Friday, April 01, 2005

Try doing that at Best Buy.

The New York Times does a great job glossing over the lengths Sox Berger went to steal and destroy classified documents involving national security from the national archives. He stuffed them in his jacket, pants and socks and they involved his and the Clinton's terror strategy and presumably the lack thereof.
WASHINGTON, March 31 - Samuel R. Berger, a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton, has agreed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge and give up his security clearance for three years for removing classified material from a government archive, the Justice Department and associates of Mr. Berger's said Thursday.

A respected figure in foreign policy circles for years, Mr. Berger has also agreed to pay a $10,000 fine as part of an agreement reached recently with the Justice Department after months of quiet negotiations, the associates said.

He is expected to enter his plea on Friday in United States District Court here, capping an embarrassing episode that reverberated in last year's presidential campaign.

Mr. Berger was a senior policy adviser to Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, the Democratic presidential nominee, and was often mentioned as a possible secretary of state in a Kerry presidency. But he quit the campaign abruptly in July after accusations surfaced that he had inappropriately removed classified material from a secure reading room at the National Archives.

The material involved a classified assessment of terrorist threats in 2000, which Mr. Berger was reviewing in his role as the Clinton administration's point man in providing material to the independent commission investigating the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Officials with the Archives and the Sept. 11 commission ultimately determined that despite the incident, the commission had access to all the material needed in its work.

When the issue surfaced last year, Mr. Berger insisted that he had removed the classified material inadvertently. But in the plea agreement reached with prosecutors, he is expected to admit that he intentionally removed copies of five classified documents, destroyed three and misled staff members at the National Archives when confronted about it, according to an associate of Mr. Berger's who is involved in his defense but who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plea has not been formalized in court.
Get caught stuffing critical classified documents vital to national security in your pants, get a moderate fine and probably write a book. Stuff a few DVD's in your pants and you'll be making all kinds of new friends you hope you can trust if you drop your soap.

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