Traitor Times - The Real Damage

Bill Keller, and co-horts would like to have you believe that there was no damage done by their devulging of the SWIFT program - that everyone knew anyway, so it didn't mean a thing.

Fact is, their need to blab, cost us dearly.

"According to Treasury and Justice Department officials familiar with the briefings their senior leadership undertook with editors and reporters from the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, the media outlets were told that their reports on the SWIFT financial tracking system presented risks for three ongoing terrorism financing investigations. Despite this information, both papers chose to move forward with their stories.

"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...

According to the Treasury and Justice Department sources, the reporters and editors appeared to have been told that the SWIFT financial monitoring was somehow being undertaken without warrants and without legal supervision. But from the initial briefings, the Times papers were shown information that clearly outlined the search warrant procedures undertaken by the federal government to track some financial transactions.

In fact the SWIFT program released a statement once the Times' stories ran stating that it had negotiated terms of the limited monitoring:

SWIFT negotiated with the U.S. Treasury over the scope and oversight of the subpoenas. Through this process, SWIFT received significant protections and assurances as to the purpose, confidentiality, oversight and control of the limited sets of data produced under the subpoenas. Independent audit controls provide additional assurance that these protections are fully complied with.

"We thought that once the reporters and editors understood that one, these were not warrantless searches, and two, that this was a successful program that had netted real bad guys, and three, that it was a program that was helping us with current, ongoing cases, they would agree to hold off or just not do a story," says the U.S. Treasury official. "But it became clear that nothing we said was going sway them. Whomever they were talking to, whoever was leaking the stuff, had them sold on this story."

To that end, the Justice Department has quietly and unofficially begun looking into possible sources for the leak. "We don't think it's someone currently employed by the government or involved in law enforcement or the intelligence community," says another Justice source. "That stuff about 'current and former' sources just doesn't wash. No one currently working on terrorism investigations that use SWIFT data would want to leak this or see it leaked by others. We think we're looking at fairly high-ranking, former officials who want to make life difficult for us and what we do for whatever reasons."

So enough of the "it didn't hurt nobody" crap. The Ny Times in spite of being specifically told of the risk to ongoing investigations, decided to sell out, just for "political expediency". That's the character of the management of the NY Times and has the DOJ investigation moves forward lets hope they get exactly what they deserve, and that will happen once the sources have been discovered and are made to "turn".

Fact is that if "one reporter" - namely Lichtblau, circumvented security, or paid for classified information - which is a thought being looked into, then he's knee deep in the crap. Whether he did or didn't will be determined shortly. You can bet that the "screws" are being twisted in the right directions. You can tell Lichtblau can feel the heat as he is beginning to change his story.

One official told me that they are loving it every time Keller and Lichtblau comment on the story - "somebody ought to tell them about the right to remain silent."

Hey, they're traitors, no one said that they were smart.