The Docs In The Socks

FoxNews is reporting that Sandy Berger stuffed some of the classified material he took in October in his socks. If true, that pretty much indicates Berger intentionally wanted to remove that material without the knowledge of the archivist, which means that it was anything but unintentional. Even the argument that Berger didn’t know what he was doing falls flat – he’s a former NSA, he damn well should know how to handle classified documents.

The more one digs into this story, the more it smells. I was willing to give Berger the benefit of the doubt at first and argue this was a mistake rather than a malicious move – now I’m not so sure.

17 thoughts on “The Docs In The Socks

  1. You guys must have been absolutely starving for the possibility of a Democratic scandal, particularly one involving the Clinton administration. Every lie, manipulation and criminal behavior undertaken by the Bush administration is ignored or shrugged off by, but let Sandy Berger take a few documents home with him and we’re treated to three breathless rants in 12 hours.

  2. Except with the possible exception of the Plame case, there has been absolutely no scandal with the Bush Administration that has even a modicum of credibility.

    Whereas with Berger, there’s already a federal investigation and Berger has admitted to taking the documents.

  3. Berger stuffed docs into his socks…how much more damning can the evidence be!

    Sullivan nails it:
    I’m gob-smacked, as the Brits say, by the news that Sandy Berger stole documents relating to the Clinton administration’s record on terrorism and has apparently lost some critical documents. It seems to me that Berger has admitted to intentionally lifting key documents, and keeping them from the purview of the 9/11 Commission. Berger ascribes this to “sloppiness.” How can stuffing papers down your pants be a function of “sloppiness’? It’s a function of someone doing something he knows he shouldn’t. It’s theft. But what was his motive? Are the Clinton people that scared of people discovering their negligence with regard to al Qaeda? Or is there something else at play? Right now, I have far more questions than answers. But this strikes me as a huge deal. Berger’s actions seem designed to undermine a vital part of the job of the 9/11 Commission. He should be prosecuted aggressively; and the real reasons for his subterfuge need to be flushed out.

  4. Notice how Mark can’t rebut the story…he just rants. And Mark, if you don’t like the emphasis of the posts on, you can always get your news elsewhere.

    Bottom line: this story has legs, and this story has a stench going all the way to the Kerry Kamp.

  5. It is difficult for most people, who haven’t handled classified docs, to fully understand the gravity of the situation.

    Handling classified docs is a very serious matter, with very well-defined protocols. Anyone given access is also given very clear training as to how to handle these docs.

    Now, we have a guy who just wasn’t some average Joe with classified access, but a guy who was a former National Security Advisor to the President of the United States. In other words, we have a guy who had the highest degree of classified access possible, who was trusted with this nation’s most valuable secrets, and who was also entrusted with protecting this nation’s secrets.

    For Berger to attribute his behavior to “sloppiness” is sheer absurdity. How stupid does he think we are? And now we have the fact that he stuffed docs into his pants and socks…that is deliberate…not “inadvertant” like he claims.

    If a rank and file officer exhibited this same degree of “sloppiness” he most likely would go to jail.

    The only question is where this trail leads….

  6. Another Thought, I have no reason to rebut the story. The scandal or lack thereof will be discovered to either have legs or not in the days or weeks to come. Unlike you and your ilk, I won’t rush to discredit any allegations directed at someone in my party. I’m willing to hold them accountable if they do something illegal or unethical.

    Your assertion that this will lead to the Kerry campaign is unfounded wishful thinking by someone who, whether he admits it or not, is paralyzed with fear about the fact that his man may not win in three and a half months.

  7. Except with the possible exception of the Plame case, there has been absolutely no scandal with the Bush Administration that has even a modicum of credibility.

