Throughout the Berger affair, we were repeatedly assured that former National Security Advisor Sanyd Berger could not have destroyed any documents that the government did not have copies of. He could not, as a result, have been part of a cover-up of Clinton’s disastrous fecklessness towards al Qaeda. It was this assurance that led many to view the episode as criminal buffoonery, rather than serious felonious conduct.
The release of the Berger Report by the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform changes that understanding, and makes the decision by the Department of Justice to give Berger the slightest of wrist taps inexplicable.
The full extent of Berger’s document removal, however, is not known, and never can be known. The Justice Department cannot be sure that berger did not remove original documents for which there were no copies or inventory. On three of Berger’s four visits to the Archives, he had access to such documents.
Berger should have been prosecuted to the full extent of the law, and certainly should not now be appearing on panels to proclaim his vision of America’s national security policy.