Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Way to go Di-Fi! Blowing secrets again

Got this from Captain Ed who compares this to how she killed the Night Stalker case by revealing classified evidence in the police investigation that caused Ramirez to flee to LA where he was eventually caught by authorities. She blew a secret then that jeopardized a police investigation when she was mayor of San Francisco. Now she's blown another one only this one has more dire consequences:

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.

The basing of the pilotless aircraft in Pakistan suggests a much deeper relationship with the United States on counterterrorism matters than has been publicly acknowledged. Such an arrangement would be at odds with protests lodged by officials in Islamabad and could inflame anti-American sentiment in the country.

The CIA declined to comment, but former U.S. intelligence officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information, confirmed that Feinstein's account was accurate. ...

Many in counterterrorism experts have assumed that the aircraft were operated from U.S. military installations in Afghanistan, and remotely piloted from locations in the United States. Experts said the disclosure could create political problems for the fledgling government in Islamabad.

Create political problems? It's no secret that many Pakistanis dislike our Predator strikes, and the issue has been touchy in Islamabad, to put it mildly. There was rhetoric a couple months ago from the Pakistani government about how they would handle such strikes in the future; going so far as to threaten to shoot them down. But now we see that those threats were merely lip service. Consider it a bone thrown to the public.

But that doesn't excuse Senator Feinstein. She may think it was just a passing reference, and her spokesman will spin it that way, but the fact is she blew the cover on this operation. No one outside of those involved in those Predator strikes knew where those strikes were being launched from. Everyone assumed they were being launched from Afghanistan. Even we believed that despite the contacts we have in military and intelligence circles. (No, we don't have a lot, but we have enough to confirm incidents and engagements that occur.)

This is unacceptable. If Senator Feinstein can't keep her yap shut about classified programs, then she shouldn't be on the Senate Intelligence Committee. These people handle sensitive and classified information all the time. They should know better. In fact, they should be sworn to secrecy, and if such information is to be divulged while the committee is in session, the hearing should be closed to the public and the media. Senator Feinstein didn't do us any favors when she opened her mouth and inserted her foot. Those on the Intelligence Committee should oust her from her seat for her idiotic and inept revelation. The damage done here won't help the Obama administration in it's dealings with Pakistan, and it won't make anything easier for the leadership in Islamabad.

Publius II


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