In response to a Washington Post editorial, “Swift rebuke,” I sent the following to my congressman and similar messages to my Senators:
I urge you to take public and official action over the Obama Administration’s failure to maintain European cooperation in fighting terrorist financing, as demonstrated by the EU Parliament rejecting our interim agreement with the EU to facilitate subpoena access to records from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), as reported in the Washington Post.
In the past year, you have demonstrated an effective independence in checking the Administration’s ill-conceived innovations that undermine effective counterterrorism deterrence and law enforcement actions.
Given the Administration’s active and failed effort to obtain EU parliamentary approval, US legislative oversight should hold the Administration accountable. Further, issues of the reliability of the EU as a partner are raised by this breakdown and merit oversight review.
While the Administration plans to have a new agreement negotiated by perhaps the fall, I trust that you agree that such a delay is unacceptable and would appreciate your public comment to that effect.
Unfortunately, this and other recent EU actions presage a return to European non-cooperation in fighting terrorism financing, which characterized the Clinton Administration’s failed counterterrorism efforts. Further, this EU backtracking on cooperation undermines the promises of candidate Obama to follow a foreign policy that achieved greater cooperation with our allies than had been realized by the Bush Administration.
Update 3/4/2010: In the below video, Paul Rosenzweig, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy at the Department of Homeland Security, refers to the EU decision @ 12:52 during Q&A and states that this decision makes Europe a safe haven for terrorist financing.