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GAC
07-20-2004, 09:44 AM
Clinton’s Former Aide Drops Windfall in the Lap of Bush Campaign

DEBKAfile Special Report from Washington

July 20, 2004, 2:35 PM (GMT+02:00)

http://www.debka.com/photos/877.jpg


Former president Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is under criminal investigation and subject to FBI searches of his home and his office since he was caught – probably by hidden cameras – purloining copies of highly classified terrorism documents and his own handwritten notes from a secure reading room at the National Archives in Washington. This event took place, according to the Associated Press, during preparations to testify at the Sept. 11 commission hearings after Clinton asked him to review and select the administration documents to be turned over to the panel.

This year, Berger has been informally advising Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Even after Berger voluntarily returned documents, two or three drafts are still missing of a sensitive, after-action report criticizing the Clinton administration’s handling of al Qaeda millennium threats and identifying American vulnerabilities at airports and sea ports.

The former national security adviser was also found in possession of a small number of classified papers containing his handwritten notes from the Middle East peace talks during the 1990s. They are not the focus of the current criminal probe.

The FBI searches occurred after National Archives employees reported they saw Berger place documents in his jacket and pants and then noticed some documents missing. Three still are. Berger admitted to “sloppiness” and “inadvertently” taking copies of classified documents. They were all immediately returned, he said, except for a few that he had “apparently accidentally discarded.”

The Berger affair is pennies from heaven for the Bush presidential campaign with important bearing on the inquiries into intelligence performance prior to the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq War. It is also of deep significance for Israel.

For months, President George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney have been under unremitting attack in official probes, films and books for bad decisions and “flawed intelligence” in the war on terrorism and for misrepresenting the grounds for going to war in Iraq. In the privacy of the Bush White House, presidential aides grumble that the Clinton administration’s failure to properly handle rising threats from Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein in the 1990s left these ticking bombs in Bush’s lap. Clinton was said to have ignored the many warnings reaching him, including a specific threat against New York’s World Trade Center. However, Bush has always forbidden his campaign staff to point the finger at his predecessor in the White House for the ills of today, just as Clinton refrains from criticizing the incumbent.

The actions of his former aide have changed these rules.

Presidential challenger Kerry will have to think twice before attacking Bush on national security issues lest he lay himself open to reminders that a former Clinton aide and his own adviser was caught red-handed misappropriating classified materials that revealed how a Democratic president mishandled the threat of terror.

Berger was closely involved in more than one Labor-led Israeli government’s controversial handling of the peace process during the Clinton years. A founding father of Israel’s dovish Peace Now movement, the adviser was a friend of the late prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak. He was less close to Shimon Peres, preferring to deal with his aide Yossi Bailin, the current leader of Israel’s far left Yahad party.

According to DEBKAfile’s sources, Berger removed his notes from Middle East peace talks from the National Archives in view of the unfortunate sequels of the Clinton presidency’s two central, mutually supportive policies. On the one hand, Clinton pushed hard for accommodations between Israel, the Palestinians and its Arab neighbors, while at the same time nurturing American ties in the Arab and Muslim world. He hoped to gain the trust of Arab and Muslim leaders for peace with Israel while persuading the Jewish state to be forthcoming with concessions. However, Clinton’s expectation of a Middle East peace triumph at the White House in the wake of the 1993 Oslo Accords melted down in the ensuing blight of the Palestinian suicide terror confrontation that continues to beset the region.

The consequences of his second policy line were still more sweeping.

In deciding to go to war in 1998 on the Muslim Albanian side of the Balkans against the Christian Serbs, Clinton may have been influenced by the atrocities committed there but he was in essence pursuing his global strategy. He chose to elide the fact that Iranian Revolutionary Guards and al Qaeda cells - most Saudi-dominated - were fighting alongside Albanian and Bosnian Muslims – as did his advisers, especially Berger and secretary of state Madeline Albright. Islamic extremists and Arab terrorists as well as the Saddam regime prospered unnoticed in the Clinton years. Al Qaeda was allowed to build up in the Balkans a central logistical base for operations in Europe, from which the Hamburg cell later derived back-up for plotting the 9/11 attacks against America.

Berger is the second Clinton-era official to face prosecution for withdrawing classified materials from secure premises. Former CIA director John Deutsch was pardoned by Clinton hours before he left office and saved from paying the price for taking home laptops with classified materials in 1996. Earlier, Deutsch resigned.

The case of Sandy Berger differs because the charges against him arise from the request of a former president in connection with an official probe. There will always be a question hanging over the precise nature of this request. Did the former adviser copy and “discard” documents at Clinton’s behest or his own initiative? In the absence of answers, a cloud of suspicion will hang over the affair and almost certainly influence American opinion before and after November’s presidential election.

Other related links....

http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/2690459

http://www.suntimes.com/output/terror/cst-nws-berg20.html

RedsBaron
07-20-2004, 09:58 AM
I saw this story on MSNBC this morning. Interesting. There have also been numerous reports this week that cast doubt upon the credibility of another informal Kerry adviser, Joe Wilson. Intelligence reports now indicate that Saddam's Iraq did attempt to acquire "yellow cake" and Wilson has admitted that his CIA wife did at least suggest him for the job investigating the "yellow cake" issue, contrary to Wilson's prior assertions.

GAC
07-20-2004, 09:58 AM
A sensitive after-action report on the foiled Millennium bomb plot, portions of which allegedly were pilfered by former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, sounded the alarm that al-Qaida operatives had entered the U.S. and were preparing to strike.

In testimony before the 9/11 Commission in April, Attorney General John Ashcroft detailed the highly classified March 2000 document, saying it contained a set of sweeping recommendations on how to combat the al-Qaida threat that were completely ignored by the Clinton White House.

"The NSC's Millennium After-Action Review declares that the United States barely missed major terrorist attacks in 1999 – with luck playing a major role," Ashcroft told the Commission.

"Among the many vulnerabilities in homeland defenses identified, the Justice Department's surveillance and FISA operations were specifically criticized for their glaring weaknesses."

"It is clear from the review," declared Ashcroft, "that actions taken in the Millennium period should not be the operating model for the U.S. government."

The Millennium plot review warned the Clinton administration "of a substantial al-Qaida network and affiliated foreign terrorist presence within the U.S., capable of supporting additional terrorist attacks here," the Bush attorney general said.

"Furthermore, fully seventeen months before the September 11 attacks, the review recommends disrupting the al Qaida network and terrorist presence here using immigration violations, minor criminal infractions, and tougher visa and border controls," he explained.

Ashcroft's comments suggested why a former Clinton national security official (i.e. Berger) might not want the information contained in the Millennium review to ever see the light of day.

CrackerJack
07-20-2004, 10:04 AM
Smoke and mirrors. Berger briefed Condoleeza Rice on Al Qaeda and the threate of imminent attacks when Bush Jr. was moving in to the White House. Advice her boss most likely told her to ignore or not to worry so much about.

He just sounds like a bumbling, disorganized fool in this article though, just like any other politician on either side of the coin.

Not sure what all the hub-bub is about over this. He wasn't even charged with anything.

GAC
07-20-2004, 10:25 AM
Smoke and mirrors. Berger briefed Condoleeza Rice on Al Qaeda and the threate of imminent attacks when Bush Jr. was moving in to the White House. Advice her boss most likely told her to ignore or not to worry so much about.

He just sounds like a bumbling, disorganized fool in this article though, just like any other politician on either side of the coin.

Not sure what all the hub-bub is about over this. He wasn't even charged with anything.

Not yet because it's still ongoing. But then when you purposely pilfer from the National Archives, and then, "accidentally discard" highly classified terrorism documents that deal solely with the former adminstration inwhich you served.... then what are people to think/presume? No big deal?

What was in those documents that he felt he needed to go out on a limb and basically do such a STUPID act (and yes, a crime) by stealing and then destroying some of them?

Maybe some one can explain that to us all?

Unassisted
07-20-2004, 12:33 PM
The talk radio stations I tuned in this morning were all over this story, too. The hosts seem convinced that there was something nefarious behind Berger's actions.

I'm not, because the content of the documents is surely preserved elsewhere, which limits the value of the originals. Weren't these documents also microfilmed or copied for the 9/11 committee?

GAC
07-20-2004, 12:43 PM
I'm not, because the content of the documents is surely preserved elsewhere, which limits the value of the originals. Weren't these documents also microfilmed or copied for the 9/11 committee?

The NA says they are. Which makes me wonder why Berger did what he did? Employees there stated that they watched him stuff documents into his pockets/pants, and that he was being watched on camera.

And this guys was a security advisor? :lol:

Unassisted
07-20-2004, 12:47 PM
Employees there stated that they watched him stuff documents into his pockets/pants, and that he was being watched on camera.In that case, I hope the media makes a Freedom of Information Act request for that video. Having those images splashed all over the news for a few days is probably a fitting punishment for this crime. :)

What it does not warrant is a lengthy investigation or messy hearings.

RBA
07-20-2004, 12:52 PM
(From The Note)

David Gergen, a former advisor to both Democratic and Republican presidents, vouched for Berger on NBC's "Today," calling him a "hero" in the war on terror, a man of "utter integrity" and saying it is "suspicious that this would leak" just before the release of the 9/11 Commission's report.

"It's not even clear to (Berger) that this investigation is still under way," Gergen said, "& no charges have been brought against him."

When NBC's Katie Couric followed up and asked Gergen if he was suggesting that this story might be coming out now as a "distraction" to the 9/11 Commission's report, Gergen said, "It has those overtones. Let's let more facts come out."

Gergen said that he doesn't think the Berger story "reflects on Sen. Kerry." He did say, however, that "what would hurt the Kerry campaign would be if Sandy would have to withdraw" from his role as an advisor to the Kerry campaign.

more…
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/politics/TheNote/Morning...

GAC
07-20-2004, 12:56 PM
Well that settles it then! Gergen, a former Clinton advisor, says what Berger did was innocent.

Case closed ;)

RBA
07-20-2004, 01:04 PM
Well that settles it then! Gergen, a former Clinton advisor, says what Berger did was innocent.

Case closed ;)

I don't think I said that. But I can tell you it is not unusual for people to mistakenly take classified materials. But you can go ahead and listen to the Republican talking points put out to the media for the next three days if it pleases you.

RFS62
07-20-2004, 01:07 PM
But I can tell you it is not unusual for people to mistakenly take classified materials.


I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that he mistakenly stuffed them into his jacket and pants?

RBA
07-20-2004, 01:22 PM
I'm not sure I understand. Are you saying that he mistakenly stuffed them into his jacket and pants?

I don't think I said that either. These were all copies of memos. So the 9/11 commission were able to review them as far as we know.

Accident's do happen, I am sure an investigation is on going. Just like the "inadvert" leaking of a deep cover CIA agent.

RedFanAlways1966
07-20-2004, 01:23 PM
My, oh my... funny when the shoe is on the other foot! :lol:

RBA
07-20-2004, 01:33 PM
I don't think losing (or theft) classified information or leaking CIA agents names are at all funny.

RedsBaron
07-20-2004, 02:24 PM
I find the entire Berger story to be bizarre. Surely he knew the documents were microfilmed and he knew that there were surveillance cameras. He probably was just sloppy, but this is a strange story.

Dom Heffner
07-20-2004, 02:29 PM
GAC wrote:

Not yet because it's still ongoing. But then when you purposely pilfer from the National Archives, and then, "accidentally discard" highly classified terrorism documents that deal solely with the former adminstration inwhich you served.... then what are people to think/presume? No big deal?

Wow, GAC. You finally come out of hiding to take on Sandy Berger. Wow! What a snare! This is really going to affect the election. John Kerry will be shaking in his shoes!

Of course the GOP talk shows are going to talk about this. They have nothing else. They already used the terror alert last week, so they don't have that. Kerry and Edwards are beating them in Florida, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and all but 3 of the battleground states.

I guess if I had that type of week as a Republican, I'd bring this up too.

GAC, I'll believe an ounce of your outrage over this as soon as you give us one iota of disapproval over this administration's handling of the war.

Sandy Berger or missing WMD's: Sandy Berger it is.

"All of the talk shows."

That might be the lamest thing I've heard. Well, gee, when they are all right-wing shows, what would you expect? When the prison abuse scandal was going on, they defended the military, Bush and Rumsfeld.

According to Rush, these were just fraternity pranks.

Well if raping children is how you get into Delta Tau Delta, count me out.

