The New York Times (proudly publishing all the secrets unfit to spill since 9/11) and their reckless anonymous sources (come out, come out, you cowards) tipped off terrorists to America's efforts to track their financial activities.
Guess what? It isn't the first time blabbermouth journalists have jeopardized terror-financing investigations since Sept. 11, according to the government.
I remind you of the case of the Treason Times, the Holy Land Foundation, and the Global Relief Foundation. As the New York Post reported last September, the Justice Department charged that "a veteran New York Times foreign correspondent warned an alleged terror-funding Islamic charity that the FBI was about to raid its office -- potentially endangering the lives of federal agents." Times reporter Philip Shenon was accused of blowing the cover on a Dec. 14, 2001, raid of the Global Relief Foundation.
"It has been conclusively established that Global Relief Foundation learned of the search from reporter Philip Shenon of The New York Times," U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald wrote in an Aug. 7, 2002, letter to the Times' legal department.
Shenon's phone tip to the Muslim charity (which occurred one day before the FBI searched the foundation's offices), Fitzgerald said, "seriously compromised the integrity of the investigation and potentially endangered the safety of federal law-enforcement personnel." The Global Relief Foundation (GRF) wasn't some beneficent neighborhood charity sending shoes and Muslim Barbie dolls to poor kids overseas. It was designated a terror-financing organization in October 2002 by the Treasury Department, which reported that GRF "has connections to, has provided support for, and has provided assistance to Usama Bin Ladin, the al Qaida Network, and other known terrorist groups."
The Muslim charity had "received funding from individuals associated with al Qaida. GRF officials have had extensive contacts with a close associate of Usama Bin Ladin, who has been convicted in a U.S. court for his role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania." Moreover, the Treasury Department said, "GRF members have dealt with officials of the Taliban, while the Taliban was subject to international sanctions."
Shenon's then-colleague, Judith Miller, had placed a similar call to another Muslim terrorist-front financier, the Holy Land Foundation, a few weeks before Shenon's call to the GRF. She was supposedly asking for "comment" on an impending freeze of their assets. According to Fitzgerald in court papers, Miller allegedly also warned them that "government action was imminent." The FBI raided the Holy Land Foundation's offices the day after Miller's article was published in the Times.
The Times' reporters -- surprise, surprise -- refuse to cooperate with investigators trying to identify the leakers. The government is appealing a ruling protecting the loose-lipped reporters' phone records. Which side are they on? Actions speak louder than words.
Oh, and while they continue to sabotage terror-financing investigations, the blabbermouths of the Times should be reminded -- as the conservative bloggers Bill Keller despises so much are doing -- of their own call in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 for vigorous counterterrorism measures to stop the bankrolling of terror:
"The Bush administration is preparing new laws to help track terrorists through their money-laundering activity and is readying an executive order freezing the assets of known terrorists. Much more is needed, including stricter regulations, the recruitment of specialized investigators and greater cooperation with foreign banking authorities. There must also be closer coordination among America's law enforcement, national security and financial regulatory agencies."
"Much more is needed?" Right. And when the Bush administration came through, the Times stabbed them, and us, in the backs. The lesson is clear. When terror strikes, don't believe a word the know-it-all Times prints. They are opportunistic, hindsighted hypocrites who endanger us all.