June 26th, 2006

The ailing NY Times: the watchdog has rabies

Recently the NY Times has been engaged in what appears to be a campaign of its own: the publication of security secrets in the current war (on terror, on jihadis, call it what you will) waged by the US. Why is the Times bent on forcing the issue, publishing secrets that appear to violate no known rule or law, using as its excuse the public’s need to know?

Yesterday, in response to that question, I discussed one possible motivation for the Times’ behavior: to relive the glory days of the Pentagon Papers case. But there’s more.

The issues are large; see Alexandra’s post of today for a further discussion and roundup of the case against the Times. Also today, columnist Michael Barone ups the ante, asking, “Why does the NY Times hate us?”, writing that the paper’s editors, “have gotten into the habit of acting in reckless disregard of our safety.”

Towards the end of the piece, Barone asks:

Why do they hate us? Why does the Times print stories that put America more at risk of attack? They say that these surveillance programs are subject to abuse, but give no reason to believe that this concern is anything but theoretical.

I submit the following answer:

The press has long seen itself as a watchdog protecting the people. I’m not sure when this attitude began, but it was certainly present in the activities of the muckrakers of the early years of the twentieth century, journalists and writers who saw it as their calling to expose and publicize some of the excesses of big business, especially trusts. As such, they were crusaders, but they never (at least as far as I can determine) published secret information that threatened national security. Their concerns were almost exclusively domestic.

That changed, as so much did, during the Vietnam and Watergate era, in which national security concerns were added to the muckraking function of the press. I’ve delineated and explored the change in many previous posts (see this and especially this, for example).

Here’s an especially relevant quote from the latter:

The antiwar movement that rose as a result of the Vietnam War had a distrust of American power and intelligence gathering and of agencies such as the CIA. The events of Watergate only “deepened the aversion,” since the burglars included former intelligence officers, and Nixon also used the CIA to obstruct the work of the FBI in trying to investigate the break-in. Furthermore, the CIA was engaged in some domestic spying scandals and other acts considered excesses, such as attempts to assassinate foreign leaders (investigated by the Congressional Church Commission of the mid-70s). The upshot of all this was, among other things, a desire to limit the power of the executive branch of government and of intelligence-gathering, because the fear was that these entities, unchecked, could (and would) combine in corrupt ways to undermine our liberties.

Some have said, cynically, that the Times editors are simply out to sensationalize and boost readership. This certainly may be operating, at least in part. But in my opinion that it’s not the main motivation. I see the driving force for this campaign as the editors’ deep conviction that providing this information to us is their way of protecting us: it’s the muckraking impulse gone mad.

In the decades since the 60s, the press has come to see itself as a sort of secret society, bound to protect and serve us by curbing what it sees as a government that–as in Watergate, as in 1984–is bound and determined to spy on us and curb our liberties. As such, editors make the decisions as to what is in our best interests, and they have deemed the threat from the actions of our own government to be far greater than any threat from jihadis.

This is both arrogant and an inappropriate throwback to the Vietnam-Watergate era, but I actually believe (and call me naive, if you like) that the vast majority of these MSM campaigners (such as Keller, Times editor) are convinced of their own rightness and self-rightousness, and that this is primarily what fuels them. And their arrogance has continued to grow because they have suffered virtually no consequences for their actions; they have become a law unto themselves.

Alexandra’s post quotes Glenn Reynolds, who makes the important point that:

The founders gave freedom of the press to the people, they didn’t give freedom to the press. Keller positions himself as some sort of Constitutional High Priest, when in fact the “freedom of the press” the Framers described was also called “freedom in the use of the press.” It’s the freedom to publish, a freedom that belongs to everyone in equal portions, not a special privilege for the media industry.

Reynolds refers to the Times editor’s position as “hubris,” and I think he is exactly right, at least in the metaphoric sense. And Austin Bay sums it up quite succintly when he says that, “exposing the terrorist finance-monitoring operation information amounts to spying for terrorists.”

There is really no other way to put it. The press considers itself to be a watchdog, but the Times is a rabid one that has turned on its owners and keepers, the people.

What to do? One possibility is the passage of a National Secrets Act, as I’ve discussed here and here. But perhaps that’s not necessary. The current Espionage Act may be enough, as Barone suggest in his column; rather than prosecute the Times itself, the leakers who are breaching national security by divulging information to the Times could themselves be prosecuted, and in the course of discovery for such a case, the Times would have to testify as to who the leakers are or face contempt of court charges.

Would that be enough? Hard to say, but I think it should be done. The watchdog is ill, and needs to be curbed.

69 Responses to “The ailing NY Times: the watchdog has rabies”

  1. confusedforeigner Says:

    To posit that the terrorists already knew all about this is ludicrous given that high ranking government officials had little or no detailed knowledge about the program-

    We are talking about the Bush administration aren’t we?

    No surprize there either. For chrissakes, did anyone on the planet NOT know about this tracking? Jeeeezus.

  2. douglas Says:

    Well, if we’re just cutting and pasting- here’s a post I left elsewhere, so it’ll be referenceing someone else, but that’s o.k.- the facts remain the same-

    From the original NYT piece:

    “The idea for the Swift program, several officials recalled, grew out of a suggestion by a Wall Street executive, who told a senior Bush administration official about Swift’s database. Few government officials knew much about the consortium, which is led by a Brooklyn native, Leonard H. Schrank, but they quickly discovered it offered unparalleled access to international transactions. Swift, a former government official said, was “the mother lode, the Rosetta stone” for financial data.”

    To posit that the terrorists already knew all about this is ludicrous given that high ranking government officials had little or no detailed knowledge about the program- it took someone in the know. There is no question that terrorists were put on notice that we would attack their funding, we made that very clear immediately after 9/11. I don’t think you can argue that all the terrorists would’ve been fully aware of all the risks they took making money transfers prior to the NYT leak.

    The counterterrorismblog link is interesting, but obviously, Hambali and his group of operatives didn’t know about it, or even if they did, they didn’t realize how it could be used to trace back to them. Now that they know about it, and that it caught Hambali, they’ll reverse-engineer what happened to figure out how they got caught, and won’t make that mistake again. The fact that experts in the field were aware of some interest in SWIFT by the US, and that it was in a report on the UN website doesn’t prove your point at all. See above.

    Consider also the Chicago Tribune, in 1943, had published information that inplied that we had broken the Japanese Codes. Did you know that? Fortunately, since there was no internet in WWII, the Japanese did not discover the leak. From Wiki:
    “Public notice had actually been served that Japanese cryptography was dangerously inadequate by the Chicago Tribune, which published a series of stories just after Midway in 1942 directly claiming — correctly, of course — that the victory was due in large part to US breaks into Japanese crypto systems (in this case, the JN-25 cypher, though which system(s) had been broken was not mentioned in the newspaper stories). Fortunately, neither the Japanese nor anyone who might have told them seem to have noticed either the Tribune coverage, or the stories based on the Tribune account published in other US papers. Nor did they notice announcements made on the floor of the US Congress to the same effect. There were no changes in Japanese cryptography which could, then or now, be connected with those newspaper accounts or Congressional disclosures.”

    Roosevelt nearly raided the Trib Tower because of this incident.
    Japanese intelligence agents and spies whose careers were about gathering information didn’t pick this up. Lesson: Don’t assume they know something just because the info is out there somewhere.
    What’s different today is that when the NYT puts a story like this on A-1, everyone else will be on it as well, and there’s no missing it. The Trib got lucky in 1943, the NYT doesn’t have that escape valve today.

    Let’s also ask you this:
    If it was so plainly old news, why column one, above the fold, A-1? I think that’s fair indication that the NYT didn’t think everyone knew about it already, don’t you?

    As for “the public interest”, posting a link to a definition is nice I suppose, but perhaps you could work up an actual argument as to how this article was specifically in the public interest.

    You’re having a nice go at it, but even Keller isn’t making the arguments you are. Maybe you should ask yourself “why not?”

    Of course, it is entirely possible you are more intelligent than Keller. Neither he nor Baquet are very bright, apparently. Baquet didn’t even bother to consult with his Washington Bureau chief, Doyle McManus to get their stories straight. Info ] are actually at least five [I’ve added numbers in brackets in the following quote] plus whatever could or has come from the domestic terror cells and terrorist funding ‘charity’ groups:

    “Among the successes was the capture of a Qaeda operative, [1] Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, believed to be the mastermind of the 2002 bombing of a Bali resort, several officials said. The Swift data identified a [2] previously unknown figure in Southeast Asia who had financial dealings with a [3] person suspected of being a member of Al Qaeda; that link helped locate Hambali in Thailand in 2003, they said.
    In the United States, the program has provided financial data in investigations into possible domestic terrorist cells as well as inquiries of Islamic charities with suspected of having links to extremists, the officials said.
    The data also helped identify a Brooklyn man who was convicted on terrorism-related charges last year, the officials said. The man, [4] Uzair Paracha, who worked at a New York import business, aided a [5]Qaeda operative in Pakistan by agreeing to launder $200,000 through a Karachi bank, prosecutors said.”

