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Saturday, July 31, 2004

Sandy Berger Did It Before

July 31, 2004
This is the second time now that we have a documented case of Berger mishandling classified information,” said Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), recalling a 1999 incident that led him to take to the floor of the House to criticize “the outrageous and curious behavior of our so-called national security adviser.”

As a member of the Cox Committee charged with investigating the transfer of high-tech secrets to China during the Clinton administration, in January 1999 Rep. Weldon sent an advance copy of the committee’s report to Mr. Berger for his review. After seven months of closed-door, bipartisan hearings with no leaks to the press, the committee of five Republicans and four Democrats had unanimously recommended some three dozen steps that should be taken to protect America’s national security.

Within days, however, “Sandy Berger issued a statement to selected members of the media putting the White House spin on what was still a classified document,” congressman Weldon recalled. “He did that without asking any member of the committee. Before the CIA director could even read our report, Berger was already spinning. That sets the pattern for what may have occurred” in the Archives case, Rep. Weldon believes.

Though he planned to remain silent on the current controversy until more facts came to light, a reminder of Mr. Berger’s record was enough to change Rep. Weldon’s mind. “I remember this vividly now,” he told WORLD in his first interview on the subject. “I went through it in a detailed way on the floor of the House. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that Berger pre-released classified information to benefit the White House.” ...
FR Reprint.


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