NYT on Al Queda Staff?

Andrew McCarthy makes some excellent points here:

http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=YjE4ODFmMmI3ZmM5ZGE4ZDQxNmY1ODA5YTQ3NzkxZWQ=

Regarding the latest "scandal" that the NY Times claims to have exposed regarding the government's efforts to track Al Queda's financial transactions:For the second time in seven months, the Times has exposed classified information about a program aimed at protecting the American people against a repeat of the September 11 attacks. On this occasion, it has company in the effort: The Los Angeles Times runs a similar, sensational story. Together, the newspapers disclose the fact that the United States has covertly developed a capability to monitor the nerve center of the international financial network in order to track the movement of funds between terrorists and their facilitators.

snip

There are no conceivable constitutional violations involved. The Supreme Court held in United States v. Miller (1976) that there is no right to privacy in financial-transaction information maintained by third parties. Here, moreover, the focus is narrowed to suspected international terrorists, not Americans, and the financial transactions implicated are international, not domestic. This is not data mining, and it does not involve fishing expeditions into the financial affairs of American citizens. Indeed, few Americans even have information that is captured by the program — though there would be nothing legally offensive even if they did.

And unlike the last vital program the New York Times compromised — the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, which the same reporters, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, exposed last December — there is not even a facially plausible concern that the TFTP violates statutory law. The provisions germane here (mainly, the Right to Financial Privacy Act that Congress enacted in 1978 in reaction to Miller) do not even apply to the nerve center at issue, the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.

<With no violation of law, no legaly privacy concerns, and operations almost totally overseas, one does wonder why the NYT would choose to run this story, especially knowing this:

No, the most salient thing we learn from today’s compromise of the TFTP is that the program has been highly effective at keeping us safe. According to the government, it has helped identify and locate terrorists and their financial backers; it has been instrumental in charting terrorist networks; and it has been essential in starving these savage organizations of their lifeblood: funding.

The TFTP was evidently key to the capture of one of the world’s most formidable terrorists. Riduan bin Isamuddin, better known as “Hambali” — the critical link between al Qaeda and its Indonesian affiliate, Jemaah Islamiya, and thus at the center of the 2002 Bali bombing in which 202 people were slaughtered — is now in U.S. custody rather than wreaking more mayhem. He was apprehended in Thailand in 2003, thanks to the program, which identified a previously unknown financial link to him in Southeast Asia.

In another example, the TFTP led to the discovery that Uzair Paracha, in Brooklyn, might be laundering money for al Qaeda in Pakistan. Paracha was ultimately indicted. Last November, a federal jury in Manhattan convicted him for providing material support to a terrorist organization — specifically, trying to help an al Qaeda operative enter the United States to commit a terrorist act.

Apparently, the times found ut about this program when some government official decided he'd further some agenda of his own and told them about it. Reportedly, the Government pleaded with them not to reveal to Al Queada that we had this capability, and it was this program that led to the capture or killing of some of thier most important leaders. But, as McCarthy puts it:

Appealing to the patriotism of these newspapers proved about as promising as appealing to the humanity of the terrorists they so insouciantly edify — the same monsters who, as we saw again only a few days ago with the torture murder of two American soldiers, continue to define depravity down

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Published in: on June 23, 2006 at 9:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

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