Thursday, January 4, 2007

Mike McConnell's Firm in Charge of SWIFT/TFTP?

President Bush announced today that Retired Vice Admiral John "Mike" McConnell will be replacing John Negroponte as Director of National Intelligence.

McConnell, who served under both Bush 41 and Clinton as the head of the NSA, left politics in 1996 to become a Vice President of Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc., "a prominent defense and intelligence consulting and engineering firm."

During the summer of 2006, The New York Times reported on an "international financial surveillance program" run by the Bush Administration, referred to as "TFTP" (Terrorist Finance Tracking Program) in which the United States received banking information through SWIFT, "a worldwide financial messaging network by which messages concerning financial transactions are exchanged among banks and other financial institutions."

According to Wikipedia:

"A series of articles published on June 23, 2006, by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times revealed that the Treasury Department and the CIA, United States government agencies, had a program to access the SWIFT transaction database after the September 11th attacks called the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program. The Belgian government said in September 2006, that the SWIFT dealings with the US government authorities were in breach with Belgian and European privacy laws."

After an international outcry, the United States government hired an outside contractor to monitor the transactions and to ensure that the access to SWIFT was not abused.

And who exactly was the contractor hired to monitor for abuse? McConnell's very own Booz Allen Hamilton.