Feinstein: Maybe the FBI should have told us about the Petraeus probe

posted at 5:01 pm on November 11, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

You think? As chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Diane Feinstein and her committee have to be informed of any event of significance involving intelligence from all federal agencies, as Chris Wallace points out during the interview. Feinstein specifically replies that the FBI failed to tell them that they had the Director of the CIA as a target of an investigation for potential national-security breaches. That’s precisely the kind of circumstances under which the chair and vice-chair of the two Congressional intel committees need to be briefed — and Feinstein says that in similar circumstances in the past, they were:


Will Feinstein subpoena David Petraeus? She doesn’t rule it out, but Feinstein says both she and vice-chair Saxby Chambliss are satisfied with having deputy director Mike Morrell testify in his place. That tells me that the committee has less interest in Petraeus’ personal actions than in the organizational response of the CIA, to which Morrell would be more than qualified to testify.

However, when asked directly by Wallace whether the Obama administration had enough warning before the attack on September 11th to prompt them to beef up security in Banghazi, Feinstein goes further and notes that these weren’t just warnings — they were actual attacks on Western targets in the city, as well as on our own. “That, to me,” Feinstein says, “is sufficient intelligence on which to make a decision.”

As far as the shifting stories from the White House go, Feinstein doesn’t believe they were politically driven — but she does question the competence of the people who were confused about the nature of the attack for so long. Feinstein echoes John McCain when she says, “The minute you know mortars are used, the minute you know RPGs are used, it’s either a terrorist attack or a military attack. Those are the only two things it could be. … It’s pretty clear the minute mortars show up, the minute RPGs show up, you have a terrorist attack.” Wallace asks why the President continued to talk about the YouTube video for more than a week with that in mind, and Feinstein says that she feels that the proper assessment could have been made much earlier — which is why she wants access to all of the data that came through before, during, and after the attack.

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