Smoking and Stinking Gun?

Many here at LISNews, particularly one Kanadian Clinton apologist, have weighed in on the "blame game" and what administration bears responsibility for our current crisis with Al Qaeda. We'll defer the official and final finger pointing to the 9/11 Commission.

But what about Berger's recent actions? "...Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket, pants and socks, and also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio."

I can remember slipping candy money in my socks (tube variety with stripes) as a kid back in 1981. (Short-shorts in those days rarely had pockets) Since adulthood however, I have managed to keep my socks for my feet, pockets for money and in Mr. Berger's case, briefcase for paper.

So, what do we make of this revelation? Oversight, benign absentmindedness or perhaps something fishier?

There's no question something here stinks.

Comments

Some media folk are questioning the "timing" of the Berger revelations. Just when would be a good time to find this out? Before the publication, after, or never? Considering his high post in the Clinton Administration, I was really surprised to hear that he wasn't able to tell a copy from the real thing, and therefore may have destroyed the some originals which haven't been returned. I hope that is hearsay or inaccurate, or he may have more serious problems.

I'm also a little puzzled about the security and staff of the facility from which he removed the documents. When I use the Rare Book Room at OSU, I'm certain it would be difficult to put items in my socks and pants.

Berger has appropriately stepped down from the Kerry campaign, and I hope he pays the appropriate penalty under law. From what I've read, the 9/11 Commission got every Clinton era document it asked for, so their investigation may have not been marred by Berger's actions. Nevertheless, it does look like he broke the law and be treated appropriately.

However, this whole brouhaha does seem like small potatoes compared to other current abuses of power or theft/destruction of documents:

- Revealing the name of an active CIA field agent.
- Going to a war resulting in the loss of thousands of lives on the basis of faulty intelligence.
- Improperly classifying evidence of criminal wrongdoing at US military prisons.
- The possibly convenient destruction of the President's military records for 1972-1973 under the explanation of preserving 30 year old microfilm?
- The possibly convenient destruction of Naval Criminal Intelligence Service records that could have proved that John Kerry committed perjury before Congress in 1971.

Again, Berger should be punished to the extent of the law. However, I'm saving my fury for actions that cause unnecessary death or deny accountability to the American people. If it turns out that Sandy Berger's actions have done either, I'll get angry later.

He went to the archives to read copies of documents, which he then took notes on.


Why does everyone think his motive was destroying evidence, ala George W. Bush and his so called military service? They still have the documents. Nothing was destroyed. So what was the motive for this so-called crime?

Berger is under investigation for taking highly classified documents, which is tantamount to destroying.

He has said he returned some, destroyed some.

"He went to the archives to read copies of documents, which he then took notes on."

"The blogosphere is abuzz with the desire now to see exactly what was in these documents. That's a bad idea. Berger's in trouble precisely because these were CLASSIFIED documents. They were classified most probably because they contain information sensitive to the security of our nation.

We should not let our attack-dog instincts (our desire to see Berger and his friends go down) override our need for a secure country. To do so is to join the ranks of Ted Kennedy, Robert Byrd, Michael Moore, etc." BlogsforBush

I googled "Berger blogs" and got something like 17,000 hits. No. 460 cited Instapundit:

Sec. 793.[18 USC] - Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information

(f)

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense,

(1)

through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or

(2)

having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer -

Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Then another lawyer: examines all the media comments, like "gross" and "sloppy" which he sees as a legal defense:

So, the things he knew were classified he inadvertently took and the things he knowingly took he didn't know were classified. Suddenly all these news reports sound like a well-crafted legal strategy.

And all this and more is at Instapunditinstapundit.com>