Skip to comments.The Secret Sandy Risked His All For
Posted on 01/18/2007 4:51:50 PM PST by LC HOGHEAD
The Secret Sandy Risked His All For
© Jack Cashill January 18, 2007 - WorldNetDaily.com
If not the most skillful of embezzlers, Samuel Sandy Berger is a far more formidable character than the media would have us believe. When he made his now storied sorties into the National Archives, he risked his career and his reputation in so doing, and he knew it. Rest assured, he would not have done so were the secrets to be preserved not worth the risk of pilfering them.
True to form, the major media refuse to even ask the most fundamental question: just what secrets would justify so much personal exposure. Having read the report on Berger by the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, I am more confident than ever that I know the answer.
As the House Report makes clear, Berger did not exactly welcome this assignment. This confirms my suspicions. The archivists told the House Committee, in fact, that Berger indicated some disgust with the burden and responsibility of conducting the document review.
Apparently, he did not have much choice in the matter. Former President Bill Clinton had, according to the report, designated Berger as his representative to review NSC documents. Berger was Clintons go-to inside guy.
In his first term, Clinton had hired this millionaire trade lawyer and lobbyist to be deputy national security advisor, not because of Bergers foreign policy experience, which was negligible, but because of his political instincts, which were keen and reliable. Clinton entrusted Berger with some very sensitive assignments, particularly in relationship to China, and rewarded him for his trust with the job of National Security Advisor in his second term. This job does not require Senate confirmation. It is unlikely that Berger could have gotten any job that did.
As we now know, Berger made four trips to the National Archives. He did so presumably to refresh his memory before testifying first to the Graham-Goss Commission and then to the 9/11 Commission. Berger made his first visit in May 2002, his last in October 2003.
As we now know too, he stole and destroyed an incalculable number of documents during these four visits. The full extent of Bergers document removal, reports the House Committee, is not known and never can be known.
As the House Report clarifies, Archives staff would have no way to know if any part of a given National Security Council (NSC) document was removed. Further, had Berger removed papers from a Staff Member Office Filethese more loosely enumerated than the NSC documentsIt would be almost impossible for the Archives staff to know.
Among his more flagrant acts of criminal mischief, Berger purloined some highly classified documents and stashed them at a construction site where they could have been found by anyone. This behavior does not exactly classify as inadvertent, the medias original characterization of Bergers motivation.
As the House Report also establishes, the FBI never questioned Berger about those first two visits nor submitted him to a polygraph about any of the visits as his plea deal required. The Department of Justices (DOJ) only source of information about possible theft during Bergers first two visits was the man himself, and Berger has proved almost comically unreliable.
In fact, Berger has changed his story about the documents as often as his boss did about Monica, in both cases to adapt to the emerging evidence. Berger even refused to be interviewed by the House Committee, the one honest enterprise in the whole investigation.
We know too that on his first visit, according to Archives staff, Berger was especially interested in White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarkes personal office files. Again, this confirms my suspicions. According to the Committee, Had Berger seen a smoking gun or other documents he did not want brought to an investigatory panels attention, he could have removed it on this visit.
The much-discussed Millennium After Action Review was hardly the gun that smoked. In fact, the DOJ saw the Millennium Review as beneficial to the Clinton administration in that it made them look engaged in the war on terrorism.
The Millennium Review made the news only because it was the first document that Berger got caught swiping, then on his third visit. The benign nature of this review led the DOJ to conclude that Berger took the documents for his personal convenience, and the media predictably played right along.
To understand what that smoking gun might have been and how it involved Clarke and Berger, let us turn to the fateful summer of 1996. At that time Col. Buzz Patterson carried the "nuclear football" for President Clinton. Given his security clearance, Patterson was entrusted with any number of high security assignments. One morning in "late-summer, Patterson was returning a daily intelligence update from the Oval Office to the National Security Council when he noticed the heading "Operation Bojinka."
As Patterson relates, "I keyed on a reference to a plot to use commercial airliners as weapons." As a pilot, he had a keen interest in the same. "I can state for a fact that this information was circulated within the U.S. intelligence community," Patterson writes, "and that in late 1996 the president was aware of it." The Presidents hand written comments on the documents verified the same.
The Philippine police had uncovered plans for aerial assaults as early as January 1995 and shared those plans with the FBI almost immediately. The man responsible for those plans was Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing and very possibly an Iraqi contract agent. His accomplice was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9-11 and allegedly Yousefs uncle.
