Sunday, July 02, 2006

Nonsensical Attack against Freedom of the Press

The New Tork Times had a great op-ed response to its critics for publishing revelations about a secret Bush administration program to monitor international banking transactions.
... the virulent hatred espoused by terrorists, judging by their literature, is directed not just against our people and our buildings. It is also aimed at our values, at our freedoms and at our faith in the self-government of an informed electorate. If the freedom of the press makes some Americans uneasy, it is anathema to the ideologists of terror.
What is really contrary to American values is not the publication of "secret information" but rather the reaction of the White Houste officials who lashed out at the media - and The New York Times in particular -- for purportedly undermining the government's antiterrorism efforts. What is even un-American is the conservative media's accusations of treason and the suggestion that the editors and reporters responsible for the Times article should be prosecuted under the Espionage Act. (here)

From a more pragmatic perspective, the whole fuss is nonsensical anyway. It is pretty obvious that anyone with with minimum brain power - even terrorists - must have figured out that the Bush administration should have monitored international transactions for some time now.
Besdies, as Media Matters reminds us, long before June 23, Bush and other administration officials acknowledged that terrorists were increasingly using other methods of transferring money to evade detection and have publicly touted the government's capability to do so for years.


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