GAC
07-20-2004, 05:39 PM
GAC wrote:

Not yet because it's still ongoing. But then when you purposely pilfer from the National Archives, and then, "accidentally discard" highly classified terrorism documents that deal solely with the former adminstration inwhich you served.... then what are people to think/presume? No big deal?

Wow, GAC. You finally come out of hiding to take on Sandy Berger. Wow! What a snare! This is really going to affect the election. John Kerry will be shaking in his shoes!

Of course the GOP talk shows are going to talk about this. They have nothing else. They already used the terror alert last week, so they don't have that. Kerry and Edwards are beating them in Florida, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and all but 3 of the battleground states.

I guess if I had that type of week as a Republican, I'd bring this up too.

GAC, I'll believe an ounce of your outrage over this as soon as you give us one iota of disapproval over this administration's handling of the war.

Sandy Berger or missing WMD's: Sandy Berger it is.

"All of the talk shows."

That might be the lamest thing I've heard. Well, gee, when they are all right-wing shows, what would you expect? When the prison abuse scandal was going on, they defended the military, Bush and Rumsfeld.

According to Rush, these were just fraternity pranks.

Well if raping children is how you get into Delta Tau Delta, count me out.


Nice rant Howard Dean. Now why don't you stick to the subject at hand? ;)

My outage? You do follow the news don't you Dom? ....

Chicago Sun Times... http://www.suntimes.com/output/terror/cst-nws-berg20.html

NY Times... http://www.nytimes.com/2004/07/20/politics/20CND-BERG.html


This theft was witnessed, caught on camera, and reported by employees of the National Archives.

The story was reported/broke by the Associated Press.

And yes Dom, this is news. Will it effect the election? That was not my intent.

My name isn't Micheal Moore (but you believe everything that comes out of his mouth or on film).

But here is a former National Security Advisor reviewing documents at the National Archives at the bequest of the 9/11 Commission, and to determine what should be turned over to them in order to aid their investigation. Instead, Berger decides to stuff highly classified and sensitive terrorist documents into his pants/pockets.

However, some of the drafts he took, which are of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration's handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration, are still missing, officials and lawyers told The Associated Press. What a coincedence.

So you explain to our viewing audience here Dom as to why Berger did this?

From the NY Times...

Mr. Berger said Monday he deeply regretted "the sloppiness involved"

Yeah... the next time you want to steal and destroy highly classified documents then either take a brief case or wear bigger pants.

and that he did not intend to keep any document from the commission.

Not when your intent is to destroy them.

Dear Mr Berger: It is a criminal offense to remove those documents from the National Archive to begin with, and don't say you didn't know this.

So you can rant away about WMD or whatever Dom. That does not exonerate or justify what Berger did. Period!

Marty and Joe
07-20-2004, 05:46 PM
I'm sorry, but 'sloppiness'???? This is the former National Security Advisor, right? No one can tell me he didn't realize/know what he was doing.

GAC
07-20-2004, 05:48 PM
Accident's do happen, I am sure an investigation is on going. Just like the "inadvert" leaking of a deep cover CIA agent.

Rob... you know how much I respect ya man (and I do). But to excuse what happened here by saying "accidents do happen" simply amazes me. Over the last several months, when it has involved any issue with a conservative or the Bush administration...any accusation at all.... it's factual, a guilty verdict is handed down, and there is a conspiracy at foot.

But here it was simply an "accident"?

He had no business or authority to take those documents out of the National Archives to begin with (regardless if they were copies). He was sent there by the commission to review/critique them. Not stuff them in his pants pockets! That act in itself makes it look very,very shady. Why didn't he simply put them in a briefcase if he felt he could take them home to review?

Sorry if I don't by this "sloppiness" excuse.

Raisor
07-20-2004, 05:54 PM
Foxnews is reporting that Berger has resigned from the Kerry campaign.

RedsBaron
07-20-2004, 06:00 PM
Bizarre. If Berger had evil intent, he had to know he couldn't get away with it, but how could he stuff classified documents down his pants, and why? Bizarre.

GAC
07-20-2004, 06:02 PM
Foxnews is reporting that Berger has resigned from the Kerry campaign.

This can't be true because Fox is reporting it.

Kerry gave him the easy out....

"Resign with dignity Sandy. And security!...check his pants pockets on the way out!" :mhcky21:

RBA
07-20-2004, 08:25 PM
This story is out there to distract us from what's coming out in the 9/11 report and the Plame indictments coming. Another example of the "liberal" media laying cover fire for the Bush Administation.

Anyone notice the irony of some here who defend the Bush Administration because they can do wrong, but waste no time condemning a Democrats lack of judgment?

RBA
07-20-2004, 08:30 PM
CNN on Crossfire it was pointed out that the White House


called them no LESS than 3 times this morning to talk about the berger story


It's all coming together now. :eek:

jmcclain19
07-20-2004, 08:40 PM
I can tell you that a place where security level documents are handled, and the "accidental" taking or discarding of them is a joke.

When you are issued your security clearance, you are told, repeatedly in your briefing, as well as repeatedly as an employee, that if you see anything out of the ordinary with classified or secret material, you report it. Failure to do so means that not only the person doing the mishandling will be in trouble, but you as well, for not reporting it. Trouble meaning losing your security clearance, in essense, your job.

I find this highly suspect.

RedsBaron
07-20-2004, 08:41 PM
This story is out there to distract us from what's coming out in the 9/11 report and the Plame indictments coming. Another example of the "liberal" media laying cover fire for the Bush Administation.

Anyone notice the irony of some here who defend the Bush Administration because they can do wrong, but waste no time condemning a Democrats lack of judgment?
No more ironic than your continued series of posts consistently blasting the Bush administration and not criticizing Democrats. Maybe I've missed them, but please refer us to your posts and threads wherein you defended anything the Bush administration did or condemned the Democrats.
As for the "Plame indictments coming," well, maybe. Her husband's prior versions of events has now been challenged as I assume you know.

RBA
07-20-2004, 08:42 PM
No more ironic than your continued series of posts consistently blasting the Bush administration and not criticizing Democrats. Maybe I've missed them, but please refer us to your posts and threads wherein you defended anything the Bush administartion did or condemned the Democrats.
As for the "Plame indictments coming," well, maybe. Her husband's prior versions of events has now been challenged as I assume you know.


I know and they have been debunked as I assume you know.


Bashing Joe Wilson
July 20, 2004


The is column from The Nation was written by David Corn.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Senate intelligence committee's report on prewar intelligence demonstrates that George W. Bush launched a war predicated on false assertions about weapons of mass destruction and misled the country when he claimed Saddam Hussein was in cahoots in al Qaeda. But what has caused outrage within conservative quarters? Passages in the report that they claim undermine the credibility of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Wilson, if you need to be reminded, embarrassed the Bush administration a year ago when he revealed that he had traveled to Niger in February 2002 to check out the allegation that Hussein had been shopping for uranium there. In his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush had referred to Iraq's supposed attempt to obtain uranium in Africa to suggest Hussein was close to possessing a nuclear weapon. When Bush's use of this allegation become a matter of controversy last summer, Wilson went public with a New York Times op-ed piece in which he noted his private mission to Niger -- which he had taken on behalf of the CIA -- had led him to conclude the allegation was highly unlikely. After Wilson's article appeared, the White House conceded that Bush should not have included this charge in his speech.

A week later, Wilson received the payback. Conservative columnist Robert Novak, quoting two unnamed administration sources, reported that Wilson's wife, Valerie Wilson (nee Plame), was a CIA operative working in the counter-proliferation field. Novak revealed her identity to suggest that Wilson had been sent to Niger due to nepotism not his experience. The point of Novak's column was to call Wilson's trip and his findings into question.

The real story was that Novak's sources -- presumably White House officials -- might have violated the law prohibiting government officials from identifying a covert officer of the United States government. Outing Valerie Wilson was a possible felony and -- to boot -- compromised national security. Two months later, the news broke that the CIA had asked the Justice Department to investigate the Wilson leak. And a U.S. attorney named Patrick Fitzgerald has been on the case since the start of this year, leading an investigation that has included questioning Bush.

But now Wilson's detractors on the right claim the critical issue is Wilson's credibility on two points: whether his wife was involved in the decision to send him to Niger and whether he accurately portrayed his findings regarding his Niger trip. And they have made use of the Senate intelligence report -- particularly additional comments filed by committee chairman Pat Roberts and two other Republican members of the committee, Kit Bond and Orrin Hatch -- to pound Wilson. But not only does the get-Wilson crusade ignore the main question -- did White House officials break the law and damage national security to take a swing at a critic? -- it overstates and manipulates the material in the Senate report.

The first shot at Wilson actually came from The Washington Post. The day after the Senate report was released, Post reporter Susan Schmidt did an entire piece on the portion of the report related to the Niger episode. (By the way, the Post devoted more space to the Wilson affair than to the report's conclusion that there was no intelligence to back up Bush's assertion that Iraq and al Qaeda had maintained a working relationship.) In this story, Schmidt claimed that Wilson was "specifically recommended for the [Niger] mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly." She also reported that the intelligence committee "found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts." Schmidt added, "The report may bolster the rationale that administration officials provided the information not to intentionally expose an undercover CIA employee, but to call into question Wilson's bona fides as an investigator into trafficking of weapons of mass destruction."

Within days, Tim Graham, an analyst at the conservative Media Research Center, wrote a piece for The National Review pointing to the Schmidt article and decrying the "truth-telling problems" of Wilson, whose recent best-selling book is titled The Politics of Truth. Then Novak, returning to the scene of the (possible) crime, cited the committee report and the Republicans' additional comments to prove that he had been right to report in his original column that Wilson's wife had been behind the move to send Wilson to Niger. And Novak approvingly quoted Senator Roberts blast at Wilson: "Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided. ... Time and again, Joe Wilson told anyone who would listen that the president had lied to the American people, that the vice president had lied, and that he had 'debunked' the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. . . . [N]ot only did he NOT 'debunk' the claim, he actually gave some intelligence analysts even more reason to believe that it may be true." (In this column, Novak did not explore the ethics or legality of White House officials identifying CIA officers.) And then, of course, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page piled on. So did the Republican National Committee.

Wilson has written a response to Roberts that addresses many of the criticisms being hurled at him. (See it here. And read Roberts comments here and decide who makes the better case.) But let's sort out some of the various claims. First, what the report says about Valerie Wilson's role in this business. In his book, Wilson writes, "Apart from being the conduit for a message from a colleague in her office asking if I would be willing to have a conversation about Niger's uranium industry [with CIA counter-proliferation experts], Valerie had had nothing to do with the matter. Though she worked on weapons of mass destruction issues, she was not at the meeting I attended where the subject of Niger's uranium was discussed, when the possibility of my actually traveling to the country was broached. She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip."

So what if she had? A week in Niamey for no pay was hardly a junket. What would have been wrong with a CIA officer telling another CIA officer, hey my husband, a former ambassador, is an Africa expert with experience in Niger, perhaps you should send him to Niger to see what he can learn? But because Wilson is on record saying it did not happen this way, the question is whether he has been truthful.

The intelligence committee report says, "Some [CIA Counter-proliferation Division] officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife 'offered up his name' and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from [Valerie Wilson] says, 'my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.'...The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA."

The report also notes, "On February 19, 2002, CPD hosted a meeting with the former ambassador, intelligence analysts from both the CIA and INR [the State Department's intelligence unit], and several individuals from the [Directorate of Operations'] Africa and CPD divisions. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the merits of [Wilson] traveling to Niger. An INR analyst's notes indicate that the meeting was 'apparently convened by [Wilson's] wife who had the idea to dispatch [him] to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger uranium issue. The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that she only attended the meeting to introduce her husband and left after about three minutes."

This is not what ex-CIA chief George Tenet would call a slam-dunk case against Wilson. Sure, some of the evidence seems to contradict his account. But Valerie Wilson could have "offered up" his name as a handy person to contact about allegations concerning Niger's uranium trade without suggesting he get on a plane to Niger. And it is certainly imaginable that an INR analyst sitting in a meeting in which there is talk of dispatching a CIA officer's husband to Africa could have received the impression that his wife had initiated the mission. But if that was the case, why did Valerie Wilson attend for only a few minutes? If Valerie Wilson's account of this meeting is not accurate, where are the contradicting accounts from the other participants? Why does the report not quote them on this topic? Since only a week elapsed between the time Valerie Wilson "offered up" her husband and a meeting was held to consider sending him to Niger, it is possible that someone participating in the matter might have thought that Valerie Wilson's original advice -- talk to my husband -- was related to question of sending an unofficial envoy to Niger to seek out additional information.