Understandably, the 9-11 Commission was very concerned about who knew what when in regards to the use of planes as bombs. Bush National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice, was asked on her first real question: Did you ever see or hear from the FBI, from the CIA, from any other intelligence agency, any memos or discussions or anything else between the time you got into office and 9-11 that talked about using planes as bombs?
Rice said no. She was likely telling the truth. Clarke had acknowledged as much during his earlier testimony. He admitted that the "knowledge about al-Qaeda having thought of using aircraft as weapons" was relatively old, "five-years, six-years old." He asked that intelligence analysts "be forgiven for not thinking about it given the fact that they hadn't seen a lot in the five or six years intervening about it."
Before the summer Olympics of 1996, in fact, Clarke had warned security planners about the possibility of Islamic terrorists hijacking a 747 and flying it into Olympic Stadium. Two days before the start of those Olympics, on July 17, Saddams National Liberation day, with the U.S Navy on the highest state of alert since the Cuban missile crisis, TWA Flight 800 blew up inexplicably off the coast of Long Island.
The fact that the President was reviewing Bojinka plans soon after the destruction of TWA Flight 800 makes the versions of those plans with his hand written notes on them all the more critical. If found and revealed, they would, at the very least, acknowledge that the Clinton administration had a keen interest in the possible use of planes as bombs five years before September 11.
That interest obviously died, and Clarke served as chief assassin. Among other roles, it fell upon this Clinton sycophant to devise the exit strategy that transformed a seeming aeronautical assault on TWA Flight 800 into a mechanical failure. In his book Against All Enemies, he takes full credit for this bit of aviation alchemy.
Clarke was likely also responsible for getting the CIA and FBI to breach the storied wall and work together on the creation of the notorious zoom-climb animation. This animation showed a nose-less 747 rocketing vertically 3200 feet into space and confusing onlookers. The FBI used it to discredit all 270 of its eyewitnesses to an apparent missile strike.
The media swallowed the zoom-climb as uncritically as they had the mechanical failure. The New York Times did not bother to interview any of the 270 relevant eyewitnesses. Say what you will about former Timesman Jayson Blair, but he at least would have made one up.
Berger played a key role in the TWA Flight 800 sleight-of-mind as well. On the night of July 17, 1996, Berger was among the scores of staff summoned to the White House for an emergency meetinga first for a domestic airplane crash. Col. Patterson was there as well but was kept fully out of the loop. When I asked Patterson if anyone was holed up in the family quarters with the president, he could tentatively identify only one person. And that person was Sandy Berger, then just the deputy national security advisor. Bergers boss, the less reliable Tony Lake, was relegated to his own office.
A logical deduction from existing evidence is that Clarke put the planes-as-bombs talk on hold for the five or six years after the TWA Flight 800 disaster lest such talk evoke unanswered questions about that fateful crash. Bergers task, I surmise, was to make sure all references to Bojinka, planes-as-bombs, and/or TWA Flight 800 were rooted from the Archives, especially any documents with hand-written notes that led back to co-conspirators Berger, Clarke, and Clinton.
On Friday April 1, 2005, the Department of Justice announced its embarrassingly lenient plea deal with Berger. The timing was more than fortuitous. On March 31, Terri Schiavo had died. On April 2, Pope John Paul II would die. DOJ could not have chosen a day better calculated to give a casually indifferent media an excuse for ignoring a bombshell of a story.
"It remains unclear," asked the Washington Post about the Berger story line as it existed in April 2005, "why he destroyed three versions of a document, but left two other versions intact."
As I responded at the time, the answer to this question was too obvious to askhandwritten notes on a document make one version entirely more dangerous than an identical document without those notes.
The Wall Street Journal, among other media, did not take kindly to ruminations like mine above. I will flatter myself that its editors had me at least somewhere in mind when they opined on April 8, 2005, Some people won't let a bad conspiracy theory go.
The Journal continued in full hauteur, We're referring to those who loudly assert that former NSC adviser Sandy Berger was trying to protect the Clinton Administration when he illegally removed copies of sensitive documents from the National Archives in late 2003.
The Journal cited Chief of DOJs Public Integrity Section, Noel Hillman, who claimed that no original documents were destroyed, and that the contents of all five at issue still exist and were made available to the 9/11 Commission.
According to the Journal, the confusion stemmed from the mistaken idea that Berger destroyed handwritten notes by various Clinton Administration officials in the margins of these documents. This, said Hillman, was simply an "urban myth."
