Uh oh: Feinstein says she’s seen no evidence that Taliban would have killed Bergdahl had deal leaked

posted at 3:21 pm on June 6, 2014 by Allahpundit

Not sure how else to read this except as Feinstein accusing the White House of lying flat-out about its reasons for keeping Congress in the dark before the swap.

When asked whether there was a “credible threat” on Bergdahl’s life if word had gotten out, the California Democrat responded: “No, I don’t think there was a credible threat, but I don’t know. I have no information that there was.”

Feinstein’s comments, part of an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Political Capital with Al Hunt airing Friday evening, put her at odds with White House officials. At a briefing Wednesday, administration officials told lawmakers that they couldn’t give Congress advance notice on the Bergdahl deal because the Taliban vowed to kill him if any details about the prisoner exchange came out.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page here, Feinstein’s no random member of Congress. She’s the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, routinely privy to all sorts of tightly held info that the White House shares with her and other committee members in the name of keeping the legislature apprised of threats. Nor is this the first time a member of the Intel Committee has claimed that information about Bergdahl was withheld from them. Saxby Chambliss says it was news to him to read in the New York Times that Bergdahl may (or may not) have left a note before he disappeared. That info wasn’t in his classified file.

Two possibilities here. One: It’s all true — the Taliban was set to kill Bergdahl if anyone blabbed — but the White House couldn’t share that info with Feinstein because she’s got a big mouth and would have spilled the beans. Any evidence to support that theory? Actually, yeah.

[A]t least in Feinstein’s case, the administration may have had a reason to keep her out of the loop. In March 2012 with Josh Rogin—then with Foreign Policy magazine—Feinstein accidentally acknowledged the negotiations, appearing to disclose classified information about a potential Bergdahl deal (Rogin also reported that the White House briefed eight senators, including Feinstein, on a potential deal in Jan. 2012).

They kept Congress in the dark about a potential Bergdahl exchange ever since. Even if it’s true that Feinstein was careless with information previously, though, that’s no defense to the White House breaking the law in refusing to notify Congress. They could have simply huddled with her, impressed upon her how high the stakes were — “you talk, he dies” — and then trusted her to be quiet. She’s known all sorts of things that she hasn’t disclosed. There’s no reason to think she couldn’t have been trusted to keep this a secret too, provided they gave her some reason to believe Bergdahl would be in jeopardy if she said anything. Why didn’t they? Or is this all a big lie and the Taliban never intended to kill him over a leak?

Second possibility: This is all a big lie and the Taliban never intended to kill him over a leak. You already know the arguments on this one if you read Ed’s post yesterday. It simply makes no sense to believe the Taliban would have cared much if anyone leaked. For one thing, the prospect of a Bergdahl/Taliban swap has been reported in papers like the NYT for at least two years. The Taliban themselves chattered about it to the AP last year. Plus, if you think about it, having the deal leak in advance would only enhance the propaganda victory for them. If news of an impending swap had broken a week earlier, American media had erupted over it, and then a battered Obama had bowed to the Taliban and done the deal anyway, it would have been a supreme humiliation. The only reason to think the Taliban was skittish about leaks was because they were afraid that news breaking in advance would cow Obama into scuttling the deal — but in that case, with Obama’s course of action uncertain, why would they have gone ahead and killed Bergdahl before O had made a final decision? It may be that they told the White House that they’d kill BB if Obama backed out at the last minute, but that’s not the same as saying they’d kill him if it leaked. And it’s certainly no justification for O to withhold notice from Congress.

Feinstein’s not the only big-name Democrat causing trouble for the administration about Bergdahl today, either. Remember that the next time Obama dismisses this as a phony scandal cooked up by Republican psycho-partisans. Exit question via Guy Benson: Remember when Jay Carney said that Bergdahl was a “prisoner,” not a “hostage”? How can that be true if the White House’s story is correct, that the Taliban were ready to murder him in captivity if the deal leaked? Legitimate armies don’t threaten to kill POWs; they hold them until the end of hostilities and then release them to the enemy. The word for a group that would slaughter a prisoner over a scuttled exchange is something different. It starts with a “T,” I believe.


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Two possibilities here. One: It’s all true

Second possibility: This is all a big lie

Why are we considering that first possibility again?

It sounded like just another cooked- up ploy meant to tug-at-the-heart right from the beginning.

“They were going to kill him!! What else could we possibly do?!”

