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Rep. King Seeks Charges Against Papers Over Terror Reporting: Foxnews.com


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http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200891,00.html

Rep. King Seeks Charges Against Papers Over Terror Reporting

Monday , June 26, 2006

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee urged the Bush administration on Sunday to seek criminal charges against newspapers that reported on a secret financial-monitoring program used to trace terrorists.

Rep. Peter King cited The New York Times in particular for publishing a story last week that the Treasury Department was working with the CIA to examine messages within a massive international database of money-transfer records.

King, R-N.Y., said he would write Attorney General Alberto Gonzales urging that the nation's chief law enforcer "begin an investigation and prosecution of The New York Times — the reporters, the editors and the publisher."

"We're at war, and for the Times to release information about secret operations and methods is treasonous," King told The Associated Press.

A message left Sunday with Times spokeswoman Catherine Mathis was not immediately returned.

King's action was not endorsed by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, GOP Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

"On the basis of the newspaper article, I think it's premature to call for a prosecution of the New York Times, just like I think it's premature to say that the administration is entirely correct," Specter told "Fox News Sunday."

Stories about the money-monitoring program also appeared last week in The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. King said he thought investigators should examine those publications, but that the greater focus should be on The New York Times because the paper in December also disclosed a secret domestic wiretapping program.

He charged that the paper was "more concerned about a left-wing elitist agenda than it is about the security of the American people."

When the paper chose to publish the story, it quoted the executive editor, Bill Keller, as saying editors had listened closely to the government's arguments for withholding the information, but "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."

After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Treasury officials obtained access to a vast database called Swift — the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication. The Belgium-based database handles financial message traffic from thousands of financial institutions in more than 200 countries.

Democrats and civil libertarians are questioning whether the program violated privacy rights.

The service, which routes more than 11 million messages each day, mostly captures information on wire transfers and other methods of moving money in and out of the United States, but it does not execute those transfers.

The service generally does not detect private, individual transactions in the United States, such as withdrawals from an ATM or bank deposits. It is aimed mostly at international transfers.

Gonzales said last month that he believes journalists can be prosecuted for publishing classified information, citing an obligation to national security. He also said the government would not hesitate to track telephone calls made by reporters as part of a criminal leak investigation, but officials would not do so routinely and randomly.

In recent months, journalists have been called into court to testify as part of investigations into leaks, including the unauthorized disclosure of a CIA operative's name.

He said the First Amendment right of a free press should not be absolute when it comes to national security.

The left-wing media makes me sick. This statement by Rep. King sums it up nicely: "more concerned about a left-wing elitist agenda than it is about the security of the American people."

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This one is really a big deal:

From what i heard: both republicans and democrats and feds informed the paper there was nothing illegal about this and they shouldnt print this....

This is effectively the same thing as in WWII saying we cracked the code of the Germans during the war...

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This one is really a big deal:

From what i heard: both republicans and democrats and feds informed the paper there was nothing illegal about this and they shouldnt print this....

This is effectively the same thing as in WWII saying we cracked the code of the Germans during the war...

No it's not. Not even close. Tracking terrorist $$$ is no secret. They know we're doing it because we have frozen dozens of their accounts. They still need to send funds. This is just like the wiretapping program being revealed-it doesn't make a damn difference. Terrorists already knew we tracked/wiretapped phones. Everybody and their dog already knew that.

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As much as I would love to remain ignorant as to what my Government is doing, I prefer to be informed.

It's not that YOU are being informed. It's the fact that the ENEMY is being informed.

I really hope criminal charges are filed against the N.Y. Times and the reporters involved. This is an act of treason.

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"Stories about the money-monitoring program also appeared last week in The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times. King said he thought investigators should examine those publications, but that the greater focus should be on The New York Times because the paper in December also disclosed a secret domestic wiretapping program."

Hmmm.

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No it's not. Not even close. Tracking terrorist $$$ is no secret. They know we're doing it because we have frozen dozens of their accounts. They still need to send funds. This is just like the wiretapping program being revealed-it doesn't make a damn difference. Terrorists already knew we tracked/wiretapped phones. Everybody and their dog already knew that.

If everyone knew it then how is it news?

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I really hope criminal charges are filed against the N.Y. Times and the reporters involved. This is an act of treason.

I agree. It would be perfect if criminal charges are filed and we get to find out exactly what is going on, in a court setting.

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I agree. It would be perfect if criminal charges are filed and we get to find out exactly what is going on, in a court setting.

No, no, a secret military trial at Guantanamo. After we hold them without charges for 3 or 4 years first, of course.

