“A Good Program…to Make Us Safer…Is Over.”

Monday, July 03, 2006
Byron York on New York Times & National Security on National Review Online: "Kean tells National Review Online that the New York Times’s decision to expose the terrorist finance effort — Kean called Times executive editor Bill Keller in an attempt to persuade him not to publish — has done terrible damage to the program. “I think it’s over,” Kean says. “Terrorists read the newspapers. Once the program became known, then obviously the terrorists were not going to use these methods any more.”"


Morgan said...

"Terrorists read the newspapers...obviously the terrorists [are] not going to use these methods anymore."

Unless they read NRO, too, of course. In which case they'll believe the program is over and start using these methods again. And they won't get caught. If the program really is over.

Or, they might think the Times article was disinformation, in which case they'll believe there never was an effective program. Or that the NRO article is disinformation, in which case they'll believe the program is still going on. Or both were disinformation designed to make them think that there is an effective program in place when in reality there isn't.

They may read it, but what do they believe it tells them?

Seneca the Younger said...

And that, Morgan, is what drives analysts nuts.

Seneca the Younger said...

Seriously, they'll do just what we would do: they'll look for new methods. The easiest one is to simply use a different cutout every time --- pay someone to run a transfer, or threaten them; without redundancy --- repeated transactions --- there is no information.

Syl said...


The specific detail that the terrorists got out of this is that there is a delay of days between transfer and notification of such. I don't think that's disinformation because it seems extremely unlikely there could be real time surveillance of transfers unless specific entities are being surveilled anyway. Even then it's iffy.

So whatever happens to the program, whether it continues or not, or who remains involved or which institutions drop out, the terrorists and their sponsors and backers can do as StY says.

Thus the program, no matter how effective, ineffective, chimera or not, will cease to have any effectiveness at all.