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  #1  
Old 12-20-2006, 11:33 PM
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Bob D'Amico Bob D'Amico is offline
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Angry Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

Quote:
WASHINGTON - President Clinton's national security adviser removed classified documents from the National Archives, hid them under a construction trailer and later tried to find the trash collector to retrieve them, the agency's internal watchdog said Wednesday.

The report was issued more than a year after Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and received a criminal sentence for removing the documents.

Berger took the documents in the fall of 2003 while working to prepare himself and Clinton administration witnesses for testimony to the Sept. 11 commission. Berger was authorized as the Clinton administration's representative to make sure the commission got the correct classified materials.

Berger's lawyer, Lanny Breuer, said in a statement that the contents of all the documents exist today and were made available to the commission.

But Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., outgoing chairman of the House Government Reform Committee, said he's not convinced that the Archives can account for all the documents taken by Berger. Davis said working papers of National Security Council staff members are not inventoried by the Archives.

"There is absolutely no way to determine if Berger swiped any of these original documents. Consequently, there is no way to ever know if the 9/11 Commission received all required materials," Davis said.

Berger pleaded guilty to unlawfully removing and retaining classified documents. He was fined $50,000, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was barred from access to classified material for three years.

Officials told The Associated Press at the time of the thefts that the documents were highly classified and included critical assessments about the Clinton administration's handling of the millennium terror threats as well as identification of America's terror vulnerabilities at airports and seaports.

Inspector General Paul Brachfeld reported that National Archives employees spotted Berger bending down and fiddling with something white around his ankles.

The employees did not feel at the time there was enough information to confront someone of Berger's stature, the report said.

Later, when Berger was confronted by Archives officials about the missing documents, he lied by saying he did not take them, the report said.

Brachfeld's report included an investigator's notes, taken during an interview with Berger. The notes dramatically described Berger's removal of documents during an Oct. 2, 2003, visit to the Archives.

Berger took a break to go outside without an escort while it was dark. He had taken four documents in his pockets.

"He headed toward a construction area. ... Mr. Berger looked up and down the street, up into the windows of the Archives and the DOJ (
Department of Justice), and did not see anyone," the interview notes said.

He then slid the documents under a construction trailer, according to the inspector general. Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.

"He was aware of the risk he was taking," the inspector general's notes said. Berger then returned to the Archives building without fearing the documents would slip out of his pockets or that staff would notice that his pockets were bulging.

The notes said Berger had not been aware that Archives staff had been tracking the documents he was provided because of earlier suspicions from previous visits that he was removing materials. Also, the employees had made copies of some documents.

In October 2003, the report said, an Archives official called Berger to discuss missing documents from his visit two days earlier. The investigator's notes said, "Mr. Berger panicked because he realized he was caught."

The notes said that Berger had "destroyed, cut into small pieces, three of the four documents. These were put in the trash."

After the trash had been picked up, Berger "tried to find the trash collector but had no luck," the notes said.

Significant portions of the inspector general's report were redacted to protect privacy or national security.
If you or I did this, we would be serving 5 to 10 year sentence in the nearest Federal pen. I wonder what documents he stole and WHY????
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Old 12-20-2006, 11:37 PM
John John is offline
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

Monica?
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:58 AM
BoganBogan BoganBogan is offline
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

Bob, thats exactly what I was wondering. That's a bold move trying to steal stuff like that. He must have had something to hide.......
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Old 12-21-2006, 02:01 PM
gskinner97 gskinner97 is offline
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Thumbs up Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

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Originally Posted by BoganBogan
Bob, thats exactly what I was wondering. That's a bold move trying to steal stuff like that. He must have had something to hide.......

Ya love this stuff?

Hillary in 08???????/

Puhleeze!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Giuliani - Gingrich in 08'
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:10 PM
The Striper Consultant The Striper Consultant is offline
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

And he got away with it too.

Must have been some info placing his boss at a Super 8 when he sould have been at an Osama briefing.
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:22 PM
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

I'm not sure what the big deal is, he seems like a nice enough guy.

-spence
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Old 12-21-2006, 04:36 PM
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents



But, but, but... Nixon erased 18 minutes of his tapes! Ollie North shredded Iran-Contra memos! They all do it; so what's the dif???

