Patterico's Pontifications

1/10/2007

House Staff Report on Berg(l)er: The Justice Department Cannot Be Sure He Didn’t Take Original Classified Documents

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General,Scum — Patterico @ 6:46 am

Via Hugh Hewitt comes a link to the House Staff Report on Sandy Berg(l)er’s theft of classified documents.

From the executive summary:

The full extent of Berger’s document removal, however, is not known, and never can be known. The Justice Department cannot be sure that Berger did not remove original documents for which there were no copies or inventory. On three of Berger’s four visits to the Archives, he had access to such documents.

I wonder what the coverage will be like in the L.A. Times, whose editors said in 2004:

Berger, who admits he made an “honest mistake,” is guilty of taking copies and handwritten notes (that too is a serious violation of the rules) but not original documents.

A search for the word “Berger” on the paper’s web site reveals no articles. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

12 Responses to “House Staff Report on Berg(l)er: The Justice Department Cannot Be Sure He Didn’t Take Original Classified Documents”

  1. One of the footnotes in the 9/11 commission report indicated that some of the documents Berger took had marginalia indicating he was the one most opposed to hitting UBL when we had the chances in Afghanistan.

    Most of the opposition to doing so was fear of killing a UAE prince. The proper response to the UAE if that had happened should have been: “..if you don’t want your sons killed in Hellfire, then they shouldn’t be hunting with the devil.”

    Dubya (c16726)

  2. Hold on one minute: that there are no copies of most of this stuff, is fairly obvious.
    But no inventory?
    This is the archives. Everything should be inventoried and calendared–everything should have some trace that would ensure evidence of its existence, even if the document itself has been destroyed.
    The JD is sounding a lot like Richard Dawkins demanding proof of G-d’s existence.

    kishnevi (55e347)

  3. Do ou have any idea of the volume of documents the National Archives has to deal with? It wouldn’t surprise me if they were 3 or more years behind on inventory and processing.

    Dubya (c16726)

  4. Likely your eyes will be peeled for a long time.

    Old Coot (581b7e)

  5. “Everything should be inventoried and calendared–everything should have some trace that would ensure evidence of its existence, even if the document itself has been destroyed.” – kishnevi

    Well it is government. What do you expect?

    G (722480)

  6. Upon reading the pdf, at end of page 3 it says “Because the Staff Member Office Files are not inventoried at the document level, Berger could…..”

    G (722480)

  7. Are the inventory files inventoried?

    This is not a joke. If he took, modified, and replaced an inventory, we would be even more clueless as to what was missing.

    htom (412a17)

  8. Imagine the damage this does, all the way through the National Security Apparatus. Junior people, who know full well that if they did anything like this, they’d be looking at loss of job and a lengthy prison term, see what senior people get away with.

    At the very least, it’s corrosive to morale; at worst, it breeds disrespect for the rule of law. I can guess why the Administration didn’t want to pursue this aggressively, but I’m not sure that was the right choice.

    Finally, the LA Times’ disingenuous “not original documents” was laughably and demonstrably false even then. What do handwritten notes on a document make the document but a new and different document? The value for historians and archivists of being able to see what actual senior players thought is tangible, and Berger has damaged security, possibly destroyed evidence, and certainly destroyed original and unique documents.

    Holmwood

    Holmwood (5fdb78)

  9. Personally, I think Berger should be drugged so that he tells the truth as to what he destroyed.

    G (722480)

  10. This whole thing with Berger is astounding to me. It’s a massive embarrassment to me and all other on the left. What possessed him I can’t imagine.

    [This commenter has been banned, but I will probably post most of his comments anyway, as I choose to. (Like almost any banned commenter, if he apologizes sincerely for the behavior that got him banned, I’ll reinstate him entirely.) — P]

    djangone (381f2e)

  11. And to think two border patrol agents are going to prison for a long time for doing their job.

    rightisright (16ece0)

  12. Esteemed Blog Host-

    I would love your opinion on the conduct of the DOJ as related in the report, if you get the chance and can. Sounds to my uneducated opinion there was incompetence or collusion, or both. The fact that the judge imposed a stiffer fine than was asked for by the DOJ again suggests they were either not thinking or helping to put this under the radar.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)


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