Washington Post: A SWIFT Kick in the Head
In a story that shouldn't cause much surprise to any skeptical person it is quite clear that the SWIFT leak isn't exactly a huge leak at all. SWIFT isn't exactly a secret organization, nor is the fact that they share information with various government agencies investigating international crime. As the press conference with Tony Snow revealed those that claim that this leak endangers the "war on terror" or is going to make it "harder to win" are either ignorant or rather arrogant. As part of the Q&A session proves:
Let me ask a follow up. Are you saying that the financial experts in the terrorist ranks would not know about an organization that works for 7,800 different financial institutions in 200 countries?
MR. SNOW: I'm saying, yes. I think that a lot of people didn't know about the existence of Swift.
Let's be honest, how many terrorists are going to find the leak useful? International criminals have been trying to outsmart Interpol for decades because they know that international banking transfers are watched for criminal activity. In the words of the NY Times: "Terrorist groups would have had to be fairly credulous not to suspect that they would be subject to scrutiny if they moved money around through international wire transfers."
Hopefully this non-story can die.