[Vision2020] Re: Sandy Berger Exonerated(or not?)

Pat Kraut pkraut at moscow.com
Mon Aug 9 19:39:46 PDT 2004

He has taken documents from the National Archives...it is serious because it is the material that will be used to write the history books in the future. So, I think he knew exactly what he was taking and was helping out Bill as well as himself. I won't be partisan politics if he gets fined and/or jail time. Just not being allowed in the place might be good enough for some but I want to see him punished more than that. AND I would feel that way if he was republican. 
I am now watching C-Span. Its a townhall meeting with Bush. If you are surprised by his attitude about legacy college attendance may I suggest that you don't know him very well.
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Ron Force 
  To: vision2020 at moscow.com 
  Sent: Monday, August 09, 2004 2:08 PM
  Subject: [Vision2020] Re: Sandy Berger Exonerated(or not?)

  Transcript from this morning's (August 9) Morning Edition below. Apparently, he's not out of the woods yet.

  Ron Force          Moscow ID USA

   rforce@ moscow.com 

     Congress is on vacation, but the people left behind in Washington, DC, are still talking about 9/11 hearings, terror alerts and Sandy Berger. President Clinton's national security adviser acknowledges removing classified records from the National Archives last year as he was preparing to testify before the 9-11 Commission. No original documents are missing; even so, Sandy Berger faces two probes for his actions, one of them criminal. NPR's Libby Lewis reports.

    LIBBY LEWIS reporting:

    Sandy Berger may have violated several federal laws by taking from the archives some drafts of a Clinton-era memo on national security that were written for him and by taking and removing his own notes on classified material. Berger has said his actions were inadvertent. Jonathan Turley of George Washington University Law School says it would be surprising to see Berger charged with a crime. That doesn't mean he won't be punished. 

    Mr. JONATHAN TURLEY (George Washington University Law School): These cases tend to militate against criminal charges. If Berger's case follows the trend, he won't be prosecuted, but there still remains a question as to whether he will ever hold a clearance again.

    LEWIS: Now what about the serious questions some Republican leaders raised when the story broke? Did Sandy Berger try to hide or, worse, destroy information about the Clinton administration's handling of terrorism? At the time, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay suggested Berger's action might have created a national security crisis. The Justice Department assured the 9-11 Commission that it saw every document Berger had access to in the archives and that no original documents were missing. That's according to Al Felzenberg, a spokesman for the 9-11 Commission. Susan Cooper of the National Archives also confirmed to NPR that no original documents are missing.

    Even so, the House Government Reform Committee is keeping up its inquiry of Berger's conduct. A spokesman for the committee, Robert White, said the inquiry is important in light of the push to adopt the recommendations of the 9-11 Commission. He said the panel also wants to look at questions of security at the National Archives. He declined to speak on tape.

    Now it appears the Justice Department is helping the House investigation by making witnesses available. Witnesses are normally barred from talking until a criminal probe is complete. On Friday, Democrat Henry Waxman wrote Attorney General John Ashcroft to ask why the Justice Department had changed its policy in this case. A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

    Berger's lawyer, Lanny Breuer, said he hopes it means the Justice Department has decided not to pursue the criminal case, but he fears worse. After all, he said, politics has already seeped in, and it was leaked to the press at a critical time, days before the 9-11 Commission issued its report. Breuer said it's clear Berger's actions did no damage to the 9/11 investigation.

    Mr. LANNY BREUER (Sandy Berger's Lawyer): It's hard for a fair-minded person to conclude that there's any reason that the Sandy Berger matter is now being looked at other than because of partisan concerns in an election year.

    LEWIS: Republican House leaders deny Berger's party affiliation has anything to do with its probe. In a letter to his Democratic colleague Henry Waxman, Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis wrote, 'I don't care if it's Sandy Berger or Warren Burger or veggie burger who walked off with code-word documents. It's the walking off, the consequences of it, the fact that it could happen that concern the committee.' Those partisan quips aside, Sandy Berger's errors have left Berger disappointed and saddened, his lawyer says.

    Libby Lewis, NPR News, Washington. 


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