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Monday, March 12, 2007

The Berger/Libby disparity 


Michael Barone, like many conservatives, wonders at the arrestingly different treatment of Scooter Libby and Sandy Berger, a topic on which many of us have written before. Unfortunately, Barone dodged the question that has dogged me since Sandy Berger got past his rather egregious violation of national security with a slap on the wrist -- a $50,000 fine, 100 hours of community service, and a temporary (and therefore meaningless) suspension of his national security clearance, the fine having been quintupled after the judge in the case expressed his outrage. Rather than worrying about Scooter Libby, who does seem to have been at best dangerously cute with the grand jury, I want to know why George W. Bush's Justice Department cut such a sweet deal with Berger (and, no, I don't think it was mere lameness).

My rank speculation is that Sandy Berger had information which would have made his trial even more painful for the Bush administration than for, well, Berger. I have no idea what that information would have been, except perhaps more detailed evidence that some Clintonite somewhere "warned" the Bush administration about al Qaeda or the specific tactics deployed on 9/11. Or perhaps Berger's defense would have required that the administration compromise information of current tactical or intelligence value, in which case the trial of Sandy Berger would have hurt the United States. Either way, it seems to me silly to complain about Libby's treatment compared to Berger's without knowing why we let Berger off with the equivalent of after-school detention.

The next question of course is, why don't we know? This is a mystery that begs for investigation by the best reporters in the Washington press corps. That our vaunted mainstream media has failed to uncover the story of Berger's absurd sentencing reflects very poorly on their ambition, their competence, or their objectivity.


42 Comments:

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 10:27:00 AM:

Gonzales is an embarassment, as is the State Dept., FBI, CIA, and almost every federal agency you name. (Gonzales is also known for his over aggressive prosecutions of Americans defending our borders.)

What's wrong with Bush?  

By Blogger John F. Opie, at Mon Mar 12, 10:34:00 AM:

Hi -

I think rather that it is in indication of how much a gentleman President Bush is: rather than blow the Clinton story about how they didn't blow capturing bin Laden and other Democratic mythologies by prosecuting Berger like he should have, Bush decided that it just needs to be hushed up until the archives are opened way, way down the road.

That way when we discover that Clinton not only blew capturing bin Laden, but did so for truly banal reasons, which were documented on the now missing papers, most will be dead and forgotten, with the revelations of interest only to academics.

It's the only thing that makes sense to me: better to hide the truly embarassing screw up of the Clinton white house in a quid pro quo than to blow it up in their faces and face really pissed-off opposition to anything that comes to the Hill...  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 10:53:00 AM:

For a multitude of reasons too numerous to list on any blogsite our three branches of government have become dysfunctional. The Burger case, given it's paucity of knowledge by the American electorate is a scrotal torque on our judicial system. But who's watching the gatekeepers? No one.
That Sandy Burgers largest law clients prior to becoming Bill Clinton's National Security Advosor were the Communist Chinese, and that later their money flowed into Clinton's campaign reelection (illegal) I'm sure is just a coincidence. Same with the sale of top secret technology by the Clinton administration (illegal) to the Communist Chinese. Oh yes and by the way we still don't know who Clinton talked to or what he did in his illegal trip to the Soviet Union during his play days at Oxford. Was he recruited? Hell we don't know,don't have the foggiest idea. hell we didn't find out that FDR's right hand man Harry Hopkins was "Agent 19" working in league with Stalin until 1995.

But to Berger. I would hope there is some law that allows this "deal" he cut to be unpeeled so we can find out just what went on other than offenses that would put others behind bars for decades.

Was the deal cut because to expose the evidence in open court would have further compromised American security? That happens all the time. Was it not prosecuted because the missing FBI files that Hillary putatively has were used as leverage? The act was obviously premeditated so what were it's triggers?
But why go on? Will the culture in Washington change for the better? Please, that's laughable. That Burger got away with it speaks to the rot that has burrowed to the core of our system.

I did start out by saying that all three branches are dysfunctional so it is only far I point to my other examples.

