By John E. Carey
September 10, 2006
Let’s just review for a moment the affair of one Samuel “Sandy” Berger and the National Archives.
On Thursday, July 22, 2004, Washington Post staff writers John F. Harris and Susan Schmidt, wrote “Last Oct. 2, former Clinton national security adviser Samuel R. ‘Sandy’ Berger stayed huddled over papers at the National Archives until 8 p.m. What he did not know as he labored through that long Thursday was that the same Archives employees who were solicitously retrieving documents for him were also watching their important visitor with a suspicious eye.”
The employees of the National Archives suspected that Sandy Berger was stealing classified government archives about terrorists from his tenure as President Clinton’s National Security Advisor.
They were right.
John F. Harris and Susan Schmidt wrote, “The documents that Berger has acknowledged taking -- some of which remain missing -- are different drafts of a January 2000 ‘after-action review’ of how the government responded to terrorism plots at the turn of the millennium. The document was written by White House anti-terrorism coordinator Richard A. Clarke, at Berger's direction when he was in government.”
Harris and Schmidt also reported that, “Sources have told The Washington Post, and other news organizations, that Berger was witnessed stuffing papers into his clothing.”
Transporting classified government documents without proper authorization is a serious offense. Stealing historical records from the National Archives is equally heinous.
But the real crime that Sandy Berger, and other Clinton Administration personnel, may be guilty of is this: “revisionist history.”
After September 11, 2001, everyone in Washington DC asked the same questions: How could this happen and why weren’t we forewarned?
In fact, “we” were forewarned. There were many events that should have set off alarm bells during President Clinton’s Administration.
A few of the events among these warning signs include: the first World Trade Center bombing (February 1993), the discovery of the Lincoln and Holland tunnel plots (Spring 1993), the car bombing of the U.S. military headquarters of the United States in Saudi Arabia (November 1995), the truck bombing of the U.S. military housing facility Khobar Towers (June 1996), the truck bombings at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania (August 1998), and the bombing of USS Cole (October 2000).
Less than one year later, the World Trade Center and the pentagon were hit on September 11, 2001.
This brings us to the loud and vocal protestations from Clinton Administration loyalists to the Disney/ABC production which starts to air tonight, “Path to 9/11.”
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger, Clinton Foundation head Bruce Lindsey and Clinton adviser Douglas Band all wrote in the past week to Robert Iger, CEO of ABC's parent The Walt Disney Co., to express concern over “The Path to 9/11.”
Add to that, highly partisan Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York reportedly composed a tough letter to Robert A. Iger, CEO of Walt Disney, ABC's parent company. The letter cites two scenes from the program casting doubt on the Clinton administration's legacy in fighting terrorism.
Slaughter added as co-signers of the letter three senior Democrats who would join her as committee chairmen if Democrats won control of the House. They are Rep. John Dingell of Michigan, senior member of the House; Rep. Jane Harman of California, a top party spokesman on national security; and Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, a left-wing leader.
What do they have to hide?
And what respect do they have for freedom of speech?
When Oliver Stone made his movie “J.F.K.” depicting the president’s assassination as the product of a government conspiracy, do you recall this level of protest?
So we take caution and pause when we hear these vociferous protestations from the Clinton Camp.
We don’t much like revisionist history. And we wonder what the members of the Clinton Administration want to hide from public view.