When Wilson returned from Niger two CIA officers debriefed him. "The debriefing," the Senate report says, "took place in the former ambassador's home and although his wife was there, according to the reports officer, she acted as a hostess and did not participate in the debrief." If Valerie Wilson had played a key role in sending Joseph Wilson to Niger, would she have skipped out on this debriefing? Perhaps. But this scene reinforces Wilson's claim that she was not deeply involved in his Niger trip.

It may be that in some of his public remarks, Wilson underplayed his wife's involvement in his trip. After all, according to the Senate intelligence committee's report, she did write at least one memo on the subject. But it is not clear from the report that she specifically advocated he be sent to Niger. Again, it makes little difference -- or it should make little difference -- whether Valerie Wilson said to her CIA colleagues "contact my husband" or said to them "you should put him on a plane to Niamey immediately." The report notes that the CIA people in charge of investigating the Niger allegation deliberated over what to do and then reached the decision to ask Wilson to perform a pro bono act of public service. And he said yes. He had the experience for the job. His trip was not a boondoggle arranged by his wife for his or their benefit.

Now on to the claim that Wilson's report to the CIA actually provided more reason to believe Iraq had been seeking yellowcake uranium. In his debriefing Wilson reported that former Nigerian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki had told him that in 1999 he had been asked to meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq. Mayaki said he assumed the delegation wanted to discuss uranium sales. But he said that although he had met with the delegation he had not been interested in pursuing any commercial dealings with Iraq. The intelligence report based on Wilson's debriefing also noted that the former minister of mines explained to Wilson that given the tight controls maintained by the French consortium in charge of uranium mining in Niger, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to arrange a shipment of uranium to a pariah state.

What did this report mean to the intelligence community? A CIA reports officer told the Senate intelligence committee that he took it as indirect confirmation of the allegation since Nigerian officials had admitted that an Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999 and since the former prime minister had said he believed Iraq was interested in purchasing uranium. But an INR analyst said that he considered the report to be corroboration of INR's position, which was that the allegation was "highly suspect" because Niger would be unlikely to engage in such a transaction and unable to transfer uranium to Iraq due to the strict controls maintained by the French consortium. But the INR analyst added, the "report could be read in different ways."

Wilson's work was thrown into the stew. The CIA continued to disseminate a report noting that a foreign intelligence service had told U.S. intelligence that Niger had agreed to supply Iraq with hundreds of tons of uranium. And in the National Intelligence Estimate produced in October 2002, the intelligence community reported that Iraq had been trying to strike a uranium deal with Niger in 2001. But the NIE noted that INR strongly disagreed with this assessment. And when the National Security Council drafted a speech for Bush in October 2002 the CIA recommended the address not include the Niger allegation because it was "debatable" whether the yellowcake could be obtained from Niger. In a follow-up fax to the NSC, the CIA said "the evidence is weak" and "the procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq's nuclear ambitions because the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory." Still, in late January 2003 -- after the INR's Iraq analyst had concluded that papers recently obtained by U.S. intelligence related to the supposed Iraqi-Niger uranium deal were "clearly a forgery" -- Bush went ahead and accused Iraq of seeking uranium in Africa.

But on April 5, 2003, the National Intelligence Council issued a memo that noted, "we judge it highly unlikely that Niamey has sold uranium yellowcake to Baghdad in recent years." It added that the government of Niger was unlikely to proceed with such a deal. And on June 17, 2003, the CIA produced a memo that said, "since learning that the Iraq-Niger uranium deal was based on false documents earlier this spring, we no longer believe that there is sufficient other reporting to conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from aboard."

So Wilson's assessment ended up being accepted by the CIA. His reporting may not have been conclusive. But as we have been told repeatedly this past week, such is often the case in intelligence collection. After coming back from Niger, Wilson's view -- which he did not express publicly for nearly a year and a half -- was different from that held by CIA analysts. Yet his conclusion -- that the Niger allegation was probably bunk -- was in line with the thinking of the State Department's lead analyst on this matter. And Wilson's reasoning came to prevail and to be shared by the intelligence community. For some reason, Novak does not mention this in his recent column.

Finally, let's address Schmidt's claim that the Senate intelligence committee's report "may bolster" the defense of the leakers -- whoever they are. Whether their motivation was to punish Wilson for speaking out or to try to undermine his credibility by suggesting his only bona fides for the Niger trip was his marriage license, blowing Valerie Wilson's cover still was a possible crime and an odious act. The law does not allow a government official to reveal a CIA officer -- and jeopardizing the officer, her contacts, and her operations -- to score political points.

What Wilson told his CIA contacts, what he told reporters, what he said in public -- accurate or not -- did not justify disclosing Valerie Wilson's identity. Nor did it justify the subsequent White House effort to encourage other reporters to pursue the Valerie Wilson story. The leak was thuggish and possibly felonious. And the Wilsons and others are waiting to see what comes from Fitzgerald's investigation. (NBC News reported recently that the probe had expanded to examine possible acts of perjury and lying to investigators.) There is no telling if the investigation will end with indictments or whitewashing. It has been a mostly leak-free probe, and even senior people at the Justice Department say they have no idea where Fitzgerald is heading -- if anywhere.

Whatever Fitzgerald's criminal investigation produces, the Wilsons were wronged. And Bush and his White House crew did nothing to seek out or punish the Novak-enabled leakers who placed politics ahead of national security and decency. Instead, White House officials peddled the leak further to discredit Wilson, and GOPers have been seeking to blast him ever since.

Roberts and other Republicans are using the intelligence committee's report to whack Wilson, a prominent opponent of the Iraq war and a foreign policy adviser to Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. If only Roberts' committee had applied as much time and energy into investigating the Wilson leak (and how the White House reacted to the leak) as it did to the actions of Valerie Wilson. But the leak is a subject that, for some odd reason, has escaped the attention of Roberts' investigators. And Roberts and his ideological comrades are exploiting the release of the committee's report to blame the victims of the leak. They are far more angered by alleged (or trumped-up) inconsistencies in Wilson's account than by Bush's misrepresentation of the prewar intelligence. Talk about overstating a problem.

David Corn is the Washington editor of The Nation magazine.

RedsBaron
07-20-2004, 08:44 PM
I know and they have been debunked as I assume you know.
Can't that I know that. Perhaps when you refer us to all of your posts/threads defending Bush and condemning Democrats you can share that with us as well.

RBA
07-20-2004, 08:51 PM
Bashing Joe Wilson
July 20, 2004


The is column from The Nation was written by David Corn.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Senate intelligence committee's report on prewar intelligence demonstrates that George W. Bush launched a war predicated on false assertions about weapons of mass destruction and misled the country when he claimed Saddam Hussein was in cahoots in al Qaeda. But what has caused outrage within conservative quarters? Passages in the report that they claim undermine the credibility of former Ambassador Joseph Wilson.

Wilson, if you need to be reminded, embarrassed the Bush administration a year ago when he revealed that he had traveled to Niger in February 2002 to check out the allegation that Hussein had been shopping for uranium there. In his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush had referred to Iraq's supposed attempt to obtain uranium in Africa to suggest Hussein was close to possessing a nuclear weapon. When Bush's use of this allegation become a matter of controversy last summer, Wilson went public with a New York Times op-ed piece in which he noted his private mission to Niger -- which he had taken on behalf of the CIA -- had led him to conclude the allegation was highly unlikely. After Wilson's article appeared, the White House conceded that Bush should not have included this charge in his speech.

A week later, Wilson received the payback. Conservative columnist Robert Novak, quoting two unnamed administration sources, reported that Wilson's wife, Valerie Wilson (nee Plame), was a CIA operative working in the counter-proliferation field. Novak revealed her identity to suggest that Wilson had been sent to Niger due to nepotism not his experience. The point of Novak's column was to call Wilson's trip and his findings into question.

The real story was that Novak's sources -- presumably White House officials -- might have violated the law prohibiting government officials from identifying a covert officer of the United States government. Outing Valerie Wilson was a possible felony and -- to boot -- compromised national security. Two months later, the news broke that the CIA had asked the Justice Department to investigate the Wilson leak. And a U.S. attorney named Patrick Fitzgerald has been on the case since the start of this year, leading an investigation that has included questioning Bush.

But now Wilson's detractors on the right claim the critical issue is Wilson's credibility on two points: whether his wife was involved in the decision to send him to Niger and whether he accurately portrayed his findings regarding his Niger trip. And they have made use of the Senate intelligence report -- particularly additional comments filed by committee chairman Pat Roberts and two other Republican members of the committee, Kit Bond and Orrin Hatch -- to pound Wilson. But not only does the get-Wilson crusade ignore the main question -- did White House officials break the law and damage national security to take a swing at a critic? -- it overstates and manipulates the material in the Senate report.

The first shot at Wilson actually came from The Washington Post. The day after the Senate report was released, Post reporter Susan Schmidt did an entire piece on the portion of the report related to the Niger episode. (By the way, the Post devoted more space to the Wilson affair than to the report's conclusion that there was no intelligence to back up Bush's assertion that Iraq and al Qaeda had maintained a working relationship.) In this story, Schmidt claimed that Wilson was "specifically recommended for the [Niger] mission by his wife, a CIA employee, contrary to what he has said publicly." She also reported that the intelligence committee "found that Wilson's report, rather than debunking intelligence about purported uranium sales to Iraq, as he has said, bolstered the case for most intelligence analysts." Schmidt added, "The report may bolster the rationale that administration officials provided the information not to intentionally expose an undercover CIA employee, but to call into question Wilson's bona fides as an investigator into trafficking of weapons of mass destruction."

Within days, Tim Graham, an analyst at the conservative Media Research Center, wrote a piece for The National Review pointing to the Schmidt article and decrying the "truth-telling problems" of Wilson, whose recent best-selling book is titled The Politics of Truth. Then Novak, returning to the scene of the (possible) crime, cited the committee report and the Republicans' additional comments to prove that he had been right to report in his original column that Wilson's wife had been behind the move to send Wilson to Niger. And Novak approvingly quoted Senator Roberts blast at Wilson: "Rather than speaking publicly about his actual experiences during his inquiry of the Niger issue, the former ambassador seems to have included information he learned from press accounts and from his beliefs about how the Intelligence Community would have or should have handled the information he provided. ... Time and again, Joe Wilson told anyone who would listen that the president had lied to the American people, that the vice president had lied, and that he had 'debunked' the claim that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa. . . . [N]ot only did he NOT 'debunk' the claim, he actually gave some intelligence analysts even more reason to believe that it may be true." (In this column, Novak did not explore the ethics or legality of White House officials identifying CIA officers.) And then, of course, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page piled on. So did the Republican National Committee.

Wilson has written a response to Roberts that addresses many of the criticisms being hurled at him. (See it here. And read Roberts comments here and decide who makes the better case.) But let's sort out some of the various claims. First, what the report says about Valerie Wilson's role in this business. In his book, Wilson writes, "Apart from being the conduit for a message from a colleague in her office asking if I would be willing to have a conversation about Niger's uranium industry [with CIA counter-proliferation experts], Valerie had had nothing to do with the matter. Though she worked on weapons of mass destruction issues, she was not at the meeting I attended where the subject of Niger's uranium was discussed, when the possibility of my actually traveling to the country was broached. She definitely had not proposed that I make the trip."

So what if she had? A week in Niamey for no pay was hardly a junket. What would have been wrong with a CIA officer telling another CIA officer, hey my husband, a former ambassador, is an Africa expert with experience in Niger, perhaps you should send him to Niger to see what he can learn? But because Wilson is on record saying it did not happen this way, the question is whether he has been truthful.

The intelligence committee report says, "Some [CIA Counter-proliferation Division] officials could not recall how the office decided to contact the former ambassador, however, interviews and documents provided to the Committee indicate that his wife, a CPD employee, suggested his name for the trip. The CPD reports officer told Committee staff that the former ambassador's wife 'offered up his name' and a memorandum to the Deputy Chief of the CPD on February 12, 2002, from [Valerie Wilson] says, 'my husband has good relations with both the PM [prime minister] and the former Minister of Mines (not to mention lots of French contacts), both of whom could possibly shed light on this sort of activity.'...The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that when CPD decided it would like to send the former ambassador to Niger, she approached her husband on behalf of the CIA."

