A fair amount of chatter, on the internets, regarding Robert Draper’s long GQ piece positioning Donald Rumsfeld as a primary architect of the failed Bush presidency. Most of the chatter hinges on the most attention-getting aspect of the piece, the hawkish, Bible-quoting cover sheets of the Pentagon’s daily Worldwide Intelligence Update, like the one pictured here and in GQ’s online slideshow.
Though I’m glad we get to shudder at these cover sheets, they’re kind of a red herring: Draper’s piece is a great rundown of an appallingly arrogant, stubborn Rumsfeld in action, and tells you things you didn’t know about his role in the response to Hurricane Katrina — but he strains credibility by suggesting it’s especially emblematic of Rumsfeld’s tenure, rather than just, you know, the kind of incredible attention-getting detail that editors always tell their writers to push.
If you’re really interested in the evangelization of the military, though, Jeff Sharlet’s “Jesus killed Mohammed: The crusade for a Christian military“, the cover story of last month’s Harper’s, is the article that Draper’s lede would seem to introduce. It’s subscriber-only, but, as always, email me and I’ll send you a pdf.