    He was playing off the same script you are, so it works well enough.

    Oh, and as for terrorists tending toward using ‘non-traditional’ means of transferring funds- cash (gold,diamonds) and couriers are the traditional way of business in the ME. But they sometimes use technology, and when they do, either out of lazyness, sloppiness, or ignorance, we were hoping we could catch them. It’ll be a lot tougher now.

  3. The probligo Says:

    I know I posted this on another thread…

    OK, so I will troll this for y’all

    Falsehood: Times article tipped off terrorists to U.S. bank-tracking efforts

    In the wake of the June 23 Times article, Bush administration officials and numerous conservative media figures claimed that the newspaper had informed terrorists that their international transactions were being monitored. Vice President Dick Cheney said that the story “will enable the terrorists to look for ways to defeat our efforts.” Treasury Secretary John W. Snow wrote that the article had “alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails.” Meanwhile, right-wing pundit Michelle Malkin claimed that the Times had “tipped off terrorists to America’s efforts to track their financial activities.” Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby alleged that the reports on the program “sabotaged” and “deliberately compromised a crucial counterterrorism tool.” And the editors of National Review warned, “The terrorists will now adapt. They will find new ways of transferring funds, and precious lines of intelligence will be lost.”

    But long before June 23, Bush and other administration officials acknowledged that terrorists were increasingly using other methods of transferring money to evade detection.

    So, it is as I had said, that the terrorists were already using other methods of transferring funds BEFORE July 21.

    BUSH said so…

    Again -

    That terrorist organizations would be aware of international efforts to track their finances is not surprising, as Bush administration officials have publicly touted the government’s capability to do so for years. For instance, shortly after 9-11, Bush heralded the establishment of a “foreign terrorist asset tracking center at the Department of the Treasury to identify and investigate the financial infrastructure of the international terrorist networks.” On November 7, 2001, then-Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill announced that the United States, along with an “international coalition,” had begun “to block assets, to seize books, records and evidence, and to follow audit trails to track terrorist cells poised to do violence to our common interests.” In a September 10, 2004, statement, the Treasury Department disclosed “some of the many weapons used against terrorist networks,” which included “following money trails to previously unknown terrorist cells.” An April 2006 Treasury Department report similarly noted that the department “follows the terrorists’ money trails aggressively, exploits them for intelligence, and severs links where we can.”

    Next point -

    Falsehood: Nobody has questioned the legality of the Treasury Dept. program

    Conservative media figures such as Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and right-wing pundit Ann Coulter have claimed that “no one thinks” the bank-tracking program “violates any laws.” But as Media Matters noted, various legal experts and politicians have publicly questioned the legality of the newly disclosed program.

    And again…

    Falsehood: Times’ justification for bank-tracking story opens the door to disclosure of any classified information

    Appearing on the June 27 edition of Fox News’ Special Report, attorney David B. Rivkin Jr. claimed that the Times’ justification for publishing the June 23 article — that the story is a matter of “public interest” — would allow the media to print details of a hypothetical upcoming attack on Osama bin Laden. “Under this standard, nothing is safe,” Rivkin said. “I can see a headline which says, ‘Tomorrow, United States Closing on bin Laden.’ You know, he is two hours away, in a cave.”

    in the 1931 case Near v. Minnesota, the Supreme Court stated the government could prevent newspapers and magazines from publishing select matters, including upcoming troop movements in a time of war: “No one would question but that a government might prevent actual obstruction to its recruiting service or the publication of the sailing dates of transports or the number and location of troops.”

    in his concurrence in the 1971 case New York Times v. United States, Justice William Brennan cited this passage from Near to describe the “single, extremely narrow class of cases in which the First Amendment’s ban on prior judicial restraint may be overridden.” Justice Potter Stewart, in another concurrence, argued that publication should be prevented only if “disclosure of any of them [the documents at issue] will surely result in direct, immediate, and irreparable damage to our Nation or its people” — a standard that the administration evidently thought the bank-tracking story did not meet, as there is no indication that the administration asked a court to enjoin publication.

    From another article…

    the United Nations Al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Group learned of the SWIFT program years ago — a fact the group incorporated into its December 2002 report to the U.N. Security Council:

    The settlement of international transactions is usually handled through correspondent banking relationships or large-value message and payment systems, such as the SWIFT, Fedwire or CHIPS systems in the United States of America. Such international clearance centres are critical to processing international banking transactions and are rich with payment information. The United States has begun to apply new monitoring techniques to spot and verify suspicious transactions. The Group recommends the adoption of similar mechanisms by other countries.

    Nonetheless, Tony Snow asserted during his June 27 press briefing, “I am absolutely sure they [the terrorists] didn’t know about SWIFT.”

    The claim that the Times notified terrorists that their financial transactions might be under surveillance also overlooks numerous reports that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations shifted to nontraditional money flows shortly after 9-11. For instance, Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence Stuart A. Levey testified before Congress on September 22, 2004, that the government had begun “working closely” with FATF to interdict terrorist organizations’ increased use of cash. Levey said, “As the formal and informal financial sectors become increasingly inhospitable to financiers of terrorism, we have witnessed an increasing reliance by Al Qaida and terrorist groups on cash couriers. The movement of money via cash couriers is now one of the principal methods that terrorists use to move funds.”

    The Congressional Research Service (CRS) has repeatedly highlighted the terrorists’ new financial methods as well. In a December 6, 2002, report, CRS noted that “al Qaeda is relying increasingly on non-bank mechanisms to move and store funds, such as converting assets to untraceable commodities, including gold and diamonds, or moving funds via informal value transfer ['hawala'] systems that leave virtually no paper trail.” In a November 2003 report, CRS further documented these “alternative financing mechanisms” and noted the failure on the part of the government to produce corresponding strategies.

    A December 14, 2003, Washington Post article quoted Comras making a similar point:

    Victor Comras, a former State Department official who helped write the U.N. report, said that, in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist strikes, the United States and other countries effectively froze some terrorist assets, but that the success was largely limited to halting money in the banking system.

    Once al Qaeda understood the weaknesses and loopholes in the sanctions regime, Comras said, “money was quickly moved out of harm’s way” by taking it out of banks and putting it into commodities, such as diamonds and gold, or into front companies.

    “Al Qaeda had assets, and those assets are still around,” Comras said. “They had a number of different ways to handle the problem, and they are using all of them.”

    An October 14, 2005, Economist article also noted the ongoing adaptation on the part of terrorist organizations:

    Indeed, the terrorists have shown an ability to keep changing their money flows. “The bad guys are definitely getting smarter,” says a European expert on financial crime. “The banking system is so well patrolled they’re resorting to more primitive means.” Counter-terror experts say some groups have simply switched to using more cash, slipping across borders undetected. Authorities say they recognise the changing money flows, but cutting them off is no simple matter, particularly in cash-based economies with loose border controls.

    Further, an April 4, 2006, backgrounder on terrorist financing produced by the Council of Foreign Relations highlighted terrorists’ efforts to leave “less of a paper trail”:

    The greatest difficulty is that terrorist networks have stayed aware of governments’ efforts to stymie their activities and adjust their operations accordingly. [Terrorism expert Loretta] Napoleoni says “terrorist financing mutates continuously,” which generally keeps terrorists a step ahead of the authorities.

    Terrorists have increasingly relied on illegal activities, like smuggling or counterfeiting, to generate revenue that is difficult to track through the financial system. Terrorists have also begun to rely more on cash, leaving less of a paper trail. According to Napoleoni, much of the funding for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda organization in Iraq is brought into the country by couriers carrying cash. The July 2005 attacks in London were also funded entirely by cash, which Napoleoni says is untraceable.

    OK, so have at it.

    And thanks MediaMatters.

  4. Ariel Says:

    How could the NYT be for it and now, once found that it had actually been implemented, be against it?

    Oh, wait a minute, it’s an election year….

  5. douglas Says:

    “Y’see, the whole of your position seems to be based upon the premise that terrorists would be too stupid to work out the possibilities for themselves and act accordingly.

    Well, Hambali was a leader and planner, and if he was caught, I guess the particulars weren’t quite so glaringly obvious.

