Tuesday, June 27, 2006

NYT Asked for Effective Banking Intel Program Then Exposes It

Interestingly enough, the NYT on 9/24/2001 wrote the following editorial (subscription required):

The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies……………..

The Treasury Department also needs new domestic legal weapons to crack down on money laundering by terrorists. The new laws should mandate the identification of all account owners, prohibit transactions with "shell banks" that have no physical premises and require closer monitoring of accounts coming from countries with lax banking laws……………

Now fast forward to last week………………….The NYT decides to publish a story exposing a “legal” classified intel program, that achieves the cooperation and monitoring that the NYT editorial stated was required and they themselves in their editorial called for…………….

The press has a responsibility to report abuses of power by the government and they most certainly are protected under the First Amendment as they should be. The press however has no obligation or right to expose “legal” intel programs while we are at war because they think it’s a “public interest” story. The NYT overstepped their role and have made a massive mistake publishing this story.

They should appear before congress and answer to the American people why they think they alone have the right and responsibility to decide which legal programs are exposed and which are not in this war. They simply are not qualified for that role……….

The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee wrote a letter to the Director of National Intelligence today asking for an assessment of the damages done by unauthorized disclosure of intelligence programs. The press won’t be prosecuted (can’t and should not be) but those who leaked the intelligence may. I’m sure that the NYT will support that since they supported the investigation of leaks related to Valerie Plame and this is a much more serious leak that has done real and massive damage to our intel………………….

Subscribers and advertisers will exact judgment on the press if warranted, as it should be………………..