Feinstein: ‘You Can’t Help But Worry’ About Taliban Release

June 9, 2014 - 5:31 AM

Feinstein

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) chairs the Senate intelligence committee. (AP File Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), chair of the Senate intelligence committee, says “you can’t help but worry” about the release of five Taliban terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, despite Secretary of State John Kerry’s insistence that “no one should doubt the capacity of America to protect Americans.”

“I heard John Kerry this morning say, you know, don't worry about them in Doha (Qatar),” Feinstein told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “You can't help but worry about them in Doha.

“And we have no information on how the United States is actually going to see that they remain in Doha, that they make no comments, that they do no agitation. And another rumor is one that -- one Taliban has apparently said that he would return to the battlefield. So it's a mixed bag at best.”

Speaking about the Taliban detainees, Kerry told CNN on Sunday that the Qataris are “not the only ones keeping an eye on them.” He said if the five Taliban terrorists violate the terms of their release to Qatar, “then we have the ability to be able to do things.”

Kerry said he wasn't suggesting that the five Taliban "don't have the ability at some point to go back and get involved" in terrorism. "But they also have an ability to get killed doing that. And I don't think anybody should doubt the capacity of the United States of America to protect Americans, nobody."

Feinstein told CBS that she hasn’t been brief on the “intricacies” of the Bowe Bergdahl-Taliban swap, which the Obama administration arranged without giving Congress the required 30-day notification.

But in 2011, when the administration first raised the possibility of a prisoner swap with Feinstein and other lawmakers, Feinstein said she was told “these five were to be held in house arrest, in Doha. Now there is no house arrest." She said they have the entire country, "which is very small," in which to wander around.

“Secretary Kerry made a very strong statement this morning saying, oh, we have ways, and we will see that they do not defect, move, speak, whatever. And we'll see.”

Meanwhile, Feinstein says she see’s no sign of the Taliban relenting.” She expressed “deep concerns” about the Taliban trying to kill the front-runner in Afghanistan's presidential election, Abdullah Abdullah, last Friday.

“And so some of worry very much that when we pull out, the Taliban finds its way back into power. And that would be tragic.”