Joint Chiefs Chair Martin Dempsey: 'We told him, he ignored us'
A couple of stunning admissions
on the Iranian nuclear sellout in the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday from Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
President Obama’s claim that Congress must either back his deal
with Iran or plan for war does not square with the advice he has
received from his top general, Senate lawmakers learned on Wednesday.
Army General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
never presented Obama with such a binary choice. “At no time did that
come up in our conversation nor did I make that comment,” Dempsey told
Senator Joni Ernst (R., Iowa) during a Senate hearing on the Iran deal.
“I can tell you that we have a range of options and I always present
Dempsey also acknowledged that he advised the president not to
agree to the lifting of sanctions pertaining to Iran’s ballistic missile
program and other arms. “Yes, and I used the phrase ‘as long as
possible’ and then that was the point at which the negotiation continued
— but yes, that was my military advice,” he told Senator Kelly Ayotte
(R., N.H.). In the event the new deal goes into effect, the arms
embargoes will expire over the next several years.
Citing chapter and verse of the deal, Ayotte pointed out that the “plain
language” of the bargain requires the United States “to help strengthen
Iran’s ability to protect against sabotage of its nuclear program” —
even to the point of warning Iran if Israel tries to launch cyberattacks
against the program.
Dempsey seemed caught off guard when asked about that provision. “I
hadn’t thought about that, senator, and I would like to have the
opportunity to do so,” he told Ayotte.
That exchange came shortly after Dempsey and other administration
officials acknowledged a concern that Iran could launch cyberattacks
against the United States and even the International Atomic Energy
Agency, which is tasked with key oversight of the Islamic Republic’s
nuclear program under terms of the deal.
What could go wrong?
Labels: cyberwar, Iran Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iranian nuclear threat, Martin Dempsey, United States Senate