Friday, December 04, 2015

A Strange Eulogy

Sandy Berger, the former National Security Advisor to Bill Clinton, has passed away. He died of cancer at 70 on Wednesday, ironically the same day America was attacked again by Islamic terrorists. Ironic, because he will be remembered more for his role in terrorism than anything else he accomplished in his career.

Here's a eulogy of sorts by the Politico, which contains some rather strange comments. First, from the current president:
"From his service in President Carter's State Department to President Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy devoted himself to strengthening American leadership in an uncertain world," Obama said. "Today, his legacy can be seen in a peaceful Balkans, our strong alliance with Japan, our deeper relationships with India and China."
First, was our relationship with Japan broken before Clinton came in? Second, you'll notice there's no mention of his legacy regarding Islamic terrorism (well, mainly because to the White House, it doesn't exist).  Here's how his former bosses remembered their old co-worker:
"Nobody was more knowledgeable about policy or smarter about how to formulate it," Bill and Hillary Clinton said in a statement Wednesday. "He was great both in analyzing a situation and figuring out what to do about it. His gifts proved invaluable time and time again, in Latin America, the Balkans, Northern Ireland and the Middle East."
The "Middle East"? Hmm, what did Berger do to improve it leading up to 9/11? But he was apparently an important outside advisor to Hillary2016!
As secretary of state, Clinton consulted Berger on topics from how to handle Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to how to "gain leverage over the Pakistanis" and persuade them to go after al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, her emails show.
Wonder what he thought of the private server debacle, considering the fact he was once described as "sloppy" with regards to national security?  Or maybe that was the advice.  Anyway, he persuaded the Pakistanis to go after bin Laden? That didn't really work out too well, unless somebody just slipped something out (some believe they were involved).  But of course the Politico saved the most prolific part of Berger's legacy for last:
Berger's legacy was marred, however, when he pleaded guilty in 2005 to removing highly classified documents from the National Archives in Washington the previous year. The inspector general of the National Archives said that a staff member had witnessed the former NSA adviser wrapping the classified documents around his socks and under his pants.
And have we ever discovered exactly what he removed and/or destroyed from that esteemed repository, or why? Media at the time speculated it had to do only with the Millennium bombing plot (LAX) after-action reports he had access to, but that never made sense because it was a victory of sorts for Clinton.  Remember, he was prepping for interviews from the 9/11 Commission. 

Others were more conspiratorial, figuring it had something to do with TWA 800. Others theorized it had to do with the hunt, or lack thereof, for bin Laden before 9/11.   Remember how apoplectic Clinton got when anyone suggested he didn't go hard after weird beard? 

Or maybe it was to do with the attacks on Khartoum in 1998 following the AQ attack on the African embassies--Berger made the case Saddam Hussein was helping bin Laden cook up VX nerve gas. After a pharmaceutical plant specializing in manufacturing aspirin was bombed in response to his guidance--and no links were found-- Berger apologized. Wait, no, he never apologized or came down off that advice, at least publicly.  After the Bush invasion of Iraq it was odd the media never went back and revisited that mission, since the Clintons were basically bombing a country due to a link between Saddan and AQ.  Ok, just kidding there, it's not at all strange they wanted nothing to do with that history.  After all, they were involved.  

Actually it was all just another example of the vast right wing conspiracy.   Media Matters explained it all back in 2005, nothing to see move along wing nuts.

I always wondered about the risk/reward of stealing the docs and never completely bought the bumbler Oscar Madison meme, none of which seem supported by the linked accolades.  So, what would prompt such a risk? If it was protecting national security at large somebody else could have done it.  Makes more sense for it to have been more of a personal mission. With Hillary representing the future of the Clinton political machine at the time it made more sense as an attempt to get something very incriminating and legacy toppling out of the way before the 9/11 Commission, or politicians thereon, found it.  That he wasn't locked away by a Republican administration also begged a lot--a lot--of questions.

Unfortunately for the sake of transparency and the American public's right to know, he has taken some of that information to the grave. Based on all the good he did for the poor and hungry around the world let's hope it was one of those "you can't handle the truth" things rather than merely a secret mission from team Little Rock.   We probably stand more of a chance of seeing the Khalidi going away party video than we do ever getting closure here. 

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