Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Sandi Berger, guilty

Sandi Berger, Clinton’s National Security Advisor, has pleaded guilty to a minor charge "will acknowledge intentionally removing and destroying copies of a classified document about the Clinton administration’s record on terrorism." But note this:

The terms of Berger’s agreement required him to acknowledge to the Justice Department the circumstances of the episode. Rather than misplacing or unintentionally throwing away three of the five copies he took from the archives, as the former national security adviser earlier maintained, he shredded them with a pair of scissors late one evening at the downtown offices of his international consulting business.

The document, written by former National Security Council terrorism expert Richard A. Clarke, was an "after-action review" prepared in early 2000 detailing the administration’s actions to thwart terrorist attacks during the millennium celebration. It contained considerable discussion about the administration’s awareness of the rising threat of attacks on U.S. soil.

Discussions - 6 Comments

A liar and a liar. What did the documents say, specifically, that he found it necessary to destroy 3 of 5 nearly identical documents about the ’"after-action review’ prepared in early 2000 detailing the administration’s actions to thwart terrorist attacks during the millennium celebration"?

Seems to me that if he was destroying documents that "contained considerable discussion about the administration’s awareness of the rising threat of attacks on U.S. soil" before the 9/11 commission, he was destroying documents that would show that Clinton, and later Bush would have known about briefings on possible attacks on US soil. So was he working for or against Bush or Clinton? Looks possible that he may have been trying to delete documents that would have shown that Bush had documentation on file for his administration to process pre-9/11?

Doubtful.

Think about it: Why would a Clintonista break the law to help Shrub?

More plausible: Berger wanted to hide the fact, that, despite considerable knowledge in the Clinton Whitehouse regarding a pending attack on US soil, Billy Jeff instead chose to smoke ciga -- well, let’s just leave that woman out of this discussion.

You can’t expect the Department of Justice to have time to pursue both Martha and Sandy, can you?

The penalty for taking a classified document from a secure vault in the military would be a dishonorable discharge, reduced to the lowest enlisted grade, and five to ten at Leavenworth. Destroying it outside a secure facility would only add a couple of more years to the crime. There would be no exceptions - I’ve seen full colonels lose their retirement over failing to properly secure classified information. Sandy Berger got a hand-slap. Politics as usual in the nation’s cesspool, er, sorry, capital.

This is a deeply unsatisfactory conclusion to the Berger caper.

Reports have suggested the destroyed documents were originals, and not copies. But here the report states otherwise.


I find it hard to believe that Berger would have gone to all this trouble, and court legal and political disaster to merely destroy duplicates.

M.S. Anderson,

I only put up the option as it seems there is very little we can take for granted with political honor and faithfulness to your "leader" [Clinton]. It is plausible, and even possible that this is true, but inconclusive as saying that it was a case of Berger protecting Clinton. It’s more likely that he was only protecting himself--regardless of working for Clinton.

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