Cover sheets for Iraq war intelligence reports written for then Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and presented to the White House were adorned with biblical quotations, according to pictures posted by the GQ magazine on its website.
"The sheets juxtaposed war images with inspirational Biblical Quotes and were delivered by Rumsfeld himself to the White House," the magazine said.
It showed eleven covers of the "Worldwide Intelligence Update" mixing Crusades-like messaging with war imagery.
One showed soldiers praying with their machineguns under the quote: "Whom Shall I send, and who will go for us." Under the soldiers’ picture is a second quote: "Here I’m Lord, Send Me."
Another cover shows a US aircraft carrier with the quote: "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."
A third cover shows a US tank roared through the desert beneath the quote: "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."
A cover with a picture of a US soldier in full arms and behind him a road sign a road sign pointing the direction of Baghdad and Hilla cities has a quote: "Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed."
Another cover with three different pictures of troops also with a road sign pointing the direction of Baghdad and Hilla cities has a quote: "Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
A cover with pictures of Saddam Hussein and American soldiers and tanks taking positions inside his places has a quote: "God has numbered the days of your reign. You have been weighed on the scales & found wanting. Your Kingdom is divided."
Another showed the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down in Firdos Square, a grateful child kissing an American soldier, and jubilant Iraqis thronging the streets of Baghdad. Above the images was a quote from the Bible: "Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death."
The GQ said the biblically seasoned sheets were not Rumsfeld’s direct invention.
"These cover sheets were the brainchild of Major General Glen Shaffer, a director for intelligence serving both the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the secretary of defense."
But the magazine believes Rumsfeld used the Scripture-adorned cover sheets to score points with Bush, a self-declared born-again Christian.
"Rumsfeld likely saw the Scriptures as a way of making a personal connection with a president who frequently quoted the Bible."
The magazine said the daily briefings were "read by the man who, just after September 11, referred to America’s war on terror as a ‘crusade’," a reference to then President George Bush.
It added that several pentagon officials had complained to Shaffer about including a religious message with an intelligence briefing.
"Shaffer politely informed them that the practice would continue, because ‘my seniors’ — JCS chairman Richard Myers, Rumsfeld, and the commander in chief himself — appreciated the cover pages."
The role of Christianity in the military and whether a Christian-influenced culture, rather than a neutral one, permeated some corners of the military had made headlines in recent years.
In 2006, senior US Army and Air Force officers came under fire for violating regulations by appearing in uniform on a promotional video for an Evangelical group.
Army Lt. Gen. William Boykin, deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, drew rebuke after telling church groups that Bush was "appointed by God."
He also said that Muslims’ God "was an idol," and that "our spiritual enemy will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus."