Report: Rumsfeld's Top Secret Intelligence Reports Were Covered in Biblical Quotes
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
WASHINGTON (AFP) -- Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld routinely used militaristic passages from the Bible on the cover pages of White House intelligence documents, according to new revelations by GQ magazine.
It said Rumsfeld displayed the passages over photographs of U.S. forces in Iraq to curry favor with then president George W. Bush, despite concerns about the incendiary impact on the Islamic world if they were ever made public.
One republished on the GQ website came from March 31, 2003, showing a U.S. tank roaring through the desert about 10 days after the United States invaded Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein.
Over the image was printed a verse from Ephesians: "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."
The report by Robert Draper, who wrote a well-received book about Bush called Dead Certain, also detailed the frustration and occasional fury of former officials who said Rumsfeld constantly undermined the president's goals.
The bellicose passages of Scripture appeared on the front page of top-secret intelligence summaries prepared by the Pentagon for the born-again Christian president's personal review, Draper reported.
The briefing documents were so sensitive that they were often hand-delivered by Rumsfeld to the White House, he said.
Another of the images showed U.S. troops trudging through the desert under a passage from Isaiah: "Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses' hoofs seem like flint, their chariot wheels are like a whirlwind."
Draper noted that unlike Bush, Rumsfeld did not wear his religion on his sleeve. And he said the use of the biblical passages was the brainchild of a director for intelligence working under the Pentagon chief.
"Still, the sheer cunning of pairing unsentimental intelligence with religious righteousness bore the signature of one man: Donald Rumsfeld," Draper's report said.
"At least one Muslim analyst in the (Pentagon) building had been greatly offended," it said.
"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'."