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Berger Fried

Socking it to Sandy, though some mend his socks. Plus much more.

7.22.04

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MAJOR DISCONNECT
Re: Eric Peters' A Black Box in Every Garage:

Don't worry, Eric. We're Americans. We'll figure out how to disconnect them, or even better -- spoof 'em (just for fun)!
-- Paul Dolittle

SANDY LAND
Re: George Neumayr's Sloppy Berger:

What's this? Sandy Berger may have swiped classified information? Joe Wilson and Richard Clarke might be liars? If John Kerry were president, he'd get to the bottom of this.

He'd appoint Janet Reno as special prosecutor!
-- Jack Hughes
Chicago, Illinois

Sloppy reporting on your part. American Spectator is obviously biased. Republican abuses are not reported.

What about the "outing" of Plame? Did you report that?

Are you reporting the Halliburton issues involving our esteemed Vice President?

How about the lies told Congress to get passage of the Medicare bill? Did you know that you can get drugs cheaper from Costco? Report that, please -- after you read Consumer Reports Magazine.

These are scandals worthy of your attention -- as you have given the Berger issue.
-- Al Malick
KQED.org
San Francisco, California

The Clinton response re Berger's breach is to "laugh"? Outrageous! The Clinton administration legacy is one of contempt for ethics, contempt for morality, contempt for accountability, contempt for truth, contempt for security, and contempt for the American people it was sworn to serve.
-- Kathleen Emmer
Latrobe, Pennsylvania

When I heard that Sandy Berger said he inadvertently took classified documents from the "security" archive but also admitted putting notes in his clothes my immediate thought was that "stuffing clothing is not inadvertent." Very few ask these obvious and really very simple questions or make simple declarative points anymore. There is just so much information going over the airwaves, and the Internet that too many people, even conservatives, have lost the logical ability to ask the simple but direct questions. The simple straightforward question seems like genius to us now. This is not only true in politics but in even the hard sciences where so much of the "agenda" seems to be to disprove that there is a God.

In George Neumayr's article "Sloppy Berger" on July 20 he does mention this contradiction by saying "inadvertently" (Berger's word for cramming notes into his clothing.)" This is the first note I have seen concerning Berger's contradiction. Nothing wrong with this statement and I was glad to see it, but even this statement is a little oblique and makes my case to a small degree. There's a place for "nuance" (Kerry) and obliquity but we could lose the simple truth in the mix and this will cause us to not even remember to use pure simple and logical statements and questions that everyone can understand. When we lose too much of the razor's edge of simple truth we eventually have no truth at all simply because we can no longer effectively communicate it in one sense or cut straight through the lies in another sense.
-- Steve Cade
Salem, Oregon

I was expecting to read somewhere in George Neumayr's article ("Sloppy Berger") about the "inadvertent" destruction of Bush's military records. Does this constitute sloppy journalism or an intentional omission? Considering Neumayr's aversion to sloppiness, I have to assume the later.
-- Cameron Kemper

Who would've thought how pivotal pants would be to the Clinton administration? Its former and impeached head caused national uproar and scandal because he couldn't keep his zipped-or on. And now its former chief security adviser causes a national uproar because he did.

Given Mr. Berger's "sloppiness" which led to his "inadvertent" socks-and-pants stuffing of classified documents and then his "accidental discarding" of some of those-which occurred, his attorney has said, on no fewer than five occasions-soon his nickname should be "Burnt" as in arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to a federal penitentiary for a long time.

No wonder the Clinton administration had such a lackadaisical attitude about national security. By the way, the lowliest private, airman and seaman in the Armed Forces knows what "classified" means and the consequences of not honoring that. Not surprisingly, the services train their members better than the Clinton administration apparently instructed its former national security adviser.

And, say, didn't John Kerry pick Berger to be an adviser on his campaign team? What does that say about the senator? Did he profit from Mr. Berger's theft of those documents? How? Who else saw these documents and when? The public should know this, as well as what Mr. Kerry knew about Mr. Berger's breach of national security and when-and why nothing was done about it, if Kerry has known about this for more than a couple of days. After all, the senator has proclaimed that he can be trusted with national security, hasn't he?

Clarke. Wilson. Gore. Clinton. Berger. The list keeps growing. What a troupe of we-think-we're-above-the-law, inept, dishonest hoodwinkers the former administration continues to be.
-- C. Kenna Amos Jr.
Princeton, West Virginia

I had the misfortune of seeing an eye-rolling Peter Jennings swap spit with Berger's attorney this morning on ABC.

Jennings was obviously incredulous of the Berger investigation and lobbed softball after softball to the attorney, giving him one opportunity after another to emphatically deny all allegations of willful wrongdoing. After the "interview" Jennings didn't even have the dignity to wipe his chin.