Not that I have the slightest idea how the Taliban thinks, but it makes no sense to me that they would deliberately forfeit their most valuable bargaining chip.

lynncgb on June 6, 2014 at 6:39 PM

I’m beginning to not like this Obama fellow.

307wolverine on June 6, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Report: Obama Regime Guaranteed 5 Released Taliban Commanders “Would Be Safe From Arrest By Any Country For A Year”

Resist We Much on June 6, 2014 at 6:59 PM

…is he going to draw a red line in the sand…if they do?…sic Eric Holder on them?

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2014 at 7:20 PM

The White House told members of Congress MONTHS before it hit Osama bin Laden and they kept their mouths shut. So, what’s the difference here, Obama?

Resist We Much on June 6, 2014 at 7:21 PM

When is Congress going to say enough is enough of this president’s bs? Ever? Can he just disregard the law, hide the facts, misrepresent his agenda, flat out lie to people over and over and over again and people in Congress are just going to shrug as he bypasses them and does whatever the heck he wants to do?

It was especially insulting today watching him mingle with men who love this country and fought against an evil tyrant. He doesn’t belong on the same beach with them. They’re men of courage and valor. He’s despicable.

scalleywag on June 6, 2014 at 7:22 PM

We can’t believe a single thing the administration says about anything. Not a single thing.

scalleywag on June 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

We can’t believe a single thing the administration says about anything. Not a single thing.

scalleywag on June 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

…not a ‘smidgen”!

KOOLAID2 on June 6, 2014 at 7:44 PM

ThugOTUS chews gum and folds his arms during ceremony for our Veterans

Disgusting behavior by a disgusting human being. Shame on him.

Key West Reader on June 6, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Obama says he’d do it all over again – no regrets

Really? Really??? He doesn’t need impeaching he needs a knuckle sandwich

/Ban hammer diverted

Key West Reader on June 6, 2014 at 7:51 PM

A traitor is the vet that Obama thinks is worth saving.

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 7:53 PM

If one lie doesn’t work, then lets just spin another one. It really doesn’t matter to these people.

RdLake on June 6, 2014 at 7:53 PM

He will die in the German hospital so Obama can claim told you so. Once this occurs, you will know how far our government has slipped into totalitarianism.

trs on June 6, 2014 at 7:53 PM

We can’t believe a single thing the administration says about anything. Not a single thing.

scalleywag on June 6, 2014 at 7:24 PM

I’m kinda thinking that you can believe him when he says this…

Obama says he’d do it all over again – no regrets

Obama says he’d do it all over again – no regrets

Really? Really??? He doesn’t need impeaching he needs a knuckle sandwich

/Ban hammer diverted

Key West Reader on June 6, 2014 at 7:51 PM

Key West Reader on June 6, 2014 at 7:55 PM

#FreeBowe

Why is Obama holding Bowe captive? When can he return home to his loving parents?

faraway on June 6, 2014 at 7:57 PM

At this point only the most ignorant do not comprehend that Obama is a pathological liar … … … as well as a pyromaniac.

VorDaj on June 6, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Like this changes anything. The bigger enemy to our country is the Republican/Democrat statists in Washington

Brock Robamney on June 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

She’ll backpedal. Just give her a few days.

diogenes on June 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

So. What’s she going to do about it? Nothing.

SouthernGent on June 6, 2014 at 8:40 PM

This entire story was on the front page of the Washington Post back in February. Obama had four months to inform Congress or at least send them a copy of the newspaper.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/2014/02/17/f142ed50-9590-11e3-afce-3e7c922ef31e_story.html

MitchFlorida on June 6, 2014 at 8:52 PM

Of course Obama lied. Standard operating procedures.

GarandFan on June 6, 2014 at 8:57 PM

The old washed up Feinstein is just pissed that she wasn’t inside the loop

Please the woman is an idiot

Redford on June 6, 2014 at 8:59 PM

Until you start talking about bringing legal action against him, kindly shut the hell up, you stupid hag.

CurtZHP on June 6, 2014 at 9:07 PM

“She’ll backpedal. Just give her a few days.”

diogenes on June 6, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Mebbe, mebbe not. I think that Difi is a little miffed that the Dear Leader didn’t see fit to keep her (and others) in the loop. While they may be of the same party, I think she’s a little twisted about the fact that Obama exerted his power without keeping his cohorts aware of what he was doing. Even in leftist circles, there is power protocol.

