The Latest Secret Program

:laughing:

Would that be the same conservative-controlled media that published the story over the objections of the Republican administration regarding the government’s secret watch of financial transactions?

Good one, Toe Tag! :bravo:

So? Airlines are entitled to refuse passage to whomever they want. That has always been the case. Where’s the big deal here? Are any of these people being unjustifiably placed on that list? There are examples of similar names resulting in delays in getting certain people on flights, but I would need to see a lot more evidence from you on this before I accept this.

I am trying to say that despite all the hew and cry the only rights that are under attack are those of American citizens who get caught up in leftist criticism orgies.

Um, right.

coming from you, I will take that as a compliment.

Not a moonie though I do read the Washington Times. It is one of the 25 to 30 publications that I read regularly. You should try it sometime… reading that is…

I believe that the Washington Times has more than three subscribers but anyway, this is merely yet another example of your blatant false exaggerations to make your point in the absense of factual evidence.

Well, at least your birds will become more intelligent in the process. Too bad that we could not put you in a similar cage, though I have doubts that it would do any good. One must know how to read before one can be literate.

[quote=“Tigerman”]Bush stated very early on that the US was going to seek to cut off funding to terrorists and terrorist organizations. Did you not hear Bush say that? If you did hear him say that, how do you folks think the government was going to go about cutting off funding to terrorists? If you didn’t hear Bush say that the US was going to seek to cut off funding to terrorists and terrorist organizations, then perhaps you folks were not paying very close attention.

How is any of this a surprise?

:s[/quote]

Gee, makes me wonder what else you have missed… :smiley:

So, alternatively, you think we ought to just close our eyes and allow them to wire funds all over and anywhere they need some jack, eh? That’s brilliant! :laughing:

Good question… but, moot, IMO.

Who says its ineffective? In fact, I’m sure that the terrorists and their supporters have attempted to sneak some transfers under Uncle Sam’s radar. I’m sure they’ve been successful in some instances. I imagine some of them might even have grown complacent, and bold. Thanks to the valiant effort of the NYT, however, they can go back to laying low for a while, and perhaps devise alternative means of transferring funds.

Good job, NYT!

Are you really this ignorant?

  1. Not EVERYONE’S privacy is being trampled.

  2. The reason that certain individuals are being scrutinized is that they are suspected of having dealings with our enemy. Now, perhaps you missed the attacks of 9/11… but, that’s what makes them our enemy.

Gee, maybe we can catch the incompetent terrorists. Even incompetent terrorists are a danger, IMO.

Or, I suppose you think it would be better to simply close our eyes and allow the terrorists and their supporters to send funds and whatnot to each other all over the place? :s

Oh my…is this what all the hub-bub is about?

[quote]There is nothing about this program that exudes even a whiff of illegality. The Supreme Court has squarely held that bank records are not constitutionally protected private information. The government may obtain them without seeking a warrant from a court, because the bank depositor has already revealed his transactions to his bank–or, in the case of the present program, to a whole slew of banks that participate in the complicated international wire transfers overseen by the Belgian clearinghouse known as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift. To get specific information about individual terror suspects, intelligence agents prepare an administrative subpoena, which is issued after extensive internal agency review. The government does not monitor a terror suspect’s international wire transfers in real time; the records of his transactions are delivered weeks later. And Americans’ routine financial transactions, such as ATM withdrawals or domestic banking, lie completely outside of the Swift database.

The administration strongly urged the New York Times not to expose this classified program, and for good reason. According to the Times itself, the program has proven vital in hunting down international killers. The Indonesian terrorist Hambali, who orchestrated the Bali resort bombings in 2002, was captured through the Swift program; a Brooklyn man who laundered $200,000 for al Qaeda through a Karachi bank was tracked via the program. The Wall Street Journal adds that the July 7, 2005, London subway bombings were fruitfully investigated through the Swift initiative and that a facilitator of Iraqi terrorism has been apprehended because of it."

“Now that the Times has blown the cover on this terror-tracking initiative, sophisticated terrorists will figure out how to evade it, according to the Treasury’s top counterterrorism official, Stuart Levey, speaking to the Wall Street Journal. The lifeblood of international terrorism–cash–will once again flow undetected.”
(more fun facts at the link)
The Weekly Standard[/quote]

There probably wouldn’t be anything illegal either about requiring everyone to undergo a thorough background check and then requiring that they have the number 666 tatooed in special ink on their foreheads so they can be instantly recognized in public as “all clear.”

[quote=“spook”]There probably wouldn’t be anything illegal either about requiring everyone to undergo a thorough background check and then requiring that they have the number 666 tatooed in special ink on their foreheads so they can be instantly recognized in public as “all clear.”[/quote]On the “spookism” 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the highest, this ranks at a mere 2. Off topic of course, and thus the 2 points, but the post is lacking in anything truly diversionary or bombastic.

One person’s “off topic” is another person’s “over their head.” :slight_smile:

Basically, this is all playing out quite predictably. Next week, the Bush administration will be caught out by the “liberal media” conducting some sort of new poorly targeted anti-terror effort that intrudes broadly upon the lives of average citizens in some new way; the exposure of the program will be roundly criticized by Coulter, Hal Turner, O’Reilly and other mainstream Republicans as proof that the “liberals” don’t want American to win.

