Only “cranks” care if the government illegally searches their bank records.

Or so says the lead editorial from Friday’s Wall Street Journal:

”Since the Treasury story broke, as it happens, no one but Congressman Ed Markey and a few cranks have even objected to the program, much less claimed illegality.”

That’s funny, I could have sworn it was the Wall Street Journal who did the most to expose and oppose Bill Clinton’s “Know Your Customer” big brother spying in 1998.

I guess time flies when you’re boot-licking fascists.

James Bovard, the author of the great new book Attention Deficit Democracy, who last week went on MSNBC and FOX “News” to defend the press for telling the truth about this subject and remind viewers that this government lies about everything, including torture, NSA phone taps, records etc., remarked:

“I look forward to the Journal editorial page’s updates on this subject as news leaks out about how this surveillance program ran amok.”

Don’t hold your breath, Jim.

I admit to being a crank, but this bank records search is obviously illegal on its face. The whole process is based around bogus “administrative subpoenas” – where one cop asks another cop for a warrant instead of a judge as required (no-exceptions) by the fourth amendment to the US Constitution:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The recent attacks on the New York Times for publishing this information have been nothing short of incredible. The Times is the establishment news organ in this country. If the GOP can actually get over on them, they can get over on anyone.

It was Bovard who pointed me to this quote from some dipshit Republican congressman named Ted Poe, a short speech entitled “Benedict Arnold Press?” given on the House floor June 28th. [Note: does not allow permanent hyperlinks, but if you go to this page and search for “Benedict” it should come right up.]

“Mr. Speaker, we are fighting a war on terror, and now we are being told we are battling the press as well. The United States has rooted out terror on a global scale. They have also gotten unprecedented help from other countries and international banking institutions to seek out accounts used for al Qaeda money laundering, because without a supply of money, the terrorists have no fuse to light.

“Now the New York Times has apparently detailed that security program to the entire world, and we find ourselves pondering what to do when the press willingly reveals national security secrets to terrorists.

“Prior to World War II, the United States had broken the Japanese military communications codes. A journalist published a book revealing this classified information, so right before the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese changed their codes so the United States was unaware of this invasion.

“In 1950, a law was passed making releasing such classified information a crime. If the New York Times has violated this law by becoming the Benedict Arnold press, they need to be held accountable. Not even a journalist from the Times has the right to violate the law just to get a byline.

“And that’s just the way it is.”


First of all, I’m no expert on whatever law he’s citing from the fifties, but if it restricts speech in the way the congressman claims, it is plainly unconstitutional:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

To be fair, he’s wrong about everything else, so who knows?

Secondly, Bovard said he’d never heard of a book published prior to World War II which compromised American intelligence on Japan. Neither had I.

So I sent an email to Robert B. Stinnett, a former radio guest of mine and historian on the particular issue of America’s ability to crack World War II era Japanese codes.

Stinnett is the World War II veteran who proved for all time in his 1999 book Day of Deceit: The Truth about FDR and Pearl Harbor that Roosevelt deliberately provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor and cut the commanders out of the chain of intelligence so that they would be caught unaware and the administration could to get the previously unwilling American people into the war in Europe.

Stinnett responded:

“The quote outlined in red in your E-mail [Poe’s Pearl Harbor bit] does not make any sense. I am not aware that any journalist either in book form of newspaper form revealed – prior to Pearl Harbor – that the USN broke the Japanese military codes. Further, I am not aware there was a Japanese military invasion of Pearl Harbor. [Ha! -editor]

“The Japanese Navy did make a routine change to their naval operational code on December 4, 1941. I am not aware the code change was ever reported by any news media prior to Pearl Harbor or during World War II.”

I half expect the Ministry of Truth to go back and manufacture the “proof” at this point.

The rest of Poe’s little speech is just as twisted:

“Mr. Speaker, we are fighting a war on terror, and now we are being told we are battling the press as well.”

We are most definitely not fighting a “War on Terror.” “We” are fighting two wars of occupation, and creating more terrorists while we do it. Any legitimacy the Afghan mission may have once had is long-since expired – since, say, around the time Bush let Osama escape from Tora Bora.

There was no jihadi terrorism in Iraq until we invaded. The vast majority of self described mujahideen would rather fight their local governments, “the near enemy,” than take on the US. The invasion has only helped them to split the difference in their argument with bin Laden and Zawahiri as they kill “near Americans” and to recruit a new generation into their ranks.

The fact that “we are being told that we are battling the press as well,” is only instructive in that it helps us to understand just how much the government hates our freedom.

Every anti-American jihadi type on earth assumes that the US is attempting to tap his phone, follow his money trail etc.

It is Americans who are the victims of these abuses, not terrorists. The Times was informing the people of this land, whose rights are being continuously violated by their so-called servants, what these impostors are really up to. It’s about time they did something besides lie us into war.

These clowns in congress seem to be trying their best to make us prefer an imperial president to their lousy rule. Try to resist.

Author: Scott Horton

Scott Horton is editorial director of, director of the Libertarian Institute, host of Antiwar Radio on Pacifica, 90.7 FM KPFK in Los Angeles, California and podcasts the Scott Horton Show from He’s the author of the 2017 book, Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan and editor of The Great Ron Paul: The Scott Horton Show Interviews 2004–2019. He’s conducted more than 5,000 interviews since 2003. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, investigative reporter Larisa Alexandrovna Horton. He is a fan of, but no relation to the lawyer from Harper’s. Scott’s Twitter, YouTube, Patreon.