January 09, 2007

More on Sandy Berger's 9/11 Document Theft

We recently commented on Sandy Berger's theft and destruction of classified documents which had been requested by the 9/11 Commission in its investigation of that terrorist attack--Sandy Berger Confused Trash Can for Archives File. Berger had served as the National Security Advisor in the Clinton administration and, more recently, had been appointed by Clinton to review documents and prepare testimony for the 9/11 inquiry.

Now, the government report on the Berger/Clinton theft has been released, and it raises serious concerns about, not only the theft itself, but also the disturbing misrepresentations of the National Archives and the Justice Department in trying to gloss over it. It's bad enough that we were not prepared for the attacks. It is criminal that anyone would continue to lie about information that could save future lives.

'(Rep Tom Davis') staff’s investigation reveals that President Clinton’s former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger compromised national security much more than originally disclosed,' Davis said. 'It is now also clear that Mr. Berger was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to compromise national security, apparently for his own convenience.

'The 9/11 Commission relied on incomplete and misleading information regarding its access to documents Mr. Berger reviewed. No one ever told the Commission that Mr. Berger had access to original documents that he could have taken without detection.

'We now know that Mr. Berger left stolen highly classified documents at a construction site to avoid detection. We know that Mr. Berger insisted on privacy at times to allow him to conceal documents that he stole. One witness with a very high security clearance believed he saw Berger concealing documents in his socks.

...'The Justice Department’s assertion that Mr. Berger’s statements are credible after being caught is misplaced. One wouldn’t rely on the fox to be truthful after being nabbed in the hen house. But the Justice Department apparently did.'

Here is the complete report, which is worth reading, including the conclusion:
Staff Report- Sandy Berger's Theft of Classified Documents: Unanswered Questions (PDF)

But, I suspect that Sandy Berger was only doing what President Clinton asked him to do.

It's ironic that the Democrats, in their first 100 hours, planned to address national security by implementing all of the 9/11 Commission security recommendations. It's too bad to find out that the 9/11 recommendations were made with incomplete information...thanks to other Democrats. Maybe they could address that problem in their ethics reform, but I wouldn't count on it.

Posted by Woody M. at January 9, 2007 07:10 PM | TrackBack

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