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June 23, 2006



These people are freaking nuts. We spent millions for a 9/11 commission to tell us...failure to connect the dots...What? Are we playing blind man's bluff? How the hell do you connect dots if you aren't allowed to see the dots?


I heard one democratic senator yesterday say we fought one King George only to replace him with another King George. We might as well put a target on our backs, hunker down, and wait for democrats to cheer when they win back 'power'.


Cheney Assails Press on Report on Bank Data by SHERYL GAY STOLBERG and ERIC LICHTBLAU

Eric still doesn't get it but take note that this program is run by the CIA, which should tell us who the leakers are / were. MOM and her cohorts, including Scary Larry, Ray McGovern, etc. Eric must have been hanging on this for about a year and a half before publishing this.

"The executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Anthony D. Romero, condemned the program, calling it "another example of the Bush administration's abuse of power."

Huh? This program has been around for so many years.

Damn, damn, damn that Specter!

"Mr. Specter has been at odds with the administration over another previously secret counterterrorism operation, the National Security Agency's domestic eavesdropping program. The senator said he was particularly troubled that the administration had expanded its Congressional briefings on the financial tracking program in recent weeks after having learned that The New York Times was making inquiries.

"Why does it take a newspaper investigation to get them to comply with the law?" the senator asked. "That's a big, important point."

In explaining the program, Mr. Levey, the Treasury under secretary who oversees the program, said in an interview earlier in the week that "people do not have a privacy interest in their international wire transactions." But Mr. Specter was skeptical.

"I'm not surprised that a Treasury official would take that position, but I'm not so sure he's right," the senator said. "I don't think it's an open-and-shut question."

Has he been briefed on this program before?


Jane, you got a few responses over at Scary Larry's, which are really bizarre:


Jane, Jane...

Did you take the time to actually think through what Larry wrote? Several things... He was right then, and is right today. Americans, at least the ones who mindlessly spout the rethuglican party talking points do convey those images and fear to the rest of the world. I suggest that you take a couple of minutes and really read, and try to understand what he was saying...

According to the brief segment that you quoted, the very first words should clue you in... 'Judging from the news media'... I agree, that is exactly the impression the media want us to have... Fear begets more fear. Do not get caught up in its vicious winds.

Posted by: PrchrLady | Friday, 23 June 2006 at 23:22


"I also agree with Larry that terrorism, even post-9/11, isn't the biggest threat we face. Global warming and nuclear proliferation are even bigger threats.

Posted by: Leslie | Friday, 23 June 2006 at 23:12"

Nuclear proliferation???? Isn't that one of the threats of terrorism?



Don't look for reasoned responses at Scary's place. Both posters are regulars at his little love fest and they are both his staunchest love festors.



I was post a bottle and 1/2 (split with a friend) of very nice wine, when I posted the second time, and worried about it after the fact.

Then I checked my email. Larry wrote me personally after each post.

Here is the first email:

If you are really serious, go read the op-ed I co-wrote with Milt
Bearden in November 2000, which clearly stated that the threat we faced was
Al Qaeda. However, I also stand by my statement that Clinton, and
later Bush, were hyping terrorism for political advantage. If you are an
honest person you will realize that what you claim "I said" is not true.
If you're just a right wing hack you would deny the existence of trees
even if one was shoved directly up your ass.

And here is the second:

Please show me the quote in that article that says Al Qaeda is not a
threat. As I said, your ignorance is breathtaking.

I can't figure out if he is insecure or wants a date. I also don't get his minion's remarks above, but then again, my head is still clearing.


ROFL, Sue! A very poor attempt at justifying that whatever Scary Larry wrote or said is correct by reading between his lines, fine print, and his mind.

"2nd Cir. Refuses to Require Gov't to Address NSA Surveillance"

Good news. Terry will probably go up to the next level. Take note of Jeralyn's suggestions. What do you think of those suggestions, Clarice? (Probably not much!)


I think this is a very interesting take on the NY Times thing:

Compromising National Security as a Marketing Strategy



"Compromising National Security as a Marketing Strategy"????

Seeing the chart on that page via your link, I expect more of a nose dive within the next few months. Think this marketing strategy is going to fail.

AJStrata has a good post up showing Media And Democrats Confused By Need To Stop Terrorists. They sure don't understand.

Crosspatch has a good response:

"These media outlets exposed no abuse of power, no wrongdoing against any citizen, no exploitation of the program for the personal gain of anyone involved. All they did was expose the program and exploit its existance for their own gain. They have prospered at the expense of the public safety. There ought to be a law … oh wait … nevermind."

If today's NYT editorial suggested an oversight by Congress over this program, where's the oversight by Congress over media?


If he is right, and I think he has a point, the place to hit them is in the pocketbook, quietly, and not elevate their status by an investigation.

