Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Berger wrist slap: A dangerous precedent

Here is a guy, Sandy Berger, that for months denied he had done anything wrong and now admits he did. Berger should be well aware of the implications of his theft of classified documents and the his destruction of them. Why the Justice Depaertment let him off wiht nothing more then a slap on the wrist is very troubling. It is also bothering David Limbaugh and he has a few things to say about it.

"Berger, a national security adviser in the Clinton administration, was caught red-handed removing sensitive, classified documents from the National Archives.

He wasn't doing something as innocuous as research for his personal memoirs. No, he was preparing for testimony before the 9/11 Commission to vindicate Bill Clinton's performance in response to the terrorist threat. The documents he secreted, purloined, and later deliberately destroyed, were exceedingly relevant to the subject matter of his 9/11 testimony.

The documents were drafts of a damning "after-action review" by anti-terrorist expert Richard Clarke of the Clinton administration's actions in thwarting an attack by Al Qaeda against America during the millennium celebration. The report revealed "glaring" national security weaknesses and attributed prevention of the attack to "luck.""
The question that comes up is, were there any hand written notes on these documents? We will never know since Berger destroyed them.
"We now know Berger deliberately took the documents knowing it was against the law to do so. He acted with malice aforethought. He later lied repeatedly in saying he took them by mistake. The documents pertained to the competence of the Clinton administration in responding to the terrorist threat when that question was directly at issue before the commission and part of the fiercely partisan political debate of the day. Berger had every interest in making the Clinton administration look good in the very area addressed by the Clarke memo. Is it just a coincidence that the documents he took and destroyed pertained specifically to these questions and were unfavorable to the administration he served?

Where are the Democrats on this issue? Are they not the ones who have been obsessed with retrospectives and endless self-flagellating investigations into how our intelligence agencies failed, implying that we could have prevented 9/11?"
Again, we will never know since those documents were destroyed. As for the democrats, they are still trying to find ways to blame 9/11 and the intellignce failures on the Bush dministration. The truth has no meaning to them, unless it paints the President in a bad light. To the dems it is all about politics.
"Given the gravity they attach to these investigations, how can they possibly understate the significance of Berger's crime? His actions -- even if you naively believe they weren't in furtherance of a Clinton cover-up -- grossly undermined the integrity of our investigative process and national security in general.

I have no desire to see Berger in jail, but we darn well should be sure that he loses his national security clearance permanently. If not, we are saying these investigations are really just partisan showmanship, that national security document classification and other security laws are much ado about nothing and that if you're important enough, you can violate national security laws with virtual impunity.

Justice is setting a dangerous precedent with the Berger plea agreement."
Berger has made a mockery out of the importance of classified documents. As for Berger doing jial time, I think that was in order. After all, 10,000 dollars is chump change. If Berger was trying to protect Clinton here, it would not hurt Clinton financially to pony up the 10 grand. Jail time is the removal of freedom and it is some thing that a man like Berger would fear the most. As for losing his security clearences for only three years, Beeger should never, ever be granted a security clearence ever again. - Sailor

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