Onward Christian Soldier: Donald Rumsfeld Reportedly Sent Briefing Booklets on Iraq War to Bush Containing Inspirational Biblical Sayings

SiegeofAntioch225px-Rumsfeld1GQ has an array of daily briefing booklet sent by Donald Rumsfeld to George W. Bush on the Iraq war and the war on terror that featured Biblical sayings. This is the reading prepared for a president who called the war on terror a “crusade.” Such Biblical inspirational sayings as “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death” were coupled with triumphant pictures for the President’s daily briefings. The covers read like a Sunday school workbook for an adolescent student.

Strangely missing from the briefings on Christian war-fighting is Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

Less surprising is the omission of Matthew 5:44: “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you.”

What is interesting about this report is that these covers are likely to be used by our enemies to show that America does view its war on terror in biblical terms like a crusade. Under the standard recently adopted (from the Bush administration) by President Obama, such documents would be embarrassing to the nation and be used by our enemies — thus could be withheld from disclosure.

For a slideshow of the covers, click here.

For the pictures and story, click here.

36 thoughts on “Onward Christian Soldier: Donald Rumsfeld Reportedly Sent Briefing Booklets on Iraq War to Bush Containing Inspirational Biblical Sayings

  1. I think this means that Mr. Rumsfeld recognized Mr. Bush’s maturity level to be equal to that of an “adolescent student.” This nonsense would be embarrassing even if it were never seen by Muslim fundamentalists. By the way, is Mr. Rumsfeld by any chance an honorary member of the Frisco County, Texas school board?

  2. I think that the worst part about this is that I am in no way surprised. Honestly, you could tell me that Cheney had built a fake burning bush that he secretly gave W. orders through and I would believe it at this point.

  3. One has to wonder why these images were used. Are they, as Mike A suggests, evidence of the manipulation of a President viewed by his Secy’ of Defense (others?), as maliable enough to be swayed by such images? Were they offered as supportive of the President’s existing actual view of the Crusade-eaque nature of the Iraq undertaking? Were they outward expressions of the Pentagon’s internal view of the undertaking? Or perhaps they were simply innocent colorful images providing a little daily inspriation along with the mundane details of routine Defense Department analysis? The first three hypotheses are extremely troubling and bear the strongest likelihood of truth. That last one could easily be substituted for a spoon for gagging purposes.

  4. As a young Southern Baptist Christian who received every lapel attendance pin available for never missing a Service, Sunday School, Wednesday Prayer Service, and many more ecclesiastical functions, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’ was one of my many favorite hymnals. I do not know if I would have turned out differently had I not experienced this ‘guidance’ in my early life. However, immediately upon my first, real through read of Charles Darwin while I was attending college—in Texas no less—made me shed the mind-restricting Christian Dogma of hypocritical teachings based on supposition, innuendo, and that untenable and untestable god hypothesis .

    Mr. Bush et al. demonstrated just how destructive blind Christian nonsense could be during the course of supposed grown-up humans’ decision-making. The worldwide death, destruction, and misery he and his religious fanaticism have caused are no less egregious than any wrongs done by any other maniac despot who ever lived. Bush et al. simply used a different *good book* guide and the fear of 9/11 for their maniacal reign over a Nation that illogically turned inward to an imaginary apparition, instead of outward toward thinking and logic derived from the scientific method, critical thinking, and then trusting the rule of law founded upon the principles of the *secular* U.S. Constitution.

  5. Donnie Rumsfeld certainly was not a pious or religious man. Earning his spurs with Nixon, he went on to a career of getting rich, despite the source. He also evolved a foreign policy outlook that dovetailed with his own personal gain. He was arguably the worst Secretary of Defense in our history, when you take into account the failure of the Defense Department to equip our troops properly and care for their safety. Donnie was far more interested in tending to the interests of Haluburton, GE and Blackwater. The care for our wounded vets was inadequate and reprehensible and that falls to him, whether or not the VA was under his control. All in all a selfish pig of a man, who failed the US and the duties of his office badly.

    That is a preamble to the action denoted in this article. Since this man’s piety and patriotism are phony (though I assume he lacks the self awareness to realize that)these little religious missives were there as a means of manipulating the ego of our former President. GW Bush is a
    shallow and vain man, who wanted the job, but didn’t have a clue what to do. This was illustrated by 9/11 when he flew around the country and let Cheney handle the problem. As a
    patrician he did know how to give orders though, so the problem for his handlers, Cheney and Rumsfeld old allies from Nixon/Ford era, was how to present things in a way that stroked his ego but got him to follow their lead.

    GW, intellectually having no clue what to do, was open to the notion that he was fulfilling God’s purpose by being President. This helped to quell the doubts he himself must have felt sitting at those meetings he only barely understood and yet having to maintain a leader’s demeanor.
    God will show me the way….that’s the ticket. These little missives do not surprise me, they seem right in character.