Judiciary...The KELO decision

Congress.... The Socialist-Democrats doing every thing in their power to force a US loss in the ME in their best Cassius manner.

Great nations aren't defeated in battle they first rot from the inside. Go ahead and take a bite, two to one says you spit it out.  

By Blogger David M, at Mon Mar 12, 11:00:00 AM:

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 03/12/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 11:26:00 AM:

habu1: You're the first person I can recall that remembers the missing Clinton days behind the iron curtain. During cold war communists were famous for using women to 'turn' they're targets. Of course, we all KNOW that Clinton oould NOT be tempted in this way.......  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 12:42:00 PM:

David M.

Ronald Reagan was called the teflon president. Boy did the MSM miss that one. It truly belongs to Bill Clinton.
We have tapes (Jennifer Flowers) of obstuction of justice, we have a highway littered with dead people, including a former Arkansas investgator who putatively had tapes of Clinton and Roger snorting cocaine. The list is endless yet his popularity remains among the Socialist Democrats very high.
If one examines the composition of the Soc-Dems it is an amalgum of medium to hard left wing groups,plantation Democratic blacks, and monied New York and Beverly Hills types who have a very large megaphones and the dying generation that were known as yellow dog democrats. We're all seen the Red-Blue maps so we know the "feeling" of the country.

Bill Clinton was a prime candidate to be recruited by the KGB. He fit almost every catagory in the espionage tradecraft book to be used. We'll be dead by the time it ever comes out.
I know I've left out rapist. Accused type.

The point is that we now have a very firm division in this country between hard core leftist and anarchists who no matter how loosely, do in fact, align themselves with the Socialist Democrats. The SD's can count on them for rallies, counter demonstrations,shout downs and all the other fascist tactics used by their ilk.
The Baby-Boomer generation's counter cultural revolution of the 1960's never really left the ethos of that generation. The camps just kept divided and calcified their positions. The left raised little leftests and the right, well, they still displayed the flag on the 4th of July.
But Bill Clinton as a KGB agent. Who can refute it, we know so little.

About me. I worked for the CIA in the 1970's and had every clearance that the Persident of the United States had save but one. I am also a former U.S. Marine.  

By Blogger Georg Felis, at Mon Mar 12, 01:16:00 PM:

I’ll agree with John Opie, the Bush administration has a long history of *not* engaging in petty partisan screaming over national security issues when they have had disagreements with the Clinton administration. Therefore the soft treatment of Sandy Berger when they could have nailed him to the wall and sent him to Leavenworth (Which is OK with us, we don’t want him in Kansas either).

But remember that Fitzgerald was an Independent Prosecutor that was unleashed on the problem, and promptly took a sharp left turn once he left the leash. The Bush administration had little or no control over him, and as a matter of fact would avoid any contact at all in order to keep the press from going nuts. Can you imagine the story if the Bush administration had actually contacted him and requested that he go easy on Scooter? It would have been 24/7, with (more) calls for impeachment. In that regard, I also do not expect a Pardon for Scooter, unless it is in the last week of his administration, with an incoming vengeful Democrat.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 02:05:00 PM:

I think the fact that the MSM has failed to follow the story indicates that Berger did not get off easy because he had dirt on the Bush administration.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 02:06:00 PM:

Well, I guess the question to ask is what would have happened had Bush thrown the book at Sandy, particularly in light of what just happened to Libby? The media would have picked it up the "silencing truth to power" narrative, further making Sandy and Clinton a heroe and dragging the country down the hole of cover-up investigations, with potentially a few in the lower strata of the administration getting indicted for perjury for not having their story straight. You think that would be worth it in the middle of a war? Me either.  

By Blogger Mark Buehner, at Mon Mar 12, 02:06:00 PM:

Its even simpler than that- the powerful protect the powerful, regardless of party. Its a pathetic gentlemans agreement that you simply dont let 'your kind of people' take a fall no matter how bad their deeds. The Dems do exactly the same thing.  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 02:28:00 PM:

It has been said that the essence of Confucian philosophy can be summed up in one word, reciprocity.

