Bill Clinton’s national security advisor (predecessor to Condoleezza Rice) has pled GUILTY to stealing classified documents and destroying some of them.
Notwithstanding his initial claims the incident in which he secreted documents in his pants and socks was an “honest mistake,” Sandy Berger copped a plea and got a dainty slap on the wrist.
Berger’s theft and lying were neither honest NOR a mistake. He willfully, with malice of forethought, and full knowledge of the severity of his crime, stole classified documents and destroyed some of them. The act is outflippingragous. The arrogance of Berger in presuming he could (and did) get away with it is way beyond aggravating. The sentence is infuriatingly absurd.
Once upon a time men where executed for less egregious offenses. Berger was sentenced to:
?No prison time.
?A measly $10,000 fine (less than one speaking fee).
?Three-year revocation of his security clearance.
This travesty of justice is sufficient to gag any maggot.
Judge Earl Johnson Jr. once observed, “Poor people have access to the courts in the same sense that Christians had access to the lions.” The collorary is also true. Wealth and/or power mitigate (or tarnish) justice in ways and means mere mortals can only observe with unbridled annoyance.
Berger was the guy who was reportedly slated to be John Kerry’s Secretary of State if the unthinkable had occurred and Kerry had won the presidency. As Bill Clinton’s National Security Advisor this guy was at the nexus of the malfeasant, incompetent intelligence gathering and analysis that contributed to 9/11.
The sentence he received is an insult to every American (military and civilian) ever issued any security clearance. Chuck Colson went to jail. Gordon Liddy went to jail. Sandy Berger goes on the speaking circuit and waits for Hillary?
The three-year suspension of his security clearance suggests that if (perish the thought) the Bush administration is succeeded by a Democrat, Sandy Berger could again find himself in the position of access to highly classified documents.
It challenges credulity that during the hearing no one even bothered to ask why he destroyed classified documents?
Initially Berger claimed his outrageous actions were “an honest mistake”?now he begrudgingly admits, “It was a mistake, and it was wrong.”
Normally, government is severely strict in matters dealing with security. A reasonable person might anticipate that in this ‘War on Terror’ environment, we might be reasonably stricter.
? As a student at the Infantry Officers Advanced Course at Fort Benning I recall a fellow student being denied entry to a class because it was classified (only SECRET) and his security clearance had not been approved.
? As a Special Forces Operational Detachment Commander I recall an Army advisor being denied entry to the Tactical Operations Center because his security clearance could not be confirmed.
Berger’s plea agreement has to be approved by U.S. Magistrate Deborah Robinson, and sentencing is scheduled for July 8. Don’t do it Debbie!
There remains the serious question of whether Berger was ‘trying’ to cover up Clinton Administration anti-terrorism policy and action embarrassments. Duh?!?!?
Despite the Berger criminal obfuscation attempt it is a matter or record that Sandy had rejected three plans to go after Osama just prior to 9/11.
Sandy’s sins were not unique. Former CIA Director John Deutch also was caught removing highly classified defense docs on his personal computer in 1999. He too ‘should’ have gone the way of Liddy and Colson but Clinton blessed Deutch with a pardon.
By the way?Berger and Deutch both plead guilty to a ‘misdemeanor charge’. What is THAT? Abuse of power under the color of authority is a misdemeanor? Stealing classified documents and destroying them is a misdemeanor? A handful of marijuana scores a felony but stuffing your socks and boxers with classified documents barely rates a ‘bad dog’? As John Stossel might say, “Give Me A Break?!?”
The Brits have ‘The Official Secrets Act’. During the Clinton Administration there was an effort to enact official secrets legislation. Clinton eventually vetoed it.
When the investigation of Berger’s theft became public last July, Democrats (who have a lot of experience at defending the indefensible) claimed the investigation was ‘politically motivated’. Where are they now that he has pled guilty and confirmed that his grossly inappropriate and criminal actions were neither “honest” OR “a mistake”?
Berger ‘should’ go directly to jail, do not pass go, and do not collect a single flipping penny?.