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All the national secrets fit to print

July 2, 2006: The top editor of the New York Times remained unrepentant about publishing stories exposing national security intelligence programs, saying he would do it again.

“I think it’s useful for us to discuss, to know about how our government is waging this war to protect us,” said Bill Keller, executive editor of the Times.

“This was a case where clearly the terrorists or the people who finance terrorism know quite well, because the Treasury Department and the White House have talked openly about it, that they monitor international banking transactions. It’s not news to the terrorists.”

The story exposed how the CIA and Treasury Department accesses millions of money-transfer records from SWIFT, the international group that acts as a clearinghouse for interbank transactions.

President Bush called the disclosure “disgraceful.”

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