We are in the era of what we could call the “non-leak leak”. It is a new form of a propaganda in which the obvious is repackaged as a leak in order to influence opinion or bash the opposition. Our major newspapers practice this form with such regularity it is difficult to know whether they are conscious of what they are doing, although that doesn’t matter – the effect is the same.
A recent example of this form is the New York Times “revelation” that the US has been monitoring SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication). Well, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I assumed that such things were monitored in the post 9-11 era. How else could the financing of terrorism be interdicted? Indeed, it’s quite obvious that Al Qaeda has, literally for years, been making the same assumptions (that we were scrutinizing these transactions) and made adjustments in order to avoid detection. And even given that, now the Counterrorism Blog details the specifics of this same SWIFT monitoring, telling us they have been public since 2002!
So what’s the story here? Exactly none…. Well, not none. The real story is that the NYT has published yet another anonymous leaker to support its narrative. Of course this is not surprising. This contemptible form of journalism has been with us for some time now. All we can do is continue fighting back and do our best not to ape their insidious, reactionary methods.
UPDATE: Patterico has canceled his LAT subsrciption over this brouhaha. [He’ll be saving himself a dollar a week?-ed. Is that what you pay for you LAT subscription? Pretty soon they’ll be giving them away with with LA Weekly.]