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Letter From Bill Keller on The Times's Banking Records Report

So Bill Keller wrote a letter defending his paper's running of the banking records story.

You can read it for yourself and I'm sure many bloggers and pundits will have many intelligent things to say about it. (Which we'll probably link here.)

But since you value your time, you can skip all that and I'll give you the Reader's Digest version:

Dear Reader:

1) We have no reason to believe the program was illegal in any way.

2) We have every reason to believe it was effective at catching terrorists.

3) We ran the story anyway, screw you.

Bill Keller

If we find some more intelligent analysis we'll link it here, but really you know everything you need to know about it.


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Comments (12)

Poor man is such a victim, ... (Below threshold)

Poor man is such a victim, a self-appointed guaridian of our nation agonizing over whether his decision to publish classified info will hurt or help our nation.

Can you hear the Dixie Chicks humming mornfully in the background?

I suspect your short versio... (Below threshold)

I suspect your short version is the most intelligent analysis we will see on Keller's argument.

Not that others are less capable, of course, but there isn't much there to work with . . .

Pinch must be SO proud of him. Somewhere, Walter Duranty is forcing a smile through his eternal torment.


The enemy of my enemy is my... (Below threshold)

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Why doesn't he change his n... (Below threshold)

Why doesn't he change his name to Abu Musab al-Keller and be done with it?

is there a boycott NYT adve... (Below threshold)

is there a boycott NYT advertisers anywhere?

now is the time to promote it hell even Kos wants to boycott it.


I did notice this http://www.boycottnewyorktimes.com/ duuno what it means

<a href="http://www.boycott... (Below threshold)

http://www.boycottnewyorktimes.com/ was created on 6/24/06 maybe the NYT pissed off the wrong people, say like 300 million American's

I promise you that I will be writing and calling all the major advertisers that is brought to my attention, I would only hope a lot of people want the NYT to be like the dodo bird and the dinosaur


I'm having real difficulty ... (Below threshold)

I'm having real difficulty with this banking information "grab" by the government being news. I'm a bricks and mortar merchant and do a fair amount of cash business. If I show up at any US banking institution with more than $10,000 for deposit, the bank is required to get positive ID from me to fill out a Currency Transaction Report that goes right to the government. This has been so since the early 1990's and increasing enforced since 9/11 with the origins going back to the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970. No doubt there is a hefty database of domestic transactions above $10,000 already owned by the government. So, while banking information isn't public, it sure isn't private and hasn't been for decades.

Paul,Wish I had come... (Below threshold)

Wish I had come here before I read Keller's "response" to critics. Maybe my blood wouldn't have boiled as much. Your summary was certainly on point. And "screw you" is a mild interpretation of what the al-Times did.

So who died and left Osama ... (Below threshold)

So who died and left Osama Bin Keller in charge of the country?

From now on, every time I s... (Below threshold)

From now on, every time I see the victims of terrorism screaming and crying, to me they will all be saying "Keller!"

A few years ago, my younges... (Below threshold)
joan foster:

A few years ago, my youngest daughter started a new job. I knew a lot about the position, from 401k to pharmecutical benefits,...I just didn't know the address. That morning a friend called and sputteredinto the phone, "They're attacking New York City." My baby was there. I didn't know the address.

She called. She was trying to get to her apartment...but it was below 13th St....She described the ash, the smell, trying to get help for someone in the street...but there were no ambulances to call. I paced in my sunroom, far away, tormented to be safe, while buildings fell where my baby was.

But she was safe. I was lucky. As a small personal tribute to those who weren't...I required myself to read every 9-11 obituary that the New York Times so movingly provided for weeks. I'll never forget them. The Times Editor , in the throes of his hatred for the Bush administration , has forgotten. He , and all editors who were complicit in this....should be required to read them now.

"2) We have every reason to... (Below threshold)

"2) We have every reason to believe it was effective at catching terrorists."

And yet at the same time Bill Keller argues that the story doesn't matter because our enemies already know that we are monitoring money transfers.

I'd say that the Times talks out of both sides of its mouth, but by now it seems to have more sides than a spider has eyes.






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