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July 25, 2004
The Trojan Berger -- What Did Sandy Bring To The Archives?

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review gives a new twist to Trousergate today, reporting that Sandy Berger may have not only taken top-secret information out of the National Archives, but also may have acted as a Trojan Horse for disinformation getting in (via Instapundit):

What was Sandy Berger up to when he "inadvertently" removed versions of a classified National Archives memo that critiqued Clinton administration intelligence and security efforts regarding the millennium celebrations? We still don't know. But a bigger question is being posed by some of the well-sourced wags with whom we regularly converse. In fact, one says the thrust of the federal investigation now looking into Mr. Berger's actions should center not necessarily on what was taken from the archived files but what was placed in them [emph in original]. ...

And adding an entirely new layer of intrigue to the story is word that telephone calls made by Berger during those latter two visits may have been monitored by an "unauthorized agency."

One of the stories widely reported this week was the discovery that Sandy Berger had blocked four different efforts to capture or kill Osama bin Laden, in one case because the US did not have him under indictment. Could it be that Berger attempted to replace the memo with his handwritten objections to these operations with a new version without the notes? Or, even more possible given the authorship of the draft memos he stole, could Berger have tried to replace the stolen documents with forgeries rewritten in order to coincide with the testimony that Richard Clarke later gave the 9/11 Commission in public hearings? John Lehman blasted Clarke for the changes in his testimony between the closed sessions and the open sessions of the commission hearings in an interview this week. Coult this be related?

The phone calls are even more disturbing, as any kind of electronic communications while reviewing highly classified documents are strictly forbidden, for obvious reasons. It appears that Berger and at least one other person conspired to get information out of the National Archives and possibly to get fraudulent information into it as well. Why didn't the Archives staff confiscate the phone at the time the calls were made?

The window of innocent explanations has closed on these incidents. It's clear that Berger knowingly broke the law in a number of different ways. The House investigators and the FBI need to find out why Clinton's NSA would take such a dangerous and stupid risk, and on whose behalf.

NOTE: The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review doesn't disclose its sources for this editorial, but it does note that the information comes from sources within the investigation. Are they reliable? Maybe, maybe not; we'll find out eventually. As Sean Hackbarth notes in the comments, it's good to be skeptical, but the information about telephone calls comes from multiple sources now -- and that troubles me most, as it indicates a conspiracy to either take information out or to plant information within the National Archives.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 25, 2004 8:22 PM

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This story has legs despite that Democrats are trying to spin it by attacking the White House for the time of the leak. This informaion makes you wonder if the 9/11 Commissions report was hindered not by missing evidence, but false inclusions of evid... [Read More]

Tracked on July 25, 2004 9:56 PM

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