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June 26, 2006

Snow: "NYT has undermined Americans' right to live"

The President and his administration are furious at the New York Times and other media outlets for revealing details of the Treasury Department's secret program to monitor financial transactions.

Here's what Press Secretary Tony Snow had to say:

[T]he New York Times and other news organizations ought to think long and hard about whether a public’s right to know in some cases might override somebody’s right to live, and whether in fact the publications of these could place in jeopardy the safety of fellow Americans.

Asked whether the White House attacks on the New York Times represented an effort “to create a chilling effect on media outlets,” Snow responded, “I don’t think so.” [ThinkProgress]

Watch the video of Snow's attack at ThinkProgress.

In other news, China may impose fines on journalists who report on disasters without permission.

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Comments

They didn't denounce Wall Street Journal or L.A. Times, but NYT

Exactly. The Journal did it too, and yet the conversation continues to revolve exclusively around those traitors at the New York Times. Funny how that works, isn't it?

Mr. LaBonne aside from being apparently insane thinks that he knows the ins and outs of terrorist financing better than the people who actually track it for a living.
That bit of idiocy (or is it arrogance?) seems to be extent of the liberal argument.
Lame, very lame.
Remember Steve, your tin foil hat needs to come down over your ears and cover your brain stem in order to be totally effective. It couldn't hurt to add another couple of layers either.

I believe that the folks at the Times are traitors and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law ...

What about the folks at the Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times, who printed the same story? Are they also traitors who should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law?

Yes or no?

Publius, shove it. Those McCarthyite tactics just aren't going to work anymore. Your boys couldn't care less about national security (which they are flushing down the toilet daily, as they grind our armed forces into dust because they can't admit the failure of their harebrained imperial wet dreams.) Thay want power. And more and more people are catching on. Checked Our Fearless Leader's approval ratings lately?

Mnemosyne, we're still waiting for someone from the pitchfork-'n'-torches crowd to fill us in on that score. I've long admired their ability to ignore inconvenient facts, but they're really pushing it here.

The strongest penalty should apply to those who broke the story, who printed it first.

The NY Times refused direct appeals from the administration, from Rep. Murtha, From Congressman Hamilton and from Governor Kean not to print the story. That's undeniable.

I don't know if the other papers printed their story after the NY Times had already printed it, or after they knew that the NY Times would print it that morning.

The NY Times' position is completely indefensible. Let the other publications tell their side of hte story.

Problem I have with the program is this. If they were [i]just[/i] submitting queries to SWIFT for the people they were curious about, say based off taped wiretaps, links to others, whatever, I could see that as being legitimate. but they are taking the [b]whole[/b] database! That's invasive and a privacy violation. Unless you are under suspicion of a crime, there is no reason the government should be spying on you, which is exactly what taking tracking your financial records is. Clearly, they could state any reason they want to access their own data, since once it's given to them, they own it, without having to ask SWIFT again. SWIFT is probably just sending them periodic updates of new information. It's wrong, it's a Constitional violation of my right to privacy, and anybody, Republican, Libertarian or Democrat should be outraged at the Constition getting trampled on. That is if they care about that sort of thing anymore, and prefer to get their panties in a wad over supposed "leaks of information" that they announced 3-4 years prior. Their complaints are about a complete non-issue - they are more upset that they are getting yet more bad press than they are about the damage to national security.

As I said, Phantom, bring it on. You want to see a political Chernobyl for Bush? Treason charges against journalists would fill the bill nicely. Alas, Rove isn't that stupid.

Yes, of course Mnemo, I feel the same way about all of them although I think that the times put the story out first so I doubt whether you could convict anyone for simply repeating a story that's already been published.
Anyway, It's never been done as far as I know so I don't think it will be done in this case.

The NY Times' position is completely indefensible. Let the other publications tell their side of hte story.

Translation: Don't bother me with facts about other papers publishing the same story on the same day -- I'm busy smearing the NY Times! Someone else can attack the Wall Street Journal....

(To echo Steve Labonne: hasn't the general toughening-up of anti-money-laundering laws and treaties over the past few years meant that anyone using standard methods for money transfers would simply *assume* that their transactions were being monitored by authorities?)

Hey Steve
I started to write a response and then deleted it. You're too stupid to bother with.

Yeah, namecalling is always great when you don't have a coherent argument. Whatever.

