I was quite busy at work yesterday, and I spent most of the evening reading and writing about the Stryker report, so I didn’t look at a single blog all day, though I did look at a lot of Legacy Media outlets while searching for Stryker report coverage.
It’s funny, but I didn’t notice a single headline about the Sandy Berger ‘Pantsgate’ episode. Only today, when checking out my regular blog sites, did I realize that Berger was going to plead ‘guilty’ to stealing classified terrorism-related documents and had apparently reached a deal with prosecutors.
Not seeing anything on the front page of MSNBC I headed over to the WaPo, mostly because they had “DEAD WRONG” headlines in extra large fonts front and center almost all day long yesterday about the latest WMD report. There, near the bottom of the page in small type was the story.
The deal’s terms make clear that Berger spoke falsely last summer in public claims that in 2003 he twice inadvertently walked off with copies of a classified document during visits to the National Archives, then later lost them.
He described the episode last summer as “an honest mistake.” Yesterday, a Berger associate who declined to be identified by name but was speaking with Berger’s permission said: “He recognizes what he did was wrong. . . . It was not inadvertent.”
Under terms negotiated by Berger’s attorneys and the Justice Department, he has agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and accept a three-year suspension of his national security clearance.
Scrappleface covers the punishment: Sandy Berger Guilty, Suffers Wrist Inflammation
This guy stole documents SEVERAL TIMES, lied about it, destroyed some of the stuff he stole, lied about that, and is now pleading guilty. $10,000 and three years no clearance.
Some members of the 9/11 Commission tried to pretend that the August 6th, 2001 PDB mattered, as if it were some sort of smoking gun that Bush and Rice and everyone else knew all about the impending attacks and ignored it. When that discussion came up during Coni Rice’s hearings, it was headline news for days, even after the document was made public and it was revealed to contain no specific information that would have been helpful in preventing the 9/11 attacks. The PDB still gets mentioned from time to time to illustrate that Bush ignored warnings.
Remember, the documents Berger stole were “What did Clinton know, and when did he know it?” sort of stuff about terrorist attacks on the US. What if a Bush Administratino official did the same thing? What if a high-level Bush man stole that PDB from the archives, got caught, and then lied about it? The New York times still would have it on the front page above the fold.
I didn’t even hear about the ‘guilty’ plea or the deal until I checked out the blogs during lunch.
I’m just saying.
Meanwhile, I feel the need to point out the obvious. The deal means that Berger will GET HIS CLEARANCE BACK. Let me repeat that. The man who stole classified documents, destroyed some of them, and lied about it will be able to go back for more in 2008.
Murdoc is unimpressed. (story originally noticed on Wizbang)