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?