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George W. Bush's bank records spying

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It was revealed June 23, 2006, that President George W. Bush's bank records spying program—the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program—is run by the Central Intelligence Agency and overseen by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. [1]

Only weeks after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the Bush administration initiated the "secret" program through which "counterterrorism officials have gained access to financial records from a vast international database and examined banking transactions involving thousands of Americans and others in the United States, according to government and industry officials," Eric Lichtblau and James Risen reported in the June 22, 2006, New York Times.

SWIFT Tracking

The Treasury Department obtained access to conduct bank records searches using the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), "a Belgium-based, bank-owned entity" [2], to capture "information on money moved in more than 200 countries," according to the Associated Press. [3] "Swift generally doesn't detect private, individual transactions in the U.S., such as withdrawals or deposits."

The Treasury Department said that the Bush administration is using SWIFT to "[scrutinize] millions of international banking transactions as part of an effort to track terrorists and disrupt the financing of their activities," Bloomberg News reported June 23, 2005.

"Treasury officials said the focus was on international money transfers and not on ordinary money transfers and deposits made within the U.S. What they didn't say was whether SWIFT was the only entity participating in the program," Forbes reported June 23, 2006.

External links

From the Bush administration

  • "Statement of Treasury Secretary John W. Snow on Disclosure of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program, U.S. Department of the Treasury, June 22, 2006.

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