Looks like the New York Times and L.A. Times couldn’t help but take another toke off the ‘anonymous source‘ crack pipe. They leaked classified counterterrorism information revealing a successful program used to capture the most wanted al-Qaida figure in Southeast Asia.
Well, the program was successful, up until Eric Lichtblau and James Risen decided to listen to the leakers and agree that it shouldn’t be secret anymore.
Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials.
The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to al-Qaida by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry, a Belgian cooperative that routes about $6 trillion daily between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions. The records mostly involve wire transfers and other methods of moving money overseas and into and out of the United States. Most routine financial transactions confined to this country are not in the database.
Viewed by the Bush administration as a vital tool, the program has played a hidden role in domestic and foreign terrorism investigations since 2001 and helped in the capture of the most wanted Qaida figure in Southeast Asia, the officials said.
Bill Keller, the newspaper’s executive editor, said: "We have listened closely to the administration’s arguments for withholding this information, and given them the most serious and respectful consideration. We remain convinced that the administration’s extraordinary access to this vast repository of international financial data, however carefully targeted use of it may be, is a matter of public interest."
Blood pressure…rising…must control…fist of death!
One step forward, two steps behind. Let see how proud these blabbermouths are when America gets hit again.