Colonel Jackass

by digby

This is truly outrageous. I'm actually quite shocked that a Colonel and public affairs officer could ever write something so simpleminded, petty and crass. He is clearly unfit for this duty and should be relieved.

I would think Col. Boylan would have more important matters to attend to than writing me emails about how Alan Colmes is the "real talent" and how I lack the balls to go visit him in Iraq -- beginning with finding out who has been working secretly with right-wing outlets in the Beauchamp and Bilal Hussein matters, if he does not already know. The linchpin of a republic under civilian rule -- as well as faith in the armed services by a cross-section of Americans -- is an apolitical military. Like all other branches of the government intended to be apolitical, this linchpin is eroding under this administration, and that ought to be of far greater concern to Boylan and Petraeus than hurling petty insults.

Glenn gets to the heart of the problem when he discusses the politicization of the military. We have known forever that the officer corps tilted heavily conservative, but for public affairs people to be involved in this sort of thing is, as far as I know, unprecedented. (Have you ever seen this sort of letter in the newspaper?)

The conservative movement's Coulteresque dirty, take-no-prisoners political tactics have become standard operating procedure in every corner of the US Government over the past seven years and it is going to take a gargantuan effort to sweep it clean. Sadly, I'm not seeing much emphasis placed on this in the current congress, so it's very difficult to see how it will happen under a more popular president, even a Democratic one that is being sabotaged from within his or her own government on a daily basis.

Update: This must be some kind of joke:

On Tuesday, while “wildfires raged” in California, FEMA staged a live press conference at which agency staffers posed as journalists and asked softball questions. One of those staffers, Director of External Affairs John “Pat” Philbin, has now resigned.

He has instead landed an “amazing opportunity” to head public affairs at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

Update II: Now the Colonel is being coy (and extremely unconvincing) about whether he actually sent the e-mail. It certainly appears that he's the one who sent it, but even if he didn't his replies are those of an arrogant jackass. If someone sent the email as a hoax, they perfectly captured his unprofessionalism.

I hope he doesn't think he has a career waiting for him in PR in the private sector because this is the kind of messy mistake that public affairs people are called in to clean up, not create.