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Hume Attacks New York Times with Lies and Misrepresentation

Reported by Janie - July 6, 2006 -

Last night (7/5) on Special Report with Brit Hume, Hume once again used his "Two Minutes of Hate" (AKA "Grapevine") segment to trash the New York Times over their recent article by Eric Lichtblau discussing the Bush Administration's plan to track terrorist finances, which Lichtblau claims was widely known. For this assault, Hume decried an article written by Lichtblau in 2005 which he claimed proved Lichtblau himself wasn't aware of the program, when in actuality Lichtblau was merely quoting a report from the GAO.

Under a banner reading "Program Widely Known About?" Hume opined, “The New York Times and reporter Eric Lichtblau — under fire for disclosing details last month about what it called a secret U.S. terrorist financing tracking program — now suggest that the program was widely known, and thus no harm was done.

It turns out, though, that at least one person apparently didn't know about it — Lichtblau himself. Last November 29, Lichtblau wrote, ''The U.S. government lacks an integrated strategy to train foreign countries and provide them with technical assistance to shore up their financial and law enforcement systems against terrorist financing.'"

Comment: From the Nov. 29th article:

"More than four years after the Sept. 11 attacks, 'the U.S. government lacks an integrated strategy' to train foreign countries and provide them with technical assistance to shore up their financial and law enforcement systems against terrorist financing, according to the report prepared by the Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress."

What Hume is trying to pass off as a quote/opinion from Lichtblau himself, is actually a direct quote/summation from a report written by the GAO.

Hume continued, "He goes on to write that the administration, 'is now developing a program to gain access and track bank transfers ... but experts in the field say the results have been spotty.' At the time, of course, the finance-tracking program had been in place for four years."

Comment: Again, Hume is misquoting the article to favor his opinion. He leaves out the first sentence of the paragraph entirely:

"The administration has made cutting off money to terrorists one of the main prongs in its attack against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. It has seized tens of millions of dollars in American accounts and assets linked to terrorist groups, prodded other countries to do the same, and is now developing a program to gain access to and track potentially hundreds of millions of international bank transfers into the United States.

But experts in the field say the results have been spotty, with few clear dents in Al Qaeda's ability to move money and finance terrorist attacks. The Congressional report- a follow-up to a 2003 report that offered a similarly bleak assessment - buttresses those concerns."

So Lichtblau WAS actually aware of the program at the time, and was quoting a report written by a Governmental Agency. Even the title of the article should have tipped Hume off: "U.S. Lacks Plan to Curb Terror Funds, Agency Says".

Once again, Hume twisted facts to fit what he wanted his viewers to hear, leaving out pertinent information, and basically making something up to attack the New York Times with.