's next Greenie & Farhad? Will you next be insinuating that Boylan is possibly behind the next penile enlargement/Cheap Viagr@/stock pump'n'dump e-mail that comes with his name attached?

You guys have proven beyond a doubt that professional asshattery can be a paying job.

Posted by Justacanuck at October 31, 2007 09:58 PM

Justacanuck, I suspect that Farhad thinks that computers still use tubes.

Posted by C-C-G at October 31, 2007 10:16 PM

Okay, so if it wasn't Boylan then it was someone else within the Army's network. Either that, or a hacker broke into the military's computers to forge intemperate e-mails under Boylan's signature. Come on, none of that passes the smell test and you know it.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 03:54 AM

C-C-G,

To reduce power consumption and space requirements I believe they use nuvistors. 6CW4s. A tasty little number almost as small as a CK722.

Posted by M. Simon at November 1, 2007 05:47 AM

Mr. Socketty Sock Puppets hatred for the military makes the code pinkies look downright patriotic in comparison.

Posted by Capitalist Infidel at November 1, 2007 08:31 AM

Simon, and the internet (invented by Algore, don't forget) is made up of lots of pipes, too? :D

Posted by C-C-G at November 1, 2007 08:41 AM
Okay, so if it wasn't Boylan then it was someone else within the Army's network. Either that, or a hacker broke into the military's computers to forge intemperate e-mails under Boylan's signature. Come on, none of that passes the smell test and you know it.

I find the "hacker" explanation you postulate highly unlikely. If someone was able to penetrate this email server, I think they would have somethig more useful to do than mimic a PAO, such as stealing data.

I've little doubt that the author is indeed someone within the military network. As a result, I'm rather confident that an investigation is underway, somehow muddling through without Glenn's superfluous email or advice.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 1, 2007 08:50 AM

Hmmmmm.

1. It's possible to spoof email headers.

What the email headers are is a section of the email that lists the servers in turn that received the email and then sent it on. There is no perfect guarantee that the email in question actually traversed the servers in this list and it's very possible that someone simply edited the email headers to include US Army or DOD email servers when in fact the email didn't originate from any of those.

Remember folks. Email headers are just text appended to the body of the email. It's nothing more complex than that. And anybody with any experience in SMTP or TCP/IP programming can spoof email headers.

2. It's possible that a US Army or DOD email server, or any workstation or computer authorized to access one, was compromised to send this email. Why they would do so and then send a fake email to Socky McSockpuppet is frankly beyond me but it's possible.

3. Socky McSockpuppet is making all this up. He got an email or two from Lt. Col. Boylan and then edited the body of the email to make it far more advantageous for himself. The US Army or DOD email servers will have the the transmission of the email logged on it's servers and may, or may not, have the email in question stored in a backup log somewhere. They probably do as it's SOP for large organizations to have complete copies of all emails sent or received but you never know.

I really doubt this but Socky McSockpuppet has done some questionable things in the past to get attention so that's always a possibility.

Posted by memomachine at November 1, 2007 09:40 AM

A question and a comment.

CY, have you corresponded with Boylan?

Now the comment: Your jerking knee is getting sliced by Occam's Razor. Look, all you have to do is compare Boylan's latest e-mails to Greenwald to his earlier ones. Also, look at what Editor & Publisher has written. It's highly likely that Greenwald is telling the truth and that Boylan is lying.

Also, I didn't postulate a hacker explanation. You implied it earlier. I highlighted its absurdity. Look, I do realize that Boylan is a right-winger like you, and that you want to stick together. But there's no need to be a fool about it.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 09:52 AM
It's highly likely that Greenwald is telling the truth and that Boylan is lying.

John, the problem with Greenwald on this one is not his facts (which is a nice change of pace), but his conclusions, which are quite stupid, the most blatant of which is that somehow the Army needs him to sort this out.

What is it that you think Boylan's lie is? If he did write the original email and send it under his own name, why would he then say he didn't? Do you suppose he thought an egotistical hack like Gleen(s) wouldn't mention it?

Posted by Pablo at November 1, 2007 10:16 AM

To answer your question, yes, I did contact Boylan, and he told me the same thing as he told Greenwald: the initial email wasn't from him. Take that claim for whatever you think it is worth.

I never implied a hacker explanation, in the main post or the comments.

A hacker would hack into the system, use Boylan's account, and send the email. I never stated or implied that occurred. In fact, I postulated that I thought the only way someone outside of the military could have sent this is if the message was spoofed--sent by someone not at all on the military's network, but able to fake the headers convincingly.

This leaves us with two possiblities: either Boylan sent the original email, or someone at his base logged-on to his account and sent the email.

I agree that, looking at the what we have for evidence, that it is most likely that Col. Boylan sent the original message and then disavowed it for reasons unknown.

I'm puzzled as to why he would disavow the message. It was not political in nature, though certainly scathing. Of course, I'm puzzled as to why anyone would care enough about Greenwald to initiate a conversation with him in the first place.

I'm sure we'll know which is correct soon enough.

If Boylan sent it I wold imagine it would be easy to prove and I imagine he will be reassigned rather quickly, probably within a week. You can easily tell if that occurs becuase someone else would step into his role, which is not an unnoticable one.

If however, someone else used his ID (the only other internal option I see), they may be able to prove or diprove that theory quickly as well. At his level, Boylan spends a lot of time in meetings. If the message was sent at a time he could be verified to be in a meeting with other officers or even off base, that would clear him rather quickly.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 1, 2007 10:25 AM

Another question, and a comment:

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 10:59 AM

Had you corresponded with Boylan prior to this incident?