We Occidentals express it as "do unto others, etc"

I can remember when GHW Bush finally moved his lips and raised taxes, it was done after a deal on spending cuts was reached with the Democrats. They reneged on their bargain and Bush looked the fool and it probably cost him reelection.
One thing the Democrats do not need to learn from the Koran is it's message that in negotitation to lie and deceive is blessed if it brings you gain and victory. They have that part down pat.
How many pledges have they broken so far since the election? Too many to count. Now they are trying to be Charles Dicken's Artful Dodger, by picking every possible combination to get the USA to lose in Iraq while looking patriotic in doing so. Bill Clinton as Fagin I am sure is proud.
Well, the great philosopher Schopenhauer in expressing his laws of thought said four things:
1.Everything this is,exists
2.Nothing can simultaneouly be and not be.
3.Each and every thing is or is not.
4.Of everything that is, it can be found why it is.

Perhaps Mr Opie is correct but while it violates both Oriental and Occidental morality it's truth may one day be unfolded Schopenhauer's Laws of Thought.

Until then it is another of hoi polloi's waiting for the truth.  

By Blogger yetanotherjohn, at Mon Mar 12, 02:31:00 PM:

I think if there was something truly damaging to the Bush administration such as a clear warning gone unheeded, it would have come out whatever the deal cut with Sandy.

What is more likely is either the national security cost or an honest belief that bipartisan support was going to be needed and going after Sandy endangered that.  

By Blogger cf, at Mon Mar 12, 02:52:00 PM:

Ahem--CIPA would be sufficient to handle any problems w/ classification. Libby did not play cute w/ the gj--Fitzgerald played smoke and mirrors w/ the law.

The same guys at DoJ covered for Berger and gave him a finger tap on the wrist who talked Ashcroft into recusing himself and appointing Fitz AFTER they knew it was Armitage.

One of those two had been a former Kennedy staffer, both I believe were Clinton appointtees.
DoJ sat on the story for about a year allowing Berger and his friends to leak it to the press at a time and in a manner most helpful to him. OTOH Andrea Mitchell got the leak about the CIA referral letter immediately.  

By Blogger jdwill, at Mon Mar 12, 04:07:00 PM:

"The next question of course is, why don't we know? "

I find my self thinking - Kabuki. When the play's over, they are all part of the same theatre troupe.

Pure speculation: When Sandy is burying truly embarrassing info, all hands on deck to cover, because they don't want the public to completely lose confidence in them - the elite that make up the various layers of government and media.

When a less consequential squabble occurs, throw Libby into the pit and let the noise machine (all pundit media, both wings) and crowd have something to chew on.

I don't think its a secret handshake deal exactly, but I think 'players' get vetted over time by the group. I see the same social mechanisms in the corporation.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 05:00:00 PM:

The answer to this is simple. Berger is a member of "The Party"; Scooter isn't.

Communist Party members of the Cold War era could virtually do what they pleased with no more than a wrist slap. Didn't matter if millions of rubles disappeared or thousands of lives were lost; a 'good' Party Member could do no wrong because his thinking was 'correct'. Let a non-party member appear to engage in petty graft or be standing nearby when a machining error causes 100 tank barrels to be scrapped and he'll be accused of high crimes and sent to a gulag or executed.

The only difference is the name. Just substitute Democrat for Communist and you have the situation that's developing today. As Anne Coulter recently said, "Everything's illegal, but only Republicans are prosecuted.". From Ted "Swimmer" Kennedy to William "Cold Cash" Jefferson there's no other reasonable explanation. Wellll...the democrat enablers in the media and the courts deserve some credit too.

Only thing "Party Members" had to watch out for was the purges. They could be brutal. A 'good' Party Member could become a 'bad' Party Member overnight. All manner of crimes could be attributed to a 'bad' Party Member. Haven't really seen any purges here yet, but when you do you'll know what we've got.  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 05:41:00 PM:

"It was it was five days before Christmas in Moscow (Julian calender). A time of year when Americans are busy converging on family, celebrating Chanukah, offering prayers of thanksgiving, out caroling, trimming trees, or, as Christians, preparing to rejoice in the birth of their Savior. But while most Americans were sharing gifts and worshipping before God, the future President of the United States was standing in silent tribute and awe before the mummy of Vladimir Lenin. How did this happen? In late December, 1969 Bill Cclinton crossed the Finnish border into the USSR and boarded a train for Moscow, the center of world atheism and the capital of the Soviet-Marxist state.

