Sen. Feinstein talks national security
Key lawmaker on 'Fox News Sunday'
- Duration 13:10
- Date May 13, 2012
Key lawmaker on 'Fox News Sunday'
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Well again and happy Mother's Day from Fox News in Washington.
This week the US at a joint Covert operation -- Saudi Arabia managed to block a potential terrorist attack.
Here now to go over what we learned to discuss a couple of important domestic issues is well if the chairman of the select committee on intelligence.
Senator Dianne Feinstein senator welcome back to fox examination.
Let's start with some of the latest information out of Yemen where al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is it basically headquartered.
I would have to drone strikes fear that took out at least ten militants.
What is your sense after -- bomb plot information these drone strikes of what the situation is with al-Qaeda in that region.
I think the -- -- -- -- know the senses that.
A QAP as it's called.
Is the number one threat to our country.
And therefore there prodigious efforts to get -- the bomb maker.
Of this non metallic bomb which.
May well be able to go through magnetometer sand.
The fact that.
This bomb was recovered and recovered intact I think it's a substantial victory.
I think it's an impressive win for the C -- CIA.
But it means that we have to devote all our resources right now to try to end this because it can become very very complicated.
And information that leaked out this week when the story broke on Monday there have been concerns in both houses and both sides of the aisle about this your counterpart house Mike Rogers has said.
I he was very upset that this could have disrupted opportunities.
Other ongoing operations he said it could have been a crime this information leaked out.
Here's what Defense Secretary Leon Panetta -- about it.
You have to protect these people and you have to protect the confidence that.
And the classification.
And the Covert nature of this kind of work can go in these -- take place I can't tell you.
How much they damage -- ability to be able to to pursue our our intelligence efforts.
What kind of investigation any do you think should be launched into how this information was released the big one.
This -- is serious.
This -- essentially.
Was that it will first of all the operation was closely held.
It was CIA FBI homeland security and TSA.
So a limited number of people knew about it.
General procedure would have the chairman and the vice chairman of each of the Intelligence Committees briefed.
For -- during the attack or prior to it.
That this was not the case there was no briefing.
Apparently the leak came to an AP reporter.
The government called asked that the story be held.
The story was held until Monday and then was released.
What this does it certainly jeopardizes.
It's certainly jeopardizes.
Our ability to relate to other countries for other countries to help us and it gives a tip off to a QAP.
To be more careful about who they use.
As they are couriers.
As -- bombers.
So the leak.
Really did endanger sources and methods and the leak.
-- -- has to be prosecuted so.
The investigation is being done hopefully can be concluded and criminal charges will go to the Department of Justice.
Are you touched on something about whether or not this bomb.
Would have been detected you mentioned -- TSA was involved with part of this investigation let's talk about there there's been a lot of debate this week about what our current screening technology would have picked this up.
Here's what Homeland Security secretary Janet -- -- -- said.
All things considered yes in high likelihood it would had been detected.
But after you were briefed you said this this would have been an undetectable -- coming in on an American airliner into the US.
So based on what you know are you confident in our current screening technology.
For this particular material candidly no.
And I can't say that I am.
I think the pat down probably is better than the magnetometer.
I think Americans have to understand that this particular.
Kind of explosive.
Is not easily detectable and that's one of the reasons why bill.
A -- -- -- in his underwear.
So that he couldn't be patted down sufficiently to detect it and that's a problem.
And that's something the TSA.
Has to grapple -- and the American public.
Has not been terribly sympathetic although most people are most travelers.
-- say I'm gonna go with the flow I recognize the need therefore I really don't mind being patted down.
I'm in that category but not everybody is.
I came from Afghanistan last week along with my colleagues on the in the intelligence committee through Dubai.
And there the screening was very heavy three.
-- pastor magnetometer three times.
A very heavy pat down they opened -- hand luggage at the gate.
They look for gunpowder or her.
Other things on your hands.
-- -- so there was a big -- down with additional security people present it was very evident.
Having said that you can't maintain that all of the time.
So I think it's very important.
The TSA keeps up its effort that we Americans who travel a lot understand.
What's at stake.
And you know when you see the number of people on these large planes.
You're aware of the fact that this is really necessary to do and particularly right now I am hopeful.
That we -- -- be able to candidly.
-- this bomb maker and kill some of his other associates because there is a very.
Dangerous process in play -- The present time.
You mentioned that you just returned from Afghanistan and wanna talk about news out of there as well that -- keep former Taliban minister who's been.
Sort of an -- in this peace process and negotiations there was gunned down.
Taliban says it's not responsible.