Now for my comment. I'll split the difference on the hacker issue. I'm an old fart. What I don't know about computers fills books. To me, spoofing and hacking are one in the same. Maybe that's wrong. So score one for you. On the other hand, you raised doubts over whether Boylan actually sent the message, and your fellow right-wingers have taken up the attack. You ought to be scolding them, if you can bring yourself to do it.

In any case, you appear sane enough to notice that, if a liberal tells you the sun rises in the East, he's being truthful. We agree on what's really at issue here, which is that Boylan likely sent the e-mail. It's an open question as to whether the Army will investigate the matter to begin with, much less reveal the truth.

Boylan is a public affairs officer, and a fairly senior officer in the military. He is sworn to serve the United States, which includes all of us. As a PIO, it's part of his job to be reasoned, reasonable, accessible, articulate, and truthful. The tone of his e-mails is unacceptable. If he worked for a private company, he'd be fired for the tone of his comments.

If (as seems likely) he has lied about this Greenwald incident, he not only failed at his PIO job but he's put a stain on the Army. I notice that you've been aggressive in the case of a young private who wrote an article that contained some inaccuracies and exaggerations.

That kid is an amateur who's just starting out in life, but you and others have put him through the meat grinder. Boylan is experienced and senior, and there is every indication that he is a liar. CY, this is an integrity test. Not just for Boylan, but for you.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 11:01 AM

John - Why don't you point out the innaccuracies and exaggerations in the e-mail that Boylan allegedly sent rather than just making a bald statement? Greenwald did a piss poor job of refuting it in his original response and has repeatedly mangled the facts of the Beauchamp matter. Lying, exaggeration and exaggeration are par for the course for Greenwald. Why don't you point out where you feel they exist in the offending e-mail that has Greenwald still hyperventilating?

Posted by daleyrocks at November 1, 2007 11:15 AM

I wouldn't piss off Greenwald - he can field an army of millions of sock puppets with the stroke of a key.

Posted by Purple Avenger at November 1, 2007 11:58 AM

That kid is an amateur who's just starting out in life, but you and others have put him through the meat grinder.

False. We put the magazine TNR through the ringer and continue to do so due to their lying and covering-up lies. The story is no longer about Beauchamp, and has not been for months.

Boylan is experienced and senior, and there is every indication that he is a liar. CY, this is an integrity test. Not just for Boylan, but for you.

You seem to have a reading comprehension problem. Re-read CY's post. He very clearly stated in his original post, and in several follow-up comments to you, that he believes either Boylan wrote the email or that someone within the Army at his location wrote the email. He further stated that he believes that the Army is investigating and we will find out soon which is true. As to Boylan lying, the only lie would be if he indeed wrote the email that he disclaimed. The email itself contained no lies. And, despite your assertions otherwise, the email itslef did not violate any laws or Army regulations for him to have sent it.

However, I do agree that if he sent it, the tone of it was not an appropriate email from a senior Army official, particularly a PAO. But, there is an enormous difference between feeling the tone was unprofessional and claiming Boylan did something illegal - which is what you are trying to imply.

You also state that It's an open question as to whether the Army will investigate the matter to begin with, much less reveal the truth.

Having been in the Army and conducted and/or advised investigating officers, I can tell you that the Army is much quicker to investigate iteslf and/or its people than any Democrat ever has been in regards to a liberal. Almost any claim of misconduct will be investigated ad naseum, regardless of how meritless the accusations are. So, have no fear, this will be investigated.

In any case, you appear sane enough to notice that, if a liberal tells you the sun rises in the East, he's being truthful. We agree on what's really at issue here, which is that Boylan likely sent the e-mail. It's an open question as to whether the Army will investigate the matter to begin with, much less reveal the truth.

This is amusing coming from the side of the aisle that still defends TNR, "fake but accurate" Dan Rathers, and numerous other obvious falsehoods.

He is sworn to serve the United States, which includes all of us. As a PIO, it's part of his job to be reasoned, reasonable, accessible, articulate, and truthful. The tone of his e-mails is unacceptable. If he worked for a private company, he'd be fired for the tone of his comments.

I'm glad you find the tone of his email unnacceptable. Would that leftist considered the tone of their "arguments" the same way and actually engaged in reasoned debate rather than "Bush Lied" or calling everyone a racist/bigot/homophobe/sexist, etc., etc., when they disagree with a policy. It is a very one-way street with leftists. They want to be treated with kid gloves but have no limits on their own vicious rhetoric. While I think the tone of his email (if Boylan did send it) was unprofessional, it does not bother me that much - and it is up to his superior officers to decide whether it is acceptable or not.

Its too bad that the left is focusing on the "tone" of the email and not the fact that his comments in the email were correct with regards to Greenwald.


Posted by Great Banana at November 1, 2007 12:03 PM

You seem to have me confused with some sort of knee-jerk liberal. I'm not that. What I am is the son of a man who worked his way up the ranks of one of the largest corporations in the world and eventually became their director of public affairs. I come from a family of independent, moderate ticket splitters, and I have continued the tradition.

I came close to following in my father's footsteps, but he persuaded me to take a different direction. He told me I should be running the place instead of speaking for it. I followed his advice and went into business. Made a lot of money, and then I retired.

Like a lot of retired men, I spend too much time on the Internet. I look at it differently than many. I ponder the wreckage. It's a never-ending journey, and it took me to this little corner of the universe last weekend.

My father, who passed on a few years ago, was a brilliant man. To say I respect him would be a gross understatement. He was one of those rare fathers who could impart his knowledge and wisdom to his sons without making them feel small. When it came to the public relations stuff, a couple things stand out in reference to this situation.

