The Inspector General of the National Archives has just released a report on former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger’s theft of classified documents from the Archives:
Former national security adviser Sandy Berger removed classified documents from the National Archives in 2003 and hid them under a construction trailer, the Archives inspector general reported Wednesday.
Inspector General Paul Brachfeld reported that when Berger was confronted by Archives officials about the missing documents, he said it was possible he threw them in his office trash.
Berger, who pleaded guilty to unlawfully removing and retaining classified documents, was fined $50,000, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was barred from access to classified material for three years.
The report said that when Berger was reviewing the classified documents in the Archives building a few blocks from the Capitol, employees saw him bending down and fiddling with something white, which could have been paper, around his ankle.
Brachfeld reported that on one visit, Berger took a break to go outside without an escort.
“In total, during this visit, he removed four documents … .
“Mr. Berger said he placed the documents under a trailer in an accessible construction area outside Archives 1 (the main Archives building).”
Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.
It is intensely interesting to speculate on what have been in those documents that would lead a former National Security Adviser to hide them in his pants, secrete them under a construction trailer, and finally spirit them to his office, apparently so he could destroy them. This is, I suppose, a clue:
Berger, with the authorization of former President Clinton, was reviewing National Security Council documents on Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida, Sudan, and related presidential correspondence.
This news report does not explain why the IG’s report has just now been made public. We’ll have to see if we can track down a complete copy of the report.
Via Power Line News.
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