General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters Sunday night that ISIS, the band of Sunni militants currently marauding across Syria and Iraq, was still a regional threat and did not yet pose a direct danger to the United States.
This is, depending on your reading, not exactly what Dempsey was saying a few days ago, when he was following up Secretary of State John Kerry’s call to destroy ISIS with a more moderated statement that the organization would have to be defeated with air strikes in Syria, though he was careful to insist that he was not calling for the United States to attack.
YMMV as to how different that is from what he said last night, but the hosts of Fox & Friends saw enough of a shift in the comments to wonder if the Obama Administration had gotten to him.
“For Martin Dempsey — and he’s a smart guy, he knows what’s going on — for him to say no Syria action at this point, and the fact that he was much more direct last week, you got to wonder whether or not politics from the administration is coming into play,” cohost Steve Doocy said Monday morning. “Where after he said the stuff on Thursday, somebody from the White House called him and said, ‘Come on. We can’t do anything right now.'”
The hosts returned to the subject again in the eight o’clock hour (kill me) when they asked Fox News anchor Bret Baier if the administration had pressured Dempsey. Baier, a more careful reporter, replied, “Maybe,” and then added some context. “It’s important to point out, to go back to what the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs said, to hear the context. It is a regional threat now, but could it grow and be a threat and jump to a European or U.S. problem? That’s really the question.”
Watch the two clips below, via Fox News:
[Image via screengrab]
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