    “I am saying “Open your eyes. The terrorists (the ones that matter, the ones behind the machinery) would have worked out the possibilities and set their financing processes to minimise those risks”. Otherwise, why have there only been one terrorist caught through this process”

    Even if it was “only one”, which you of course cannot possibly know, unless the NYT just leaked again, that one was a major planner responsible for at least 202 deaths. Perhaps that’s not enough for you to justify this program? I could say that makes you a “cheerleader for death”, but that would be crass. You don’t and can’t know how much damage has been done by this revelation, but it was certainly needless, and so why risk it at all? Besides, the NYT on their own editorial page, soon after 9/11, advocated such programs- why then publicize details? Well, some of us have ideas as to why…

  6. J. Peden Says:

    “What does Probligo believe? Is he willing to kill and die for his beliefs?”

    Probligo is not willing to kill, but claims s/he is willing to die in order not to kill, which Probligo thinks is the only thing which makes his/her beliefs good – his/her own death while not defending either him/herself and not defending you or me, or anyone’s child. Probligo is a despicable death worshipper who wants us to die while s/he does not defend us concurrently so that his/her beliefs therefore become “good”. Somehow Probligo thinks this is noble, but it’s a death worship which rivals that of the Islamofascists.

    [I dealt with Probligo's self-serving sanctimony once before on this exact question. Probligo as a slow learner, or else is inherently evil.]

  7. Ymarsakar Says:

    Bill Whittle describes some of the reasons for why people believe in the United States Constitution.

    Link

  8. Ymarsakar Says:

    Two clarifications I want to make. You can’t stop true believers from doing what they believe to be right, other than well, killing them. Therefore Bush nor I have any power over the patriots in the military, we can’t (and won’t) tell them to stay at home and be safe, cuddled and caged like a beautiful bird in a gilded cage. What women once were you know. Ooo, men cared so much for women, that women had no freedoms and no ability to risk themselves in combat as men could.

    Nobody’s going to put the true believers in a cage successfully.

    The second clarification is that because I believe in the Constitution, I could not approve or favor the execution of any President, regardless of my personal wishes. This is the difference those who believe in the Constitution, and those who don’t believe in anything except hate of Bush and America.

    What does Probligo believe? Is he willing to kill and die for his beliefs?

  9. Ymarsakar Says:

    SO, line GWB up and have at it.

    I would, but Bush is too compassionate a guy for me to favor executing. While I disagree with his policies and soft hearted actions that are contributing to America’s downfall, I cannot truly see him as an agent provocateur working in the employ of the enemy nor do I see him as a domestic enemy that threatens the US Constitution. The NYTimes seeks to supplant the legitimacy of the US Constitution, and I believe that execution is a favorable means to eliminate ALL Domestic AND Foreign enemies to the US Constitution. People who want to convince me otherwise, has to show me that there are benefits to life in prisonment that outweight the costs or detriments of execution. I’m a reasonable person, I know not everyone gets everything in all things. Horse trading is endemic because it is necessary.

    Waddaryawaitinfor?

    If New Zealand wants to assassinate the President or kidnap him for war crimes. Go ahead. We’ll be parking 6 to 7 Aircraft Battlegroups near your shores soon enough.

    Try getting off your little island when our submarines are conducting Full Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and when our air cordone has orders to shoot down any and all aircraft, civilian or military, that tries to escape. You think you can grow enough food on that little island to feed everyone for 10 years? If you do, go ahead, kill the President or kidnap him for war crimes. I double dog dare ya. I’m waiting the 2 years until someone more ruthless than Bush gets into office, a chance for America to wage something close to total war. If you get rid of Bush, that’s fortunate, but you’ll be paying the price, not me. So Thanks, and go ahead. Do it.

    he is NOT putting the lives of US servicemen at risk?

    Maybe you didn’t understand this before, when I first said. I’m a believer in the US Constitution, and that means other people who believe in it will risk their lives and kill people to safeguard it. It isn’t about one man or woman, one sergeant or officer. This is bigger than that, than the personal prejudices of “individuals”. Everyone says America’s power comes from “individualism”, and while that is true, it ignores the potent force that accrues when individuals work together for the Greater Good. As powerful as individual Americans are, in terms of hardcore civic virtues ala Flight 93, Americans working in concert as free individuals is a force unseen in the history of the Earth. Neither Germany, the Romans, the Russians, or the Chinese has seen anything like it.

  10. J. Peden Says:

    Would it be too much to imagine that some noble Journalists are actually communicating with the terrorists, other than through their important news stories, etc.? If I was FBI +/- Homeland Security, I’d sure as sh** take the hint. Very realistically, they sound like some form of collaborator to me.

    I’d at least bait them with a fake Islamo. It’d be interesting just to see if they’d turn him in.

  11. Harry Mallory Says:

    Probligo, your behaving like an idiot. Grow up.

    If you are “Whomever”, President of the US and you plan to go to war under a pre announced set of circumstances, you are not announcing to the enemy anything more than what you are doing, not how you are going to do it.

    Having the NYT determine what is considered “vital” national secrets is just asinine.

    If it we’rent for your complete hatred of GWB, you’d understand that. (and probably agree if it were anyone but).

  12. The probligo Says:

    “If, as you all have suggested, “loose lips sink ships” then what are you going to do about the worst in your nation?

    I favor execution, but then that’s just me.”

    SO, line GWB up and have at it. He is the biggest mouth about what the US is going to do next and when, and how. Waddaryawaitinfor?

    Oh, he is allowed to? If Bush announces at one of his press conferences that Iran’s last chance expires at midnight tonight, he is NOT putting the lives of US servicemen at risk? It is what he did before Iraq… “Five…four…getting close…three…I’m gettin impatient…two…I got bombers at Diego Garcia…one…I got missile warships in the Gulf already…half…I’m really powerful ya know…quarter…I’m putting troops into Kuwait…zero…ya ready yet?…this is going to cost me billions ya know that…ya sure?……comin ready or not…”

  13. Ymarsakar Says:


    Now, having said that Sally, you can explain;

    Maybe Proligo is the one that has some explining to do.

    Like I said, get real about it.

    Would not catching Osama Bin laden be real enough? Oh, we knew that they knew that we knew that they knew we were tracking them via their sat phones, so…. that means if we tell them, no harm done. Bull.

    Stumbler, IF I were part of an intelligence organisation I would not be posting here, my own blog, or anywhere else.

    Ignorant. Alpha Geek is part of the Special Forces and he has a blog, he just doesn’t talk about his, you know, real mission.

    These dudes seem to have a rather high opinion of themselves, with no internal introspection routines, and a ridiculous amount of ignorant blindness going on. No wonder the world is a mess.

    If, as you all have suggested, “loose lips sink ships” then what are you going to do about the worst in your nation?

    I favor execution, but then that’s just me. Others favor less extreme methods.

  14. Sally Says:

    Here’s what you said, prob: that broadcasting war plan information to an enemy would NOT — repeat, WOULD NOT — “interfere with the successful prosecution of a war”.

    Let’s just be clear — you’re now withdrawing that statement, then?

  15. stumbley Says:

    “Part of, a large part of surviving in the intelligence field is not being visible.”

    Duh. That’s the whole point, isn’t it? Difficult to be invisible when every aspect of what you’re trying to do is published in the NYT.

    THAT is what we’re talking about. The leaks. Whether or not you believe the program is so well known that terrorists refuse to use wire transfers anymore is beside the point being made here. IF some still do, either through clumsiness, ignorance, or just plain stupidity, the fact remains that most will avoid the process entirely now, thus endangering civilians and military alike.

    Loose lips still do sink ships.

  16. The probligo Says:

    It just occurs to me -

    If, as you all have suggested, “loose lips sink ships” then what are you going to do about the worst in your nation?

    If the US is going to invade Iran, should that fact be published in all of the newspapers and other media including, as Y might note, FoxNews.

    Who is saying the most in public about invading Iran?

    Who is placing your troops at greatest risk as a result?

    Nah. That is not what your talking about is it? That’s the boss talking. Not NYT….

    Hupe!!

  17. The probligo Says:

    “Which means, I guess, that he thinks the release of the exact date, time, place, and other details of an immanent attack, even though it allowed the enemy to prepare for it fully and thereby inflict huge losses on the attackers (or, saying the same thing, the release of details of defenses, allowing the attackers to circumvent them) would somehow still not “interfere with the successful prosection of a war”.

    Now, having said that Sally, you can explain;

    - how knowledge of the fact that there is international agreement on the restriction of international banking transactions in order to control terrorist funding might lead to failure to prosecute a war.

    - how knowledge of the fact that the US (among many other governments) is using every facet of the international finance and banking systems to block and track terrorist funding might lead to “deaths on the battlefield”.

    - why you think that the people behind the machinery of financing terrorism are so dumb that they could not, have not worked this out long before the NYT article.