But having been there when you -- -- you did express some concerns about the status.
Of the Taliban there and the fact that we're transitioning out what's your take on the state of affairs in Afghanistan well here's my take.
Militarily and I think general Allen is doing a great job.
And we spent some time with them militarily I think.
The Talabani are not going to be yes.
But what the talent bond has done is insinuate itself in the -- -- presence which shadow -- shadow governors.
Over a third of the land in which people live they have expanded into the north into the northeast.
And while we were there in one province as they close fourteen schools in seventeen districts.
And then they killed five education officials and wounded others.
And now there's this latest assassination.
Of someone who's been a leader in the peace council.
What this does is demonstrate too many of us that the Talabani are just waiting to come back.
And I don't think that can be dispensed with we spend time with President Karzai he said very definitive -- Afghanis will not let the tolerable and come back.
I met for two hours with women parliamentarians.
Of whom I'm really extraordinarily proud they work very strong against.
But the question comes can they come back.
They are taxing the poppy in the south.
To the tune of a 125.
Million dollars which in 2011.
This is the United Nations figure went to support their operations.
They have a safe harbor in Pakistan.
And the pakistanis are doing nothing.
To -- that safe harbor.
It's -- it's a big problem.
And I think that the key to Afghanistan.
Is really action by Pakistan.
With respect to the -- Connie with respect to the -- -- And the new solidarity.
Hopefully between our two countries to eliminate safe have havens for terrorists.
And general -- talked about the fact that the focus now for US forces is on preparing to Afghan forces to make sure that they're ready.
Knowing that we're leaving and with everything you've just laid out are you concerned about our timeline in our plans with strong.
I'll tell you there were two things that came through to me as very positive from our visit.
The first was.
It according to general Allen the 362000.
Trained Afghan military will be met.
He said they are doing very well there in the lead in many missions they're carrying it out with alacrity and with talent.
So that's good the second thing that I saw were school girls in their white -- coming out of school.
Even one holding the small sister by the hand laughing.
Holding hands walking down the street.
And I remember the days when acid -- thrown in the face of young girls going to school.
And to see that change is really quite wonderful 40%.
Of the students in school in Afghanistan today our girls and I think that's just great.
Let's turn to domestic issues let's talk about first volatile region we'll -- that comes from 2008.
It says this.
I believe marriage is between a man and a woman I'm not in favor of gay marriage.
That was then senator Barack Obama he's now the president here's what he said this week in an interview with good morning America's Robin Roberts.
I've just concluded that.
For me personally.
It is important for me to go ahead and -- That.
I think -- -- couples should be able to get -- So let's say significant change between those two statements has he flip flopped on this issue under pressure during -- tough reelection campaign.
I don't think it's a flip flop and there's no political calculus and that's because.
It's not Smart you know if he's going to do it from a political point of view it doesn't make any sense from a personal point of view.
I can tell you what happens because it is also happened to me.
You get to know more and more gay couples.
You see the happiness.
You see the economic security that marriage brings.
And even more fundamentally you see children who otherwise would not have an adopted.
Being able to have that home and -- same sex couples raise children they do a fine job.
I think when you see this and it's happened in California.
More and more people say what's wrong with people being happy.
Okay let's turn to -- JPMorgan a loss of two billion dollars this week described sort of by -- as a -- that went wrong.
There's been swift reaction from both sides of the aisle talk of more hearings.
This -- -- government money it wasn't customer money.
Should Washington or should they get involved in this particular transaction gone wrong well this is a big surprise.
Because this particular bank is well respected.
It is well led.
And so to have this kind of a loss.
From hedging activities is a big surprise.
I think what it points out.
Is that there are no rules of the road for hedging and for derivatives.
And this needs to happen.
The bill provides for.
But it hasn't taken place and so now you've had any what I would consider an enormous loss in a very high profile.
Very good investment bank.
So it's -- real danger signal.
That these are rules need to get set by the respective bodies SEC and they consumer finance commission.
Another hot topic in the senate it's been 1130.
Days since -- -- it has passed the senate.
-- the -- life and a well we in essence have a budget.
The numbers are solid I'm an appropriate here and -- -- Appropriations Subcommittee which is energy and water gets an allocation.
Based on that law that we pass the budget -- so it's it's past and it's functioning.
So there is no annual budget that that it's true in that sense but the allocations have gone out.
My bill has just passed out of committee I think -- for senate appropriation bills that are now out of the committee awaiting floor action.
So nothing to stop the government is moving.
Senator Feinstein great great to see here again here I thought he is -- he's sharing part of your mother's a happy marriage thank you Shannon much of the best.