The Dean of Library Services at a San Antonio University library has ordered the cancellation of their subscription to The New York Times.
As reported in the San Antonio Express-News: ""Since no one elected the New York Times to determine national security policy, the only action I know to register protest for their irresponsible action (treason?) is to withdraw support of their operations by canceling our subscription," Mendell D. Morgan, Jr. wrote in a June 28 email to library staff. "If enough do, perhaps they will get the point."
As is perfectly obvious to anyone not relying on the GOP propaganda machine for news, this equating of the New York Times actions in publishing a story with possible treason is ignorant, baseless and false.
Falsehood: Times article tipped off terrorists to U.S. bank-tracking efforts
Bush and other administration officials have long acknowledged that terrorists were increasingly using other methods of transferring money to evade detection because of the tracking and monitoring programs they themselves revealed. Bush spoke of a "foreign terrorist asset tracking center at the Department of the Treasury to identify and investigate the financial infrastructure of the international terrorist networks" shortly after 9/11. On November 7, 2001, then-Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill announced that the United States, along with an "international coalition," had begun "to block assets, to seize books, records and evidence, and to follow audit trails to track terrorist cells poised to do violence to our common interests." In a September 10, 2004, statement, the Treasury Department disclosed "some of the many weapons used against terrorist networks," which included "following money trails to previously unknown terrorist cells." An April 2006 Treasury Department report similarly noted that the department "follows the terrorists' money trails aggressively, exploits them for intelligence, and severs links where we can."
There have been numerous reports on how successful this program has been. A Dec. 2002 report to the United Nations Security Council -- which is available online -- describes the administration's efforts to monitor SWIFT transactions. "There have been public references to SWIFT before," said Roger Cressey, a senior White House counterterrorism official until 2003. Richard Clarke, the former anti-terrorism czar in this administration concurred in a joint op-ed: "They want the public to believe that it had not already occurred to every terrorist on the planet that his telephone was probably monitored and his international bank transfers subject to scrutiny. How gullible does the administration take the American citizenry to be?"
As I previously wrote, the international agency responsible for international wire transfers is not at all secret, difficult to be secret with their trade show and magazine, and posts prominently on its website its cooperation with international law enforcement authorities. The attacks on The New York Times try to create an impression this is some top secret agency instead of a prominent financial institution that every wire transfer document references. This was not a secret given how much the administration has bragged about it and no details were revealed by the Times that would put anyone's lives at risk. Instead this is an example of how a political party makes up a story by getting a number of people to make wild over-inflated attacks and escalating the demagoguery. They've got nothing but fear keeping them in office and they needed to turn it up a couple of notches.
The New York Times did not violate any espionage act and did not commit treason. Far from it, the free press is our first line of defense against secretive governments determined to take away liberties. The administration knew about the story which had over a dozen administration and government sources cited, most anonymously, and held long talks about what should be revealed. Ultimately the administration was not able to make a good case for not publishing the story. So they decided to make a rhetorical case in their right wing media machine and rile up the conservative base.
Mendell D. Morgan, Jr., Dean of Library Services at University of the Incarnate Word, (210) 829-3837 appears to be the most gullible, partisan and ignorant library official in America. Considering The New York Times is the newspaper of record for the United States, this partisan swipe ill serves the students and patrons of the library. In this action he not only reveals his ignorance but is lowering the standing of the university and harming the education of the students. I note he has changed or blocked his university email account today.
Tags: library, partisan, ignorant, San Antonio