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Noted author Steve Graham has the low down on the scandal that isn't a scandal yet.

I have a reader who is involved with the government's efforts to fight terror, and he has connections who tell him the big suspicion is that Berger took things he thought would help Kerry in the Presidential campaign. Also, the grapevine says not all of the documents taken were copies. Furthermore, I am told that an FBI agent described Berger as "a total asshole" who is not as cooperative as he claims.

Also, I am told that an effort is being made--either by the press or the Kerry/Berger camp; it's not very clear--to mount a sound bite campaign to put the matter to rest. The idea is to make it look like sloppiness, because the truth is that it was deliberate. And I am told that this scandal is much more serious than we have heard so far.

...It's a very bad thing if a former NSA and a Senator conspired to violate our national security in order to win an election. Much, much worse than wiretapping DNC headquarters, where no information of any importance has ever been known to exist. In other words, much, much worse than Watergate, in terms of the danger it poses to the U.S.

Maybe this is it - the one - the Watergate for the new millennium? If so it's going to be broken by blogs, and a few smart blog savvy journalists. Who is standing in our way?
  • Carl Bernstein - old, fat, splotchy, and probably due for another trip to detox. He's the Garfunkel to Woodward's Simon. The blogosphere can whip his ass with one hand tied behind it's back.
  • Bob Woodward - old, still protecting Deep Throat (Al Haig in case you were wondering), writing books these days. He still runs the occasional series in the Washington Post, so we better act fast before he catches wind of this.
  • Ben Bradlee - Not dead, but recovering from knee surgery. He's off on the lecture circuit and should pose no threat.
Now go sniff out the story - fame and riches await you!

Update: CNN reports the following:

In a statement issued late Monday, Berger said the removal of those papers was unintentional. But law enforcement sources told CNN that some of the papers he is said to have taken from the National Archives were stuffed into his socks as well as other parts of his clothing.
Which is another source to the Fox News story Stephen Green reported last night about hiding documents in his socks. When you have to haul out spinmeister Lanny Davis, you know trouble is brewing...
Former Clinton aide Lanny Davis challenged any unnamed official who accuses Berger of stuffing documents into his socks to come forward and level that charge publicly.

"I suggest that person is lying," he said. "And if that person has the guts, let's see who it is who made the comment that Sandy Berger stuffed something into his socks."

Davis called Berger "a person of impeccable honesty and integrity."

"He spent nights and 24-hour time periods before the millennium doing, I think, a critical job in thwarting a terrorist attack between 1999 and 2000, New Year's Eve," Davis told CNN's "American Morning."

"What we're told ... [is] he took copies of those memos inadvertently in his own notes. There's absolutely no basis for suggesting there is any national security issues here or harm done here."

After reading that it's obvious - he's guilty as sin...

Previous Coverage:

Sandy Berg(l)er?

Coverage Elsewhere:

Glenn Reynolds
Virginia Postrel
Dan Drezner
Jeff Quinton


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Trousergate:

» Backcountry Conservative linked with Sandy Berger Pilfered Classified Docs?

» Slant Point linked with Watergate 2004?

» VodkaPundit linked with Big Kahuna Berger

» DeCloah Blog linked with Pantswater Scandal

» LeatherPenguin Blog linked with Trousergate Update

» Ed Driscoll.com linked with Trousergate

» Ipse Dixit linked with And That's All I Have To Say About That

» Silflay Hraka linked with Much Glee In Blogland

Comments (8)

Lanny Davis? I saw where La... (Below threshold)

Lanny Davis? I saw where Lanny Breuer is his attorney.... have they hauled out both Lannys now?

I think there needs to be s... (Below threshold)

I think there needs to be some sort of contest as to who has the cleverest title for this story. Big Kahuna Berger is up there.

Lanny Davis. You are right ... (Below threshold)

Lanny Davis. You are right on, this character's appearance is the most damning public info to date. I had seen that glowing encomium attributed to David Gergen so did not understand how far we had come. Though Gergen, of course, has a similar albatross-at-morning credential.

My title was: "Yes, Down My... (Below threshold)

My title was: "Yes, Down My Pants. Oh, Like You Haven't?"

That's the Clintonista's fo... (Below threshold)

That's the Clintonista's for you. First a sex scandal, and now a socks scandal.

Clinton had a cat named Soc... (Below threshold)

Clinton had a cat named Socks.

Just saying.

My question is: what the HE... (Below threshold)
David Gillies:

My question is: what the HELL was he thinking? Anyone who's worked under even relatively lightweight document control knows that you can't just walk away with classified documents. Even at the level of commercially sensitive engineering or finance work there are document registrars, high-security filing cabinets, restrictions on photocopying or taking documents out of the work area, and lists of people authorised to see documents. Read a standard NDA. It's scary stuff. There is not one shred of doubt that Berger knew he was violating security. He was National Security Adviser, for God's sake. As someone said elsewhere, there's mens rea here.

My question is: what the... (Below threshold)

My question is: what the HELL was he thinking?

"Oops, 'American Idol' will be starting by the time I can get home. Better tuck in my shirt and get going. Dang shirt won't stay tucked. Maybe some of this paper I've never seen before this very moment will help hold it in place."






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