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Opening The Files: 6/28/06

Not too SWIFT, are ya?

Last week the NY Times along with several other major newspapers revealed that the Bush administration has been monitoring international financial transactions in their anti-terrorism efforts. Thousands of Americans may have had their financial records examined. No court issued warrants were apparently sought, which as we now know has become somewhat of a standard operation procedure for this administration.

The backlash was almost immediate. But the target was not the Bush administration who initiated the program, but rather the media for revealing the existence of it. Actually, most of the attacks have been leveled at the NY Times (perhaps because the same reporters who revealed this also reported on Bush's warrantless wiretapping program). Rep. Peter King called for the Times' reporters and editors to be thrown in jail. A peeved President Bush called the revelation "disgraceful". His mouthpiece Tony Snow went one step further, saying that the media (singling out the NYT) was undermining Americans' "right to live". Right wing talking heads also chimed in to address this expression of the First Amendment treasonous act committed by Bill Keller and his staff.

John Nichols and Jack Balkin discuss the double standard that the Bush administration has when it comes to leaks.

Larry Johnson wonders what President Bush's beef is with the NY Times.

Virt at Assimilated Press reports on the latest effort to protect the American people.

Glenn has the skinny on the anti-media lynch mob.

Kevin Drum is curious to know if there are any upsides to talking about these secret programs and gives some examples.

Robert Scheer notes what should be considered disgraceful: the attack on the Times. Greg Sargent calls it an episode in scapegoating.

Update: Keith thoroughly skewered the Bush administration and their surrogates in Congress for condemning the NY Times for revealing the (not so) "secret" program.

The Burning Issue.

For the second time this month, a vote to write discrimination into the US Constitution failed in the Senate. First it was a ban on gay marriage, and this week it was the ban on flag burning which was just one vote shy of passing.

Dana Milbank clues us in on the alarming increase of flag burnings this year.

Carpetbagger says that Americans are indeed "aggrieved", but not about this.

WARNING: Shakespeare's Sister has a picture accompanying her post that some readers might find offensive. She, however, does not and neither should you.

And now that the amendment has been defeated, FleshPresser doesn't have to make good on his promise to never fly Old Glory again.

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