The report also notes, "On February 19, 2002, CPD hosted a meeting with the former ambassador, intelligence analysts from both the CIA and INR [the State Department's intelligence unit], and several individuals from the [Directorate of Operations'] Africa and CPD divisions. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the merits of [Wilson] traveling to Niger. An INR analyst's notes indicate that the meeting was 'apparently convened by [Wilson's] wife who had the idea to dispatch [him] to use his contacts to sort out the Iraq-Niger uranium issue. The former ambassador's wife told Committee staff that she only attended the meeting to introduce her husband and left after about three minutes."

This is not what ex-CIA chief George Tenet would call a slam-dunk case against Wilson. Sure, some of the evidence seems to contradict his account. But Valerie Wilson could have "offered up" his name as a handy person to contact about allegations concerning Niger's uranium trade without suggesting he get on a plane to Niger. And it is certainly imaginable that an INR analyst sitting in a meeting in which there is talk of dispatching a CIA officer's husband to Africa could have received the impression that his wife had initiated the mission. But if that was the case, why did Valerie Wilson attend for only a few minutes? If Valerie Wilson's account of this meeting is not accurate, where are the contradicting accounts from the other participants? Why does the report not quote them on this topic? Since only a week elapsed between the time Valerie Wilson "offered up" her husband and a meeting was held to consider sending him to Niger, it is possible that someone participating in the matter might have thought that Valerie Wilson's original advice -- talk to my husband -- was related to question of sending an unofficial envoy to Niger to seek out additional information.

When Wilson returned from Niger two CIA officers debriefed him. "The debriefing," the Senate report says, "took place in the former ambassador's home and although his wife was there, according to the reports officer, she acted as a hostess and did not participate in the debrief." If Valerie Wilson had played a key role in sending Joseph Wilson to Niger, would she have skipped out on this debriefing? Perhaps. But this scene reinforces Wilson's claim that she was not deeply involved in his Niger trip.

It may be that in some of his public remarks, Wilson underplayed his wife's involvement in his trip. After all, according to the Senate intelligence committee's report, she did write at least one memo on the subject. But it is not clear from the report that she specifically advocated he be sent to Niger. Again, it makes little difference -- or it should make little difference -- whether Valerie Wilson said to her CIA colleagues "contact my husband" or said to them "you should put him on a plane to Niamey immediately." The report notes that the CIA people in charge of investigating the Niger allegation deliberated over what to do and then reached the decision to ask Wilson to perform a pro bono act of public service. And he said yes. He had the experience for the job. His trip was not a boondoggle arranged by his wife for his or their benefit.

Now on to the claim that Wilson's report to the CIA actually provided more reason to believe Iraq had been seeking yellowcake uranium. In his debriefing Wilson reported that former Nigerian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mayaki had told him that in 1999 he had been asked to meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Niger and Iraq. Mayaki said he assumed the delegation wanted to discuss uranium sales. But he said that although he had met with the delegation he had not been interested in pursuing any commercial dealings with Iraq. The intelligence report based on Wilson's debriefing also noted that the former minister of mines explained to Wilson that given the tight controls maintained by the French consortium in charge of uranium mining in Niger, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to arrange a shipment of uranium to a pariah state.

What did this report mean to the intelligence community? A CIA reports officer told the Senate intelligence committee that he took it as indirect confirmation of the allegation since Nigerian officials had admitted that an Iraqi delegation had traveled there in 1999 and since the former prime minister had said he believed Iraq was interested in purchasing uranium. But an INR analyst said that he considered the report to be corroboration of INR's position, which was that the allegation was "highly suspect" because Niger would be unlikely to engage in such a transaction and unable to transfer uranium to Iraq due to the strict controls maintained by the French consortium. But the INR analyst added, the "report could be read in different ways."

Wilson's work was thrown into the stew. The CIA continued to disseminate a report noting that a foreign intelligence service had told U.S. intelligence that Niger had agreed to supply Iraq with hundreds of tons of uranium. And in the National Intelligence Estimate produced in October 2002, the intelligence community reported that Iraq had been trying to strike a uranium deal with Niger in 2001. But the NIE noted that INR strongly disagreed with this assessment. And when the National Security Council drafted a speech for Bush in October 2002 the CIA recommended the address not include the Niger allegation because it was "debatable" whether the yellowcake could be obtained from Niger. In a follow-up fax to the NSC, the CIA said "the evidence is weak" and "the procurement is not particularly significant to Iraq's nuclear ambitions because the Iraqis already have a large stock of uranium oxide in their inventory." Still, in late January 2003 -- after the INR's Iraq analyst had concluded that papers recently obtained by U.S. intelligence related to the supposed Iraqi-Niger uranium deal were "clearly a forgery" -- Bush went ahead and accused Iraq of seeking uranium in Africa.

But on April 5, 2003, the National Intelligence Council issued a memo that noted, "we judge it highly unlikely that Niamey has sold uranium yellowcake to Baghdad in recent years." It added that the government of Niger was unlikely to proceed with such a deal. And on June 17, 2003, the CIA produced a memo that said, "since learning that the Iraq-Niger uranium deal was based on false documents earlier this spring, we no longer believe that there is sufficient other reporting to conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from aboard."

So Wilson's assessment ended up being accepted by the CIA. His reporting may not have been conclusive. But as we have been told repeatedly this past week, such is often the case in intelligence collection. After coming back from Niger, Wilson's view -- which he did not express publicly for nearly a year and a half -- was different from that held by CIA analysts. Yet his conclusion -- that the Niger allegation was probably bunk -- was in line with the thinking of the State Department's lead analyst on this matter. And Wilson's reasoning came to prevail and to be shared by the intelligence community. For some reason, Novak does not mention this in his recent column.

Finally, let's address Schmidt's claim that the Senate intelligence committee's report "may bolster" the defense of the leakers -- whoever they are. Whether their motivation was to punish Wilson for speaking out or to try to undermine his credibility by suggesting his only bona fides for the Niger trip was his marriage license, blowing Valerie Wilson's cover still was a possible crime and an odious act. The law does not allow a government official to reveal a CIA officer -- and jeopardizing the officer, her contacts, and her operations -- to score political points.

What Wilson told his CIA contacts, what he told reporters, what he said in public -- accurate or not -- did not justify disclosing Valerie Wilson's identity. Nor did it justify the subsequent White House effort to encourage other reporters to pursue the Valerie Wilson story. The leak was thuggish and possibly felonious. And the Wilsons and others are waiting to see what comes from Fitzgerald's investigation. (NBC News reported recently that the probe had expanded to examine possible acts of perjury and lying to investigators.) There is no telling if the investigation will end with indictments or whitewashing. It has been a mostly leak-free probe, and even senior people at the Justice Department say they have no idea where Fitzgerald is heading -- if anywhere.

Whatever Fitzgerald's criminal investigation produces, the Wilsons were wronged. And Bush and his White House crew did nothing to seek out or punish the Novak-enabled leakers who placed politics ahead of national security and decency. Instead, White House officials peddled the leak further to discredit Wilson, and GOPers have been seeking to blast him ever since.

Roberts and other Republicans are using the intelligence committee's report to whack Wilson, a prominent opponent of the Iraq war and a foreign policy adviser to Senator John Kerry, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. If only Roberts' committee had applied as much time and energy into investigating the Wilson leak (and how the White House reacted to the leak) as it did to the actions of Valerie Wilson. But the leak is a subject that, for some odd reason, has escaped the attention of Roberts' investigators. And Roberts and his ideological comrades are exploiting the release of the committee's report to blame the victims of the leak. They are far more angered by alleged (or trumped-up) inconsistencies in Wilson's account than by Bush's misrepresentation of the prewar intelligence. Talk about overstating a problem.

David Corn is the Washington editor of The Nation magazine.

RBA
07-20-2004, 08:53 PM
Can't that I know that. Perhaps when you refer us to all of your posts/threads defending Bush and condemning Democrats you can share that with us as well.


I don't need to defend Bush. There is enought 'followers' around here to do that.

GAC
07-20-2004, 11:16 PM
So the Bush administration concocted this whole thing huh to embarass the poor, poor Democrats/John Kerry?

I find it interesting that when a Repub/conservative is caught up in something (and NO, not all of us give them our blanket support either), it's those nasty, mean-spirited, evil, conspiratory Republicans.

And when a Democrat gets caught up in something such as this..where the guy is caught, and his actions witnessed by federal employees, and caught on tape, it's again... those nasty, mean-spiritied, evil, conspiratory Republicans out to get us.

Now will the Bush administration try to use this? Heck yes! It's an election year. And so would the Dems if the tables were turned. And both sides have before in the past. So lets not be surprised about this. This is the nasty side of politics that most of your average Americans don't like one bit.

But please don't try to blame Bush, or his administration, or anyone else for the stupid and possibly criminal actions of this bungling former National Security Advisor, and for possibly giving them some ammunition that they may be able to use. He, and he alone, is responsible/accountable for what he has done (or was attempting to do).

What was the purpose of the 9/11 Commission? What was this bi-partisan committee's objective? And I find it very interesting, and yes, very suspect, that Mr Berger, who held one of the most important high-level security positions within the Clinton Cabinet, who helped to organize, direct, and advice the President on their policy in fighting terrorism, would be dumb enough to do such actions. Here he was to testify before this commission, and is asked by them to go over and review high-level security documents specifically related to the previous administrations activity/policy on terrorism, in order to aid this fact finding commission in their inquiry. He decides instead to remove several of those documents, and destroy some of them, PRIOR TO his testimony.

Now it is obvious, and for natonal security reasons, that we, the American people, will most likely never know what was in those highly classified documents. Even the 9/11 Commission, in their final report/analysis, is not going to give out all the details in full.

But it is very obvious to most who are following this story that there was something in those documents Berger took that he thought he might possibly be able to keep from this commission, and back up the testimony he was to give.

But that is the funny thing about this whole incident...

Did he KNOW, at that time, that those were copies, and that therefore, the originals still existed?

That even though he was the former National Security Advisor, he was still in a secure area of the National Archives, and that there were cameras/employees still monitoring the actions of anyone in that room?

My opinion? No he didn't. Or else he wouldn't have done what he did.

And when the FBI comes to his house to search, and he returns most of those documents to the National Archives, some were somehow "inadvertently discarded".

Yes, there is more to come from this. And yes, Bush will use it if he can.

But don't fault Bush if he uses it. Be more upset that someone from Democratic side was stupid enough to do something like this. Especially one who was advicing your candidate.

I've never stated that guys like Cheney and Rumsfield are the most ethical people in the world. And there has been more then enough to come out in this last year to be critical of them on. But at least Bush will stand behind his people, even at a political risk.

Has Kerry done the same with Berger? Especially if he is only guilty of "sloppiness"?

Redsfaithful
07-20-2004, 11:37 PM
But at least Bush will stand behind his people, even at a political risk.

Tell that to George Tenet.

GAC
07-21-2004, 09:13 AM
Tell that to George Tenet.

Excuse me. That was solely Tenet's decision (who by the way, was not a Bush appointee). Bush on a consistent basis, and throughout this whole ordeal, stood publically by Tenet when he could have abandoned him long ago. Even when some within his own Party were calling for Tenet's resignation.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/12/sprj.irq.wmdspeech/

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/07/13/iraq/main562996.shtml

Now there are some who are speculating that they will make Tenet the scapegoat; but that has yet to happen.

What led to Tenet's resignation was the findings of the 9/11 Commission. The Commission (not the Bush administration) directly faulted CIA Director George Tenet for his management strategy to battle terrorism after 9/11.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/14/911.commission/

creek14
07-21-2004, 11:06 AM
In that case, I hope the media makes a Freedom of Information Act request for that video. Having those images splashed all over the news for a few days is probably a fitting punishment for this crime. :)

What it does not warrant is a lengthy investigation or messy hearings.

A fitting punishment for this crime is some time in a Federal Prison. Which is what any other "normal" person would be looking at if they removed classified material from a secure location.

If I was stupid enough to go to work today and then knowingly walk out with classified material, AFOSI and the FBI would make sure I lose my clearance, lose my job, and lose my freedom.

RedsBaron
07-21-2004, 11:51 AM
A fitting punishment for this crime is some time in a Federal Prison. Which is what any other "normal" person would be looking at if they removed classified material from a secure location.

If I was stupid enough to go to work today and then knowingly walk out with classified material, AFOSI and the FBI would make sure I lose my clearance, lose my job, and lose my freedom.
Well said. Creek, doesn't this whole story just sound strange? I can't figure out why Berger did what he did or why he thought he could "get away with it."

