[quote]THE PRESIDENT: The United States is pressing the war against terror on every front. From the mountains of Afghanistan to the bank accounts of terrorist organizations. The first strike in the war against terror targeted the terrorists’ financial support. We put the world’s financial institutions on notice: if you do business with terrorists, if you support them or sponsor them, you will not do business with the United States of America.
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.
I want to thank Secretary Paul O’Neill for being here today and for being the leader of this fine organization. I want to thank the Director, Jim Sloan, as well. You’re doing some imaginative work here at the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and I want to thank all the fine Americans who are on the front line of our war, the people who work here.
I want to thank Secretary Colin Powell for being here, as well. He’s doing a magnificent job of stitching together one of the greatest coalitions ever – a coalition of nations that stands for freedom. And I want to thank our Attorney General for coming – the man whose job it is to make sure that any time we find anybody inside our country who will threaten an American, threaten our institutions, they will be brought to justice. And that’s exactly what our nation is doing.
Acting on solid and credible evidence, the Treasury Department of the United States today blocked the U.S. assets of 62 individuals and organizations connected with two terror-supporting financial networks – the Al Taqua and the Al Barakaat. Their offices have been shut down in four U.S. states. And our G8 partners and other friends, including the United Arab Emirates, have joined us in blocking assets and coordinating enforcement action.
Al Taqua is an association of offshore banks and financial management firms that have helped al Qaeda shift money around the world. Al Barakaat is a group of money wiring and communication companies owned by a friend and supporter of Osama bin Laden. Al Taqua and Al Barakaat raise funds for al Qaeda; they manage, invest and distribute those funds. They provide terrorist supporters with Internet service, secure telephone communications and other ways of sending messages and sharing information. They even arrange for the shipment of weapons.
They present themselves as legitimate businesses. But they skim money from every transaction, for the benefit of terrorist organizations. They enable the proceeds of crime in one country to be transferred to pay for terrorist acts in another.
The entry point for these networks may be a small storefront operation – but follow the network to its center and you discover wealthy banks and sophisticated technology, all at the service of mass murderers. By shutting these networks down, we disrupt the murderers’ work. Today’s action interrupts al Qaeda’s communications; it blocks an important source of funds. It provides us with valuable information and sends a clear message to global financial institutions: you are with us or you are with the terrorists. And if you’re with the terrorists, you will face the consequences.
We fight an enemy who hides in caves in Afghanistan, and in the shadows within in our own society. It’s an enemy who can only survive in darkness. Today, we’ve taken another important action to expose the enemy to the light and to disrupt its ability to threaten America and innocent life.
I’m proud of the actions of our agencies. We’re making a difference. We’re slowly but surely tightening the noose, and we will be victorious.
Now it’s my honor to welcome the Secretary of Treasury, Paul O’Neill. (Applause.) [/quote]
Now, let’s compare the details provided in this one with the details prodided in the NYT.
You’re losing it, mofangongren.
You’re grasping at straws, desperately… and failing miserably.
Please explain to us how, in your mind, the text of President Bush’s statements you cited above could in any reasonable way constitute “giving away anti-terror secrets”.
Its a swiiiiiing… and a great biiiiig miss… I felt the breeze all the way to here! Whifffffffff!
Tigerman, you’re getting silly now. With Bush’s administration handing out the names of CIA officers left and right and blowing the cover on their own finance-investigation program, I can only wonder why somebody doesn’t try to control the man.
I can’t help wondering how much longer Bush & Co are going to continue weakening America’s defenses. Seems pretty sad, when you consider the extraordinary trust we all gave him after 9-11.
Haha! Good one, mofangongren! That’s a real side-splitter!
Naturally you’ve no objection to the efforts of the NYT and others to weaken our position against our enemies?
How could the NY Times weaken our position when Bush, Libby, Rove, Novak and the others are so determined to get there first??
How could the NY Times weaken our position when Bush, Libby, Rove, Novak and the others are so determined to get there first??[/quote]
What secrets did Bush give away by saying what he said?
You’d be bitching if he said nothing.
The when he DOES something and says nothing, like with SWIFT, you bitch too?
I so do not envy you and your relationship to the POTUS.
Are you suggesting that mofangongren suffers from POTUS envy?
Is “SWIFT” one of the secret programs that has supposedly been uncovered by the NYTimes? Hope not!
Is “SWIFT” one of the secret programs that has supposedly been uncovered by the NYTimes? Hope not! [/quote]
Not swift? WTF was it? lol I know there was a “SW” in it…
man it’s been a loooooooooooooooooooong day
You guys do realize that saying that you “use SWIFT” to detect money transactions is about like saying that the U.S. Postal Service “uses zip codes” to deliver mail. I’ve known and used SWIFT for years – and their system of coding banks and bank branches has been a great way to ensure money shows up where it’s supposed to. “SWIFT is about as clandestine an organization as Wachovia,” said Ken Olberman in the video linked to above, and frankly I’d agree.