Altho I'd love to see Pinch, Keller, Risen etal rot in a very small cell for a few months for refusing to give up their sources


:) Me, too. And not win another Pulitzer award.

Radioblogger has several excellent interviews from yesterday as an excellent suggested weekend reading.


SWIFT isn't going away. No alternative exists. The SWIFT execs/flacks are just doing the usual and customary moaning and groaning to make subpoena compliance sound less voluntary.

Exposing Swift surveillance is a significant hit to uncovering flows from legit sympathizers to terror intermediaries. It doesn't have much direct effect on terror at the operational level. That's still going to be funded through hawalas, prepaid cards, etc.

The admin could investigate the leaks and subpoena NYT personnel, at the cost of all-out war with the press. It would be very tricky and uncertain to time it right for the elections this fall. The calculus may be not to raise the ghost of Daniel Ellsberg in an election year. Better to make the NYT a right-side talking point.

That calculus wouldn't preclude lots of polygraph action internally. However, the SWIFT article was written at such a general/vague level, it'd be hard to narrow the investigatory target list.


It wouldn't hurt to stick the names of all NYT employees on a terrorist watch and no fly without strip search list.

Although I think some of them would get in line for the body cavity search twice.

Rick Ballard


If you consider the Pulitzer as an award for anti-Americanism as I do, then they deserve it. I also think that it may be true that the Times perfidy is being driven as much by falling profit as it is by ideology.

The Times is in the same demographic trap as the Democratic party - there is no excape. Their readership base - the trendy pseudointellectual dilettante with more spare change than intelligence - has proven to be a reproductive failure.

Eventually they will make an exit as ignominous as that made by Rather. The best bet may be to just complain about the smell and let them rot in deserved solitude.

Gary Maxwell

The threat that the globe may increase its average temperature one degree over the next 100 years is a much bigger threat to us than terrorism. How do you even have a conversation with a person who believes that?


I saw a comment or heard a comment that was actually funny concerning global warming. Paraphrasing and not remembering where or when...'I get it, I get it...the earth is the same temperature today as it was 400 years ago or a millenium ago or 2 millenium ago...'

No explanation as to why the earth is the same temperature, or I should say no explanation as to why the earth was the same temperature 400 years ago, or a millineum...there is an explanation as to why it is the same temperature today. Bush did it, doncha know. ::grin::

Gary Maxwell

I thought Vladimir Putin said he thought a little global warming might be a good thing? With a hero of their movement on the other side, how can they stand the cognitive dissonance?


I have no idea how much, if any, good it does, but I wrote to my senator about this one. George Allen is up for re-election and has had his name bandied about as a presidential hopeful. Here's what I wrote:

Senator Allen:

The New York Times has struck again and published yet another story with details of a classified national security program. At what point should we expect Senate hearings into the source(s) of these stories; complete with contempt citations, fines and jail time for recalcitrant reporters and editors?

In related issues:

1. I think this might be an appropriate time to bring up the "reporter shield law" so desired by the media and let all of them know that the NYT is the prime reason they will not get it during this administration.

2. Please do all you can to get Arlen Specter to shut up and quit giving sound bites to every administration unfriendly reporter he can find. If it's too much for his ego to stand, he really needs taking to the wood shed - that Judiciary chairmanship is not a birthright.

I'll let you know if there's more than a "bedbug letter" in response.


MayBee, I didn't see that Cooper is leaving Time. Where did you see that?
vngavwet, if a gj were empaneled, the NYT could be pressed for its sources. In the course of that, there might be enough evidence that turns up to prosecute the paper or its editors.My thought is that not instituting such proceedings only emboldens even more and more leaks and publication of them.



Bruce Hayden

I can see where Putin is coming from. A lot of his country is a barren wasteland, too cold to grow much of anything. Think of, for example, the potential economic effects there of adding, say, a 100 mile strip of ariable land all the way across Siberia. Indeed, the effects to the world economy of this might just dwarf Manhatten going underwater. Of course, those living in NYC might not be as happy as the Russians are about this, but...

Note, I am not accepting or rejecting Global Warming, but pointing out that its economic effects may not be all bad, if it turns out to be true.

Florence Schmieg

Even both 9-11 commission heads (Kane and Hamilton) called the NYTimes and asked them not to print. This is all about the Times' fear of being prosecuted over their last treasonous publications and playing hard-ball with the Administration. Easy to do when you have no responsibility for protecting the country and have absolutely no accountability whatsoever as does most of the media. This is the country's biggest danger right now.


Nice piece Clarice!


Clarice: thx for your 'fish or cut bait' article. It's a start, and is similar to points that I've sent to my senators.