  6. Mike S.

    Spot on. The only way Rumsfeld could find Jesus is the way Carlin said Nixon bad boy Chuck Colson found him – “The only way he found Jesus is Jesus didn’t see him coming!”

  7. I hate to think this or even say it. But I think that Cheney manipulated W. Then W did the bidding for all. What was that guys name McCellen, he claims that W lived in the bubble. Learning what I have about W, he was a stooge, pawn and just plain to stupid to know what he was doing. He never made any money in business, maybe he trusted too many people too much.

  8. Here’s an apt quote from one of Rummy’s cover repots:

    “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

    Does anyone suppose that particular report discussed the state of our military’s body and vehicle armor?

  9. I see many connections coming together in this story. This war has/is been(ing) sold as a religious crusade. If you go to mega churches you will see slide shows that mirror or exceed this one. Even for people who are not christian, I see the govt. is recruiting based on terms of: “this is a fight of good vs. evil”. If you go to a movie, you see the glorification of the military fitted in the format of this simplistic framework.

    Steven Colbert took down the recruitment software of our military once. He showed it, then mentioned something like, it must be difficult to deliver the “I regret to inform letter” after he highlighted a soldier getting killed in one of the fake “battle” scenes, full of violence but no consequences.

    Evidently the head of the Tamil Tigers was extremely charismatic and controlling. It was his quality of attraction and brutal punishment for anyone who questioned him that enabled him to recruit willing suicide bombers and keep his power.

    I feel that charismatic domination is not limited to traditional religions/cults but carries over, using the same techniques to engulf people who do not consider themselves religious. Anytime it becomes unacceptable to question a leader, that is a cult like situation.

    The people who want the bible in the schools are utterly convinced of the righteouness of their cause and their particular god. This feeling is exploited by our military and our govt. to keep people from thinking about what is really going on. Just as the people in TX do not want other religions to be available to the students for study and consideration, our govt. and it’s leaders present themselves as agents of “the good”. Well, are they? We must ask that question.

    I believe there is evil in the world and I believe there is good, but ususally this is a far more complex story than “good vs. evil”. This is the paradigm we know best and are thus open to exploitation around it. It is both a secular and religious mindset of our culture. Therefore it is dangerous to leave it unexamined in any situation it occurs.

  10. The Spanish govt. is moving against the people in our govt. who commit/ted torture. Good vs. Evil breaks down rapidly when “Good” is committing torture:

    By Jeremy Scahill

    On Friday, I wrote a piece for AlterNet on how the Obama administration is continuing to use a notorious military police unit at Guantanamo that regularly brutalizes unarmed prisoners, despite Obama’s pledge to uphold the Geneva Convention. This force officially known as the Immediate Reaction Force (IRF) has been labelled the “Extreme Repression Force” by Gitmo prisoners. Its members were also characterized as the “Black Shirts of Guantanamo” by human rights lawyer Michael Ratner. The IRF force is “an extrajudicial terror squad that has regularly brutalized prisoners outside of the interrogation room, gang beating them, forcing their heads into toilets, breaking bones, gouging their eyes, squeezing their testicles, urinating on a prisoner’s head, banging their heads on concrete floors and hog-tying them — sometimes leaving prisoners tied in excruciating positions for hours on end.”

    There has been very little public attention focused on this force. But, as I noted in my story, this unit could potentially be subjected to legal scrutiny, even if the Congress and Justice Department refuse to do their jobs. That’s because one of the men brutalized by this force is a primary figure in the (largely ignored by the US media) Spanish investigation—a British resident named Omar Deghayes. (See my article, “Little Known Military Thug Squad Still Brutalizing Prisoners at Gitmo Under Obama,” for more on this story.)


  11. Why does any of this come as a surprise to anyone?
    Is there anyone left who does not recognize the messianic overtones that have been pasted on this war?

    My memory fails, but wasn’t Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, involved is something similar? I seem to remember an incident where his organization, whose name I can’t recall, was doing humanitarian work, like passing out water bottles to troops in the 100+ degree weather. Seems the water came with a price tag… the soldiers first had to affirm their belief in jesuschrist or accept him as their savior in that moment in order to get a bottle of water.

    This war and the language set used to justify its start and continuance has always had this pastiche of crusader-like justification. That we like the crusaders were liberating forces who would be welcomed with open arms, cheered and then revered for our determination to smash the axis of evil or some other equally repulsive hyperbole and replace their idolatrous nature with good decent christian values.
    we simply became missionaries with guns. that god is exclusively on our side and likes the idea that the perpetrators of this war found that there were buckets of money to be made.

