Feinstein: If Nigeria Doesn't Act, How Far Is U.S. Willing to Go to Rescue Girls?

The chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said the U.S. needs to be considering how far it will go to rescue the kidnapped schoolgirls in Nigeria — even if President Goodluck Jonathan is unwilling to make the call to send in rescue teams.


Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) told MSNBC that the U.S. needs to prepare to face an entity “that it is so dominantly evil, is a terrorist group.”

“And they do something like this, they burn 200 schools, and they’ve now kidnapped nearly 300 of these young girls, it seems to me that we ought to be prepared and move,” she said.

Feinstein noted that “a good deal” of signals intelligence is being directed toward finding the girls.

“I’ve got to look a little bit more closely at when the SIGINT is done and when — assuming that it is good SIGINT, on a target, that action happens. I need to look more closely at this. So does the committee,” she added.

A review of the intel would help determine “under what premise would our nation put in a special forces unit to go in and carry out what is essentially a military activity, whether it’s the recovery of these young girls, or anything else.”

“So, you know, we’re in a different day and age. I think much more thought needs to be given to this. I think the women of the Senate are totally united. And this is a very, very big issue for women. How far are we prepared to go to save these girls, even if the head of government does not invite the nation to — our nation to do so?” Feinstein continued.


The chairwoman refused to speculate on MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell’s suggestion that the Nigerian government didn’t act as quickly because the kidnapped schoolkids are girls instead of boys.

“I think this kind of thing opens up a whole new venue for America’s technical means of seeing from the sky. And then when you see what you do, if it’s a terrorist training camp, what to do, how quickly you do it, if it’s a targeted individual, what you do, how quickly you do it,” she said.

“Because this all takes time. It takes patience. And the CIA has become very good at this from the air. But in this — in this kind of instance, it took weeks. And we even had the president of Nigeria’s wife saying, this — this isn’t true. This didn’t happen. They’re doing it to embarrass my husband. And of course, it was very much true. And Nigeria has been very reluctant to take action, which I find very surprising.”


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