My quick prediction is that the next scandal will go as follows:

[quote]WASHINGTON Dec. 13, 2006 (AP) – A controversial new body-cavity search program implemented by the FBI has once again raised concerns among civil-rights groups. The program, in which pedestrians are chloroformed and then dragged into waiting vans for searches, has become a lightning rod for criticism since it was discovered that private-sector security personnel with felony records were using their penises to conduct the searches.

The White House was quick to react via a prepared statement issued by White House Press Secretary Tony Snow yesterday. “In the struggle against terrorists, we have had to look into new ways to fight them. We retained KBR to handle an efficient program designed to find explosives and weapons planted inside the bodies of average Americans. We’ve had quite a few successes with this program, but of course we are not happy that the New York Times has revealed our methods.”

When asked about the necessity for using penises to do the searches, Snow pulled out a rubber glove. “Do you know how many of these we went through before we realized that the gloved hand is simply not ‘sensitive’ enough to detect a kilogram of C-4 jammed up someone’s keister? Our investigators take big personal risks every single time they conduct a search.”

On Monday, CNN broadcast footage allegedly showing four such KBR vans parked outside the entrance to a Catholic girls’ high school. A KBR spokesman had no comment.

KBR, which won a no-bid contract for $240 million to handle these searches, has been under fire in recent months since the Philadelphia Inquirer traced records showing that more than 70% of KBR security personnel had violent criminal backgrounds.[/quote]

I’ve just about concluded that the only way we’re ever going to be able to get any peace and sanity is to forcibly round up Team Neocon and Team Al Qaida and put them all in a big, enclosed space and just let them go “head-to-head” in the Armageddon Bowl.

They’re just never going to let up trying to recruit the rest of us into their putrid religious war to the death.

I’d say there’s 10,000 tops real troublemakers on both sides so the site would have to hold about 20,000 people.

The only rules would be that you can only have the weapons you can carry in and it’s not over until one side or the other wipes the other out.

Oh, and the big rule: once you wipe the other team out you just go back to your own side of the world then and mind your own fucking business from then on because that’s just what the rest of us intend to do.

Spook, the problem with Team Neocon is that I’m afraid they would lose. So far the evidence to date is that they “fight dumb”.

Would one of you complaining hysterically about the no-longer secret financial data tracking program please explain exactly how that program “intrudes broadly upon the lives of average citizens”.

I mean, per my understanding, there is absolutely nothing about the no-longer secret financial data tracking program that is illegal.

The US Supreme Court has clearly held that bank records are not constitutionally protected private information. The US government may thus obtain such records without a warrant. Under the no-longer secret financial data tracking program, in order to obtain specific information regarding individuals suspected of terror ties, the intelligence agents are required to prepare an administrative subpoena that is issued only after extensive internal agency review. Moreover, the routine financial transactions of US citizens, such as ATM withdrawals or domestic banking, are not scrutinized under the no-longer secret financial data tracking program.

So, MFGR, or any of you other teeth-knashers, please explain, without going off tangent or trying in vain to be clever, just what exactly about this no-longer secret financial data tracking program “intrudes broadly upon the lives of average citizens”.

I don’t understand why you want to allow the terrorists and their supporters to freely transfer funds among each other without possible repercussions. Weren’t you complaining about port security a while back? Do you want to catch the terrorists or not?

“In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans had no constitutional right to privacy for their records held by banks or other financial institutions. In response, Congress passed the Right to Financial Privacy Act two years later, restricting government access to Americans’ banking records. In considering the Swift program, some government lawyers were particularly concerned about whether the law prohibited officials from gaining access to records without a warrant or subpoena based on some level of suspicion about each target.”
NYT

“In 1976, the Supreme Court ruled that Americans had no constitutional right to privacy for their records held by banks or other financial institutions. In response, Congress passed the Right to Financial Privacy Act two years later, restricting government access to Americans’ banking records. In considering the Swift program, some government lawyers were particularly concerned about whether the law prohibited officials from gaining access to records without a warrant or subpoena based on some level of suspicion about each target.”
NYT[/quote]

Does not mean they were in fact illegal though. You must admit that. Some people just don’t like it.

The Right to Financial Privacy Act was Congress’ response to a U.S. Supreme Court decision that found bank customers had no legal right of privacy for their financial information held by [color=red]financial institutions[/color].

[quote="Right to Financial Privacy Act, (12 U.S.C. 3401 et seq.), 3401. Definitions "]

For the purpose of this chapter, the term –

(1) “[color=red]financial institution[/color]” means any office of a bank, savings bank, card issuer as defined in section 1602(n) of title 15, industrial loan company, trust company, savings association, building and loan, or homestead association (including cooperative banks), credit union, or consumer finance institution, located in any State or territory of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, or the Virgin Islands;[/quote]

Doesn’t apply to fainacial records of “financial institutions” located outside of the US or its territories/protectorates. I’d like to know where the terrorists are receiving their funding, or from where it is being sent. Seems like this would be helpful in tracking them down.