  12. Here’s a piece of gossip for you:

    When Laura Bush finally became fed up with her husband’s drunkenness and told him to dry out or get out, the Bush family simply couldn’t allow one of their own to attend AA meetings with the common folk or to check into a rehab clinic, a move the press would certainly learn about and splash all over their front pages.

    So the old man called in his old pal, “Pastor to Presidents” Billy Graham, to turn the lush around. For days Graham holed up with G.W. at the family compound in Kinnebunkport, allowing no visitors or means of respite, reading the Bible, preaching the love of Jesus and the possibility of ostracization from God’s kingdom (and the Bush family and all their money) while the errant, perpetual adolesent dried out. The browbeating continued until all were satisfied that the boy had accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and Laura had forgiven him.

    As I said, it’s just gossip. Living in Texas, you hear all sorts of these stories about the lives of the rich and powerful.

    So what the country got was a dry drunk for a president, convinced he was chosen for the job by God, whose choice was reinforced by the SCOTUS. It’s no wonder the Saudis and the Bushes are so tight.

  13. We have turned on its head Joe Louis’ humble observation that in historic conflicts we should strive to be on God’s side rather than confidently claiming He is on ours. WWJT, indeed.

  14. Are you f****** kidding me? Nothing will ever top the Bush years as the worst eight years of the Republic.

  15. I cannot agree with you more. Never did we get to drill for Oil in Alaska. That was the Worst 8 years I can remember.

  16. well, if the story is in a magazine (which btw if one reads magazines they have mental disorder)…in a magazine whose cover is a naked young lady with a tie on…



    saddam highjacked a saudi airplane in the summer of 2000 holding a prince hostage…i wonder how he managed that…saddam was told to release the plane or ELSE…

    as far as atta being in germany 2 months after the iraqi intelligence officer is clearly a means of communications and jamie gorlick was wrong…no one could prove that atta was in the united states at the time of these “phone calls” were made anyone could of had possession of the phone and made the calls


    the news is leaks from those who want to see their agenda…

    that is all for now…do i have more to say as to the reason for the war against iraq…YES!!!

  17. CharlesC, in re to Cheney’s Burning Bush. . . you mean, he didn’t? I’m sure that Bush now sees himself as Daniel in the Lion’s Den
    Perhaps we can draw a parallel between Pelosi and Esther?

  18. Queen of Sheba:”So what the country got was a dry drunk for a president, convinced he was chosen for the job by God, whose choice was reinforced by the SCOTUS.”

    And now the country needs in-patient rehab and detox.

  19. Jill:

    “I believe there is evil in the world and I believe there is good, but ususally this is a far more complex story than “good vs. evil”. This is the paradigm we know best and are thus open to exploitation around it. It is both a secular and religious mindset of our culture. Therefore it is dangerous to leave it unexamined in any situation it occurs.”


    There is indeed “good” and “evil” in the world and we know it because we invented the two ourselves in accord with what provides our generation the most pleasure versus the most pain. Each generation struggles to define these concepts using cultural and sometimes religious contexts, but as we can see the triggering events for these definitions change with the times. It was once considered evil to drink alcohol; to be in the company of an unmarried women without chaperon; to wear clothing of different threads side by side; to engage in sexual relations with those of the same gender. These concepts are uniquely human and wrapped in somewhat naive notions of absolute free will, religious necessity, and genetics-free accountability. We don’t consider wolves “evil” when they kill baby rabbits to satisfy their carnal needs. We do consider humans who kill babies “evil” when they do the same thing and for the same reason. We apply different standards to different species and the highest standards to ourselves reasoning we have both awareness of our conduct and the will to alter those choices. About the most universal act garnering moral condemnation is murder, but even that finds anthropological exceptions in, for example, the Nicobarese tribes. To say, as some religious do, that there is some absolute morality divorced from its historical context is contrary to human experience. That is not to suggest that certain acts are not so heinous as avoid capital punishment merely because our judgment is not supported by divine sanction; it merely means we need not cheapen our rationale for enforcement of our standards by arguing that we do so because God ordained it as an absolute standard. We have the right as a society to define “good” and “evil” and to encourage or discourage these notions as the case may be. We all know that unique circumstances and new information changes everything, so I suggest we do not pretend that they do not.

  20. Mespo72Cubed,

    Nicobarese, thanks. I had never heard of that before. I wikied it and it was very informational.


    If I offended you I apologize.

  21. Psalm 29

    The voice of the Lord in the storm.

    Give unto the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory and strength.

    Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

    The voice of the Lord upon the waters: the God of glory thundereth: the Lord upon many waters.

    The voice of the Lord powerful; the voice of the Lord full of majesty.

