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January 13, 2007

The Twice-Purloined Letter: Report Makes Clear Sandy Berger Was Attempting To Destroy Documents, Not "Borrow" Them For His Convenience

Bam!

One incident is particularly suggestive. By his fourth and final visit to review documents and prepare for testimony before the 9/11 Commission, the Archives staff had grown suspicious of how Mr. Berger was handling the documents, so they numbered each one he was given in pencil on the back of the document. When one of them--No. 217--was apparently removed from the files by Mr. Berger, the staff reprinted a copy and replaced it for his review. According to the report, Mr. Berger then proceeded to slip the second copy "under his portfolio also." In other words, he stole the same document twice.

This gives the lie to Mr. Berger's story that he was taking the documents for his own convenience, to assist with his preparation for testimony to the commission. If that were the whole story, one copy of document 217 would surely have been sufficient. That document was an email pertaining to a draft of the Millennium After-Action Report on the attempted bombing of Los Angeles International Airport. The episode suggests that Mr. Berger had some other motive for removing No. 217, even if he was ultimately unsuccessful in doing so. But neither his April 2005 plea agreement, nor the Congressional report, nor the report of the Archives' Inspector General shed any light on what that motive might have been.

And there's a bit more. But of course I've stolen the bestest part.


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posted by Ace at 06:35 PM

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