Unassisted
07-21-2004, 12:11 PM
After listening to a bit more talk radio discussion this morning and an interview with someone who has been in that particular special area at the national archives, I have new questions and a new opinion.

How did Berger manage to evade the search of his belongings and his person and secret these documents out of the secure area - especially when there was video surveillance footage of him doing the deed? And why isn't there similar culpability for the security people who apparently bungled the search of his person and belongings as he exited?

Now that I've heard more details about the documents he liberated (covert operations techniques and 5 drafts of the same document), I see that this was no simple oversight and I agree with creek that some prison time is warranted.

Redsfaithful
07-21-2004, 01:19 PM
Excuse me. That was solely Tenet's decision (who by the way, was not a Bush appointee). Bush on a consistent basis, and throughout this whole ordeal, stood publically by Tenet when he could have abandoned him long ago. Even when some within his own Party were calling for Tenet's resignation.

http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/12/sprj.irq.wmdspeech/

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/07/13/iraq/main562996.shtml

Now there are some who are speculating that they will make Tenet the scapegoat; but that has yet to happen.

What led to Tenet's resignation was the findings of the 9/11 Commission. The Commission (not the Bush administration) directly faulted CIA Director George Tenet for his management strategy to battle terrorism after 9/11.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/ALLPOLITICS/04/14/911.commission/


Berger stepped down from Kerry's campaign of his own free will, Tenet stepped down of his own free will.

You think Berger was "pushed", I think Tenet was "pushed". What's the difference here? You don't know for sure, I don't know for sure.

Both resigned after something disgraceful or unseemly, Berger with this, Tenet with the Iraqi war.

RBA
07-21-2004, 02:29 PM
DNC Press Release MCAULIFFE FILES FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST; Requests All Documents Shared Between the Department of Justice and White House Regarding Investigation of Sandy Berger
Wed Jul 21 2004 13:17:22 ET

Washington, D.C. -In response to the questionable timing of the public release of information regarding the investigation of former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe officially filed a Freedom of Information Act request today for the release of correspondence between the Department of Justice and the White House regarding this investigation.

Below is a copy of McAuliffe's official letter of request.

Melanie Ann Pustay, Deputy Director
Office of Information and Policy
Department of Justice
Suite 570, Flag Building
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

July 21, 2004

Dear Ms. Pustay:

This letter constitutes a request under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"), 5 U.S.C. §552, and is submitted on behalf of the Democratic National Committee.

According to recent reporting, an investigation into former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger has been going on for at least nine months, since October 2003. Yet, the criminal investigation only came to light three days prior to the release of a report expected to be critical of the Bush administration's lack of focus on the events leading up to the 9-11 attacks. As conservative scholar Norm Ornstein stated, "you can't look at the timing of this with anything but an enormous amount of skepticism." [CNN, 7/20/04]

In light of the seriousness of the possibility that the Bush administration and the Department of Justice have politicized an ongoing investigation, it is imperative that this Freedom of Information request is responded to in an expedited manner.

Under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. 552 and the regulations of the Department of Justice, 28 C.F.R. §16.3, I am requesting copies of the following:

Any and all communications relating or referring to the investigation of Samuel ("Sandy") Berger, between, correspondence (including electronic mail) between, memoranda between, phone records of communications between, meeting notes and/or minutes of meetings between, on the one hand, any official or employee of the US Department of Justice AND, on the other hand, (i) the Executive Office of the President or any unit or office thereof (including but not limited to the Office of the Vice President); (ii) any official, employee, or representative of the Republican National Committee; OR (iii) any official, employee or representative of the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign.

This request covers all documents created during the period from and including October 1, 2003 through and including July 20, 2004.

For your purposes in filling this request, please consider me under the category of "all other organizations," as defined by the Freedom of Information Act. If there are any fees for copying or searching for the records I have requested, please inform me of the cost prior to searching or copying, and only if the total exceeds $100.

If all or any part of this request is denied, please cite the specific exemption which you believe justifies your refusal to release the information and inform me of your agency's administrative appeal procedures available to me under the law.

Please provide all information on a rolling basis if possible. I appreciate your handling of this request as quickly as possible and I look forward to hearing from you within 20 working days, as the law stipulates.

If you have any questions or need further information concerning the above request, please contact me at the address below or at 202-863-8121.

Thank you for your attention to this request.

Sincerely,

Terence R. McAuliffe, Chairman
430 South Capitol Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

Redsfaithful
07-21-2004, 04:42 PM
According to recent reporting, an investigation into former National Security Adviser Samuel Berger has been going on for at least nine months, since October 2003.

Yeah, the timing of this wasn't political at all.

GAC
07-21-2004, 05:10 PM
Yeah, the timing of this wasn't political at all.

No one here has said it's not being politically used. That does not belay the fact of what Berger did. It was stupid, and maybe criminal. Since you have now entered this discussion (which is fine), would you like to offer your explanation of why this fomer National Security Advisor, went sent by the 9/11 Commission to review and critique high level intelligence documents to deem their relevance/impotance to their investigation, would stuff documents from a secure area into his pockets and then discard some? And all this PRIOR TO his testimony before that commission?

Heck yes the Repubs are going to use it if they can. And so would the Dems if the tables were turned. That doesn't make irrelevant to what Berger did.


DNC Press Release MCAULIFFE FILES FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT REQUEST; Requests All Documents Shared Between the Department of Justice and White House Regarding Investigation of Sandy Berger
Wed Jul 21 2004 13:17:22 ET

Gee Rob. Thanks for posting a letter by partisan Democratic National Committee Chair Terry McAuliffe, who simply requests correspondences between the Justice Department and the White House. :lol:

And this breaks the law how?

If Mr Berger broke federal law (and that is being investigated as we speak), and it MAY involve Berger trying to hinder/obstruct an official investigation by the 9/11 Commission, then please explain why the White House should not be allowed to keep tabs on this with the Justice Department?

Is there a political aspect to this. Sure. But again. What laws have been broken.

Mr McAuliffe, whose own personal ethics/business practices can be questioned, is simply trying to perform damage contol (which I don't blame him for).

If the Justice Department, from it's investigation, finds nothing, then guess what?.... case closed. And then there is really nothing the Bush administration can do about it. ;)

Redsfaithful
07-21-2004, 05:32 PM
It was stupid, and maybe criminal. Since you have now entered this discussion (which is fine), would you like to offer your explanation of why this fomer National Security Advisor, went sent by the 9/11 Commission to review and critique high level intelligence documents to deem their relevance/impotance to their investigation, would stuff documents from a secure area into his pockets and then discard some?

I don't have one. It was clearly a pretty stupid thing to do, and I sincerely hope he didn't do it maliciously.

What I'm tired of though is every time bad news is coming for Bush & Co. they pull the old "Hey, look over here!" routine so that people don't pay as much attention. Terror alerts that serve no purpose and release no information, the Columbus mall thing that took place last fall but was announced months later... it gets old after awhile.

The 9/11 commission report is coming out this week, and the Democratic convention starts next Monday. Nothing earth shattering has happened with Berger in recent days, but the Bush administration knew that now was the time to release this. It's ridiculous.

GAC
07-21-2004, 05:48 PM
Terror alerts that serve no purpose and release no information, the Columbus mall thing that took place last fall but was announced months later... it gets old after awhile.

Maybe in your eyes these Terror Alerts serve no purpose; but neither you nor I are able to listen to the various "chatter" that our intelligence sources pick up.

An Alert simply is telling the citizens to be vigilant, attentive, and watchful. Nothing more. If you think they are doing this to simply distract Americans then that is your opinion. But I don't think that is the case at all.

They are "damned if they do, and damned if they do" with you guys.


The 9/11 commission report is coming out this week, and the Democratic convention starts next Monday. Nothing earth shattering has happened with Berger in recent days, but the Bush administration knew that now was the time to release this. It's ridiculous.

Let the investigation run it's course, and lets see what happens. It's not Bush's fault that Berger is being investigated for what he did.

And I'm sure the left is not planning anything "special" at all when the Republican Convention starts, right?

RedFanAlways1966
07-21-2004, 05:51 PM
What I'm tired of though is every time bad news is coming for Bush & Co. they pull the old "Hey, look over here!" routine so that people don't pay as much attention. Terror alerts that serve no purpose and release no information, the Columbus mall thing that took place last fall but was announced months later... it gets old after awhile.

The 9/11 commission report is coming out this week, and the Democratic convention starts next Monday. Nothing earth shattering has happened with Berger in recent days, but the Bush administration knew that now was the time to release this. It's ridiculous.

Perception is in the brain of each individual. I am sure some will say that Sen. Kerry is always on the uppity-up in the world of politics. Read the following paragraph and tell us what you think of certain types of political behavior (and welcome to American Politics, where all sides do it to some extent)...

From the 1964 Presidential election: Democrat Lyndon Johnson painted his Republican opponent as a right-wing kook who couldn't be trusted to have his finger on the nuclear button. Johnson's still haunting 'Daisy' campaign ad -- with images of a little girl counting daisy petals giving way to those of a nuclear blast countdown -- only ran once, but Americans got the message. Barry Goldwater lost big, winning only six states and 38 percent of the vote.

Redsfaithful
07-21-2004, 06:17 PM
An Alert simply is telling the citizens to be vigilant, attentive, and watchful. Nothing more. If you think they are doing this to simply distract Americans then that is your opinion. But I don't think that is the case at all.

What could Bush do that would upset you GAC? I'm pretty pissed off at Sandy Berger right now, I'm just curious if you ever feel that way with regards to Bush or anyone on the conservative side of things. In the last year I've not seen anything like that from you, despite you saying that if WMD weren't found you'd have some misgivings about the Bush administration. Or do you still think we might find some?

RFA, I'm not sure you want to turn such a sympathetic eye towards Barry Goldwater. He's not someone I'd be proud of having in my camp, but maybe you feel differently.

GAC
07-21-2004, 06:32 PM
What could Bush do that would upset you GAC? I'm pretty pissed off at Sandy Berger right now, I'm just curious if you ever feel that way with regards to Bush or anyone on the conservative side of things. In the last year I've not seen anything like that from you, despite you saying that if WMD weren't found you'd have some misgivings about the Bush administration. Or do you still think we might find some?

We were talking about Terror Alerts weren't we? You show me WHY I should be upset at Bush because Homeland Security periodically issues alerts due to terrorist chatter they pick up? With that I am not upset at all. I know many of you on the left think these are issued simply as diversionary tactics by the Bush administration; but then you try and grasp at anything you can.

And I have already stated previously on here my disagreement with Bush on his handling of the deficit and various other bills/laws that he has supported/proposed. I'm just not a member of the "Angry Left" who look to guys like Micheal Moore for any little thing they can on this adminstration.

And I never see you on here expressing you distaste or anger with anything the Democratic Party/Left does. You seem to do a pretty good job "covering" and making excuses for them whenever you can.

creek14
07-21-2004, 08:06 PM
Well said. Creek, doesn't this whole story just sound strange? I can't figure out why Berger did what he did or why he thought he could "get away with it."
As I have said in the past, I usually vote Dem. I voted for Clinton and I really, really liked Berger in his administration. I am so disappointed with him.

There are proper ways to hand carry classified material. I am sure if Berger had asked someone to prepare the material for him to take, they would have done so.

This whole thing is really bothering me. Was he sneaking for nefarious reasons or is he such a cocky SOB he thought he could get away with it?

Either way he needs to pay.

RedFanAlways1966
07-21-2004, 08:08 PM
RFA, I'm not sure you want to turn such a sympathetic eye towards Barry Goldwater. He's not someone I'd be proud of having in my camp, but maybe you feel differently.

Don't know if are being cute or totally missed my point? My point was... "dirty politics" takes place on both (all) sides. It is not new either. I pointed out one case in which "dirty politics" (portraying the opponent as trigger happy w/ nukes) was used... and was very effective. Like it or not, it is a part of our political system. I do not care for it, but I have learned to accept it from the people I vote for and the ones I do not. It is a part of the system.

In regard to your accusation that President Bush and/or Sec. Ridge are using terror alerts as a political tool, that is nothing more than your opinion. You state it as if it is fact, but it is not. There are people who probably believe this (Michael Moore?), but I see no proof. Just accusations. Nothing new from the Bush-hating crowd.