    Jay, you forgot about the Cheney-Energy Task Force-Scalia duck hunting conflict of interest scandal. Oh, and the “I don’t know Ken Lay-Oh wait he’s my biggest contributor” scandal. And the “striking legitimate black voters but not hispanic ones from the Florida voting rolls” scandal. And the “Diebold makes insecure voting machines and is a top Republican contributor” scandal. And the “top Pentagon officials ordered torture at Abu Ghraib” scandal. And most famously the “I served my National Guard obligation but the records that would support this were mysteriously destroyed in a ‘filing accident'” scandal.

    But I can understand how your memory might be a little selective in regards to the candidate you’re obsessed with.

  8. The socks thing doesn’t seem to be true, however. The only substantiated claims are that he took not documents but notes (which would themselves still be classified if they contained classified info) and put them in his pockets (which would be a reasonable place to put away handwritten notes).

    At any rate, why attribute to malice what can be explained by mistake? Why would he admit it if his motives were mendacious? What did he expect to accomplish? Why would he go through all that effort to protect a man who is no longer president?

  9. Jay, you’re being unduly generous in saying that the Plame scandal has even a modicum of credibility, but I take your point.

    Chet, what are you basing your claim that the socks thing isn’t true? The federal investigators have confirmed that both to Fox and CNN. How can this possibly be explained as a mistake?

  10. Chet: Apparently someone forgot to remind you of the difference between inneundo and a crime.

    Mark: Um, Richard Clarke ordered the bin Laden flights, after the FBI cleared it. Of course, since when has an argument being outed as a complete and utter lie ever stopped the Democrats.

    I have to love the Democrats once again clinging to yet another scoundrel – first Clinton, then Richard Clarke, then Joe Wilson, Michael Moore, the list goes on. It appears that if Charles Manson had something bad to say about Bush, the Democrats would be holding him up as some great dissenter.

  11. Mark: Um, Richard Clarke ordered the bin Laden flights

    Right. That would be a member of the Bush administration.

    after the FBI cleared it.

    We’ve detained people who knew less than the bin Ladens for far longer to prosecute the war on terror. It’s impossible to say that the bin Ladens didn’t recieve preferential treatement by virtue of being Bush family friends.

  12. The fact that you’re still harping on an issue that’s completely disproven only shows how desperate the Democrats are to deflect this scandal.

    It’s a classic Democratic trick – when in trouble, change the subject.

  13. It’s a classic Democratic trick – when in trouble, change the subject.

    Change the subject? You’re the one who brought it up!

  14. To come back to Berger’s, it must be noted that he only took copies of documents (or documents of which a copy exists). This mean that he didn’t hide anything to anyone.

    I do believe he took some documents against the Bush administration that will be released in due time.

  15. This mean that he didn’t hide anything to anyone.

    Indeed – both the members of the 9/11 commission and the FBI have affirmed that absolutely no information was withheld from them as a result of Berger’s actions.

  16. Indeed – both the members of the 9/11 commission and the FBI have affirmed that absolutely no information was withheld from them as a result of Berger’s actions.

    Ah, the typical Democratic strategy – just lie about it.

    First of all, the documents that were stolen were drafts of the final report. The drafts contain information that was not in the final 2000 report – meaning that what Berger stole was not replaceable. (You don’t just make copies of a Top Secret Codeword document.) At least 3 of these drafts are still missing, and Berger argues that he “accidentally” threw them away, despite the fact that they have the words TOP SECRET stamped prominently on every paragraph.

    And as the 9/11 Commission Report itself reads:

    We have not interviewed every knowledgeable person or found every relevant piece of paper.

    They should check Berger’s pants, it seems quite a few documents end up there.

    First Joe Wilson, then Richard Clarke, now Berger… the Democrats sure know how to pick a liar…

  17. Ah, the typical Democratic strategy – just lie about it.

    Really? Because I thought I’d just take the word of the 9/11 Commission, in this case Slade Gorton:

    What we can say unequivocally is we had all of that information. We have every one of those documents. All of them have — are infused in and are a part of our report.

    But, of course, Jay’s amazing powers of clairvoyance give him the ability to remotely view the contents of classified documents in Berger’s pants, so naturally he knows more about what the 9/11 Commission knows than they do themselves.

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