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July 23, 2004
Height Of Hypocrisy

The press continues to focus on the least egregious leak in the entire Trousergate scandal surrounding Sandy Berger, as the Democrats play a little sleight of hand in pushing the focus onto the White House instead of Sandy Berger:

A senior administration official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that some National Security Council officials knew Berger -- who has resigned from his position as informal adviser to Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kerry -- was suspected of mishandling National Archives documents that were being sought by the commission. ...

Former Clinton press secretary Joe Lockhart, who is serving as a spokesman for Berger during the controversy, said the expanding circle of officials who the White House acknowledges knew of the criminal investigation heightens his suspicion about the timing of the disclosure that Berger is under investigation. "This is the third day in a row that the story has changed," Lockhart said. "Did the political operation know? Did [adviser] Karl Rove know? I think it's time for them to come clean, say what they knew, when they knew it, and what role if anything they had in leaking it."

So again, the Democrats prove themselves completely unserious by defending what Berger did -- committing serious and deliberate security breaches, even by his own description -- as harmless, even though top-secret data is now missing and unaccounted for, and possibly out in the open. On the other hand, hacks like Lockhart keep jumping up and down screaming about someone leaking the fact that Berger had been under investigation for months for violating security at the National Archives, as if that were supposed to be more important than the top-secret codeword information he stole.

And what's today's revelation? That the National Security Council knew about the investigation? Well, color me shocked! The National Security Council has to be kept informed of major security breaches, if for no other reason than to make a proper assessment of the damage done to National Security. And believe me, when specially compartmented information (SCI -- "codeword") data gets into the open, that is a major security breach.

So the people who needed to know, knew. What a revelation. Here's a much better question -- why did Bruce Lindsey know? What government position did Lindsey fill in 2003 that got him placed at the top of the notification list when Berger stole the files? Why did Bill Clinton know, for months? Who told him? If Berger told Bill Clinton, why didn't Berger tell John Kerry?

Something smells, all right, but the stink isn't coming from Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 23, 2004 5:27 AM

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