As we know now, the only urban myth in play was that presumed Republicans like Hillman were, as Berger claimed, trying to assassinate his character to pursue their own ends. In fact, they were covering for him. Nothing was lost to the public or the process, said Hillman of Bergers theft in April 2005. This was transparently false.
The House Committee found the DOJ to be unacceptably incurious about investigating Bergers time in the Archives, especially his first two visits. Although Hillman would publicly claim that Berger did not have an intent to hide any of contents of the documents or conceal facts from the [9/11] commission, Hillman had been told on at least four prior occasions that the opposite was true.
According to the House Report, The 9/11 Commission was specifically interested in the office files of White House terrorism advisor Richard Clarke, and never was told that Berger had access to Clarkes original office files on May 30, 2002, and July 18, 2003.
If not exactly apologizing to us humble conspiracists, the Journal has at least admitted its error. Hillman was indeed dissembling, Journal editors acknowledged last week: Mr. Berger was in a position to remove documents from Mr. Clarke's files, and thanks to lax security, breaches of protocol and undue deference on the part of Archives staff, we may never know whether Mr. Berger took documents other than the five he's admitted to removing.
The media will assuredly never know for one good reason: they refuse to look. If they do, they will discover a rats nest of conspiracy that will make Watergate seem as consequential as a Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction.
Next week--why the Bush Justice Department felt compelled to suppress this, the great untold story of our time.
>>>As Patterson relates, "I keyed on a reference to a plot to use commercial airliners as weapons." As a pilot, he had a keen interest in the same. "I can state for a fact that this information was circulated within the U.S. intelligence community," Patterson writes, "and that in late 1996 the president was aware of it." The Presidents hand written comments on the documents verified the same.<<<
9-11 is Clinton's Legacy.
As I write this Sandy Berger is having cocktails before dinner, while the innocent Scooter Libby undergoes the torture of a political show trial in federal court.
Berger should have gotten the maximum penalty on all charges for refusing to disclose what he destroyed. I'd have sent him to Gitmo.
BTW, I think Hillary ordered Berger to destroy these key 9-11 documents.
The Clintons demonstrated over and over and over again, if you get rid of the evidence, you are home free.
Sandy destroyed the evidence...not of his document theft, but of the Clintons letting Osama off the hook.
I share your sentiments, but in view of his minimal punishment, I would now prefer the Administration didn't even bring the case to court.
Think about it, Knowledge Is Power, and Berger has demonstrated to the world he is The Man.
How can anyone think of doing business in Washington without having Berger on the payroll?
Made them look engaged.
The problem is, we all know what went on, but...so what?!!!
What ever will become of article like this and so many others that have outlined the nefarious movements of this despicable little schmo?
And let us not forget that President Bush then rewarded the Justice Department architect of the cover-up with a lifetime appointment to the federal bench. It all goes to show . . . [tagline]
Cashill's theory is right on, imho. Claiming credit for the Millenium nabbing wasn't enough of a feather to risk this.
The only theory that fits, and I have said this here before, is that the Bush administration does not want this information out any more than Clinton does. I don't like to think this way, but I can't see any other reasons.
With the 2006 midterms on the horizon, the Justice Department let Berger walk. Not even the Republicans are that dumb. There has to be something that they, the Republicans, I mean, cannot let become public knowledge.
In my opinion, the Bush administration lost all credibility to conduct a stupid "war on terror" when it allowed this pr!ck to get away with a slap on the wrist for committing a Federal crime with the specific intent of covering up the incompetence and/or malfeasance of himself and his former employers in protecting the citizenry of this country.
To find out ALL of the Clinton secrets hook Bruce Lindsey up to a drip of Sodium Pentothal. Lindsey is the keeper of the closet full of skeletons.
This Republic (?) is going down the crapper by the hands of "both" parties.
I don't want any crap about the "stay at home" conservatives giving away the houses either. It's not true. The fence sitters went the other way because the pubs offered nothing to change their minds. Nothing.
(I use "crap" a lot because I don't want to get banned for using the words I really want to use)
Quite likely. Afterall, she's "part of his brain"
It pains me to admit you have a point.
Hillary was protecting the good name of Clinton, since she plans to run for ReichsFuhrer, oops I meant President.
PUH-LEEEEEEEZE!!!!!! Do NOT try to spin this thief into some kind of cult hero. He is a thief who violated laws dealing with classified documents, stealing official documents belonging to the people of the United States, thereby depriving future generations of the truthful record about Clinton and his disgraceful, treasonous, cowardly behavior.
