Patterico's Pontifications


Berg(l)er theft unoriginal–WSJ

Filed under: General — See Dubya @ 4:19 am

The prosecutor in the Sandy Berger memo-sneaking trial reiterates to the Wall Street Journal that Berger didn’t destroy any unique documents with incriminating hand-written marginalia, but rather copies “printed out from a hard drive at the Archives and [that] have no notations at all.”

“Those documents, emphatically, without doubt–I reviewed them myself–don’t have notations on them,” Mr. Hillman [the prosecutor] tells us. Further, “there is no evidence after comprehensive investigation to suggest he took anything other than the five documents at issue and they didn’t have notes.”

The WSJ then goes on to scold the Washington Times, Dick Morris, and the Rocky Mountain News for keeping this canard alive. I’m willing to drop it, except…forgive my density here, but just how did Mr. Hillman personally review the documents in question if Lightfingers Sandy destroyed them? Is he yet another one of these clairvoyant lawyers?

10 Responses to “Berg(l)er theft unoriginal–WSJ”

  1. Unless he is 5150, someone will have to explain why he would remove five supposedly identical copies of a document, shred three of them with a pair of scissors (what a picture: a grown man sitting alone in his office doing that!) and then returning the other two “copies”. Even Columbo would conclude felony activity within a moment of two.

    Old Coot (72ce38)

  2. A copy of what I just submitted to Opinion Journal online as a response:

    I am not going to rant and rave about conspiracies, but unless I see copies of all of the documents that were in that file prior to Sandy Berger going in I will not believe it for one moment. Does Mr. Hillman personally go through every document in the archives and commit it to memory?? If they have clear evidence to explain to us how they know what was on things we no longer have show it NOW (not “in July at the sentencing”).
    What explanation for this fiasco is there other than either Mr. Berger got rid of something embarrassing (in the least), is totally incompetent, or considered himself above the need to comply with regulations. An NSC advisor who doesn’t know how to treat classified documents is a scandel?!?!?!? How many times did Condi Rice stick documents down her bra??
    If a doctor treated patient documents like this…
    millions of bucks and a lost license, even if you were C. Everett Koop.

    Not standing with a sign board, but not satisfied either.

    MD in Philly (b3202e)

  3. So are you guys saying that the Bush Dept. Of Justice is conspiring with Mr. Berger to obstruct justice? Are you really saying Hillman is lying?

    If so-why should we believe anything the DOJ says about torture by the U.S. Govt. You can’t cherrypick your truths.

    martin (da46a2)

  4. The mistaken assumptions about Bergergate are:

    1. That he actually had in his possession “orignal” documents. It turns out that the originals were scanned and Berger was provided with printed reproductions — NOT the orignals.

    2. That Berger (ala Martha Steward) LIED to Federal investigators. Apparantly Berger only lied to the press.

    That said, I have difficutly believing Berger — that he knew he wasn’t destroying the orginals.

    Norman Rogers (8f9e08)

  5. I’m no fan of Sandy Berger’s, but I have to believe he knows the ins and outs of the National Archives and knew that the documents he took were not originals. If it is Archive policy to allow purusal of only copies and never originals, then what we have here is no big deal.

    Jackie Warner (95d9f3)

  6. Right. I’m willing to take the word of the prosecutor that they weren’t originals. My problem is his odd statement about how he reviewed the documents himself that were previously destroyed by Berger. The only way that statement makes sense is that he saw them before they were destroyed–and that doesn’t make sense either.

    As for Berger, he’s getting more of a punishment than former CIA director John Deutch got for storing classified material on his home computer, although Berger gets his clearance back.

    Jackie, it is a big deal because you’re not supposed to take classified stuff out of buildings (or off of computer systems) that are secure. If someone had given Berger a wedgie as he walked out of the Archives, they would have gotten a handful of secrets.

    See-Dubya (3275fb)

  7. Hillman says he viewed the same documents Berger did, i.e. right he had the same documents printed off the harddrive Berger did. You’re trying to say he had the exact copies Berger did-but that’s immaterial. Unless someone messed with the copy on the drive-it’s the same document.

    e.g. are you and I currently looking at the same web site? Puzzling you say since we’re on different computers.

    martin (da46a2)

  8. Well, copies, originals, notes, hand-writing or not, the crime was in the theft of classified material. Until now I have never heard of anyone “accidently” putting anything into one’s trousers. Since he could have done anything with the materials he took, including scanning them onto a computer and emailing them to …Osama Bin Laden, for example. What we are left with is a man who denied being a thief (a lie) who now says he is telling the truth when he says he cut up the non-returned documents to the Archives. Why should I believe him?

    EagleSpeak (0d84c2)

  9. You’re quite free not to believe him. What impact that has on the world, I couldn’t tell ya.

    Martin (70fa55)

  10. Gee whiz, Martin, you “can’t cherry pick your truths.” Can you?

    EagleSpeak (0d84c2)

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