(This message brought to you by the Committee for a Permanent GOP Majority)
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Old 12-21-2006, 06:32 PM
BoganBogan BoganBogan is offline
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

LOL, Chuck says they all do it. Thats probably true, I don't like politicians. But that doesn't make it right, as you seem to suggest. I say get all the crooks and don't stop.
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Old 12-21-2006, 09:03 PM
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Chuckles Chuckles is offline
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

Tongue firmly in cheek, Bogan.
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Old 12-21-2006, 11:06 PM
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CarpenterSteve CarpenterSteve is offline
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

Might our resident opposing opinions have a double standard for people they like and those they don't?

Had this been a Bush official, there would be a much different opinion voiced.

This guy basically stole classified information which may have been crucial to the 9-11 investigation. Too bad we will never know what was contained in them. Maybe, just maybe, when Clinton went off on FOX, they may have had a valid question line that he flipped out about.

He got off light, and this is a non-news issue now.

Wonder what might have been so crucial to get rid of?
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Old 01-30-2007, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Report says Berger stole and hid archive documents

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Too bad we will never know what was contained in them.
But, we do know exactly what was contained in them, according to prosecutors and the folks at the archives...

Really, this should just die and go away (so, Chuck, why are you responding to a month-old post??? ).

He was fined 50,000 smackers and sentenced to 100 hours community service. He's an idiot who mishandled classified papers, but he didn't destroy anything.

Another looney tunes rightie myth about the Clinton administration

Quote:
After a long investigation, the lead prosecutor Noel Hillman, chief of the Justice Department's public integrity section, stated that Berger only removed classified copies of data stored on hard drives stored in the National Archives, and that no original material was destroyed.[21] This led The Wall Street Journal to editorialize against the allegations, stating in part:
“Justice says the picture that emerged is of a man who knowingly and recklessly violated the law in handling classified documents, but who was not trying to hide any evidence. Prosecutors believe Mr. Berger genuinely wanted to prepare for his testimony before the 9/11 Commission but felt he was somehow above having to spend numerous hours in the Archives as the rules required, and that he didn't exactly know how to return the documents once he'd taken them out... We called Justice Department Public Integrity chief prosecutor Noel Hillman, who assured us that Mr. Berger did not deny any documents to history. 'There is no evidence that he intended to destroy originals,' said Mr. Hillman. 'There is no evidence that he did destroy originals. We have objectively and affirmatively confirmed that the contents of all the five documents at issue exist today and were made available to the 9/11 Commission.'[22]”

Despite prosecutors' statements, some critics continued to make unsubstantiated allegations. This led The Wall Street Journal to reiterate its position, stating "Some people won't let a bad conspiracy theory go". The paper went on to say: "The confusion seems to stem from the mistaken idea that there were handwritten notes by various Clinton Administration officials in the margins of these documents, which Mr. Berger may have been able to destroy. But that's simply an 'urban myth,' prosecutor Hillman tells us, based on a leak last July that was 'so inaccurate as to be laughable.' In fact, the five iterations of the anti-terror 'after-action' report at issue in the case were printed out from a hard drive at the Archives and have no notations at all."[23]
The Wall Street Journal later wrote in January 2007 that there were substantial questions concerning the truth of Berger's statements and that other documents may have been removed.[24]
On December 20, 2006, more than a year after Berger plead guilty and was sentenced, a report issued by the archives inspector detailed how Berger had perpetrated the crime. Inspector General Paul Brachfeld reported that Berger took a break to go outside without an escort. "In total, during this visit, he removed four documents ... Mr. Berger said he placed the documents under a trailer in an accessible construction area outside Archives 1 (the main Archives building)." Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.[25][26]
The report also stated "There were not any handwritten notes on the documents Mr. Berger removed from the archives. Mr. Berger did not believe there was unique information in the three documents he destroyed. Mr. Berger never made any copies of these documents." In the end, according to the report, "[Mr. Berger] substituted his sense of sensitivity instead of thinking of classification" in deciding to remove the documents.[27]
In January 2007, departing Republican staff of The United States House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform released a report titled Sandy Berger's Theft of Classified Documents: Unanswered Questions. It states that the FBI or the Department of Justice never questioned Berger about two earlier visits he made on May 30, 2002 and July 18 2003, when he reviewed White House working papers not yet inventoried by the National Archives, and speculates that, had Berger previously been entirely successful in actions at which he was later caught, "nobody would know they were gone." It also contains the FBI's statement as to why they concluded there was no exposure on those dates: "Berger was under constant supervision". [28][15] Despite senior Bush Administration officials giving the report's authors highly unusual access to internal information about an ongoing DOJ investigation [29], the report contains no new facts that the career prosecutors handling the case overlooked.
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