Skip to comments.Top Clinton aide in secrets row (Sandy Burglar)
Posted on 07/20/2004 7:17:20 PM PDT by ambrose
Top Clinton aide in secrets row
Julian Borger in Washington
Wednesday July 21, 2004
President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is under criminal investigation for having removed top secret counter-terrorism documents from the US national archives, it was reported yesterday. Mr Berger said he inadvertently took home classified material in his pockets after reviewing Clinton-era documents, blaming it on his own sloppiness.
He denied attempting to withhold or hide documents from a commission looking into the September 11 terrorist attacks, which is due to publish its report tomorrow, and which is expected to criticise the failure of both the Clinton and Bush administrations to do more to combat al-Qaida and prevent the attacks.
Mr Berger, who yesterday stepped down from his role as a foreign policy adviser to Senator John Kerry, returned most of the missing documents, which concerned his own security recommendations in the wake of the foiled al-Qaida "Millenium Plot" to attack Los Angeles airport and other targets in early 2000.
However, some papers were still missing yesterday, and Mr Berger said he may have thrown them away accidentally. Mr Berger's home and office were searched by FBI agents this year, and administration officials said he was the subject of a criminal investigation but added that no decision had been made to charge him.
Democrats angrily pointed to the timing of the government leak to the Associated Press on Monday night, pointing out that the investigation was launched last October, but only surfaced this week in the run-up to the September 11 commission report
The intention, they claimed, was to divert attention from the report, which is expected to be critical of the Bush administration for failing to track down the al-Qaida hijackers before the attacks.
Robert Boorstin, a former aide to Mr Berger, told the Guardian: "This is an attempt to take Sandy out and off the TV when it comes to reacting to the 9/11 commission.
"He knows more about what Clinton did against terrorism than just about anyone else. How convenient for him to disappear."
However, Al Felzenberg, a spokesman for the bipartisan commission, said the incident had not affected its work or its conclusions. "The stories we're reading about now in no way impacted on the commission's ability to do its work," he said. "It has had access to everything ... that it needs to do its job."
US news reports yesterday quoted government officials as saying the investigation into Mr Berger began when archive staff saw him putting material into his jacket and trousers. CNN said it had been told by two unnamed officials that he had been seen stuffing documents into his socks.
One of Mr Berger's lawyers, Lanny Breuer, denied the charge, insisting his client had not sought to conceal anything. He said Mr Berger believed he had been looking at copies of classified documents rather than originals.
He also took away handwritten notes without permission, a violation of archives policy. "In the course of reviewing over several days thousands of pages of documents on behalf of the Clinton administration in connection with requests by the September 11 commission, I inadvertently took a few documents from the archives," Mr Berger told Associated Press.
"When I was informed by the archives that there were documents missing, I immediately returned everything I had except for a few documents that I apparently had accidentally discarded."
"I wish I knew who leaked it. It's interesting timing," he added.
DNC talking points will say and we the citizenry will hear:
Continuations of the How could this story come out now? line.
And quickly the points will turn to:
All National Security Advisers do this.
Bergers critics are right-wing Christians; theyre fundamentalist whack jobs who want to take away a womens right to choose.
No attack on Sandy Berger ever fed a poor starving child.
This is all a distraction from the war in Iraq and the failure to find WMD. What about abu Graib
Fawn Hall shredded documents.
This investigation has dragged out way long and cost too much money.
This is all about politics. Its time to move on and get about creating jobs in this the worst economy since Hoover.
The motives of the prosecutors are suspect.
Whats the big deal? Everyone lies about stuffing their pants.
"Republicans are always wanting to know what other people are doing in the privacy of their own pants."
The people in France are shocked and dont understand the big fuss in the states about this.
"Sandy is a girls name. We see the continuing attempt by mean spirited Republicans to imply that we are girlie men. This homophobia has got to stop."
Story dies in the next three days. Berger is back on the team in no time. Moved on.
An honest mistake. Sandy Burglar was only Clinton's national security advisor. How would he know what an original document looked like? The question is: What difference would it make if it WAS a copy?
Damn these people are good at changing the subject. Hopefully our side will not get sucked into arguing about the timing and who leaked it and all the other sleight of mouth.
And are there others that did similar things but have not yet been brought to light?
You win the prize...this story was leaked by the Dems to deflect for Klintoon, help Kerry and for major Democrat party damage control..it was leaked for POLITICAL reasons .. translation it was leaked by Ashcroft, Cheney or hell Bush himself...see then this becomes the "real story"..after all everything a liberal does is good even if it's bad..lil' Katie on the Today show along with that turncoat RHINO David "Jerkin" started spewing the Dem talking points this morning. After all intention, allegations and emotion trump facts and logic in the "Libers" world.
I heard there are eye witnesses to the pants and sock stuffing. Anyway, it makes little difference how the sand burglar carried the documents with him.
I want to know what documents Berger had previously tucked into his socks, pants, etc.
If I "inadvertently" ended up with something I'm not supposed to have, I'd IMMEDIATELY return it and apologize, wouldn't you?
And I don't I'd do it five times!!! That's "habitual", not inadvertent. But, hey, it's good to know that Clinton put our national security in the hands of a sloppy, scatterbrained file-fetishist...and LAUGHS about it now!
(I'm guessing the missing papers were used to light Bill's cigars...)
sorry... "I don't -think- I'd do it five times!"
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