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June 24, 2006
Talking About The Gray Lady On Hugh Hewitt

Yesterday I had the opportunity to spend some time on Hugh's show, discussing the NY Times article disclosing more classified methods of tracking terrorists, this time through the global financial system. I had the distinct pleasure to join Glenn Reynolds and Rep. John Campbell in a ten-minute segment, which Hugh's top-notch producer, Generalissimo Duane Patterson at Radioblogger, transcribed late last night. Here's a taste of the debate:

HH: Now earlier in the program, Senator Jon Kyl, and last segment, Congressman Campbell agreed that the New York Times' and Los Angeles Times' story today assisted the terrorists. The Vice President made the same argument. Glenn Reynolds, do you believe that to be the case.

GR: Yes, and I want to make another very important point that I think a lot of the coverage has missed. This was done through SWIFT, the Society for Worlwide Interbank Financial Transfers. That's actually something I know about. These are organizational and institutional money transfers. These are not individuals. These are companies, these are governments, these are NGO's. There is no individual privacy angle to this at all.

HH: But you do believe the story did assist the terrorists?

GR: I suspect it tipped them off to something, and yeah, I imagine so.

HH: Ed Morrissey, do you believe it assisted the terrorists?

EM: I believe it assisted the terrorists in two ways. First off, it discussed the specific ways in which we are tracking financial transactions. And now they can try to develop strategies to get around that. But the second reason I think it assisted the terrorists is because it demonstrates that a segment of America still is not serious about fighting the War On Terror, and understanding it as a War On Terror, and not just some law enforcement effort on steroids. This is a tremendously bad public relations blow for the United States, I think, internationally.

Don't just stop with my segment, though; Hugh also talked to Power Line's John Hinderaker and Scott Johnson (two great guys as well as keen legal intellects), and one of my favorite pundits, the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol. Be sure to check out all of the discussion on the continuing fire sale on our national security at the Paper of Record, and how Bill Keller courageously decided to duck all of the demand for an accounting of his decision to blow yet another part of our offensive against the terrorists by going on vacation the day the story broke.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 24, 2006 12:34 PM

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