William Jefferson Clinton's pilgrimage to the Soviet Union was the climax of a busy fall semester as a "Rhodes Scholar" at Oxford. It should perhaps be mentioned to those impressed by such presumed status that Rhodes Scholarships are granted to individuals passing ideological muster whose sentiments during the interview process are reflective of acceptable left-wing views to the selection committees, and not because of good grades.

Once in England, Clinton lived up the expectations of his promoters and joined the British Peace Council, which was established by the British Communist Party. Quickly, Clinton helped the council organize other expatriate Americans and draft-dodgers for anti-war demonstrations on October 15, 1969 and again on November 16, 1969 in front of the U.S. Embassy in London. The British press, at that time, reported that the protestors chanted, "Ho, Ho, Ho," and "Ho-Chi Minh, Viet Cong is gonna win." (more)

Clinton the Commie?

I can tell you that any American travelling to Moscow in 1969 had a full time KGB escort usually with the cover of their Intourist Bureau.
Did Clinton meet any of the Cambridge boys? Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean et. al. The US press allowed these questions to pass just as easily as they did the reports in the early 1930's from Walter J. Duranty who dismissed Stalins murdering of 10 million Russians in the Ukrane
Bill Clinton is as dirty as they come.  

By Blogger ModNewt, at Mon Mar 12, 05:47:00 PM:

You all sound ridiculous blaming the democrats for this problem. Fitzgerald was appointed by the Bush Administration. The 1st branch of government was controlled by the Republicans. The Democrats were completely out of power!

Anyone who defends Libby condones lying to the Grand Jury and the FBI, plain and simple. It doesn't matter that if there was no underlying crime. If lying under oath became OK for all who believed the prosecutor to be chasing geese our judicial system would collapse. Complaining about the disparity in sentences is stupid on 2 fronts; First Libby hasn't been sentenced. Second Berger plead guilty... Libby was convicted. That's the nature of the system; you generally get a lighter sentence if you plead out.

Bob, Jefferson may well yet be prosecuted and plenty of Dems have been prosecuted in the past. And when you gotta reach back to Chappaquiddick for supposed unjustices... well that's just lame.

Are any of you really trying to tell us that Foley, Ney, Cunningham, or Ill Gov. Ryan got the scroogie?  

By Blogger Purple Avenger, at Mon Mar 12, 06:02:00 PM:

evidence that some Clintonite somewhere "warned" the Bush administration about al Qaeda or the specific tactics deployed on 9/11.

If such info existed, it would have been deployed for the 06' elections since there's no value in holding past Bush's term.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 06:16:00 PM:

mod Newt,

Strange that you call it lame reaching back to Chappaquiddick when your last dem candidate for pres reported for duty and told us all about how he spent Xmas in cambodia.

As to Berger, I really want to know what he had on people. That is the only thing that makes sense when someone so egregiously broke the law, a law BTW that he should have known backwards since he was the NSA to the pres. The MSM keeps saying that it was only copies but never seems to mention that copies are classified as highly as the document they are copies of and also that you only have copies of documents that highly classified if you are handing them to someone else to read and discuss. Otherwise you either just let them read and sign for having read or keep it mum. That he got away with what he did, breaking almost every law possible to break when dealing with this kind of document, and also that he knowingly stuck documents of this classification under a trailer with no guard is unbelievable. I remember when I was an employee at the Pentagon that we did a project on the computer that was classified secret, not even codeword, and because there was so much paper they had to put an armed guard on the room where it was stored. The material Berger stole was way beyond that material in classification so there surely needs to be a whole lot of answers as to why he got away with what he did. Pleading on material at this level should have no affect on his sentence at all.

