With the ink barely dry on her contract, Liz Cheney took up her new role as a Fox News contributor in an interview with Fox and Friends‘ Eric Bolling. Cheney came out swinging, telling viewers that President Obama’s proposed cuts to military spending would damage the U.S. military in ways that the Taliban and al Qaeda had been unable:
ERIC BOLLING: Let’s talk about these drastic cuts in military [sic]. Weigh in on that. Do we become a much more vulnerable nation?
LIZ CHENEY: There’s no question. I think in fact what President Obama is doing is something that America’s enemies — the Taliban and Al Qaeda — have been unable to do, which is to decimate the fighting capability of this nation.
Cheney went on to conflate Iraq and Iran — asserting that “Iraq is months, not years, away” from enriching the uranium required for a nuclear weapon — and claimed that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin E. Dempsey hadn’t clearly stated that the U.S. would respond militarily if Iran closed the Strait of Hormuz. Watch it:
Indeed, Obama proposed a $487 billion cut to military spending, but Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey told a Duke University audience yesterday, “This is something we the Joint Chiefs have endorsed as best for America.” He did not comment on whether the cuts in defense spending would serve the interests of the Taliban and al Qaeda but he also said last week that the military’s leadership is supportive of Obama’s plan and, not as Liz Cheney suggests, suffering a “decimat[ion]” of their fighting capability.
Cheney also got it wrong on the statements issued by Dempsey about the Strait of Hormuz. Yesterday, the New York Times reported:
Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this past weekend that the United States would “take action and reopen the strait,” which could be accomplished only by military means, including minesweepers, warship escorts and potentially airstrikes. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta told troops in Texas on Thursday that the United States would not tolerate Iran’s closing of the strait.
While Cheney is broadening her professional credentials, her debut appearance as a Fox News contributor showed her as a commentator who pays very little attention to the administration and the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s actual positions on the issues she covers.