Urbin Report

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Are those top secret documents in your pants...

...or is Sandy Berger a crook? The obvious answer is both are true.

A leading authority on classification policy, Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists, said Mr. Berger's behavior was reminiscent of a "dead drop," when spies leave records in a park or under a mailbox to be retrieved by a handler.

"It seems deliberate and calculated," Mr. Aftergood said. "It's impossible to maintain the pretense that this was an act of absentmindedness." . . . At that time, Mr. Berger insisted that he accidentally removed and destroyed the records. When he pleaded guilty last year, the former national security chief admitted he acted intentionally.

HT to Mr. Reynolds., who has more by way of My Way News.
The report said that when Archives employees first suspected that Berger - who had been President Clinton's national security adviser - was removing classified documents from the Archives in the fall of 2003, they failed to notify any law enforcement agency.

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.

However, Archives employees did not feel at the time there was enough information to confront someone of Berger's stature, the report said.

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.