July 08, 2006

More on the SWIFT Disclosure

Dennis Lormel on the Counterterrorism Blog has some additional thoughts. Excerpt:

In taking the argument out of the realm of the theoretical and into the operational, and coupling it with specific and not generic factors, one can better identify the multi-dimensional considerations that should be factored into the debate. The reality is the Times SWIFT disclosure has been harmful. At a minimum, it has disrupted an innovative and productive investigative tool. One fact is certain…the disclosure has received intense media coverage and has caused terrorists and their supporters to sit up and take notice. This will cause terrorist operational changes and significant new challenges for the Government in identifying and countering evolving terrorist financing methodologies.
People and institutions make mistakes, especially in war, and one of the maxims about conflict is that it's not those who strive to eliminate all error who win, but those who strive to make the fewest really awful mistakes. So this isn't about carrying a grudge against the NYT, but about the fact that they're apparently so clueless that they don't even know they've made a mistake. And since the expertise required for them to make informed judgments about which disclosures are harmful has gone the way of the Monty Python Parrot, they ought to be enjoined from making such decisions until they wise up. Watching Keller take wild swings at soft underhand lobs by Charlie Rose the other night, nearly all of which he whiffed, I realized that the primary problem wasn't that this fellow was an idiot, but that he has no incentive to get wise. And until some are devised, we'd better just assume that Katy's knocked the doggone door off its hinges again. Posted by Demosophist at July 8, 2006 08:50 PM