Feinstein Says Lawmakers Had Little Warning about Egypt

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) said Tuesday that “US intelligence services gave the White House and lawmakers ‘no real warning’ that unrest would rock staunch Washington ally Egypt,” the AFP reports.

Feinstein told MSNBC television that US policymakers had "a good deal of intelligence about Tunisia," where turmoil drove longtime strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from power, but "virtually nothing about Egypt."

"So there was, to the best of my knowledge, no real warning either to the White House or certainly to the Senate Intelligence Committee or the Congress," the Democratic lawmaker said in an interview.

Asked whether intelligence officials had sounded the alarm after Ben Ali’s ouster, telling lawmakers that the uprising in Tunisia could trigger unrest in Egypt, Feinstein replied: "Not that I know."

"And as a matter of fact, I don’t believe there was any intelligence on what was happening on Facebook or Twitter or the organizational effort to put these protests together," she said.

Asked whether the events in Egypt had highlighted a US intelligence failure, Feinstein replied: "I would call it a big intelligence wakeup."

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Filed under Intelligence, International Relations, Interviews

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