William G. Boykin
U.S. Army Lt. Gen. William G. "Jerry" Boykin led the January 2007 airstrikes on "alleged Al Qaeda figures" in Somalia. These "may prove to be one of the last counterterrorism operations associated with [the] controversial Pentagon general who has overseen the deployment of secret U.S. Special Ops teams against suspected terror plotters". Boykin has either "guided or taken part in the planning of such covert operations against Al Qaeda-linked groups in several countries since 9/11," Michael Hirsh and Mark Hosenball wrote January 9, 2007, in Newsweek.
"There is no indication that new Defense Secretary Robert Gates disagrees with the Somalia operation this week. But Boykin has long been a divisive figure. ... The departure of Boykin's boss, Stephen A. Cambone, from the U.S. Department of Defense has been announced; Boykin's has not, Hirsh and Hosenball wrote.
"But word around the Pentagon was that Gates would ask Boykin to go, this official said. Consultants who work with the intelligence and Special Operations community said it was all but certain that Boykin was following Cambone out the door. 'If you're getting rid of Cambone, you almost certainly have to get rid of Boykin,' says Philip Giraldi, a former CIA counterterrorism official who stays in touch with the community. 'They're hand in glove. Gates feels it all went out of control, that they're doing too many things in too many places'," Hirsh and Hosenball wrote.
Boykin was nominated by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld for a third star and was named to a new position as Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. Boykin reported to Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Stephen A. Cambone.
Because of Boykin's anti-Islamic remarks made frequently and publicly, his appointment is seen by many as likely to increase the perception among Muslims that the U.S. is engaged in a War on Islam. Indeed, Boykin's blunt rhetoric seems to evoke this directly. In describing the faceoff in Somalia:
- "There was a man in Mogadishu named Osman Atto," whom Boykin described as a top lieutenant of Mohammed Farah Aidid.
- "When Boykin's Delta Force commandos went after Atto, they missed him by seconds, he said. "He went on CNN and he laughed at us, and he said, 'They'll never get me because Allah will protect me. Allah will protect me.'
- "Well, you know what?" Boykin continued. "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God and his was an idol." Atto later was captured.
- "Our "spiritual enemy," Boykin continued, "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus."
William B. Arkin reports that "in his newly created position, Boykin is not just another Pentagon apparatchik or bureaucratic warrior. He has been charged with reinvigorating Rumsfeld's "High Value Target Plan" to track down Bin Laden, Hussein, Mullah Omar and other leaders in the terrorism world.
"But Gen. Boykin's appointment to a high position in the administration is a frightening blunder at a time when there is widespread acknowledgment that the position of the United States in the Islamic world has never been worse.
"A monthlong journalistic investigation of Boykin reveals a 30-year veteran whose classified resumé reads like a history of special operations and counterterrorism. From the failed Iranian hostage rescue attempt in 1980 to invasions in Grenada and Panama, to the hunt for drug lord Pablo Escobar in Colombia, to Somalia and various locales in the Middle East, Boykin has been there. He also was an advisor to Atty. Gen. Janet Reno during Waco."
"He has described himself as a warrior in the kingdom of God and invited others to join with him in fighting for the United States through repentance, prayer and the exercise of faith in God.
"He has praised the leadership of President Bush, whom he extolled as 'a man who prays in the Oval Office.' ... 'George Bush was not elected by a majority of the voters in the United States,' Boykin told an Oregon congregation. 'He was appointed by God.'"
Most people can agree with at least half of this statement.
- Lt.Gen. William Boykin, a Pentagon official on why Bush won despite losing the popular vote (USNews "Whispers", 27 October 2003): "He's in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this."
Related SourceWatch Resources
- William B. Arkin, "The Pentagon Unleashes a Holy Warrior", New York Times, October 16, 2003.
- Will Dunham, Pentagon to Probe General's Islam Comments, Reuters, October 21, 2003.
- "Inspector General to Investigate General's Comments," DefenseLINK, October 21, 2003.
- Ann Coulter, "Bush Official Caught in Church Dragnet," Yahoo! Op-Ed, October 22, 2003: "In an emerging scandal, NBC News has produced tapes proving beyond deniability that the new deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence is ... a Christian. Lt. Gen. William G. 'Jerry' Boykin has been captured on a series of grainy tapes, attesting to his faith at churches and prayer breakfasts. Having driven the Judeo-Christian value system out of the public square, the classrooms and the Alabama Supreme Court, liberals now want to drive it out of church."
- "GOP Senator Warner Calls for Holy Roller General to Step Aside," truthout, October 24, 2003.
- "CAIR report on hate crime," Baltimore Sun, May 4, 2004.
- Michael Hirsh and Mark Hosenball, "Gates Cleans House. New Pentagon chief is expected to oust the U.S. general involved in the Somalia strikes," Newsweek (MSNBC), January 9, 2007.