Would a terrorist know to avoid banks that use SWIFT for international transactions? Not really. Pretty much every bank on the planet that does even a wee bit of money transfers (i.e., all banks) has SWIFT and uses it to make sure money goes to the right destination. The terrorists can’t really pick and choose.
With SWIFT being a ubiquitous tool throughout the banking community, does this change anything? Not really. Bush has made it clear from the beginning that we’d be following the money. So if the big concern was whether terrorists knew we might monitor banking transactions, it’s a bit late. One might as well say that it’s giving up “vital” secrets to the terrorists for them to know that our anti-terror efforts will also make full use of electric lights, elevators and updated versions of Alexander Graham Bell’s telephone. Perhaps we’ll use a few zip codes as well!
Wait a minute, so now the secrets aren’t secrets?
MFGR, you are confusing the shit out of me.
[quote=“jdsmith”]Wait a minute, so now the secrets aren’t secrets?
MFGR, you are confusing the shit out of me. [/quote]
Well, I think we’ve gotten down to the heart of it. Bush told everybody multiple times that we were going to scour the international banking systems to find the terror networks’ money transfers. The New York Times story mentions the use of cooperation with SWIFT, which is about tantamount saying that we’re going to target banks that have electricity and phones. The “news” part of the NYTimes article is that the scouring of records may include millions of transactions with no terror connection. The “shock” of Bush, to me, sounds like a load of hooey.
“I am absolutely sure they didn’t know about SWIFT. There are – when you have key government officials around the world saying, we didn’t know about it – there may have been a lot of activity but it is a program that was not well-known, including among people who have pretty high positions in the banking industry. . . . ..”
– Whitehouse press secretary Tony Snow, when asked if the Whitehouse believed terrorists didn’t know about the SWIFT interbank system.
ok look, you guys fight it out. Let me know if it was or wasn’t a secret.
SWIFT is a top-secret banking transaction clearinghouse that “hardly anyone” knows about except for a few highly placed insiders.
As a matter of fact, it’s holding its next secret meeting in Sydney this year to be attended by a select group of 5,600 such insiders but don’t tell anyone because it’s a secret.
SWIFT is a top-secret banking transaction clearinghouse that “hardly anyone” knows about except for a few highly placed insiders.
As a matter of fact, it’s holding its next secret meeting in Sydney this year to be attended by a select group of 5,600 such insiders but don’t tell anyone because it’s a secret.[/quote]
Well, secret and uninformed are different I suppose, but if it’s NOT a secret then why is MFGR saying that Bush himself gave the secrets away?
Sorry, quote function still not working:
(quote)Counterterrorism Blog: Reports of US Monitoring of SWIFT Transactions Are Not New: The Practice Has Been Known By Terrorism Financing Experts For Some Time.
Yesterday’s New York Times Story on US monitoring of SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) transactions certainly hit the street with a splash. It awoke the general public to the practice. In that sense, it was truly new news. But reports on US monitoring of SWIFT transactions have been out there for some time. The information was fairly well known by terrorism financing experts back in 2002. The UN Al Qaeda and Taliban Monitoring Group , on which I served as the terrorism financing expert, learned of the practice during the course of our monitoring inquiries. The information was incorporated in our report to the UN Security Council in December 2002. That report is still available on the UN Website. Paragraph 31 of the report states:
“The settlement of international transactions is usually handled through correspondent banking relationships or large-value message and payment systems, such as the SWIFT, Fedwire or CHIPS systems in the United States of America. Such international clearance centres are critical to processing international banking transactions and are rich with payment information. The United States has begun to apply new monitoring techniques to spot and verify suspicious transactions. The Group recommends the adoption of similar mechanisms by other countries.”
He goes on to state the obvious- terrorists, along with dope dealers, gun runners, people smugglers and other international criminals generally expect that financial transactions will be monitored.
So the NYT, LATimes and WSJ have exposed something that`s been on the UN website since 2002.
And still no reply: why the Bush Admin. sent letters to the NYT and the LAT asking them not to publish, but didn`t do the same for the Wall Street Journal. Amid all the right-wing screaming about the treason of the Times, they all pretend not to notice that the WSJ published the same story on the same day.
When the wingnuts start calling for the editor of the Wall Street Journal to be executed, I`ll believe that they are serious and not just pushing partisan politics as usual.
The unsettling part is that the Whitehouse is apparently – as usual – so clueless. The Bush administration is no more equipped to protect American citizens from terrorists than it was to help the citizens of New Orleans recover from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina.
Is the United States winning the war on terror? Not according to more than 100 of America’s top foreign-policy hands. They see a national security apparatus in disrepair and a government that is failing to protect the public from the next attack.
