President Bush, addressing the United Nations, said that American forces and interrogators were being hampered by the vague language of the Ten Commandments and added that he did not wish US forces to be bound by them. Democratic leader Harry Reid accused the president of trying to “reinterpret” the Decalogue.
The president has argued that US forces need clear definitions and he claimed that this clarity would protect both American interrogators and armed forces from prosecution, and protect the rights of their enemies. “That one, I think it’s the number six, it says ‘Thou shall not kill’. We want more specificity on that. If US forces kill a cow, have they transgressed the Ten Commandments? It just isn’t clear. What about coveting the neighbor’s wife? If she has a cute little behind and I like to take a look from time to time,” the president said, “is that coveting?”
The president proposed that in place of the vague language of the Decalogue, that US forces be bound by a new code that would spell out exactly which acts constituted coveting thy neighbor’s wife and killing. “Just because a few thousand people end up dead, does that mean they were killed?” asked the president. He proposed language that would make it clear that US forces acting on command of a superior officier in a combat situation would not be in transgression of the Ten Commandments. Similarly, soldiers and presidents who copped a look at the cute butt of another man’s wife would not necessarily be in violation of the Decalogue. Asked specifically about oral sex, the president replied “See, now that’s why we need this spelled out. We think that oral sex with another man’s wife would be covered under the the ‘thou shalt not covet’ rule, but the previous administration had a different interpretation of that particular rule.”