Paul From Minneapolis

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Sandy Berger: What The Hell

This is what seems to have happened:

Back in 2003, Clinton’s former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger crept out of the National Archives with five copies of a document authored by Richard Clarke during the Clinton administration, covering measures taken to deal with the “Millennium threat” of a terrorist attack. Although coverage of this story has been understated, one gathers these were not copies Berger made that day in 2003, using the 7-cent-a-page National Archives Ricoh. That would make no sense. No, they were copies that were there in the file already.

Then, according to his plea agreement – there’s a good summary of things here – he cut three of these copies to shreds with scissors at his office late one night, and returned the other two.

The suspicion, of course, is that these were not copies in the traditional sense of being exactly alike, identical either to each other or to the original. There must have been slight differences, such as margin notes made by officials at the time. That’s a common speculation in fact.

Something like this has to be the case. Has to be. Otherwise the implication is that during the 1990’s our national security apparatus was under direct control of a fruitcake. A loony-tunes. A scatterbrained imbecile who pilfers five identical copies of an identical original (which he leaves in place) and then painstakingly and secretly, perhaps giggling, using his very own scissors cuts three of the five into little pieces before returning the remaining two.

Forefinger to lips; making buzzing sound.

Whichever interpretation is accurate, though, this much is clear: Sandy Berger should not ever again under any circumstances be given scissors.