color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: If Dirt Were $$$$

Monday, June 26, 2006

If Dirt Were $$$$

If Dirt Were Dollars (with apologies to Don Henley)

I’m on a tear here. Two rants in four days…

I have been thinking -- ok, fuming -- about this most recent New York Times infringement and self-serving proclamation that the reporter and editor of some yellow fringed newspaper has a greater authority than the President and people in the government we elected to decide things like what is necessary for the national security.

To Bill Keller and the New York Times: JUST WHO THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU ARE??

Who died and left you, um, President? You hold no elected or appointed office that allows you to “oversee” anything. It’s why the constitution grants the powers to the PRESIDENT… and the Congress… and the Judiciary. Here's news for you, Bill: newspaper editor is not among those we count on or elect to protect our security.

You (Keller) have this grossly inflated image and idea that you are somehow above the law and would have us all believe that you and your paper are “guardians” for the American people and that you are there to protect the average American by "exposing" these programs. If anyone is buying this malarkey, I have a bridge to sell them. And, Bill, I have more news for you: you are a no one. You are a citizen just like me. You have no higher right or authority -- implicit or explicit -- to be the arbiter of what is or is not in the interest of national security than any of the rest of us. I don’t get to make that determination and neither do you. In actuality, because you have the power of the press, I hold you to an even greater standard to err on the side of caution in cases of national security and to not use the newspaper as a pulpit to push your own personal agenda. And like the Emperor and his clothes, some may pat you on the back and “oooh” and “ahhhh” over your position, but I’m here to tell you, Bill, that you are naked as a blue jay.

The program you chose to “expose” was a program to review records of OVERSEAS money exchanges (SWIFT records): a program useful in our country’s attempts to secure our national protection. This was a constitutionally crafted, well run, well-monitored INTERNATIONAL program executed with the full knowledge and cooperation of the United States Congress and international banking authorities WITH THE SOLE AIM OF TRACING AND STOPPING THE FLOW OF MONEY TO TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS.

Was the NYT exposing abuses? No. Was this program crafted in the dead of night without Congressional action? No. Was the program hidden from Congressional oversight? No. No. No. The only reason this even made the pages of the New York Times is because you, Bill Keller, wanted to make yourself feel more important than the President (who actually does get to determine what is in the interest of national security)… oh... and you have a hard on for the Bush administration. Oh. And you want to sell newspapers.

So, Bill, the next time a group of terrorists drives a few vans of C4 into a building in Iraq and tries to kill my son and the other soldiers in his unit, I’m going to call you up and ask you who paid for the explosives. The next time an IED blows up under a Bradley or a HUMVV and kills the soldiers inside, I’m going to call you and remind you that the money that paid for the bomb might have been stopped had it not been for your shitty little attempt to bolster your newspaper’s sagging circulation numbers. You should be made to attend the funeral of every U.S. service member killed from now on in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bill, and know that you might have prevented their deaths by NOT publishing the details of secret programs meant to intercept information between the terrorists. You should be made to hear the sobbing of the mothers and wives and families of the service members who are out there putting it on the line protecting your right to write the crap you do and know that perhaps the one transaction that was not seen because of your “exposé” bought the bullets that killed their son or husband.

This is the real world, Bill: terrorists are trying to kill us. They’re trying to kill Americans, Bill. And killing Americans, Bill, costs money. Bullets, bombs, vehicles, explosives, vests, airplanes (to fly into buildings) cost money, Bill. They cost money in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon. They don’t give the stuff to terrorists for free, Bill. The only thing they don't apparently have to pay for is editorials and anti-American "reporting" in your paper, Bill. Otherwise, everything they use against us costs money. They need money and they need to coordinate attacks, Bill. And frankly, Bill, I WANT someone tracking phone calls to known or suspected terrorists. I WANT someone looking at the money going to these organizations and the individuals in them, Bill. When we can stop the phone calls and the money, Bill, we will actually have protected Americans.

I am hoping that they start prosecuting your a$$ and stop these attempts to undermine this war on terror. I resent your thinking that we’re stupid enough to believe your little horseshit speeches about “I did it for you.” Mostly, I resent -- I highly resent -- your even taking the chance that your charade of being a “good citizen” might cost my son or any other soldier their life. If your child were at war Bill (now there’s a thought) -- would you take that chance, Bill? Would your child’s life be worth the price of a few newspapers? Would it be worth feeling like the BMOC? Well, my son’s life is worth a hell of a lot more than that, Bill, and I think that it’s high time you stop hiding behind the skirts of the First Amendment and that we start holding you and your paper accountable.
Copyright Some Soldier's Mom 2006. All rights reserved.


At 6/26/2006 4:03 AM , Blogger Infantryman's Mom said...

Well said!! Gotta refer to you on my blog!!

At 6/26/2006 6:33 AM , Blogger dyzgoneby said...

Very well said indeed.

At 6/26/2006 9:16 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

Dang, Ma! :)

Uh, yeah, I'm gonna agree with you on this one (per usual). The idea of the press as the 4th estate as I used to tell my media students is PRETEND. They aren't REALLY the 4th branch of government, however, if being socially responsible, their presence can effect checks & balances on the 3 real branches...guess someone missed the PRETEND part? Not to mention the responsible part!

At 6/26/2006 9:41 AM , Anonymous dj elliott said...

Have you noticed that they released this (as lead), just after burying the 500 chem warheads on page 12?

I guess they needed something to push the "Chem Found" out of view so they could continue the "Bush Lied" propaganda.

I think we need to change it to "Press Lies".

At 6/26/2006 1:49 PM , Anonymous SFC D said...