Great cartoon at Tigerhawk this AM, with usual 'screwy' responses


Excellent as always, Clarice.

I placed a link to your article at LGF.

Patrick R. Sullivan

It would be sweet revenge for George W. Bush (and Dick Cheney) to instruct AG Gonzalez to call up Pat Fitzgerald, and tell him;

'Fitzie, you're doing a heckuva job investigating every nook and cranny in the trivial matter of how Bob Novak found out that Joe Wilson's wife worked at the CIA.

'Now we're going to give you a REAL national security breach to investigate. And, don't forget, you've established your right to subpoena and jail newspaper reporters who won't divulge sources.'


Thanks, guys.
PRS, no Special Prosecutors,please! If Gonzales wants to set up a special task force to head the investigation and prosecution, fine--it may make sense to have a group of people with special expertise working together on this though.


When I suggested a special prosecutor, I know it looks like I had temporarily lost consciousness or sanity.

I really did not mean a Fitzlike reincarnation. Rather, I was thinking of an investigator specially detailed by the AG or Sec Treas or Sec Def or all three -- someone with a background of investigating RICO conspiracies -- specifically to put a skilled team together to smoke out the internal leakers. Fitz's "Judy Miller" tactic can then be used for some good purpose.

What I have not figured out is how much of this stuff is planted disinformation (like the plethora of deceptive tactics used prior to D Day) and how much is actual internal leaking for the purpose of assisting the democrats in a return to power.


The program was run by CIA, so it was leaked. NYT is trying to 'help' foreign countries that did not like the program; due a large degree to Plame.


Yes, a special team is a good idea..one with its own specialists and investigators who can develop an expertise in these matters and cut the learning curve .

I think the only disinformation indications I've seen are in the WaPo's (from MOM) story on secret prisons.

Carol Herman

VNJAGVET, I like your thinking.

And, if I remember correctly to really fool the nazis there was one officer sent behind the lines with crucial MISinformation. He was told to commit suicide if caught.

So not all misinformation gets there because the NY Times is a team player. But just the opposite.

I'm also much more impressed that this involves AMERICA'S banking system. What? The Swiss weren't up to it? There are other currencies in the world. So, it's WONDERFUL to see us winning on a cultural level. It's our jeans, Nikes, teenage music, and Benjamins and Jacksons that play such a strong role REPRESENTING the "infidels."

True. They don't like us! But they want our stuff. And, nah. I'm not surprised.

At least we made it harder for them to counterfeit our bills! Especially since it must be fun, explaining to arabs, that "pink" and "peach" are really "greenbacks." Because when the ATM machine spits them out, they look like Monopoly money to me.


"cfw -- the program was entirely legal and covered by search warrants and subpoenas."

That is not correct. They did not see a judge for a search warrant. A lawyer-issued subpoena for "your database" is not compliant with the 4th Amendment here. NYT may not have said that in so many words, but the SWIFT people would not have been browbeat by Greenspan if there were good clear legal grounds for what Treasury sought.

"What's more it has been successfully operational for years and the law covering it goes back to 1978, way before the hated GWB came to office."

Not this program. This started just after 9/11. The "national security" rationale works when the feds are in hot pursuit, such as just after 9/11, or if this sort of searching was tied to US troops in battle in Iraq. Here, neither justification appears. If there is a Bali Bomber record, why not get a warrant? Let's not rush to pointlessly give up privacy rights every time someone says GWOT.

"You can be sure there were lots more and probably even more in the pipeline."

No, we can be sure that the Dubai International Financial Center and like locales will now handle the $300 billion we send to the middle east each year and not NYC or London or Hong Kong banking centers. The Islamic financial institutions have been built up since before this sort of over-reaching came to light. No doubt they will now expand even more rapidly.

"This is not the Bush Administration being hurt here, this is the entire United States government which, cfw, includes YOU and me and every other citizen and even those illegal aliens everyone worries so much about."

What will hurt more is financial harm to banks like Citicorp. USSCT can say all day long that there is no expectation of privacy in bank records - that does not comport with international norms or common sense.

Treasury department legal gymnastics about "these are not bank records but bank coop records" is Yooesque and is not going to fly in the international banking community.

Valid objections will also be made internationally to the "these are corporate records not personal records" rationale for snooping at SWIFT records.

If it were your client, and he was Islamic, would you advise him to do his large scale banking in SWIFT or any US bank or choose the Islamic system alternative? US needs to rethink civil liberties or we end up in a cold war faceoff between Islam and the non-Muslims.



Despite what you think about "international norms" they are not particularly relevant to your Fourth Amendment analysis, especially when a 7 to 2 (only Marshall and Brennan dissenting) thirty year old case, upholding against a Fourth Amendment challange, a blanket grand jury subpoena (not a warrant) of a potential criminal defendant's bank records. So much with Fourth Amendment concerns respecting US productions. Note that the US productions (the ones from First Data Corp.) were pursuant to a warrant, notwithstanding the above precedent.