Like Habu only 20 years earlier I had almost every clearance you could have because I was one of the ones who coordinated the briefing books, the eyes only messages, the raw intelligence, the diplomatic pouches and the accounting for who had what message. I know that if I had done even part of what Berger did I might just about now be getting out of Leavenworth - and I got out of the service just before Kennedy was assassinated.  

By Blogger ModNewt, at Mon Mar 12, 06:58:00 PM:

your last dem candidate for pres reported for duty and told us all about how he spent Xmas in cambodia.

ummm. You have no idea who "My" candidate was. And WTF does Kerry have to do with any of this? Did I bitch about Nixon or something?

The MSM keeps saying that it was only copies...

Please stop with the MSM nonsense. The lead prosecutor, for crying out loud, has said that they were copies. He also stated that he believes Berger was not trying to hide evidence, and was genuinely interested in preparing for his 9/11 commission testimony.

Unfortunately, all you seem to have is conspiracy theories as to why Berger shouldn't be taken at his word where Fitzgerald seemed to have enough evidence to convince a jury to convict Libby.  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 07:28:00 PM:

modnewt,

Hey dude, be proud , be loud. Don't let us guess at your political leanings, lay 'em out.
Who was your candidate? You a Dem or Rep? Conservative or liberal? San Fransisco or Midland,TX?

As far as the lead prosecutor goes IF IF he made the claims you state he made he's a liar. Internal investgation showed that some of the documents were one of a kind and once destroyed could never be replaced. I'm not buying what you're selling. That was in fact part of the tremendous damage was that since he stoled the documents no one can now say what they contained. You've been seriously mislead.
But stop for a minute and just look at the most simple reconstruct.
A former national Security Advisor to the President of the United States steals codeword and TS documents by shoving them down his pants and in his socks. Forget all else. That alone should have gotten him serious federal time.
It was premeditated.
He destroyed (he says) the documents.
There isn't enough lipstick to make that pig look like anything but a pig, and yet you are defending the man.
So tell us of your politics? Be proud, be loud...are you a socialist? Do you favor a US loss in Iraq?
Come on were all friends here, be proud. Tell us.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 07:58:00 PM:

ModNewt, the answer is very simple. Get down below the political appointees and you have 99% Demorats who are untouchable because of Civil Service rules. Even the political appointees tend to stick around; see Richard Armitage, or the outrage about Bush replacing 8 US Attorneys vs Clinton replacing them ALL.  

By Blogger Gordon Smith, at Mon Mar 12, 08:14:00 PM:

Conspiracy!

Socialists!

Communists!

Y'all keep doing what you're doing. It's truly bizarre behavior, all this conspiratorial whispering of a liberal media and socialists running cocaine through the Clinton Statehouse while Sandy Berger has THE GOODS on every one of the Commies.

LOL

More, please!  

By Blogger Gordon Smith, at Mon Mar 12, 08:14:00 PM:

This comment has been removed by the author.  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 08:40:00 PM:

ScrewHoo,

Your lack of education is showing.
I suggest you invest some time in studying the Okhranka (I'm sure you've never heard of the Okhranka) through the Russian Revolution and Americas infatuation with it. Then study the 1920'-1960's, in cluding the papers of Oleg Penkovsky and other defectors. Then move to the Venona papers released in 1995 which don't have much good to say about FDR,Elenor , or Harry Hopkins....
Then perhaps the chuckle you think you're having at people who see ghosts of Lenin in the politics of today are really seeing his"useful idiots" Perhaps start with a mirror.  

By Blogger Gordon Smith, at Mon Mar 12, 08:52:00 PM:

Cuckoobananas  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon Mar 12, 08:55:00 PM:

Habu1,
I enjoy reading your comments, but you are wasting your time if you think of having any effect on the lack of thought processes exemplified by Screwy Hoolie and ModNewt.
As far as the former NSA is concerned, don't forget that he used the space under the construction trailer as a safe for the documents he BORROWED.
Luc  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 09:01:00 PM:

Luc, Thanks for the heads up. i could tell. I'll just leave him with this and be done with it.


