Feinstein blows our Pakistani cover

posted at 10:14 am on February 13, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Until now, most people assumed that the US conducted its Predator strikes on Taliban and al-Qaeda targets from bases in Afghanistan.  Now, however, Senator Dianne Feinstein has exposed a Pakistani partnership on Predator launches that the previous administration tried to keep quiet.  Her offhand remark may put the entire program in jeopardy:

A senior U.S. lawmaker said Thursday that unmanned CIA Predator aircraft operating in Pakistan are flown from an airbase inside that country, a revelation likely to embarrass the Pakistani government and complicate its counterterrorism collaboration with the United States.

The disclosure by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, marked the first time a U.S. official had publicly commented on where the Predator aircraft patrolling Pakistan take off and land.

At a hearing, Feinstein expressed surprise at Pakistani opposition to the ongoing campaign of Predator-launched CIA missile strikes against Al Qaeda targets along Pakistan’s northwest border.

“As I understand it, these are flown out of a Pakistani base,” she said of the planes.

Until now, that was a closely guarded secret.  The drone attacks are incredibly unpopular among the Pakistani public, and the US didn’t want to undermine the current, democratically-elected government in Islamabad.  They wanted to give the Yousef Gilani government deniability on their cooperation with the American military in order to keep our options for attack open.

This isn’t the first time Feinstein has blown a sensitive operation by opening her mouth, either.  Californians will recall that Mayor Feinstein called a press conference to discuss the Night Stalker case, a string of violent rapes and murders that terrified the entire state.  She divulged previously-confidential information about Richard Ramirez’ shoes and gun — and on hearing it, Ramirez promptly dumped them into the bay on his way out of town, eliminating key evidence in the case.

This exposure will cause much greater damage.  The Pakistani public will almost certainly demand an end to these Predator flights, which have been highly successful at decimating terrorist leadership in inaccessible areas of the Pakistani frontier.  Without that kind of tactic available, we will have to fall back to more intrusive and potentially less effective overflights from Afghanistan.  This could allow our enemies breathing room to rebuild their networks in the region, and put us on a collision course with Islamabad on our efforts to fight them.  At the very least, Feinstein has just complicated the diplomatic situation for Barack Obama by an order of magnitude.

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Substitute Feinstein for Newsweek in the above article.
Words have consequences.

diogenes on February 13, 2009 at 3:51 PM

And Feinstein is the smarter of the two US senators from California.

baldilocks on February 13, 2009 at 4:22 PM

gridlock2 on February 13, 2009 at 10:41 AM

See? Everyone knows how stupid CA’s senators are.

baldilocks on February 13, 2009 at 4:46 PM

Why are we pretending large swaths of the Pakistani population don’t support the Taliban/Al Qaeda when its obvious they do-requiring the US/Pak gov’t to carry out secret missions?

Aren’t AQ supporters our enemy also and don’t they deserve the same fate as their terrorist heros? Let’s get it all out in the open and fight it like a real war instead of this walking on eggshells with muslim countries. I’m sick of all this appeasement the West does with the muslim work-grow a frigging spine.

thinkagain on February 13, 2009 at 4:49 PM

hinkagain on February 13, 2009 at 4:49 PM

*world not work

thinkagain on February 13, 2009 at 4:50 PM

Oh come on this is sickening..

How did this DUMB Broad get onto the intelligence committee seeing she doesnt have any intelligence..

jcila on February 13, 2009 at 6:18 PM

Thats right up there with whats-his-face spilling the beans on Osamas satellite phone. crap happens. I respect some stations NOT repeating the info though. a.m. talk that is.

johnnyU on February 13, 2009 at 6:42 PM

didn’t read all of the comments, but I am sure she had to sign a non disclosure agreement. She should be procecuted for this. I still can not say where I fly out of over there even though CNN has probably reported it a million times since the war kicked off.

cobrakai99 on February 13, 2009 at 7:02 PM

If a soldier said this he/she would be in jail, right now.

Dingbat63 on February 13, 2009 at 7:20 PM

Just when I thought the C-word had no place in our language. Of course I meant California.

Laura in Maryland on February 13, 2009 at 7:31 PM

Is there something in the water, soil or air in CA that produces this nit wit syndrome?

jeanie on February 13, 2009 at 7:42 PM

Next to a normal picture of the monstrously friggin ugly ass pelosi, this has to be the all time @2 ugliest woman (I think it’s a woman) EVAH.

Spiritk9 on February 13, 2009 at 8:41 PM

anyone have a video link of this? I can’t find one…

jerrytbg on February 13, 2009 at 8:54 PM


cannonball on February 13, 2009 at 10:05 PM

To all service members: please, please, please… although we have no right to ask you for more sacrifice than you have already made, please get your selves home safely, and then if you do not choose to continue in service in the military, please run for congress, mayor, or something!

You are the next Greatest Generation, and we who have been at home while you have defended us abroad have dropped the ball! We have somehow let the least responsible of the citizenry, and their patrons, gain the upper hand. They now seem hell-bent on destroying our economy and quickly after that our freedoms.

We must ask you “Once more into the breach, dear friends”.

drunyan8315 on February 13, 2009 at 10:22 PM

Only thing you could compare this to would be some congressional hack giving away Normandy as the landing site for D-Day.

Wonder what Washington would have done about someone blabbing secret strategies or opperations during the revolution or Lincoln durring the civil war…

SuperCool on February 13, 2009 at 10:23 PM

Here’s a bit of video of the Richard Ramirez Night Stalker case, where then-Mayor DiFi blew the case:


MsUnderestimated on February 14, 2009 at 1:10 AM

Feinstein blows our Pakistani cover

I don’t know if this was done by design, or just a stupid slip…anyway:

Senator Feinstein, you’re a complete MORON.

byteshredder on February 14, 2009 at 10:25 AM

What’s that old Redneck experession, eat up wth the dumbass?

jsanderssr on February 14, 2009 at 8:03 PM

Way to go, Einstein.

hillbillyjim on February 15, 2009 at 2:35 AM

This was just plain #$%# $#%@& stupid. We are going to have to put up with these clowns for at least four years.

When the big quake does hit San Francisco do you think the city would then allow the Pacific Fleet to enter San Francisco bay to help?

SC.Charlie on February 15, 2009 at 9:18 AM

When the big quake does hit San Francisco do you think the city would then allow the Pacific Fleet to enter San Francisco bay to help?

SC.Charlie on February 15, 2009 at 9:18 AM

Considering how hostile the Bay Rats are towards our bravest and finest, when The Big Quake hits, SCREW ‘EM!

Let ’em eat their dead.

SuperCool on February 15, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Impeachment for malfeasance and removal as a public menace.

profitsbeard on February 15, 2009 at 11:41 PM

I call that treason!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lou on February 16, 2009 at 6:29 AM

Can’t we just let Mexico have California back for… let’s see… one dollar? Take Feinstein and Pellosi and the Governator and oh yeah, that Gavin Newsome with them.

Wendy in OK on February 16, 2009 at 9:51 AM

Stupid people can’t help being stupid.

Wendy in OK on February 16, 2009 at 9:53 AM

And she said it was a slip of the tongue….you know it wasn’t! They don’t like the war and and will do anything to make it difficult for our military! Stupid woman!

Eyvonne on February 16, 2009 at 10:06 AM

Any way she could be censured over this given her propensity for accidentally opening her mouth?

Jamewah on February 16, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Good Lord, GrandMa. Now we’re going to be wearing burkahs to school.

– Love,
Your Schmuck GrandDaughters

bear1909 on February 16, 2009 at 11:29 AM