Senator Dianne Feinstein sharply contradicted Obama administration claims about the details of the deal in which five Taliban detainees were exchanged for captured Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
Feinstein, a California Democrat who chairs the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, joins a chorus of Republicans, veterans, families of deceased soldiers, and other critics of both the deal for Bergdahl’s release and the administration’s failure to give advance notice to Congress before releasing detainees from Guantanamo Bay, as required by a 2013 law.
In an appearance on CBS’ Face the Nation, Feinstein noted that after the release of the five Taliban officials to Qatar, it will be difficult at best to ensure that they don’t pose a continuing threat to American interests.
“There is no house arrest,” Feinstein said. “They have the country, which is very small, to be about in. Secretary [of State John] Kerry made a very strong statement this morning, saying, ‘Oh, we have ways, and we will see that they do not defect, move, speak, whatever.’ And we’ll see.”
“You’re not as comfortable about that as he is,” host Bob Schieffer asked.
“Well it’s hard to be comfortable when you haven’t been briefed on the intricacies of carrying out this agreement,” Feinstein said.
The senator also said administration officials are not telling the truth when they claim senators are never briefed about “an ongoing operation.”
“That isn’t necessarily true,” Feinstein shot back. “We have been briefed — the chairman and the ranking member — Senator [Saxby] Chambliss and I have been briefed on operations under way. We understand the security of that; we have never violated that. But at least you have some knowledge, and you can make some comment. That’s never been the case with this particular situation. So it hits us as a real surprise.”