No there there

By Geraldine Sealey
Published July 21, 2004 7:26PM (EDT)

The bottom line on the Sandy Berger story -- or in Bill Clinton's words, "non-story" -- is that the 9/11 commission says his actions did not hinder its work or prevent the commissioners from reviewing and processing vital information.

From USA Today: "There is no indication that Berger's action affected the 9/11 commission's work; a spokesman for the panel said Tuesday that the classified papers  some of which are still missing  were copies of original documents." (Emphasis added.)

Yes, removing classified documents from the National Archives is wrong  illegal even. But the consequences here don't support the conspiracy theories being bandied about  that Berger tried to cover-up flaws in the Clinton administration's handling of terrorism or was stealing documents for the Kerry campaign. Leave it to John McCain to distinguish himself again as a voice of reason: "McCain called Berger 'a fine and honorable man who we should presume innocent until proven guilty.'"


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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