Dog At Large!

April 7, 2005 

The Devil once made an offer to former Clinton lackey, Sandy Berger.  The Devil visited Berger's office and made him an offer. "I can arrange some things for you,” the devil said. " I’ll get you a top level security clearance; I’ll give you your 15 minutes of pathetic fame; I’ll make you the best liar in the world and I’ll let you get away with being a despicable scumbag. All I require in return is that your wife's soul, your children's souls, their children's souls and your country’s soul rot in hell for eternity." 

Berger thought for a moment and asked, "What's the catch?"  “You must become a politician,” the Devil replied.  “DEAL”! 

Samuel R. (Sandy) Berger, Clinton’s national security adviser pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of stealing classified documents from the National Archives last year and destroying some of them.  "It was a mistake, and it was wrong," Berger said after entering his guilty plea before the court.  The maximum penalty for the offense is one year in prison and a $100,000 fine. In a “DEAL” reached with prosecutors, Berger agreed to pay a $10,000 fine and give up his top-level security clearance for three years (sort of).  He will serve no prison time. 

When this crime first started to surface about a year ago, Berger claimed that it was, "an honest mistake...I inadvertently took (stuffed into his clothing) a few documents from the Archives...When I was informed (caught) by the Archives that there were documents missing (stolen), I immediately (with a gun to his head) returned everything I had except for a few documents that I apparently had accidentally discarded (intentionally cut-up)."  Berger continued his lying spree with the mea culpa, “I deeply regret the sloppiness involved, but I had no intention of withholding documents from the commission....” 

Boobish-looking political Quisling, David Gergen, asserted that, "I think it's more innocent than it looks."  Hinting at a dark Republican-based conspiracy, Gergen found “it is suspicious" that word of the investigation of Berger would emerge just as the Sept. 11 commission is about to release its report, since this investigation started months ago."  Similarly, Democrat John Kerry's presidential campaign accused the Bush White House of disclosing the existence of a criminal investigation against Berger for political advantage.  Bill Clinton commented that “We were all laughing about it."    

The Bush White House knew about Berger’s plundering of the Archives for months and said nothing...Kerry was told of the investigation only the week the story was leaked.  Within days, Berger was booted out of the Kerry campaign.  You decide. 

Let’s get real here.  This was no mistake.  Berger, a former national security advisor himself, entered the National Archives and intentionally stole classified documents.  That is, of course, unless you view the stuffing of items into your pants as “unintentional”.  Additionally, Berger intentionally destroyed three drafts of a critical top secret after-action report on the Clinton administration's response to a terrorist plot to blow up the L .A. International Airport during December 1999 (a.k.a. "the Millennium plot").  That is, of course, unless you view Berger cutting-up top secret documents with scissors as “unintentional”. 

Apparently, Berger was charged under TITLE 18, PART I, CHAPTER 93, § 1924 of the Federal Code “Whoever, being an officer, employee, contractor, or consultant of the United States, and...knowingly removes such documents or materials without authority and with the intent to retain such documents...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both.”  Of course, TITLE 18 also has a little provision that seems to better fit the crime “TITLE 18-PART I-CHAPTER 73-§ 1519... Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States...shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”   

Between 1996 and 1999, Shawn P. Aubitz, a former archivist with the National Archives pilfered the Archives for almost 400 items.  Unlike Berger who stole and destroyed classified information, Aubitz’s theft included 71 Presidential pardons signed by Presidents James Madison, James Polk, Zachary Taylor, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln, Andrew Johnson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Rutherford B. Hayes, two dozen other historical documents relating to land grants and to the slave trade and approximately 316 photographs taken by astronauts in space and on the moon. 

And...unlike Berger’s little $10,000 slap on the wrist, Aubitz was sentenced to 21 months in prison for the theft of historical documents from the archives and also ordered by U.S. District Judge Jan E. DuBois to pay $73,793 in restitution. 

When Berger’s thievery was initially uncovered, it prompted House Speaker Dennis Hastert to wonder “What could those documents have said that drove Mr. Berger to remove them without authorization from a secure reading room for classified documents?  What information could be so embarrassing that a man with decades of experience in handling classified documents would risk being caught pilfering our nation's most sensitive secrets?” 

Considering that Aubitz was jailed 21 months for stealing unclassified tchotchke from the Archives while Berger got no jail time for his theft and destruction of critical top secret documents, Hastert might also have wondered “What could those documents have said that compromised the government into letting Berger off with a slap on the wrist?” 

It has to get you wondering about justice in America when a Lynnwood Washington widow gets sentenced to 3 days in jail after her friendly dog got out of the yard.  Deborah Linnell was charged and sentenced to jail on a “Dog-at-Large” violation.  While Sandy Berger continues to enjoy the fruits of privilege, the widow Linnell will have to find someone to take care of her disabled son and, for the first time since her husband died two years ago, she will have to remove his wedding ring from her around her neck to do her jail time...because a lovable black lab jumped a fence. 

The real “Dogs-at-Large” don’t live in Lynnwood Washington...they live in Washington, D.C. and they have all made deals with the Devil.  Americans should be gnashing their teeth at Berger literally having his ticket fixed.  This is preferential justice for the few at the expense of the many.  This is an outrage.  Or is it just another cover-up?

 

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