The "I am not making this up" thing came in the context of recommending ASN.1 for instance. If that were a chess match commentary, this is where the scorekeeper would have put a "??" after the move to note the shock.
And note what tptacek's comment was not: It wasn't a bunch of personal attacks, or swearing. Some of the commentary was "more than professional", to be sure, but that's exactly the kind of commentary you should hope to get in highly-demanding, highly-selective fields.
You want to know what a perfect book review would look like in the Navy's nuclear propulsion program? It would be this: "No deficiencies noted."
I agree that it wasn't especially bad, it could just be worded a bit better to spare feelings.