Saturday, July 15, 2006

National Security Breached Again 
Left-leaning blog No Quarter has some observations about a breach he feels was far more damaging than the SWIFT revelations:

Let's start with the revelation that the CIA and the FBI have been given access to Western Union data and have used this information to track and disrupt several terrorist networks. Take a look at page 231-233, where Suskind details how the Western Union data was passed to the Israelies and used to track operatives of Palestinain Islamic Jihad (PIJ). According to Suskind, a Western Union official gave the FBI info about a PIJ transaction in April 2003:

The Terrorism Section of the Department of Justice, on twenty-four-hour call, kicked into gear. In an arrangement with the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern district of Virginia, based in Alexandria, they issued an instantaneous subpoena. It allowed Western Union--a U.S.-based company--to notify FBIK and CIA about which location the oney was being wired to, and who was picking it up. All of it occurred in minutes. Israeli intelligence ooficers were hailed. They raced, silently, to the right Western Union office in Hebron, and then followed the PIJ courier to his safe house in the West Bank. From there, electronic surveillance equipment swiftly tracked communications to other cells in the Palestinian territories.

For the love of God, why expose a capability that was top secret and not publicly known? Unlike the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Wall Street Journal stories on the SWIFT transactions--which was publicly known and did not capture terrorist activities--this is a bombshell. It was done within the law and it played a critical role in finding terrorists and preventing subsequent attacks. Why reveal it? No good reason except to feed the egos of those involved. Based on Suskind's book it appears that Dennis Lormel was one of the principle sources for this story. I don't know Dennis and have no vendetta against him, but there is absolutely no reason to justify his decision to release this story to the press. And Dennis had the gall to criticize the New York Times?

Of course, Johnson is falling into a trap, here. We know that SWIFT DID capture terrorist activities, both from the capture of Hambali in 2003, and from Treasury Secretary John Snow's furious open letter to NY Times editor Bill Keller:

You have defended your decision to compromise this program by asserting that "terror financiers know" our methods for tracking their funds and have already moved to other methods to send money. The fact that your editors believe themselves to be qualified to assess how terrorists are moving money betrays a breathtaking arrogance and a deep misunderstanding of this program and how it works. While terrorists are relying more heavily than before on cumbersome methods to move money, such as cash couriers, we have continued to see them using the formal financial system, which has made this particular program incredibly valuable.

Emphasis added.

So Johnson's assertion that the SWIFT program did not capture terrorist activity is false (unless you're one of those moonbats who think that Snow must be making the whole thing up).

Splash, out


Larry Johnson is a nut, pure and simple.
he is a conspiracy-theory-monger, hypocrite and a spreader of lies. He is part of VIPS, a conspiracy of leftwing former spooks that tried to bring down the President:


"urging employees inside the intelligence agency to break the law and leak any information they have that could show the Bush administration is engineering the release of evidence to match its penchant for war."

So, Larry Johnson is FOR lawbreaking and leaks when it suits his partisan agenda.

His deflection on SWIFT indicates that he trying to downplay what an awful thing that was done when the SWIFT money tracking secrets were revealed. *IT IS PROBABLY BECAUSE SOMEONE HE KNOWS WHO WAS BEHIND THE SWIFT REVELATIONS.*

BTW, I link to your blog from mine
Here is the punchline ... Before becoming an enemy of the Bush administration, Larry Johnson was the worst intelligence analyst in the world, predicting "The Declining Threat of Terrorism" 2 months before 9/11.

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