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HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS:
BERGER TO PLEAD GUILTY TO MISDEMEANOR !

Eric Lichtblaue
Submitted by Don Stacey
Apr. 1, 2005

By now we clearly know that justice works one way for those in power and quite another for us little guys. This commentary comes from CapitalStool:

'Little people' get sentenced to harsh prison terms for minor offenses, but the Matrix takes care of its own insiders:

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 Simple Oversight

Can you believe it? A guy who was stealing classified material can get his security clearance BACK after three years?

But wait, that's not all:
While the plea agreement requires him to give up his secret security clearance for three years, it allows him to have it reviewed and restored within that time if the government asks him to serve on a panel or in another position with access to secret material, associates said.
So if Berger's insider friends decide to grease his palm, he can get his security clearance back anytime.

What is so bothersome about this incident, is that it involved the removal and destruction of pre-9/11 documents which may have shed light on preparations for terrorist attacks. Somebody wanted those documents 'vacuumed,' Berger (with his security clearance which granted access) 'took care of it,' then the System 'took care of him.' Corrupt to the friggin' core:

On Sept. 2, 2003, in a daylong review of documents, Mr. Berger took a copy of a lengthy White House "after-action" report that he had commissioned to assess the government's performance in responding to the so-called millennium terrorist threat before New Year's 2000, and he placed the document in his pocket, the associate said. A month later, in another Archives session, he removed four copies of other versions of the report, the associate said.

Mr. Berger's intent, the associate said, was to compare the different versions of the 2000 report side by side and trace changes.

"He was just too tired and wasn't able to focus enough, and he felt like he needed to look at the documents in his home or his office to line them up," the associate said. "He now admits that was a real mistake."

Mr. Berger admits to compounding the mistake after removing the second set of documents on Oct. 2, 2003, the associate said. In comparing the versions at his office later that day, he realized that several were essentially the same, and he cut three copies into small pieces, the associate said. He also admitted to improperly removing handwritten notes he had taken at the Archives, the associate said.
What if, just to speculate, internal air defenses were strengthened in late 1999 to accelerate response time to an air hijacking? That would be MOST embarrassing, wouldn't it? The whole official story might just fall apart.

That would be a good reason to spend several hours of your time to "cut three copies into small pieces," even knowing that destruction of govt archives can be a felony. But then, if you're covering up a bigger felony (treason), the payoff is worth it, no?

Oo-ooh, that smell ...
Clinton Aide to Admit Taking Classified Papers
By ERIC LICHTBLAU

Published: April 1, 2005

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Samuel R. Berger will lose security clearance under a plea bargain.

Samuel R. BergerWASHINGTON, 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.

The Justice Department, without discussing details, acknowledged that Mr. Berger had said he would plead guilty to a misdemeanor count for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents.

Mr. Berger, 59, was unavailable for comment Thursday. In a statement, his lawyer, Lanny Breuer, said that Mr. Berger "has cooperated fully with the Department of Justice and is pleased that a resolution appears very near."

"He accepts complete responsibility for his actions, and regrets the mistakes he made during his review of documents at the National Archives," Mr. Breuer said, adding that Mr. Berger "looks forward to putting this episode behind him very soon and continuing his career of public and private service to this country."

It is unclear what impact the case will have on Mr. Berger's future in government. While the plea agreement requires him to give up his secret security clearance for three years, it allows him to have it reviewed and restored within that time if the government asks him to serve on a panel or in another position with access to secret material, associates said. But some political analysts said the case against him, which Republican leaders seized on last year in accusing him of imperiling national security, may have made him unemployable in government in the short term. He is currently chairman of a global business strategy firm.

The charge carries a maximum sentence of a year in jail, but the plea agreement, which must be approved by a judge, does not call for jail time.

The criminal charge stems from Mr. Berger's removal of documents from the National Archives on two occasions during his review of material for the Sept. 11 commission.

On Sept. 2, 2003, in a daylong review of documents, Mr. Berger took a copy of a lengthy White House "after-action" report that he had commissioned to assess the government's performance in responding to the so-called millennium terrorist threat before New Year's 2000, and he placed the document in his pocket, the associate said. A month later, in another Archives session, he removed four copies of other versions of the report, the associate said.

Mr. Berger's intent, the associate said, was to compare the different versions of the 2000 report side by side and trace changes.

"He was just too tired and wasn't able to focus enough, and he felt like he needed to look at the documents in his home or his office to line them up," the associate said. "He now admits that was a real mistake."

Mr. Berger admits to compounding the mistake after removing the second set of documents on Oct. 2, 2003, the associate said. In comparing the versions at his office later that day, he realized that several were essentially the same, and he cut three copies into small pieces, the associate said. He also admitted to improperly removing handwritten notes he had taken at the Archives, the associate said.

Two days later, staff members at the Archives confronted Mr. Berger, and he now admits to misleading the Archives about what had happened. He indicated that the removal was inadvertent, and though he returned the two remaining copies of the report, he said nothing about the three he had destroyed, the associate said.

New York Times


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