PDA

View Full Version : Elected Officials and Classified Information


NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 19:16
The more I think about things, the madder I get. When did it get to be "ok" to divulge classified information? When did it get to be "ok" to violate the rules that would send a private to jail in a minute? I'm not just talking about Berger, but the Plame thing and others as well. If she was indeed in covert status - whoever leaked her name should be making big rocks into little rocks in Leavenworth.

Berger claims "sloppiness"? Yet this was a NSA for years? I don't want an NSA that is "sloppy". I don't want the names of Agency employees "leaked".

We need to start putting some of these people in jail so the rest of the elected officials and appointees will take this more seriously. We are in a de facto state of war with one of the most global menaces the world has ever known - and our officials are running around being "sloppy" with documents and leaking names? BS I say! Enough is enough!

Berger's ass needs to be locked up.

CPTAUSRET
07-20-2004, 19:17
Good post!

Concur totally!

Terry

Roguish Lawyer
07-20-2004, 19:30
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
Good post!

Concur totally!

Terry

Ditto.

Jack Moroney (RIP)
07-20-2004, 19:31
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
. When did it get to be "ok" to divulge classified information? .

Berger claims "sloppiness"? Yet this was a NSA for years? I don't want an NSA that is "sloppy". I don't want the names of Agency employees "leaked".

We need to start putting some of these people in jail so the rest of the elected officials and appointees will take this more seriously.

And now you know the reason for a DASR. Can you imagine how secure some of our troops in the various SAPs would be if congress critters got all the access they thought they had a right to? This whole business really has me pissed beyond comprehension. Frigging Sen Leahy from VT was a member of the senate intelligence committee back in 87 when he shot his mouth off and cost operatives their lives. That fool needs to share a cell with Berger and any other goat sucking civilian that crosses the line. Rant over.

Jack Moroney

AngelsSix
07-20-2004, 19:50
But we can throw poor old Martha in jail for making a little (or not losing so much) money in the stock game. Isn't that something?? Sort of sets the priorites in this country: Money, Money, more Money!! It's all about money.:rolleyes:

Gypsy
07-20-2004, 19:58
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc

Berger's ass needs to be locked up.

Darned skippy. How exactly does one "inadvertantly" walk off with classified docs in his socks, jacket etc? He's not sloppy IMHO he was intent on removing these docs, I'd bet my last dollar on it.

Of course sKerry issued a statement that the Republicans questioning of this situation is partisan and diverts from the facts of the 9/11 report. :rolleyes:

Jack Moroney (RIP)
07-20-2004, 20:13
Originally posted by AngelsSix
But we can throw poor old Martha in jail for making a little (or not losing so much) money in the stock game. Isn't that something?? Sort of sets the priorites in this country: Money, Money, more Money!! It's all about money.:rolleyes:

Perhaps Martha and Berger can share the same cell where she can teach him how to make document concealment devices out of his prison issue shorts. Color coordinated of course, purple for top secret, red for secret, and blue for confidential. For LIMDIS NOFORN they can use the tricolors of the Phrench national rag. :D

Jack Moroney

Airbornelawyer
07-20-2004, 20:27
Title 18 U.S.C. 793(f) is a felony statute. Title 18 U.S.C. 1924 is a Class A misdemeanor. Both look like they may have been violated, as Berger's "sloppiness" is no excuse.

18 U.S.C. 1924:Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and, by virtue of his office, employment, position, or contract, becomes possessed of documents or materials containing classified information of the United States, knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location shall be fined not more than $1,000, or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.18 U.S.C. 793(f):Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 20:31
Roger AL - I was just looking at it. He'll walk.

Roguish Lawyer
07-20-2004, 20:32
C'mon, how do you remove documents by accident?

The Reaper
07-20-2004, 20:35
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
C'mon, how do you remove documents by accident?

You would pick up a stack of unclass documents with something mixed in from the classified stack.

I do not think you could find a jury in America (maybe you could in Kali) that would believe that you accidentally removed them after placing them in your jacket, and pants, and socks.

I find it even more incredible that when they asked him to return classified docs they saw him take, he sent back more that they did not even know were missing.

Think the damage control team for the Dems and the Kerry team are meeting tonight?

