During a press briefing on Wednesday, deputy State Department spokesperson Marie Harf condemned the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic terrorists while adding that the threat posed by the terror group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) “is not about the United States and what we do.”
That comment led Associated Press reporter Matt Lee to ask if President Barack Obama's speech the day before -- in which he called for “a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread” -- was a sign that “you’re actually going to do something” about terrorism.
"I think ISIL wants to make this about the United States and our actions,” Harf said before asserting that the president was actually calling for “countries in the region” to come together and “fight a shared threat, and this is not about us."
When she said the department has no evidence that any governments are supporting the group, Lee interrupted to ask why Obama stated: “From governments and peoples across the Middle East, … there has to be a clear rejection of this kind of nihilistic ideologies.”
“You’re reading something into that statement that I don’t think is actually there,” Harf replied.
“Well, I’m reading into this that you’re actually going to do something,” Lee fired back.