Sunday, May 17, 2009

Don Rumsfeld Played Pious Bush with Scriptures

All Americans with a scintilla of intellectual integrity (yeah, I'm addressing Republicans who voted for BushenCheney in 2004 when you should have known better) should read Frank Rich's NYT column today, Obama Can’t Turn the Page on Bush, in its entirety. Today, I just want to key on two or three paragraphs:
Robert Draper .... author of Dead Certain .... reports that Rumsfeld’s monomaniacal determination to protect his Pentagon turf led him to hobble and antagonize America’s most willing allies in Iraq, Britain and Australia, and even to undermine his own soldiers.

But Draper’s biggest find is a collection of daily cover sheets that Rumsfeld approved for the Secretary of Defense Worldwide Intelligence Update, a highly classified digest prepared for a tiny audience, including the president, and often delivered by hand to the White House by the defense secretary himself. These cover sheets greeted Bush each day with triumphal color photos of the war headlined by biblical quotations.
Today, GQ publishes seven covers of Rumsfeld's Secretary of Defense Worldwide Intelligence Updates. Readers are recommended to follow the link to GQ's Slide Show. Otherwise, these screen-shots need clicking for expansion:

Frank Rich Continues:
What’s up with that? ... Rumsfeld is not known for ostentatious displays of piety. He was cynically playing the religious angle to seduce and manipulate a president who frequently quoted the Bible. But the secretary’s actions were not just oily; he was also taking a risk with national security. If these official daily collages of Crusade-like messaging and war imagery had been leaked, they would have reinforced the Muslim world’s apocalyptic fear that America was waging a religious war.
The real point being, Bush the - fundamentalist sap that he was - was being played by Rumsfeld. Rich concludes:
I’m not a fan of Washington’s blue-ribbon commissions, where political compromises can trump the truth. But the 9/11 investigation did illuminate how, a month after Bush received an intelligence brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.,” 3,000 Americans were slaughtered on his and Cheney’s watch. If the Obama administration really wants to move on from the dark Bush era, it will need a new commission, backed up by serious law enforcement, to shed light on where every body is buried.
Rich is right. Obama must be made to understand that in order to move on, he must dig up and air out these cadavers from their unmarked graves.