Most people would die sooner than think; in fact, they do.
Bertrand Russell  

By Blogger buddy larsen, at Mon Mar 12, 10:41:00 PM:

Of course Habu is on to something. The thing is, even 'fellow-traveling' is excusable as 'building bridges'. Yep, it's 'building bridges' alright. Then you need Horatios to defend them. If you don't have any Horatios, then history does that 'inevitable' thing.  

By Blogger Habu, at Mon Mar 12, 11:06:00 PM:

Exactly Buddy,
We seem however to have a paucity of Horatios and a surplus of Etruscans. But then wasn't that Horatios legacy, to defy and defend against the odds?

Good fellow that Horatio.  

By Blogger D.E. Cloutier, at Mon Mar 12, 11:36:00 PM:

Trash the personal attacks, Habu1. They are not a frequent part of the comment secton on this blog. Your self-indulgent ranting is bringing no one to the "conservative cause." I can read the same thinking at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler. Some of those guys are clever and funny. To me, you are coming across like an insufferable bore.

My anticommunist credential are fine. One of my relatives was U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer, the mentor of J. Edgar Hoover. Remember the Palmer Raids?

Me? I'm a libertarian Republican.  

By Blogger buddy larsen, at Mon Mar 12, 11:43:00 PM:

We've always had 'em when we needed 'em. That's not the problem.

Remember Horatio didn't go straight to the bridge--he went first to the council of elders, to warn them of the danger. Horatio's leaders agreed most heartily that the approaching army meant catastrophe and that hence the bridge must be held against the attackers long enough that it could be burnt.

Lucky Horatio! He didn't have to watch the elders deciding to defend the bridge before deciding not to defend the bridge.

And therefore we remember Horatio (and his city).  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Mar 13, 12:00:00 AM:

I think the fact that the MSM has failed to follow the story indicates that Berger did not get off easy because he had dirt on the Bush administration.

Yeah, because the mainstream media ignore stories that hurt the Administration and agressively cover the ones that hurt Democrats, like their vigorous coverage of William Jefferson or the Virginia ACLU head whose wife is well conected DC activist just busted for sickening hard-core child porn.

Haven't heard about him eh?  

By Blogger buddy larsen, at Tue Mar 13, 12:09:00 AM:

Not a peep. President of the Virginia ACLU (ret). Rape films, children.  

By Blogger Some Schmuck, at Tue Mar 13, 02:28:00 AM:

They'll cover the Sandy Berger story about the same time that they find Craig Livingstone.

Craig Who?

Strange that a man that was White House Chief of Security, famously ran an operation illegally gathering intelligence on domestic politcal opponents, has been allowed to disappear from the news without any attempt to find out anything about the case or what has happened with him since.

I bet he is living comfortably with an generous income provided by an FOB.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Mar 13, 03:11:00 AM:

Come on. The reason that Berger was let off the hook is because a bunch of unionized, career civil servants at the Archives and Justice Department refused to investigate this matter thoroughly and refused to tell the 9/11 commission the whole story regarding Berger's malfeasance.

This whole incident is a joke. If you are a Democrat, especially a high level Democrat, you will never get more than a slap on the wrist in Washington D.C. Even with the Whitewater investigations, the only significant convictions occurred in Arkansas, not Washington. The career lawyers at Justice were sympathetic to Clinton and helped him out in this case. This is nothing but a text book example of the shadow government taking care of its own.  

By Blogger buddy larsen, at Tue Mar 13, 09:40:00 AM:

And even the laughable sentence has not been carried out. I don't mean the $50K, I mean the agreed-to lie-detector test. Why has that not been done? Why? Why?

Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of Man?

De Shadow do.  

By Blogger ModNewt, at Tue Mar 13, 12:53:00 PM:

So tell us of your politics? Be proud, be loud...are you a socialist? Do you favor a US loss in Iraq?

"Dude", two words come to mind when I read this. Joe McCarthy.

