In that same NewsBusters item in which he scoffed at death threats against the New York Times, Noel Sheppard wrote of the secret financial surveillance program that the Times exposed:
There have been no allegations, even by The Times, that any laws either domestic or international were violated by this program. Moreover, subpoenas were issued for all of the banking examinations performed during this operation.
Wrong on both counts. As Media Matters notes, the subpoenas used to gain access to the financial records were not issued by any court but administrative subpoenas issued by the Treasury Department that, according to the Los Angeles Times, "are secret and not reviewed by judges or grand juries, as are most criminal subpoenas." Also, according to Media Matters, the New York Times article in question did in fact note that some have questioned the legality of the program.