Thursday, July 22, 2004

OK, so what really happened with Mr. Happy Pants?

There are lots of stories and Drudge is promising big details from the WaPo tomorrow, but the folks at FR spotted an original article in today's Baltimore Sun:
Last fall, Berger reviewed thousands of Clinton administration documents at the National Archives that were being sought by the Sept. 11 panel. Two law enforcement sources said archives officials had suspected Berger removed documents during an early visit, and made sure they secretly coded and copied records for the next time he came.
The missing documents included versions of a critique written by Richard A. Clarke, a former White House counter-terrorism chief in the Clinton and Bush administrations, on how the government responded to a 1999 plot to attack Los Angeles International Airport and Amman, Jordan, at the turn of the millennium.

A source familiar with the investigation, who refused to be identified in any way, called the missing records "a scathing critique of the last administration's handling of the millennium plot" that offered "a whole raft of recommendations on how to move forward with protecting the United States."

Accounts differed on how many documents were missing. One source said five or six early versions of the Clarke critique - ranging from 20 to 30 pages each - were missing.

Berger had previously aroused suspicions, one source said, because several reports he had looked at were missing. The staff called Bruce Lindsey, former deputy counsel to President Bill Clinton who was a Clinton liaison to the archives, to offer a chance to clear up the issue and retrieve the records, the source said. Lindsey could not be reached for comment.
Which "sort of" explains why they just didn't call the cops.
The source said the records Berger returned through Lindsey were not the same records the staff had suspected were missing, which suggested that more records were missing than the staff had realized. "That's when they started coding the documents," the source said.
That's when you call the cops. Sheesh, ole Sandy was doing a bag job on the National Archives. What a guy!