Can you imagine how he would've behaved if he'd "interviewed" an attorney for Condi Rice if the tables were turned?
-- Doc Watson
Beaumont, Texas

George may have left out a couple of reasons to exonerate Sloppy Joe: "He was such a nice boy. He was a good student."
-- Diamon Sforza
San Diego, California

I realize that the "Editorial business" department isn't where this matter will be dealt with, but trust you'll pass in along if appropriate.

I enjoy your website and don't like seeing your material stolen and
doubt TAS does either, so I thought you might like to know that TAS-copyrighted material is being routinely republished in full without permission at FreeRepublic.com. An article entitled "Sloppy Berger" is the most recent example.
-- Donna Gruber
Miami Shores, Florida

"THE POLITICAL MACHINE"
Re: David Weigel's Playing With Fire:

I've always wanted to create a game similar to this one, but with more reality fed into the game as variables. If it's an Internet based game, actual headlines and stories could change your campaign or your chances of winning.

It would be much slower since it would be an almost real time game currently, but maybe for the past you could buy certain stories, actual facts, or headlines to help your candidate. Or even enter in factors like Gore's keeping military votes from counting in Florida, etc.

Overall, it sounds like fun and I hope I can find the game and give it a try.
-- Greg Barnard
Franklin, Tennessee

GOING FOR BROKE
Re: Jay D. Homnick's Intrafada:

You provide an interesting idea of the coming internal struggle of the Palestinian peoples. But you elevate it to a mono-a-mono struggle between two leaders. In fact the infighting (and it's just beginning) is much more fundamental.

The wrath that is the Palestinians has been absorbed by the Israeli state for a generation. That has provided Arafat the wiggle room to remain on top. With the construction of the Wall, the emotional release is turning inward. Like the "Night of the Long Knives" of the late '30s in Germany, Arafat will if he wishes to stay on top of the Palestinian state, must eliminate Hamas. Hamas is the Brown Shirts of Palestine and they will have to go. So the struggle you see is not Israeli-Palestinian but a pending internal Palestinian-Palestinian struggle. Examples of what is in store for the Palestinians have been exhibited in history since before the Mongols swept over the steppes.

The outcome? Sharon over a period of 10 years will see an Israel free of terrorists or an Israel overrun by terrorists. No middle ground. The tipping point is who wins the Palestinian top job. If Arafat ekes out of the power struggle he will be too weak politically and physically to mount such an offensive. Should someone from the Hamas leadership do so, I am afraid the bombings will escalate. But before that happens expect to see the Palestinian body count mount in fairly high portions on both sides.
-- John McGinnis
Arlington, Texas

AGITPROFS
Re: W. James Antle III's The Young and the Right-Wing:

I'm glad that Mr. Antle made it through college unscathed politically, but that's not always the case. Both of my daughters have never heard a college professor say anything positive about President Bush or conservatives in general. As a sophomore, my older daughter after class asked her prof to tone down his political rhetoric in his lectures. The man laughed, then said any fool could see he was a fake president and a religious fanatic bent on destroying the Constitution.

The guy was an art teacher, fer crissakes. In an allegedly "conservative" public university in western Michigan.

I trust Mr. Antle attended college before 2000. After that election, it
seems, all bets are off.
-- Gene Mierzejewski

W. James Antle III replies:
Mr. Mierzejewski is correct that I attended college before the 2000 election, but my college career did stretch from the early days of Newt Gingrich's "radical" 104th Congress to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. It can hardly be said that this was a period where nonpartisan tranquillity reigned.

I have witnessed countless political tirades by educators during classroom instruction, both in high school and college. I think the art professor's behavior was obnoxious, inappropriate and not at all uncommon. But I am not sure it represents such a serious threat to conservatives; it doesn't sound like it had much impact on the political views of my correspondent's daughters. The academic left needs to be debated, but also kept in perspective.

GRANNY GEE
Re: Ethel Silverberg's letter ("Walk on the Wild Side") in Reader Mail's Spaced Out:

I got a chuckle out of the letter lambasting poor Shawn Macomber for his less-than-fawning attitude about Granny Haddock and other assorted "Progressive" New Hampshire wing-nuts. Doris Haddock's claim to fame was her walk in support of the campaign finance "reform" law that is now transparently useless. As political theater, she made a good side-bar in the "Communist Monitor" (as the Concord Monitor is known to non-progressive New Hampshirites). Her ideas were just nonsense, although I do applaud her devotion and fortitude. New Hampshire is home to many political "characters," enough to keep Mr. Macomber in subject matter for many years. They can, like Granny D, be easily dismissed as irrelevant.
-- Gene Smith
Contoocook, New Hampshire

