Shocked? You should be. But, hold off on the Bush Bashing for a minute, becuase the aforementioned President is Former President Clinton. The National Security Advisor is Sandy Berger.
Berger was given sole access for "vetting" top secret Clinton-era documents at the specific formal request of former president Clinton. Berger repeatedly stole and destroyed documents.
Berger's excuse? It was an accident! An oversight! He said he didn't understand the Security Procedures!
That is utter garbage: Berger was Clinton's National Security Advisor: . If anyone should understand security, I'd think it would be the National Security Advisor.
Berger has plead guilty, not just to taking the documents, but to destroying quite a few.
Berger, at the time of his crimes, was part of John Kerry's campaign, and was Kerry's probable choice for Secretary of State.
Much has been made of "media Bias", but this is clearly a case of it: Consider, for a minute, if a Bush official had been caught red-handed stealing and destroying documents that the 9/11 commission needed for its investigation. All hell would have broken loose, and rightfully so.
Where is the outrage over this crime?
Was Clinton involved, or was Berger just acting on his own hook? There is no hard evidence that I am aware of. Yet, given the fact that Clinton, AFTER Berger was caught, tried to defend his motives (the ridiculous "accident" excuse) there is plenty of room for suspicion.
The most bizarre thing here is the sentence Berger received; a $10,000 fine and a three year suspension of his security clearance.
Could someone PLEASE explain to me why this sentence fits the crime? Under no circumstances whatsoever should Berger be allowed access, ever, to classified documents. As for the fine, given the number of classified documents he stole and destroyed, he'd have received a bigger fine if he had, instead of destroying them, tossed them from his car window separately and received fines for littering.
There is one possible ray of hope here; part of his plea deal was to fully co-operate with investigators.
I have a feeling that they plan on having the Rat finger bigger rats. However, I can't see any excuse whatsoever for allowing this thief to ever have a security clearance again.
Remember, this was the investigation into 9/11 that he tampered with. The biggest question (of many) is just what, exactly, he was trying (and has apparently succeeded in doing) to cover up.
Take a look for yourself:
The PDF file of the OIG CRIMINAL report.
Read the whole thing. It seems Berger had a particular interest in documents from the Millennium after-action review (referring to the Millennium plot, the failed Al Qaeda attack on the US in Dec 1999).
It gets REALLY interesting around page seven, when describing Berger's antics during the thefts. I especially loved this little gem "Mr. Berger said he did not want to take the risk of bringing the documents back into the building and the possibility that <redacted> might notice something unusual. Mr. Berger said he placed the (Classified) documents under a trailer in an acceptable construction area outside of the Archives."
The above, incidentally, is a classic espionage technique called a "dead drop".
There are glaring holes in this investigation. For one thing, there is no indication that Berger's cell records were checked to verify that, indeed, he made the phone calls that were so often an excuse to be left alone with the documents.
The entire tone of the investigation is reminiscent of the Keystone Cops.
I hope this is not the last we hear of this case. It deserves far more coverage and investigation.