Redsfaithful
07-21-2004, 08:50 PM
Don't know if are being cute or totally missed my point? My point was... "dirty politics" takes place on both (all) sides. It is not new either. I pointed out one case in which "dirty politics" (portraying the opponent as trigger happy w/ nukes) was used... and was very effective. Like it or not, it is a part of our political system. I do not care for it, but I have learned to accept it from the people I vote for and the ones I do not. It is a part of the system.

In regard to your accusation that President Bush and/or Sec. Ridge are using terror alerts as a political tool, that is nothing more than your opinion. You state it as if it is fact, but it is not. There are people who probably believe this (Michael Moore?), but I see no proof. Just accusations. Nothing new from the Bush-hating crowd.

No, I got your point, and my point was that it wasn't that dirty politically. If Goldwater had been elected I think the commercial would have come true. The man was a nut.

RedFanAlways1966
07-21-2004, 09:16 PM
No, I got your point, and my point was that it wasn't that dirty politically. If Goldwater had been elected I think the commercial would have come true. The man was a nut.

I guess we could argue the Daisy commercial, but we both know that "it" happens from both sides. I think we agree(!) that it is not right. But unfortunately we cannot do anything about it. Those we elect can, but then freedom of speech will be thrown into it and so on and so forth. I even shake my head when the person I will vote for runs a "dirty" ad. It has never swayed my vote of course, but I think it is a shame that our system has to use these tactics in the election process. We even do it here. It is a part of the process. Sad but true.

You may be right about Barry! :lol: As he got older, he got nuttier. But the Daisy ad is till cited as one of the most influential media events in politics. It only ran once partly b/c it was perceived as "dirty" (and the times were more stringent in these matters).

GAC
07-21-2004, 10:12 PM
In the last year I've not seen anything like that from you, despite you saying that if WMD weren't found you'd have some misgivings about the Bush administration. Or do you still think we might find some?

Forgot to address this point (and for the final and last time ;) )

What I said exactly (and you can check the archives if you wish)...is that if it is proven that Bush, with premeditation purposely falsified intelligence in order to deceive and mislead the American public, that he should be impeached.

That is EXACTLY what I said, and I still stand by it.

And evidence is not people from the angry far left sceaming "Bush is a Liar!" either.

It's obvious, and I've stated this on here too, that they are not going to find WMD in Iraq. And it is also now obvious, and the upcoming bipatrisan 9/11 will confirm it, that our intelligence agencies, in every avenue, and with this administration and the previous one, has some very deep flaws in it's gathering and coordination methods. We didn't take the threats seriously and acted very lacklusterly and with indifference. It needs to be corrected.

And I believe that Bush should come out and apologize to the American public for OUR govenment acting on inaccurate intelligence, and relying also on the testimony of defectors who obviously didn't have all the facts.

But it ain't gonna happen because it's an election year. And if the tables were turned, a Dem wouldn't do it either.

But I do not believe that Bush purposely lied and tried to manipulate the American public. And I've stated the following before, but you obviously like to read right over it. So I'll ask you again.... Why, when he knew all along that there was no physical evidence of WMD, would he perpetrate a huge lie to go to war, KNOWING that once we got in there they would never be found, and he would get hung politically, and have to carry that shame/disgrace for the rest of his life?

And if Bush lied, then so did every member in Congress (both Repub and Dem) who stood on the floor of Congress and in public and firmly stated the same things that this administration did concerning Iraq and WMD.

You accuse me of standing by Bush. I'm no more ashamed of that then you are of carrying the label "Bleeding Heart Liberal". Conservatives aren't the ones out there shying away from the conservative label; but an awful lot of high-profile liberals sure are ashamed of, and try to shy away from having the liberal tag put on them (Kerry is one of them).

You guys on the left don't want the truth...you simply want Bush at any cost.

Redsfaithful
07-21-2004, 10:33 PM
If, after it is all over, it turns out that there were no WMD, and the intelligence community really screwed up, then I will be one of the first to be calling for people's heads... and that people within this administration need to be held accountable.

That's what you said on June 9th, 2003.

Dom Heffner
07-21-2004, 10:55 PM
The bottom line on the Sandy Berger story is that the 9/11 commission says his actions did not hinder its work or prevent the commissioners from reviewing and processing vital information.

From USA Today: "There is no indication that Berger's action affected the 9/11 commission's work; a spokesman for the panel said Tuesday that the classified papers — some of which are still missing — were copies of original documents."

Yes, removing classified documents from the National Archives is wrong – illegal even. But the consequences here don't support the conspiracy theories being bandied about – that Berger tried to cover-up flaws in the Clinton administration's handling of terrorism or was stealing documents for the Kerry campaign. Leave it to John McCain to distinguish himself again as a voice of reason: "McCain called Berger 'a fine and honorable man who we should presume innocent until proven guilty.'"

Why, when he knew all along that there was no physical evidence of WMD, would he perpetrate a huge lie to go to war, KNOWING that once we got in there they would never be found, and he would get hung politically, and have to carry that shame/disgrace for the rest of his life?

No matter which way youy slice it, he is the Commander-in-Chief, and the responsibility falls on him. He takes the credit if this thing goes well, so it his shoulders the blame rests on as well when things go terribly wrong. To point fingers at Bill Clinton and John Kerry saying, "They thought the same thing" is highly unbecoming of the party of personal responsibility.

Congress was not petitioning Bush to go to war and BIll Clinton wasn't either - it was the other way around. Bush came to them. They took the evidence Bush presented (in a highly exaggerated way, I might add, with talk of mushroom clouds and Rumsfeld's claim of "we know where they are.")

I think Bush felt they were there, without or without evidence, and he was going to be the "war president" hero when he was proven right.

Alas, he was wrong, and he has given his opponents the biggest piece of evidence in the history of mankind in the case against preemptive strikes.

There is a difference between knowing and suspecting, and Bush didn't see that, or even worse, saw it and chose to ignore it.

When Clinton was impeached for lying about sex, one GOP congressman said that it was important to go through all of that because we need to know that a man with his finger so close to the button is truthful (i.e. if he'd lie to his wife, then it necessaruly follows that he'd lie about making decisions involving war, which is absurd).

While his analogy is flawed beyond recognition, I would argue that Bush's competence is a bigger issue here. I think we would all like to think that the man behind the desk would be able to decipher what is good intelligence and what is bad intelligence before commiting thousands of troops to a cause that is now pretty much unjust because the ends did not justify the means.

Bush hit the button for all the wrong reasons and the GOP privately is hoping it doesn't cost them two branches of government.

Bush rallied an entire nation to war, accused those who doubted him of being unpatriotic, and then when found to be wrong, simply tells us that it was right anyway, even though the reasons he gives now were not important at the time.

My feeling is that this has already cost him the election and perhaps rightfully so.

RedFanAlways1966
07-22-2004, 09:16 AM
The bottom line on the Sandy Berger story is that the 9/11 commission says his actions did not hinder its work or prevent the commissioners from reviewing and processing vital information.

One more bottom line... the man broke the law. I tend to think that Mr. Berger is too intelligent to accidently break a law. I am not sure what his intentions were (although I have some good ideas), but he broke the law.

Why do I feel it is important to mention this? Because a lot of the Bush-hating crowd likes to throw out accusations of the Bush Administration breaking laws... Halliburton, lying, etc., etc.. These accusers have no proof. Not one iota of proof. Just hate-filled accusations... with no evidence. I guess you could say that some of these accusations against the current administration are lies. Go figure.

So now I read that it seems to be okay to break laws as long as the 9/11 Commission doesn't have a problem with it? WHAT?!? HUH?!? Brings back memories of people saying lying in a court of law is okay since a man's personal business is not the court's business. The same man who was being sued for sexual harrassment.

Reds/Flyers Fan
07-22-2004, 09:23 AM
But I can tell you it is not unusual for people to mistakenly take classified materials. But you can go ahead and listen to the Republican talking points put out to the media for the next three days if it pleases you.

Who's making talking points? It's quite obvious that if someone in the Bush administration, or the previous Bush administration for that matter, had done this you'd be all over it like white on rice. But, as the Democratic talking points tell us, if Democrats do it then quickly minimize its importance or sweep it under the political rug. They can't possibly ever do anything questionable, can they?

creek14
07-22-2004, 09:49 AM
The bottom line on the Sandy Berger story is that the 9/11 commission says his actions did not hinder its work or prevent the commissioners from reviewing and processing vital information.

No, the bottom line is that he removed classified material from a secure location and took it to his home. And some of that material is still missing.

RedsBaron
07-22-2004, 10:33 AM
No, the bottom line is that he removed classified material from a secure location and took it to his home. And some of that material is still missing.
Creek, are there not duplicate copies of any thing Berger took? I don't know, but it seems to me there should be.

creek14
07-22-2004, 11:21 AM
Creek, are there not duplicate copies of any thing Berger took? I don't know, but it seems to me there should be.
There is really no way of knowing that. I would think if something is in the National archives, there would be copies. But in my experience (which is pretty extensive when it comes to security, I use to be a contractor special security officer and a communications security custodian) you try not to have too many copies of classified material because you have to account for all the stuff you have.

I know someone in this thread (don't remember who right now) said that people accidently walk out of places with classified material all the time. I really don't agree with that (unless you work at Los Alamos). And even if that were true, people don't "accidently" stuff classified material down their pants or socks or underwear or wherever Berger put this stuff.

I would assume that when Berger was in the Clinton admin, he had proper storage at home and was allowed to take classifed material home. But that wouldn't be the case now. He knew he couldn't remove that material to his home, but he made the decision to do so anyway. That's a violation punishable by prision time. But he'll never see the inside of a cell.

RedsBaron
07-22-2004, 11:42 AM
He knew he couldn't remove that material to his home, but he made the decision to do so anyway. That's a violation punishable by prision time. But he'll never see the inside of a cell.
But he should IMO.
Thanks for the info.

RBA
07-22-2004, 12:06 PM
Who are these people who alledgelly saw Berger slip classified material in his underwear and why did they not stop him at the time of the incident?

Chip R
07-22-2004, 12:13 PM
Who are these people who alledgelly saw Berger slip classified material in his underwear and why did they not stop him at the time of the incident?
Would you want to look in his underwear? I mean Fawn Hall would be one thing but I'd pass on looking in his undies. ;)

Dom Heffner
07-22-2004, 01:22 PM
Creek wrote:
No, the bottom line is that he removed classified material from a secure location and took it to his home. And some of that material is still missing.

With all due respect, Creek, I think you've missed my point. Obviously no matter who takes classified documents it is a concern.

But all the hubbub is a little curious when it is leaked two days before a 9/11 Panel is about to release some bad news from the Bush administration. This thing has been going on for months...if it was so important, why now?

If you are going to raise concerns, how about raising them about how this administration handled the events leading up to 9/11 instead of trying to shift responsibility to Sandy Berger?

If you'd like to debate which is more important, then please- make your case.

The White House attempted to say that they didn't know about this, but they've been outed by leaks within the administration.

Why act like they didn't know when they did? If this isn't about politics, then it shouldn't matter when they found out:

White House knew about Berger probe
On Tuesday, as Washington was atwitter about whether Sandy Berger shoved classified documents into his pants and socks, and Democrats wondered who leaked the months-long investigation and why then -- two days before the 9/11 report was to be released -- White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the White House was learning about the story from the media, suggesting no prior knowledge. Today, the New York Times reports that the White House counsel's office has known about the Berger probe for months.

"The White House declined to say who beyond the counsel's office knew about the investigation, but some administration officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they believed that several top aides to Mr. Bush were informed of the investigation. President Bush himself declined to answer a question Wednesday about whether he had been told, saying: 'I'm not going to comment on this matter. This is a serious matter, and it will be fully investigated by the Justice Department.'"

"The disclosure of the investigation forced Mr. Berger to step down as an informal, unpaid adviser to Senator John Kerry's campaign on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the campaign accused the White House of deliberately leaking news of the investigation and said that Vice President Dick Cheney was involved in strategies to divert attention from the Sept. 11 report to be issued Thursday."

creek14
07-22-2004, 01:43 PM
Well Dom, I put a lot of blame for 9/11 on the Bush administration. The first Bush administration, that is. And the Regan administration and the Clinton administration, and the current Bush administration. Everyone screwed up for a long, long time. To say or think that 9/11 is only the resonsibility of Bush 2 is nonsense. And as I sit here and listen to Lee Hamilton present the final 9/11 report, he is spreading the blame too. The Clinton adminstration, who I supported, had 8 years to undercover this plot while it was in the planning stages.

