I guess when the left said that they wanted a “smarter” form of anti-terrorism involving aggressive use of intelligence operations in lieu of military force, what they meant was ‘please, don’t do anything at all to protect civil populations against terrorist organizations.”
The effort, which the government calls the “Terrorist Finance Tracking Program” (TFTP), is entirely legal. There are no conceivable constitutional violations involved. The Supreme Court held in United States v. Miller (1976) that there is no right to privacy in financial-transaction information maintained by third parties. Here, moreover, the focus is narrowed to suspected international terrorists, not Americans, and the financial transactions implicated are international, not domestic. This is not data mining, and it does not involve fishing expeditions into the financial affairs of American citizens. Indeed, few Americans even have information that is captured by the program — though there would be nothing legally offensive even if they did.The New York Times has done it again. They have published enough about methods, people, and operations to compromise them, and to deter anyone from cooperating with the US Government because their identities would be blown by cretinous scribblers who are fighting their own little Jihad against what they have obviously always believed are expendable human lives – anyone they don’t understand in their own society.
And unlike the last vital program the New York Times compromised — the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program, which the same reporters, James Risen and Eric Lichtblau, exposed last December — there is not even a facially plausible concern that the TFTP violates statutory law. The provisions germane here (mainly, the Right to Financial Privacy Act that Congress enacted in 1978 in reaction to Miller) do not even apply to the nerve center at issue, the Society of Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication.
And their “poodles” are on it like white on rice. The fuse is lit!