In the 1950s, when he was starting out and had a family of three kids with another on the way, the company got in a bind and my father's boss instructed him to lie. He tried to persuade the boss that this was a bad idea, that lying to reporters was not only wrong but that it was counterproductive.

His boss refused to back down, so at the age of 29 he got an appointment with the president of this corporation, a very conservative man in his 60s. He told the president of one of the largest corporations in the world that he believed in the company and would do everything he could to put its best foot forward, but in no circumstance would he lie for the company, and that if the company wanted liars in its p.r. department then he'd have to look for another job.

Mind you, this was in the day when people didn't "job hop," especially from that place. Every time I read some movie review praising some actor for making a "brave" movie I laugh and think of my father. The president of the company looked my father in the eye and told him that he didn't want liars in his p.r. department either. Within a week, my father's boss was out and my father was the boss.

This man taught me that you don't lie, and that the test of a man is whether he will lie when telling the truth might cost him. No need to lead with your chin, but if you have to lie to keep a job then find something else to do even if you have to eat sawdust for a while.

Boylan told a direct, unambiguous lie. It's obvious. That's not acceptable. I'm not naive. I know that people play games, and I know that there are ambiguities and tough situations that can be read in more than one way. This wasn't one of them. Boylan lied, and liars have no business serving as colonels in the Army, and they certainly have no business dealing with journalists.

The other lessons that applies here is the need to be temperate and even handed. If you can't see the lack of those qualities in Boylan's e-mails, there's nothing I can do to convince you. All I can do is suggest that you take off those red-colored glasses and be honest about it, if your capable of doing that. That's a big "if" from what I can see.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 12:18 PM

I forgot the other lesson, maybe because it was my mother who taught it and not my father. I know how quaint it will sound, but so be it. There was a vacant lot in our suburb and it was a dangerous place, or so or mothers thought anyway. You know how mothers are. They have a different view of danger than their eight-year-old sons.

I was instructed not to go there until I was old enough, which meant when I was 10. Two years! A lifetime! My friends went there, of course. Some of their parents were more tolerant, or so they said.

This was the early 1960s, and back in those times where I grew up, you had de facto aunts and uncles everywhere. You know, "It takes a village?" One of my unseen aunts saw me head into the lot with my buddies, and a few days later my mother confronted me. I didn't lie, because my father had already taught me that the lowest form of life is a liar.

Instead I said that she was the only one of my friends' mothers who wouldn't let her third-grader play in the vacant lot. I don't care what everyone else's mother says, she told me. I told you not to go there. You knew I didn't want you there. You promised me you wouldn't go there. I missed dinner that night.

When I complained to my father, he said I'd better not try that kind of end-run again. And just to make that lesson stick, I spent the following weekend raking leaves.

I don't care if Glenn Greenwald claims that the U.S. Army is a team of invaders from outer space. It doesn't give Boylan a license to lie, and it's no reason for anyone else to defend his conduct. I thought you people claimed to be conservatives. Where are your traditional values? Stop it with the knee-jerking, and be honest.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 12:31 PM

Something else: I did not imply that Boylan did anything illegal. He lied to a journalist. It's not illegal, but it's wrong and it's stupid.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 12:37 PM

bravo John!

this "but Clinton did it too" defense has always sounded desperate.

Posted by dan of steele at November 1, 2007 02:11 PM

John - The gasbaggery about your family surely must be interesting to someone somewhere, but it doesn't get back to the issues you raised earlier - inaccuracies and exaggerations in the e-mail allegedly sent by Boylan. You raised the point. Please be specific in providing examples of the conduct you describe. Also you mention lying. Apart from the issue of the provenance of the e-mail, are there other lies that you have noted. Please be specific.

Liberals are noted for that vagueness. Please be an exception.

Posted by daleyrocks at November 1, 2007 02:42 PM

Let me boil it down for you, daley.

1. When Boylan claimed not to have sent the e-mail, he lie. That is apart from the content of his messages. Liars don't belong in the senior ranks of any organization.

2. The intemperate tone of Boylan's e-mails is plain to see. As the lawyers say, res ipsa loquitur: the thing speaks for itself. If you want to deny that, go right on doing it. All it says is that if Bill Clinton's brains were in his balls, yours are in your jerking knee. It certainly undercuts your and Connecticut Yankee's case against the 19-year-old private whose exaggerations so outrage you.

By the way, love your family values. Mine are different. I've done what I can to pass my father's onto our children.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 03:35 PM

Ah yes, the old "the facts as I see them are..." conjecture argument.

Who can argue with this logic? ...Your mother taught you well.

Posted by everydayjoe at November 1, 2007 04:14 PM

I didn't spend 30+ years in business without learning a few tricks. I know what you're trying to do here, joe. You want to draw me into an extended argument over semantics, as a means of avoiding the real issues here, which are that Col. Boylan is an intemperate liar who's unsuited for both his job as a PIO and for his position in the U.S. Army.

Every big organization gets people like that. Through a combination of skill, luck, but most deception, they rise through the ranks until their character and performance flaws become destructive to themselves and perhaps the whole organization.

The Army will survive Col. Boylan, but I'd hate to see them keep the man around. If he were working for me, he'd been in a whale of trouble right now. This is not some kid we're talking about. This is a field-grade officer who serves as the chief spokesman for the general in charge of the U.S. Iraq effort. If his integrity is compromised, that's a huge problem.

The Army needs to decide quickly whether it really wants to have "Baghdad Bob" in that job. They have enough problems with their public credibility without having this sort of lying, loose cannon on their deck. They need to get rid of him and fill that post with someone else.