    The voice of the Lord breaketh the cedars; yea, the Lord breaketh the cedars of Lebanon.

    He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.

    The voice of the Lord shaketh the wilderness; the Lord shaketh the wilderness of Kadesh.

    The voice of the Lord maketh the hinds to clave, and discovereth the forests: and in his temple doth every one speak of his glory.

    The Lord sitteth upon the flood; yea, the Lord sitteth King for ever.

    The Lord will give strength unto his people; the Lord will bless his people with peace.


  22. there is no doubt that things have happened in the bush and clinton era…but the subject at hand is bush…torture is wrong…yet, i grew up listening to the side who said we tortured people in vietnam and to the vets who would not talk…

    so, if the torture started before the memos were written…and the memo guys should have more than their licences taken away…it clearly shows that torture had already been done in the past…which is what lead to the first treaty between Prussia and the United States in 1795 as to the treatment of prisoners of “war” or subjects of the country we were trading with and had regular dealings with in the open seas…

    bush showed us what some in the miltary and independant contracters would do in a war footing…the “cia” interregators were from CAC Internatiional Consulting or something like that…

    at least the question that it really happened is answered and that includes vietnam…what someone held over rumsfeld’s head…i don’t know…

    least we not forgot something good:


    Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

    President George W. Bush September 11, 2001

  23. The thing about humans is that the vast majority see “good” and “evil” being equivalent to “us” and “them”.

    When they do it to us it is torture and is evil, when we do it to them it is good and justified and is enhanced interrogation techniques.

    The great value of torture is that it can get them to tell us what we already know to be true even when the facts say differently.

  24. Mike.

    You may be doing Rumsfeld and injustice when you say that his piety is fake. He may be an example of the kind of religious believer that justifies my dislike of the pious. There is no conflict between a person believing that he is serving God or The Gods at the same time as he makes himself wealthy by corrupt means.

    One can think of the Conquistadors or the pious protestants who killed off the native Americans, or the Australians who saved the souls of the disappearing Australian aborigines at the same time as they were causing that disappearance.

  25. Carlyle,

    I think you make very good points on both accounts. I don’t see another way to honestly look at this except as: good = what “we” do and bad = what “they” do, once we engage in torture. It can’t be right under one country and leader and wrong under another. I also agree that there is no discrepency between depraved behavior and religious belief. They don’t always co-exist, but they do a lot.

  26. bah humbug….thanz for pointing that out!!!


    i could make excuses but what the heck…i didn’t catch it…

    though i did start reading an old book i picked up at the library sale…”Scientific Aspects of Christian Evidences” by G. Frederick Wright D.D.,LL.D.,F.G.S.A. dated 1898 published by D. Appleton and Company

    it is very interesting because it is alot of what i was verbally taught growing up and that his theories are still being discussed today even though people don’t know it!!!

  27. http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0509/Rumsfeld_disputes_GQ_report.html

    cough cough cough bullshit cough cough cough

    Donnie never saw the memos. The ones his office was supplying and he was supposed to be delivering to the President as part of his security briefings.


    Not in any office I’ve ever been in, governmental or otherwise. And I can guarantee you this: Rumsfeld is the kinda guy who is so paranoid and manipulative, he’d be checking reports complied by underlings just to make sure they weren’t sabotaging him. Didn’t see them? Didn’t ordered it played that way to manipulate our born-again dry-drunk boy-chimp?

    I don’t believe it for a second.

  28. Bibles in Frisco public schools spark debate over principles

    12:00 AM CDT on Tuesday, May 19, 2009

    By JESSICA MEYERS / The Dallas Morning News

    FRISCO – Some parents’ outrage over Bibles being handed out at Frisco secondary schools has grown into a debate over bigger principles: the right to religious expression and the desire to keep religion out of the classroom.

    Some parents complained last week that their children felt pressure from classmates to accept books provided by Gideon volunteers.

    Christinna Fuqua was aghast when she followed her daughter into Griffin Middle School and was handed a Bible.

    More in link: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/city/collin/frisco/stories/DN-bibles_19met.ART.State.Edition1.4c6117d.html

    I guess you bible thumpers thought you’d get away with this stuff, huh. Some parents did speak out but if memory serves me correctly Fuqua is of the French Huguenots “Fouquet” originally. So I am unsure if they are counted as white/Caucasian or other.

  29. one…bible should not be given out at schools…

    two…rummy seen the memos it was the fact that the torture was already happening that leaves the question how much did he know was going on and was someone holding something over his head to force him to agree to what was already going on….

    the point of the matter is…it proved that it was to intimiate the iraqi people not to get information…and that it probably did happen in vietnam

    please, faith isn’t all that bad but that is all i am saying…i agree there is logical answers to the “stories” in the bible….

    but that is for another time..

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