The Self Made Pundit
Thursday, September 20, 2001
The New York Times deserves credit today for promptly following up on The Self Made Pundit's comment on the need to follow the money trial of the World Trade Center terrorists that appeared in our premiere posting yesterday. (Our 9/19/01 posting.) The Times's response is all the more impressive since as of this morning only Mrs. Pundit and the little Pundits were aware of the existence of The Self Made Pundit. See Roadblocks Cited in Efforts to Trace bin Laden's Money.
The Times article discusses the problems involved in tracking and shutting down the funding of Osama bin Landen's terrorist operations. Apparently one of those problems has been the senior Senator from Texas. According to the Times, last year Sen. Phil Gramm almost single handedly blocked a Clinton administration bill which would have given "the Treasury secretary broad power to bar foreign countries and banks from access to the American financial market unless they cooperated with money-laundering investigations."
Perhaps it's not surprising that Sen. Gramm blocked the bill, given his ties to the banking industry. What is astounding, however, is that even after last week's terrorist atrocities, he still opposes the bill, calling it "totalitarian." (I'm sure we all remember how vigorous money laundering investigations were the hallmark of the Soviet Union.) Showing a keen appreciation for the complexities involved in combating terrorism in the 21st Century, Sen. Gramm said that "The way to deal with terrorists is to hunt them down and kill them." Apparently it has not occurred to the former economics professor that it might be a good idea to deprive terrorists of the capital they use to fund mass murder during the many months -- or even years -- it might take to hunt them down.