June 28th, 2006

Inside the mind of the Times

Cassandra at Tigerhawk speculates on how the NY Times, in its infinite wisdom, decides for us what is newsworthy and what is not.

15 Responses to “Inside the mind of the Times”

  1. Ariel Says:

    “oh squariel grow up and live with the idea some people think differently from you…..try arguing back instead of whining”

    You need a dose of your own medicine, I have grown up and do know people think differently, you exhibit what you claim others do. I was remarking to that childish 1st post of yours.

  2. OBloodyHell Says:

    > Inside the mind of the Times

    MINDS???

    MINDS???

    Weeee don’ neeeeed no steeeeenkin’ MINDS!!!!

  3. Ariel Says:

    probligo,

    Next time, just provide the links, with brief quotes or concise summaries. People tend to just scroll if its too long. You end up not making your point.

    Enjoy your beautiful country.

  4. The probligo Says:

    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.

  5. Senescent Wasp Says:

    Trying to protect prob, who owns at least one sock puppet identity.

  6. Sally Says:

    No, no, prob’s a troll, and charlie too.
    Ariel’s NOT lying — why are you?

  7. confusedforeigner Says:

    Well, I hope you’ll all enjoy arguing with the luminaries like the probligo.

    I guess he’s about as much of a challenge as you’re up to. Anyone above that level is a troll I suppose.

  8. confusedforeigner Says:

    Yamisuchaneeejit wrote….

    Total BS< the enemy has no problem with interfering with the legal investigations in illegal means. And Bush freaking won't do anything because it will be "improper" meaning it is against his principles?

    No, it means that it would be illegal. Jeeez I thought you were defending your constitution you numbnuts. Seperation of powers ring any bells?

    Christ on a stick you lot are thick.

    (See, I like poetry too :-) )

    BTW Ariel, any thoughts on an apology for lying about the Iran Air thingy????

    No balls. No intellect. No sense of humour. No nothing. Dull grey man.

  9. Ymarsakar Says:

    Watching snow with o’reilly. Same old rope a dope by Bush. “I can’t do anything because it would be improper to abuse the power of the Presidency to do something totally legal about prosecuting someone”. it is like what RUmsfield said about military investigations, can’t comment.

    Total BS< the enemy has no problem with interfering with the legal investigations in illegal means. And Bush freaking won't do anything because it will be "improper" meaning it is against his principles?

    Total BS. The Left and the terroists are so so lucky Bush is the President. My kind of President would have eviscerated both of them already.

  10. Ymarsakar Says:

    You really, really need trollicide.

    I thought you didn’t like assassination ;)

    Someone suggested that the White House pull the press credentials of all the NYT people.

    I and others at blackfive (plus most Jacksonians) have suggested that.

    Snow himself is implementing 10% of my strategy. Snow pulled strings, I presume, to get O’Reilly the exclusive to GitMo, and he probably opened GitMo up to the general press as well. Snow wants the media to have more information, but that does not mean Snow misses the power of a SCOOP and an EXCLUSIVE.

    They are powerful tools in the propaganda war.

  11. MikeZ Says:

    Someone suggested that the White House pull the press credentials of all the NYT people. Somebody else responded (in what seems typical left-compassionate style) that this would be punishing the reporters for the actions of the Editor. (Personally, I have no problem with that.)

    Or at least, Mr Snow would somehow manage not to see the NYT reporters at press briefings.

    One wonders what the reaction would have been, if the NYT had, sometime in 1944, run a headline like “ALLIES TO ATTACK AT DAWN”, giving the fleet strengths and locations of the D-Day assault.

  12. neoneoconned Says:

    my i like poetry :-)

    and that is the end of me here ….

    welll until the new system is in…..

    ,,,,,

    so see you next week yanky retards

  13. neoneoconned Says:

    oh squariel grow up and live with the idea some people think differently from you…..try arguing back instead of whining

    ohhhh the MSM

    ooooh europeans

    oooohhhhh mad muslims

    ooooohhhhhhh TROLLLLLLLLLLLLS!

    you are dull

    The Jaguar

    By Ted Hughes

    The apes yawn and adore their fleas in the sun.
    The parrots shriek as if they were on fire, or strut
    Like cheap tarts to attract the stroller with the nut.
    Fatigued with indolence, tiger and lion
    Lie still as the sun. The boa constrictor’s coil
    Is a fossil. Cage after cage seems empty, or
    Stinks of sleepers from the breathing straw.
    It might be painted on a nursery wall.
    But who runs like the rest past these arrives
    At a cage where the crowd stands, stares, mesmerized,
    As a child at a dream, at a jaguar hurrying enraged
    Through prison darkness after the drills of his eyes
    On a short fierce fuse. Not in boredom-
    The eye satisfied to be blind in fire.
    By the bang of blood in the brain deaf the ear-
    He spins from the bars, but there’s no cage to him
    More than to the visionary his cell:
    His stride is wildernesses of freedom:
    The world rolls under the long thrust of his heel.
    Over the cage floor the horizons come.

  14. Ariel Says:

    I find it odd that historical precedence is so often left out of the converstation. Wilson, FDR, Truman, LBJ, and Nixon all had their issues with the release of classified materials. The Supreme Court allowed that there could be no a priori restraint on the “press” but that they could certainly be prosecuted afterwards.

    Bill Keller’s “compelling reason” not to report on something is a test I would prefer no to be subjected to on an ongoing basis.

    You really, really need trollicide.

  15. neoneoconned Says:

    neo con reads neo con who cites neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con who read neo con who cited neo con

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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.
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