Benghazi Report: DoD Called American Preacher over Conduct
As noted by Todd Starnes at FoxNews, the recently released report on the Benghazi incident revealed that the DoD was directed to contact Terry Jones — the controversial Florida preacher who had previously railed against Islam:
According to the report — the White House directed Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Martin Dempsey, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs to call Preacher Jones.
There were also discussions that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might “issue another statement to distance the United States from the Pastor Jones video.”
While a revelation to Starnes, it was actually public news at the time. As Starnes accurately notes, this wasn’t the first time the US military attempted to influence Jones. Nor is it the first time the military has been criticized for doing so.
Starnes continued [emphasis added]:
Folks, I believe a very dangerous line separating church and state has been breached. The government has no authority to involve itself in the business of a church…
Some of you might say Preacher Jones deserved to get that phone call. He deserved to be intimidated by government officials. Perhaps. But where does it stop? Where do you draw the line?
Because one day it might be your pastor who gets a phone call — maybe from the attorney general — telling him to stop preaching sermons about traditional marriage — telling him those kinds of sermons put people in harm’s way.
Don’t think the top leaders of the US military would call your pastor to attempt to influence the content of his speech?
It’s already happened.