September 13, 2007
Holy Socks! Hillary Hires Convicted Felon Berger as Advisor
This story should raise some eyebrows inside the beltway today.
On September 8, 2005, former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger pleaded guilty and was convicted of one count of "unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents or material." He voluntarily gave up his law license and was sentenced to two years probation and a fine of about $60,000.
Now, despite that conviction and the yanking of his security clearance, Berger has been hired by the Clinton campaign as a foriegn policy advisor:
The more experienced Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, has relied largely on her husband and a triumvirate of senior officials from his presidency—former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former U.N. ambassador Richard Holbrooke and former national-security adviser Sandy Berger (who tries to keep a low profile after pleading guilty in 2005 to misdemeanor charges of taking classified material without authorization).Michael Hirsch tries mightily to downplay Berger's transgressions ("misdemeanor charges of taking classified material without authorization" - as if it was a traffic ticket or something). But facts are facts. According to this piece in the Washington Post from earilier this year, it is more than likely that Berger made off with hundreds of pages of documents, destroying some of them, all in an effort to keep the 9/11 Commission in the dark about President Clinton's terrorism policies. Richard Miniter:
My informed sources suggest that what Berger destroyed were copies of the Millennium After-Action Review, a binder-sized report prepared by Richard Clarke in 2000—a year and half before the 9-11 attacks. The review made a series of recommendations for a tougher stance against bin Laden and terrorism. There are 13 or more copies of this report. But only one contains hand-written notes by President Bill Clinton. Apparently, in the margin beside the recommendations, Bill Clinton wrote NO, NO, NO next to many of the tougher policy proposals.The way the matter was handled by the Department of Justice was weird and in the end, shameful. They kept the 9/11 Commission ignorant ot the true scope and nature of Berger's crimes which no doubt colored the Commission's final report thus doing a disservice to history and the American people.
You can see why Clinton might be happy to see these records vanish down the memory hole.
So Berger was stuffing in pants and socks and later shredding the evidence that President Clinton did not want to take a tougher line on bin Laden, following the 1998 attack on two U.S. embassies that killed 224 people (including 12 American diplomats).
Berger's access to classified data is restricted as part of his plea bargain - until September, 2008. At that point, it would be as if the entire incident never occurred and Berger could find himself hired on in any new Clinton Administration.
You just can't make this stuff up.