Moreover, the "international norms" you allude to do not seem to be discouraging our international partners in SWIFT from participating in the review of transfer activity described by the NYT.

Precisely what are those norms that our partners are ignoring? And who should be enforcing them?

Please remember our international partners have not been shy in the past about telling us when they think we are indulging in "cowboy tactics".

What other than home grown attacks (both actual and threatened) in their countries of late might account for this new found timidity?

I am ready for enlightenment here rather than rhetoric.



The 1976 USSCT case you describe does not seem to give a free pass to data mining, in the US or not. No one went to get a gj subpoena here. First Data got searched pursuant to a warrant? Not sure I see that.

A national security letter makes no sense to me (under the 4th Amend) if there is no hot pursuit national security issue in fact. That has not yet been flushed out. Just saying the world has extremists, which has been the case for at least a century (and will be the case for the foreseeable future), does not float the boat, I suspect.

SWIFT has been trying to get out of data mining for treasury for good reason. Who wants to bank without reasonable privacy if you come from a Muslim country? Islam requires contributions to charity. Those Muslims who make contributions to a supect charity are guilty until proven innocent, true? They risk wrongful retention in G'tmo until who knows when. They become subject to being mistakenly kidnapped and sent to CIA/Syrian waterboarding, yes? Driving away business by over-zealous data mining cripples us in the long run.

The norms are contractual and ethical - do overseas what we do here. Respect reasonable expectations of privacy. If we cannot do SWIFT records rummaging here, do not do it overseas (absent a judge-issued and specific warrant and probable cause, or some real hot pursuit national emergency).

Look at how banking and corporate activity has shifted to London and away from NYC. That will continue, and we are creating large banking openings for Swiss, Dubai, etc. Let us not assume we are doing cost-free things in throwing out reasonable banking privacy rights.

Why did Belgians not object? I assume they did not know. SWIFT was run by a NY organizer. No doubt if Treasury keeps hounding him he will end up out of business.



Let us not assume we are doing cost-free things in throwing out reasonable banking privacy rights.

'Reasonable' is in the eye of the beholder, not the law.

I see you'd rather we didn't track financing at all. Is the cost you speak of a result of a legal program, or simply the result of the illegal disclosure of same? I know what your opinion on that is. And that's all it is, an opinion of druthers, not a legal argument.



Re the FDC issue, Tom quotes the NYT article above, as follows:

"The F.B.I. began acquiring financial records from Western Union and its parent company, First Data Corporation. The programs were alluded to in Congressional testimony by the F.B.I. in 2003 and described in more detail in a book released this week, "The One Percent Doctrine," by Ron Suskind. Using what officials described as individual, narrowly framed subpoenas and warrants, the F.B.I. has obtained records from First Data, which processes credit and debit card transactions, to track financial activity and try to locate suspects."

Likewise, I cited that portion of the article to you last night in my post at 7:55pm.

Your explication of international norms seems circular to me, but I will defer to the judgment of the readership here.

It seems to me you are arguing that the we should apply your interpretation of the Fourth Amendment (not the Supreme Court's 1976 decision interpreting it) to our international transactions, although the laws of our international partners do not have Fourth Amendment analogues in their respective countries.

I am not persuaded.

What International Law treatise suggests that approach? I admit I haven't studied IL for over 35 years, but I had to study and apply it for several years in the late 60's as a JAG officer. From casual exposure since, I have not run across the approach you seem to be taking.

I am willing to be educated, though.


"Please do all you can to get Arlen Specter to shut up and quit giving sound bites to every administration unfriendly reporter he can find. If it's too much for his ego to stand, he really needs taking to the wood shed - that Judiciary chairmanship is not a birthright."

Kaz, what can we do? I sent an email to Specter and he never replied. So email approach won't work.

I think freerepublic had a link to an article about Cooper leaving Times to join Conde Nast. Powerline might have a link, too. I saw it in two places this morning but I've been gone most of the day so am late on the links.

SWIFT is only good for legal contributions and movement and those running this program are fully aware of it. AND it's legal under several laws and Patriot Act.


This is getting ridiculous.

E-mails detail Abramoff requests, contacts

Anyone know anything about this? So now they're trying to go after Cheney and Bush.


Clarice, re: your article. If Gonzalez doesn't act soon, then Bush should be getting letters from the people requesting that Gonzalez be removed.

Shame that we cannot do the same for our senators and representatives.



"'Reasonable' is in the eye of the beholder, not the law."