    Now, if the NYT were to publish an article saying that the US Army, with front line support from the Iraqi army, are going to attack Ramallah on Tuesday 4 July at 0530 hours then I would agree with the contention of this whole discussion 100%. I would agree with you 100%.

    What we are talking about is an article that says -

    1. There is an international agreement to allow access to banking records so that it is possible to track and block the funding of specific terrorist organisations.

    2. The US is using that access for just that purpose.

    To me, that is like saying -

    1. The US attacked Iraq in 2003.

    2. The US has an army that is in Iraq.

    Like I said, get real about it.

    To give you a parallel. One of the so-called “reality tv” programmes hereabouts in NZ is called “the news”. About a year ago, “the news” featured a brief article about Customs finding a large cargo of methamphetamine hidden in a container arriving in Auckland.

    Are you telling me that the fact “the news” published that item would make all of the drug runners trying to bring meth into the country try and find a different way of running their trade?

    Or do you think that the fact one team got caught might make them try and find another method?

    Which is the more likely do you think? Hmmm?

    If you, Probligo, are part of an intelligence organization, you understand…otherwise, you have absolutely nothing but opinion upon which to base your comments. Some who post here know more than we can say.

    Stumbler, IF I were part of an intelligence organisation I would not be posting here, my own blog, or anywhere else. Part of, a large part of surviving in the intelligence field is not being visible. The few that I have met (2 identified to me by Warrant, and 3 by association plus a small number of other suspects) were the most nondesript people you could imagine. James Bond? He would last 5 nimutes if he were lucky. It is only the fiction that allows for a film of 90 minutes… Oh, how did I meet these gentlemen? Three were members of the DPS, and two were seeking information from public records I held.

  18. Weary G Says:

    “And that’s why I say he’s forfeited any claim to be taken seriously, on this, or for that matter, any other topic. That is, until he displays a better understanding of the English language.”

    I agree with you, except I don’t think that any of them are interested in being taken seriously.

  19. Sally Says:

    Here’s the question that I asked:
    is it even possible that the release of some information can compromise the successful prosecution of a war
    (with a little added emphasis to make the point that the question is quite general).

    And here’s prob’s answer: no.

    Which means, I guess, that he thinks the release of the exact date, time, place, and other details of an immanent attack, even though it allowed the enemy to prepare for it fully and thereby inflict huge losses on the attackers (or, saying the same thing, the release of details of defenses, allowing the attackers to circumvent them) would somehow still not “interfere with the successful prosection of a war”.

    And that’s why I say he’s forfeited any claim to be taken seriously, on this, or for that matter, any other topic. That is, until he displays a better understanding of the English language.

  20. stumbley Says:

    “Otherwise, why have there only been one terrorist caught through this process – in 2003, three years before the NYT article, and none since.”

    I say again: one that we know of. You have no idea how many transactions have been foiled, how many operations stopped from lack of funding, how many low- or high-level individuals have been caught in this particular net…because up until now, the details have been SECRET. That’s not too hard to understand, is it?

    If you, Probligo, are part of an intelligence organization, you understand…otherwise, you have absolutely nothing but opinion upon which to base your comments. Some who post here know more than we can say.

  21. Ymarsakar Says:

    They ALL are repetitive; the same stories, the same criticisms, the same ideas, the same false memes, the same Y…

    Same Ys. Ymar, Sakar, and Ymir

    True progressive understanding comes from chaps like Probligo, given that there’s a lot of redundant echoes on these blogs, that Probligo has refered to.

    Otherwise, why have there only been one terrorist caught through this process – in 2003, three years before the NYT article, and none since.

    The lack of understanding, produces this “criminal prosecution” game where you have to catch the criminals. With organized crime and war, it is quite a disaster to use Probligo’s methods.

    He was a NZer. He was a cartoonist. His name was David Low.

    Absolute moral authority, which never comes from the Ys, you know.

  22. confusedforeigner Says:

    Weary said…..

    I give people a couple of exchanges. If they behave like a Troll, I treat them like one and move on.

    Read….when my ‘think’ is exposed as logically unsupportable I go off in a hissy fit. Pathetic.

    Is there anyone in your mindset that can have an argument on the facts alone? Resort to the cheap psychobabble and you lose the argument.

    This ‘story’ is what we call a beat up. Nothing in it but a means to ignore other real stories.

    Transfer money, it comes under scrutiny. No news there.

  23. The probligo Says:

    “The question that’s been put to you, repeatedly, is, first, is it even possible that the release of some information can compromise the successful prosecution of a war”

    No.

    “…frankly, if you answer no, then you really forfeit any claim to be taken seriously on this matter.”

    Why? Be serious, leave out the political claptrap, logic traps, and explain why a public discussion of a “legal” law and how it operates is going to “aid terrorism”.

    Y’see, the whole of your position seems to be based upon the premise that terrorists would be too stupid to work out the possibilities for themselves and act accordingly.

    I am saying “Open your eyes. The terrorists (the ones that matter, the ones behind the machinery) would have worked out the possibilities and set their financing processes to minimise those risks”. Otherwise, why have there only been one terrorist caught through this process – in 2003, three years before the NYT article, and none since.

    Mrswhatsit, it will seem strange to incredulous to you and others here, but I would hope to not make enemies to begin with. That does not in any way imply capitulation – far from it. I would try to achieve that objective through fair dealing, consistency of attitude. The big problem (for me) would be staying as President whilst at the same time dealing with the problems in the Levant. That is not trying to avoid the question, it is trying to find another way of achieving similar objectives.

    “People like prob are hoist by their own petard. Two of their fall back positions are “There is no terrorism problem; it is just a construct of the neocons and the the wingnuts” and “And, anyway, it doesn’t require war, just vigorous criminal prosecution”.

    Yes, there is truth in that. Ever see the movie “The Mouse that Roared”? A hilarious and somewhat appropriate parody of the present WOT. Made in the 1970′s I recall… Highly recommended. Oh, BTW the US surrendered. :-D

    “They are stuck in that recursive loop, repeating the same tired, false memes over and over. “

    Yes, as are the likes of yourselves. Take a look back down this blog, or neo-neocon, or Daily Kos, any of the political blogs big or small. They ALL are repetitive; the same stories, the same criticisms, the same ideas, the same false memes, the same Y…

    Finally, Weary G, it is sad to see you retreat into the last holds of the frightened – that of throwing personal abuse. I might have expected better.

    “Publish secrets vital to the war on terror in the name of freedom of the press?

    Sure!

    Publish cartoons of Mohammed?

    Oh, we can’t do that! It would be insensitive! Plus, those Islamists might hurt us!”

    Do you know who was No 2 on Hitler’s “line ‘em up against a wall”? The one to follow Churchill?

    He was a NZer. He was a cartoonist. His name was David Low.

    There y’go. One exclamation mark and that belonged to Weary…

  24. AmericanWoman Says:

    The NYTimes advertisers are not supermarkets, it is not a local paper or a tabloid.

    Their advertisers are companies like Ford and Mercedes, IBM and Apple, the Sunday Magazine is full of high fasion ads.

    I would hope that some of these companies would pull their advertising and make the Times suffer. Their arrogance knows no bounds.

  25. Ymarsakar Says:

    Regardless of the variation in behaviors, the differences can be traced back to the fundamental philosophy of people.

    Obviously some here have the same beliefs, but the behaviors differ quite significantly. Thus the psychological profile is not the same for one as it is for another.

  26. Weary G Says:

    People like prob are hoist by their own petard. Two of their fall back positions are “There is no terrorism problem; it is just a construct of the neocons and the the wingnuts” and “And, anyway, it doesn’t require war, just vigorous criminal prosecution”. They are stuck in that recursive loop, repeating the same tired, false memes over and over.

    Look, you can come up with all sorts of reasons why certain people refuse to get it. There are indeed many.

    However, please don’t forget this possibility before you drive yourself insane trying to explain it to them; some don’t WANT to get it.

    They are not interested in getting it.

    They are here to taunt you with their boilerplate and half-baked theories because they get off on it. Bashing America and Americans is all the rage, and they love it. Its a hobby for them. Its also alot safer than pissing off the terrorists, something they are afraid to do.

    Publish secrets vital to the war on terror in the name of freedom of the press?

    Sure!

    Publish cartoons of Mohammed?

    Oh, we can’t do that! It would be insensitive! Plus, those Islamists might hurt us!

    You are trying to discuss some serious issues which affect all of us, including them, but they do not care. They are either having fun on the cheap or working on some deep-seated catharsis.

    They remind me of little kids who have no problem taunting the family dog who they know won’t bite them, but who freak out when they find a bug crawling on them.

