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Feinstein Reveals Predator Drones Based in Pakistan

I thought the new administration was supposed to usher in an era of improved relations with the rest of the world. Actually the following revelation, as reported by the Chicago Tribune, is not from the administration, but it is from a Democrat Senator, Diane Feinstein (via Jim Hoft and Jawa):

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.

A spokesman for Feinstein "said her comment was based solely on previous news reports that Predators were operated from bases near Islamabad." But according to Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University,
"If accurate, what this says is that Pakistani involvement, or at least acquiescence, has been much more extensive than has previously been known. It puts the Pakistani government in a far more difficult position [in terms of] its credibility with its own people. Unfortunately it also has the potential to threaten Pakistani-American relations."

I can't tell from this report whether or not the information was previously reported, as Feinstein's spokesman says, or if her statement is official confirmation of a relationship that was not previously officially disclosed. Either way it does not seem to fit with the new Obama strategy for foreign relations.

If this was something that should not have been disclosed by a US official, it would not be the first time Feinstein gave away too much information. Years ago I read the story about the hunt for the Night Stalker serial killer and still remember how angry investigators were when then Mayor of San Francisco Feinstein gave a press conference and revealed details not supposed to be released to the public, impeding the investigation.


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Comments (24)

Is it such a surprise? I m... (Below threshold)

Is it such a surprise? I mean she has no clue, just as Obama had no clue when he outed one of his Secret Service agents' kid, creating a potential security breach.

Maybe Leahy will open a Truth panel on this...wait...that's right, he's all to familiar with leaking information.

Keeping our troops and country safe...

Just one more examp... (Below threshold)

Just one more example that these people now governing have the intellectual capacity of a thumbtack.
You can add this to the litany of destroyed covert ops, I guess. Didn't really need any co-operation from the Pakis anyhow.
I'd think that about now, this gang's running out of feet to shoot.

Now, when Pakistan becomes ... (Below threshold)

Now, when Pakistan becomes (more) uncooperative, Obamuhhh will have his pretense for invading Pakistan. Another brilliant strategem from the Dems!

Next, Obamuhhh will give the Iranians the plans and components for nuclear weapons, and if the Iranians use them to destroy Israel we'll have proof that the Iranians wanted nukes! Then, we can ask the U.N. to draft a strongly-worded letter....

Pakistan is walking a polit... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Pakistan is walking a political tightrope by helping the U.S. fight terrorists while trying to appear as opposing the use of their soil for Predator attacks. Then along comes a clueless klutz named Dianne Feinstein to spoil the mission. I sure hope they haven't told her what goes on at Area 51.

As if the situation isn't t... (Below threshold)

As if the situation isn't tenuous enough she's got to go and pour gasoline all over what little help we do get from Pakistan. Pathetic.

God, I am so sick and tired... (Below threshold)

God, I am so sick and tired of crap like this. When I was in the service, I took my oath to maintain secrets seriously. I still take it seriously.

Yet, time and again, these asshats on Capital Hill divulge sensitive info just to make it seem like they're "in the loop" inside the beltway... all the while making it harder for those of us out on the pointy end of the stick to do our jobs.


ExSubNuke - OpSec ... (Below threshold)

ExSubNuke -

OpSec and ComSec just don't seem to be in the lexicon, does it? The whole idea of classified info is that it's not supposed to be leaked!

"Oh, I thought Top Secret only meant telling the New York Times! You mean I'm not supposed to tell ANYONE? What good is THAT?"

Friggin' idiots, indeed!

Feinstein is a brainless fo... (Below threshold)
Ken Hahn:

Feinstein is a brainless fool, whose only goal is to make her husband boatloads of money and bribe enough of the ignorant, illiterate or stupid to gain reelection. And she's the better of our two Senators.

When will the most ethical ... (Below threshold)

When will the most ethical Congress in history investigate her directing business to her very rich husbands corp???

Dems are so incompetent. T... (Below threshold)

Dems are so incompetent. This country is screwed.

Why doesn't Patrick Fitzger... (Below threshold)

Why doesn't Patrick Fitzgerald prosecute this incompetent, brainless twit?

sam: "Why doesn't Patric... (Below threshold)

sam: "Why doesn't Patrick Fitzgerald prosecute this incompetent, brainless twit?"