No, the reasonableness of a search is based on objective facts and applicable text and precedent. It relies in part on custom. If the activity is illegal (unreasonable) in the US, violating federal law (and state law in CA), then it does not become reasonable (unless we consider Americans more special than foreigners) when it gets done in Belgium.

"I see you'd rather we didn't track financing at all."

No, track away, within legal limits. But beware about an "ends justify the means" approach.

"Is the cost you speak of a result of a legal program, or simply the result of the illegal disclosure of same?"

The cost comes from uneasiness with the US system. This disclosure is not a watershed - it is consistent with assumptions of what the US is trying to do. But now the Islamics will have another point in their favor when they say we will do this deal in Doha or Dubai, with non-US lawyers, and will do our banking from Dubai.

"I know what your opinion on that is. And that's all it is, an opinion of druthers, not a legal argument."

My legal point, still not refuted, is that the USSCT (in 1976 and thereafter) has not ruled in favor of this type of operation. SWIFT found it more and more objectionable. If it were tested (meaning the leaning on SWIFT), I suspect the courts would say to Treasury "if you have enough time to have auditors, you can and should see a judge about a warrant."


Kudos to both Clarice and William Lalor. Freerepublic now has links to both articles along with comments.


The Patriot Act supercedes this USSCT. Mac Ranger has a link to an article about the Patriot Act that made it legal. I'll go check.

Several reports indicate that this is perfectly legal.



"It seems to me you are arguing that the we should apply your interpretation of the Fourth Amendment (not the Supreme Court's 1976 decision interpreting it) to our international transactions, although the laws of our international partners do not have Fourth Amendment analogues in their respective countries."

Belgium has a Fourth Amendment analog, as I recall. I actually got dragged into Belgian court once to get a lecture from a Belgian judge about seizures from US troops under Belgian law.

At any rate, "no unreasonale searches and seizures" is a pretty universal concept. If SWIFT thought they had a leg to stand on under Belgian law, I doubt they would have resisted Treasury.

Do you think SWIFT misunderstood the law in the EU and that in fact Belgian law said nothing about keeping banking records private?

The 1976 USSCT opinion does not cover these facts, and was apparently rejected or curtailed by federal statute in 1977. It looks like a "derelict on the waters of the law" as they say, to the extent it is cited for a "no one reasonably expects privacy with respect to banking records" proposition.

Wilson's a liar

Isn't anyone at all concerned about the new tyranny that is being imposed on us by the New York Times? Bill Keller, elected by no one, supervised by no one, answerable to no one, has now declared himself more fit than the President of the United States to decide which information shall remain classified and which shall be divulged to the world. He has become the sole arbiter of "the public interest."

If I do not approve of the Bush Administration and its methods of prosecuting the war on terror, I can vote it out in 2008. If I do not approve of Bill Keller repeatedly revealing state secrets, where do I go to vote him out? Is this not tyranny?

If a private citizen can now arrogate to himself the powers of the President of the United States, what rule of law is there left? What is to stop any person or corporation from stealing, committing fraud, raping the environment, and simply claiming that its actions are "in the public interest"? What is to stop Wal-Mart from simply declaring itself to be a bank, and not bothering with that pesky law that says it must obtain a federal charter before engaging in banking activities? After all, it is clearly "in the public interest" for Wal-Mart shoppers to be able to do their banking business where they shop.

Is there no way a citizen of the United States can sue Bill Keller, not for treason or aiding an enemy, but for claiming to himself powers that are lawfully granted only by the people through our Constitutionally elected Congress to the President of the United States? If not, can we at least demand some kind of action and redress by our elected Congress?

I truly fear more from this tyranny by the editor of the New York Times than I do of any purported violation of my privacy by the CIA or NSA in hunting down terrorists.

I find it ironic in the extreme for a newspaper that continually caterwauls about this President accumulating and abusing power to be so blatantly doing so itself, with the only justification being its own determination of "the public interest." Unbelievable!!!


Hot tip to Allah of Hot Air:

SWIFT posted a comment at its website regarding this TIMES expose ( SWIFT statement on compliance policy:

"SWIFT itself has posted a statement about the Times’s expose on its website. Money graf:

SWIFT negotiated with the U.S. Treasury over the scope and oversight of the subpoenas. Through this process, SWIFT received significant protections and assurances as to the purpose, confidentiality, oversight and control of the limited sets of data produced under the subpoenas. Independent audit controls provide additional assurance that these protections are fully complied with.

All of these actions have been undertaken with advice from international and U.S. legal counsel and following our longstanding procedures on compliance, established by our Board."

Completely legal and successful program.

Wilson's Liar, we all are very concerned, starting with Patterico. Squiggler has a good list of suggestions for everyone to follow.


