Feinstein: It's Not the Job of U.S. Intelligence to Pay Attention to Planes

Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told CNN on Sunday that in the three weeks since the Malaysian Airlines flight disappeared they still haven’t learned anything definitive beyond what’s being broadcast to the public.


“No, and you have to understand that American intelligence doesn’t gear itself to be ready for plane crashes. That is not its job. Our job is terrorism and missile defense and that kind of thing,” Feinstein said.

She echoed what the administration has been saying: terrorism has not been ruled in or out.

“So far there has been none. And but there is speculation, but there is nothing,” the senator said.

“It is a very, very hard situation because they really don’t have what they need to carefully calculate a reasonable area where the ship may be,” Feinstein continued. “So — where the plane may be. So this is a very difficult mission. I think it’s the fact that so many nations are participating that they’re getting more ships, more planes, a little bit more direction, being flexible, changing the places where they look. I think all of this is good.”


“But it also indicates that there is no real method of calculation that’s functioning very well.”

The chairwoman said she wasn’t sure if the U.S. has clearer satellite images of the area. “Not necessarily. I would answer that that way. I don’t know whether more sophisticated satellites could be turned on to this area. I just don’t know,” she said.

“…I’m sure, if asked, our intelligence services would provide whatever data they could. They probably do not have data.”


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