TR

NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 20:37
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
C'mon, how do you remove documents by accident?

Define How
Define Do
Define You
Define Remove
Define Documents
Define By
define Accident

How do you call a BJ not sex?

How do you respond to sailors and civlians getting blown up by shooting a rocket up a camel's ass?

How did a bunch of liberal ass clowns ever get put in charge of the Empire?

Roguish Lawyer
07-20-2004, 20:42
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Define How
Define Do
Define You
Define Remove
Define Documents
Define By
define Accident

How do you call a BJ not sex?

How do you respond to sailors and civlians getting blown up by shooting a rocket up a camel's ass?

How did a bunch of liberal ass clowns ever get put in charge of the Empire?

You are really on your game today! LOL

Jack Moroney (RIP)
07-20-2004, 20:42
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Define How
Define Do
Define You
Define Remove
Define Documents
Define By
define Accident



You define the above by using the same dictionary Slick Willie does when he trys to determine what the meaning of the word "is" is.

NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 20:44
I'm sorry, I'll calm down. But there's no excuse for this shit.

NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 20:45
CLINTON SAYS BERGER-DOCUMENTS FUROR IS JUST POLITICS: 'WE WERE ALL LAUGHING ABOUT IT'
Tue Jul 20 2004 20:54:50 ET
http://www.drudgereport.com/flash2.htm

Former president Bill Clinton defends his embattled national security advisor as a man who "always got things right," even if his desk was a mess.

"We were all laughing about it," Clinton said about the investigation into Sandy Berger for taking classified terrorism documents from the National Archives. "People who don't know him might find it hard to believe. But ... all of us who've been in his office have always found him buried beneath papers."

MORE

DRUDGE has learned: In an interview set for publication Wednesday in the DENVER POST, Clinton questions the timing of the Berger flap less than a week before the Democratic National Convention and two days before a presidential commission is slated to release its final report on the Bush administration's handling of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Clinton tells the POST he has known about the federal probe of Berger's actions for several months, calling the news a "non-story."

"I wish I knew who leaked it. It's interesting timing," he added.

"I feel terrible for Sandy. But I just believe his explanation because I know how much he cared about this ... terrorism business," Clinton said, describing his former security advisor as a "workaholic" who has "always been up to his ears in papers."

Developing...

Roguish Lawyer
07-20-2004, 20:45
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
I'm sorry, I'll calm down.

Please don't. LOL

:munchin

CPTAUSRET
07-20-2004, 20:46
I spent 45 minutes with Clinton in the Oval Office (Dec 2000), when Nancy was presented the NMS. I had an opportunity to tell him how I felt, and why I chose to spend 20 years of my life wearing my country's uniform.

Terry

Pandora
07-20-2004, 20:48
What would Berger have been obliged to do during his time as NSA if a subordinate removed "code word" classified documents from the archives that related to a past Republican president's term?

NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 20:48
But I just believe his explanation because I know how much he cared about this ... terrorism business," Clinton said

this...terrorism BUSINESS

Holy Mary Mother of God! He's insane!

All Bush has to do is let them keep talking.

NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 20:51
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
I spent 45 minutes with Clinton in the Oval Office (Dec 2000), when Nancy was presented the NMS. I had an opportunity to tell him how I felt, and why I chose to spend 20 years of my life wearing my country's uniform.

Terry

I wish you could have punched him in the forehead. I hate him.

Pandora
07-20-2004, 20:51
CLINTON SAYS BERGER-DOCUMENTS FUROR IS JUST POLITICS: 'WE WERE ALL LAUGHING ABOUT IT'

I've been waiting until you guys found that one. Everything disgusting about his priorities stated so clearly in one phrase.

Retake the Empire!

CPTAUSRET
07-20-2004, 20:54
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
I wish you could have punched him in the forehead. I hate him.

We had 3 contentious discussions during that 45 minutes.

Terry

NousDefionsDoc
07-20-2004, 20:58
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
We had 3 contentious discussions during that 45 minutes.

Terry

Roger Cap and I would hate for you to go to jail over that SPAM sucking trailer trash, but I would love to knock that smirk off his face.

AL - what's the penality for axe-handing a former POTUS to the neck? Can't be much more than for whacking a surley bartender.

Roguish Lawyer
07-20-2004, 21:00
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
that SPAM sucking trailer trash

You don't like Spam?

CPTAUSRET
07-20-2004, 21:10
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Roger Cap and I would hate for you to go to jail over that SPAM sucking trailer trash, but I would love to knock that smirk off his face.

I figured everyone here has heard the story, but if not I would write it up for all to see.

Along with a pic, of course.

Terry

Airbornelawyer
07-20-2004, 21:36
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Former president Bill Clinton defends his embattled national security advisor as a man who "always got things right," even if his desk was a mess.

"We were all laughing about it," Clinton said about the investigation into Sandy Berger for taking classified terrorism documents from the National Archives. "People who don't know him might find it hard to believe. But ... all of us who've been in his office have always found him buried beneath papers." I may be wrong (as hard to believe as that is :D ). "Sloppiness" may be an excuse. The culpable mental state for a 793(f) violation is "gross negligence". Gross negligence is more reckless than ordinary negligence, and in the case of property means failing to exercise the care one would with one's own property. Clinton's joking above is actually a carefully crafted legal strategy to make the case that Berger lacked this culpable mental state because he was always sloppy, even with his own property.

That gets him out of the felony. On the misdemeanor, he will argue that while he knew he removed his notes, he didn't "know" they contained anything classified (meaning he thought they did not) and he didn't intend to keep them at an unauthorized location. Intent is not the same as motive, so he would actually be wrong on the latter point, but juries often get intent and motive confused (and trial lawyers count on that).

So, the things he knew were classified he inadvertently took and the things he knowingly took he didn't know were classified. What sounds like a bumbling account in today's news suddenly becomes well-crafted spinning by his lawyers.

Roguish Lawyer
07-21-2004, 10:16
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
So, the things he knew were classified he inadvertently took and the things he knowingly took he didn't know were classified. What sounds like a bumbling account in today's news suddenly becomes well-crafted spinning by his lawyers.

That may be a defense, but I don't see a jury so finding.

NousDefionsDoc
07-21-2004, 13:03
Originally posted by Jack Moroney
And now you know the reason for a DASR. Can you imagine how secure some of our troops in the various SAPs would be if congress critters got all the access they thought they had a right to? This whole business really has me pissed beyond comprehension. Frigging Sen Leahy from VT was a member of the senate intelligence committee back in 87 when he shot his mouth off and cost operatives their lives. That fool needs to share a cell with Berger and any other goat sucking civilian that crosses the line. Rant over.

Jack Moroney

For those too young to remember:

Senator Leahy's history with regard to failing to protect confidential information goes back nearly 20 years, to 1986. It was in that year that he leaked classified information about a covert U.S. operation to overthrow the government of Libyan leader Moamar Gaddafi. Leahy's stated reason for leaking the information was that he (Leahy) thought the proposed operation was "the most ridiculous thing I had seen." The planned military operation, no longer a secret, was called off as a result of the publicity generated by Leahy's making classified information public.

Among other things...

ghuinness
07-21-2004, 14:04
Didn't see this on here already, thought this was funny:

Berger has demonstrated what we always knew; Klinton pulled foreign policy out of his ass. :D

NousDefionsDoc
07-21-2004, 14:07
heeeheee - ghuinness said "ass"!

Airbornelawyer
07-21-2004, 14:13
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer
That may be a defense, but I don't see a jury so finding. Why's it gotta get to a jury? The culpable mental state is an element of the offense. The prosecution's case might not even survive a 12(b)(6) motion. On the 1924 violation, they have to prove he knew the notes were classified and on the 793(f), they have to prove gross negligence. The latter is of course easier, so a 12(b)(6) motion would likely not lead to dismissal on the 793(f), but one of the best bits of evidence to make the negligence gross is showing that he knew at least in some respects he was doing something wrong (or at least reckless). Get the 1924 case thrown out, and you don't even have that.

I agree there's a strong case, based solely on what we know now, but it is not a slam dunk, especially with all those rich Democrat lawyers.

If you want to get your head spinning, read the CIA Inspector General's report on the John Deutch inquiry. There, the CIA Principal Deputy General Counsel told the Office of Personnel Security Legal Advisor that she thought that since Deutch, as DCI, had the legal authority to declassify material under his control, he couldn't be prosecuted for a security violation. The OPS Legal Advisor's notes reflect his incredulity: "Talked to [the PDGC]. She already knew about the Deutch leak. Discussed the 793(f) issue. She concluded years ago that the DCI who has authority to declassify cannot realistically be punished under the statute. I expressed my disbelief in that analysis. Hypo - does that put the DCI beyond espionage statutes? No she says that would be a natl. security call .... Returned briefly to information in play. Discussed how there may have been [non-CIA controlled compartmented program material] on the computer. Doesn't this push 793(f) back into play?"

CPTAUSRET
07-21-2004, 14:16
Airbornelawyer:

Good stuff, at least good to know, keep it coming.

Terry

Kyobanim
07-21-2004, 14:25
Originally posted by CPTAUSRET
I figured everyone here has heard the story, but if not I would write it up for all to see.

Along with a pic, of course.

Terry

Hell yeah, I'd like to see it!

Roguish Lawyer
07-21-2004, 14:26
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
The prosecution's case might not even survive a 12(b)(6) motion.

Gotcha! The Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure have no Rule 12(b)(6).

http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcrmp/Rule12.htm

I know what you meant, but I believe this is the first time you have ever been wrong about anything factual on the board. Or at least the first time you have been CAUGHT!!! LOL

As for the claim that this wouldn't go to trial, I very strongly disagree. You easily can draw the inference of intent from other facts, like his employment experience.

Just messin with ya, Dave! LMAO

Airbornelawyer
07-21-2004, 14:30
So what is it now. 12(b)(3)(B)?

Sounds like OCOKA vs. OAKOC. Change for change's sake. The bureaucrat's proof that he exists.

CPTAUSRET
07-21-2004, 14:34
Originally posted by Kyobanim
Hell yeah, I'd like to see it!

Kyobanim:

OK, I will try to ascertain just which forum it should be in.

Terry

Roguish Lawyer
07-21-2004, 14:35
Originally posted by Airbornelawyer
So what is it now. 12(b)(3)(B)?

Sounds like OCOKA vs. OAKOC. Change for change's sake. The bureaucrat's proof that he exists.

LOL, I don't know if they were renumbered. I'm a civil litigator with no criminal experience at all, remember? C'mon, had to get you with something, somehow!

As for the dismissal, I really think you overestimate the ease with which claims can be dismissed at the pleading stage. You just have to plead the claim. There is more than enough here to get past the pleadings -- no question in my mind, in fact. I also think there already should be enough evidence to get to trial, assuming the standard is like summary judgment and the news reports are accurate.

ghuinness
07-21-2004, 23:23
Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
heeeheee - ghuinness said "ass"!

* hope this works *

QRQ 30
07-22-2004, 08:12
I may be late but this isn't a Berger or Clinton problem.. The government lives by a different set of rules and accountabilities than do we common citizens. I guess I first noticed this in Vietnam. Every OPORD, Warning Order, AAR etc. connected with SOG (that I saw) was classified "Top Secret". The penalty for disclosure was 10 and 10. I took this very seriously. Yet I found many of these things disclosed in the media.

Congress demanded and got daily "Classified" briefings. Since cell phones didn't exist then, the congressmen would break legs and each other rushing to phones in order to be the first to divulge what went on in the "classified" briefing.

That was the first I became aware of the double standard and it has been going on ever since. The "right to know" law is grossly abused and IMO should be rescinded.

IMO President Bush is the first POTUS to take Security Seriously, although leaks still occur.

The first thing that struck me about the POW abuse scandel was that the source of information was was reports classified "SECRET NOFORN'".

Now comes the rub. As an example, take the POW issue. Once the information was published it is out and can't be taken back. If any charges are prefered against the divulger, he will become a "victim of 'whistle blower' abuse".

It is wrong but a fact nevertheless. In the case of the government, the crooks have more power than the cops!! Sad but IMO true.:confused:

Roguish Lawyer
07-22-2004, 09:00
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A4189-2004Jul21?language=printer

Archives Staff Was Suspicious of Berger
Why Documents Were Missing Is Disputed
By John F. Harris and Susan Schmidt
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, July 22, 2004; Page A06


Last Oct. 2, former Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger stayed huddled over papers at the National Archives until 8 p.m.

What he did not know as he labored through that long Thursday was that the same Archives employees who were solicitously retrieving documents for him were also watching their important visitor with a suspicious eye.

After Berger's previous visit, in September, Archives officials believed documents were missing. This time, they specially coded the papers to more easily tell whether some disappeared, said government officials and legal sources familiar with the case.

The notion of one of Washington's most respected foreign policy figures being subjected to treatment that had at least a faint odor of a sting operation is a strange one. But the peculiarities -- and conflicting versions of events and possible motives -- were just then beginning in a case that this week bucked Berger out of an esteemed position as a leader of the Democratic government-in-waiting that had assembled around presidential nominee John F. Kerry.

As his attorneys tell it, Berger had no idea in October that documents were missing from the Archives, or that archivists suspected him in the disappearance. It was not until two days later, on Saturday, Oct. 4, that he was contacted by Archives employees who said that they were concerned about missing files, from his September and October visits. This call -- in Berger's version of the chronology, which is disputed in essential respects by a government official with knowledge of the investigation -- was made with a tone of concern, but not accusation.

Berger, his attorney Lanny Breuer said, checked his office and realized for the first time that he had walked out -- unintentionally, he says -- with important papers relating to the Clinton administration's efforts to combat terrorism.

Berger alerted Archives employees that evening to what he had found. The classified documents were sensitive enough that employees arrived on a Sunday morning to pick them up.

Several days later, after he had retained Breuer as counsel, Berger volunteered that he had also taken 40 to 50 pages of notes during three visits to the Archives beginning in July, the lawyer said. Berger turned the notes over to the Archives. He has acknowledged through attorneys that he knowingly did not show these papers to Archives officials for review before leaving -- a violation of Archives rules, but not one that he perceived as a serious security lapse.

By then, however, Archives officials had served notice that there were other documents missing. Despite searching his home and office, Berger could not find them. By January, the FBI had been brought in, and Berger found himself in a criminal investigation -- one that he chose not to tell Kerry's campaign about until this week.

But three days after the disclosure of the Berger investigation, many of the basic facts of the controversy remain unknown or are contested, as well as more subjective questions about how seriously his lapse should be regarded or its effect on politics this year.

A government official with knowledge of the investigation said Archives employees took action promptly after noticing a missing document in September. This official said an Archives employee called former White House deputy counsel Bruce Lindsey, who is former president Bill Clinton's liaison to the National Archives. The Archives employee said documents were missing and would have to be returned.

Under this version of events -- which Breuer denied -- documents were returned the following day from Berger's office to the Archives. Not included in these papers, the government official said, were any drafts of the document at the center of this week's controversy.

The documents that Berger has acknowledged taking -- some of which remain missing -- are different drafts of a January 2000 "after-action review" of how the government responded to terrorism plots at the turn of the millennium. The document was written by White House anti-terrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke, at Berger's direction when he was in government.

Lindsey, now in private legal practice in Little Rock, did not return telephone and e-mail messages.

The government source said the Archives employees were deferential toward Berger, given his prominence, but were worried when he returned to view more documents on Oct. 2. They devised a coding system and marked the documents they knew Berger was interested in canvassing, and watched him carefully. They knew he was interested in all the versions of the millennium review, some of which bore handwritten notes from Clinton-era officials who had reviewed them. At one point an Archives employee even handed Berger a coded draft and asked whether he was sure he had seen it.

At the end of the day, Archives employees determined that that draft and all four or five other versions of the millennium memo had disappeared from the files, this source said.

This source and another government official said that archivists gave Berger use of a special room for reviewing the documents. He was examining the documents to recommend to the Bush administration which papers should be released to the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said that employees closely monitor anyone cleared to review classified presidential materials.

The contradictions over essential facts, such as when Berger was first alerted to missing documents, have characterized the controversy this week.

Sources have told The Washington Post, and other news organizations, that Berger was witnessed stuffing papers into his clothing. Through attorneys and spokesmen, Berger has denied doing that.

Berger has known for months that he was in potential jeopardy. Breuer was hired in October, and in January former White House press secretary Joe Lockhart was enlisted to remain on standby if a public controversy blossomed. But Berger allies said he did not inform Kerry because he had resolved to work privately with Justice Department officials, and received assurances that these officials would treat the matter confidentially.

The controversy is likely to continue, even after Berger relinquished his role as informal Kerry adviser on Tuesday. House Government Reform Committee Chairman Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) said yesterday that he plans an investigation.

"These allegations are deeply troubling, and it's our constitutional responsibility to find out what happened and why," Davis said in a statement. "It boggles the mind to imagine how a former national security advisor walked off with this kind of material in his pants, or wherever on his body he carried it. At best, we're looking at tremendously irresponsible handling of highly classified information -- some of which, I understand, has not yet been located."

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said that "a few individuals" in the White House counsel's office knew about the investigation before news reports.

There was bitterness among Berger allies this week in the timing of the disclosure and the wealth of detail -- inaccurate detail, they say -- about the allegations.

"This is a terrible experience for him, and he's embarrassed by his mistakes," Lockhart said, "but I think he also feels a sense of injustice that after building a reputation as a tireless defender of his country that many Republicans would try to assassinate his character to pursue their own ends."

Gypsy
07-22-2004, 12:46
Originally posted by Roguish Lawyer

"This is a terrible experience for him, and he's embarrassed by his mistakes," Lockhart said, "but I think he also feels a sense of injustice that after building a reputation as a tireless defender of his country that many Republicans would try to assassinate his character to pursue their own ends."

Amazing spin on making this partisan and political....but not surprising in the least. :rolleyes:

The Reaper
07-22-2004, 12:52
Deva vu.

Maybe he could define what the work "is" means to him, or explain how the recipient of a sex act can "not" be having sex.

TR

NousDefionsDoc
07-23-2004, 10:07
Covering up?
U.S. officials tell us that the FBI is focusing on a single document in its investigation of former White House National Security Adviser Samuel R. Berger. Investigators are trying to determine why Mr. Berger improperly removed a highly classified after-action report by Richard A. Clarke, an aide to Mr. Berger, that was harshly critical of the Clinton administration's response to the so-called millennium terrorist plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport and other targets in late 1999.
http://www.washtimes.com/national/inring.htm

Airbornelawyer
07-23-2004, 10:59
The unanswered question is whether there were other copies of these draft versions. We know there were other copies of the final Millenium AAR, which was reportedly rather critical of the government's successes in 1999-2000 (the big catch was by a Border Patrol agent who never heard about any of the heightened security measures). If there were no other copies of the working drafts, maybe he was trying to get rid of earlier versions which painted a different picture, whether rosier or more negative. Or maybe he had doodled in the margins about nachos. Or maybe, while Richard Clarke was reviewing the findings, he was doodling all over his copy "Sandy Berger Clinton XXOO" with a heart in place of the dot on the "i" in Clinton. Or maybe he was a complete slob and inadvertently took all those drafts and lost them.

BTW, I'm preaching to the choir here, but why is there not more outrage over the fact that, giving Berger every benefit of the doubt, the Advisor to the President for National Security Affairs routinely took top secret documents out of SCIFs and lost them. This, of course, is on top of having a DCI who lost his security clearance because he took classified information home with him and put it on his home computer.

We had removable hard drives on our computers. Hard drives on which classified information were locked in the safe every day. Only unclassified hard drives could be used to access the Internet. And Intellink was run on separate computers with separate routers and separate everything so it could not be hacked into. And the DCI just copies classified information on a floppy, sticks it in his pocket, and puts it in the same computer he uses to buy socks on eBay?

Hanlon's Razor says "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." Apparently, that has become the primary legal strategy of members of the Clinton Administration.

NousDefionsDoc
07-23-2004, 11:10
Well, if they were drafts, I can see how they would want them back. When I write, my first drafts are usually what I really think and very strong. My final product usually ends up much kinder to the client.

I can see stupidity once, but not 5 times. These people think they are above the law, that those rules don't apply to them.

Nice use of Hanlon's Razor - I love razors.