Thanks clarice for addressing this to Gonzales. He should have had the NYT sitting in the hot seat immediately after NSA. If the AG does not act after the President himself, warns them about the importance of the programs, I think Gonzales should be replaced. And this is my first call to replace any of them except McClellan, after they mowed him down.

Gonzales needs to tell us why he has not acted. These crimes are not exactly secret.

Sara (The Squiggler)

I have put a post up that plays off Tom's question of what can we do to stop the Times. I am making six suggestions as a multi-pronged approach. I would appreciate any input, either by email or in comments and a link. Some of my own suggestions have come from combining several I have seen here or on other blogs.

The link is:
How to Stop the New York Times II

Carol Herman

Bill Keller green lighted the info dump on SWIFT "because he could." OR, because he's very angry that his own paper, and Time, and friends at the MSM all got caught up in Fitzmas's broken persecution machine.

Sure, he could have approved the article in spite.

He also probably got calls from both right AND LEFT. Maybe, he fears nothing at all?

In other words, he knows the congress critters have been badly burned by Fitz. So there's no future to the persecution of republicans OR TRAITORS coming up.

In other words, he disappears so he doesn't become the focal point for the questions that have been raised. SILENCE. That was NOT from his playbook! It was not how journalists were taught to persue stories.

But it may very well be another indicator that the MSM playbook is entirely broken. And, Bill Keller is USING ROVE'S METHODS OF DEALING WITH THE PRESS, instead.

Most Americans, I'd bet are not paying attention to this story. While it's possible, with Dan kicked off Black Rock; and the decompensation going on within the left's blogosphere ...what Keller did is similar to a distressed jet dropping fuel, so it could make an emergency landing, hoping not to blow itself up. Let alone freak out all the passengers who want to fly with them.

Emergencies aren't pretty. All kinds of sirens go off.

But what Keller also saw was an identifying rise in Bush's poll numbers. In other words, the NY Times, for all its efforts has not created the "Vietnam quagmire" scenario.

Plus, up at IRAQ THE MODEL, and at Big Pharaoh, arabs themselves have posted they don't appreciate the lack of faith in their good will that flies around the blogosphere. While they are really trying to have democracy gel. Their sacrifices, especially for Iraqis, happens to be great. ANd, when Harry Reid made some cracks in congress, that we were in Iraq for 3 years, already; one poster wrote "Hey, Mr. Einstein, it's going to take longer."

Maybe, the donks don't have time?

Maybe, within the small minority circle is an evaluation that they're collecting less money from ordinary citizens in many of their races coming up in November. AND, a reality check that "Belosi" Pelosi's rag isn't gonna "clean the house" and make new seats available for a donk majority. All's not well for them.

It's into this mess that Keller kicked in the SWIFT story. Then he left town.

The vacation time is designed to coincide with this crap blowing over. So? Not only isn't Fitzgerald gonna indict Rove; he's got a busted case on his hands that's lost all its gas.

Then, off-topic, there's a post from Europe saying that the E/U is "alive" because without a vote it can be formed in 2009, anyway.

Reminds me of WW2. And, how well hitler did; full of confidence as he was; to take on stalin and the east, and the same time we were slugging it out in Africa ... to move into the Continent. First, jumping on Italy's boot.

Sure. Chaos of war. Hitler's still dead.


Squiggler, I went to your site twice already and great job!


I noticed Rick Ballard's Flaring comment and I disagree with him regarding indictment of NYT.

He suggested that the timing of such indictments should wait until after the elections. If and only if the process takes that long. Otherwise, waiting until after the elections may weaken the case.

Besides, I think people are getting smarter this time and still vote for the right person.


HHHmmm...I wonder if Gonzalez will be on the "Meet the Press" tomorrow?

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Thanks Lurker. Check back as I intend to update it as necessary.

Wilson's a liar

Carol - I have ZERO doubt that all of these stories have been very deliberately timed to counteract good news about the war. First we had the NSA telephone surveillance story appear the day after the Iraqi election and the day the Patriot Act was up for reauthorization; then we had the USAToday story on the phone record mining right after the new Iraqi prime minister was named; now we have this story right on the heels of the Zarqawi killing and the formation of the Iraqi government. The Abu Ghraib and Haditha stories were similarly timed. Anyone who does not see a pattern here is simply blind. It's a fifth column in the extreme. They simply will not allow news to stand that gives any indication that the war is being won. They are determined to promote to the death the meme that this war was a mistake that is turning our government and our armed forces into monsters and the USA into a police state. Yet they do so with even more sinister and undemocratic methods than even the Bush Administration could conjure.

The notion of a free press acting as a watchdog is turned completely on its head when that press becomes a partisan engine determined to bring down the government. Who is their watchdog? They don't seem to care if their circulation runs to zero along with their stock price.

Pal2Pal (Sara)

OT - Did you all see that Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother died?


