Sunday, July 02, 2006

US anti-terrorism financial tracking (SWIFT) program NOT a secret?

It's been a hoot watching the left scramble to defend the NYT, LAT, and WSJ reporting about the feds' program to track financial transactions believed to be used in terrorism operations. The commonly heard argument was that "everyone knew" of this program back in 2001. This program, by the way, nabbed the Bali bombing mastermind, which means that (a) he was an idiot or (b) the program wasn't as "well-known" as the left likes to make it out to be.

Something that had me scratching my head, though, was this: Why would the NYT make a front page story entitled "Bank Data Is Sifted by U.S. in Secret to Block Terror" on June 23, 2006...FIVE YEARS AFTER the supposedly well-known...uh, "secret"...was known? I mean, the NYT is going to break an A-1 story FIVE YEARS after the fact? What's next, a story tomorrow on the front page reading "Pearl Harbor Bombed by Japan"?

And Keller et al is getting his cues from his friends on the left by saying "Everyone knew about this program!" Then why use the word "secret", why would the feds beg you not to run the story, and why begin waffling now? Well, I guess this explains the waffling:
The poll shows there is strong support for the Treasury Department program tracking financial transactions in search of terrorist funding. Seven of 10 Americans support the program, including majorities of Republicans (83 percent), independents (67 percent) and Democrats (58 percent).

The Bush administration asked the New York Times not to publish information about the secret program, but the newspaper went ahead because it felt it was in the public interest to do so. By publishing the story, a 60 percent majority thinks the Times did more to help terrorist groups than the public (27 percent).
Keller and the MSM are setting new standards: publishing years-old "known" stories on page A-1. Or is the new standard to publish "secret" and effective programs on the front page? Which is it?