Sunday, October 28, 2007

Military IT Infrastructure Hacked?

Interesting (and still developing) story I've been following at Salon today. It can only be done justice in a first-hand read, but I'd like to post a quick recap for those who have missed it. In a nutshell:

Glenn Greenwald writes an article about the politicization of the US Military in Iraq, comparing military PR to that of the right-wing factions of the Republican party. Colonel Steven A. Boylan, Public Affairs Officer, personal spokesman for Gen. Petraeus, was interviewed by Greenwald for the piece, but after reading what Greenwald wrote, had an apparent meltdown, emailing a rambling, bile-filled diatribe:

You are either too lazy to do the research on the topics to gain the facts, or you are providing purposeful misinformation -- much like a propagandist. . . .

Sorry to burst your bubble, but a little actual research on your part would have shown that [Cheney P.R. aide Steve Schmidt] is actually not here, but that would contradict your conspiracy theory. . . .
Trouble is, the Colonel wrote many more paragraphs (each increasingly irate and immature), and it turns out Steve Schmidt actually was in Iraq.

Greewald publishes a follow up pointing out the irony of the politically charged email from a Colonel who "should have better things to worry about" than an article on military politicization. People following along, shocked that a military Colonel would write such a childish email begin to question it's authenticity. Greenwald emails to verify that the email received was indeed written by the Colonel, which the Colonel then denies, claiming he had nothing to do with it, and was the victim of identity theft.

Needless to say, Greenwald is skeptical.
Peter Boothe, a PhD student in the University of Oregon Computer Science Department, specializing in Internet topology, has published an analysis of the email tracking information and "conclude[d] that these two emails [the "fake" one and the real one] were written by the same person. Or, someone has hacked into the military infrastructure in an effort to discredit this one Colonel by sending cranky emails to bloggers. But one of the two, certainly."
By "Update IV" Greenwald was publishing all header and IP information from the emails for readers to verify. He was on "Update VII" when I decided to give up for the night.

I'd have never guessed US military leaders would be providing me as much high drama as the time I "took a year off" and accidentally got caught up in a full season of Days of Our Lives.

Politicized, indeed.


  1. The title of your post obscures the actual topic, which deserves everyone's attention. Think Progress has more:

    Since last February, the Pentagon has been holding weekly and even daily conference calls with right-wing bloggers in support of the so-called "surge."

    Glenn Greenwald is correct: our military has become “rapidly politicized, fully incorporated into…the model of the Republican right-wing noise machine.”

    The Petraeus-Crocker hearings were just the tip of the iceberg.

  2. I'm soooooo busted.

    This is where I spend most of my time. It's soooo easy

    The Troll