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Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Thoughts On Trousergate
Hindrocket at Power Line posts his assessment (at this early stage) of what Sandy Bereger was doing with those purloined papers. First of all, it's clear he knew exactly what he was doing. He knew how to handle classified documents and he knew he shouldn't remove them from the National Archives (hence, the new style of baggy pants and big socks). He pilfered the papers for a reason, and he took a great risk doing so.
The only motive I can imagine that would lead Berger to take the immense risk of stealing classified documents out of the National Archives is that they contain information that is extremely damaging to him and to the Clinton administration. While the timing is not entirely clear from press accounts, it appears that Berger purloined the documents last year. I haven't been able to pin down the exact timing of the Sept. 11 Commission's investigation, but it seems reasonable to conclude that Berger wanted to get the documents in question out of the Archives before the Commission discovered them. This would make sense only if they were extremely damaging not only to the Clinton administration, but to Berger personally. Of course, given Berger's role as National Security Advisor, any serious default in the Clinton administration's response to terrorist threats would have reflected badly on him. The millenium bomber is an obvious example, but the documents may have related to Clinton's decision not to capture Osama bin Laden, or many other matters.
Some ancillary theories come to my mind. Did President Clinton have any part in Berger retrieving the documents? "Hey, Sandy, old buddy, there's some stuff in there that would be knida embarrassing for me - and for you, too, of course. I wonder if there's anything we can do 'bout that?" The former President certainly doesn't seem too concerned about the loss of classified materials, information that might be critical to our future national security. Which brings me to my second thought, Democrats, in general, seem to have a low view of national security. On the list of priorities I'd say it falls below re-election (everything is below re-election on the priority list), a woman's right to choose, campaign cash, the "environment", and trashing traditional values.

I'll leave you with Hindrocket's prediction (which is right on):
This matter will drop, as the mainstream press will prefer not to pursue it. Berger's effort to frustrate the historical record will, I suspect, be successful. But he will pay a price: he will never be Secretary of State.

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