DECEMBER 21, 2006
Scandalous new details of how Bill Clinton’s national security advisor schemed to remove highly classified terrorism documents from the National Archives paint the picture of a desperate man who tried to bully a trash collector into helping him commit the crime.
Sandy Berger took the sensitive documents in 2003 as he prepared to testify, on behalf of the Clinton Administration, before the September 11 Commission. He stole the documents, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to get a trash collector to retrieve them.
Berger pleaded guilty to unlawfully removing the classified files and got a tiny slap on the hand–$50,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and a three-year bar from accessing classified material—but the gory details of how he carried out the operation had not been released until now.
A report issued by the Inspector General of the National Archives reveals how archive employees spotted Berger bending down and fiddling with something white around his ankles. When Berger was confronted by archive officials about the missing documents, he denied taking them.
Berger proceeded to take a break and went outside in the dark with four classified documents in his pocket. He then headed toward a construction area and looked up and down the street, into the windows of the archive building and at the Department of Justice, to see if anyone was looking. All was clear, so Berger slid the documents under a construction trailer and later retrieved them from the construction area and returned with them to his office.
The National Archives inspector general, Paul Brachfeld, writes that Berger was aware of the risk he was taking and that the former national security advisor destroyed and cut into small pieces several of the documents, which he later put in the trash.
This was clearly a premeditated criminal act on Berger’s part and Outside the Beltway points out that any military or civil service employee would be in jail for such a felony. The question is, why would Clinton’s national security advisor turn into a thief, disgrace himself and betray his country? Pundit Review speculates that Clinton was clearly trying to hide something.
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