The Bush administration and The New York Times are again at odds over national security, this time with new reports of a broad government effort to track global financial transfers.
The newspaper, which in December broke news of an effort by the National Security Agency to monitor Americans' telephone calls and emails , declined a White House request not to publish a story about the government's inspection of monies flowing in and out of the country.
The Los Angeles Times also reported on the issue Thursday night on its Web site, against the Bush's Administration wishes. The Wall Street Journal said it received no request to hold its report of the surveillance.
Administration officials were concerned that news reports of the program would diminish its effectiveness and could harm overall national security.
"It's a tough call; it was not a decision made lightly," said Doyle McManus, the Los Angeles Times' Washington bureau chief. "The key issue here is whether the government has shown that there are adequate safeguards in these programs to give American citizens confidence that information that should remain private is being protected."
Treasury Department officials spent 90 minutes Thursday meeting with the newspaper's reporters, stressing the legality of the program and urging the paper to not publish a story on the program, McManus said in a telephone interview.
They didn't hold the story. Good for them. Can't we have an open media and deal with national security issues?
I think we can, campers.