Just how low will the girlie men go to win in November? As low as they — and their U.N. parallel universe — need to. The proofs of that were coming at us thick and fast in the week before the Dem national convention. First we had Kofi Annan’s latest attempt to influence the election. His Excellency the Secretary General delivered himself of the opinion that — contrary to what W says — the world isn’t safer now than it was a few years ago. But at least America is, as even the 9/11 Commission couldn’t avoid saying only days later.
(Just for fun, contrast Kofi’s comments and Dubya’s non-response with the near hysteria last month from old Jacques Whathisname at Dubya’s mere suggestion that the EU finally let Turkey join. Jacques responded, “He not only went too far but he has gone into a domain which is not his own…He has nothing to say on this subject. It is as if I were to tell the United States how it should conduct its relations with Mexico.”)
Though the Dems’ U.N. cohort took us low, it required the expertise of the Clintonoids to take us lower still. Lil’ Billy and his boys were yukking it up when they heard ol’ Sandy Bergler was under investigation for taking classified information out of the National Archives.
And not just any old classified stuff: “code word”-level classified documents. As in Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information, above which there ain’t no higher level of classification. Just how highly classified is “code word”? Code words cover “black” programs ranging from covert operations to weapons systems to assessments of our defenses against terrorism. For example, do you know what “Have Blue” was?
“Have Blue” was the code word name assigned to what we now know is the F-117A Stealth fighter-bomber. Because it was a code word program, only a few people in the Air Force, CIA, the White House and Congress even knew it existed, though it involved an enormous research and engineering effort, expending many millions of dollars. It was one of the greatest technological leaps of our age, and it remained classified at the highest levels for years.
What former National Security Advisor Berger took, according to his own admission, were code word-classified drafts of an “after action” report drafted in 2000 on the Millennium bomb plot, a terrorist plan that included an attack on Los Angeles airport which was stopped only because a lady border guard had her brain engaged, and got lucky searching a car. Berger — supposedly looking over documents to be sent to the 9/11 Commission — took several drafts of this report home “inadvertently” on more than one occasion. He also took notes he made about the documents, which — automatically and by law — would have been classified at the same level as the documents from which they were made. He did this without telling the Archives staff who caught him at it and called in the Feebies. Berger now says he “lost” some of the documents.
What Berger did is a serious felony, for which people spend decades in Club Fed. I have had security clearances at the code word level. Yes, it’s possible to become relaxed about the presence of such documents and the aspects of them that are recorded by your mind. But the enormity of the responsibility that comes with such knowledge is not something any sane person can forget.
It’s just not possible for Berger to have taken the documents or notes accidentally, and without knowing he was breaking the law. Keeping them in his home is a separate violation, and losing (or destroying them) would be a third. Now, the Dems are whining that the investigation — which began months ago, regarding events that took place in 2003 — was leaked now for some political motive. Yes, that’s their response. Not one word of criticism for this major breach of security, about which they still don’t give a damn. If Republicans had timed the leak they would have ensured it came to light during the Dem convention, when Berger — a key adviser to Kerry, not an “informal” adviser in the Kerry camp’s post-facto spin — would have been displayed as part of Kerry’s team. It’s perfectly disgusting to watch the Dems’ performance, preemptively pooh-poohing the idea that Berger did anything wrong. Just why did Berger take the drafts of the Millennium bomb plot after action report? Was it to cover Clinton’s tracks or to help Kerry’s campaign or both?
In his testimony to the 9/11 Commission, Attorney General John Ashcroft said, “The NSC’s Millennium After-Action Review declares that the United States barely missed major terrorist attacks in 1999 — with luck playing a major role.” The after action report warned the Clinton administration “of a substantial al-Qaeda network and affiliated foreign terrorist presence within the U.S., capable of supporting additional terrorist attacks here,” Ashcroft said. “Furthermore, fully seventeen months before the September 11 attacks, the review recommends disrupting the al-Qaeda network and terrorist presence here using immigration violations, minor criminal infractions, and tougher visa and border controls,” he explained.
According to an intelligence community source, it really may not matter that Berger took what may have been unique drafts of the after-action report because the final report is enough to forever damn the Clinton administration for its failures to act. The report apparently details a number of recommended actions — much more than Ashcroft testified to — that should have been taken to reduce America’s vulnerability to terrorist attack. The Clinton administration ignored the recommendations, leaving holes in our nation’s security that made us much more vulnerable to terrorist attack than we should have been.
Though it would be better if it were, the matter isn’t likely to be cleared up by simply declassifying the report, and letting us know precisely what the Clinton administration could have done — and didn’t — to protect us. My source said that the recommendations are still classified at the code-word level. Maybe some of them can be declassified, but it’s very likely that none will be.
If we can, let’s get it out in the open once and for all. The facts are what they are, and we’re all stuck with them. Even the Slick One himself; and his little lady. Meanwhile, Sandy Berger’s security clearance must be suspended immediately and all classified materials in his possession recovered from him while the investigation proceeds. There is — by Berger’s admission — an enormous breach of security. For this, regardless of his motivation, he should be punished to the full extent of the law and never again trusted with our nation’s secrets.
TAS Contributing Editor Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the U.N. and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery Publishing).
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