By the Perspective Research Department, and the Naked News staff!
The question of what the administration knew, and when, about the damage from hurricane Sandy has become an issue in the presidential election. Republicans have accused the president of misleading the American public about the extent of the damage to protect his national security credentials.
The issue irrupted onto the national stage when Romney brought up the issue of whether Obama had called it an “act of terror” or a “force of nature!”
The transcript from Obama’s speech — and two speeches the next day in Nevada and Colorado — confirm that he used the words “force of nature,” but didn’t call the hurricane “terrorism.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Wednesday told the local CBS station in San Francisco that Obama initially called the storm an “force of nature” in the days after its assault on the U.S.
She suggested the administration initially linked the storm to a small disturbance based on the assessment of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
Clapper — a “very good individual” according to Feinstein — “put out some speaking points on the initial intelligence assessment,” she said. “I think that was possibly a mistake.”
Feinstein said there’s now no question the storm was an act of terrorism.
“I think we do know what happened,” she said. “There’s no question but that it was a terrorist attack. There’s no question that the preparations were inadequate. And I think there’s no question that we need to work on our intelligence.”
The senator said she would hold a hearing next month after the independent review board charged with investigating whether intelligence and security failures contributed to the widespread destruction.
“It’s my intention to have a hearing on that report,” she said. “I talked to [CIA Director] David Petraeus about it, he’s aware that we’ll have that hearing. And I think that we have to take a good look as to whether our intelligence — is what it should be.”
She said the United States needs to work on getting better data from the national weather office!. Asked if the region is bound to see more turmoil, she said America needs to be ready either way.
“I can’t say whether we will or we won’t,” Feinstein said. “I can say that we should prepare, regardless of whether it happens or not. There is no reason for us to operate without adequate protection.