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Bush Admin Intel Reports Covered in Scripture

6 years ago
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In what The New York Times' columnist Frank Rich describes as "seriously creepy", GQ Magazine posted yesterday a slideshow of Bush Adminstration era top-secret Secretary of Defense Worldwide Intelligence Updates, glaringly covered with quotes from the Bible and usually delivered to Bush by the SecDef himself. The slideshow is a companion to a scathing article about Donald Rumsfeld's Pentagon written for GQ by Bush biographer Robert Draper.

These coversheets so offended at least one member of Rumsfeld's staff that he thought to keep them for posterity. According to Draper:
These cover sheets were the brainchild of Major General Glen Shaffer, a director for intelligence serving both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense. 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."

But the Pentagon's top officials were apparently unconcerned about the effect such a disclosure might have on the conduct of the war or on Bush's public standing. When colleagues complained to Shaffer that including a religious message with an intelligence briefing seemed inappropriate, Shaffer politely informed them that the practice would continue, because "my seniors"-JCS chairman Richard Myers, Rumsfeld, and the commander in chief himself-appreciated the cover pages.
There's been no doubt by most, in retrospect, that Secretary Rumsfeld long overstayed his welcome and effectiveness as Pentagon chief in light of what we've known now for years about the run-up to and conduct of the Iraq War. I'm sure the use of these images and biblical quotes surprise no one, but give us more color to an administration whose last adherents are tap dancing about all media outlets trying to soften it's image. We'll see which version of history wins out.

Filed Under: Bush Administration, Iraq

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