JANUARY 10, 2007
The Justice Department cannot guarantee that Bill Clinton’s national security advisor did not remove original copies of highly classified terrorism documents from the National Archives and the full extent of what he actually took will never be known.
A 61-page report released this week by the House of Representatives sheds even more light into the seriousness of Sandy Berger’s crimes when he stole the sensitive documents from the Archives in 2003.
Details of Berger’s premeditated crime were released last month in a lengthy report issued by the National Archives Inspector General, but this latest Congressional document concludes that the country may never know the full effect of Berger’s misconduct and that his deliberate calculating actions to remove highly classified documents compromised the national security of this country in more ways than one.
The report goes on to reveal the extraordinary lengths to which Berger was willing to go to deliberately compromise national security for his own convenience. It also accuses the former national security advisor of taking advantage of the serious weaknesses in controls over classified documents.
In late December an Archives Inspector General report documented how Berger collaborated with a trash collector to steal the documents that he used to prepare for testimony, on behalf of the Clinton Administration, before the September 11 Commission.
Although he initially said it was an honest mistake, Berger eventually pleaded guilty to unlawfully removing the classified files and got a tiny slap on the hand; a $50,000 fine, 100 hours of community service and a three-year bar from accessing classified material.
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