You may trust the Bush administration to do the right thing but I don’t:

"Treatment of prosecuted Kurds is dismaying

“We know you’re not the bad guys.”

When U.S. attorney Bill Gould said this to Rasheed Qambari and three other Kurdish men, he meant it. During Saddam Hussein’s brutal regime they’d been firmly pro-U.S., working for a U.S.-funded nongovernmental organization in Iraq. In the late 1990s, their lives in danger, our government rushed them across the border to Turkey, and eventually to Harrisonburg for a new life. Many left behind were executed or disappeared.

Valley churches have a long tradition: Love thy neighbor. We round up housing, translators, jobs, driving, English tutors, worship and money for internationals. But now we are dismayed at government treatment of Kurds we’ve welcomed.

Rasheed Qambari graduated third in his university class with a physics-math degree. When he fled Iraq, he forfeited a free graduate education. He worked two poultry jobs here, saving $15,000 to bring his wife and sons. A talented multilingual man, he also volunteered as translator for the local court.

But now Rasheed and three other Kurds have been charged with felony money transfers under the U.S. Patriot Act. They are devastated, facing jail, fines, a felony record, halted citizenship proceedings and the fear of deportation.

What did these men do to make the FBI think they were bad guys? Actually nothing different from what they had been doing – perfectly legally – for several years: supporting their families here and back home. With no functioning banking system in Iraq, sending money home was complicated. So Rasheed and several other trusted men helped transfer money for other Kurds here. They deposited the money in their Harrisonburg banks, with assurances the procedures were proper, and had the banks wire it to bank accounts of friends in neighboring countries or the U.S.-funded NGO they’d worked for before, which distributed it.

Then everything changed. The Patriot Act, enacted a month after 9/11, made a simple transfer of someone’s money a felony regardless of knowledge or intent, a radical shift in law governing money transfers. Rasheed and the others had neither knowledge of this draconian provision nor any wrongful intent. But under the Patriot Act provision, that didn’t matter. A score of FBI agents raided the four families’ homes, taking belongings, financial records, even one family’s cash down-payment for a house that Hope Community Builders had built them.

What did investigators learn? That the payments were for real needs, the money legitimately earned, the transfers proper and nonfraudulent, and the processing fees reasonable. The decent thing at that point would have been to advise the men that the law had changed, give them a warning and get on with finding money transfers by terrorists. . . ." "

Oh, c’mon, spook. Yes, that particular case sucks, and is an example of idiocy.

But, you cannot be offering this as a serious argument? I mean, we all know that mistakes are made in the criminal justice system… right? Should we, therefore, do away with those laws and procedures that in the very vast majority of cases enable us to track and capture the bad guys because in one instance some idiot prosecutor, or sherriff screwed up?

I don’t think that’s a good argument. The remedy is to correct the wrong, not to throw out an otherwise effective and legal means of fighting crime.

Oh, c’mon, spook. Yes, that particular case sucks, and is an example of idiocy.

But, you cannot be offering this as a serious argument? I mean, we all know that mistakes are made in the criminal justice system… right? Should we, therefore, do away with those laws and procedures that in the very vast majority of cases enable us to track and capture the bad guys because in one instance some idiot prosecutor, or sherriff screwed up?

I don’t think that’s a good argument. The remedy is to correct the wrong, not to throw out an otherwise effective and legal means of fighting crime.[/quote]

Let me know when the Bush administration reverses course on this prosecution and admits that it’s an overzealous mistake.

I wonder how the FBI learned about these wire transfers. :smiling_imp:

I bet the Bush administration could get to the bottom of this matter if they would just send these Kurds to Egypt or Turkey for questioning.

And yet another secret program…?

Should have started this thread years ago, who knows how many pages it could have run.

[quote]Another Secret US Intelligence Program?
By Tom Regan
The Christian Science Monitor

Monday 10 July 2006

House Intelligence Committee only briefed after whistleblower alerts chairman.

The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee said the White House briefed his committee on another "significant" intelligence program only after it was brought to his attention by a government whistleblower.

The New York Times reports that Rep. Peter Hoekstra, (R) of Michigan then pressed President Bush to tell him about the program.

"We can't be briefed on every little thing that they are doing," Mr. Hoekstra said in an interview on "Fox News Sunday." "But in this case, there was at least one major - what I consider significant - activity that we had not been briefed on that we have now been briefed on. And I want to set the standard there, that it is not optional for this president or any president or people in the executive community not to keep the intelligence committees fully informed of what they are doing."

The White House declined to comment on the issue Sunday but said last week that it would continue to work closely with Mr. Hoekstra and the intelligence committees.

The briefing came after Mr. Hoekstra wrote a "strongly worded letter" to President Bush about not being briefed on the program. Hoekstra would not comment on the nature of the program, or whether it involved domestic or international surveillance.

Although he has been a critic of whistleblowers in the past, and has even called for tougher legislation when whistleblowers give classified information to the media, he said "This is actually a case where the whistle-blower process was working appropriately." The Washington Post reports that while Hoekstra appeared to be "mollified" by the briefing he received, he said the government is still falling short of its legal obligations "to brief key congressional members on significant intelligence operations."[/quote]