Just a day or so ago the Right Wing was calling for the head of Bill Keller, executive editor of the New York Times, on a pike after the Times published a story about SWIFT (the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) and it's cooperation with the US Government in tracking terrorist financial transactions, and everyone else's too. The usual overheated suspects were howling.
Tony Snow, when asked for evidence of the NYT's putting lives at risk, said:
"I am absolutely sure they didn't know about SWIFT."
But now it seems that SWIFT is not so super-secret after all. Guess what. Via Froomkin,
SWIFT has a Web site, at swift.com .
It's a very informative Web site. For instance, this page describes how "SWIFT has a history of cooperating in good faith with authorities such as central banks, treasury departments, law enforcement agencies and appropriate international organisations, such as the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), in their efforts to combat abuse of the financial system for illegal activities."
(And yes, FATF has its own Web site, too.)
An e-mail from White House Briefing reader Tim O'Keefe tipped me off to just how nutty it is to suggest that SWIFT keeps a low profile. Among other things, he explained, "SWIFT also happens to put on the largest financial services trade show in the world every year," he wrote. "Swift also puts out a lovely magazine ."
So what will the Right Wing say now? Apologies?
Consider this an open thread.