Wednesday, October 22, 2003

Last night, Jim Lehrer's NewsHour brought on Robert Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, to discuss the case of Jesus' general, William Boykin. Maginnis has pretty solid right-wing credentials -- since his retirement from the military he's worked at the Family Research Council and at Fox News -- and his first answer invoked "political correctness," but not long afterward he said this about Boykin:

Well, the sensitivity he should have with regard to what's going on around him, he's an intelligence officer as well as a special ops having worked a long time in that part of the world so he knows how incendiary words can be in that particular culture. He reads it every day. I hold him at fault for not demonstrating that.

There is a problem though, Margaret, when he goes out in uniform. You know, I served a long time in the military. I can recall back right before i retired, i did some national television. And I was told very clearly you don't show up in uniform. You say up front these are my thoughts. And they do not represent those of the United States government. So i hold him at fault for showing up in his uniform with his polished boots as they said in the LA Times and then stating his beliefs.

...Politics does matter. The general should have known. He was going up the ranks fairly rapidly. If you live in a glass house, people throw rocks. And especially if you live in a glass house where there's a war going on, you better be very sensitive to that.

That pretty much blows the "Boykin's a God-fearing innocent who couldn't possibly have foreseen this firestorm" argument out of the water.

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