Jun 30 2006
Strata-sphere was one of the first to note the comment by NY Times editor Bill Keller where he admitted Rep John ‘Jack’ Murtha called the Times and asked them not to print the details of our now crippled program to monitor terrorist financial details. It seems we were correct in our original account since the venerated WSJ is now confirming this in their account of the NY Times despicable actions:
According to Tony Fratto, Treasury’s Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs, he first contacted the Times some two months ago. He had heard Times reporters were asking questions about the highly classified program involving Swift, an international banking consortium that has cooperated with the U.S. to follow the money making its way to the likes of al Qaeda or Hezbollah. Mr. Fratto went on to ask the Times not to publish such a story on grounds that it would damage this useful terror-tracking method.
Sometime later, Secretary John Snow invited Times Executive Editor Bill Keller to his Treasury office to deliver the same message. Later still, Mr. Fratto says, Tom Kean and Lee Hamilton, the leaders of the 9/11 Commission, made the same request of Mr. Keller. Democratic Congressman John Murtha and Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte also urged the newspaper not to publish the story.
I am still amazed at the arrogance of the NY Times when it was faced with so many pleas from left and right to not print a damaging story. A story that only damaged our ability to stop the next terrorist attack – someplace in the world given the scope of SWIFT. And as usual, the NY Times reporters and their partisan leakers had all the details important to the terrorists right, and all the details Bush administration wrong doing wrong:
Based on his own discussions with Times reporters and editors, Mr. Fratto says he believed “they had about 80% of the story, but they had about 30% of it wrong.” So the Administration decided that, in the interest of telling a more complete and accurate story, they would declassify a series of talking points about the program. They discussed those with the Times the next day, June 22.
I agree the NY Times has forfeited their right to access to the Federal government at all levels. Their press credentials should be revoked. Clear orders should be sent to all Federal workers that talking to the NY Times will mean losing your jobs. And the Congress should drag all these miscreants up to testify about their sources. What is clear is the WSJ was brought into this once it was clear the NY Times was going to destroy this program by outing it since they saw no risk to American lives. Interesting to see how this is playing out. Media against media. The NY Times is a dinasour which is about ready to fossilize. It is not a business but a partisan looney bin. And a dangerous one at that.