    It becomes pretty easy to spot the people who are interested in a real discussion, and those you are just looking for a fight. Figure out who is who and kick the latter to the curb; i.e., ignore them.

    I give people a couple of exchanges. If they behave like a Troll, I treat them like one and move on.

  27. Senescent Wasp Says:

    People like prob are hoist by their own petard. Two of their fall back positions are “There is no terrorism problem; it is just a construct of the neocons and the the wingnuts” and “And, anyway, it doesn’t require war, just vigorous criminal prosecution”. They are stuck in that recursive loop, repeating the same tired, false memes over and over.

    Think of it like lines of defense. When one collapses, retreat to the next. They will do almost anything rather than admit that finally, when all is said and done, in their pantheon of beliefs, the US is evil and deserves anything it gets.

    This is why they have every past “evil” deed the US has done at their fingertips; Vicennes,Mai Lai, ad infinitum. Even the altruistic acts, Marshall Plan, Tsunami Aid, are hedged and qualified. In their minds, the US is evil and since they are collectivists, they will assign collective responsibility.

    Left/liberalism is a belief system just like any religion, with its ultimately metaphysical beliefs that are beyond logical debate and which depend upon faith. It is hopeless to try to argue with the committed.

    The more intelligent, questioning and flexible minds, like Neo’s will eventually break free. And, as long as they don’t commit overtly illegal acts, the balance can be ignored while we work on the rest of the public, drugged by media and a soft life.

    When the press and the rest of the media begin to don the priestly robes of their religion and cross over the line, depending on their clerical collars to protect them from the consequences of their actions, action will be taken.

    Mind Puzzle: Talk to a spectrum of contemporary Christians about “original sin” and you will find a broad spectrum of interpretations from dismissal to the kind of rabid advocacy of fanaticism.

    Same with Left/Liberalism. But, what is, for them, original sin?

    If in “Adam’s fall, we sinned all.” could the corollary be, “In Marx’s fall they sinned all. And, the bastards are going to pay!”

    In this light, their rage is understandable since the US has become the vessel of sin, the temple of the sin of Mammon, and must be pulled down.

    Ann Counter is right.

  28. eatyourbeans Says:

    A semi-hypothetical question:
    If the govt can’t or won’t deal with this scum, how many of you would be deeply afflicted if some loner did the job for them? Be honest.

    Constitutionally speaking, wouldn’t this be the no-fuss, no mess solution?

    It preserves the sanctity of the press’s freedom, it doesn’t open any doors to government encroachments, and, above all, it would shut up MSM copycat traitors.

    As the Muslim cartoon episode so eloquently showed, when push comes to shove our heroic press is strongly motivated to keep their heads.

  29. Ymarsakar Says:

    How would you prevent this?

    Probligo is thinking “it isn’t my fault, I didn’t do nothing, it was you neo-cons and Bush in office that had the power”.

    This isn’t speculation, this is proven human nature. Those who lobbied for Vietnam to be left alone, said afterwards that the “slaughter wasn’t our fault, it would have happened anyways”. Self-rationalization is the fruit of human labors.

  30. bigdaddybean Says:

    When it comes to “our” national security in the current world atmosphere … I would hope that all parties involved would err on the side of caution to protect our national security.

    One thing I know for sure is that the recent leaks released by the press is not what I would consider erring on the side of caution. I surely don’t feel anymore secure by this info being made to the world.

  31. MrsWhatsit Says:

    Probligo, just imagine for a moment that you are the person entrusted with the security of this country. Could you do it, while prevented from keeping anything confidential? How?? Maybe if you spend a little bit of time imagining what your task would be like if you were the one responsible for safeguarding the lives and freedom of 300 million men, women, and children, and were being expected to do it while unable to be sure that you could undertake any plan or policy without seeing it in the headlines tomorrow, this problem might take on a slightly different dimension for you.

    Bear in mind that when the next attack comes, the NYT will be among the first to shriek blame at those who fail to prevent it. Imagine that it is shrieking at you, after having disclosed your plans and programs into futility. How would you prevent this?

  32. Weary G Says:

    Weary G asked Probligo:

    “Do you think that the press should be able to leak classified information of a legal program; information that would aid terrorists in their activities?

    Does ANY government have the right to keep secrets from their declared enemies or not? Did the Allies have the right to keep things out of the press during the Second World War, or should the fact that the Ultra machine existed been blazoned across the front page of the London Times?”

    Probligo answered (his bold which I assumed indicates it is a definitive statement):

    The only limitation should be that the information disclosed must not prevent a successful prosecution of a crime.

    So, Probligo believes that the press can reveal any information it wants to the enemy, to terrorists, as long as it does not interfere with a court case.

    He also believes the press should have revealed all secrets of the Allies to the Axis, as long as there was court case involved.

    Thank you for letting us know where you stand.

  33. strcpy Says:

    I generally call this the “sys admin syndrome”. I call it that because it is the area of expertiese I have, it is neither new or only there.

    Essentially any job that, by definition, if done perfectly will never be seen goes through fairly short cycles of Most Important to Irrelevant (capitals are intentional). When they work well everything just works – out of sight out of mind.

    But, too often, to get to that point, intrusions into our life must be made. Work at a highly hacked place? Need one-time-pad password stored on a Flash keychain? That sucks (well, until everything is hacked, years worth of work is stolen and then deleted, and it takes the next 2 months to get back to the point you are now – then IT blows and needs fired even though thier policies are not enforced and would have prevented it). After that a few months of diligence then back to the grumbling and ignoring.

    It’s life if you want to operate in that area. It always has been, always will be. The ones who think that it’s all a waste will do so regardless of what you say or what happens, and they are the same ones who cycle through it time after time. It’s an easy lifestyle – after all your never are the one responsable.

    When these programs are curtailed and a major attack occurs none – absolutely none – will admit it. It will all be blamed on someone else. At least externally, internally there will be but a moment of pause then a vehement reaction we see today. It’s just easier for some to live that way, plus being an easier lifestyle it will be generally adopted. Many new neo-cons are seeing happen for the first time, long time conservatives are relatively used to it.

  34. Harry Mallory Says:

    neo neocon:
    “The press has long seen itself as a watchdog protecting the people.

    Im not sure where I got the link to this before, It might have even been from here.

    Its to a piece by Greg Mitchell, editor of the influential trade magazine Editor & Publisher, arguing that the media elites should do everything possible to stop any military action against the “trumped up threat” of Iran:

    Will Press Put Out Fire on Iran?
    http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/columns/pressingissues_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1002343990

    Mitchell writes:
    (April 13, 2006) — If you have watched any baseball at all, even the occasional World Series game, you are probably familiar with the concept of the bullpen ace getting a chance for “redemption.” That is, he can blow a game one night and come back the next in the ninth inning and save the day, or even the season. Announcers always say, “he got a chance to redeem himself.”

    Newspapers may be in the role of bullpen stopper right now, with the current Iran “semi-crisis.” In baseball lingo, they should try to “put out the fire” there, after losing one for the home team in Iraq three years ago.

    To those who would say that this inflates the power or even role of the press in America today, I would reply: You don’t expect the Democrats to keep us out of war, do you? Just as they would not stand up to the president on Iraq for fear of appearing “weak on terror,” they would likely be wary of appearing “weak on the Tehran Bomb.” Let’s face it: All the Democrats want to do right now is stagger through to November with an unpopular president in office, and hope that, maybe, they can re-take at least one house of Congress — without having to stick their necks out.”

    No media bias there huh?

  35. Scott Says:

    Only problem with these theories is that we all know if a Clinton was in the office of president it would be a whole nuther story.

  36. Synova Says:

    You people are better than me by far because I’m way past the point of frustrated abandonment of… argh! And I’m *good* at this… I tend to find resident disagreers (for lack of a better term) interesting and fun to engage and tend to have no problem being patient and…

    I don’t think it is because it’s late a night but all I can think of is the word “disconnected”.

  37. neoneoconned Says:

    reading the childish comments above in response to probligo makes me wonder who the “trolls” are.

    …thing is neo much as you despise the MSM – this left wing cabal running the US media, it is subject to a level of scrutiny that your blog and the many others like it are not.

    If you think US media is left wing what the hell do you think of the european media – which has a much wider range of published views.

    What you probably want for the media is all the “trolls” to be stopped there as well. Your tendency is to demand an end to views opposing yours wherever you may find them.

    You feel a god given right to publish your tawdry right wing views without criticism while the “MSM” ahs to face real public reaction.

    …so who is more likely to reach the truth.

    Right Wing Planet Blog?

    or a free press in which debate and criticism exist?

    …..I bet you think it is Planet Blog

    so it goes

    O, wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as others see us!
    It wad frae monie a blunder free us
    An’ foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an’ gait wad lea’e us,
    And ev’n Devotion!

