Thursday, July 22, 2004

DDN Editorial on TrouserGate

By Matt Hurley for the TIB Network:

Editorial from the Dayton Daily News:
The flap over Sandy Berger is an example of just how ugly the presidential election is in danger of getting.
This is no "flap" (relevant definition: A blow given with something flat; a slap.) but rather a very serious crime. This presidential race was ugly, as you call it, a long time ago. I recall it getting "ugly" prior to the Democratic primaries. In fact, it's been "ugly" since the President won Florida...even with recount after recount after recount after recount.
Mr. Berger, the national security adviser for President Bill Clinton, has messed up. At least.
IS that supposed to reassure us? Whew! At least it wasn't one of John Kerry's advisors! I hate to break it to you, the recently "informal" advisor to Mr. Kerry used to be called a "top" advisor to John Kerry. And yes, he "messed up" alright. He committed a crime. One that he has admitted to committing when he said he "knowingly" took some documents and "inadvertantly" took others.
At the request of the official commission investigating 9/11, he was poring over some classified documents. He left the National Archives with some of them. He can’t do that. They are supposed to remain in a secure area, lest they fall into the hands of the nation’s enemies. He knew that. He says he didn’t mean to take the documents.
Mr. Berger was not requested to steal documents by the 9/11 Commission. Perhaps President Clinton can shed some light on this: What did HE know and when did he know it.
Some of them still haven’t turned up.
And that would be a problem now wouldn't it...
Now the Republicans are calling for an investigation. That’s appropriate. But they’ve gone beyond that. They have gone to the point of having a cow.
You've got to ask yourself what this article would be about had Condi Rice stolen documents from the National Archive... Having a cow? You betcha!
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, once a relatively restrained voice in politics, but lately determined to show that he can sling mud with the worst, said "What information could be so embarrassing that a man with decades of experience in handling classified documents would risk being caught pilfering our nation’s most sensitive secrets (Mr. Berger) was given access to these documents to assist the 9/11 commission, not hide information from them."
I was not too impressed with Speaker Hastert prior to his leadership on this issue. He was a "relatively restrained voice" because the Democrats were able to walk all over him. Now that he's had enough, he's "slinging mud with the best of them"? I say it is about time.
From that, you would never know that no authority is accusing Mr. Berger of trying to hide any information, much less pilfering secrets. He had legal access to the secrets. And the documents in question were just copies. The 9/11 commission has them, and it is not raising a complaint with Mr. Berger.
Copies with handwritten notes on them become more than "just copies" they are seperate documents that may shed light on some things. It is true that he had legal access to the secrets; but he did not have legal authority to remove the secrets from the National archive "knowingly" or "inadvertantly."
Republican Majority Leader Tom DeLay called the Berger incident "a third-rate burglary," invoking Watergate rhetoric.
Like no Democrat has done THAT lately...
"This is not sloppy," he said. "I think it is gravely, gravely serious what he did, if he did it, and it could be a national security crisis."
And the Majority Leader would be correct on this point. We need to know what he took, who he gave information to and what he did with it.
Now the right-wing warriors in the media and elsewhere are sending out frantic messages to their troops, stating as facts allegations that Mr. Berger denies (about stuffing documents in his clothes).
The fact is, he got the classified documents out. I don't really care much whether he stuffed his socks or not. This is merely a deploy the smoke screen tactic in order to change the subject. This man committed a serious crime. Just because he has a D after his name doesn't mean a whole lot to me.
Meanwhile, Democrats are pointing out that the Berger incident actually happened last fall and an investigation was begun then. They say the Republicans raise it now to distract attention from the report of the 9/11 commission that’s out this week, and from the Democrats’ upcoming convention.
Which just goes to show that it is in fact a Democratic leak timed so that with the upcoming convention the story could be swept under the run as quickly as possible. If it were a Republican leak, they would have saved it for an "October Surprise" that you liberals keep waiting for...
This whole flap would hardly be worth pausing over — at least in the absence of some new information suggesting a bigger security problem — if not for what it says about the presidential campaign. It seems to be a harbinger.
Again, this is not a "flap" but a rather serious criminal act that is worthy of doing a LOT more than just pausing over. Ask yourself again what this editorial would be about if it had been Condi Rice who had done this. Harbinger indeed...
Really, though, it’s hard to see what the two parties get at this stage out of getting too far down and dirty. Why should they spin passing events so egregiously that nobody will be impressed except the people who are already on board with them?
Good question for the Anybody But Bush crowd, the 527s, and Moore's Disease infected Ted Rall wing of the Democratic Party that has hijacked the loyal opposition in this country.
The usual purpose of such work is to fire up the troops, to get your side so hopping mad that it gets to work. But this year that’s the last thing that’s necessary. If people start hopping any higher they will soon get above the pull of gravity and will be gone forever.
And who would be responsible for whipping people up in to such a frothy frenzy... I blame the Anybody But Bush crowd, the 527s, and Moore's Disease infected Ted Rall wing of the Democratic Party that has hijacked the loyal opposition in this country.
Given that the riling up is not necessary, the politicians have the opportunity to conserve their own dignity. Whether that means anything to them remains to be seen.
Democrats aren't interested in dignity...they are after power. Nothing else matters to them. Nothing.

Crossposted on WMD


Post a Comment

<< Home