A senior U.S. intelligence source confirmed today that General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did not consult beforehand with the White House when he delivered his comments in London opposing an Israeli attack on Iran, and saying he did not want to know about such plans because he did not want to be "complicit." The Dempsey remarks came the same day that leaks appeared in the Israeli press that the U.S. was in back-channel contact with the Iranians, telling them that if Israel attacked Iran and the Iranians refrained from hitting U.S. targets in retaliation, the U.S. military would not intervene.
According to the source, the Chairman of the JCS is not obliged to vet his remarks at the White House before speaking. When he returned from his overseas trip, Dempsey was castigated by White House officials and told that his remarks jeopardized President Obama's re-election, the source concluded.
This report, of course, flies in the face of the media spin that Dempsey was speaking for the President when he made his remarks to reporters in London. Pentagon sources had reported more than a month ago that Obama was angry at General Dempsey's "independence" and would like to replace him as Chairman with Admiral McRaven.