Sunday, January 14, 2007


The NY Times has resumed their never-ending quest of helping our terrorist enemies. Here’s their latest attempt to undermine national security:

The Pentagon has been using a little-known power to obtain banking and credit records of hundreds of Americans and others suspected of terrorism or espionage inside the United States, part of an aggressive expansion by the military into domestic intelligence gathering. (Ed.- emphasis added)

The CIA has also been issuing what are known as national security letters to gain access to financial records from American companies, though it has done so only rarely, intelligence officials say.

Banks, credit card companies and other financial institutions receiving the letters usually have turned over documents voluntarily, allowing investigators to examine the financial assets and transactions of American military personnel and civilians, officials say.

Notice that this isn’t taking in hundreds of thousands of names. It says that it’s been done on “hundreds of Americans.” That’s hardly being abusive. In fact, I’d argue that it’s rather restrained.

I expect John Conyers to take this up in his committee. This paragraph says why he’s interested in it:

Government lawyers say the legal authority for the Pentagon and the CIA to use national security letters in gathering domestic records dates back nearly three decades and, by their reading, was strengthened by the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act.

I’ve written a few times lately about Conyers’ desire to gut the Patriot Act. Don’t think that he won’t see this as a perfect opportunity to exploit.

I’d further suggest that the credibility of this reporting is suspect because we’re getting this information leaked. If there’s anything that makes me suspicious of a report, it’s when the information was acquired through a snitch with an agenda.

If the government’s lawyers are right that the Patriot Act strengthened the use of national security letters, then it’s reasonable to assume that there’s regular oversight done on this program. If that’s the case, then we don’t need to read about it in the NY Times.

I’d further add that it’s suspicious that Eric Lichtblau, one of the reporters that exposed the NSA Terrorist Surveillance Program, another important tool in preventing terrorist attacks, is one of the reporters for this article. Does the NY Times hire Mr. Lichtblau each time they want to tell terrorists about the tools the U.S. is using in preventing terrorist attacks? Or do they just keep such subversives on payroll for use during Republican administrations?

Obviously, they didn’t use the likes of Mr. Lichtblau to expose Bill Clinton’s Echelon program. Furthermore, they didn’t use Mr. Lichtblau to write about Bill Clinton’s use of warrantless searches in other cases. Are we to believe that that’s pure coincidence? Or should we just believe that the NY Times has it in for Republicans? They certainly don’t have it in for Democrats.

It’s time we got rid of reporters with such a history of undermining our war efforts. He’s potentially endangering millions of lives with his reporting. That isn’t reporting; it’s subversion.