Sandy Berger (search) said he made "an honest mistake" but Republicans aren't completely buying that explanation.
The national security adviser under former President Bill Clinton's (search) said he regrets the way he handled classified terrorism documents pertaining to the Sept. 11 (search) commission. Berger told reporters he was not guilty of criminal wrongdoing.
But the GOP says the whole snafu raises questions about whether Berger tried to hide embarrassing materials, since he was reportedly seen stuffing documents down his pants, shirt and in his socks.
Berger's bungle: criminal or clumsy?
A sample of your responses:
Of all people who would attribute a breach of security to "sloppiness" this one is incredible. Berger of all people should be meticulous in handling of classified information. Also how does he explain placing documents under his clothing? Is that the preferred way to keep classified documents secret? I think the Democrats have been caught "with their pants down".
New Port Richey, FL
It’s a sad day in this country when this stuff happens particularly when it involves security. People shouldn’t be too surprised. After all, this man was part of the Clinton team. This has been and always will be a disgrace.
If Mr. Berger was this "clumsy" at the archives, how clumsy was he while in office? And, how "clumsy" was the rest of the Clinton administration?
Junction City, KS
Is hiding items you do not own in your pants illegal? Strange question to ask after the Sears video! If it is not illegal then I will see how many tennis bracelets will fit in my pants next time I am at Neiman’s.
Accident? It would be one thing if the documents stuck to his shoe. Stuffing them into his pants doesn't sound very accidental.
Lake Charles LA
He may be sloppy but that's no excuse for a man in his position. Worse yet, the documents have disappeared. I'm happy that security caught him and I hope he gets prosecuted.
These folks always take stuff home illegally. There were those scientists, some senior CIA person, remember them all? Its real inconvenient not to be able to do some work at home after dinner, so they just cheat on the rules, then get caught. Should probably send them all with Martha for a few months, they could play bridge.
New York, NY
This is down right criminal. Anyone who works with classified document knows there is a chain of custody that is suppose to go along with any carry away of the document. Berger should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and his clearance should be revoked for life.
Many are saying how stupid Sandy Berger was for taking documents from the National Archives. I think that is a wrong assumption. I believe that he has the Clinton mentality that we the public are stupid. I believe that Sandy Berger thinks if he comes out and says that it was an "error in judgment" or he didn’t understand the rules, everyone would pat him on the back and tell him all will be fine. Another example of high-ranking Dems who think they are God.
As a retired Department of Defense civilian employee who used classified documents in the performance of my assigned duties, I can assure you that I, or any of my associates who might have "inadvertently" walked out of the door of a document holding area with top secret materials stuffed in my trousers, would have been summarily dismissed, charged as a minimum with compromising national security, and would have lived a major portion of my subsequent life in a federal prison. It is the law. It is serious.
Much to do about nothing. Many are culpable here. In order for Berger to walk out of archives with secrets, clerks and supervisors are at fault, more especially if the removal was so obvious. To have gone this long and nothing done about it? Fishy. What we need is an investigation of the keeper of the archives.
Little Hocking, OH
Could someone ask why no one at the National Archives stopped Mr. Berger and arrested him as he left the premises with the documents? You reported yesterday that they marked documents and still let him walk out without being stopped.
Can people rise to the highest levels of business, e.g. Ken Lay, and government and have such haphazard work habits? Ken Lay claims he didn’t know what was going on at Enron; Sandy Berger accidentally took home documents?
Madison Heights, MI
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