July 21, 2004

Sandy Berger did not stuff classified documents in his pants! He stole them in his briefcase

This Sandy Berger deal is almost laughable. For those of you living under a rock, the former Clinton Administration National Security Advisor has been accused of illegally removing classified documents from the National Archives while researching for his then pending visit to the 9/11 commission. He has admitted as such, but with the caveat that this was not done on purpose, but inadvertently. I certainly hope that is true, not because I’m a big believer in Sandy Berger or his honesty, but because I don’t want to think that the NSA was such a chizzlewit. See, the document he took, which is supposedly hard on the Clinton administration and their handling of Al-Queda, was merely a copy. A copy of a document the commission had already seen, and was readily available to them. Think this out in your head: Sandy either accidentally put classified documents in his briefcase and took them home with him, where he later destroyed them, or he saw the document and thought to himself, “This is a copy of document that makes me look bad” and decides to steal and destroy it. He is either an absentminded dolt or a plain dolt.

What makes me laugh is the whole political spectrum and their reaction to this. Republicans are trying to make Berger out as some sort of evil genius, destroying the only document that would have proven their contention that 9/11 was entirely Clinton’s fault. The Democrats portray Sandy has someone who made a simple mistake, fessed up to it and is now being shredded by the legendary Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. How dare the Republicans leak this before the commission report comes out? As is usually the case, both sides are wrong. Sorry GOP, but Clinton didn’t cause 9/11, it’s everyone’s fault. And if you believe some reputable aides in the Clinton administration (I know, reputable Clinton aid is kind of an oxymoron), Berger himself gave a last minute briefing to Condi Rice where he told her that Al-Queda will be the biggest thing they dealt with. As for you Dems…. Look, the new iron rule of politics is that if you something stupid, evil or both, it WILL be found out, and it WILL be released at the worst possible moment. Easy way to get around that is not to do stupid, evil things. Don’t worry, people will still pay far more attention to the commission report on Thursday.

Posted by Frinklin at July 21, 2004 06:16 PM

I think the assumption around Washington is that Berger took the documents to write his tell-all. While that's still spectacularly illegal, it's not really evil or even all that dumb. And there is a lot of talk that the GOP had nothing to do with the leak- it was a pre-emptive strike from the Democrats.

Posted by: Richard at July 21, 2004 06:46 PM

Given the propensity of this administration to classify every last paperclip, I have to wonder just how interesting this document really was. Was it W's tab for hookers and blow? Was it Clinton demanding a recess so he could get laid before discussing Al Queda? Compromising photos of Jenna Bush spread-eagled at the Phi Tappa Keg toga party?

Posted by: Rob McMillin at July 24, 2004 07:59 AM
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