Sandy Berger investigated for stealing terror memos


Basically, Sandy Berger hid the documents in his clothing, and snuck them out of the secure facility where he was reviewing them for his testimony for the 9/11 commission.

He took the documents home. :eek:

When confronted about them, he returned most of them, except for one really, really important memo that can’t be accounted for.

This kind of thing lands people in jail. This goes way past careless to criminal. Did Sandy Berger handle documents this way when he was Clinton’s National Security advisor?

“The FBI searched Berger’s home and office with warrants earlier this year after employees of the National Archives told agents they believed they witnessed Berger put documents into his clothing while reviewing sensitive Clinton administration papers, officials said.”
“Lanny Breuer, one of Berger’s attorneys, said his client has offered to cooperate fully with the investigation but has not been interviewed by the FBI or prosecutors. Berger has been told he is the subject of the investigation, Breuer said.”

You trying to make a mountain out of a molehill?

It’s apparent Bushco doesn’t care.

In a sick way, I kind of hope Sandy Berger lands in jail, if he is indeed an informal advisor to John Kerry.

Being in the clink would give him less of an opportunty to fill Kerry’s head with BS about how his (Berger’s) view that war with Iraq was justified, and other nonsense that only hurts Kerry’s campaign.

And what if it were Bush administration officials hiding papers in their suit coats and sneaking them home?

I think we can all predict how you’d react, Reeder, thank you very much.

I know something about how to properly safeguard classified material. So should Sandy Berger, given his positions of trust with the government in the past. What he did was unconscionable.

It’s hard to know what to make of this, and it will be interesting to see what additional information comes out as the investigation progresses. Was he trying to hide something? Or was he trying to make sure that someone else didn’t make some of the material “disappear?” Without knowing what was in the documents in question, it’s tough to say.

I did find one of his statements hilarious, however:

I supppose he was referring to the documents that he admitted he had stuffed into his pants. Perhaps he had soiled himself, and inadvertently used classified documents to wipe up.

I can honestly say that I’ve never inadvertently stuffed anything into my pants. I’ve always known exactly what I was doing at the time.

Do you in your heart of hearts…really believe that Bushco would give Berger access to anything they remotely thought important? Hell, these people have made things once public knowledge secret.

Give me a break.

We might find out about the USA Patriot Act as a result. Merely being “highly classified” isn’t enough to ensure guilt since the Pentagon Papers Case. The Patriot Act might have changed that though. There mere guess on the part of a trustworthy administration figure that something might just possibly endanger national security some day might be enough. Of course by the time such an administration figure is found, Berger and everyone else connected with the matter might die.

I’m willing to wait and see rather than decide that Berger is or is not guilty of some offence.

Of course, it it were a Bushite-KILL THE BAHSTID!

Sorry, Reeder, but you’re just whistling in the dark on this one. I do not like President Bush and his coven one little bit, but there’s something here that just doesn’t pass the smell test. And to start absolving Berger of something the magnitude and details of which we don’t even understand yet smacks of the kind of intellectual dishonesty/partisanship I would expect of, well, let’s just say some of our more fulsome posters (cough MilroyJ cough)

Reeder, the documents were in the National Archives. Berger had security clearance and was asked by former President Clinton to review the documents in preparation for testimony before the 9/11 Commission if I remember correctly. Bush would have had great difficulty in denying the request of the former President even if he had the power to do so. The POTUS is not in charge of security clearance or the National Archives.

You do not exceed me in your dislike of Bush, but you lose your credibility when you make excuses when some of the Democrats may have done contemptible things. A Justice Department investigation into Berger’s actions is warranted.

Just based on Berger’s own explanations and admissions, Kerry needs to drop him like a hot rock.

This whole thing does seem like pretty bizarre and inexcusable behavior on his part, at least from what little we know so far.

On the other hand, it doesn’t strike me as quite as serious as, say, telling something super-duper secret (like the fact that we have broken Iranian codes) to an Iraqi exile who is a known liar and convicted embezzler and then having him go and tell the Iranian intelligence service (who he is apparently in league with).

Or, for that matter, outing a CIA agent as part of a political vendetta directed at her husband.

I despise Bush. That said, the fact that his side has done contemptable things does not give the other side a pass. In contemplating whether we should have gone to war, I really don’t give a damn if Clinton got a blow job. It is a straw man and not part of the equation. Similarly the Bush administration’s screw ups in security do not excuse Berger from following correct procedure. Two wrongs don’t make a right and all that.

According to the article, he took copies of documents, not the documents themselves.

The fact that you would ask this question shows that you don’t know much about how the government works.

You can see from my posting history that I’m no fan of Bill Clinton. Yet I was granted a security clearance by his administration, since it was required by my job.

Access to classified material doesn’t just become restricted to Republicans just because Bush is in the White House.

This actually compounds the crime, instead of excusing it.

Classified material has to be accounted for. Making extra copies that aren’t in the classified material accounting system for that site is a serious security violation.

And then sneaking those copies home, which is very likely not an approved facility for the storage and handling of these documents, well…

It’s sloppy, risky work, by Mr. Berger’s own admission. It could have made information about America’s efforts against terrorism available to those same terrorists we’re trying to defeat. All of those procedures are in place for very good reasons.

I think it sounds like you’ve convicted him before the rest of us are even sure what happened. The story doesn’t mention making the copies being a problem- do you know that this wasn’t allowed, as opposed to something that was done so that classified documents wouldn’t just get lost?

The OP is being hysterically partisan and lying to boot. There is no cause to characterize Berger as having “hidden” anything and no such accusation has been made againts him. There isn’t even a motive for stealing copies since taking copies would not actually conceal anything.

There is also no allegation that Berger made the copies himself, so that’s another unfounded accusation by Moto.

Tempest in a teapot. I see no reason not to take berger at his word since he would have absolutely no motive for deliberately hiding copies of classified documents.

[QUOTE=Mr. Moto]
He took the documents home. :eek:

When confronted about them, he returned most of them, except for one really, really important memo that can’t be accounted for.


Hmm , I wonder if he was the one that stole all the W keys from the white house computers.


Motive isn’t an issue here. Behavior is, though.

Failure to follow established procedures for classified material is inexcusable. And I would be just as hard on Mr. Berger if he was a Republican.

I don’t think you’d be letting him off the hook, though, Diogenes, if he were one. Partisan motives cut both ways here.

You wouldn’t be convicting a Reublican this quickly. I think the lack of motive is signicant. It’s the difference between sloppiness and malice. I think a stupid blunder is quite pluaible here. Not defensible, maybe, but especially sinister either.

I’m willing to wait and see what else happens. I’m not married to Sandy Berger. I’m not even a Democrat. I just think you’re jumping his shit too quickly.

Oh…and Moto, I was probably a little too harsh in calling you a liar but I think it’s premature to conclude that he deliberately hid or stole anything.

Diogenes, it doesn’t matter though. Sandy Berger handled documents of this sensitivity for years. He had an active security clearance. He knew better.

Failure to follow these procedures risks the disclosure of the information within. It’s not a matter to be treated lightly, or casually dismissed. A similar case a few years ago ended the career of the director of the CIA.

How, pray tell, is this case substantially different. At the minimum, Sandy Berger violated procedures. Right now he and the government are quibbling over the degree to which he did so.

I’m being very careful not to ascribe a motive to Berger’s actions. But it blows my mind why he’d do this.