Slayur on June 6, 2014 at 10:09 PM

President Nero is quite a piece of work, ain’t he?

Midas on June 6, 2014 at 10:16 PM

“Desertion is not a solitary crime. It is a crime against the tens of thousands of veterans who are huddled together in the harsh cold of this winter. Against all those who have sacrificed. Against all those who have fallen. Against all the women and the children we have left alone to fend for themselves. I regard the crime of desertion as a sin against the army. Duty is ours, the consequences are God’s.” -Lt. Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson

Akzed on June 6, 2014 at 11:12 PM

Taliban vowed to kill him if any details about the prisoner exchange came out.

That would be the perfect outcome. You don’t want deserters, and if you desert and run over to the other side, they’ll kill you over there. In the old days when the US had political leaders and generals that won wars, they’d have to make up mythical stories like that and pass it on as a rumor to give potential deserters something to think about.

Buddahpundit on June 6, 2014 at 11:34 PM

Even the Democrats are abandoning the Obama sinking ship.

joecollins on June 7, 2014 at 12:06 AM

How it really went down:
O: Gotta squelch this VA scandal asap.
VJ: That Berg dude…
O: Hey Tolly we’ll give u 1 General for Berg.
Tolly: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals.
O: Ok we’ll give u 2 Generals for berg.
Tolly: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Tolly we’ll give u 3 Generals for Berg.
Tolly: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Ok we’ll give u 4 Generals for berg.
Tolly: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Tolly, I got an offer you can’t refuse, we’ll give u all 5 Generals for Berg.
Tolly: Deal.

RavingLunatic on June 7, 2014 at 12:23 AM

How it really went down:
O: Gotta squelch this VA scandal asap.
VJ: That Berg dude…
O: Hey Tolly we’ll give u 1 General for Berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals.
O: Ok we’ll give u 2 Generals for berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Tolly we’ll give u 3 Generals for Berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Ok we’ll give u 4 Generals for berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Tolly, I got an offer you can’t refuse, we’ll give u all 5 Generals for Berg.
Tiliban: Deal.

RavingLunatic on June 7, 2014 at 12:27 AM

How it really went down:
O: Gotta squelch this VA scandal asap.
VJ: That Berg dude…
O: Hey Tiliban we’ll give u 1 General for Berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals.
O: Ok we’ll give u 2 Generals for berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Tiliban we’ll give u 3 Generals for Berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Tiliban we’ll give u 4 Generals for berg.
Tiliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Tiliban, I got an offer you can’t refuse, we’ll give u all 5 Generals for Berg.
Tiliban: Deal.

RavingLunatic on June 7, 2014 at 12:28 AM

How it really went down:
O: Gotta squelch this VA scandal asap.
VJ: That Berg dude…
O: Hey Taliban we’ll give u 1 General for Berg.
Taliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals.
O: Ok we’ll give u 2 Generals for berg.
Taliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Taliban we’ll give u 3 Generals for Berg.
Taliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Taliban we’ll give u 4 Generals for berg.
Taliban: No way loser, we want all 5 Generals
O: Hey Taliban, I got an offer you can’t refuse, we’ll give u all 5 Generals for Berg.
Taliban: Deal.

Hey I got it right…eventually…

RavingLunatic on June 7, 2014 at 12:30 AM

The lie of “urgency” is the same gimmick used by every used car salesman in existence.
Do we really want to elevate this administration to the level of used car salesmen, by putting a down payment on this whopper?

Don L on June 7, 2014 at 5:23 AM

The imperial lawlessness is unprecedented. The only thing I could compare this administration to in my life time would be Nixon. Only Nixon would have been successfully impeached 4 or 5 scandals ago, and quite possibly in the federal pen by now.
I think that’s what all the doubling down has been about. Going for broke, reassuring the world of your superior mastermind power, and whistling past the constitution and the very real possibility of the reinstitution of law and its consequences to a despot.
Yep. Kinda makes you want to monitor every frigging thing your subjects do to ward off any of that will of the governed crap.
B & E are due a perp walk.

onomo on June 7, 2014 at 7:27 AM

Nixon was going to be impeached for doing what the DOJ no longer needs a warrant for.

We’ve come a long way, baby.

BobMbx on June 7, 2014 at 9:06 AM

But, Babs, 30 days is too long to wait, Susan said so.

Kissmygrits on June 7, 2014 at 10:02 AM

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