The Washington Post

Feinstein not sold on idea of ‘credible threat’ against Bergdahl if deal leaked

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said in an interview that will air later Friday that she does not think there was a "credible threat" against the life or safety of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl's life or safety had word of the deal to bring him home leaked in advance, putting her at odds with Obama administration officials.

"No, I don’t think there was a credible threat, but I don’t know," Feinstein said on "Political Capital with Al Hunt." "I have no information that there was."

Obama administration officials briefing senators this week justified not informing lawmakers in advance of the deal in part over fears doing so could have nixed the swap and endangered Bergdahl's life.

In exchange for Bergdahl's return, which came Saturday, the United States released five Taliban commanders who'd been detained at Guantanamo Bay. The commanders must remain in Qatar for at least a year.

Many lawmakers were angered by the administration's decision not to notify Congress of the transfer, as required by the law.

In the briefing, senators were also shown a video meant as proof that Bergdahl's health was declining in late 2013 and that time was of the essence. Feinstein did not sound convinced Bergdahl's life was in severe jeopardy.

"Well, that’s hard for me to tell," she said. "I don’t think that was -- had a clear distinction in the briefing we’ve had.  And there’s no question he was debilitated.  There was no question he was under stress -- blinking rapidly, probably held in dark surroundings for a long period of time.  I don’t know, but he’ll receive very good care and recover, and I think that’s what’s important."

Sean Sullivan has covered national politics for The Washington Post since 2012.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans
Next Story
Sean Sullivan · June 6, 2014

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.