Captain's Quarters Blog


« Media To Challenge Canadian Publication Ban | Main | Ayaan Hirsi Ali Stays Dutch »

June 27, 2006
The Enduring Resolve Of The Gray Lady

In the wake of the decision by the New York Times to reveal covert tactics used by our nation to track terrorist financing as a means of defeating them, Bill Keller offered the following as part of his explanation:

Since September 11, 2001, our government has launched broad and secret anti-terror monitoring programs without seeking authorizing legislation and without fully briefing the Congress. Most Americans seem to support extraordinary measures in defense against this extraordinary threat, but some officials who have been involved in these programs have spoken to the Times about their discomfort over the legality of the government's actions and over the adequacy of oversight. We believe The Times and others in the press have served the public interest by accurately reporting on these programs so that the public can have an informed view of them.

However, that doesn't quite square with what the Times wrote on September 24th, 2001, less than two weeks after Islamifascist terrorists killed almost 3,000 New Yorkers. Back then, the Times demanded that the federal government take action against the networks that support and control these lunatic jihadis. In fact, the Paper of Record demanded a very specific kind of action, one that the New York Times has now kneecapped in a bitterly ironic twist (via Hugh Hewitt):

The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also must be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies. ... Washington should revive international efforts begun during the Clinton administration to pressure countries with dangerously loose banking regulations to adopt and enforce stricter rules. These need to be accompanied by strong sanctions against doing business with financial institutions based in these nations. The Bush administration initially opposed such measures. But after the events of Sept. 11, it appears ready to embrace them.

The Treasury Department also needs new domestic legal weapons to crack down on money laundering by terrorists. The new laws should mandate the identification of all account owners, prohibit transactions with "shell banks" that have no physical premises and require closer monitoring of accounts coming from countries with lax banking laws. Prosecutors, meanwhile, should be able to freeze more easily the assets of suspected terrorists. The Senate Banking Committee plans to hold hearings this week on a bill providing for such measures. It should be approved and signed into law by President Bush.

Take a close read through that editorial. Back then, the Times stated it would not be satisfied with merely freezing the assets of terrorists and their supporters. They wanted the identification of all account owners mandated by Congress and, presumably, accessible to the "specialized investigators" the Times demanded. The Times also wanted the Bush administration to pursue greater cooperation between international banking authorities and these new investigators.

Doesn't this sound familiar? It should; it describes the SWIFT project that Bill Keller and his newspaper just ruined with its revelation about these same tactics the newspaper demanded five years ago. Now, suddenly, they see a civil liberties risk in pursuing terrorist financing abroad, even though SWIFT only handles certain large international money transfers, and that our efforts only focused on actors already suspected of terrorist ties.

One of the concerns many of us had at the beginning of this war was the question of the American capacity for resolve in seeing it to its conclusion. Bill Keller and Pinch Sulzberger have made themselves the poster boys for retreat.

UPDATE: CQ reader Marko has the link to the full editorial here. Power Line also reproduced it this morning. And thanks to Bryan at Hot Air for his link; be sure to read his comments as well.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 27, 2006 7:53 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry is

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Enduring Resolve Of The Gray Lady:

» The New York Times- Then and Now from YOU KNOW I'M RIGHT
Captain Ed has the goods. [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 8:44 AM

» Back Then from It Shines For All
The New York Times editorialized on September 24, 2001 (via Powerline): The Treasury Department also needs new domestic legal weapons to crack down on money laundering by terrorists. The new laws should mandate the identification of all account owners,... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 9:14 AM

» REVOKE NYT'S PRESS PRIVILEGES! Dumb Ox News & OTT from Woman Honor Thyself
Freedom of the press is a right, but press credentials to attend White House and other government briefings are a PRIVILEGE... revoke the NYT's privileges now! ... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 9:49 AM

» NY Times Demanded Bank Monitoring Program It Just Destroyed from GINA COBB
Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters point out that shortly after September 11 the New York Times demanded the same type of anti-terrorist bank monitoring program that the Times just kneecapped by revealing the classified program to the w... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 10:06 AM

» NY Times Demanded Bank Monitoring Program It Just Destroyed from GINA COBB
Hugh Hewitt and Ed Morrissey at Captain's Quarters point out that shortly after September 11 the New York Times demanded the same type of anti-terrorist bank monitoring program that the Times just kneecapped by revealing the classified program to the w... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 10:10 AM

» Keller: “…not all of them urged us not to publish” (PM UPDATE III) from Sister Toldjah
In the continuing firestorm over the decision of the NYT to publish the bank transaction monitoring story comes this important tidbit of information, from Allah at Hot Air: In an interview the NYT’s Bill Keller gave to CNN, he pointed out that t... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 1:10 PM

» The New York Times Changes its Mind from Agricola
The New York Times position, as of June, 22, 2006, on the Government's (not the administration's) efforts to track the funding of terrorist related financing through international banking records is here. Excerpts:Under a secret Bush administration pro... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 1:15 PM

» Hypocrisy, thy name is "Sulzberger" from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
This is too funny for words, and yet, at the same time, it's infuriating. Captain Ed at the Captain's Quarters blog has a post up about how the New York Times, which recently revealed a secret program to track terrorist [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 2:59 PM

» Hypocrisy, thy name is "Sulzberger" from Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
This is too funny for words, and yet, at the same time, it's infuriating. Captain Ed at the Captain's Quarters blog has a post up about how the New York Times, which recently revealed a secret program to track terrorist [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 3:01 PM

» Who is The NY Times Trying to Warn? from Myopic Zeal
I’m suspicious. By now most are familiar with the efforts of the NY Times to aid and abet the enemy. In yet another disclosure of secret anti-terror activity on the part of the United States and cooperating allies, the NY Times seems to be, ... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 3:31 PM

» Letters about the editor from reverse_vampyr
Sir, the manner in which I write is frequently coarse and less than elegant. As a fellow Texan, I'm sure you understand. So I mean no disrespect when I say that you need to get off your butt and do something about these traitors who have betrayed our... [Read More]

Tracked on June 27, 2006 3:38 PM

» Some Faces of Liberal Hypocrisy from Blue Star Chronicles
Villanious Company has one of the best articles Ive read on Liberal Anti-War Hypocrisy Knows No Bounds. She offers several well-documented examples of selective outrage on the part of the liberal left. There also seems to be selective concern that o... [Read More]

Tracked on June 28, 2006 11:28 AM

» More Senators want the New York Times leadership tried for Treason against the United States of America from Left Wing = Hate
More and more politicians and major public figures demand the NY Times pay for it’s acts of Treason and how they have endangered the Citizens of the United States with their anti-American bias. From Newsmax Sen. Jim Bunning: N.Y. Times Committed ... [Read More]

Tracked on June 28, 2006 11:29 AM

>Comments


Design & Skinning by:
m2 web studios





blog advertising



button1.jpg

Proud Ex-Pat Member of the Bear Flag League!