Posted by Curt on 23 June, 2006 at 8:05 am. 6 comments already!

EMAIL THE NYT’S AT LETTERS@NYTIMES.COM AND THE LA TIMES HERE.

Here we go again, the NYT’s believes itself to be the keeper of all secrets. They get to decide what is in the countries best interest, not our ELECTED leaders, but guys who get hired to write newpaper articles. The arrogance of these writers knows no bounds:

Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials.
The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry, a Belgian cooperative that routes about $6 trillion daily between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions. The records mostly involve wire transfers and other methods of moving money overseas and into and out of the United States. Most routine financial transactions confined to this country are not in the database. …

The program is grounded in part on the president’s emergency economic powers, Mr. Levey said, and multiple safeguards have been imposed to protect against any unwarranted searches of Americans’ records.

The program, however, is a significant departure from typical practice in how the government acquires Americans’ financial records. Treasury officials did not seek individual court-approved warrants or subpoenas to examine specific transactions, instead relying on broad administrative subpoenas for millions of records from the cooperative, known as Swift.

Everyone and their brother knows that you follow the money when you want to catch a criminal. It is never more true then when you want to catch a terrorist. They need LOTS of money to conduct their operations and it is just plain common sense that you follow the money. Just as NSA wiretap program, this operation targets only suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists, but this does not matter to the NYT’s:

The Bush administration has made no secret of its campaign to disrupt terrorist financing, and President Bush, Treasury officials and others have spoken publicly about those efforts. Administration officials, however, asked The New York Times not to publish this article, saying that disclosure of the Swift program could jeopardize its effectiveness. They also enlisted several current and former officials, both Democrat and Republican, to vouch for its value.

Bill Keller, the newspaper’s executive editor, said: “We have listened closely to the administration’s arguments for withholding this information, and given them the most serious and respectful consideration. We remain convinced that the administration’s extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest.”

Another example of a story by the liberal press to damage Bush. The NSA wiretap story didn’t do the job but did damage our intelligence gathering ability. This story won’t be any different. Most Americans understand the need to find these terrorists, but while the story wont damage Bush it will further damage our intelligence capabilities. You know, those capabilities that let us down prior to 9/11….if the left and the MSM has it’s way they will let us down once again, not because we didn’t try to fix it but because the left wouldn’t let us fix it.

Steve Spruiell sees this as just another attempt by the reporters to further their career:

According to the NYT’s own reporting, the program is legal. The program is helping us catch terrorists. The administration has briefed the appropriate members of Congress. The program has built-in safeguards to prevent abuse. And yet, with nothing more than a vague appeal to the “public interest” (which apparently is not outweighed in this case by the public’s interest in apprehending terrorists), the NYT disregards all that and publishes intimate, classified details about the program. Keller and his team really do believe they are above the law. When it comes to national security, it isn’t the government that should decide when secrecy is essential to a program’s effectiveness. It is the New York Times.

National security be damned.

There are Pulitzers to be won.

While the LA Times tells us that the Financial guru’s layed out a very strong case to keep this stuff quiet, but to hell with that:

Administration officials were concerned that news reports of the program would diminish its effectiveness and could harm overall national security.

“It’s a tough call; it was not a decision made lightly,” said Doyle McManus, the Los Angeles Times’ Washington bureau chief. “The key issue here is whether the government has shown that there are adequate safeguards in these programs to give American citizens confidence that information that should remain private is being protected.”

Treasury Department officials spent 90 minutes Thursday meeting with the newspaper’s reporters, stressing the legality of the program and urging the paper to not publish a story on the program, McManus said in a telephone interview.

“They were quite vigorous, they were quite energetic. They made a very strong case,” he said.

UPDATE

So I get home from work tonight and I read this:

Lichtblau, who co-wrote both stories with Times reporter James Risen, said that in each case the newspaper believed that the information it was reporting would not put anyone in harm’s way. “I think we came down on the same side in both questions,” he said of the two stories. “That this is not giving away information that is tangibly helping terrorists know what they don’t already know.”…

Lichtblau added that the reaction to the wiretapping story, which included both criticism and support for the paper, made it easier to go with this story. He noted that there had been no proof that the previous story had endangered national security.