The ideal candidate would be intelligent, diplomatic, and focused on his task. At the bare minimum, however, the Army must make certain that they don't rotate another lying idiot into that position. The U.S. can't afford to be so ill-served in such a critical position.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 04:33 PM

John - With the values that you claim your parents imparted on you and lessons learned in a long and storied business career, it would seem that you would be above flinging accusations about someone's character without having the willingness to back up your accusations or defend your position. That is exactly the cowardly behavior you have exhibited today. I doubt your father would be very proud or that the company you served as spokeperson for would have allowed you to get away with such behavior. He lied because I say he lied or he exaggerated and is innaccurate because I say so just don't cut it in the corporate world. Surely with your wealth of experience you can see that.

I played in the same arena as you for a number of years and would have been cut off at the ankles had I tried the same bit of jackassery you have today on this thread. You made assertions. Back them up with specifics.

I will grant you that provenance of the e-mail cannot be proved one way or the other at this point. I want to hear about innaccuracies and exaggerations, words for which you seem to have created strange definitions in the case of Beauchamp. Creating incidents out of whole cloth and passing them off as truth count for innaccuracy and exaggeration in your parlance for Beauchamp. I wonder how you define the words in the case of Boylan or the author of e-mail?

Posted by daleyrocks at November 1, 2007 06:02 PM

It's not about whether he is correcting GG - Because of his position as PAO (now compromised) one could argue that Boylan is in violation of Article 133 (Or the person that sent/forged it)

Article 133—Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman

Text.

“Any commissioned officer, cadet, or midshipman who is convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”

Elements.

(1) That the accused did or omitted to do certain acts; and

(2) That, under the circumstances, these acts or omissions constituted conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

Explanation.

(1) Gentleman. As used in this article, “gentleman” includes both male and female commissioned officers, cadets, and midshipmen.

(2) Nature of offense. Conduct violative of this article is action or behavior in an official capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the person as an officer, seriously compromises the officer’s character as a gentleman, or action or behavior in an unofficial or private capacity which, in dishonoring or disgracing the officer personally, seriously compromises the person’s standing as an officer. There are certain moral attributes common to the ideal officer and the perfect gentleman, a lack of which is indicated by acts of dishonesty, unfair dealing, indecency, indecorum, lawlessness, injustice, or cruelty. Not everyone is or can be expected to meet unrealistically high moral standards, but there is a limit of tolerance based on customs of the service and military necessity below which the personal standards of an officer, cadet, or midshipman cannot fall without seriously compromising the person’s standing as an officer, cadet, or midshipman or the person’s character as a gentleman. This article prohibits conduct by a commissioned officer, cadet or midshipman which, taking all the circumstances into consideration, is thus compromising. This article includes acts made punishable by any other article, provided these acts amount to conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Thus, a commissioned officer who steals property violates both this article and Article 121. Whenever the offense charged is the same as a specific offense set forth in this Manual, the elements of proof are the same as those set forth in the paragraph which treats that specific offense, with the additional requirement that the act or omission constitutes conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman.

(3) Examples of offenses. Instances of violation of this article include knowingly making a false official statement; dishonorable failure to pay a debt; cheating on an exam; opening and reading a letter of another without authority;

Posted by Jim at November 1, 2007 06:26 PM

Jim, it would be absurd for the military to take criminal action against Boylan for lying to a journalist. I realize that the military has special requirements, and therefore is more likely to criminalize certain forms of incompetence. But it's quite a stretch to argue that this case calls for such penalties.

daley, you are being obtuse to the point of dishonesty. Boylan lied about the e-mail. I have been as succinct as I can be about that. On that point even CY agrees. By itself, that's enough to disqualify him from service. He is a liar. His usefulness as a PIO is ended, and his presence as a spokesman is a blot on the Army.

As for the tone of Boylan's communications, it's obviously inappropriate. I employed spokesmen during my business career, and if I had had one who communicated as Boylan did, I'd have dismissed him. Just look at public sentiment; it certainly doesn't help to have your main spokesman be a lying idiot who can do nothing but preach to a choir that would believe everything.

As for the Beauchamp affair, in my world you temper justice with experience and even mercy. If Beauchamp were a colonel I would be harsh indeed. If he were my son, he wouldn't like what he'd hear from me. But he is neither one of those things. From where I sit, he's a kid who screwed up and who paid a price that, considering the circumstances, was too harsh.

His magazine, The New Republic, should have acted more swiftly and more clearly in the matter. However, in the real world it's pretty common to see the wagons circle. I would like to see more integrity in journalism and politics. I was impressed that the New York Times and the Washington Post admitted they had been duped into supporting the Iraq War. The Fox network, on the other hand, reacts to its failures by repeating them. They are far too certain of themselves. They remind me of my father's descriptions of the Hearst newspapers of his youth.

I don't intend to spend much more time on this. The Internet The reaction by Connecticut Yankee and you speaks volumes about your integrity. You have one standard for one group, and another standard for another group. Those aren't principles, they are talking points. There are too many talking points, and too few principles, in this country.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 07:08 PM

Just one point.

It is not necessarily required to hack into the military email server in order to spoof an email header.

Therefore, for all we know, it could have been our commenter John here who sent the email allegedly from Boylan.

Something worth considering, no?

Posted by C-C-G at November 1, 2007 07:17 PM

C-C-G, unfortunately, that absurd comment of your is par for the course here. But that's not why I came back. I wanted to make a larger point about Boylan, which is that he's a good example of how leadership sets an example, both good and bad.

I view Boylan as a creation of Donald Rumsfeld, who combined some of the worst performance as a defense secretary in this country's history with an insufferably arrogant, petulant and supercilious manner of communicating. Boylan's style is patterned after Rumsfeld's, which I suspect is how he came to have his job.

