GQ Slams Rumsfeld for Relying Upon Scripture
Published under the GQ headline, “AND HE WILL BE JUDGED,” Robert Draper’s lengthy feature article about Donald Rumsfeld is chock full of criticism about the former secretary of defense and his boss in the Oval Office. What I found more worthwhile about the article, however, were details about Scripture verses that began appearing on Pentagon documents delivered to President George W. Bush.
The documents bearing the Scripture verses were cover sheets for the Worldwide Intelligence Briefings delivered daily to the Oval Office during a two-month period in 2003. Reportedly the brainchild of Air Force Maj. Gen. Glen Shaffer, a director for intelligence serving both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense, they began appearing March 17, 2003, along with photos relevant to the war effort in Iraq.
March 17, 2003, was the date when President Bush issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein, demanding that he and his sons leave Iraq within 48 or face the consequences. Two days later, after Hussein and his sons failed to leave, the U.S. and its allies — nearly 200,000 troops under the command of Army Gen. Tommy Franks — launched Operation Iraqi Freedom.
History.com sums up the success of the effort in one sentence: On April 15, President Bush declared that the Hussein regime was “no more,” and on May 1 he proclaimed that “major combat operations” had ended.
Did Scripture verses — or, more specifically, reverence for the Holy Word — have something to do with the lightning-quick victory? I think so. That leads me to believe that the current administration might do well to follow the lead of Bush, Rumsfeld and General Shaffer.
Below are the Scripture verses, shown word for word as they appeared on the cover sheets, followed by the Bible translation and the dates on which they appeared in parentheses:
- “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Here I am Lord, Send Me!” — Isaiah 6:8 (March 17, 2003);
- If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast, O LORD — Psalm 139:9-10 (March 19, 2003);
- “Their arrows are sharp, all their bows are strung; their horses’ hoofs seem like flint, their chariot wheels are like a whirlwind.” — Isaiah 5:28 (March 20, 2003);
- “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 (March 31, 2003);
- Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. — Proverbs 16:3 (April 1, 2003);
- “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” — Joshua 1:9 (April 3, 2003);
- It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. — 1 Peter 2:15 (April 7, 2003);
- Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, The nation that keeps faith. — Isaiah 26:2 (April 8, 2003);
- “Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote…This is what these words mean: Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided…” — Daniel 5:5-28 (April 9, 2003);
- The king is not saved by a mighty army; A warrior is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a false hope for victory; Nor does it deliver anyone by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope for His loving kindness, To deliver their soul from death. — Psalm 33:16-19 (April 10, 2003); and
- “Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually” — 1 Chronicles 16:11 (April 11, 2003).