Feinstein on cluster bombs, demurring on Iraqi oil law

After her March 18 appearance on CBS’s Face The Nation, Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA), spoke with the press gaggle outside the studio. Sam Husseini, with The Washington Stakeout, asked her about stalled cluster bomb legislation she has proposed and then about the Iraqi oil law that the Bush administration has backed — she did not answer the latter question as she was being called away by an aide and said nothing again when asked as to why she couldn’t or wouldn’t comment on it.

Also outside the studios, activists with the group Code Pink gathered in opposition to funding of the war. They chanted under the banner of “Don’t buy Bush’s war.”

Continue reading for a transcript of the exchange.


Sam Husseini: Why do you think your legislation, your proposal, on cluster bombs has not gotten a great deal of support from your colleagues, at this point?

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): There is a lot of misunderstanding about the legislation and cluster bombs. And its been interesting to me as to why it is so difficult. Cluster bombs have a forty percent, what’s called a dud rate, which means they don’t explode on first impact, but they rest in the field or in the school yard or the park or wherever the bomblet is, and then when some innocent civilian picks it up, child or adult, it explodes and generally blows off an arm or a leg. I think they are bad things in general, but in particular, I believe that they should have dud rate ratios of one percent. Internationally, this is the belief and this is our legislation. We’ve had a very difficult time with it. But we will be doing more in the future to move that along. You can be sure of that.

SH: Are you concerned about the Iraq oil law? The Iraq oil law that the Administration’s pushing through to privatize Iraqi oil?

[Feinstein shrugs]

Barry Electric was the videographer for this stakeout. This post was edited on March 20, 2006 for clarity.

[originally published on Washington Stakeout on March 19, 2007; posted on posthaven Nov. 13, 2015]