People seem to think that intelligence is just an easy black and white thing. Actually it's like having a billion piece puzzle, where all the pieces are shaped exactly the same, and you have to put that puzzle together blindfolded.

It's amazing we have any success. And yes, we do have success. Thousands, tens of thousands since 9/11. But you'll never hear about those because they are either classified or no one cares to report that we arrested a illegal carrying castor beans in Omaha.

Of course the timing is suspect. And oh what a shock, this must be the first time in the history of politics that something like this was leaked to aid one side or the other. It's politics. It's ugly and dirty and 99.99% of those involved are corrupt. So what else is new?

RedsBaron
07-22-2004, 01:54 PM
The only thing I would add to your post Creek is that the American people deserve some of the blame as well-most of us didn't want to face up to the threat of terrorism before 9/11/01. After the end of the Cold War, foreign policy was a minor issue in the 1992, 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. In the immortal words of "Pogo": "We have met the enemy and he is us."

MWM
07-22-2004, 02:12 PM
It's always about politics, Dom. You understand that as well as anyone. I'm almost ot the point I'm numb regarding these types of things. I think the release of the Bush drunk driving stuff the week before the election was the last straw for me.

I have to agree with creek on the blame for 9/11. There's plenty of blame to be shared to think that it all lies on the shoulders of one man who was in the white house for 8 months. 9/11 was going to happen at some point. It was made possible by years, not months, of the lack of real intelligence; and by us underestimating the capabilities of terrorist organizations.

Rojo
07-22-2004, 02:18 PM
People seem to think that intelligence is just an easy black and white thing. Actually it's like having a billion piece puzzle, where all the pieces are shaped exactly the same, and you have to put that puzzle together blindfolded.

And can anyone seriously want George W. Bush to be one of the guys putting the puzzle together?

Sweetstop
07-22-2004, 02:22 PM
And can anyone seriously want George W. Bush to be one of the guys putting the puzzle together?

The most insightful comments come wrapped in small posts.

creek14
07-22-2004, 02:38 PM
And can anyone seriously want George W. Bush to be one of the guys putting the puzzle together?
Frankly I don't want Bush or Kerry coming anywhere near that puzzle.

But one of them is going to.

And they don't put the puzzle together. It's low paid grunts like me who do that. And we work really hard at it no matter who is sitting at 1600 Penn.

It just gets all messed up as it's passed up. I have heard a person just a few steps up the food chain present some of my work and they add their spin and the content gets changed.

It's as frustrating as hell.

I bet if you went to the CIA and a few other organizations and could talk to the worker bee's, you would find people who knew what was going to happen.

But they are buried under so many layers of bureaucratic nonsense that they and their information never see they light of day.

Redsfaithful
07-22-2004, 02:59 PM
http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2004-07-21-bush-berger_x.htm


WASHINGTON — President Bush on Wednesday described the federal inquiry into Clinton White House national security adviser Sandy Berger's mishandling of classified documents as "a very serious matter."

Meanwhile, the FBI did not consider the incident to be a major threat to national security, a government official said.

Also Wednesday, the House Government Reform Committee announced it would launch a separate investigation into the matter.

Berger, the subject of a Justice Department investigation since October, said he inadvertently took from the National Archives versions of a classified memo that critiqued the Clinton administration's intelligence and security efforts for the period just before the millennium celebrations in late 1999.

Berger also has acknowledged removing his own handwritten notes about classified documents, a violation of the National Archives' rules. Agents conducted searches at Berger's home and office in January and February for counterterrorism documents missing from the Archives.

But a government official who asked not to be identified because of the political sensitivity of the matter said that FBI agents did not regard the Berger inquiry as "a front-burner-type of investigation."
...

MWM
07-22-2004, 03:21 PM
I can see why this isn't a threat to our national security. And I'm also annoyed by the salivating sense of enjoyment many on the right are getting out of this. But no matter I look at it, I can't for the life of me figure how a representative in a previous presidential administration stealing classified documents relating to intelligence efforts of that administration is not a HUGE deal. I'm not trying to lay the blame for this on anyone other than Berger himself, but this seems like something that's pretty serious to me. I also can't understand WHY?

RBA
07-22-2004, 03:27 PM
But no matter I look at it, I can't for the life of me figure how a representative in a previous presidential administration stealing classified documents relating to intelligence efforts of that administration is not a HUGE deal.


Did you forget the word "alledged"?

MWM
07-22-2004, 03:37 PM
Excuse me. IF it's true.

RedsBaron
07-22-2004, 03:53 PM
Excuse me. IF it's true.
I thought Berger admitted it. Oh I know he's said he returned most of what he took, but I'm not aware of any dispute as to whether or not he took classified documents without any authorization. Creek has noted that if she did that, she would go to jail. While I'm sure Berger will escape imprisonment, I question whether or not he should.

RBA
07-22-2004, 04:38 PM
I think, and you can correct me if I am wrong (you will), that Berger admitted to inadvertently taking the notes becasue of his sloppiness. It has been alledged by some witnesses that he stuff the notes in his socks. If the witnesses, say is true and are not some republican operatives, than that is daming in my opinion.

If he admitted to stealing, than he needs to do the time. If he is found quilty, he needs to do the time. Sandy Berger doesn't seem to be a dishonest person to me. Just like Rove doesn't seem to be dishonest to many of you.

RedsBaron
07-22-2004, 04:58 PM
I think, and you can correct me if I am wrong (you will), that Berger admitted to inadvertently taking the notes becasue of his sloppiness. It has been alledged by some witnesses that he stuff the notes in his socks. If the witnesses, say is true and are not some republican operatives, than that is daming in my opinion.

If he admitted to stealing, than he needs to do the time. If he is found quilty, he needs to do the time. Sandy Berger doesn't seem to be a dishonest person to me. Just like Rove doesn't seem to be dishonest to many of you.
Berger never seemed to be dishonest to me either, which is one reason why I've found the story to be bizarre.
I re-checked some on-line sources. While I found allegations that Berger stuffed documents in his pants, socks, etc., I found no admission by Berger that that was how he took the classified documents. Intent will affect my position on this. Were classified documents inadvertently "scooped up" by Berger along with his own papers and placed in his briefcase, or did he intentionally put a classified document into his briefcase, pants, socks, etc.? You certainly don't "accidently" put a document in your pants. Is there videotape to support the alledged wrongdoing?

Rojo
07-22-2004, 06:38 PM
If someone was watching him stuff papers into his pants, why didn't they stop him?

Puffy
07-22-2004, 06:45 PM
You certainly don't "accidently" put a document in your pants

You have obviously never hung around my Uncle Roscoe

GAC
07-22-2004, 10:19 PM
Bush came to them. They took the evidence Bush presented (in a highly exaggerated way, I might add...

The intelligence reports gathered and submitted by our various agencies was not "filtered" through Bush, who then forwarded it to Congress and the various committees. That is just not how the system works. And many members of Congress (from both sides), and those on the Senate Intelligence Committee (Sen Biden for one), have stated this. Intel reports are filed respectfully to all appropriate committees for their review/investigation.

I am not denying that some of the statements that members of the Bush administration said publically, in respect to WMD, have proven not true, no more then what others within Congress also publically stated at the time. Including guys like Kerry, Edwards, Gore, and many leading Democrats.

And I'm not going to post on here again what many of these people stated prior to going into Iraq concerning the threat they believed Saddam's regime was, and his possession of WMD. But I don't buy this excuse/reasoning, that these illustrious leaders were somehow duped or deceived by Bush.

But I guess it gives some in Washington and "easy out". If the weapons proved to be there, then could then be seen as being supportive and on the right side. And if they are not there (as now is the case), they can all yell "Bush lied to us".

But the Senate Intelligence Committee, and the various other congressional committees, along with members of Congress, did not base their decision, or their votes, on what these guys said at times publically in front of a mike. They based it on the intel reports that were given to them by the CIA and various other intel gathering agencies.

It's great when you can stand on the fence and be ready to jump to either side for one's own political expediency.

Lets face it, and again, the 9/11 Commission concurs... our intel gathering/coodination methods have been deeply flawed, and needs to be addressed.

And wouldn't the bipartisan 9/11 Commision have uncovered this so-called "conspiracy" that Bush fabricated evidence, if it existed?

I think their findings pretty much lay to rest what you, and many on the far left, have been contending Dom.

GAC
07-22-2004, 10:22 PM
If someone was watching him stuff papers into his pants, why didn't they stop him?

On MSNBC, they stated that the employees who witnessed the incident, were unsure what to do since it involved a former National Security Advisor, and instead notified their superiors who took the appropriate action.

The point is that there were those who saw him doing this, and reported it, or else he wouldn't have gotten caught now would he? ;)

GAC
07-23-2004, 09:25 AM
First off...excellent posts creek and RB


9/11 was going to happen at some point. It was made possible by years, not months, of the lack of real intelligence; and by us underestimating the capabilities of terrorist organizations.

You're absolutely right Mike. But there are certain people that do not want to concede that point one bit. This is an oportunity to nail Bush, and try to throw everything onto this administration. Why? The 2004 election.

And by saying that, I am in no way saying this administration is not at fault at all in this scenario. But for some to say that Bush should have/could have prevented 9/11, when he was only in office 9 months before it happened, and didn't do enough, when we were doing very little for years before, is simply not wanting to face the cold hard truth.

I wish I could find a copy of a story I watched on 60 Minutes back in 1998. It concerned and scared the heck out me. The entire 1 hour show was on the terrorist threat that existed within this country, and how due to our lax immigration policies... on our borders, not monitoring foreigners who had come into this country on temp visa's that had since expired, lax security at our airports and other at-risk installations... that we were setting ourselves up for a terrorist hit. How prophetic that show was.

60 Minutes had gone around the country, using a secret camera, and documented several huge Muslim rallies/teaching seminars at various rented convention centers, etc. They had to sneak in because when they tried to gain admittance, and when they found out they were media, they were forbidden. I am not in anyway trying to make a generalized assessment of American Muslims/Islam here; but if anyone would have seen the various video footage, they would have been shocked and outraged! We're talking one huge giant anti-American "pepper rally" where they were formenting hate and yes, promoting violence due to our stance for Israel, and various other Middle Eastern policies. 60 Minutes listed the names of all the speakers/guest (which I can't remember since it's been so long ago); but many of them were here on temp visas for the purpose of these so-called seminars.

Yes Mike, I agree, we were setting ourselves up for quite some time, and sadly enough, it took a 9/11 to wake us up.

RBA
07-23-2004, 09:47 AM
For the second day in a row, administration officials said yesterday that more of President Bush's aides knew about an investigation of former Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger than the White House originally acknowledged.

The question is sensitive because Democrats have charged that Republicans leaked word of the investigation to try to taint next week's Democratic National Convention and to distract attention from criticisms of Bush in the report of the commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

A senior administration official, who refused to be identified, said that some National Security Council officials knew Berger -- who has resigned from his position as informal adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry -- was suspected of mishandling National Archives documents that were being sought by the commission.
...
Former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart, who is serving as a spokesman for Berger during the controversy, said the expanding circle of officials who the White House acknowledges had knowledge of the criminal investigation heightens his suspicion about the timing of this week's disclosure that Berger is under investigation.

"This is the third day in a row that the story has changed," Lockhart said. "First they said they didn't know. Then they said the counsel's office was aware. Now today they acknowledge the NSC was aware. Did the political operation know? Did Karl Rove know? I think it's time for them to come clean, say what they knew, when they knew it, and what role if anything they had in leaking it."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7104-200...

GAC
07-23-2004, 09:48 AM
I have no problem at all with you going back and finding this statement by me...


"If, after it is all over, it turns out that there were no WMD, and the intelligence community really screwed up, then I will be one of the first to be calling for people's heads... and that people within this administration need to be held accountable."

But while you were searching, you had to have seen various other statements I made showing my displeasure with Bush on other issues/policies, so why didn't you post them?

Why didn't you post the statement I made (if you wanted to be fair and objective about what I said previously), and a few others, that verify what I stated above? And would also go along with the statement that you pulled up, that stated that if the evidence is shown that Bush purposely and with premeditation went about to falsify intel in order to deceive the American public, that he should face impeachment.

You call that simply having "misgivings" (below)?

And when you found those, then you wouldn't have been able to say this then...


What could Bush do that would upset you GAC? I'm pretty pissed off at Sandy Berger right now, I'm just curious if you ever feel that way with regards to Bush or anyone on the conservative side of things. In the last year I've not seen anything like that from you, despite you saying that if WMD weren't found you'd have some misgivings about the Bush administration. Or do you still think we might find some?

