And, what will be God’s judgment upon him?
Evangelicals are credited with getting Bush into office and especially with keeping him there. I was one who voted for him in 2000 and then voted against him in 2004. Why? Because I became convinced that Bush’s presidency was a sham – that this “Christian” was responsible for misleading the American public with manipulating the intelligence to drum up support for the war.
I also became convinced that this “Christian” president had surrounded himself with people who were some of the worst public servants possible. Donald Rumsfeld was incredibly incompetent in his role as Secretary of Defense. Dick Cheney was a dangerous man in his role as Vice President. Condoleezza Rice was asleep at the wheel. Colon Powell, the one man with a contrary voice in this administration, was both marginalized and used for the Cheney/ Rumsfeld/ Wolfowitz war agenda.
I later also came to believe that this “Christian” president’s administration not only allowed torture, but encouraged it (as we considered both Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay). I was appalled to think that this “Christian” president’s witness to the world was that we “Christians” in the United States can disregard Geneva Conventions and our own standards of justice.
How will history regard Bush and his administration? We are starting to see now.
The U.S. Subcommittee on Intelligence just issued a report that states that, “on numerous occasions,” the Bush Administration’s prewar statements “misrepresented the intelligence and the threat from Iraq.”
The chairman of the committee, John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV stated, “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent. As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed…There is no question we all relied on flawed intelligence. But, there is a fundamental difference between relying on incorrect intelligence and deliberately painting a picture to the American people that you know is not fully accurate.”
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has been making the rounds on the talk shows after publishing his book, What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception. The Washington Post reports, “He describes Bush as demonstrating a 'lack of inquisitiveness,' says the White House operated in 'permanent campaign' mode, and admits to having been deceived by some in the president's inner circle about the leak of a CIA operative's name.”
In the book, McClellen writes, "Over that summer of 2002, top Bush aides had outlined a strategy for carefully orchestrating the coming campaign to aggressively sell the war. . . . In the permanent campaign era, it was all about manipulating sources of public opinion to the president's advantage."
Added to this, the Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, has brought this administration’s policy of detaining prisoners at Guantanamo Bay into the spotlight again, granting habeas corpus to the detainees. President Bush stated that he disagreed with the ruling. But, as conservative George Will makes clear, “The purpose of a writ of habeas corpus is to cause a government to release a prisoner or show through due process why the prisoner should be held. Of Guantanamo's approximately 270 detainees, many certainly are dangerous ‘enemy combatants.’ Some probably are not. None will be released by the court's decision, which does not even guarantee a right to a hearing. Rather, it guarantees only a right to request a hearing. Courts retain considerable discretion regarding such requests.”
On top of that, today the Associated Press reports, “Medical examinations of former terrorism suspects held by the U.S. military at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, found evidence of torture and other abuse that resulted in serious injuries and mental disorders, according to a human rights group.”
Also, McClatchy Newspapers reports, “The framework under which detainees were imprisoned for years without charges at Guantanamo and in many cases abused in Afghanistan wasn't the product of American military policy or the fault of a few rogue soldiers. It was largely the work of five White House, Pentagon and Justice Department lawyers who, following the orders of President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, reinterpreted or tossed out the U.S. and international laws that govern the treatment of prisoners in wartime, according to former U.S. defense and Bush administration officials.”
How will history regard Bush and his administration? The evidence is mounting.
And, what will be God’s judgment upon him?
I do not presume to be God, but it seems that the person who takes on the responsibility to lead the most powerful nation in the world, and does so as a confessed Christian, will be judged by a very high standard.
“For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Ecclesiastes 12:14).