People in any organization look upward for their cues. That's one reason why leadership is so important, the other being that leaders by definition have the ability to cast a wider net of influence and, as a result, their decisions have to be taken with more care and skill than those made below them.

Thus, along with leadership comes not only a bigger paycheck but increasing levels of responsibility. Not just for your decisions, but for those of your subordinates and for the example you set and the inspiration you create. Rumsfeld was a disaster, and I'm afraid Col. Boylan is one of Rumsfeld's stepchildren.

For Petraeus to tolerate this man as a spokesman says something about him, and by extension, about the entire U.S. effort in Iraq, which depends critically not just on the force of arms but on the ability to persaude and convince people who otherwise might not agree with you. This isn't any sort of catastrophe, but it's a telltale sign that something's wrong over there in Petraeus's operation.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 07:43 PM

To clarify: By "the entire U.S. effort" I mean at the senior leadership level. An idiotic liar of a PIO says nothing about the skill, bravery, and heroism of people in the field. It serves them ill, but it does not reflect badly on them.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 07:45 PM

Hello everyone, if we are to rightly call TNR to task for their defending of a story that is clearly a lie then we should be open to the same criticism if we defend someone who is clearly lying. There is no hacker, there is enough evidence that we can see Beachamp was a liar and Boylan is a liar. Beauchamp was a low in the military where as Boylan has a much higher rank and is a Public Affairs Officer.

Defending Boylan when the evidence is clear is no more admirable then defending TNR, the reasoning some are reaching for on this blog is the same as TNR. Let's face it is a liar and should be drummed out of the military for his behaviour.

Posted by RealityCheck at November 1, 2007 07:53 PM

John, if I sound less than convinced of your analysis, it's only because I find it refreshingly unburdened by the weight of evidence.

I happen to be a certified computer technician and have been since the days of the original 80386 machines. I know how easily one can spoof email headers, so I am not convinced that the emails came from Boylan simply because of the headers.

You only accept the evidence because you have a pre-existing bias against the military which you cannot move past.

I pity you for that.

Posted by C-C-G at November 1, 2007 08:11 PM
Boylan lied about the e-mail. I have been as succinct as I can be about that. On that point even CY agrees.

Two things really tick me off.

One of those is someone putting words in my mouth. The other one is someone what take a position of absolutes before all the evidence is in.

I never said he lied about the email. I said it was most likely. I try not to pass judgment until the facts are in, and all we know for certain is that either the email was spoofed by someone highly competent, or more likely than not, it came from a pair of Army email servers in Iraq.

You don't seem to grasp that while it is most likely that Boylan sent the email, that dozens or hundreds of others send email through those same email servers, which in turn are fed by an unknown number of desktop and laptop computers. We don't yet have enough information to know where it originated.

But we do have a bit of data that could be nothing, or proof that someone other than Boylan sent the email message.

I'm still working that. Perhaps you and the other Nifongs of this world should hold judgment until all the facts are in.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at November 1, 2007 08:24 PM

CY, you don't understand. The Great Greenwald has declared Boylan guilty.

Evidence, proof, data, all that is irrelevant to the determination of The Great Greenwald.

Just like what happened when The Great Rather declared that the Texas Air National Guard memo was accurate, no?

Posted by C-C-G at November 1, 2007 08:44 PM

John - Your act is pathetic. The reflex patellar reaction of the left when someone says something negative about one of their Saints, Greenwald in this case, is to attack, regardless of the merits of the position. Your appeals to principled behavior should start with Greenwald and your friends, who all like to stick together, to use your turn of phrase, rather than the Army. Let's go back to earlier today:

You Say - "Boylan is a public affairs officer, and a fairly senior officer in the military. He is sworn to serve the United States, which includes all of us. As a PIO, it's part of his job to be reasoned, reasonable, accessible, articulate, and truthful."

That's your job description for him. When his integrity is directly impugned by dishonest bloggers such as Greenwald who have a track record of blatantly disregarding facts, misusing quotes and communicating with you as if they were bill collectors, does he not have a duty, as you point out in the job description, to correct the facts.

You Say - "The tone of his e-mails is unacceptable. If he worked for a private company, he'd be fired for the tone of his comments."

The tone was hilarious and deserved based on the tone of Greenwald's e-mails to him and Greenwald's blog postings about the politicization of the military. Boylan doesn't work for a private company. He works for the U.S. Army. Address any issues you have related to Glenn's wounded ego and hurt pride to his boss.

You Say - "If (as seems likely) he has lied about this Greenwald incident, he not only failed at his PIO job but he's put a stain on the Army. I notice that you've been aggressive in the case of a young private who wrote an article that contained some inaccuracies and exaggerations."

Greenwald put a stain on the entire senior leadership of the Army because of his BDS. Because the Army is trying to succeed in Iraq and he views it as Bush's war, he incorrectly views anyone talking about positive developments or avoiding potential negative developments as politicizing the war effort. That is an inherent danger when you become a hopeless idealogue such as Greenwald. Some innaccuracies and exaggerations you mention related to Beauchamp are really fabricating entire incidents from scratch and claiming they happened as described. Those are not the typical dictionary definitions of inaccuracies and exaggerations.

You Say - "That kid is an amateur who's just starting out in life, but you and others have put him through the meat grinder."

No one here except TNR has had any access to Beauchamp so your claim is a little hard to fathom. TNR didn't even acknowledge any contact with Beauchamp until more than a month after the fact. The Army dealt with Beauchamp through its own investigation. The right's interest, in my opinion since I cannot speak for others, is to have another dishonest liberal publication correct its smearing of the troops.


