July 20, 2004
WHAT'S IN SANDY BERGER'S PANTS: Stephen Green has some thoughts:
What bothers me – and what should bother you – is that the man who was too concerned with the law to get Osama when he had the chance, was rather cavalier about the law when it came to shoving classified items down his 46-inch waistband.
Sandy Berger covered his ass, quite literally, with the papers which, just might, show how he inadvertently helped Osama bin Laden murder the asses of 3,000 of Berger's fellow Americans.
Once, when I was young and foolish, I almost spent the night in jail for dropping trou in public. What should become of Sandy Berger for stuffing his?
Nothing good, I imagine. I don't know what's more appalling -- the thought that Berger is covering up some dreadful failing, or the thought that the man in charge of national security for much of the Clinton administration is utterly incompetent at handling supersecret national security documents. Well, I do, actually, but it's pretty appalling either way. And I still wonder if anyone has seen Fawn Hall lately.
UPDATE: Virginia Postrel: "Bumbling Berger. . . . could we please hear a little less about how the Bush administration's foreign policy advisers are incompetent? This guy was National Security Adviser. Yikes." And might be again -- or at least, might have been, before this happened.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Ed Morrissey is deconstructing the spin on this: "For my money, that's at least one 'inadvertently' too many, and that is not a literary criticism. Perhaps this explanation will fly for those who have never worked around classified documents, but since I spent three years producing such material, I can tell you that it's impossible to 'inadvertently' take or destroy them. . . . I find it highly suspect that the first expert the Post found to speak on this is Richard Clarke. How many of the partisans will come out of the woodwork? Next, we'll have Joe Wilson come out and claim that the documents never existed in the first place."
Another reader wonders why Clinton lawyer Bruce Lindsey was seemingly the first person the archivists called:
Breuer said the Archives staff first raised concerns with Berger during an Oct. 2 review of documents that at least one copy of the post-millennium report he had reviewed earlier was missing. Berger was given a second copy that day, Breuer said.
Officials familiar with the investigation said Archive staff specially marked the documents and when the new copy and others disappeared, Archive officials called Clinton attorney Bruce Lindsey to raise concerns.
This makes it sound as if Berger had documents disappear on more than one occasion, too. Quite odd, and it certainly bears looking into. Closely.