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A google search of the White House web site makes it clear that the government is giving away "secret" programs faster than the New York Times. I was in the process of collecting examples of George spilling the beans, for instance President Announces Crackdown on Terrorist Financial Network

Today, we are taking another step in our fight against evil.  We are setting down two major elements of the terrorists international financial network, both at home and abroad.  Ours is not a war just of soldiers and aircraft.  It's a war fought with diplomacy, by the investigations of law enforcement, by gathering intelligence and by cutting off the terrorists' money.— George W. Bush, November 7, 2001
MSNBC has finished the job. Keith Olbermanm does the honors.

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Countdown with Keith Olbermann
Related: Mad Kane has a limerick on the topic.



The right-wingers are getting crazier and crazier with each passing day.

I think they can sense their grasp on power is slipping rather quickly these days.

The continued use of calling critics "traitors," and casting aspersions on the patriotism of detractors, in 2006 just sounds crazy. It no longer works. The right-wing failures are simply too obvious even to the most oblivious observer.

I wonder how low they will stoop.

Hey now, let's cut the White House some slack. They've classified so many things by now, that it's easier to just assume something is classified than having to look it up.

Time for a resolution to condemn the pResident, eh?

Time for a resolution to condemn the pResident, eh?


Sometimes... things appear on this site that makes me want to break things.

This is one of those times.

I've been following this story and I can hardly remember anything that has generated so much venom from the Bush camp.

This administration has backed itself into a corner with its corruption and now is lashing out like a cornered animal. It is trying to act fearsome, but lacks any substantial options for defending itself from the allegations of law breaking.

This is the moment. Right now. The press should pounce on these f*ckers right now and truly show them that the American people are in charge of this country!

If the Republicans want to convince me this is a crime, I want to see Valerie Plame's Web site first.


I dunno here, the president's language sounds more like a traditional criminal investigation thing - get leads then supoena the specific financial records. Very different from the indiscriminate data mining program revealed by the NY Times (??).

"Hey now, let's cut the White House some slack. They've classified so many things by now, that it's easier to just assume something is classified than having to look it up."

Well, it probably is classified.

The problem with classifing things is that they rarely get unclassified.

My father worked in the Pentagon (among other places, as he was in the Navy) and now works for SAIC (Science Applications International Corporation - they develop lots of technology for a wide range of people, including our own government. Basically, they ex-military working for the military, developing technology for the military, faster, cheaper and of higher quality.) where he has a high security clearence and handles such material.

He has told me that often things that are classified end up being common knowledge, and even when this happens they will remain classified. Why? Because the process to unclassify is such a long and tedious process that they rarely even bother doing it.

What also happens is that some information will be classfied and a person from the media (or any one for that matter) will either make a well educated guess, or will just look at all the pieces and fit them together to get the correct 'answer.'

It happens often and I'm sure you could do a simple search and see first person accounts of people having a visit from the government for something they wrote or said that was classified.

Normally when they explain how they figure it out, they simply drop the issue. But Bush and his cronies don't seem to understand the concept of information that is avaible to the public still being under the label of classified.

Oh well, what do you expect from them? Logic?

Bush gave a speech even earlier than the one originally posted, on 9/24/01 concerning going after terrorists financially. In the Plame case, the WH has said that once Bush gave Cheney the go-ahead to disclose the fact that Valerie Plame worked for the CIA, that it was no longer classified. I can't see how The New York Times story did anything else than remind Americans of what Bush had already told the world. The fact that Cheney doesn't rebuke The Wall Street Journal, which also published, signals to me that the WH may be trying to keep them from publishing more nefarious and perhaps even more odious facts about this admionistration.

My guess is that Bush/Cheney would rather that a further power grab not be reported. On the same day that a bipartisan group of US Senators and scholars denounced President Bush for using signing statements in lieu of his veto power (which he has never used), Bush gave a speech pushing for yet more power in the form of a line-item veto. Apparently, he doesn't know that the Supreme Court ruled it unconstituional. The story is posted at

Thanks for mentioning my Peter King limerick, Norm!

Now that Olbermann has demonstrated that based on Bush's own statements, the NYT, LAT, and WSJ did not reveal anything that Bush himself (or the SWIFT program itself on its own website and magazine for that matter) has revealed, will the WH press corps bring up this point the next time Bush, Cheney, Snow or any other spokesman start frothing at the mouth with charges of treason or undermining security efforts?

Umm.. SWIFT is not the Bush admin's secret spying program, it's a financial network founded in 1973 and headquartered in Brussels. The secret is NOT the existance of the organization, but that the US administration was allowed access to SWIFT's databases -- so the points about the website and magazine are moot. Everyone who does international money transfers knows the SWIFT (BIC) and IBAN codes of their bank accounts, it's disappointing to see Olberman miss the point so badly... he really does remind me of the right wing pundits lately, it's the same brand of loud outrage instead of reasonable analysis and discussion.


c3o makes a fair point. Knowing about SWIFT is not the issue (everyone with a bank account in a real bank has a SWIFT code). But then islamist terrorist groups don't use normal financial networks anymore. They use the hawala remittance system, or suitcases of cash, or similar "under the radar" transfer methods.

My guess is that Washington wasn't looking for terrorist transactions through SWIFT.

Well, people are still missing the point. The problem is NOT the acknowledgement of SWIFT's existence, but the government's actions to get private information about ordinary citizens transactions. It's like everyone may know your bank (no problem there, you might go everyday), but no one should be allowed ,without your consent, to know your financial data.

Boy, this government looks more and more like the WWII fascists every passing day.

Okay, first things first: I hate Bush and his entire administration. They are bad for America and the American people. That said, this piece by Olberman is complete crap. Bush makes general comments about tracking finances and this is supposed to be equivalent to the highly detailed piece run by the Times? Garbage. This is spin-doctoring propaganda on par with Fox News on its worst day. Have enough respect for the American people to come at this head-on. Lies from the right will not be corrected by lies from the left. I'll not be checking this site again for replies, so if you'd like to talk, please e-mail me with comments. That is all.

Hi Q, Olberman makes a good point

Bush has made it very clear since 2002 that US will track terrorist funding. And the first place they look will be banking transactions.

Second, 4 years back, the Bush administration states that they have tracked one source of terrorist funding to a US Arb charity run by a Saudi Prince.

That's why it is perfectly alright to say that the terrorists know the US are tracking their money.

"Only a terrorist who couldn’t shoot straight would assume that Swift was not part of the American effort to stalk terrorist transactions; that’s tantamount to assuming that cops would track down license plate numbers without enlisting the Department of Motor Vehicles. But, unfortunately for us, terrorists are not so stupid: it’s been reported as far back as 2003 (in The Washington Post) and as recently as this month (in Ron Suskind’s must-read best seller, "The One Percent Doctrine") that our enemies long ago took Mr. Bush at his word and abandoned banks for couriers, money brokers, front companies and suitcases stuffed with cash and gold. Tom Brokaw summarized the consensus of terrorism experts last week when he told Chris Matthews of MSNBC: "I don’t know anyone who believes that the terrorist network said, ‘Oh my God, they’re tracing our financial transactions? What a surprise.’ Of course, they knew that they were doing that."


The spin doctoring and leaks that harm US security comes from the Right and Bush:

Bush also told federal prosecutors during his June 24, 2004 interview in the Oval Office that he had directed Cheney, as part of that broader effort, to disclose highly classified intelligence information that would not only defend his administration, but also discredit Wilson, the sources said.


Bush had previously feigned a lack of knowledge about any person in his administration leaking information about Valerie Plame and at first vowed to fire anyone involved in leaking her name on June 10th, 2004.


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