Skip to comments.Radio Journalist Reports that Berger's Offense is a Misdemeanor
Posted on 07/20/2004 7:54:53 PM PDT by gogipper
I sent this letter to WLS radio in Chicago in response to an afternoon broadcast.
I was alarmed during your newscast this afternoon when you said that Mr. Bergers absconding with and losing classified documents was a misdemeanor. Years ago I was a classified document custodian in the army and recall vividly my concern that I might lose or mishandle documents. My understanding was that this breach under Uniformed Code of Military Justice would lead to my breaking big rocks into little rocks at the Federal Military Prison for several years. I distinctly recall hearing warning stories during my basic officers training about those who failed to maintain security and suffered this dire circumstance. How could this be considered a MISDEMEANOR?????
The information you provided in the broadcast was WRONG. It was an exhausting 10 minutes of google searching to find the following link outlining the charges that I believe would apply and followed by the 10 YEAR SENTENCE provided for it. ----not a fine!!!! What I believe the are applicable paragraphs are below. Please do your journalistic job and check me, its been a few years since I read USC charges and specifications....
Were you trying to mislead your audience or was this information transmitted from liberal journalism central?
Here is a little thought experiment:
Try to think of a document that a terrorist organization would value more highly than a high level review of where the weaknesses in our counterterrorism efforts are.
Then ask if Mr. Berger could immediately state that the documents he lost didn't end up in the trash -- handled by a middle eastern trash collector.
This inattention to security is going to get us killed.
CHAPTER 37ESPIONAGE AND CENSORSHIP
§793. Gathering, transmitting or losing defense information
(d) Whoever, lawfully having possession of, access to, control over, or being entrusted with any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, or note relating to the national defense, or information relating to the national defense which information the possessor has reason to believe could be used to the injury of the United States or to the advantage of any foreign nation, willfully communicates, delivers, transmits or causes to be communicated, delivered, or transmitted or attempts to communicate, deliver, transmit or cause to be communicated, delivered or transmitted the same to any person not entitled to receive it, or willfully retains the same and fails to deliver it on demand to the officer or employee of the United States entitled to receive it; or
(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.
thank you for posting this - the Burglar deserves jail! unfortunately we'll never know what was on all the papers he took home to be shredded and burned.
If Sandy Berger dumped documents in the trash or accidently ripped a corner off a single page, he would have to keep a logbook account of everything that happend to the lost, stolen or damaged pages, and turn that logbook in to the CIA so they can do follow-ups.
"and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer"
He reports to his senior officer, Clinton:
The requested documents will never be seen again!
Clinton: Good work!
He's now off the hook!
Misdemeanor? Baloney. Accidently losing a classified document may be. Even misplacing a document for a few hours is viewed very seriously. But stealing and then destroying classified documents (the only credible scenario for what Burger did) definitely is not a misdemeanor. In 23 years of working with a secret or top secret clearance I never witnessed or even heard of such an egregious case of mishandling of classified material.
Just who is heading the CIA these days? Mr. Tenet quit in early June due to personal reasons. His resignation became effective a week ago. No connection here, I guess. Wonder if the CIA has that logbook?
Do you remember who the reporter was? My bet is Bill Cameron....
John McLaughlin (not of the McLaughlin Group fame), heads the CIA on an interim basis. Tenet was a Clinton holdover unfortunately, so Tenet would have been heading the CIA at the time Sandy Berger was working in the Clinton administration as head of the NSA. If the CIA doesn't have that logbook, Berger has alot of explaining to do, and not some "Honest mistake" speech. I think that wouldn't go over too well at the CIA.
It is just the latest spin by the 'Rats. Taking and destroying classified documents is MUCH more than a misdemeanor. There is no way that he "forgot" that he had hidden documents in his pants and that this was just a simple mistake. This was a deliberate act of espionage by one party in our governemnt.
I think §794. Gathering or delivering defense information to aid foreign government - is more appropriate:
"(b) Whoever, in time of war, with intent that the same shall be communicated to the enemy, collects, records, publishes, or communicates, or attempts to elicit any information with respect to the movement, numbers, description, condition, or disposition of any of the Armed Forces, ships, aircraft, or war materials of the United States, or with respect to the plans or conduct, or supposed plans or conduct of any naval or military operations, or with respect to any works or measures undertaken for or connected with, or intended for the fortification or defense of any place, or any other information relating to the public defense, which might be useful to the enemy, shall be punished by death or by imprisonment for any term of years or for life."
Of all persons, Mr. Berger knows the law regarding security and document control. All of us who have served in the military and/or worked on government projects knows the law and will remember it until our dying day!! Get real Republicans, convict the traitor. Michael Savage said it all: "Sandy Berger should have let the country know he was being investigated". Do not blame anyone releasing the information today. It is RAT trash!!!
What I want to know is why security didn't stop him. Did they see him stuff paper in his pants, jacket and socks? If so, did they not think this suspicious behavior and immediately confront him or, at least, notify their superior? Where are those guards? Also, why is there no video montioring of this room if it contains top secret documents? Shouldn't there be a tape of this somewhere?
I'm as alarmed by our lax security of these documents as much as I am dismayed by the obvious mishandling and destruction of these documents by someone who CLEARLY knew better than that.
I think other heads should roll besides Berger, although his is obviously the first one.
Bill Cameron is old and senile, he was a bust on WMAQ, and when WMAQ went Spanish, he went to Chicago PM with the communist and psychotic Jay Marvin.
Two losers who couldn't think their way out of a phone booth
Follow the power. It goes back to Hitlery.
Don't be too sure about that. Even though the Republicans will likely, as usual, prove to be weenies who don't have to stones to prosecute this, I expect there are archival copies of whatever this bag of crap stole.
Whether the fact that copies exist makes the public light is another matter. With Hastert and Lott types in charge . . . . . no way in hell.
Yeah, I remember when they first hired him; touting him as an in the know political reporter. Even before he went on that useless-one-hour-filler show, he had no qualms in injecting his own opinions into his news spots, and surprise, he's an unabashed liberal. But as with Mr. Ron Majers on Roe's show, never tell him that or he gets all bent out of shape.
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