Yeah, that's a shame having to die without knowing what happened to JonBenet. May she rest in peace.

Clarice, thanks for the tiny scoop about the troop leak.


USA PATRIOT Act Rewards ChoicePoint


Show Us Your Money

Old News...



Say What????

A vote of "no confidence" by reporting to Congress every 180 days of the North Korea WMD program????


Helen Thomas script for 2006



OT: Looks like today's news will focus on Khobar Towers. Several bloggers will write about it.


Khobar Towers Shame – Ten Years After by Timmerman

"Brig. Gen. Terryl Schwalier was stunned when he read the account of the June 25, 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia that appeared in my recent book, Countdown to Crisis: the Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran.

I was writing many years after the fact, drawing on sources from inside Iranian intelligence but also on published U.S. government reports.

It was those U.S. reports that prompted General Schwalier to contact me a few months ago.

“You paint a picture of significant government awareness that “Iran was up to something” in the months prior to the Khobar Towers attack,” he wrote to me by e-mail. “Unfortunately, I was not part of that “significant government awareness” circle.”

Why is this not just important, but critically important today, as we face the double challenge of intelligence reorganization and an aggressive Iranian regime, possibly armed with nuclear weapons?"

Read to find the answer.


Damn that Specter for interfering with everything against what is the right thing to do as per the last paragraph of the above article:

"And for the indignity they caused him and for the shame they surely do not feel, Senator Specter and former Defense Secretary William Cohen – who is cashing in on his contacts as a Washington, DC defense consultant – should dip into their own pockets to restore Maj. Gen. Terry Schwalier’s ten years of docked retirement pay."

There needs to be a massive letter-writing of complaints of Specter.



I don't know that writing my Senator did any good at all other temporarily lower my blood pressure. Allen is in re-election mode right now and the local rag [which backed the more conservative Democrat in the recent primary under the theory that he had a better chance of beating Allen in the fall] is doing all it can to portray it as a race, so my history of voting in the Republican primary may get two seconds notice and a "bedbug" letter. It was all I could think to do at the time since I haven't bought a copy of the NYT since the late '80s.

The swipe at Arlen was gratuitous, much like his comments to the press. My one very faint hope is that if enough ticked off people write to Republican senators up for re-election that Frist will finally grow a pair and quietly inform Arlen that it's time to shut-the-hell-up or face the prospect of having lots of time on his hands since he won't be chairing anything.



The process of classifying information needs some explnation. Just because Bush says the search of SWIFT records is classified does not mean the searchee (or facilitator) must remain mum about the search, does it? Serch results were not placed under court seal, as far as I can tell.

What exactly did Bush classify? Presumably a document or manual. Existence of Greenspan/SWIFT negotiations, SWIFT consults with lawyers, etc. does not look in the least bit classified or classifiable.

One must note that Bush again treats the executive branch as prosecutor, judge and law maker. What happened to checks and balances?


There are checks in place. I do not recall ever having the opportunity to vote for or against the NYT as *the* decision-maker. I did vote for Bush.


Who voted for Booz Allen to act as the Article III judge giving access to bank records? BA most likely charges say $15,000 per day for each team of reviewers. The more requests they see, the more teams they can deploy.

No doubt they are consulting with the feds (secretly) to the tune of tens of millions per year about how to track blogs, track blog comments, track viewings for porn sites, etc. They will have databases that let them know more about what we have done and said than we know ourselves (esp. if we have Islamic names).

As they perfect mining for Treasury, they will look for other business: DEA (drug smuggling), stamp out indecency groups (Ashcroft, et al)).

Then they will look for applications for political campaigners (Rove et al), ad campaigners, etc.

Article III judges make a lot more sense as auditors of search requests than Booz, yes?


Pure conjecture.

Cecil Turner

Article III judges make a lot more sense as auditors of search requests than Booz, yes?

In a search for funding streams for wartime adversaries? Sorry, but that looks to me to be predominantly an Article II issue. I'm also less than impressed with your enthusiasm for a court seal, yet derision for Executive classification of information in wartime. (And frankly, this is a good example of why we don't hire lawyers to fight wars.)

Wilson's a liar

Nor do we hire newspaper editors to determine what are the proper methods for prosecuting a war.

Freedom of the press does not convey on the press the unfettered power to substitute its judgment for that of the President or to act as an overseer in lieu of Congress. If you don't think Congress is doing its job in overseeing the Administration's conduct of the war on terror, then bitch to your Congressmen and vote them out - you get the chance to do that every other year! We have NO chance, however, to vote out the editors of the New York Times if we don't like what they are doing. And we can't just stop reading their paper, that's a meaningless gesture.

