A new article in today’s WaPo highlights those who are complicit in the theft of documents from the National Archives by Sandy Berger. The National Archives was complicit by allowing Berger to break the rules:
Nancy Kegan Smith, who directs the Archives’ presidential documents staff and let Berger view the documents in her office in violation of secrecy rules. Smith said "she would never know what if any original documents were missing," Brachfeld reported in an internal memo.
She also let a week go by without informing other authorities about the theft:
Brachfeld (ed. Inspector General of the National Archives) has similarly expressed frustration that Smith and others who suspected Berger of wrongdoing chose not to inform him of their suspicions until more than a week after Berger’s last visit to the Archives. "If I had been notified, I would have put cameras in the room. I would have caught him leaving with documents on him. . . . We could have had FBI agents around the facility. . . . He would have been arrested," Brachfeld said.
Brachfeld warned people that Berger may have in fact taken more then the 5 copies he admitted to, he may have taken originals which were never copied:
Brachfeld said he was worried that during four visits in 2002 and 2003, Berger had the opportunity to remove more than the five documents he admitted taking. Brachfeld wanted the Justice Department to notify officials of the 9/11 Commission that Berger’s actions — in combination with a bungled Archives response — might have obstructed the commission’s review of Clinton’s terrorism policies.
The Justice Department spurned the advice, and some of Brachfeld’s colleagues at the Archives greeted his warnings with accusations of disloyalty. But more than three years later, as Brachfeld and House lawmakers have pushed new details about Berger’s actions onto the public record — such as Berger’s use of a construction site near the Archives to temporarily hide some of the classified documents — Brachfeld’s contentions have attracted fresh support.
The above paragraph highlights the Justice Departments complicity in this whole affair. Ignoring warnings given that originals were taken and destroyed. Brushing everything under the carpet.
What was in those documents? Nobody knows, and we probably will never know. But looking at the case from the outside we can all surmise that the documents may well have affected the outcome of the 9/11 Commission’s conclusions.
And then we have the dismissal of this story by our MSM. Sure, the WaPo writes an article so we should all be happy right? But they relegate it to the backpages, A13 to be exact, while Libby is front and center. A perjury trial or the theft of original classified documents from our archives that relate to 9/11….which one is more important?
Well, according to Berger’s attorney, it’s all trivial:
"It never ceases to amaze me how the most trivial things can be politicized. It is the height of unfairness . . . for this poor guy, who clearly made a mistake," Breuer said.