Feinstein: If the Pakistanis do not act, America should

Yesterday’s front-page story in The Hill (“Don’t repeat Osama raid, says Feinstein”, May 19) is a complete misrepresentation of my views about U.S. military and intelligence operations occurring inside Pakistan.

I was not asked about the operation that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. I did not say, for example, that the U.S. should not repeat the mission that U.S. forces undertook to kill Osama bin Laden. That is not my view. I did give a quote saying it is best if Pakistan would carry out these missions, but if they won’t, we must.

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If I had been asked about the bin Laden operation, I would have stated what I said the evening the president announced bin Laden’s death: this was a very impressive CIA and military operation and they deserve our praise and gratitude for killing the world’s No. 1 terrorist target.

The article also left the impression that I was critical of public statements by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.). Again, not true. I made a general point that the more we publish our anti-terror playbook, the harder our next mission becomes.

I was only asked about the presence of Ayman al-Zawahiri in Pakistan, and indicated that if Pakistan has intelligence about his whereabouts, it should act on it.

In a perfect world, our ostensible ally Pakistan would be a reliable partner in rooting out terrorist threats. 

But Pakistan’s recent record on cooperating in anti-terror activities — providing safe harbor to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba, the Haqqani Network and senior Taliban leadership — is unacceptable.

As chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I fully understand the terrorist threat facing our country. 

But make no mistake: When it comes to neutralizing terrorist threats, if Pakistan will not act — the United States of America will.

Washington, D.C.

Editor's Note: After this article was posted on May 18, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) sent The Hill this letter to the editor.


Rep. Smith gets it wrong on the DREAM Act

From Karen K. Narasaki, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center

“The DREAM Act: Causing, not solving, a problem” (The Hill’s Congress Blog, May 9) by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is a shameful appeal to xenophobia and a purposeful misstatement of the law. 

Rep. Smith complains that once DREAM-eligible individuals acquire citizenship they can petition for their parents to be legalized, allowing their parents to then “bring in others in an endless chain.” First, it will take many years for these students to become U.S. citizens. Second, there is no such “endless chain.” U.S. law only permits citizens to sponsor parents, spouses, children and siblings for immigration. Sponsors must be able to meet income requirements and those they sponsor cannot become a public charge. Also, U.S. citizens must be 21 years of age before they can sponsor a parent for immigration, and parents who are currently undocumented would be ineligible to legalize their status for three to 10 years depending on how long they have been in the U.S. unlawfully. 

In any event, if “others” are brought in legally, as is implied, what is Rep. Smith afraid of? Family unity has been a principle of our immigration system for decades. By reducing close family members to inanimate links in a chain, Rep. Smith dehumanizes immigrants and appeals to irrational fears that America will somehow be besieged by immigrants. At the same time, he ignores the contributions made every day by individuals who come to the U.S. through our family-based immigration system. Benefitting from family networks and pooled resources, family-based immigrants have long helped revitalize many urban areas. These immigrants are more likely than other Americans to start small and medium-sized businesses, which create much-needed jobs for other Americans.

The DREAM Act requires the contributions of students either through higher education or military service, and those are things we all benefit from. Failure to move forward with the DREAM Act only hurts America. DREAM students have grown up in this country, and now seek a chance to fully contribute to the collective American dream. We should not let xenophobia stand in their way.

Washington, D.C.


Time to cut purse strings for top oil companies

From Enjua Claude

Let me get this straight: The oil industry wants me to pay almost $4.00 a gallon for gas, up over $1 from last year, while they rake in record profits?

Congress wants us to swallow cuts in things like conservation, Medicare, education — while we subsidize the oil companies’ $40 billion in tax loopholes, subsidies to an industry that does not need them?

A February poll found that 74 percent of voters support eliminating tax breaks to oil companies (NBC/Wall Street Journal). 

Are our members of Congress listening to taxpayers or oil company lobbyists? 

Burke, Va.