In response to the beheading of journalist James Foley by members of the Islamic militant group ISIS, former Vice President Dick Cheney warned more American lives will be lost if President Barack Obama can’t “deal with this crisis” in Iraq.
“The ISIS organization in charge is very much a threat to the United States, to our friends and allies, not just in the Middle East, but in Europe, and when you see them behead an American reporter, as they did today, that’s obviously a terrible development,” Cheney said. “But magnify that a million times over because that is what’s in store for the rest of the world if we don’t deal with this crisis.”
On Tuesday, a graphic video, which the National Security Council confirmed was authentic, was posted on YouTube showing Foley’s murder. The footage, which was so gruesome many news networks refused to air it, also shows the executioners threatening the life of American journalist Steven Joel Sotloff if Obama does not end the airstrikes in Iraq.
Pleading for his life, Foley can be heard saying: “I wish I had more time. I wish I could have the hope for freedom to see my family once again.”
Yesterday, President Barack Obama condemned Foley’s murderers, promising to be “vigilant” and “relentless” to see that “when people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”
Cheney didn’t seem so sure, calling the president’s view of the world “fundamentally flawed,” claiming that other world leaders view the president as “weak and ineffective,” while warning of more looming eminent threats.
“I am absolutely certain that someday there will be another mass casualty attack against the United States,” Cheney said. “Except next time they will have far deadlier weapons.”
The former vice president’s warnings were echoed by former CIA deputy director Mike Morell, who served when Foley was captured in Syria in 2012, on “CBS This Morning” Thursday.
“If an ISIS member showed up in a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised,” Morell said. “Over the long term, I worry that this group could present a 9/11-style threat. It took al-Qaida two-and-a-half years to plan 9/11. It would not surprise me to know that ISIS may be thinking about going in that kind of direction. Short-term threat, long-term threat.”