To Ethel Silverberg: Charitably speaking, I would conclude you base your impressions on "Granny D" (affectionately known by fellow Granite Staters as "Granny Demented") on media sound bites. In real life, her "presence" at various July 4th events earlier this month revealed all the sideshow behaviors and ramblings so accurately described by Shawn Macomber. Doris Haddock, while once an active albeit deluded Democrat mouthpiece, is now nothing more than a parody of herself and a prop for a party so sunk in self-delusion and hate for America they can't see their own mockery and exploitation of their "candidate."
-- Rich Ptak

LEFT ALONE
Re: Jacob Laksin's Wrong on Iraq, Again:

Probably the best that can be said about Jacob Laksin's article, "Getting Iraq Wrong, Again," is that only somebody who is wrong as often as Laksin is could be an authority on the Times' mistakes.

On the question of solutions the left is not providing, Laksin infers that the current course of action has provided some sort of solution. It hasn't. He also infers that there is a solution out there. There may be, but there isn't always one.

Laksin is factually mistaken when he says that the Times "from the start came down against the war." The Times came out editorially in favor of the invasion.

For Laskin to argue that Bush has not misled the public is akin to arguing that Clinton was being forthright when he asked what the definition of "is" is. However you parse administration statements before the war, no honest human being can deny that the information presented was misleading.

Laksin's complaints about Saddam's attacks on his neighbors conveniently neglect the fact that U.S. companies supplied the WMDs that Saddam used, and that the administration's current coterie of neocons were working with Saddam to deliver those WMDs in Iran.

Until America realizes that the cause of terrorism is found in policies that foist U.S. troops on other countries and undermine elected leaders, the world and Americans will not be safe.

Laksin continues to trumpet the manifest destiny/colonialist argument ("obligations, both voluntary and involuntary, of the world's solitary superpower"). It constituted crimes against humanity when European countries took it to Africa and Asia, when Europeans marched it west across this country, and it constitutes the same in Iraq today.

If we spent one tenth of the money we are spending today to kill Muslims on schools and hospitals for poor Muslim communities around the world, the problem would be solved.
-- Ron Karten
Dayton, Oregon

BELGIAN AWFUL
Re: Renaat Horeman's letter (second from bottom) in Reader Mail's The Gaul of Some People and Jed Babbin's The French Perception:

You sir, can continue to live near the merde by-the-sea if you wish, I plan no further vacations in France or Belgium either for that matter. I have been to your country and the land of Gaul so it won't hurt as much to stay away. I have seen Pah-ree and Belgium and am quite comfy here on the farm! You may rail about this appalling presidency and how you sniveling bunch of crybabies disdain our warlike tendencies. Go ahead, it gives us no pleasure to see you fall over AGAIN and wait for us to rescue you. But you better start learning the Koran, in Arabic. They cut off the heads of infidels, just remember that. They will forget your protecting them from the evil Americans and destroy your precious and priceless history. Do you think the Notre Dame will long survive with the barbarians inside the gates? Do you remember just before the war that the imams destroyed the bas-relief of some oriental carvings because they dissed Allah? And I hope you guys will not have the nerve to call upon us to help you again. But knowing the crowing and braying of the old Europeans I am not hopeful.
-- Janis Johnson
Independence, Missouri

It's a shame Monsieur Horemans from Belgium can't understand that the French betrayed America, and that's why there is so much animosity from Mr. Babbin (and many, many Americans). You see, we didn't betray France. We didn't tell Dominique de Villepin that we would support him and then do the opposite at the UN the way Monsieur de Villepin did to our very diplomatic and honest Secretary of State Colin Powell. But, perhaps Monsieur Horemans isn't aware of that betrayal if he relies upon French or Belgium media.

And, blaming President Bush for any "ugliness" from Americans is a very European thing to do, and must come from the lies spewed by the European media, since Mr. Bush is probably one of the kindest, most honest, straight forward, and most sincere presidents we've had since Reagan. The way he is portrayed on your continent is just ridiculous and is stoked by the left-wing media both here and in Europe. Please, sir, we'll look for the facts on France if you'll look for the facts on our president. Communication is the way to truth.
-- Deborah Durkee
Tampa, Florida

We can easily reconcile our differences with the French. Two, maybe three divisions at most should do. I don't think amphibious forces would have to be deployed either. Airborne assault with a small show of force in the English Channel will have Parisians waving old glory with glee! Tell the troops not to be surprised if a few swastikas are hanging from the Eiffel Tower. After all, no matter how many times you've been through an invasion, they can be quite confusing during the opening hours!
-- J. Garduno
Balboa Island, California

I take great exception to Jed Babbin's comment that the French will have to start making white flags again, when everyone knows the French government always keeps an ample supply close at hand.
-- Mary McLemore
Autaugaville, Alabama

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