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The Clinton-Berger Reunion

I have to thank the good people of Alfred A. Knopf for my biggest surprise chuckle in recent memory. I was walking into my local Barnes & Noble yesterday when something leaped out at me from the new non-fiction table. … Read More

By / October 9, 2007

I have to thank the good people of Alfred A. Knopf for my biggest surprise chuckle in recent memory. I was walking into my local Barnes & Noble yesterday when something leaped out at me from the new non-fiction table. It was a handsome hardcover book whose title and author combo stopped me in my tracks: Giving, by Bill Clinton. After composing myself, I spent the next hour or so coming up with additional titles in what I envisioned as a series of books pitched by some guerilla ironist working under cover in the offices of Knopf: Acting, by Keanu Reeves; Davening, by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Bending, by George W. Bush; Abstaining, by Keith Richards; Hiding, by Oprah Winfrey; Swinging, by Al Gore . . . You get the idea. Coming up with them is almost too addicting. But the list of titles wouldn’t be complete without Believing, by Hillary Clinton. For it was yesterday that I also first heard of Senator Clinton’s unofficial appointment of Sandy Berger (Disclosing) as a campaign advisor. This tawdry development is evidence of the Senator’s immunity to conviction. Berger, Bill Clinton’s national security advisor, was found guilty of stealing and destroying classified terror-related documents from the National archives. The case has never been treated with the seriousness it demands. Berger destroyed the documents specifically to keep them from the eyes of the 911/Commision – a body charged with reviewing all materials relevant to the September 11 attacks and making recommendations on the defense against such attacks in the future. The destroyed documents presumably painted the Clinton administration in an unflattering light. The most troubling aspect about the insouciance with which the Berger case was handled is that it never allowed for a proper inquest which may have told us something about Bill Clinton’s culpability or consent in the destruction of classified terror-related material. One assumes that Clinton and Berger at least spoke about what Berger was supposed to do when looking though the National Archives. I can’t imagine I’m alone in wanting to know more about the nature of such a conversation.

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