The other frightening aspect of "oversight by the press" is that when the press keeps its sources anonymous, we the people have no way of examining the veracity or objectivity of those sources. Who revealed the existence of this program to the Times? What is their agenda? Did they give the Times everything or just what they wanted to get into the paper to advance their agenda? How much of what they revealed did the reporter write, and what did he or she leave out to make the story "better?" We'll never know, will we? Does this not bother you even a little? What if these reporters and their editors are completely dishonest and corrupt? How will we know? What can we do about it? Isn't this the most undemocratic and dangerous method imaginable to try to keep tabs on the government?

I'm really mad as hell about this. I feel like I am living in a dictatorship of the news media and I have absolutely no power to do anything about it.


I'm mad too, Wilson's. And another leak was published today. John Warner looked furious this morning - that was his briefing that was leaked.

The "elite: do not govern in a democracy. We voted. We did. Really. We elected Bush.

The fact that these people don't like it doesn't give them the right to do these things. And that is what this is. It's not "public interest," I don't even think it's money or a Pulitzer. It's a series of attempts to disable the Bush administration.



Murtha again.

Rick Ballard

Why refer to it as the New York Times? Why not refer to it as The Traitor's Daily? Not just in comments sections but in casual conversation. Writing to whomever you wish and canceling subscriptions and boycotting advertisers are all good ideas but naming a thing for what it is - and making sure that you have a ready explanation for why you call it that - is better.

If "Anything good in The Traitor's Daily?" were asked to everyone seen reading it - especially in public - it would have an effect. Perhaps not a good effect in Manhattan but it wouldn't hurt in most airports in the country.

It will take something like calling it by its earned name to finish off the The Traitor's Daily for good. Perhaps there is a better name - the important thing is to name it for what it is and never for what it purports to be.


Whether it's treason or sedition or something else, it's definately betrayal. Perhaps in their minds they betray the right for the good of the country, but were Kerry or Gore president one suspects Gitmo, NSA wiretap, secret prisons and finance tracking would still be secret. (If they would have even prosecuted a war on terror, which is debatable).

The tolerance on the right for continuous betrayal might be limited. Of course any reaction will be portrayed as "destroying" civility, civil rights and democracy, but the effect of betrayal is to remove such concerns from reasonable consideration. For the betrayed there is no civility, no civil rights, no democracy.


Swift is not a US entity so it's not subject to the US laws.

John Warner is going to become more secretive after today as well as many others. NYT, LATimes, WSJ, WAPO would probably be denied access to classified briefings more often after this weekend.


Palistinians Claim WMD Capability

HHHmmm...wonder if some of the WMDs came from Iraq via Syria prior to the American invasion....


Taliban called for a truce with Pakistan. Hope Pakistan won't agree to a truce.

Palestinians Invade Israel From Gaza Supposedly through a tunnel. We know why.

Changes to Townhall Kudos to Hugh Hewitt and may we see Tom McGuire and Clarice online with Hugh one day soon! :)


The leak in today's paper was froma an "government official who wishes to remain anonymous." Someone on his committee?

This is twice they've done it to him, and I really can't see him taking much of it.


Very negative and inaccurate assessment of GWOT Progress

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Wizbang has the following up:

Letter From Bill Keller on The Times's Banking Records Report
By Paul on Dumbasses

So Bill Keller a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/25/business/media/25keller-letter.html?_r=1&8dpc=&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin">wrote a letter defending his paper's running of the banking records story.

You can read it for yourself and I'm sure many bloggers and pundits will have many intelligent things to say about it. (Which we'll probably link here.)

But since you value your time, you can skip all that and I'll give you the Reader's Digest version:

Dear Reader:

1) We have no reason to believe the program was illegal in any way.

2) We have every reason to believe it was effective at catching terrorists.

3) We ran the story anyway, screw you.

Bill Keller

If anyone has a copy of the real letter, will you post a link that does not require registering on the NYT site at The Squiggler in How to stop the NY Times II? I would be most appreciative. I'm sure Paul's "dumbass" version is more accurate.

Pal2Pal (Sara)

Oops, that first paragraph should read:

So Bill Keller wrote a letter defending his paper's running of the banking records story.


I'll be glad to post it on my itty bitty politics messageboard, and you can use it from there. I don't think they'll bother with me, it's really tiny - about 200 members, who mostly call each other names. ;)


I'm not pulling anything, I just know i can get away with posting it.

Sara (The Squiggler)

Never mind, Hugh Hewitt is fisking it.


That's good, It dawned on me after I posted that, you would probably crash my server, haha.

Sara (The Squiggler)

SunnyDay, you must have me confused with someone else. I'm just a little gal myself.

Barry Ritholtz

Everyone who posted here should reread this in June 2007.

I suspect much of the commentary here will not age well . . .

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