Not that I particularly object to the Democrats holding off on publishing what was essentially a political hack job against the last President, but…
Secretary of State John Kerry personally phoned Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, Friday morning to ask her to delay the imminent release of her committee’s report on CIA torture and rendition during the George W. Bush administration, according to administration and Congressional officials.
Kerry was not going rogue — his call came after an interagency process that decided the release of the report early next week, asFeinstein had been planning, could complicate relationships with foreign countries at a sensitive time and posed an unacceptable risk to U.S. personnel and facilities abroad. Kerry told Feinstein he still supports releasing the report, just not right now.
I could not believe that Dianne Feinstein had said this, in response to Bob Schaffer’s pointing out that the President kept telling us that if we liked our plans, we could keep our plans:
Well, as I understand it, you can keep it up to the time — and I hope this is correct, but this is what I’ve been told — up to the time the bill was enacted, and after that, it’s a different story. I think that part of it, if true, was never made clear.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) opposed an amendment to her Assault Weapons Ban legislation that would allow military veterans to continue to buy the firearms that would be banned. Feinstein says a veteran may be mentally ill and should be prevented from purchasing firearms.
It’s because of this errant nonsense:
“The problem [said Feinstein] with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War…”
Well, that didn’t take long: Barack Obama’s campaign went out and smacked around yet another Democrat who made the mistake of thinking that their criticism of Dear Leader would be tolerated, let alone welcomed. Background: yesterday Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein made a perfectly obvious observation; to with, that this administration leaks like a sieve (hey, if you don’t believe me, maybe you’ll believe the New York Times) Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney used the Senator’s comments to hammer President Barack Obama today at the VFW convention. Presumably one or two rubber hose sessions later, the Senator is now falling all over herself to repudiate her earlier comments, and is just horrified to hear that that awful Mitt Romney used her complaint that the Obama administration leaks critical national security information to… complain that the Obama administration leaks critical national security information.
Squint, and you can see where the Obama administration has messed up its national security leak problem to the point where Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein (up for re-election, by the way) feels the need to criticize said administration for its feckless, juvenile, and callous disregard for proper security and the need to put the country above petty partisan advantage*. Background: Sen. Feinstein was asked a question about the recent national security origins of leaks, and apparently** whether they were coming from the executive branch itself. Her response?
“I am aware of that, I think that’s a correct analysis,” said Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. “I think the White House has to understand that some of this is coming from its ranks. I don’t know specifically where, but I think they have to begin to understand that and do something about it…”
Not that, if they did, they intended to do that, mind you: they were probably just intending to scare their donors into giving them money (link via @MattCover) by screaming about how us awful, awful Republicans are so insistent that you should show have to show a picture ID when you vote. Well, they’re Democrats. Screaming about Republicans is what they do – besides, these days they don’t precisely have a plethora of other options that are what you’d call viable when it comes to winning elections.
But that’s not what interests me. No, what interests me is this sentence:
More than 5 million voters could be affected in states including Ohio, Florida, Wisconsin, Nevada, Virginia and California…
First and foremost is the highly embarrassing – and possibly expensive – Kinde Durkee affair. For those not following along with that story: Durkee was a Californian accountant used by numerous Democratic campaigns on the federal, state, and local level. Said campaigns are all now freaking out, because Durkee was just recently arrested on multiple accounts of mail fraud involving various politicians’ campaign funds*. Sen. Feinstein was one of the politicians who used Durkee; and aside from an at-the-time comment made to Politico about her being ‘wiped out,’ Feinstein is keeping mum about how much of her 5.2 million dollar war chest is still accessible to the campaign.
Next up: this Field Poll about Senator Feinstein (via Andrew Malcolm**) give some pretty bad numbers, here. 41/39 approval/disapproval (a severe drop from her normal approval ratings) and she’s underwater (41/44) on her re-election numbers (also a severe drop). If you’re wondering whether this is a big deal, well, Reuters primly notes “A spokesman for Feinstein, who was first elected to the Senate in 1992 after a long career as San Francisco’s mayor, could not be reached for comment.” Also: Feinstein’s polling has been steadily getting worse since 2006.
Finally, here’s an interesting rumor: former talk radio host and hard-line conservative Michael Reagan (adopted son of Ronald Reagan is apparently contemplating a 2012 Senate run. While the Feinstein campaign might argue that this is good news – Michael Reagan has never held public office, and the California of 2012 is not the California of 1966 – it remains true that Sen. Feinstein has not yet committed to running for re-election in 2012. The woman is 78 years old, has been in the Senate for almost two decades***, and it is considered unlikely that she will be the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee after next year’s elections.
The lack of self-respect in the Obama administration astounds me, sometimes. From the (probably-now abortive) pushback on the call to shut down repatriating AQ terrorists to Yemen:
“I am aware of a lot of people pointing back at the way the transfers were handled under the Bush administration that apparently they have some concerns about that,” said the official, who had not seen the senators’ letter. “I didn’t hear many of those concerns at the time, but there were obviously hundreds and hundreds of detainees that were transferred under the old regime.”
The official hadn’t also seen Sen. Feinstein’s (D) own shared concern about said repatriation, which as Ed Morrissey notes is a serious problem for the drive to close Gitmo. But never mind that, right now: what gives with all the unforced errors? I mean, if this was an unintentional attempt to give offense, it’s pretty sloppy thinking; and if it was intentional, well, way to go with putting words in the administration’s mouth there, Sparky. A true progressive would have had the elementary courage to put his or her Bush Derangement Syndrome on the record.