WASHINGTON — Although the White House dumped the term “terrorist” to describe the Taliban, a senior Democrat still views the organization as a group of terrorists. California Senator Dianne Feinstein, vice chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee, told The Daily Caller she was unaware of White House spokesman Eric Schultz’s comments about the Taliban not being a terrorist organization, but an armed insurgency instead.
Feinstain said the Afghan militants were a terrorist organization. “It’s also an armed insurgency. It really is both, so I don’t know why the title is important. They’re a real problem. If they come back, everything that’s gained in respect to women goes out the window — education, justice under the law — their ability to serve in government.”
Schultz attempted to explain at a press conference, when asked about the Jordanian government’s plan to release a female jihadi in return for the release of a Jordanian pilot captured by ISIS in Syria, why the White House’s Bergdahl–Taliban trade was different, reiterating the U.S. policy, “We don’t pay ransom, we don’t give concessions to terrorist organizations.”
Schultz responded that the Taliban is an “armed insurgency,” while ISIS is a “terrorist group” to ABC’s Jonathan Karl who pointed out to the White House deputy press secretary the Taliban is “clearly” a terrorist organization.
The Obama spokesman added that last year’s trade was a result of an “end of conflict interaction,” as part of the wind-down of the Afghanistan war. Feinstein initially criticized the Bergdahl swap last June, telling reporters that committee chairman and ranking members opposed the trade when the administration proposed it at the end of 2011.
However, Feinstein later stated, “I think we need to put an end to all of this now. I think enough is enough. I think the Senate has had a hearing and the House has had a hearing,” she said. “Everybody has heard what they need to hear.”