Monday, August 02, 2004

Politics: Take That Berger Off the Grill

I never got around to the whole flap about Sandy Berger smuggling top secret documents to al queda in his socks... Seriously, in the interest of fairness and balance, I meant to follow-up on that and take Berger to task for his actions, as I surely would have been all fired up if Condi Rice did the same thing.

Well, it look like I missed my opportunity, because it was all much ado about nothing. The Wall Street Journal (whose Editorial Page lit and stoked this story) reports:
Officials looking into the removal of classified documents from the National Archives by former Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel Berger say no original materials are missing and nothing Mr. Berger reviewed was withheld from the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

Several prominent Republicans, including House Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, have voiced suspicion that when Mr. Berger was preparing materials for the 9/11 Commission on the Clinton administration's antiterror actions, he may have removed documents that were potentially damaging to the former president's record.

The conclusion by archives officials and others would seem to lay to rest the issue of whether any information was permanently destroyed or withheld from the commission.

Berger still has to answer for some notes and copies that should never have left the review room, but as far as any obstruction or nefarious wrong-doing as implied by the Republicans, he's free and clear. The fact tht he didn't actually steal or destroy anything just sort makes the whole thing even more unusual... Was it an honest mistake as he said all along? With no apparent motive, it might seem so. You really have to wonder what the hell he was thinking, or was he thinking at all? Either way, I don't think Berger will be getting too many jobs dealing with classified info or national security anymore.

No comments: