Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Swift Boating the SWIFT Scam

In the wake of newspaper revelations of the Bushies' monitoring of American citizens' money transfers from overseas, the usual bevy of serpents has slithered out of its basket to find its way in front of every available camera with its hissing points.

Not satisfied with calling for the NY TIMES to be prosecuted for treason, the Right feels compelled to lie about the larger issues of the controversy.

I have now heard from more than one of these scaly miscreants that SWIFT, the international version of that routing number on your checks that you have to supply to get your automatic deposits, is something that shouldn't even be a subject for public discussion. Yesterday I turned on my television only to hear from one of these heavily subsidized rattlers that SWIFT is so obscure that even many bankers have never heard of it.

Odd - just two days earlier I'd had to call my bank to get its SWIFT number so that an overseas university that owes me a reimbursement can deposit the funds in my account. The clerk who answered the phone recited the number to me from memory with no hesitation. Now I know it is often the case that front line bank staff know things that upper management don't bother with, but it seems unlikely that anyone in the banking industry, or in the international terrorism business for that matter, isn't thoroughly famailar with the operations of SWIFT.

No, it's not the terrorists the Right wants to keep confused. It's us.

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