January 11, 2005

Return to Sandy Burglar

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When the "graywash" CBS investigation of Rathergate was finally released yesterday, I like many others, had my say on the matter. The general consensus in the blogosphere seems to be that of dissatisfaction. I doubt we have heard the last of Rathergate, however, as external investigations are almost certain into the apparent coordination between the Democratic National Committee and CBS News. You can read more punditry on the subject in Bill's roundup at INDC Journal and more blogger reactions at Blogs for Bush.

But as the title of this thread indicates, The CBS/DNC Rathergate connection is not the only potentially explosive allegation of election illegalities involving the 2004 Democratic run at the White House. Sandy Berger, the corpulent Clinton Aide with sticky fingers and document-swallowing clothes, has been the subject of interviews by the FBI and federal prosecutors as reported today in the New York Post (hat tip: Instapundit).

For those of you who don't remember, John Kerry advisor and former Clinton national security advisor Berger was caught sneaking Code Word (Code Word is the highest level of secrecy, above Top Secret) government documents-as many as 50-out of a secure area of the National Archives. These documents, apparently relating to how the Clinton administration's handling of terrorism matters prior to 9/11, were being "vetted" by Berger for the 9/11 Commission investigation. Berger was subsequently forced to resign from the Kerry campaign because of the scandal.

In Berger World, "vetting" apparently means stuffing beyond Top Secret documents in your suit pockets, down your pants, down your socks, or any other available hiding place and taking them to unsecured, unprotected locations, such as his home or office, where at least some of these documents (presumably the most damning) were destroyed.

Far from being swept under the rug, the Berger investigation seems primed for a federal grand jury. Among the documents Berger removed from the archives all five or six drafts of a critique of the government's response to the millennium terrorism threat. This was no trivial matter.

The interesting thing about this investigation is not his guilt or innocence; Berger has already confessed to at least some of the crimes he could be charged with. No, the interesting point in this developing story is going to be how equal powerful political figures are treated under the law when compared to the common man, which could foreshadow how seriously an investigation is persued in any illegal coordination between CBS News and the DNC in the Rathergate scandal.

Berger claims that he knew he was violating the law when he took the documents, but also said July 19, 2004 that he "made an honest mistake." Apparently, Sandy Burglar has a hard time believing even himself.

Hopefully he'll have the time to contemplate this if he goes to a federal penitentiary as is appropriate for those admittedly who steal, alter, or destroy our nation secrets.

Update: I almost forgot to include this classic Cox and Forkum take on the matter from last summer, which has more text links in the commentary under the cartoon.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at January 11, 2005 10:41 AM