Once again, some a$$hat steps between Mom and her young, and gets shredded. Will they never learn? Great post Mom, stay on the ba$tatd$! I'm gonna ask again:

Care to adopt a 43 y/o son?

At 6/26/2006 3:33 PM , Anonymous Andi said...

I'd love to see a public debate between you and Keller. I'm quite sure he wouldn't know what hit him....

At 6/26/2006 6:35 PM , Blogger Marvin said...

The NYT needs to be shut down for its "material support of terrorism".

The NYT has been actively exposing government programs that are stopping terrorism. WHY. Because the NYT wants to see another 3000 New Yorkers killed.

This 'SWIFT' program is legal, is properly watched and monitored by Congress and the Courts.
But the NYT wants the Bush administration to fail, no matter what the cost in American lives.

At 6/26/2006 6:43 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's sad to read all the hyperbole and vitriol being spewed at the press for doing its job. Did you think the press made the right call when it exposed Nixon? Or when it sat on the Bay of Pigs story? Let's look at our freedoms as enshrined in the Bill of Rights and remember how our system of government is supposed to work.
Every piece has its part to play. Isn't that what our men and women in Iraq and around the world are fighting for?

USAF Vietnam Era vet

At 6/27/2006 4:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly I don't think their actions are prosecuteable, but they should definately lose their seat in the press room of the White House.

At 6/27/2006 4:34 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I really think you need to read up more about this.

Try here first:

As anyone in the banking industry knows, everything in the NYT article was common knowledge.

At 6/28/2006 6:42 PM , Blogger Melinda said...

The problem lies in the fact that now up to 17 countries which had been contributing and helping in the SWIFT program are considering pulling out (if they haven't already). The program itself may have been a known entity, but the complete scope of it, who was involved and how they were involved...not so much.

At 6/28/2006 8:00 PM , Anonymous another soldier's proud mom said...

Did ya catch G. Gordon Liddy on Fox the other night? Excellent comments on this mess. Not really possible to prosecute the NYT, but DOJ could prosecute the SOB that was responsible for the "leak" and (I hope) publicly execute him for treason, sedition or the like.

At 6/28/2006 10:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


There is more info here:

If you go into your local bank to action an international transfer sometimes the teller will ask you if you know the recipients banks SWIFT number!!

This controversy is pure hyperbole and the sad thing is that so many military bloggers whose code is surely honor and integrity has swallowed the administrations line hook line and sinker without any independent thought.

It’s all politics and it appears that the truth is unimportant. There are links all over the place detailing just how much the administrations own people have discussed this in programme in public.

At 6/29/2006 5:18 AM , Anonymous Greta said...

Keep ranting Carla - then march over to their offices & give them a mother's guilt & smack them around a bit!

At 6/29/2006 9:24 AM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

Dear Anonymous: This isn't the administartion's position, honey... this is MY position on the NYT. This pissed me off days before the President commented, at least a full day before the Treas. Sec. wrote his letter. You'd have to be sitting here in my seat to know how the fear of having a child in a war zone wears on you -- even months after they are home and months before they have to go back. ANYTHING legal -- and I mean ANYTHING -- our government -- Repub or Dem or Ind, left or right or somewhere in between -- does to stop terrorists ESPECIALLY in Iraq and Afghanistan and here on American soil is OK in my book. And Melinda is right -- the full program, the details, the parties involved were NOT widely known until the MYT published it and the other papers picked it up.

At 6/29/2006 2:57 PM , Blogger PatrickMead said...

My son swore into the Marine Corps on Monday of this week. I found your blog today and would like to link to it from both of mine. Your column says it better than Rush, Sean, Glenn, or G. Gordon did. OOO-rah!

At 6/29/2006 6:30 PM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Remember don't patronize the advertisers of NYT. That will hurt and maybe put some pressure on these traitors to think before they print.

At 6/29/2006 6:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Ok, I'll try a different tack.

Post just one fact or series of facts that the NYT revealed about this program and I will provide you a link as to where this has been publicly discussed before.

At 6/30/2006 7:54 PM , Anonymous yankeemom said...

Anonymous seems to be missing the point - I too take serious issue with anyone doing anything that puts my soldier daughter or any Mother's soldier in even more harm's way. I don't give a good gotdamn about offending one's sensiblilities - you don't get between me and the safety of my child. I think it's reprehensible to endanger our soldiers because of one's politics -anyone's. There is responsiblity with our freedoms and as someone said "just because you can, doesn't mean you should."
Another Army Mom

At 7/01/2006 2:02 AM , Blogger proud fan said...

You put it very well - right on!

At 7/02/2006 11:13 AM , Blogger Gray Wolf said...

Bravo, and well said! So well said, in fact, that I did a post on this at my blog (

Please keep up the good work!

At 7/05/2006 1:23 PM , Anonymous Thunder (nativeamericanindian) said...

If more people were held accountable for thier actions and stupidity. I believe we could live safer and less stressful lives. Please keep up the good work

At 12/13/2006 12:25 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

anyone who does something even sortof unpatriotic these days sure gets chewed up and spit out. when did america become so diseased with ignorance? mr. keller is not responsible for anything. merely reported things that needed reporting. if someone blows up your son with a truck filled with c4. i blame ignorant americans such as yourself. when will you see that your goverment is the terororist and you as a citizen and suporter are one too. how many people have to die before america wakes the fuck up?

At 12/13/2006 10:25 PM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

Dear "brave" anonymous... it's not "unpatriotic" you fool -- it's TREASONOUS! and you s/b thankful that there are those willing to defend your right to be WRONG (and an ass)


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