You Say - "Boylan is experienced and senior, and there is every indication that he is a liar. CY, this is an integrity test. Not just for Boylan, but for you."

Your fatuous statements here contradict the beginning of your comment from which this was extracted.

Your moralizing is pretty hollow when all you are really annoyed about is one of your icons getting his nose bloodied. You still haven't addressed the issue whether there was anything incorrect about the content of the e-mail, only the tone. Too bad.

Good Day, Sir!

Posted by daleyrocks at November 1, 2007 10:08 PM

Heh... nice sign-off, Daley. Kinda reminiscent of one I've seen somewhere... but I honestly invite you to continue to use it. :D

Posted by C-C-G at November 1, 2007 10:21 PM

One of my favorite Greenwald quotes, culled from a comment he made one his own blog, 12/2/06 - essentially he'll do anything to take down the administration and not everyone is entitled to respect and civility - it explains a lot:

There are some people who treat our conflicts with the Bush administration and their followers as just a matter of basic, friendly political and policy differences - along the lines of "what should the rate of capital gains tax be?" or "what type of laws can best encourage employers to provide more benefits to their employees" - and therefore, we treat people who support the administration with respect and civility and simply have nice, clean discussions to sort out our differences among well-intentioned people.

That isn't how I see that, and nobody should come to this blog expecting that. I don't think I've done anything to lead anyone to expect otherwise. I see the Bush movement and its various component parts as a plague and a threat, as anything but well-intentioned. My goal, politically speaking, is to do what I can to undermine it and the institutions that have both supported and enabled it.

Posted by daleyrocks at November 1, 2007 10:33 PM

Very good find, Daley.

Of course, since the members of the Armed Forces vote overwhelmingly Republican, Greenwald is therefore determined to undermine the very people who defend the freedom of speech he uses so freely.

Therefore, whenever Greenwald gets his hands on something that he thinks he can use as a bludgeon against the Armed Forces, he uses it to excess, having ridden the wave of his pre-existing bias straight to a conclusion without any thought being necessary.

Now that he's found that he has stepped in the substance that he tried to smear Boylan with, he's spinning furiously to avoid having to admit that he was wrong, and rank-and-file lefties like John here are doing the same, for the same reason.

That is, unless John is another of Glenn "Sock Puppet" Greenwald's sock puppets.

Posted by C-C-G at November 1, 2007 10:43 PM

I began my involvement here today (the first and the last day of such involvement) by telling you that I think of the Internet as a pile of wreckage. I suppose that, by now, I should be used to it, but I still have the ability to be dismayed.

The Internet is full of what Eric Hoffer called "True Believers." Doesn't really matter whether they call themselves liberals or conservatives. What joins them is fear of the facts. You people know that Col. Boylan is a liar, and unfit for his job or for a position of trust in the military. But you're afraid to say so because you think it would threaten the entire edifice of your beliefs.

That's a sign of fragiility, and to hide your fragility you repeat each others' talking points no matter how ridiculous. The same thing happens on left-wing sites, which minimize, mischaracterize or deny stupidity, malfeasance and fraud by Democrats.

You're joined at the hip. Look up. Look around. Come to your senses. You can lie to yourselves for only so long.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 11:14 PM

What neither group of knee-jerks can stand is a real independent. If I'd combine my father, who was very influential to me, with myself, we've always been ticket-splitters but voted predominantly with one party for some periods and then predominantly with the other.

The switches were always in reaction to excesses. The Democrats, the excesses were of misguided compassion. With Republican, they were of paranoia and authoritarianism. With both parties, at their peak of power each of them become unusually corrupt.

We were primarily Democrats in the 30s and 40s, Republicans in the 50s, Democrats in the 60s, Republicans in the 70s and 80s, Independent (Perot) and Democrat in the 90s. The decade was hard. The '00 election was the hardest of my life, because I've never trusted the Bush family (much like the Kennedys -- my father came to regret his vote for JFK), but didn't like Gore.

Starting in '04 the choice has been pretty easy. The Republicans have become paranoid, authoritarian, and corrupt on a scale not seen since Huey Long in the 30s and Harding and Coolidge in the 20s. This blog is representative of the party, at least in the first two categories.

Fortunately, the pendulum swings. I never thought I'd see the day when I looked forward to a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Posted by John at November 1, 2007 11:43 PM

John - Thanks for opinions John. At least you recognize some of the flaws of the left. I don't need somebody to write talking points for me to tell me what to believe. I don't fantasize about our constitution having been shredded by the evil Bush empire, wars for oil, wars for Halliburton, 9/11 being an inside job or many of the other strange conspiracy theories that seem to infect the left. I don't wake up filled with anger and rage the way many on the left admit they do every day.

I wonder how dishonest people like yourself can look at themselves in the mirror, though.

Good Day, Sir!

Posted by daleyrocks at November 1, 2007 11:47 PM

John, you speak of True Believers, and that is appropriate, for you are one.

You are clearly bent on dismissing all exculpatory evidence in favor of accepting, on faith, the word of The Great Greenwald. When you've studied computers as long as I have (my first PC was a Commodore Vic-20), perhaps you will comprehend why email headers are not accepted as evidence in any court of law that I am aware of. They're just too easily faked.

I direct your attention to this article from Carnegie Mellon University, if you don't believe me. You may also wish to view this article which details specifically how to spoof an email header.

But, of course, you being the True Believer that you are in The Great Greenwald, you will accept none of this purely non-partisan evidence in favor of your partisan True Believer conclusion.

Good day, Sir. I said, Good Day!

