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The Sandy Berger Case: Beyond Cynicism

Wednesday, 06 April 2005 12:00 AM

The reasons why he stole them in the first place and why he destroyed three remain hazy. Usually, the prosecutor and the sentencing judge in a criminal case want to know the heart and mindset of a perpetrator, so that appropriate punishment can be applied for the crime committed.

If the Bush Justice Department knows why Berger did what he did, they are not saying so. Of course, Berger continues to surround himself with the usual Clintonesque rhetoric, which amounts to mouthing words of innocence and benign motivations based on pure intentions.

In fact, one could interpret Berger's artfully crafted explanations so as to develop sympathy for the man Clinton says "worked his heart out to protect our national security." Of course Clinton and his shrew of a wife were the hardest workers of all in that dysfunctional administration – and if you don't believe that, just ask them.

Berger maintains that he was tired and wanted to study the documents at home. He didn't want to raise too much of a fuss returning them, so he chopped up three as a favor to Archives staff. Gee, what a nice guy! Who could dislike this guy?

A recent editorial in the Washington Times suggests such slaps on the wrist send the wrong message and may cause citizens to become even more cynical about their government. The Times is my favorite newspaper, but I honestly believe they are behind the curve in assessing the mindset of the average citizen.

Is it a surprise to anyone that less than 50 percent of the population bothers to vote? Could it be that they have become so cynical that they have lost all interest in participation in their own government? If this was the case, would anyone be surprised?

Is there a level beyond cynicism? Some people would call this apathy.

I watched scandal after affair after screw-up after violation of law during my years in the Clinton White House. Recall that a certain Craig Livingston was able to secure nearly 1,000 FBI files on the Clintons' more important political enemies, and when special prosecutors looked at the evidence, they could find nary a violation of law. The Clintons had already misused power by trying to jail Billy Dale and his six innocent coworkers in the Travel Office, merely because "Hillary wants our people in these slots."

The Clintons did all this and more, and there were no repercussions beyond the political. It is doubtful that more than half of the population cared about Clinton's reckless behavior in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky – but they should have.

When the Bush administration decided to enter into this bargain with Sandy Berger, the only persons benefiting besides Berger himself were Bush's hostile and vicious political opponents. With Berger's ability to regain his security clearance in just three short years – an acknowledgement by the establishment that security clearances have become a joke – the way was paved for this sloppy moron to serve on, or perhaps co-chair, an important future commission related to our national security.

I believe there comes a time when it is better to fight and lose than to do business with liars and thieves. Berger should have been made to take his chances in a court of law, where the rest of us could have heard all the evidence.

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The reasons why he stole them in the first place and why he destroyed three remain hazy.Usually, the prosecutor and the sentencing judge in a criminal case want to know the heart and mindset of a perpetrator, so that appropriate punishment can be applied for the crime...
The,Sandy,Berger,Case:,Beyond,Cynicism
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2005-00-06
Wednesday, 06 April 2005 12:00 AM
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