    Robert Burns

  38. Ymarsakar Says:

    Paranoia reigns supreme!!

    America loves guns and self-defense.

    Why is it serious?

    It is the New York TImes, how can it be not?

    Because the supreme promoter of all freedoms is talking itself into a corner that has not been occupied since the 1930′s.

    Supreme promoter of all freedoms, eh? Does that mean New Zealand is now going to adopt American self-defense laws and gun armaments now? Or is America the supreme promoter of only the things that Probligo wishes us to promote, for him?

    That is scarey sh!t indeed!!

    Peeps without 2nd Ammendnet, yes must be scary.

    Why is this serious? Because a goodly portion of the people of the supreme promotor of all freedoms are themselves suggesting that some of those precious freedoms are a risk rather than a boon, and should be removed.

    Did you guys bring back the guns or did you remove them? Some people can’t even understand that other people have different points of views.

    Why is it laughable? You should hear yourselves!

    You can hear yourself, just record your voice.

    Synova – why are you not campaigning to have radar detectors banned. BTW do you own one? I don’t.

    Since we’re campaigning to restrict the NYTimes, and you aren’t, I guess you are such an enlightened non-paranoid person of obviously good mental health and progressive credentials

  39. Sally Says:

    Prob, you’re hyperventialating again. Get out a paper bag, breathe into it, and count to a hundred. Then see if you can reduce the number of exclamation marks.

    The question that’s been put to you, repeatedly, is, first, is it even possible that the release of some information can compromise the successful prosecution of a war. That’s not that hard a question or a concept — abstracted from the particular information under discussion, you really ought to be able to anwser that with a simple yes or no. And, frankly, if you answer no, then you really forfeit any claim to be taken seriously on this matter.

    Let’s therefore assume that you answer yes. The the second question then is, who should determine what information compromises the war effort, and endangers one’s own troops? Any media outlet? Elite media outlets? Or the agencies of a democratically elected administration, as overseen by the agencies and committees of a democratically elected legislature? Hmm?

    Once you’ve got your breath back, why not just try answering those questions? You might be surprised at the amount of agreement. Or, alternatively, we might all be illuminated as to the nature and extent of our disagreements. Either way, we might all learn something.

  40. The probligo Says:

    Paranoia reigns supreme!!

    If this were not so damned serious, it would be hilarious!

    Why is it serious? Because the supreme promoter of all freedoms is talking itself into a corner that has not been occupied since the 1930′s. That is scarey sh!t indeed!! See my earlier response to Y.

    Why is this serious? Because a goodly portion of the people of the supreme promotor of all freedoms are themselves suggesting that some of those precious freedoms are a risk rather than a boon, and should be removed.

    Why is it laughable? You should hear yourselves! Talk about hens in the chicken run with the fox inside and the chicken-hawks outside!! :-D :-D

    Synova – why are you not campaigning to have radar detectors banned. BTW do you own one? I don’t.

  41. Synova Says:

    There are frequently cops parked with radar guns along a six mile stretch of road I travel frequently.

    I see them all the time. I know they are trying to catch people speeding.

    But I don’t know when, or exactly where. I don’t know their plans or details ahead of time.

    OBVIOUSLY, knowing the details would make no difference whatsoever to their ability to catch lawbreakers. Everyone already *knows* anyhow, right? Somehow they still pull people over… I see that all the time too.

    Would that change if the Albuquerque Journal published their schedule?

  42. Ymarsakar Says:

    Do you really think that they would be that stupid they need the NYT tell them they might be under investigation??

    Probligo still doesn’t get it, does he. There is a big difference between someone suspecting and someone knowing. I can suspect the enemy will attack me in the next 24 hours, which is totally different than knowing he will attack in a certain place and time. Why? Because I can ambush him, or slip his envelopment strategy, or do all kinds of things based upon this certainty of intel.

    Get up to date with the cloak and daggers stuff, Prob, this ain’t New Zealand you know.

    I guess Prob is now arguing the rag heads are so smart it doesn’t matter if they get any help from the NYTimes. A weird argument to say the least.

  43. The probligo Says:

    “Do you think that the press should be able to leak classified information of a legal program; information that would aid terrorists in their activities? “

    The only limitation should be that the information disclosed must not prevent a successful prosecution of a crime.

    As for the publication “aiding terrorists” for goodness sake give it a break!!

    How do you reach the conclusion that an article such as the NYT published (and yes, I have read it) WOULD assist terrorists?

    Do you really think that they would be that stupid they need the NYT tell them they might be under investigation??

    This is not the IRA touting for $5 contributions from the Catholic Churches of New York.

    You are talking (as no doubt you know) about brilliant minds, good lawyers, people who know banking systems… these are NOT the desert rag-heads that your propaganda tries to get you thinking of. Imagining that they are not aware of the rules, not aware of the international agreements, not aware of the potential and probability of investigation is not your fault. It is just the wonderland that you live in.

    “And by the way, the program is not just meant to catch terrorists in the act, but is meant to shut down their sources of funding so they have trouble launching attacks in the first place.”

    Yes, exactly what the NZ law does as well. Is it a secret?

    NO!! And why should it be?

  44. Ymarsakar Says:

    By the way, the fact that Probligo thinks this bank tracing program is so “perfect” (in the ultra socialist utopian way) that it doesn’t matter if terroists switch to another Method, represents an utter and most amazing ignorance and wishful thinking about how the war on terror is and should be fought.

    They’re underestimating the terroists, and placing their focus on big bad America the most Supreme, again.

  45. Ymarsakar Says:

    Keller belives you have the right to know because he thinks we live in a “democracy”, which obviously the Democrats are the most expert in instituting the New World Order.

    Bookworm’s link about it

  46. David Holliday Says:

    I so totally agree with The Probligo. I mean WTF is the problem? We know all this stuff exists so why not tell all? I mean we have satellites too? I saw The Falcon and the Snowman. They can take pictures and all sorts of stuff. Right? Hell, why are we acting like there are any secrets there? Out with it all. I want to know all the details. Come on. My rights are being violated and I’m mad. Give me some luv’in NY Times. Keller, please save us some more.

    Ok… yah I’m joking. Just highlighting that BDS has hit once again. Someone who is probably otherwise rational in real life has gone nutzoid when faced with the possibility that the Bush Administration might be right about something. Maybe someday there will be a cure. We can put in a request to the Gates Foundation for more research.

  47. Weary G Says:

    Probligo,

    I’m sorry, what was your point again? It seems you are just throwing out tangental issues.

    Let me ask you directly.

    Do you think that the press should be able to leak classified information of a legal program; information that would aid terrorists in their activities?

    Don’t quote me NZ law, or tell me about your latest airport experience.

    Does ANY government have the right to keep secrets from their declared enemies or not? Did the Allies have the right to keep things out of the press during the Second World War, or should the fact that the Ultra machine existed been blazoned across the front page of the London Times?

    If you can’t answer those questions directly, then you are not really interested in answering anything, but are obviously just here to rant.

    And by the way, the program is not just meant to catch terrorists in the act, but is meant to shut down their sources of funding so they have trouble launching attacks in the first place.

    AND, the danger is not just to US servicemen. Its to civilians around the world. Remember Bali? How many Aussies died in that little stunt? Exposing the program makes it harder for authorities to track the kind of bastards that pull that stuff off. I am sorry if I cannot understand why you don’t understand the problem here. It seems to me that you don’t want to get it.

  48. Dale St. Clair Says:

    Laws have clearly been broken – by the leakers if not by the NYT. Yes, treasonous reporters and editors may in effect possess a practical immunity but they are not immune to questions about their dealings with lawbreakers, as recent events have illustrated. It is the one chink in their armor that even now they are working to repair. A slight twist on Barone’s idea: Why doesn’t Congress appoint an independent Special Prosecutor to investigate all obviously illegal leaks clearly involving national security and prosecute the law-breakers? As with Fitzpatrick, carte blanche, unlimited funds and unlimited time could be granted. President Bush and the Justice Department shouldn’t be burdened with this badly needed task.

  49. Senescent Wasp Says:

    Arrests are not always the point of CI work. It’s one thing to spray the ants in the kitchen and another to find and destroy the whole nest. Patience is a virtue in CI.

    Rhetorical question that doesn’t need answering. Could a poster in this thread be establishing his bona fides in anticipation of the “death” of a sock puppet?

  50. stumbley Says:

    Thus far it has led to the capture of one person in South East Asia.

    …that we know of. Remember, most details of the program are—or were—SECRET. Your comment is disingenuous, at best.