Posted by C-C-G at November 2, 2007 08:12 AM

John,

Your comments are a farce. You potray yourself as a tough, hard, brilliant worker who moved up the corporate ladder by his own sweat. You claim to be the only independent minded, clear thinker around.

Yet, your comments are identical to any admitted leftist who comes here. You continue to defend TNR and Beauchamp, but want Boylan's head on a platter w/o even the courtesy of an investigation.

Who do you think you are fooling? I was in the miltary, put myself through college and lawschool, went back into the military, and since then have worked my way up in my profession. My family was not rich, my parents were not political. I started out in life as a very, very liberal person, and over time (through experience and education) became more conservative). so, how does your bio make you somehow smarter or more able to think independently than mine?

You may believe you are independent minded and weigh everything and make a logical decision, but your positions end up parroting the knee-jerk reactions of the left - why is that?

Just because we disagree, does not mean that I have not thought through things and come to my own opinion, so constantly attacking people and claiming we are nothing but "bush-bots" - while you don't say it, you imply it - is hardly a new or persuasive argument.

You have not made a logical or persausive argument here - you have merely called yourself smart and independent and called us dumb and followers, and think that somehow proves your point. You call the internet a wasteland and think that makes you smarter than everyone else here.

Instead of relying on your belief that you are smarter and more independent than others, or that those you disagree with (conservativesj) are incapable of independent or logical thought, how about you try and make an argument?

Why is it that leftists (which, despite your assertions, you conform to all the stereotypes) must always a) deny they are leftists and b) personnally attack the people they are debating with rather than debating a point?

I think most people here have stated that Boylan probably wrote the email, but we will wait for the Army investigation and see what they do. Moreover, I think the consensous veiw on this site is that if Boylan wrote the email - the email itself was not a problem (i.e., not illegal or against army regs in any way - even if the tone was unprofessional), lying about sending the email may be a problem for Boylan.

You have simply asserted that sending the email in the first instance is wrong, wrong, wrong. Yet, you have no credible arguments for why this is so aside from your own assertion. Point to a law or army regulation that Boylan violated.

Next you argue that we should all be calling for Boylan's discipline, w/o even allowing an investigation to occur (while at the same time basically defending the lying of TNR and Beauchamp). That seems premature to me.

you also state that Boylan told a direct, unambiguous lie. It's obvious. That's not acceptable. I'm not naive. I know that people play games, and I know that there are ambiguities and tough situations that can be read in more than one way. This wasn't one of them. Boylan lied, and liars have no business serving as colonels in the Army, and they certainly have no business dealing with journalists.

If you honestly believed lying was such a huge sin, you would have a hard time ever voting for a liberal (and certainly could never support either Clinton). Moreover, why can't we hold journalists to the same standard of never lying?

As to your assertion that admitting Boylan lied will somehow "destory our worldview", that is insane tripe. If Boylan lied, he lied. He will have to deal with whatever consequences the Army imposes - which I will be fine with. It will not affect my conservative world view one bit.

You see, I happen to know that people are fallible, and that the messenger is not the messege. So, for instance, if a republican officeholder who votes against gay marriage gets outed as gay, I realize that such an event does not have any bearing on whether or not I believe allowing gay marriage is a good policy.

It is leftists (liberal, progressive, whatever you want to call it) who believe that the personal is policy. Leftists seem to believe that because people don't live up to standards at all times, there should be no standards. That because people fail to act morally at all times, there should be no absolute morals. that is foolish in my opinion. We don't have standards and morals out of the belief that everyone lives up to them always, but out of belief that everyone should attempt to live up to them always, and that there should be consequences for not living up to them. Leftists see failures to achieve a standard or moral and say, scrap the whole system.

Thus, whether Boylan is proven a liar or not is of no consequence to my world view. I have come to my world view through education, experience, reading, thinking and analyzing. I constantly alter my "world view" based on new facts and new arguments. Just because I don't alter my worldview in ways to suit you does not mean that I don't think rationally about such things, as you imply in every one of your comments.

I don't, however, alter my worldview simply b/c some person has failed to live up to a standard somewhere in the world. If anything, such things tend to strengthen my worldview, as I realize that such failures demonstrate the need for such standards - otherwise there would be chaos.

So, if you really are interested in a reasoned debate, drop your talking points about how you are so smart and independent and how we are so dumb and nothing more than bush-bots and try to make a reasoned argument based on facts, rather than assertions. then we can argue in good faith and try to persuade each other of the merits of our positions. Otherwise, you are simply blowing smoke . . .

Posted by Great Banana at November 2, 2007 08:37 AM

Great Banana, just one word: AMEN!

Posted by C-C-G at November 2, 2007 08:50 AM

C-C-G,

The form of arguing used by the left, and being used here by John - is slowly driving me insane. I just don't understand how people can be so vested in an opinion when they are wholly unable to defend said opinion with a rational argument based on facts.

I have come to realize that there truly seems to be a left/right difference in thinking (call it brain structure, brain chemistry, whatever). People on the left truly seem to believe that if they can demonstrate that the person making the argument is somehow deficient, then the argument is deficient. No matter how many times we point out that those are two separate things, they always go for the attack on the person making the argument, rather than the argument itself. Which is why I believe for the left, personal is policy.

Conservatives have always argued that people on the left make decisions with emotion rather than with logic. I am beginning to believe that more and more. I don't even think they purposefully do it, I think they honestly believe that attacking the person making the argument is the same thing as attacking the argument.

I also think this explains why the left often seems much more passionate about their politics, and much more willing to engage in things like demonstrations and marches - their policy preferences are based on emotion, which is much more motivating to act than simply basing policy preferences on some form of rational argument.

