Some Seeking Secrecy of Secret
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
(SNN Washington) President Bush has said it was disgraceful that the New York Times would release information about the US government monitoring of financial transactions. The program was called SWIFT, just like the boats.
However, a search of public records done by the Boston Globe reveals that the program was not actually secret. So perhaps the New York Times only error was to call attention to already public records that were best left unmentioned.
Senator Jim Banning of Kentucky went as far as to say that the Times is guilty of treason. This begs the question of how to carry out a sentence of treason against an entire newspaper. Would you have to shoot them all, or could you simply give them some of Banning's Kool Aid?
But wait, in September of 2001, the White House web site posted a relatively detailed description of the plan on the White House web site. However, the webmaster in question may not be guilty of treason as they only said, "cooperation with, and sharing information by, United States and foreign financial institutions as an additional tool to enable the United States to combat the financing of terrorism." They never mentioned the snazzy "SWIFT" acronym.
"There have been public references to SWIFT before," said Roger Cressey, a former senior White House counterterrorism expert. "The White House is overreaching when they say [The New York Times committed] a crime against the war on terror. It has been in the public domain before."
There is no question that the program worked. It is estimated that as many as three terrorists were caught though wire transfers, until they all caught on and stopped sending money that way, about three years ago.
In fact it seems that the Bush Administration were the only people who did not already know that the monitoring was going on. Even the UN knew, and nobody tells the UN shit. "The other day, I asked John Bolten who won the Yankees game, and he told me to fuck myself," says UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, "but I knew about that financial monitoring crap."
While some have said that New York Times should lose its White House Press credentials, some say that the only way to make sure another 9/11 does not happen is to level New York City with a nuclear blitz.
- Badtux the Snarky Penguin