Tuesday, June 27, 2006

For All Your NYT-Leaking-SWIFT Needs...

The Truth Laid Bear has the answer.

My personal fave? Captain Ed's update:
Back then, the Times stated it would not be satisfied with merely freezing the assets of terrorists and their supporters. They wanted the identification of all account owners mandated by Congress and, presumably, accessible to the "specialized investigators" the Times demanded. The Times also wanted the Bush administration to pursue greater cooperation between international banking authorities and these new investigators.

Doesn't this sound familiar? It should; it describes the SWIFT project that Bill Keller and his newspaper just ruined with its revelation about these same tactics the newspaper demanded five years ago. Now, suddenly, they see a civil liberties risk in pursuing terrorist financing abroad, even though SWIFT only handles certain large international money transfers, and that our efforts only focused on actors already suspected of terrorist ties.
Of course, the Reasonable pundits refuse to get it. Clearly the sainted and Reasonable NYT is being unfairly targeted by the Foolish Fascist in the White House. It's not enough that he stole two elections. Now he wants to spy on everyone's financial transactions. So what if the Treasury Departments' program only examined the international financial transactions of suspected terrorists? Slippery slope, and all that. Besides, the real war criminals--Rove and Libby--haven't been prosecuted, yet.

Meanwhile, we Fools sigh, as we once again attempt to talk our Reasonable breatheren off the bridge. The NYT rightly called on the Federal Government to trace all the financial pathways of terrorists in the wake of 9/11. The NYT latest blunder has compromised the very efforts that they demanded. Mr. Keller can wax poetic about the theoretical implications of the Commander-In-Chief's authority in a time of war. He can delude himself that the NYT still guards the integrity of the nation by betraying her government's secrets. In the end, however, he authorized the publication of a story that illustrated no wrongdoing, damaged our capacity to pursue terrorists and subjects all Americans to further risk. Why?

So the Times could scoop the WP, LAT and the WSJ. So they could generate some buzz to sell more anti-bush tirades. They tried to spin this as NSA, redux. They failed.

Unfortunately, we all pay for the Gray Lady's arrogance and incompetance.