Which explains why conservatives and liberals are wholly unable to have good faith arguments. We are basically communicating in two different langauges. And, I am not trying to make a value judgment in this diatribe, there is a place for emotional decision making and a place for rational decision making in this world.

I am simply coming to believe that there is a real cognative disconnect between liberals and conservatives and true communication is almost impossible.

Posted by Great Banana at November 2, 2007 09:08 AM

Hmmm.

@ John

Boylan told a direct, unambiguous lie. It's obvious. That's not acceptable. I'm not naive.

Prove it.

That's the problem you've got *and* we have. Nobody actually has any proof of any specific thing. And until somebody actually offers up some proof or other documentation, there really isn't anything that anybody can do about it.

I.e. it's all just speculation.

So if you're going to call Lt. Col. Boylan a liar then YOU need to provide absolute and unambiguous proof of it.

And quite frankly I don't think you can because it's simply not available.

Posted by memomachine at November 2, 2007 01:26 PM

Hmmmm.

The things people need to understand are pretty basic.

1. All communications using the internet use ASCII.

This is because early on the only computers that communicated on the internet used ASCII.

2. All communications using the internet use TEXT.

This is because the programs that initially were developed to use the internet were designed to be used from a command line, on a text only terminal using telnet.

3. The web browser you are using to read this communicated using TEXT. Plain text.

The reason is that, again, the internet was built primarily on text based software, it's easier to debug and track and in a pinch you can use telnet to accomplish anything as long as you've got the knowledge and are willing to suffer doing so.

Posted by memomachine at November 2, 2007 02:02 PM

Hmmm.

An example:

http://www.xoc.net/works/tips/telnet.asp

If you follow the directions exactly you'll see:

GET / HTTP/1.1
host: www.microsoft.com

HTTP/1.1 302 Found
Cache-Control: private
Content-Type: text/html; charset=utf-8
Location: /en/us/default.aspx
Server: Microsoft-IIS/7.0
X-AspNet-Version: 2.0.50727
P3P: CP="ALL IND DSP COR ADM CONo CUR CUSo IVAo IVDo PSA PSD TAI TELo OUR SAMo C
NT COM INT NAV ONL PHY PRE PUR UNI"
X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
Date: Fri, 02 Nov 2007 19:04:57 GMT
Content-Length: 136

<html><head><title>Object moved</title></head><body>
<h2>Object moved to <a href="/en/us/default.aspx">here</a>.</h2>
</body></html>

----

As you can see. It's all text.

Posted by memomachine at November 2, 2007 02:06 PM

Hmmm.

@ Great Banana

I am simply coming to believe that there is a real cognative disconnect between liberals and conservatives and true communication is almost impossible.

*shrug* I've said for years now that:

Liberals think conservatives are evil,
Conservatives think liberals are crazy.

Strange. But true.

Posted by memomachine at November 2, 2007 02:08 PM

Banana, it is true that lefties do not use logic, for one simple reason.

If they examined the position of the modern left logically, they'd be forced into conservatism.

How else do lefties justify opposing a war that has liberated millions of people from a brutal dictator, while loudly proclaiming their concern for human rights? It only makes sense if you don't let logic within 100 miles of it.

Therefore, lefties cannot, truly cannot use logic, so they resort to the only other kind of arguing they know, which they learned on the elementary school playground and have never forgotten.

Posted by C-C-G at November 2, 2007 06:53 PM

This leaves us with two possiblities: either Boylan sent the original email, or someone at his base logged-on to his account and sent the email.

There is actually a third possibility. GG has received mail from Boylan in the past, so he has an example of what servers are used. Using the prior message as a template, the current message could have been created out of whole cloth.

Good Day.

Posted by Loren at November 5, 2007 02:54 PM

Indeed, Loren... and given Mr. Greenwald's known sock-puppeting activities, it doesn't seem that big a stretch for him to do so, does it?

Posted by C-C-G at November 5, 2007 08:06 PM

Greenwald vehemently denies any involvement, direct or indirect in manufacture of the disputed e-mail. While ny bias runs toward doubting the person formerly caught out in similar mischief, however, a person who frets a lot about being treated with the proper dignity a person of his caliber deserves, it does occur to me that Greenwald is not the only person who could have a grudge against Greenwald or Boylan, or might indulge a misguided attempt to gain sympathy or express the views of either.

For example a disgruntled Beau"champion" , or a mischievous Cabana boy who feels Boylan has used his friend rather ill, has staged the drama.

Anyone who has received email from Boylan could spoof his header information. if skilled enough. Some might have access to insert a spook straight onto the Salon servers.

The original email was innocuous enough, neither was it entirely unsolicited, in that it was a response to Greenwald public statements. The author purported to be speaking in his capacity as a private person, not in official capacity.
It had a critical and "woodshed lecture" tone, but the worst insult it contained was a comparison of Glenn to the talents of Alan Colmes.

So, I don't know why Boylan wouldn't own it. Friends of Glenn suggest Boylan wrote it in a fit of vodka-thirty and regrets it, and/or enjoys toying with the likes of Greenwald. But I tend to take Boylan at his word. He didn't write it, and his emails to Glenn, while taciturn, are consistent with someone who wonders if the mail bears hallmarks of a fake...as others have faked being him in the past.. ( "Interesting email, why do you ask"...etc)

Glenn is unsatisfied by this response, but seems clueless as to how impertinent his follow-up questions actually were, decribing himself as "civil" and "proffesional". I see little attempt at evasion by or failure of Boylan to adequately explain anything, as nothing more was owed but a denial of authorship.

Posted by SarahW at November 6, 2007 09:49 AM