We interrupt the glow of Tom DeLay's downfall to bring you this mildly interesting story about Sen. Allen.
First, Allen admits that he's not really doing his job. Then he indicates that he's not doing the job -- which, incidentally, is representing the people of Virginia in the United States Senate -- because he finds it boring. He follows that up with -- what else -- telling the good folks of Iowa that he wishes he was from their state as well, instead of his own. All this from a former Governor and current Senator who was primed to be one of the top Republican contenders for the 2008 Presidential nomination. Can it get any worse? It most certainly can.
A Senate Republican wants an Army general who drew criticism for church speeches casting the war on terrorism in religious terms to lead the U.S. special operations command.
In a letter to Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, Sen. George Allen, R-Va., recommended Lt. Gen. William G. (Jerry) Boykin, currently the Pentagon's deputy undersecretary for intelligence, for the post at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla.
The current commander, Army Gen. Bryan "Doug" Brown, is retiring, and the Pentagon has not filled the job.
"I am told, and I believe it to be true, that no special operations officer currently on active duty is more highly respected or admired by his superiors, peers or subordinates alike, than Jerry Boykin," Allen wrote in the letter dated March 31 and obtained by The Associated Press.
For those who need a refresher, Lt. Gen. Boykin is not simply guilty of "casting the war on terrorism in religious terms." That's a gross understatement at best. The problem with Boykin is not that he believes in God. His problem seems to be that he's delusional. He openly brags about the fact that a military psychologist tried to keep him out of Delta Force because of his extreme religious fervor. He even speaks proudly of the fact that, when his wife left him, it was because he was "a religious fanatic." But Boykin is, of course, most famous for his comments characterizing war in the Arab world as a holy war on Muslims.
...Boykin is the subject of an investigation by the Pentagon's inspector general over comments he made at several church presentations, in which he referred to the United States as a "Christian nation" joined in "spiritual battle" against Satan. On at least two occasions, he talked of seeing demonic forces in black marks on a photograph he took from a helicopter over Mogadishu, Somalia, in 1993. And, in discussing a Somali Muslim militia leader, Boykin said, "I knew that my God was bigger than his."
And more to the point of Boykin being absolutely the wrong person for this promotion -- or any promotion, for that matter -- as Sidney Blumenthal uncovered for The Guardian, Boykin was one of the chief architects of the policies that led to the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. At first, I assumed Sen. Allen was being his recent, typical goofy self, asleep at the switch, giving an ill-advised recommendation without much thought or consideration. But I was wrong.
"Granted, these are issues which cause discomfort. But I firmly believe the nomination of General Boykin to be important enough to take a stand," Allen wrote.
This is where George Allen has decided to make his stand. I think that's got to tell you a lot about what kind of President he would be, and why he no longer ought to be representing Virginia in the Senate. I wonder what Jim Webb and Harris Miller have to say about this.