Exhibit A: I don't know if the other papers printed their story after the NY Times had already printed it, or after they knew that the NY Times would print it that morning.

Exhibit B: I think that the times put the story out first

(Emphasis added.)

I rest my case.

Uncle Kvetch, I don't know why you think there's a vendetta against the New York Times. The last time I checked the L.A Times and the WSJ(except for the editorial page)are pretty liberal too. There's no there there.
To the best of my knowlege the NYT published the story first on the web. I wouldn't bet my trust fund on it but I'm pretty sure that's the way it happened.
That may make the people at the other papers less legally culpable if not less disgraceful.
In any event none of those papers can be charged with a crime. Corporations don't commit crimes, people do. The people who published classified information deserve to be punished. I just don't think it will happen.
I do think that the intelligence employee who leaked the story should be found and treated like the enemy spy that he is. A death sentence or life without parole might serve to discourage other disgruntled individuals from revealing our nations secrets in the future.

The WSJ is actually a very conservative paper. Don't know where you could possibly be getting your misinformation from.

"Yeah, namecalling is always great when you don't have a coherent argument."

Yes, that seems now to be the all to common response to debate here.

Cry, uncle. You better rest your case, weak as it is.

The above thread shows every lib poster taking the issue of "war on terror" and the need for surveillance as part of that war as a joke. Rest assured, the American people don't regard it as a joke.

This is separate and apart from the Iraq War. I regard that war it as entirely justified. But even if you do not support the Iraq War, what the NY Times has done cannot be defended. To the extent that the other papers published these secrets at the identical time, they should be prosecuted as should the NY Times.

It is noted that there have been no responses to the fact that Murtha and the others asked the NY Times --the NY Times, not the other papers-- not to publish.

This is a thread worth saving. There's a widespread thought that liberals simply cannot be trusted on matters of national security.

Lindsay, didjman, ahem, cfrost, Alon, Jeffrey, 1984, Sean, paperwight, Uncle Kvetch, Damien, Steve, Alex: you don't take national security seriously. I think you see the world through a "Bush is the Devil" prism, and could care less if national security is compromised, if it makes the old debbil Bush look bad.

I have my own problems with Murtha, but he is man enough to try to put the country and the safety of its people first while looking at this issue. Which not a one of you has the decency to do.

You won't mind if I share this thread with some people?

And do tell me why Murtha reached his conclusion. No "Rethug" or "pitchfork" comments please. Try to stay on the subject.


Anybody who tosses around phrases like "lib poster" isn't even attempting to make an argument. And I don't care how Murtha reached his opinion, he's wrong. See the first two posts in this thread for some clues. This bullshit has precisely zero to do with national security. It's all about "all power to Our Leader".

P.S. Count up the number of Nixon retreads in high places in this Administration, and you'll begin to understand what's really going on.

Well said, Phantom.

Yes "lib poster" is evidence of bad logic, but "Rethug" shows Cartesian lucidity.

To the best of my knowlege the NYT published the story first on the web. I wouldn't bet my trust fund on it but I'm pretty sure that's the way it happened.

Right. You wouldn't bet your trust fund on it, but you're "pretty sure," and dammit, that's good enough for you to state that "the folks at the Times are traitors and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law."

Sentence first, trial later. That's how it's supposed to work, isn't it?

That may make the people at the other papers less legally culpable if not less disgraceful.

Then again, it may not. But hey, don't let that stop you from throwing the T-word around if it makes you feel good.

Only one of us has accompanied the invective with arguments. The other just insists that everybody must genuflect to his unsupported claim that the NYT has damaged our national security. Of couse, we breathlessly await your explanations of why the first two posters to this thread are wrong. Where are these terrorists who are so dumb that it never occurred to them somebody could get hold of their bank records? Must be the People's Liberation Front of Judea. Or maybe the Judean Peoples'a Liberation Front.

Uncle..

Do take your medicine. I've not used the T word. Thought about using the A word, the F word, and a few other words besided, but did not.

Steve

See my post of 933 yesterday. Every criminal makes mistakes, including terrorist criminals. You engage in surveillance against these guys for the same reason you tap Mafia members' phones. Because they can slip up and they do slip up. The NYT putting this on the front page gives the bad guys a large front page heads up.


Thanks for making my argument for me. The Mafia guys slip up even though they know damn well their phones are tapped. Want to help me out some more, or just quit while you're behind?

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