Here are the choice bits from an MSNBC article. (hat tip: CSWYGU)
Berger, who served under former President Bill Clinton, is under investigation by the Justice Department after highly classified documents disappeared while he was reviewing what should be turned over to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks....some drafts of a sensitive after-action report on the Clinton administration’s handling of al-Qaida terror threats during the December 1999 millennium celebration are still missing, officials and lawyers said.
Berger had this to say:
“I made an honest mistake."
Well, he's half right...
Lanny Breuer, Berger’s attorney, said Tuesday his client was leaving the Kerry campaign, for which he has been an informal adviser, because he “does not want any issue surrounding the 9/11 commission to be used for partisan purposes.”
Hahahahahahahahaha! Woo-hoo! *sniff* Ah...that's the best one. For the comically impaired, this is funny because...well, because saying you don't want the 9/11 commission to be used for partisan purposes at this point in time is a lot like turning to the person sharing that awkward afterglow of the steamed-up, cramped back seat of your dad's station wagon and asking if you can break up because you'd like to get your virginity back.
In a statement issued by his campaign, Kerry said: “Sandy Berger is my friend, and he has tirelessly served this nation with honor and distinction. I respect his decision to step aside as an adviser to the campaign until this matter is resolved objectively and fairly.”
Translation: "Oh Dear God, somebody get his stink off of me!"
Clinton came to the defense of his former aide Tuesday, saying, "The innocent explanation is the most likely one, particularly given the facts involved
Well...that all depends on what your definition of the word "is" is.
Berger and Breuer said Monday night that Berger knowingly removed the handwritten notes by placing them in his jacket and pants and that he also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio.
Inadvertently took classified documents in a leather portfolio while putting his handwritten notes in his jacket and pants? Just how big are those pants?????
Berger said he returned some classified documents that he found in his office and all of the handwritten notes he had taken from the secure room but could not find two or three copies of the highly classified millennium terror report.
See, this is funny because...oh, just read it again. You'll get it. It's like some crazy episode of The Brady Bunch.
"Hey, Pete! I accidentally switched the portfolio holding dad's highly classified millennium terror report with the one holding the flyers for this week's pep rally! Get the rest of the kids together and check the school and the malt shop."
"Groovy idea, Greg! What are you going to do?"
"I'm gonna go check in Tiger's doghouse."
(NOTE: this article mentions a 'secure room'. It's my understanding that in secure rooms, even removing handwritten notes is forbidden, although I don't know if that applies in every case. But I did once speak to someone who was on one of the House Select Committees and during that conversation, he described the 'secure room'--all notepads pages were numbered and all pages were accounted for at the end of the day. Nothing left the room.)
“When I was informed by the Archives that there were documents missing, I immediately returned everything I had except for a few documents that I apparently had accidentally discarded,” he said.
Because we all know how unsightly those leather portfolios can be when left lying around the house.
There are laws strictly governing the handling of classified information, including prohibiting unauthorized removal or release of such information.
Yes, I believe these are known as the "no fucking shit, Dick Tracy" laws.
Gergen said he thought that “it is suspicious” that word of the investigation of Berger would emerge just as the Sept. 11 commission was about to release its report, because “this investigation started months ago.”
This is the very definition of chutzpah. Seriously, I haven't seen balls this big since that Discovery Channel special on elephantiasis. "How dare those terrible Republicans point out possible criminal conduct by one of John Kerry's advisers at such an inopportune time?!"
Ultimately, what really makes this whole thing so funny is that for the last several months the country has been bombarded with chants of "Bush lied!" regarding the Iraq-Niger uranium intel referenced in the SOTU speech. Now it appears that that intel may be legitimate and that Joe Wilson, who was at the head of the torch-bearing mob and has ties to John Kerry's campaign, is the one who lied. Then we were hit with insinuations and accusations about the "memo of the sixth." Now another fellow with ties to Senator Kerry seems to have licked that problem--just put the darn things in your pants until they can be "accidentally" disposed of.
Is anybody even remotely buying this? And does it matter at this point? At best, Berger is grossly incompetent. At worst, he's a liar, a criminal, and possibly even treasonous. (Now before you jump all over my ass for "treasonous", let me say: it's "at worst", they're national security documents, and they're missing.)