The Corner


Hasn’t Sandy Berger now outperformed Fawn Hall? He’s done the shirt, the socks, yes, and the pants. I don’t think Fawn ever did that.

I think this is probably a huge story (anyway I love it just as a story, it’s wonderful, it’s one of those “nobody could have invented this” events), because one must try hard to imagine Berger’s state of mind.

What could have driven him to do something so utterly outrageous, in a way that actually called attention to his improper behavior? It must be something pretty important, one would think. And what could that something-pretty-important be?

Thus far we’re told that he was filching drafts of Richard Clarke’s memos on al Qaeda, drafts that were rejected. If that’s true, there are things in those drafts that the White House didn’t want circulated, even in the tight circles of counter intelligence.

But wait. Under Clinton, as I recall, Clarke wasn’t the counterterrorism czar; that happened under Bush. So was Berger stealing things from the Bush years? Was he even entitled to look at that stuff? (I don’t know the answers). Or was he taking things that would embarrass him and his president?

The country cries out for answers. They might well prove crucial to understanding our current situation and what we must do, quickly, to avoid another 9/11…

Experience suggests that the early answers will be wrong, or at best incomplete.

Want to guess? My guess is that Berger was removing things that showed that Clinton had real chances to get bin Laden, and declined, for various reasons.

As against this theory, is Berger’s statement that he thought he was reading copies, not originals. I wonder. He was in the National Archives, after all. And the whole point of the National Archives is to preserve the originals. Isn’t it?

Michael Ledeen — Michael Ledeen is an American historian, philosopher, foreign-policy analyst, and writer. He is a former consultant to the National Security Council, the Department of State, and the Department of Defense. ...

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