And, all he got was a slap on the wrist for it!! The sooner he stops whining, the sooner we will all try to forget that he is a thief who committed treason and, like all of the Clintonistas, got away with it!!!
I've read all the way to post #19 before I typed this.
I don't for a second believe that President Bush is providing cover for Clinton with the intent of protecting Clinton or any of his ilk. One of the problems with respecting the "Office" of the President is that one HAS to cover for any crimes or scandals that may tarnish that "Office".
I don't agree with it for a second. Were I President I would say DAM# the predecessor, ESPECIALLY if he was a DEM. Alas, for that one reason alone I nor ANYONE like me will NEVER get support from either party to make a serious run for the Presidency. This has been going on for God only knows how many terms. I would guess since at least John Adams.
We have to elect some politicians who don't have extortion material in all those FBI files that Hillary and the DNC have photocopied.
More likely, Bergler destroyed the marginal notes documents which showed the clintoon administration worked actively to suppress data on terrorists from public knowledge, so the democrats would have smooth sailing in elections rather than have to go to war because of public outrage. Flight 800 swas not allowed to head into terrorist history, just as OKC was diverted to ONLY homegrown terrorism, with no Saddam connection. Sandy's job was to tidy up the illusion of ignorance.
Is this the same Hillman nominated for a judgeship?
Two explanations: they are either fools, or they are simply performing the job of maintaining the pretense that there is opposition to the Socialist agenda, while ensuring that no effective opposition is allowed to emerge
Yep, he is now being considered for Part II of the reward: an appointment to the Federal Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. When you are part of the criminal gang that runs the country, you have tremendous upward career mobility.
For Pete's sake, the whole thing is in a Tom Clancy book........how Iran is the bad guy, how "India" (Pakistan) goes with the winning side, how China sides against the US, how planes crash into the Capital building.......and that book was a work of "fiction" published in 1996.
Sealing the borders would help the GOP. It's in the Constitution, I hear.
"9-11 is Clinton's Legacy."
Tagline material, for sure.
Yet another theory.
Other than that, W stated in his nomination acceptance speech in 2000 that he wasn't interested in the "disagreements" of the past, which provoked a response and a question from the incomparable Mark Helprin on the pages of the WSJ, to which I posted a link a number of times, but you can probably still find it via OpinionJournal.com. Helprin's question was never answered, except indirectly through policies and inaction at the criminality of the Klintonoids, starting with the vandalism of the White House in January 2001, which W insisted never happened.
Thanks, very interesting...I hope you'll post the follow-up.
...the Bush administration does not want this information out any more than Clinton does.
I can't understand why this would be. I don't disagree with you, I just don't have some of the facts you have to come to this conclusion.
If you are a Clinton Insider, you do as they ask. As Berger did. The Park is a cold place to sleep. Jail can be deadly with the wrong meds. Planes sometimes run into mountains. Women put ice on it. If it would have been Monica in the coffee shop instead of the innocent victim of Death she would have been successfully vilified.
Last week, I wrote a letter to the president asking that Hillman's nomination be removed because of incompetence in the Berger deal.
Won't do any good but made me feel better.
Berger even refused to be interviewed by the House Committee"
Put some panties on his head. He'll sing like a canary.
Governor, in your acceptance speech you said, "I have no stake in the bitter arguments of the last few years." Is that really so? Did it merely slip by?
Interesting that the Committee didn't have the balls to subpoena him, or were prevented from doing so . . .
Noel Hillman was appointed by Bush to a federal judgeship. Now, he is apparently going to be appointed to the vacant Alito seat in NJ. Hillman is the scumbag who has also covered up Hillary Clinton's campaign finance fraud.
I think there's a lot of truth to what you've posted there. I suspect the primary reason for all this nonsense is that the United States as we know it is in a far more precarious position than people realize. This country is basically ungovernable for the most part, except in the sense that people have faith in their instutions of government. Once people lose that faith, this system will fall apart completely.
The opening paragraph is written in such a way as to aggrandize what Berger did. He may moderate it into the article, but the opening is written to make Berger a cult hero.
Thank you for your reply. I'm losing faith in this system rather rapidly, not due to what the Founding Fathers offered us, but because the status quo of carpet baggers that get reelected year after year by the masses, who seem, for the most part, just want "free" stuff.
As I watch our Constitution gets whittled away shave by shave, I fear for this republic.
Couriers are generally not supposed to read the documents they are carrying.
Author Jim Marrs