Cold Fury

Harshing your mellow since 9/01

Terror Arrests: Ho-Hum

Following the Ho-Hum over the announcement that several truckloads of Sarin and Mustard shells have been recovered in Iraq, we’re being treated to the news that a domestic terror cell in Miami was busted up tonight by DOJ and the FBI.

Any prediction on the reaction from the Left-o-Sphere? My money is on “ho-hum.”

Meanwhile, the NY Times is working hard on doing what it does best, which is compromising the details of classified counterterrorism programs. Because y’know, the War on Terra is just a phony Bush scaremongering campaign ploy and all.

Key graf from the latest effort to undermine national security in exposing the details of what appears at first glance to be a legal intelligence effort:

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.

Among those who think that endangering your security is of paramount public interest, this compromise of a clearly important program, this act of treason – yes, I think it is knowing aid to the enemy in the legal sense and rises to the level of treason – will be considered a badge of courage for the NY Times. Remember all the 9/11 Commission talk about following the money that finances terrorism, and how vital that would be to fighting terrorism directed at the U.S.? Well, here you go. There is such a program, and now its effectiveness will be diminished.

I don’t use that term treason often. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve used it, though my non-lawyer co-bloggers throw the term around pretty easily. It seems pretty clear to me, however, that the shoe may fit in this instance. It is criminal what the NY Times is doing in its fits of self-righteous Bush-bashing.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, the Times’ breathlessness about the government collecting private financial information and the Fourth Amendment implications of it is a bit much. All domestic transactions over $3,000 are tracked by the government, through the Department of Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FINCEN. This is mandated by statute and has been for at least a few decades, in an effort to cut down on illegal money laundering and other types of financial crimes. The statutory amount ($3,000), which upon transfer of funds in that amount reporting to Department of Treasury is required, was lowered from $10,000 to $3,000 when it was discovered that the 9/11 attackers had assumed monitoring, and had been transferring funds in amounts always totalling over $9,000, and under $10,000. The NY Times is upset because this program apparently targets international funds transfer and breathlessly says that the 4th Amendment may be implicated, and U.S. Person data may be getting collected.

Well, duh. Of course it is.

The New York Times considers compromising the details of this program to be in the public interest. One wonders, what the public’s interest here is. Suicide?


9 thoughts on “Terror Arrests: Ho-Hum

  1. In light of the arrests in Miami re: the plot to bomb the Sears Tower, perhaps the NY Times needs to be more cognizant of National Security. One thing is for sure though, the Times is probably immune to any attack by Al Qeada or any other terrorist organization due to their unique position as the American Mouthpiece for their garbage!

  2. Domestic transactions are tracked? Well of course they are! Can anyone here say “I.R.S.”? Can anyone say “Criminal penalties for failure to report income earned”? Can anyone say “state sales tax”?

    Sheesh, this isn’t exactly new, but what I am impressed by is the fact that a W-2 from The New York Times and a key to the washroom provides one with the clearance to review all of America’s military and intelligence secrets and decided which should be declassified.

    And here I had to fill out an SF-86 to stay in the Coast Guard Auxiliary (America’s First Line of Defense Against Suicidal Boaters!). Boy, did I get that wrong.

  3. I’m not sure what pisses me off more. The fact that people are so ignorant of what happens in regulated industries at the center of our economy (stock trading, banking) or that the NY Times has compromised this program. I haven’t checked the leftwing sites, but I’m sure this is being passed off as a scandal of enormous magnitude, an enormous violation of individual rights – something even the NY Times couldn’t quite bring itself to say directly, knowing that this kind of thing is expressly provided for (yes, routine, large scale government monitoring of financial transactions). The only way this works as a scandal, is if you say “it’s okay to scrutinize the bejeezus out of transactions for purposes of securing market integrity and for detecting pure financial crimes, but if there is a link to terrorism government viewing of the data is tied to higher expectations of privacy…”

  4. I don’t use that term treason often. In fact, I think this is the first time I’ve used it, though my non-lawyer co-bloggers throw the term around pretty easily.

    We call ’em as we see ’em, Al. The NYT has been on the CF “treasonous scum” list for quite some time now. It’s not our fault that you’re coming late to the party … 😉

  5. Heard a radio news report on the would be bombers this morning. Seems they were “bungling and inept” and there was “never any real danger”. I just love how they frame these things. No matter how bungling and inept they might be, if the managed to git-r-done, it would be a rather big deal. I wish there was a big reset button on the MSM.

  6. That’s interesting they downplay the dangers of bungling and inept people. Last I heard that was one of the charges against the Administration – that its bungling ineptness endangers us all. Funny, must have missed something there.

  7. Heard the same kinds of comments about the 17 in Canada. I guess if they’re not good at it, it doesn’t make them evil, or dangerous. Why, shoot, they’re folks just like us. Except for the Islamic fundamentalist part, of course.

  8. It must be a fascinating state of being to not require logical consistancy of one’s arguments. I have trouble imagining it. Yet so many seem to not only live this way, but actually get listened to. It’s totally bizarre.

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