  51. stumbley Says:

    Probligo:

    I believe that similar laws exist in the U.S. as to the transfer of monies to foreign entities, for instance in the sale of property. We are required to indicate whether or not a real estate transaction involves a foreign entity.

    Not having complete information about the SWIFT program (it was, after all, confidential and classified) I’m not sure how it compares with the NZ law that you cite.

    The problem, as others have stated here, is that the NYT took it upon itself to publicize a program that had been deemed important enough to classify, citing the “public’s right to know.” To know what, exactly? The program was legal. The proper individuals in Congress had been briefed. The only persons unaware of the program who should not have been aware of the program were terrorists. Now they’re aware, and that puts civilians and soldiers in danger.

    That should be clear enough, even for you.

  52. The probligo Says:

    Hmm, very effective programme too that NYT disclosed… Thus far it has led to the capture of one person in South East Asia. And that was in 2003. See John Snow quote toward the bottom.

    Tell me, anyone here travelled overseas in recent times?

    If you have, were you asked if you were carrying currency; over $50,000 for example?

    That is Method “A”.

    Now, how many American servicemen have I killed?

  53. Sally Says:

    The prob: I say again….

    Maybe you’d better say it again, prob, louder. In fact, maybe you should stay after school and write it on the board a few thousand times.

    To anybody else who might be a bit confused as to the issue (or “problem” as prob likes to call it) — it concerns, of course, the media providing terrorists with information that they don’t already have, and that would be useful to them in evading capture, or in advancing their plots. Which, obviously, is the issue with the whole concept of “classified” information.

    The question itself is: can or should any particular media outlet decide on its own to effectively “declassify” classified information that it’s somehow managed to get its hands on? Or should it be subject to criminal penalties for doing so? You could certainly say that a government should not use the classification of information as a means of preventing legitimate scrutiny and criticism — but not want to say that any particular media outlet should be able to set itself up as the arbiter of what might or might not compromise the successful prosecution of a war.

  54. confusedforeigner Says:

    The problem is that the neocon network is trying to detract from the (real) news story that a senior CIA station chief has publicly stated that he told the White House that the Iraqi nuclear acquistion story was a fabrication prior to Powell citing it at the UN General Assembly.

    Just confirming what everyone knows but it hasn’t come from such a high level source before and directly shows the Bush machine to have lied.

    Should there be a law against the MSM for proving cheating, connivance and conspiracy amongst republicans?

  55. PSGInfinity Says:

    Another legal option would be to invoke RICO, that wonderful Reagan-era blunderbus that sdaly, was reined in some time ago.

    But, if yuou string enough similar illegal acts together, along with proof of a wide-ranging conspiracy, and tie in the rest of the employees cheering the conspirators on, might’nt you have a chance?

    And if we succeed, it’s an automatic death penalty for the Times…

  56. confusedforeigner Says:

    stumbley said…
    Say, how’d your hairdressers do against Italy, anyhow?

    5:05 PM, June 26, 2006

    We wuz robbed. Robbed I tells ya!!

    Twas fun while it lasted. :-)

  57. The probligo Says:

    “For example, when the press tells the world that the US is looking into bank accounts using method B, you’d have us believe the terroists are so stupid he’d then say “Okay, let’s continue using Method B”.

    Y, are you saying that your intelligence services, police whatever, are too DUMB? That they have not worked out methods “A” “C” “D” and “E” already? You don’t give them much credit, huh!

    I say again -

    WTF IS THE PROBLEM HERE!!??!!

  58. Ymarsakar Says:

    It places troops in danger?

    Is probligo trying tell everyone here he doesn’t understand what US national security is and means and how it can be affected?

    For example, when the press tells the world that the US is looking into bank accounts using method B, you’d have us believe the terroists are so stupid he’d then say “Okay, let’s continue using Method B”.

    People who don’t know how the Spy and Dagger game works, should be enlightened as to what actually goes on with enemies face to face in the information war. Our side tries to keep our secrets from the enemy, and we do so using two methods. Disinformation and secrecy. Disinformation provides the enemy with false information, so that the enemy cannot tell what is true from what is false. So even if someone leaked them a top secret plan that we are using to invade Syria, they can’t believe since they already had in the past gotten 500 plans to invade Syria, Iran, AND Turkey. Disinformation, thus, is basically white noise. Secrecy, is obvious. Keeping. Your. Lips. Shut.

    Now, what terroist is going to read the NYTimes and say to themselves, “hrm, maybe we should not believe the Times is telling the truth, maybe they are trying to trick us”? Nobody, no terroist. Every terroist knows that when the Times reports something that the terroists can use, that this is true information.

    There is no doubt in the mind of terroists. While there is doubt, a lot of doubt, in the minds of the people who made up this programs and who attempt to try and keep them secret. They doubt when and where it will be leaked, they have doubts about who will leak them. Therefore the Times gives good guys a lot of doubt and gives to the enemy, no doubt. Whose side is the Times on then, in considering national security issues?

    The problem with Probligo is that this ain’t New Zealand, the land of the *fill in the blank*.

  59. The probligo Says:

    I posted this over at “Allthingsbeautiful”. It is appropriate here as well…

    __________________________________
    Please, can I get this straight?

    The US government is investigating the financing of terrorism.

    The NYT publishes a story to that effect.

    It places troops in danger?

    OK. Here is what has been done in NZ…
    Report to the Counter-Terrorism Committee – Pursuant to paragraph 6 of Security Council Resolution 1373
    Resolution 1373 Dec 2001, New Zealand

    Introduction
    United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373 of 28 September 2001 provides an important framework for the international response to the terrorist attacks. New Zealand is contributing to international efforts across the full range of diplomatic, legal, financial, humanitarian, intelligence and military activities. New Zealand is fully committed to cooperating with the United Nations, its Member States and particularly with the Counter-Terrorism Committee established by the Security Council pursuant to Resolution 1373 to combat international terrorism.

    Legislation
    The Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill was introduced to the New Zealand Parliament early in 2001 for the purpose of implementing into New Zealand law the International Convention on the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings (‘the Terrorist Bombings Convention’) and the International Convention on the Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism (‘the Terrorist Financing Convention’). Since September, amendments have been drafted to also incorporate the terrorist financing obligations in Resolution 1373. These amendments rename the Bill the ‘Terrorist Suppression Bill’, which the New Zealand Parliament intends to pass by April 2002. The text of the amendments can be found in the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee’s interim report on the Bill, which is available on Parliamentary internet [external link to Parliamentary website]. (Note: PDF is 52 pages).

    At the time Resolution 1373 was adopted, the Terrorism (Bombings and Financing) Bill was in its final stages of the Parliamentary select committee process. In New Zealand most bills are referred to a select committee for consideration after their first reading. Select committees usually call for and hear public submissions on bills, and can then recommend amendments be made. In this case the unusual step has been taken of adding a raft of substantive new provisions to the Bill while it is before the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee to implement the financing provisions of Resolution 1373. The Bill was considered to be an appropriate vehicle to make the necessary changes as it already deals with the obligations from the Financing Convention. However, because the changes are so substantive, in effect, doubling the size of the Bill, the Committee decided to allow a further opportunity for public submissions. A large number of individuals and groups have made submissions, most of which suggest changes be made to the Bill. The Committee is due to report back to Parliament by 8 March 2002 and is likely to propose a number of amendments.


    Operative paragraph 1
    New Zealand will be in full compliance with the financing-related elements of Resolution 1373 once the Terrorism Suppression Bill is passed into law. In the interim, New Zealand has implemented its obligations by passing regulations under the United Nations Act. The United Nations Sanctions (Terrorism Suppression and Afghanistan Measures) Regulations 2001 (‘Terrorism Regulations’) entered into force on 1 December 2001, and will expire on 30 June 2002, by which time the Terrorism Suppression Bill will have become law.

    The regulations create a number of offences which are described below. However, the maximum penalty available for offences created by regulations under the United Nations Act are punishable by a maximum of one year imprisonment or a NZ$100 000 fine. The Terrorism Suppression Bill will create offences that have higher penalties. These are detailed below.

    Sub-paragraph (a) – What measures if any have been taken to prevent and suppress the financing of terrorist acts in addition to those listed in your responses to questions on 1(b) to (d).

    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand [external link] has written to financial institutions in New Zealand reminding them of their obligations under United Nations Act Regulations. The text of the initial letter sent on 25 September 2001 is attached as an annex to this report. Letters have also been sent to those institutions bringing to their attention Executive Orders issued by the United States. Copies of all the letters and notices can be found on the Bank’s internet site.

    New Zealand is a member of the Financial Action Task Force and actively supported the extension of its mandate to include the suppression of the financing of terrorism. Once the Terrorism Suppression Bill has entered into force, New Zealand will be in compliance with most of the Special Recommendations on Terrorist Financing issued by the Task Force. New Zealand is also a member of the regional Financial Action Task Force-style body, the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering.

