“Follow the Money” reads the headline of today’s New York Times editorial, which–along with the news story that inspired it–rank among the most hypocritical journalism I have read in a while. The editorial laments that,
Nine years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, there is still a seemingly limitless stream of cash flowing to terrorist groups from private charities and contributors in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar. According to classified State Department cables recently released by WikiLeaks, governments in all three countries–all close American allies–are not doing enough to shut down that flow of money.
The news story explains that “millions of dollars are still flowing largely unimpeded to extremist groups worldwide.” And the story and the editorial identify several causes–reluctance of the Gulf governments to face the problem, and the cheap cost of terrorist operations, to start with. But there’s an additional problem that neither mentions: It’s a lot harder to “follow the money” these days, Why? One reason is that the New York Times, in a story by one of the authors of the current lament, Eric Lichtblau, decided to blow the unambiguously-legal SWIFT program–a covert program which was devoted to . . . tracking terrorist financing.