The fact is RF, the 9/11 Commission had access to alot more intel and testimony then any of us did. Most of us got our info in bits and pieces, and from partisan editorials/articles, off the internet. We "clung" to that which supported our position. We're all guilty of it.

For several months the 9/11 Commission had high-level officials (Cabinet level, CIA, etc), from this adminstration, and the previous one, testifiying before them. They gathered thousand and thousands of classifed and de-classified intel documents (again from both administrations) for review and scrutiny.

And what did their final conclusion say? Bush Lied? Bush Falsified Intel To Deceive?

I know that may upset many of you on the far left (and you still may not accept what the 9/11 Commission says). That report has to be disturbing to guys like Michael Moore, Howard Dean, and the Hollywood "elite", who carried the "Bush Lied" mantra for many, many months. But I guess they figure if they repeat something over and over enough, that it will begin to be believed.

It just simply points to a bigger problem in this country that has been going on for many years, when it came to our intel agencies, and their gathering/coordination methods. Our lax and indifferent approach, and that we were not doing enough, and emphasizing the right methods.

And sadly enough, we paid for it.

Bush may be held accountable in this next election by losing it. That none of us know. But if he is defeated, it doesn't solve the problem we are facing when it comes to our intelligence and security methods. It's not going to be like..."Bush is gone. Now all our problems will disappear".

Regardless of who wins. They had better keep on their toes, press hard, and continue to improve on Homeland Security and consolidating our intelligence agencies/methods.

GAC
07-23-2004, 10:09 AM
For the second day in a row, administration officials said yesterday that more of President Bush's aides knew about an investigation of former Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger than the White House originally acknowledged.

The question is sensitive because Democrats have charged that Republicans leaked word of the investigation to try to taint next week's Democratic National Convention and to distract attention from criticisms of Bush in the report of the commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

A senior administration official, who refused to be identified, said that some National Security Council officials knew Berger -- who has resigned from his position as informal adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry -- was suspected of mishandling National Archives documents that were being sought by the commission.
...
Former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart, who is serving as a spokesman for Berger during the controversy, said the expanding circle of officials who the White House acknowledges had knowledge of the criminal investigation heightens his suspicion about the timing of this week's disclosure that Berger is under investigation.

"This is the third day in a row that the story has changed," Lockhart said. "First they said they didn't know. Then they said the counsel's office was aware. Now today they acknowledge the NSC was aware. Did the political operation know? Did Karl Rove know? I think it's time for them to come clean, say what they knew, when they knew it, and what role if anything they had in leaking it."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A7104-200...

Wait a minute! We're not allowed to post from a conservative rag like the Washington Times, so why are you allowed to post from a liberal rag like the Washington Post? :mhcky21:

This is a direct violation of conservative-liberal war rules! There needs to be UN sanctions involved here somehow! And France does not get to vote! :lol:

Anyway. It says they knew about the investigation. And shouldn't they have? Is there something wrong with that?

Now the Dems are charging that the Repubs leaked word of the investigation to try to taint next week's Democratic National Convention and to distract attention from criticisms of Bush in the report of the commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

That report was more scathing on our intelligence agencies then on either administration. I doubt leaking the news of this investigation was gonna influence people to think otherwise of what the 9/11 Commission stated, or think any worse/better of G.W. ;)

Have they got the evidence to validate/prove this accusation? If they are gonna level an accusation, then shouldn't they back it up?

And why shouldn't we, the American public, not know about this investigation to begin with? If the tables were turned, would you be upset that you didn't know about it if it was Repubs accusing Dems of leaking this story to cast a shadow on the upcoming Repub convention?

No one has said that what Berger did compromised national security, or anything on a grand scale. But what he did (as ridiculous at it seems) was a violation of the law. And I think the American public would like to know WHY he did it? Most don't simply buy this "sloppiness" excuse. He had other motives in most people's minds (maybe just stupidity, I don't know); but he has not been as open and forthright about this situation as most think he should (and never will).

MWM
07-23-2004, 01:26 PM
Maybe the timing is suspect. Actually, I'm sure it was very carefully plotted. But, in my mind, the bigger story is still the actual act itself. No matter how much you try to deflect the attention to a lesser evil, the fact that this guy allegedy stole classified documents is the story that will get my attention the most.

creek14
07-23-2004, 01:28 PM
No matter how much you try to deflect the attention to a lesser evil, the fact that this guy allegedy stole classified documents is the story that will get my attention the most.
Me too.

RFS62
07-23-2004, 01:52 PM
Maybe the timing is suspect. Actually, I'm sure it was very carefully plotted. But, in my mind, the bigger story is still the actual act itself. No matter how much you try to deflect the attention to a lesser evil, the fact that this guy allegedy stole classified documents is the story that will get my attention the most.


It's the mother of all no-brainers.

CrackerJack
07-23-2004, 02:22 PM
Originally Posted by MWM
Maybe the timing is suspect. Actually, I'm sure it was very carefully plotted. But, in my mind, the bigger story is still the actual act itself. No matter how much you try to deflect the attention to a lesser evil, the fact that this guy allegedy stole classified documents is the story that will get my attention the most.


Yet we are not talking about someone smoking pot in college or a DUI 30 years ago - regarding the timing.

It's a much more serious matter - in a matter of speaking - yet this administration still tries to use it as a re-election scenario, most of us see right through it when you don't wear republican colored glasses. :)

It's just funny how the Bush Admin can be accused (reasonably) with all sorts of things regarding misleading the public and furthering extreme, personal agendas - yet Berger stuffs a piece of paper in his pants that probably will end up being a meaningless piece of information that otherwise really wouldn't have affected anything other than maybe something that would make him look worse than he does now possibly - and my God we need to jump all over this before the convention and try to make something out of it real quick people!!!

Rush is probably foaming at the mouth now that he has a little tidbit of information he can expand on for 3 months straight to fire up those mouth breathing listeners.

The whole thing is just silly, if he did something wrong, punish him accordingly, I don't care if he worked for Clinton or Bush or whoever - most of us know both administrations made plenty of mistakes and are more concerned with their business interests and re-election more so than our best interests any ways...government is a business, it's what ultra pro-capitalism and privatization to the extreme produces.

RBA
07-23-2004, 03:22 PM
On July 19, the Associated Press was the first to report that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating former Clinton national security adviser Sandy Berger for allegedly illegally removing classified documents and personal notes from the National Archives last fall during preparations for his appearance before the 9-11 Commission.

This much is known: Berger and his lawyer, Lanny Breuer, have said for the record that: 1) Berger inadvertently put several copies of classified documents into a leather portfolio he was carrying; and 2) that Berger put handwritten notes, which he had made while reviewing the documents, in his jacket and in his pants pockets.

But rumors and confusion abound in media coverage:

Media confuses originals and copies. As the story unfolded between July 20 and July 22, conservative pundits have run with speculation that Berger removed original classified documents, rather than copies, from the archive and then destroyed them as part of a cover-up. But there is no evidence to support this accusation; in fact, according to The Washington Post, "The documents removed were copies; the National Archives retained the originals."

Media propounds rumor that Berger placed documents in his socks and pants. It was reported -- notably by CNN -- that Berger put the classified documents into his pants and/or his socks -- allegations that Breuer has said are "false" and "ridiculous" and for which there is no on-the-record substantiation. This reportage was then amplified by MSNBC hosts Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, and Pat Buchanan; by the New York Daily News and the New York Post; by Ann Coulter and Kellyanne Conway; by a slew of right-wing columnists like Linda Chavez and Cal Thomas; and by right-wing radio show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage. Worse still, some of these same media outlets and media personalities falsely attributed to Berger and his lawyer the claim that Berger had put the classified documents into his pants and/or socks -- even after Berger and his lawyer said Berger had not done so.

(full story at: http://mediamatters.org/items/printable/200407230001 )

Dom Heffner
07-24-2004, 12:45 AM
It's funny that here in Florida, they are still talking about this. I was driving to school today and our resident moron, Mark Larson, was talking about this Berger thing and didn't even mention the 9/11 report.

Me thinks me smells talking points.

RBA
07-24-2004, 01:19 AM
http://www.al.com/news/mobileregister/index.ssf?/base/n...

WASHINGTON -- Several years ago, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, mounted a campaign to crack down on the unauthorized disclosure of secret government information. Under his proposal, almost any leak of so-called "classified" material would have become a federal crime punishable by up to three years behind bars.

That campaign ultimately failed, but in what one observer described as a "deliciously ironical" twist, Shelby is now reportedly the focus of a federal probe of a leak of sensitive intelligence related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

In a Thursday story citing unnamed congressional and law enforcement sources, the Washington Post reported that Shelby's former press secretary, Andrea Andrews, had testified before a grand jury. The investigation stems from a 2002 Cable News Network story that intelligence officials had intercepted two messages the day before the attacks signaling that something was to happen the next day, according to the Post. The Arabic messages were not translated until Sept. 12.

Shelby was a top member of the Senate intelligence committee when the CNN story broke in June 2002. Because senators can only serve on the committee for eight years, Shelby has since rotated off the panel and now heads the Senate banking committee

BRETTFAVRE
07-24-2004, 11:59 AM
http://www.guardian.co.uk/cartoons/stevebell/0,7371,1146425,00.html

RBA
07-30-2004, 04:14 PM
Clinton Adviser Berger Cleared of Document Theft

President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger -- who'd been accused of stealing classified material from the National Archives -- has been cleared of all wrongdoing.
The National Archives and the Justice Department have concluded nothing is missing and nothing in the Clinton administration's record was withheld from the 9-11 Commission.


The Wall Street Journal reports archives staff have accounted for all classified documents Berger looked at.

Late last year they asked investigators to see if the former national security adviser removed materials during his visits.

Berger's lawyers said his client had inadvertently removed several photocopies of reports, but later returned them.

http://www.kyw1060.com/news_story_detail.cfm?newsitemid=39459

Dom Heffner
08-06-2004, 04:34 PM
Once he's cleared, no response from the right. You guys haven't been this quiet since we posted the Bush flip-flops.

Puffy
08-07-2004, 12:28 AM
Once he's cleared, no response from the right. You guys haven't been this quiet since we posted the Bush flip-flops.

We shouldn't complain - its nice when their quiet! :mhcky21:

RBA
08-07-2004, 12:47 AM
What was that? (http://new.wavlist.com/soundfx/014/cricket-1.wav)

Unassisted
03-31-2005, 11:57 PM
Finally, some closure here.
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=542&e=20&u=/ap/berger_probe


Berger to Plead Guilty to Taking Materials

By MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - Former national security adviser Sandy Berger will plead guilty to taking classified documents from the National Archives, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Berger, who served in the Clinton administration, will enter the plea Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, said Justice spokesman Bryan Sierra.

The plea agreement, if accepted by a judge, ends a bizarre episode in which the man who once had access to the government's most sensitive intelligence was accused of sneaking documents out of the Archives in his clothing.

The Bush administration disclosed the investigation days before the Sept. 11 commission issued its final report. Democrats claimed the White House was using Berger to deflect attention from the harsh report, with its potential for damaging Bush's re-election prospects.

Berger previously acknowledged he removed from the National Archives copies of documents about the government's anti-terror efforts and notes that he took on those documents.

He said he was reviewing the materials to help determine which Clinton administration documents to provide to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. He called the episode "an honest mistake," and denied criminal wrongdoing.

Berger and his lawyer, Lanny Breuer, have said Berger knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket and pants and he inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio.

He returned most of the documents, but still missing are some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration's handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration.

"Mr. Berger has cooperated fully with the Department of Justice and is pleased that a resolution appears very near," Breuer said Thursday.

The charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of a year in prison and up to a $100,000 fine.

However, a federal law enforcement official said a plea agreement calls for Berger to serve no jail time but to pay a $10,000 fine, surrender his security clearance for three years and cooperate with investigators. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the pending court proceeding. A judge must approve the agreement.

Security clearance allows access to classified government materials.

The Associated Press first reported in July that the Justice Department was investigating Berger for incidents at the Archives the previous fall. The disclosure prompted Berger to step down as an adviser to the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.

Former President Clinton was among Democrats who questioned the timing of the disclosure of the Berger probe, three days before the release of the final Sept. 11 commission report. The commission, writing just three months before the 2004 presidential election, detailed failures of both the Clinton and Bush administrations.

Leaders of the Sept. 11 commission said they were able to get every key document needed to complete their report.

___