" . . . FOREIGN POLICY and the Center for American Progress teamed up to survey more than 100 of America’s top foreign-policy experts—Republicans and Democrats alike. The FOREIGN POLICY/Center for American Progress Terrorism Index is the first comprehensive effort to mine the highest echelons of America’s foreign-policy establishment for their assessment of how the United States is fighting the Global War on Terror. Our aim was to draw some definitive conclusions about the war’s priorities, policies, and progress from the very people who have run America’s national security apparatus over the past half century. Participants include people who have served as secretary of state, national security advisor, retired top commanders from the U.S. military, seasoned members of the intelligence community, and distinguished academics and journalists. Nearly 80 percent of the index participants have worked in the U.S. government—of these more than half were in the executive branch, one third in the military, and 17 percent in the intelligence community.
Despite today’s highly politicized national security environment, the index results show striking consensus across political party lines. A bipartisan majority (84 percent) of the index’s experts say the United States is not winning the war on terror. Eighty-six percent of the index’s experts see a world today that is growing more dangerous for Americans. Overall, they agree that the U.S. government is falling short in its homeland security efforts. More than 8 in 10 expect an attack on the scale of 9/11 within a decade. These dark conclusions appear to stem from the experts’ belief that the U.S. national security apparatus is in serious disrepair. “Foreign-policy experts have never been in so much agreement about an administration’s performance abroad,” says Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations and an index participant. “The reason is that it’s clear to nearly all that Bush and his team have had a totally unrealistic view of what they can accomplish with military force and threats of force.”
Respondents sharply criticized U.S. efforts in a number of key areas of national security, including public diplomacy, intelligence, and homeland security. Nearly all of the departments and agencies responsible for fighting the war on terror received poor marks. The experts also said that recent reforms of the national security apparatus have done little to make Americans safer. Asked about recent efforts to reform America’s intelligence community, for instance, more than half of the index’s experts said that creating the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has had no positive impact in the war against terror. “Intelligence reform so far has been largely limited to structural reorganization that in most cases produced new levels of bureaucracy in an already overly bureaucratic system,” says index participant Bill Gertz, a journalist who has covered the intelligence community for more than 20 years.
The index’s experts were similarly critical of most of the policy initiatives put forward by the U.S. Congress and President George W. Bush since September 11. Eighty-one percent, for instance, believe the detention of suspected terrorists at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, negatively affects the war on terror. The index’s experts also disapprove of how America is handling its relations with European allies, how it is confronting threatening regimes in North Korea and Iran, how it is controlling the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and its dealings with failing states, to name just a few. “We are losing the war on terror because we are treating the symptoms and not the cause,” says index participant Anne-Marie Slaughter, dean of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. “Our insistence that Islamic fundamentalist ideology has replaced communist ideology as the chief enemy of our time … feeds al Qaeda’s vision of the world.”"
Risk : disasters, terrorism, epidemics, fraud…
When failure is not an option, what can make the difference?
Thursday 12 October - 11:00-12:30
Whether it’s planning for natural disasters, terrorism, epidemics or fraud, today’s CIO knows that failure is simply not an option. This audience-led session will put your questions on ‘catastrophic risk’ to a panel of risk experts. The session will be entirely led by your questions (submitted in advance through mySibos). The panel will give their opinions on what is meant by ‘catastrophic risk’; what the technology and the people factors are that make for successful risk mitigation; and what collaborative measures they believe the industry can take. During the discussion, the panel is likely to debate the change in approach before and after 9/11; contrast the approaches needed to tackle disasters versus terrorism versus epidemics versus fraud; and challenge you to apply lessons from different industries to your own risk challenges.
*[b] Mike Fish, CIO, SWIFT[/b] * Wolfgang G. Gaertner, Managing Director Deutsche Bank and Member of the Board of Directors, SWIFT * [b]Neil Gallagher, Homeland Security Executive, Bank of America[/b] * Patrick Moeyaert, Operations Manager, Electrabel Doel Nuclear Power Plants * Harry Newman, Director, FIN and Messaging Products, Marketing Division, SWIFT
Well, President Bush didn’t mention SWIFT by name when he gave this speech in 2001 but he might as well have. Maybe this is what MFGR is referring to:[/color]
"We know that many of these individuals and groups operate primarily overseas, and they don’t have much money in the United States. So we’ve developed a strategy to deal with that. We’re putting banks and financial institutions around the world on notice, we will work with their governments, ask them to freeze or block terrorist’s ability to access funds in foreign accounts. . . .
We have developed the international financial equivalent of law enforcement’s “Most Wanted” list. And it puts the financial world on notice. . . . We’ve established a foreign terrorist asset tracking center at the Department of the Treasury to identify and investigate the financial infrastructure of the international terrorist networks.
It will bring together representatives of the intelligence, law enforcement and financial regulatory agencies to accomplish two goals: to follow the money as a trail to the terrorists, to follow their money so we can find out where they are; and to freeze the money to disrupt their actions.
We’re also working with the friends and allies throughout the world to share information. We’re working closely with the United Nations, the EU and through the G-7/G-8 structure to limit the ability of terrorist organizations to take advantage of the international financial systems."
– President Bush, September 2001