Berger had access to Archives documents that could be critical to understanding what information the Clinton Administration had, what options it considered, and what decisions it took on these sensitive subjects. In addition to primary documents, Berger had access to copies, and the only plausible reason for taking five copies of a single memo is that some had original notes on them from key officials, maybe from Berger or President Clinton.
For Berger to risk jail and disgrace, to then give up the right to practice his profession merely in order to avoid having to answer questions, he must be hiding something important. And if it is that important to him, it is also important to us.
The most likely explanation is that the material Berger destroyed points to a terrible mistake by Berger himself, by President Clinton, or by both. In dealing with al-Qaeda, did they overlook a critical piece of information or miss a chance to stop 9/11? Did the Administration's failure to take a more aggressive posture encourage al-Qaeda's later attacks?
When Fox News' Chris Wallace raised the possibility that Clinton's Administration might have done something more to prevent 9/11, Bill Clinton went into an inexplicable rage on national television. Wallace touched a nerve. So did the DC Bar.
Knowing what information Berger destroyed also might alter views of the current Bush Administration. Was the early support from both Bill and Hillary Clinton for going to war against Saddam based on something we don't know yet that was available to insiders in the Clinton Administration? Was it something that could come back to haunt Hillary and ruin her chances of winning Bill's third term?
Monday, June 04, 2007
Ronald A. Cass: