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Good enough for government work

Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is being investigated for trying to steal classified documents that tend to make him and his boss look a little cavalier in their handling of the Islamist terrorism threat.

Berger’s home and office were searched earlier this year by FBI (news – web sites) agents armed with warrants after the former Clinton adviser voluntarily returned some sensitive documents to the National Archives and admitted he also removed handwritten notes he had made while reviewing the sensitive documents.

However, 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 are still missing, officials and lawyers told The Associated Press.

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

Funny how the documents still missing are the very ones that make Clinton and Berger look like feckless idiots, no? Not only did Berger steal the first copy of the embarrassing reports, when Archive staff made a second copy, he stole that one, too!

Needless to say, Berger is a lying sack of crap:

“In the course of reviewing over several days thousands of pages of documents on behalf of the Clinton administration in connection with requests by the Sept. 11 commission, I inadvertently took a few documents from the Archives,” Berger said.

He “inadvertantly” stuffed top secret documents into his pants? Suuure, Sandy. Although I have to admit this is an interesting twist on the usual pants-related Clinton administration scandal, it still doesn’t pass the smell test.

The punchline? Berger is one of John Kerry’s advisors. Since he also has Joe Wilson on his team, Kerry seems to be playing collect-the-set with lying sacks of crap. The Bush team can truly prove their incompetence by giving Kerry a pass on the fact that he is relying on both these clowns for advice on how to beat the Islamists.

But hey, a former national security honcho who repeatedly steals top secret documents by stuffing them down his pants? Give the man a job! He’s obviously plenty good enough for government work.

17 comments to Good enough for government work

  • Android

    The documents were in the leather portfolio; the notes were in his pants.

    Where did you get the conclusion that the two draft copies of the millineum report “tend to make him and his boss look a little cavalier in their handling of the Islamist terrorism threat”.

    Are you suggesting that there’s info in the drafts that’s been expunged from the final report?

    Have you handled classified materials? I have. Do you understand how easy it can be to accidently mishandle them?

    So far… smoke… no fire…

    BTW – how did this story get out?


  • Zevilyn

    If it were a Bush Admin official who behaved as Berger has, the media would be having a fit.

  • R C Dean

    Android, since when is stuffing your pockets with classified documents, um, “accidentally” mishandling them? Nice spin, no stogie.

    BTW, I handle confidential client info every single day, at a level of security far below what is applied to these, and in 15 years I have breached security once, by leaving the originals on the glass of a copier in our offices.

    Are you suggesting that there’s info in the drafts that’s been expunged from the final report?

    That’s the nature of drafts. This question is a non sequitur, though. It doesn’t matter what was in the drafts. The Post tells us he stole them and other documents, stole one of the drafts twice, and now has “lost” the drafts. The content of the drafts doesn’t alter any of this.

    How do I know that the millenium reports were at least potentially embarrassing? I haven’t read them, of course, but how could they be anything but embarrassing in retrospect? They either show that (a) the Clintons didn’t take AQ seriously 18 months before 9/11 or (b) they took them seriously but didn’t do anything about them.

  • Mike H.

    Android, I had a secret clearance with need to know access to mos(military occupational speciality) related material. We didn’t take our notes out of the room that we were working in. Anyone who was caught with classified material was arrested and court martialed as fast as they could set the trial up. I’m calling BS on your statement.

  • Harry

    Android — I’ve also handled classified documents and I can count the number of times I accidentally stuffed them into my pants on the fingers of one hand. Don’t even need the fingers.

    Come to think of it, I can’t remember ever stuffing any kind of documents into my pants. Is this something you do frequently?

  • Sandy P

    And then he supposedly stuffed his pants in his socks.

  • Eric Blair

    I saw a guy get in courtmartialed in the US Army for throwing out a piece of paper that had ‘top secret’ and nothing else stamped on it–he had been checking the stamp.

    If Android thinks that stuffing notes in pants and socks isn’t wrong, I’d hate to see what he thinks would be a violation of security.

    Berger ought to be put on trial.

  • Ken O

    Yeah, stuffing Top Secrets documents in your socks is really smart and surely just an accident….Give me a break!

    Berger could and SHOULD get years in federal prison for this.

    This is just another example of the utter incompetence and corruptness of the whole Clinton Adminstration.

  • Harry

    It’s a damned shame Berger didn’t take the opportunity to do a Blazing Saddles schtick at the hearings. Excuse me while I whip this out. It would have brought the house down.

  • I dont know why everyone is so surprised that a Clinton Administration official would steal evidence before testifying before an official investigatory committee. Remember, the central lesson of the second Clinton term was that without the blue dress Bill would’ve gotten away with it. Remember, what they can’t prove never really happened.

  • Okay, so he maybe stole some documents that proved the the Clinton Administration didn’t take the Al Qaida threat seriously enough.

    Big deal.

    As far as I’m concerned it’s a far greater sin that Berger has re-inflicted all the poisonous left wing spin doctors on us again. The mere sight of Lanny Davis and Chris Lehane and Joe Lockhart insisting this is all just a vast right wing conspiracy about what Democrats have in their pants, is enough to make me ill. I despise these thoroughly dishonest cockroaches, not for their politics, but for their blatant, shameless prevarication in pursuit of power, and the way they dragged American politics out of the gutter, and down into the sewer. Oh Lordy, to be a waiter at 10 Penh or Gallileo when Chris Lehane walked in… “Sorry bout spilling that boiling hot water on your crotch, sir…”

  • Dave F

    Most people just keep their testimonials in their pants.

    I’m not surprised he got rid of the documents, think of the stain on his characters.

    I hear they’re calling it Pantsgate. What was Bill’s cat called again? Oh yeah, Socks. I guess the joke’s on us.

    In prison we take away your belt. In your case, inmate Berger …

    Gissa job, Mr Leno?

  • S. Weasel

    Are you suggesting that there’s info in the drafts that’s been expunged from the final report?

    Oh, yes, absolutely. Well, not necessarily “expunged” – the drafts had the handwritten notes of each reviewer, which is why there are multiple copies of each draft. He’s now copped to “accidentally discarding” a couple of them. According to the National Review

    The documents Berger took — each copy of the millennium report is said to be in the range of 15 to 30 pages — were highly secret. They were classified at what is known as the “code word” level, which is the government’s highest tier of secrecy. Any person who is authorized to remove such documents from a special secure room is required to do so in a locked case that is handcuffed to his or her wrist.

    This thing would’ve circulated at the highest levels for comment. According to the NRO, the report was not flattering to the Clinton Administration’s security measures, and included many recommendations that were not adopted.

    It’s fun to speculate what might’ve been scribbled in the margin of who’s copy. Obviously something that would cause a senior political figure to stuff classified papers down the front of his pants and vamoose. Twice, at least.

  • Nancy

    Didn’t Charles Colson go to prison for doing essentially the same thing?

  • I’m not going to pass comment on Berger’s actions until all the details have been revealed.

    Then we should give him a fair trial, and hang him.

  • Hmmmm. Yes, “stuffing down one’s pants” has SUCH a better sound than “Placing in his trouser pockets”, doesn’t it.

    Be that as it may. If Mr. Berger was alleged to have been seen hiding notes in his socks or down his trousers by an employee of the National Archives, why wasn’t Mr. Berger confronted at once? I DO think that the Archives do employ, now what are they called again? Oh, yes. “Security Guards”. A quick phone call to the “Security Guards” number: “OY! There’s some bloke here what’s stuffing sensitive documents down the front of his trousers!” “Right, we’re on the way!”

    But, zut alor! No “Security Guards”! No one stopped him and the both the DOJ and the FBI seem to be sigularly unconcerned about all this.

    Gee, could it be possible that someone is LYING about having seen Mr. Berger stuffing papers where the Sun don’t shine?

    Oh, and one last thing. Mr. Berger only had access to PHOTOCOPIES of documents, never the originals. The National Archives STILL HAVE the original documents in hand.

    And yes, Mr. Berger screwed up by keeping his handwritten notes and accidentally mixing in classified documents with his unclassified documents in his portfolio.

    There should be some manner of punishment meted out. I would hope that it’ll be less severe than the punishment meted out to those in the White House responsible for burning the cover of Ms. Plame.

  • Hey, Texas Boy!

    Where’s your snarky, error-filled blog entry about this guy, a REPUBLICAN who is under investigation for some serious breaking of secrecy laws?

    Or will you ignore his transgressions, because, you know, It’s OK if you’re a Republican.