Tags: Dianne Feinstein

Feinstein Shreds Obama Claims About Bergdahl Deal


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.”


Tags: Dianne Feinstein , Bowe Bergdahl , Sunday Shows June 8 2014

The All-Stars Running in That Chicago House Race


There are now four Democrats angling for the House seat once occupied by Jesse Jackson Jr.

Governor Patrick “Pat” Quinn announced that the special election’s primary will be held on February 26, and the general election in the heavily Democratic district is tentatively scheduled for March 19. Quinn wants the state assembly to move the general election date to April 9, the same day as an already-scheduled election.

The four declared candidates are Chicago alderman Anthony A. Beale (who spent more of his official office expense account on public relations than any other Chicago alderman), former one-term representative Debbie Halvorson (who lost her 2010 reelction bid after she attacked the military service of GOP rival Adam Kinzinger), state senator–elect Napoleon Harris, and conveniently pre-indicted former representative Mel Reynolds, convicted of statutory rape and bank fraud in 1995.

Truly, a stellar lineup. Actually, Harris is a genuine all-star of sorts, having played in the NFL for several years and been named to named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team in 2001.

UPDATE: Also being mentioned as a candidate: Alderman Will Burns, who was Barack Obama’s deputy campaign manager in his ill-fated 2000 primary challenge to Representative Bobby Rush.

Tags: Debbie Halvorson , Jesse Jackson Jr. , Dianne Feinstein

Don’t Ask Dianne Feinstein About Having a Debate!


In all likelihood, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat, will be reelected in 2012. But it’s one thing for a heavily favored incumbent to have an advantage, and another thing entirely for that lawmaker to behave as if the election is a mere formality.

For example, is Feinstein so terrified of a gaffe before Republican rival Elizabeth Emken that she dare not debate at all? Is it silly or ridiculous to expect an incumbent senator to participate in ONE debate before Election Day?

Feinstein was asked about a debate by ABC correspondent Mark Matthews.

“I’m running my own campaign,” Feinstein says icily. “Thank you, Mark.”

Feinstein finishes her non-answer and then quickly gets up out of the chair, offering a condescending pat on the shoulder to the correspondent on the way out.

“Boy, she really does not like that question,” Matthews said, “I saved the question for last.”

Finally, Feinstein’s sudden departure seems like bad messaging: shouldn’t Democrats be trying to avoid any circumstance that leads to an “empty chair”?

Tags: Dianne Feinstein , Elizabeth Emken

Romney Will Cite Feinstein Leak Accusation in VFW Speech


Yesterday California Sen. Dianne Feinstein gave the Romney campaign a gift, just in time for his address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention:

The Democratic leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Monday that the White House appears to be responsible for some leaks of classified information.

‘‘I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks,’’ Sen. Dianne Feinstein told a World Affairs Council forum.

The California lawmaker said she was certain that President Barack Obama, who receives a daily intelligence briefing, isn’t disclosing secret information, but she was uncertain about others at the White House. ‘‘I don’t believe for a moment that he goes out and talks about it,’’ she said.

A preview of Romney’s speech to the VFW today:

It is reported that Bob Gates, the President’s first secretary of defense, bluntly addressed another security problem within this administration.  After secret operational details of the bin Laden raid were given to reporters, Secretary Gates walked into the West Wing and told the Obama team to “shut up.”  He added a colorful word for emphasis.

Lives of American servicemen were at stake.  But astonishingly, the administration failed to change its ways. More top-secret operations were leaked, even some involving covert action in Iran.

This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s a national security crisis.  And yesterday, Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said, quote, “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from their ranks.”

This conduct is contemptible. It betrays our national interest. It compromises our men and women in the field. And it demands a full and prompt investigation, with explanation and consequence.  Whoever provided classified information to the media, seeking political advantage for the administration, must be exposed, dismissed, and punished.  The time for stonewalling is over. 

It is not enough to say the matter is being looked into, and leave it at that.  When the issue is the political use of highly sensitive national security information, it is unacceptable to say, “We’ll report our findings after Election Day.”  

Exactly who in the White House betrayed these secrets?  Did a superior authorize it?  These are things that Americans are entitled to know – and they are entitled to know right now.  If the President believes – as he said last week – that the buck stops with him, then he owes all Americans a full and prompt accounting of the facts.

And let me be clear:  These events make the decision we face in November all the more important.  What kind of White House would reveal classified material for political gain?  I’ll tell you right now:  Mine won’t.

Tags: Barack Obama , Classified Leaks , Dianne Feinstein , Mitt Romney , Veterans

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