Global War on Terror,  Media,  Media Bias

Global War on Terror Watch: President Bush Condemns Disclosure and Publishing Details of SWIFT Anti-Terrorism Finance Program

Graphic courtesy of Michelle Malkin

AP: Bush slams leak of terror finance story

President Bush on Monday sharply condemned the disclosure of a program to secretly monitor the financial transactions of suspected terrorists. “The disclosure of this program is disgraceful,” he said.

“For people to leak that program and for a newspaper to publish it does great harm to the United States of America,” Bush said, jabbing his finger for emphasis. He said the disclosure of the program “makes it harder to win this war on terror.”

And the uproar over the disclosure/leak of the program is almost as great as the revulsion towards the attitude of the New York and Los Angeles Times for printing the story.

Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times, offers his explanation: Letter From Bill Keller on The Times’s Banking Records Report.

The following is a letter Bill Keller, the executive editor of The Times, has sent to readers who have written to him about The Times’s publication of information about the government’s examination of international banking records:

I don’t always have time to answer my mail as fully as etiquette demands, but our story about the government’s surveillance of international banking records has generated some questions and concerns that I take very seriously. As the editor responsible for the difficult decision to publish that story, I’d like to offer a personal response.

Some of the incoming mail quotes the angry words of conservative bloggers and TV or radio pundits who say that drawing attention to the government’s anti-terror measures is unpatriotic and dangerous. (I could ask, if that’s the case, why they are drawing so much attention to the story themselves by yelling about it on the airwaves and the Internet.) Some comes from readers who have considered the story in question and wonder whether publishing such material is wise. And some comes from readers who are grateful for the information and think it is valuable to have a public debate about the lengths to which our government has gone in combatting the threat of terror.

The arrogance of Keller is obvious from the introductory paragraphs. Has the Fourth Estate abdicated their responsibility to America’s National Security?


Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger (left) presents Bill Keller of The New York Times, with the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service.

Read the rest of the piece here.

Hugh Hewitt dissects Keller’s response: Mr. Keller Believes You Are Easily Confused

I don’t believe him, and there is no reason to believe him. The paper has been waging a war on the war and on the Adminsitration for years, so it has no credibility when it comes to arguing its good intentions.

What matters though is the statement that “other conscientious people” could have reached a different decision.

In fact, they did. The Congresses and the presidents of the past have passsed laws about what is classified and who can release it. They didn’t include the editor of the New York Times in the group that can make national security decisions. Mr. Keller decided he would risk the national security of the United States and the lives of its citizens. He has done so before and will no doubt do so again.

This incredibly weak response tells us that Bill Keller will not be responding to interview requests, at least not from any critic of the paper’s decision. He doesn’t have an argument. He doesn’t have any defense other than his position as editor of a once great newspaper.

Patterico has L.A. Times Washington Bureau Chief Doyle McManus Explains Justification for Printing Classified Details of Anti-Terror Program.

Read it ALL.

Maybe you consider the safeguards thin because you don’t understand them, Mr. McManus. In your reporters’ story, they describe administrative subpoenas as “a little-known power,” and claim: “The subpoenas are secret and not reviewed by judges or grand juries, as are most criminal subpoenas.” As I have shown in this post, these subpoenas are not “little-known” to law enforcement, but are actually quite common — and your assumption that “most criminal subpoenas” are “reviewed by judges or grand juries” is quite wrong. Trust me on this. Criminal subpoenas are almost never reviewed by judges or grand juries. When I read this sentence of the article to working prosecutors, they laugh out loud. That’s how wrong it is.

And I speak for a lot of Americans when I say that we don’t want to “learn over time” whether this story has impeded our counterterrorism efforts. We wish you’d simply left the story alone, so that we didn’t have to undergo that “test” of your judgment.

Mr. McManus, you don’t really know how criminal prosecutors do their business. You didn’t really know how successful this program was when you ran the story. And your stated concerns about the program — its legality and safeguards — appear to have been answered, to a large degree, in favor of the program.

Here’s my bottom line, Mr. McManus:

Maybe you should be a little more careful about taking it upon yourself to weigh your mistaken impressions of these various factors against the safety of myself and my family.


Arrogance may not be a crime, but Rep. Peter King thinks the MSM blabbermouths ought to be prosecuted for publishing secrets in wartime. Gabriel Schoenfeld made the definitive case in the March issue of Commentary and testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the national security threat of the NYTimes’ December disclosure of terrorist surveillance earlier this month:…


Dan Riehl

Michael Barone

Andy McCarthy

Glenn Reynolds

Scott Johnson

Noel Sheppard

It is time for another First Amendment Freedom of Speech case before the United States Supreme Court. The Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, should posecute the government employees who “LEAKED” this story and the New York/Los Angeles Times for printing them. National Security is no small “right” that should be protected in time of war – and the Global War on Terror IS a WAR.

The American Press has self-regulated itself in not printing what they deem harmful to the United States. However, in this case and the case of the NSA Surveillance Progam they have crossed the line. It is time for the United States Supreme Court to exert the control that obvioulsy the Press has been unable to accomplish themselves.


Los Angeles Times Watch: Patterico and Danziger Dump the Los Angeles Dog Trainer

Global War on Terror Watch: Dear Mr. Keller – Why?

Global War on Terror Watch: New York Times Publishes Secret Details of SWIFT Bank Data Anti-Terrorism Program

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