"Under a secret Bush administration program initiated weeks after the Sept. 11 attacks, 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.
Data provided by the program helped identify Uzair Paracha, a Brooklyn man who was convicted on terrorism-related charges in 2005, officials said.
The program is limited, government officials say, to tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda by reviewing records from the nerve center of the global banking industry, a Belgian cooperative that routes about $6 trillion daily between banks, brokerages, stock exchanges and other institutions. The records mostly involve wire transfers and other methods of moving money overseas and into and out of the United States. Most routine financial transactions confined to this country are not in the database."
The Times once again shelves any skepticism in reporting the latest Fourth Amendment Atrocity. Note the article title, which ensures us that the program was only to 'Block Terror'. Gosh, if only we could trust The New G-Men and their handlers to limit themselves to anti-terror investigation. But you can't, you know. Could Karl Rove keep his grubby paw out of a cookie jar so well-stuffed with potential opposition research? I think we all know the answer.
Also, note the highlighed phrases in the quote. The program 'examines the records of thousands of Americans', yet only those Americans 'who are thought to be linked to Al Qaeda'! Who knew so many Americans were 'connected'?