Remember Lt. General William “Jerry” Boykin? He’s the bible-belting general who described America’s campaign in Iraq as a crusade against Satan.
Here is a report on some other gems:
. . .the former commander and 13-year veteran of the Army’s top-secret Delta Force is also an outspoken evangelical Christian who appeared in dress uniform and polished jump boots before a religious group in Oregon in June to declare that radical Islamists hated the United States “because we’re a Christian nation, because our foundation and our roots are Judeo-Christian. . .and the enemy is a guy named Satan.”
Discussing the battle against a Muslim warlord in Somalia, Boykin told another audience, “I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.”
“We in the army of God, in the house of God, kingdom of God have been raised for such a time as this,” Boykin said last year.
On at least one occasion, in Sandy, Ore., in June, Boykin said of President Bush: “He’s in the White House because God put him there.”
Today, the New York Times reports that Boykin, who is Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, is “drawing up a plan that would give the military a more prominent role in intelligence-collection operations that have traditionally been the province of the Central Intelligence Agency, including missions aimed at terrorist groups and those involved in weapons proliferation.”
Apparently, the key new idea in the Pentagon report is the notion of “fighting for intelligence.” In other words, “the Pentagon would commence combat operations chiefly to obtain intelligence.”
Boykin’s “crusade for intelligence” sounds pretty much like standard operating procedure to me, particularly an administration that seems to care little about empirical reality or feedback from its policies. Now, the Pentagon wants to make intelligence an after-the-fact item, not something that ought to precede combat operations.
To all of those who argued that the neocons had no place to go because the messy war in Iraq would constrain them and their future choices, let me remind you that Boykin seems to be thriving in his job. Douglas Feith has his. Wolfowitz seems to be holding on just fine.
The Pentagon’s mission and budgetary creep is out of hand.
I will be in Las Vegas for the next several days and will be posting from there. If any of you know good wifi spots on the strip, let me know.
Last evening’s holiday party at my place was packed with interesting people and will be sharing some thoughts about some of the issues discussed, as well as some of the gossip dropped as people drank a bit.
More later.
— Steve Clemons