Monday on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” ranking Democrat on the Intelligence Committee Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) pushed back against President Barack Obama for his suggestion that ISIS was contained, which he had said last week in an interview with ABC.
Feinstein said, “Well, let me begin by saying this. I have never been more concerned. I read the intelligence faithfully. ISIS is not contained. ISIS is expanding. they just put out a video saying it is their intent to attack this country. I think we have to be prepared. I think hopefully France will go for a chapter 5 which will bring NATO into it. Hopefully we will work with our allies to put together the kind of coalitions and attack plans in more than one place at a given time. There’s only one way we are going to diminish them and that is by taking them out, because they are growing. They are in more than a dozen countries now. They are sophisticated. They have apps to communicate on that cannot be pierced even with a court order. So they have a kind of secret way of being able to conduct operations and operational planning. So we should take this very, very seriously.”
She continued, “I’m not a military expert. I can’t tell you how many troops on the ground we need. But we certainly need more than 50 Special Ops and we need the ability to really make a difference on the ground. We need to be able to work with Russia and Iran, if they will work with us in the Syria area. We need to be able to get a political solution to Assad so that all of everyone’s attention can be directed to ISIS.”
“Look, ISIS took down a major aircraft, 224 people. it had a major attack in Beirut, 40 people killed. It had a major attack in France, numbers killed and wounded. And This is just in the last month. they are on the march. It is important to recognize this and prepare to deal with it with action. And candidly, I don’t think bombing runs alone, we have done about 8,000 now, can really make a difference. So we’re going to have to look at some new teams — new themes and I think we will have to listen very carefully to our military people and ask for the kind of precise military strategy and tactics that might be able to really contain ISIS and defeat it.”
Host Andrea Mitchell asked, “We have been told since Friday night and Paris was under siege at the time that there is no credible threat to the homeland. Can we be confident in that given that we didn’t see Paris coming?
Feinstein said, “No. I don’t think we can be credible with that. Director Comey of the FBI reported to us just this past summer that there’s an investigation, I think it’s widely known, in virtually every FBI office. There’s a video now saying that they are authorizing attacks in our country. So I think they are on a march. I think we have to recognize this. I think we have to work to see that we have a broken passport system. We’ve got 45 million stolen passports floating around. We’ve got international travel documents floating around. We have a visa waiver program that allows somebody if they come back from Syria to France to come into this country. All of these things have to be explored and changed. It has to be done quickly. ”
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