The Corner

Burglar

The NY Sun has a better-written version of the AP story. I just don’t understand how the judge let the guy off so lightly. I’m not trying to gin up another rightwing howlfest controversy, but I just don’t get it. When the original story broke, I got untold numbers of emails from readers who work with classified material. Their lives would have been wrecked if they did something a fraction as reckless or, well, criminal:

A former national security adviser to President Clinton, Samuel Berger, stashed highly classified documents under a trailer in downtown Washington in order to evade detection by National Archives personnel, a government report released yesterday said.

The report from the inspector-general for the National Archives, Paul Brachfeld, said Mr. Berger executed the cloak-and-dagger maneuver in October 2003 while taking a break from reviewing Clinton-era documents in connection with the work of the so-called September 11 commission.

” Mr. Berger exited the archive onto Pennsylvania Avenue,” the report says, recounting the story the former national security chief told investigators. “He did not want to run the risk of bringing the documents back in the building. … He headed toward a construction area on 9th Street. Mr. Berger looked up and down the street, up into the windows of the archives and the DOJ, and did not see anyone. He removed the documents from his pockets, folded the notes in a ‘V’ shape, and inserted the documents in the center. He walked inside the construction fence and slid the documents under a trailer.”

 Me: And why on earth are we supposed to take Berger’s word for why he did these things? This was obviously many miles from an accidental lapse. Maybe the Wall Street Journal should rethink it’s cavalier attitude toward the whole affair?

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