Onward Christian Soldiers [update]

From TPM. If you haven’t heard, Donald Rumsfeld was using Bible quotations to justify what was going on in Iraq.

No doubt, the big story starting off the week. In GQ, Robert Draper does a first look back at Don Rumsfeld’s tenure at the DOD, with a focus on internal briefing documents which wrapped the day’s military events out of Iraq with smoteful biblical quotations about the righteous conquering the wicked and the infidel.

Here’s the slideshow.

[From Onward Christian Soldiers]

Dan Varisco from Tabsir shares his thoughts as well:

The Bible is a big book with plenty of quotations for politicians and other enemies of clear thinking. Thomas Jefferson came up with his abridged Bible based solely on the Gospels. He saw value in the ethics but not much in the legal wrangling and superstitions. Now it appears that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld took the opposite approach, striking out the blessed beatitudes like “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9) and “love your enemies” (Matthew 5:44). Who needs that when there is all that hellfire and brimstone and enemy bashing early on? Apparently not Mr. Rumsfeld, nor his adoring boss, Mr. Bush.

It appears that even though the Defense Secretary was not very adept at devising a plan for post-war Iraq security, he did know a thing or two about Photoshop. You can see a slide show of the illustrated covers of his “Worldwide Intelligence Update” (oxymoron that it was) on the GQ website. It is not hard to see why it was given “no distribution” classification.


According to the Washington Monthly, we have to remember, it’s not like there was a bubble here. They knew this was a problem:

“In the days before the Iraq war, Shaffer’s staff had created humorous covers in an attempt to alleviate the stress of preparing for battle. Then, as the body counting began, Shaffer, a Christian, deemed the biblical passages more suitable. Several others in the Pentagon disagreed. At least one Muslim analyst in the building had been greatly offended; others privately worried that if these covers were leaked during a war conducted in an Islamic nation, the fallout — as one Pentagon staffer would later say — “would be as bad as Abu Ghraib.” (…)