“Our belief that it did not have any tangible impact has been borne out,” he said.

Wha-wha-wha-What! Not only do this idiots get to decide what should be classified and what isn’t, now they get to decide if any damage had been done to our national security for a previous leak.

Are these people for real?

How in the world would they know if our intelligence programs have been damaged? By leakers who have leaked to them in the past?

If so, we all know what side of the political spectrum those leakers come from. We also know they leaked that information to hurt Bush. No way in hell these leakers admit that their programs are now damaged since this would prove what a terrible deed they did.

But lets say they came to this conclusion ALL on their own…..what was their thought process? Did Eric Lichtblau, James Risen, Bill Keller, Josh Meyer, Greg Miller, Doyle McManus, and Dean Baquet all get in a circle jerk and say “hey Bill, you haven’t heard about the terrorists getting away with anything because of our leakage of the NSA wiretap program have you?” “Well no Greg, sure haven’t” “Guess that seals it, we were right to leak the program….didn’t affect anything”

I mean come on. A freakin 4th grader could see how wrong these people are…..

UPDATE II

I love Tony Snow. Take a look at this video Allah at Hot Air put together of Tony taking on these blowhards:

UPDATE III

These people are just too much. Check out this “analysis” by a AP writer:

A secret CIA-Treasury program to track financial records of millions of Americans is the latest installment in an expansion of executive authority in the name of fighting terrorism. The administration doesn’t apologize for President Bush’s aggressive take on presidential powers. Vice President Dick Cheney even boasts about it.

Oh really, did not Clinton approve of Echelon which greatly expanded his authority? And what exactly should Bush apologize for? Fighting this war as it should be fought?

Bush has made broad use of his powers, authorizing warrantless wiretaps, possibly collecting telephone records on millions of Americans, holding suspected terrorists overseas without legal protections and using up to 6,000 National Guard members to help patrol the border with Mexico.

Enemy combatants who engage in unlawful warfare are now supposed to have a lawyer assigned to them? No, they are held until the war is over…..Mindboggling the stupidity of these people.

[…]Americans may grow weary of surrendering individual rights if they decide terror-war thrusts intrude on their personal lives more directly, said pollster Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center. But that hasn’t happened yet.

“Now there’s still a forgiving attitude on the part of many people in the country,” Kohut said.

He said that forgiving attitude could only be reinforced by the news from Miami of the arrest of seven men in an alleged plot against the Sears Tower in Chicago — men Attorney General Alberto Gonzales called “homegrown terrorists.”

Oh, you think? These leftists want us to lose the ability to find and destroy these cells for no other reason then to say “big brother is coming after you man!”….wont matter if the terrorists would then be able to launch another attack on another major city in the United States.

What would they say then? Who would be to blame? Those who TRIED to find the terrorists or those who tied their hands behing their backs cough Gorelick cough.

UPDATE IV

Macsmind has an update up that is quite interesting. It seems much of what this program did was contained in the Patriot Act which Congress voted on:

it seems that this isn’t such a BIG secret – a least not just a “Bush policy”. This now DISCLOSED program is in the PATRIOT ACT. Originally called the Financial Anti-Terrorism Act In October 17, 2001 bill passed in the House of Representatives: 412-1.

Check it out here.

Other’s Blogging:


Another example of a story by the liberal press to damage Bush. The NSA wiretap story didn’t do the job but did damage our intelligence gathering ability. This story won’t be any different. Most Americans understand the need to find these terrorists, but while the story wont damage Bush it will further damage our intelligence capabilities. You know, those capabilities that let us down prior to 9/11….if the left and the MSM has it’s way they will let us down once again, not because we didn’t try to fix it but because the left wouldn’t let us fix it.

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