home > archive > 2004 > this article
Berger probe intriguing
By Carol Devine-Molin
Well Sandy Berger has certainly caught our attention this past week. Let's try to move beyond astonished -- Yes, we're all astonished that one of our nation's noted foreign policy experts would rip-off a bunch of top-secret documents by stuffing them in his pants and in his men's support hose. Moreover, he engaged in these actions in the highly monitored National Archives.
It's absolutely bizarre. For heaven's sake, Berger was acting more like a stumblebum in the throes of a psychotic episode than a dignitary. OK, now that we've all gotten that out of our systems, let's give Berger the benefit of the doubt and assume that he's not a bonafide member of "cloud cuckooland". Let's address the salient question. Why? Why did Berger go through this Kabuki dance of theft at least twice, and maybe up to five times? Somehow, the name Bill Clinton comes to mind – but more about that later.
Sandy Berger knew that security staff was closely observing him, but he kept on pilfering classified materials anyway. Moreover, Berger clearly exhibited a sense of entitlement, as he expected those pesky little "minders" at the Archives to permit him to be alone so that he could use his cell phone and steal documents. How dare those peons get in his way! However, the security staff was obviously a bit smarter than Berger reckoned, and they put a little sting operation into play that confirmed their suspicions of Berger's activities. The arrogance of "big shots" is always their undoing.
Commentator Mark Steyn says it best, as he explains Sandy Berger's series of "honest mistakes": "By his own words, he's guilty of acts that any other American would go to jail for. He ‘inadvertently' shoved 30-page classified documents down his pants and then ‘inadvertently' lost them at home and then ‘inadvertently' returned to the National Archives to ‘inadvertently' take another draft of the same 30-page document and he ‘inadvertently' lost that, too. He ‘inadvertently' made forbidden cell phone calls from the room with the classified documents, and he ‘inadvertently' took more suspicious bathroom breaks while in the Archives".
If the Democratic propagandists had their way, they would have us convinced that the hoopla surrounding Sandy Berger is much ado about nothing. In essence, they're insulting our intelligence by telling us: "Nothing to see here, just keep moving". Remember the stance of Democratic operatives when the Whitewater billing records were miraculously discovered on a table in Hillary Clinton's private quarters in the White House? Mind you, these were the same documents that Senator Alphonse D'Amato had been diligently seeking over a period of time for a Senate investigation. Here's the deal -- When Democrats are caught in incriminating circumstances, their spinmeisters nonchalantly maintain that "things just happen" – there's no rebuke, no accountability.
And, of course, the Democrats adeptly cast blame on others in efforts to divert attention from their outrageous behaviors. Sandy Berger is one of their own, and they're going to protect him. His friends and colleagues are chalking-up his current situation to "carelessness" on his part. Really, even if Sandy Berger was a harebrained sloppy klutz, that still wouldn't excuse him of shoving top-secret documents down his pants – but I digress. Unfortunately, the Democrats can often spin with impunity since their allies, the major news media, aren't about to criticize them.
Moreover, the Democrats are now sniping at the Republicans, claiming that the GOP "leaked" the existence of the Justice Department investigation of Sandy Berger. Never mind that the allegation doesn't make any sense in the real world. If, and I emphasize "if" Republicans were going to leak anything damaging about the Democrats, they would clearly wait until it had the most impact, and, of course, that would be just prior to the election. No, this was leaked by the Democrats in order to get it behind them before the elections, and to provide their PR experts with the opportunity to massage the facts and effectuate "damage control". Notice that Democratic candidate John Kerry quickly and completely cut ties with Sandy Berger. Sandy? Sandy who?
According to the Washington Times, "He (Berger) also has admitted taking numerous draft versions of a report that he commissioned on the Clinton administration's response to al-Qaida threats targeting millennium celebrations. The report was written by Mr. Clinton's counterterrorism czar, Richard A. Clarke, an outspoken critic of President Bush and the star witness in the September 11 commission hearings".
That said, many people are thinking the same thing -- You know darn well that Sandy Berger wasn't compelled to pilfer top-secret documents on his own. Bill Clinton put him up to it. Apparently, Clinton and his cronies didn't want the 9/11 Commission to review that draft report, at least not as originally composed. Obviously, we need to know: a) if any of the drafts were recovered, and, b) if so, were they re-written or tampered with in any manner. But more importantly, the theft of that document, and others, was to protect Clinton's darn legacy – the legacy that Clinton obsesses about. From Clinton's perspective, heaven forbid that historians access documents that demonstrate he was weak on terrorism – In other words, that he and his administration were not up-to-snuff in tackling al-Qaida and terrorism. Frankly, Sandy Berger was a disgrace as national security advisor, given that he very stupidly thwarted efforts on four occasions to kill or capture Osama bin Laden.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.
Get weekly updates about new issues of ESR!
© 1996-2018, Enter Stage Right and/or its creators. All rights reserved.