NY Times accused of treason
vector620022002 at yahoo.com
Mon Jun 26 11:13:50 EDT 2006
Despite the Times bashing over funny book reviews ;) they seem to have
done something right :) :) :)
NY Times accused of treason
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Published Monday 26th June 2006 14:54 GMT
US Representative Peter King (Republican, New York), chairman of the
House Homeland Security Committee, has called the New York Times
"treasonous" for informing the public about another secret Bush
Administration counter-terrorist program, the Associated Press reports.
"We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret
operations and methods is treasonous," King reportedly told the wire
King has also called for the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to
investigate the Times and prosecute the reporters, editors and
publisher on any and all charges they can dream up.
The program in question uses vast amounts of data supplied by the
Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift), a
Belgium-based hub for international bank transactions. It receives
transaction messages from approximately 200 countries, and the USA has
been sifting the data in search of patterns indicating terrorist
The US has used broad subpoenas to obtain the data, as Swift is not set
up to provide targeted information. US Treasury secretary John Snow
said Swift officials volunteered to give the US access to the entire
database. US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hastened to add that the
program is perfectly legal.
And in terms of US law, Gonzales, who has been an apologist for torture
and mass wiretapping, might be telling the truth for a change. The
International Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977 authorises the
President to initiate financial investigations of this nature, although
perhaps not with the sort of broad, electronic dragnet approach in use
at the moment. Still, there doesn't seem to be much risk for the White
House under US law.
As for the laws of other countries whose citizens have been affected,
that is another matter entirely. According to Reuters, the Belgian
government has already launched an investigation into the data
transfer, which may be illegal under local law. It's possible that
other countries will follow suit. The European Commission is reportedly
backing away from any regulatory responsibility, citing a lack of
appropriate legislation, and pushing the issue back into the hands of
member states. The wind-up could be that Swift will find itself
regulated to death, although a whitewash seems the more likely outcome.
In the context of secret, CIA-run prisons in Poland and Romania, and
numerous CIA rendition flights through European airports, neither of
which has been investigated adequately, this massive exposure of
banking data does not appear destined to become much of a cause.
Fortunately for the Bush Administration, Europe appears quite content
to know as little as possible about US interference in its various
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