Remember, our OTHER "Senator" out here is Babs Boxer!! No matter how dim Feinstein's bulb gets (and it gets dimmer every day), she STILL outshines Boxer.

Was this "oops" moment borderline treasonable? Sure. But remember, Feinstein carries the magic sign that innoculates her from blame: (D)

Head of "The Senate Intelli... (Below threshold)

Head of "The Senate Intelligence Committe" ....who is pulling whose leg here?

D.C. needs an enima.....then we get 10 miles of rope and a forest full of trees.

You know, if we'd prosecute... (Below threshold)

You know, if we'd prosecute JUST ONE of these treasonous twits for their actions, this shit would stop! Especially if the the person prosecuted got the well deserved death penalty!

For the first time in my ad... (Below threshold)

For the first time in my adult life, I am . . . embarrassed to live in a country where such brainless dolts are put into positions of power, and are repeatedly re-elected to those same positions.

Can't we hang some of these... (Below threshold)

Can't we hang some of these idiots for treason yet? mpw

Years ago I read the sto... (Below threshold)

Years ago I read the story about the hunt for the Night Stalker serial killer and still remember how angry investigators were when then Mayor of San Francisco Feinstein gave a press conference and revealed details not supposed to be released to the public, impeding the investigation.

Yup, I lived in the Bay Area and remember it well. The Chief of Police was none too happy about it.

Just remember, kids, "outing" Ms. Plame will always be far more of grievous act versus outing Predator drones. SOP for Ms. Feinstein's lefty friends.

I am appalled. I am not su... (Below threshold)

I am appalled. I am not surprised. Having helped the 11th RS and 15th RS grow, and watching the 17th RS and now the "Reaper" attack squadrons make their marks, it is sad to see the contempt for security (that reflect their electorate's contempt of the military and civilian intelligence operations) of elected officials that not only endanger our political efforts, but our operators overseas.

For goodness sake, will someone politically "take out" these treasonous scum?

I'm surprised that any remo... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

I'm surprised that any remote drones are operated from bases in Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan. I previously knew that these were operated remotely by satellite from large high tech American bases within the U.S. because of the complexity of the missions these remote weapons are on.

Paul, I'm sorry bu... (Below threshold)


I'm sorry but you are being purposefully naive. No serious person doubts that the US has been using drones based in Iraq and Afghanistan. There has been video of strikes by drones in both places broadcast on cable.

The relevant question is, if we are using armed drones based in Pakistan does it make any sense to reveal that ??

Remember those nasty little... (Below threshold)
Spurwing Plover:

Remember those nasty little droids in the STAR WARS movies they were used to disrupt a star fighters system and even wreck their astromech droids? sounds something like those

paul "hooswoon" [over obama... (Below threshold)

paul "hooswoon" [over obama] - "I'm surprised that any remote drones are operated from bases in Pakistan, Iraq or Afghanistan. I previously knew that these were operated remotely by satellite from large high tech American bases within the U.S. because of the complexity of the missions these remote weapons are on."

And yet another military matter, (added to cluelessness over the EU Missile shield) you are absolutely uninformed about.

Jesus H. on a Segway, my 12 year old knows more than that just by paying attention to the news.

When originally deployed, t... (Below threshold)

When originally deployed, the Predator GCS (ground control station) was co-located with the drone itself. With improved speed of transmission and other technological improvements, the pilot, sensor operator and intelligence folks now all operate from their home base in the States while the mechanics and ground support (including medics) go with the drones to wherever they are based. Civilian run Predators would undoubtedly have a separate site for ground control which could be co-located with the drones or could be even in Langley. Military Predator deployments have officially included Hungary, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, and Iraq deployments. Civilian (CIA) Predator deployments have been kept classified, for the most part.

The democratic party need t... (Below threshold)
bob micheletti:

The democratic party need to figure out who they support, this new world of muslim extremists or the USA. this is a travesty of magnitudes indesrcibable. Diane is world socialist who now has the cuuernt power to make her footprint.What a shame for the USA;she is a disgrace






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