It's typical of those with no argument that they resort to ad hominem attacks. "Dude", you've got no facts to back you up other than the venom that spews from your keyboard. You just don't like being held to account for your words. You state that you know all these facts but provide no references; You claim Berger must have something on the government, but provide no facts, just innuendo.

You represent the worst of the blogosphere.

The Wash Times is hardly a left wing rag and they state themselves that the prosecutor believes Berger took only copies. Check it out.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Mar 13, 08:09:00 PM:

Mod Newt,

You still haven't addressed the fact that whether they are copies or not copies is totally irrelevant. What Berger did is a felony - he stole (took without permission) codeword classified documents and stowed them under a trailer without guard, he then on another occasion stole more codeword classified documents and stuck them in his pants and walked out. Both these offenses are felonies. He then destroyed some of these documents. When you destroy classified codeword documents you have a special way to do that and you need signatures all along the way to agree that you did in fact destroy these documents totally so that they cannot be put back together at all. He did not do this. He just told us he took them home and cut them up. Where did he put the pieces and how finely did he cut them up. When I was in the Pentagon we used a confetti maker and then burned the confetti and after that we then riddled the ashes to ensure that the documents were totally destroyed. We also witnessed that all these things were done. Berger did that? Prove it.

The man is a criminal and should be locked up for what he did, not patted on the head and told he was a bad, bad boy.  

By Blogger buddy larsen, at Tue Mar 13, 09:22:00 PM:

Wonder if he added anything? Loose docs, not yet denoted. Wasn't he alone quite a bit (with the private cell calls)? If so he might have easily inserted something fraudulent into the historical record. Where's the lie detector test he agreed to? Make him do it--better yet, just waterboard him.  

By Blogger gossypol, at Wed Mar 14, 12:13:00 PM:

I think there are several factors which contributed to the disparity between the treatment of Berger and Libby. For one thing, Republicans and Democrats both "spin" their positions and the news, but Democrats are much more successful at the really brazen spin. For example, during the Ken Starr investigation, the impression left by stories reported in the media was that Ken Starr was just like those evil puritan ministers who burned innocent witches in Salem. But Ken Starr uncovered some actual graft and corruption, as well as highlighting some pretty brazen perjury in a civil rights case brought under a law that Clinton signed.

During the Fitzpatrick investigation, reporters gathered to watch Karl Rove clean his garage, even though Fitzpatrick had known much earlier that it was Richard Armitage who revealed that Plame had recommended her husband for the Niger trip, leading to the publication of the fact that she worked for the CIA. The media managed for years to leave the impression that there was a good chance that Karl Rove, Dick Cheney or both would be frog-marched off to prison for treason, because they endangered national security by revealing that Valerie Plame was an undercover agent. Never mind that, before Valerie Plame, newspapers thought it was wrong to put such "truth-revealers" in prison, and in fact called on one who revealed the names of REAL undercover agents to write opinion pieces from his Cuban exile. The myth that the White House set out to destroy Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame for "speaking truth to power" has been repeated so many times that people really believe it, in spite of all the documented lies by Wilson (which don't seem to register much in the news). Fitzpatrick reinforced the myth even in his closing arguments. One juror went straight to Huffington Post to express her disappointment that Karl Rove and the others were not on trial. Mark Steyn was on point.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/291111,CST-EDT-steyn11.article

Thanks to Tom Maguire and others, we also know that Fitzpatrick had personal reasons to pick on Libby, as well as Judy Miller. You don't have to go back to the Berger case to see an uneven application of legal principles. You just have to know how disparate the treatment of Fitzpatricks' various witnesses was.

Bush has not been a master communicator. His Justice Department has not had a reputation for sterling effectiveness. It's hard to see how an aggressive prosecution of Berger would have helped him politically. It would have been a distraction which would give the Democrats another opportunity for the "Starr treatment". But discrediting Bush was the main focus of the Democrats - not a distraction. Nailing Libby helps Democrats politically. And Bush's position on promoting democracy in the middle east also upset the whole way of life of the "tea with aristocrats" diplomatic and intelligence corps in Washington. This put people working for Bush at risk.

And we wonder why it's hard to get good people into politics.  

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