House vote on resolution condemning NYT expected tomorrow

posted at 7:24 pm on June 28, 2006 by Allahpundit

Loose lips sink ships, says Hastert. The Dems don’t have the stones to make it party-line, so let’s put the over/under at 315. Smart money: over.

Tom Kean tells Byron York he suspected the fix was in:

At the end of the meeting — Kean says he asked a lot of questions — Kean was satisfied that the program was effective and should remain classified. Treasury officials asked that he call Keller. When he did, he was not encouraged. “You just get a feeling,” Kean recalls. “I just had a sense that they were leaning toward running the story.” Keller, he says, listened to his concerns but did not attempt to make the case for publication.

Why’d they run it? Because of creeping fascism, of course:

From our side of the news-opinion wall, the Swift story looks like part of an alarming pattern. Ever since Sept. 11, the Bush administration has taken the necessity of heightened vigilance against terrorism and turned it into a rationale for an extraordinarily powerful executive branch, exempt from the normal checks and balances of our system of government…

The Swift program, like the wiretapping program, has been under way for years with no restrictions except those that the executive branch chooses to impose on itself — or, in the case of Swift, that the banks themselves are able to demand. This seems to us very much the sort of thing the other branches of government, and the public, should be nervously aware of.

If this is the logic, that Bush can’t be trusted now even with unambiguously legal surveillance, then the media has carte blanche to expose counterterrorism operations. Simple as that. It’s a self-awarded license to leak. Never mind the fact that some members of Congress were aware of the program (as Bush himself emphasized the other day), or that Lee Hamilton, Kean’s co-chair on the 9/11 commission, was briefed about it. Their lie is in service to a greater “truth” — that Bush himself, and not the terrorists he’s trying to track, is the primary threat to American national security. Better that ten guilty jihadis go free than one Republican president be able to police them in secret.

Nathan Goulding nails them on another point:

Another strand of the NYT’s argument maintains that TFTP isn’t that effective, despite (by my count) at least four indentifiable examples of it actually working. The claim seems to be that smart terrorists—the ones most likely to successfully carry out an attack—would already know, or at least suspect, that Swift is being monitored. But it only takes one terrorist using Swift to lead investigators to an entire terror cell. Similar methods have been used in cracking down on organized crime: Watch for mistakes, find the weakest link, and exploit it/him/her. Now, everyone knows that Swift is being monitored—and we have one less effective weapon to use in the War on Terror.

Precisely. They’re taking enough flak from the right that they can’t rely on the “Bush is worse” defense to save them. That only works with 48% of the population. So they’re forced to argue, incredibly, that putting the story on the front page of the world’s most famous newspaper doesn’t raise awareness about the program. To see how desperate they’re getting, recall that Victor Comras wrote a post a few days ago for the Counterterrorism Blog describing his participation on a UN panel devoted to studying Al Qaeda in 2002. One paragraph of the group’s final report mentions the SWIFT program; the report itself has been viewable on a UN website for the past four years. And yet, Hambali and the other jihadis caught by the program were pinched in 2003 or later, which suggests that it didn’t make much of an impact in Islamist circles. No matter: the Counterterrorism Blog reports today that they’ve been inundated with requests for interviews with Comras. He’s their “get out of jail free” card — perhaps literally. Jack Kelly makes the case.

Update: Hugh Hewitt says the draft resolution doesn’t name either Times.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Prosecute the leakers.

pat on June 28, 2006 at 7:51 PM

So if they condemn the NYT with this vote exactly what is accomplished? I say let a vote be held on Peter King’s suggestions to prosecute the times and investigate them. I do mean prosecute and then investigate, in that order. That is the way the anything dealing with the GOP is handled. Prosecute first then print a retraction weeks or months later on the 40th page. Let them have a taste of there own medicine. Seeing Keller in the Judiciary subcommitee answering as many questions as say, Sam Alito, would be a sight worth seeing.

Psycotte on June 28, 2006 at 8:23 PM

Now that the liberal MSM is going full guns running cover for the Times on all the talking head shows trying to convince a sleeping America that “it doesn’t REALLY matter because they already knew”, the only thing that is missing is CAIR and the rest of the Muslim terrorists coming out spinning for them also. Look for a Bin Laden tape shortly telling the world that the Times didn’t tell him anything he didn’t already know.

Real Americans despise liberal seditious traitors, and those who don’t, well, they are seditious traitors themselves.

NRA4Freedom on June 28, 2006 at 8:42 PM

Congress is voting to condemn the NY Times?

I guess that is the first step in a long process of not actually doing anything to hold that paper accountable for their actions.

4thelittleguy on June 28, 2006 at 10:09 PM

I think Washington would say that talk is cheap, and passing resolutions is talk.

That said, either this thing is classified and the White House should have told the Times outright not to publish under threat of prosecution, or it’s not. And if it’s so dangerous to reveal it, why the hell wasn’t it classified? If it was classified why was it leaked, however quietly, by the UN, and by SWIFT itself? Why is the law so ambigious in these enormously important areas? Or is it? I am going insane.

Alex K on June 28, 2006 at 11:03 PM

The NY Slimes has it in their heads that they are the only ones fit to decide what keeps America safe as they ride rough shod on an Elected President. Time to cut them down to size!

Bush has all of the support he needs in this fight. I hope he gets the ball rolling soon. ;o)

DannoJyd on June 28, 2006 at 11:37 PM

With this escalation in the Middle East, North Korea, Iran et all, the President is preoccupied with much more significant items than the miniature-NYT. Surely, they are smart enough to know/hate this – they are and should feel diminished.

I believe that even they see how defeating and treaturous their attitute and acts have been. They are not helping but hindering their liberal protegees.

Ignore them!

Entelechy on June 29, 2006 at 2:46 AM

Congress is afraid of the Press.

It’s just that simple.

Warner Todd Huston on June 29, 2006 at 3:07 AM

LEAKERS are the ones who MUST be stopped. Go after the paper if it has nothing to print?

tormod on June 29, 2006 at 9:21 AM

I said it before and still believe the reason the administration will not pursue the traitors at the NYT times is that the leaker’s are Senators and Congressional members.

It was probably Leaky Leahy or Rockefellar.

ScottyDog on June 29, 2006 at 11:17 AM

ScottyDog, I agree with you. They were probably members of committees which were briefed on the program during the last 5 years and felt it necessary, for political reasons, to release the info in the last few months, when they were sure to gain at least the House in Nov.

How things have changed, though. The administration might still list all who have been briefed, closer to Nov. I wouldn’t feel comfortable if I were one of the leakers. Those who asked the NYT to hold the story might come out and defend themselves.

Entelechy on June 29, 2006 at 12:27 PM