Breeches of Faith
Michael Ubaldi, July 20, 2004.
President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is the focus of a Justice Department investigation after removing highly classified terrorism documents and handwritten notes from a secure reading room during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings, the Associated Press has learned.
No, this isn't a mishandling of classified documents with dubious motivation. Mr. Berger simply committed papers to a semi-dehiscent, multifiber, bipodal travel envelope. The blogosphere has lit up like a switchboard, and IP has the best.
'REPORTING THE NEWS' AND ALL THAT: At 11:06 AM EDT, only Fox News' website is giving the Sandy Berger story top billing. ABC, CBS, MSNBC and CNN present it as a sub-headline, each agency with its own somewhat innocuous description. One out of three ain't bad.
MOTIVE FROM METHOD: According to Fox News, Berger also had documents stuffed in his socks. Repeat: his socks. That's not indicative of good intentions. And according to CNN, drafts of the classified memos were written by partisan missile Richard "One of my accounts is true" Clarke.
THERE'S NO NEED TO ARGYLE: Berger is denying the claim that some of the misbegotten documents were in his socks. Who made the announcement for Berger? Why, former Clinton White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart, who stated it "categorically." Doesn't it feel like the old days?
STAGE SEPARATION: The Kerry campaign has jettisoned Berger. Still, the question remains of what Berger was trying to squirrel away and who sent him to do it. Given the crossover of old Clintonite spin doctors like Lockhart and Chris Lehane, Berger's efforts might have had broader approval than we know.