Ravings closer to home

The Bush administration rightly denounced the anti-Jewish ravings of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. But as a Washington Post editorial notes, the President has been notably more tolerant of the religious ravings of a top Pentagon official.

Appearing in uniform before church groups, Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin– deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence– describes the United States as a “Christian nation” and says he knew he would capture a Somali warlord because “I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol.” Gen. Boykin casts the war against terrorism as a “spiritual battle,” saying that “Satan wants to destroy this nation, he wants to destroy us as a nation, and he wants to destroy us as a Christian army.”

Not only that. Gen. Boykin– the head of US military intelligence, remember– offers some insights into how he might interpret satellite photos of, say, North Korean military installations:

He describes taking photographs during a helicopter tour before leaving Mogadishu, Somalia, and then finding an unexplained black mark on the developed pictures, which he explains as a manifestation of evil. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your enemy,” he tells [a church] audience. “It is not Osama bin Laden, it is the principalities of darkness. It is a spiritual enemy that will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus and pray for this nation and for our leaders.”

In addition, he seems to have had mysterious access to information that nobody else had:

“Whether you realize it or not, I believe there were at least two more airplanes that were headed [on September 11] for major installations in this country. I believe that there was one headed for the White House, and there was one headed for the Capitol, but they were thwarted by the hand of God.”

Just the fellow to restore confidence in our troubled intelligence services, huh?

Finally Gen. Boykin says President Bush is in the White House because “God put him there.” (Funny, I always thought it was Katharine Harris.) I really, really want to believe that this is not the reason Bush is letting him off the hook.