But how? Haven’t terrorists known about SWIFT since September 12, 2001?

The punchline:

“We didn’t give them specifics, just general information about regions where the investigations were ongoing, terrorist organizations that we believed were being assisted. These were off the record meetings set up to dissuade them from reporting on SWIFT, and we thought the pressing nature of the investigations might sway them, but they didn’t,” says a Treasury official.

In fact, according to a Justice Department official, one of the reporters involved with the story was caught attempting to gain more details about one of the investigations through different sources. “We believe it was to include it in their story,” says the official.

Read the whole thing; I could have done without the publication of the info about hawalas, myself, but it’s good to know they’re investigating the leak. “We think we’re looking at fairly high-ranking, former officials,” says the source, “who want to make life difficult for us and what we do for whatever reasons.” I can think of a few people who haven’t been shy about criticizing the administration since leaving it, but all of them would qualify as high-ranking, not “fairly” high.

Meanwhile, here’s Mackubin Thomas Owens on the Buffalo News’s decision to reject stories about Iraq written by Vets for Freedom founders Wade Zerkle and MOH-nominee David Bellavia. They’re biased, says BN, and too close for comfort to certain political groups. And if that sounds like an absurd double standard given whom the media normally consults for news over there, that’s because it is.