Roguish Lawyer
07-27-2004, 13:05
http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005403

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

All the President's Memos
Let's all see what Sandy Berger was trying to hide.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

We've all had experience with the office Oscar Madison. Yet notwithstanding Bill Clinton's transparently insincere effort last week to laugh off the docs-in-socks scandal as a testament to Sandy Berger's sloppy ways--that Sandy!--the precision with which the former National Security Adviser zeroed in on one specific document in the National Archives suggests focus, not absentmindedness.

Which raises the obvious question: What was in that document that Mr. Berger so badly wanted to keep under his hat, er, trousers? The only way to answer that question is for the Justice Department to release it.

The 9/11 Commission report offers a tease. It records Mr. Berger's objections to at least four proposed attacks on al Qaeda between 1998 and 2000. A footnote on page 500 puts it this way: "In the margin next to Clarke's suggestion to attack al Qaeda facilities in the week before January 1, 2000, Berger wrote 'no.' "

The Clarke in that footnote, of course, is Richard Clarke. He is the author of the document Mr. Berger pinched from the archives, an after-action review of the Clinton Administration's response to al Qaeda's 1999 threats against the U.S. In his own testimony to the Commission, Attorney General John Ashcroft--who has the advantage of having read the document--says that in it Mr. Clarke attributes such success as the Clinton Administration had against al Qaeda to luck rather than skill.

That belies the public line taken by both Mr. Berger and Mr. Clarke, which is no small matter given how critical both have been about the Bush Administration these past few months. Certainly their own credibility is an issue, as is that of Mr. Clinton, who has also claimed that he told Mr. Bush how consumed he was with al Qaeda.





Still, the main public interest here has nothing to do with fixing blame on either Mr. Berger, Mr. Clarke or the Clinton Administration for what they did or did not do pre-9/11. To the contrary, it has to do with the single largest question of this election: How America ought to respond to the terror threat.
On Sunday, Commission Chairman Tom Kean said that Mr. Berger's padded hosiery did not affect the Commission's final report. Mr. Kean says he believes Commissioners had all the documents. The problem is this: He has no way of knowing for certain what he might not have seen. Remember, it was Mr. Berger who was assigned the task of selecting which documents--and which drafts of which documents with which marginal notations--to send up on behalf of the Clinton Administration.

Experience tells us that tiny differences in drafts can be critical. After all, the Iran-Contra case exploded when then-Assistant Attorney General Brad Reynolds discovered a paragraph in one draft of an Ollie North memo on diverting funds to the Contras. This was a paragraph that did not appear in other drafts of the same memo. At the very least, given Mr. Berger's role as point man for the Clinton-era documents, Justice needs to assign someone to review his selections and ensure the integrity of a process he so grossly compromised.





While this might mean nothing to Mr. Kean, surely it has some implications for voters in this election. The Bush Administration has been taking knocks for not having made al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden the priority Mr. Berger said it was during the Clinton years. Yet neither Attorney General Ashcroft nor National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice even saw this Clarke report until after the 9/11 terrorists had struck.
Perhaps if they had, America would have been on a more aggressive footing earlier on. At the least, releasing the Clarke after-action report now would provide better context for weighing such ongoing political accusations as the charge that the Bush Administration's concern about Iraq was simply a fantasy of a "neoconservative" cabal.

Toward that end we can't help but note page 134 of the Commission report, which documents a proposal early in 1999 to send a U-2 mission over Afghanistan to gather intelligence on where bin Laden was hiding out. Mr. Clarke objected on the grounds that Pakistani intelligence would tip bin Laden off that the U.S. was planning a bombing mission. "Armed with this knowledge," the Commission quotes Mr. Clarke as saying, "old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad." Is that the same secular Baghdad that we are told would never cooperate with Islamist al Qaeda?

The entire justification for the highly contentious exercise known as the 9/11 Commission has been to provide Americans with a full accounting of that terrible day, let the chips fall where they may. Now we learn that Mr. Berger wanted to keep some of those chips hidden. Whatever Mr. Berger's legal liabilities, the largest interest here is less what he did than why a sophisticated ex-National Security Adviser would do it. And for that we need to see what he was hiding.

NousDefionsDoc
07-27-2004, 13:12
I think if Justice releases the documents, it gives him an out.