Well, hereâs some first-rate Washington Kabuki.
Lieut. Gen. William Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence whoâs now in trouble for saying that the war on terror is actually a war pitting our Christian nation against Satan and his Muslim infidel minions, has now âaskedâ Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld to have the Pentagonâs Inspector General investigate whether his remarks âviolated any Pentagon rules or procedures.â
This, of course, rather begs the question of which ârules and proceduresâ his comments would have violated. Conduct unbecoming an officer from this millennium? Use of hellfire in violation of the Geneva Convention? You could really go on and on, couldnât you?
Clearly, the administration feels a bit trapped on this one since firing this guy wouldnât go down well with a prized constituency. So weâre going to be treated to an ersatz investigation to see if there's some Pentagon reg which bars you from having views that are difficult to distinguish from those of Savonarola or perhaps Urban II.
My favorite Boykin moment so far is the generalâs attempt to repackage his claims that Islam is a form of idolatry into comfortable-sounding modern-day Oprah-talk. When Somali warlord Osman Ato boasted that Allah would protect him from American power, Boykin said âI knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol.â
Trying to save his job, Boykin now says his reference to idolatry referred to Atoâs âworship of money and power.â In other words, Atoâs shortcoming wasnât Islam but some sort of hyper-aggressive warlord consumerism. Yeah ...