    Sub-paragraph (b) – What are the offences and penalties in your country with respect to the activities listed in this sub-paragraph?

    Terrorism Regulations
    The Terrorism Regulations make it an offence to provide or collect funds, directly or indirectly, wilfully and without lawful justification or reasonable excuse, intending that they be used, in full or in part, by an entity specified in the schedule to the Regulations. At present the schedule lists the Taliban and associated entities, and Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda associated entities designated by the United Nations Committee on Afghanistan (i.e. all those specified in the lists of 8 March, 8 October, 19 October, 9 November and 26 November). If the United Nations issues new lists during the life of the Regulations they will be caught automatically. The Government can also extend the regulations to individuals or entities not designated by the United Nations.


    Annex 25 September 2001
    To: All financial institutions operating in New Zealand

    United Nations Sanctions Regulations

    1. It is the responsibility of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand to administer the financial aspects of the United Nations Sanctions Regulations in New Zealand.

    2. As you will be aware, the Government has made regulations that prohibit economic contacts with particular states in order to uphold resolutions of the United Nations Security Council. Attached to this letter is an updated table to inform you of the current status of financial aspects of New Zealand’s United Nations sanctions regulations. We remind you of the need for vigilance and caution in relation to any transactions that may potentially be subject to the prohibitions in the regulations.

    3. In light of recent world events, I draw your attention to the financial regulations involving Afghanistan, which came into force on 16 March 2001. The effect of these regulations is included in the attached table.

    4. Moreover, while we do not expect that there will be any known assets of terrorists held within New Zealand financial institutions, please ensure you notify the Reserve Bank if your institution becomes aware of any such assets.

    5. Further, your vigilance may trigger you to suspect that a transaction is relevant to the investigation or prosecution of any person for money laundering or to the enforcement of the Proceeds of Crime Act 1991. I remind you that, in those circumstances, you must report your suspicion to the Financial Intelligence Unit within the New Zealand Police. In addition, in case you are not already aware, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has published a list of jurisdictions whose regulatory frameworks have been assessed as potentially facilitating money laundering. The FATF pronouncements on these “Non-Cooperative Countries and Territories” [external link to FATF website] is available.

    The FATF recommends that financial institutions give special attention to business relations and transactions with persons from the non-cooperative countries and territories it lists, taking into account the particular weaknesses identified in the relevant FATF report. Giving special attention to transactions to or from such jurisdictions may also help your organisation to minimise any risk of it breaching, inadvertently, the United Nations sanctions regulations.

    Now, that law in NZ is applied and functions in the light of day. Transfer USD10,000 to an account in the US, and the bank will tell you “We may be required to disclose this transaction. What is the purpose of the transaction?”

    Having disclosed all of that, how many more US servicemen will you blame me for having killed?

    Do you know what Executive Orders have been issued by the US Government? NO? Why not?
    WTF is the problem!!!???!!!

  60. stumbley Says:

    I know, chum in the water. My bad.

  61. Ymarsakar Says:

    Say, how’d your hairdressers do against Italy, anyhow?

    Just say no.

    No. Or

    Yes.

  62. Ymarsakar Says:

    The question is, is it going to solve anything if you get rid of the leakers? How can you even be sure the NYTimes gave you the entire list of their sources? Wouldn’t they be committing suicide if they gave up their sources?

    Pressure must be brought on the times, that pressure is in the form of the Administration cutting off their press access. You want to negotiate with the times and get the names of those who leaked the stuff? Then you need Leverage.

    You know what leverage is, right?

  63. stumbley Says:

    Say, how’d your hairdressers do against Italy, anyhow?

  64. confusedforeigner Says:

    stumbley said…
    In addition to cancelling your subscription (if any), consider finding out who the largest advertisers in the NYT and LAT are (typically supermarkets), and inform the advertisers that you will no longer support them if they continue to support the NYT and the LAT.

    As long as these people continue to sell papers (and by extension, advertising), they will consider themselves safe. Take away the advertising dollars and they become nothing more than cage liners.

    4:39 PM, June 26, 2006

    Uncle Rupert sends his thanks, and sincerely hopes you’ll follow his lead when it becomes more profitable to support a different clique when the time comes, as surely it will.

    Bunch of bloody mercenaries us Aussies aren’t we?

  65. Ymarsakar Says:

    The administration could attempt to freeze the NYTimes finances through the IRS, but the more legitimate and solid paths take a long time. While the more effective solutions take less time, but are quite arbitrary and subject to challenge.

  66. stumbley Says:

    In addition to cancelling your subscription (if any), consider finding out who the largest advertisers in the NYT and LAT are (typically supermarkets), and inform the advertisers that you will no longer support them if they continue to support the NYT and the LAT.

    As long as these people continue to sell papers (and by extension, advertising), they will consider themselves safe. Take away the advertising dollars and they become nothing more than cage liners.

  67. Weary G Says:

    The press is just another power player in the game, with its own vested interests..

    This is a vital, vital point. The press imagines itself as some sort of campaigner for the poor and oppressed against the powerful; as some sort of champion of the little guy against the oligarchy.

    What they seem not realize (or are loathe to admit) is that they are one of the powerful and they have often been wielding that power as an oligarchy would. The little guy is, or was before the expansion of media outlets, at the mercy of this power player which has, buffy says, has its own vested interests.

    Think about it. Prior to alternative media, when the press went after you for whatever reason, what could you do? To whom could you turn for reprieve if a media bigshot or a major newspaper decided to put you in their crosshairs?

    Your name could be splashed all over their front pages in connection to some accusation of wrongdoing. When you are later proven innocent, good luck on getting them to put as much effort in clearing your name, if they try at all.

    The press wants to wield power without any responsibility, and that is the mark of someone who is both immature and a tyrant.

  68. Buffy Says:

    It is infuriating that the press claims freedoms that it would deny ordinary people if it could. All in the name of constitutionality! Arrogant, vulgar, disloyal jerks.

    The press is just another power player in the game, with its own vested interests. Most of the MSM has loyalties and connections to the Democratic Party. All the objectivity of Howard Dean along with the high mindedness of Cynthia McKinney. In other words, junkyard dogs.

  69. Robin Says:

    I think the NYT is seeking relevency in a world where they are becoming incresingly irrelevant. Like children needing attention, their behavior becomes more outrageous as they look for new ways to be validated. What to do? We need to boycott their advertisers.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>



About Me

Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
Read More >>








Blogroll

Ace (bold)
AmericanDigest (writer’s digest)
AmericanThinker (thought full)
Anchoress (first things first)
AnnAlthouse (more than law)
AtlasShrugs (fearless)
AugeanStables (historian’s task)
Baldilocks (outspoken)
Barcepundit (theBrainInSpain)
Beldar (Texas lawman)
BelmontClub (deep thoughts)
Betsy’sPage (teach)
Bookworm (writingReader)
Breitbart (big)
ChicagoBoyz (boyz will be)
Contentions (CommentaryBlog)
DanielInVenezuela (against tyranny)
DeanEsmay (conservative liberal)
Donklephant (political chimera)
Dr.Helen (rights of man)
Dr.Sanity (thinking shrink)
DreamsToLightening (Asher)
EdDriscoll (market liberal)
Fausta’sBlog (opinionated)
GayPatriot (self-explanatory)
HadEnoughTherapy? (yep)
HotAir (a roomful)
InFromTheCold (once a spook)
InstaPundit (the hub)
JawaReport (the doctor is Rusty)
LegalInsurrection (law prof)
RedState (conservative)
Maggie’sFarm (centrist commune)
MelaniePhillips (formidable)
MerylYourish (centrist)
MichaelTotten (globetrotter)
MichaelYon (War Zones)
Michelle Malkin (clarion pen)
Michelle Obama's Mirror (reflections)
MudvilleGazette (milblog central)
NoPasaran! (behind French facade)
NormanGeras (principled leftist)
OneCosmos (Gagdad Bob’s blog)
PJMedia (comprehensive)
PointOfNoReturn (Jewish refugees)
Powerline (foursight)
ProteinWisdom (wiseguy)
QandO (neolibertarian)
RachelLucas (in Italy)
RogerL.Simon (PJ guy)
SecondDraft (be the judge)
SeekerBlog (inquiring minds)
SisterToldjah (she said)
Sisu (commentary plus cats)
Spengler (Goldman)
TheDoctorIsIn (indeed)
Tigerhawk (eclectic talk)
VictorDavisHanson (prof)
Vodkapundit (drinker-thinker)
Volokh (lawblog)
Zombie (alive)

Regent Badge