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When your track records includes misleading the Public. Then when the time comes for something to stay truly classified, nobody is going to believe you.

I know that sucks. But its the truth. Before it was that there were no wiretaps without warrents. then it was only taps that involved one end being outside the United States. then it was domestic.

After that trainwreck. Nobody is going to believe it when anybody in the Gov tries to say that its legal, and shouldn't be reported.

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"Stories about the money-monitoring program also appeared last week in The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times."

The Wall Street Journal is "more concerned about a left-wing elitist agenda"??? Sounds like a politician trying to use national security issues to push the republican agenda to me. Instead of just going after the paper he tries to tie it to his opponents. Then again it's painfully obvious that there is a double standard in terms of who can use fear and national security for political gain.

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The Wall Street Journal is "more concerned about a left-wing elitist agenda"??? Sounds like a politician trying to use national security issues to push the republican agenda to me. Instead of just going after the paper he tries to tie it to his opponents. Then again it's painfully obvious that there is a double standard in terms of who can use fear and national security for political gain.

Just to add

The Wall Street Journal isn't a right-wing or conservative paper, their editorial page is, but the rest of the paper isn't.

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We have been targetting terrorism financing and money for a long time. This is nothing new, and the reporting of such is not going to affect the effort. In fact, I am sure any terrorists are aware that their finances are being investigated.

Here is an example of this from over a decade ago:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bank_of_Credit_and_Commerce_International

Of course, it must be noted of the awkward connections between some members of our government as well as some banks used by terrorist organizations. Also, it is awkard to discover that elements of the Pakistan have been tied to terrorist financing.

Unless they are mentioning extremely specific operational details, this is not producing anything that will affect our efforts.

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Let's each ask and answer these very simple questions.

1- Is there EVER a time when the News Media should be required to sit on a story?

2- Is there ever a time when the News Media should be FORCED to print a story?

Somewhere in the middle lies the answer. So you'll excuse me if I sit out this one which is destined to become a "Yeah, but it's our NAtional Security at stake" vs "We have the right to know everything our Govt is doing".

My personal opinion is that the Times shouldnt have done it, but they didnt break any law in doing so.

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Let's each ask and answer these very simple questions.

1- Is there EVER a time when the News Media should be required to sit on a story?

2- Is there ever a time when the News Media should be FORCED to print a story?

Somewhere in the middle lies the answer. So you'll excuse me if I sit out this one which is destined to become a "Yeah, but it's our NAtional Security at stake" vs "We have the right to know everything our Govt is doing".

My personal opinion is that the Times shouldnt have done it, but they didnt break any law in doing so.

Goddam voice of reason.

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No it's not. Not even close. Tracking terrorist $$$ is no secret. They know we're doing it because we have frozen dozens of their accounts. They still need to send funds. This is just like the wiretapping program being revealed-it doesn't make a damn difference. Terrorists already knew we tracked/wiretapped phones. Everybody and their dog already knew that.

Actually Everyone thought we were TRYING to get the funds.

Just like the Germans THOUGHT we were trying to crack their codes...

Neither really believed we were doing it...

If you inform them that you have it figured out they change the ways.. If they catch on fine, if we tell them: Not so fine...

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Let's each ask and answer these very simple questions.

1- Is there EVER a time when the News Media should be required to sit on a story?

2- Is there ever a time when the News Media should be FORCED to print a story?

Somewhere in the middle lies the answer. So you'll excuse me if I sit out this one which is destined to become a "Yeah, but it's our NAtional Security at stake" vs "We have the right to know everything our Govt is doing".

My personal opinion is that the Times shouldnt have done it, but they didnt break any law in doing so.

1. No

2. No

Freedom of the press is quite clear and absolute. What you are recommending is literally to take some freedom from the press. Now that is not to say the Government can not ask the press to help.

Funny thing, you are not the only one who thinks the constitution is up for debate:

"Everybody has to figure out in a time of war what's the best way to proceed," he said. "How do journalists discharge their obligations responsibly and how does the nation proceed effectively in fighting terrorism?"

Asked whether there was any evidence that the disclosures had damaged the program, Mr. Snow said it was "a little early to say."

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Im sticking to abstract thought here.

To prove a point.

If the press found out that the US was about to launch an attack on North Korea. And ran a story with coordinates of our ships. And NK then used that info to attack us first, would the press be responsible for their deaths? Certainly. And they should face the consequences.

Nothing is absolute. The SCOTUS has ruled over and over and over again that Rights are not limitless. EX- You cant yell fire in a crowded theatre. You cant own a nuclear weapon. etc etc.

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