July 24, 2004

Gone But Not Forgotten, Part 2

IT SEEMS THAT THE JOE WILSON MEMORIAL TRIBUTE PAGE IS NOT THE ONLY THING TO HAVE GONE MISSING FROM JOHNKERRY.COM. Talon News is reporting Kerry Anti-Terror Plan Removed From Campaign Web Site After Berger Revelation
UPDATE: This is getting confusing. It seems that there *is* a cached page of the missing items. It is located at: John Kerry Unveils Comprehensive Plan to Fight the War on Terrorism, but since it is a paged cached under the ownership of "John Kerry Sucks - The truth about John F. Kerry," I think we can safely assume it isn't an "Official" Kerry Cache.

Pointers to other caches are given here and there on Free Republic, but they don't seem to resolve.

Fair and balanced comment about this seems to be falling into the "It was a redesign and they are just conserving bandwidth." Less fair and less balanced comment votes for SATAN! IS DOING IT!

Since I know well how incompetent I can be, I'd usually go with the "mistaeks were made" camp, but this is, after all, a web farm that raises millions and you'd think they'd be on top of these things.

Here are the relevant items that seem to have been disappeared. It would be

interesting to triangulate between the items Berger stole and how they might relate to these anti-terror positions taken by the Kerry team. On one hand, their current claim is that they didn't know anything about Berger's thefts, and that no documents had been seen or used in the making of the foreign policy Berger was working with them to forumulate. Okay, but if we knew what documents Berger stole, then we could judge if anything in them was used to inform the policy positions that conveniently went missing today. Perhaps some responsible newspaper could get the FOIA working here.

Shortly after news broke that former Clinton administration National Security Advisor Samuel "Sandy" Berger was being investigated by the Justice Department for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives, the presidential campaign of Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) removed its anti-terror plan from its web site.

Republicans have suggested that the information contained in the documents was used to formulate Kerry's policy, but are limited in proving those charges because the material is still classified. The sudden disappearance of the policy from the campaign web site that coincided with Berger's dismissal supports Republicans' contention that the purloined data formed the basis of at least part of the Democratic candidate's homeland security program.

The link to the policy is now defunct, but the original page was temporarily preserved in a Google cache. The Kerry release outlining the policy is also archived on the conservative discussion board FreeRepublic.com (web site).

Key portions of the policy removed from the web site included the following three passages:

-- Increase Port Security and Accelerate Border Security. Currently, 95% of all non-North American U.S. trade moves by sea, concentrated mostly in a handful

of ports. John Kerry believes improvements in port security must be made, while recognizing that global prosperity and America's economic power depends on an efficient system. Kerry's plan would develop standards for security at ports and other loading facilities for containers and assure facilities can meet basic standards. To improve security in commerce, John Kerry believes we should accelerate the timetable for the action plans agreed to in the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Mexico "smart border" accords as well as implement security measures for cross-border bridges. Finally John Kerry will pursue modest safety standards for privately held infrastructure and will help owners find economical ways to pay for increased security.

-- Secure Nuclear Power Plants, Nuclear Weapons Facilities and Chemical Facilities. John Kerry will appoint an Energy Secretary who takes nuclear plant security seriously and ensures meticulous follow-up to any security violations. He would also order an immediate review of engagement orders and weaponry for plant guards, and ensure attack simulation drills be as realistic as possible. A Kerry Administration would ensure that security of our nuclear weapons facilities is a U.S. government responsibility -- not cede it to private contractors as the Bush Administration considered doing. A Kerry Administration will tighten security at chemical facilities across the nation that produce or store chemicals, focusing first on facilities in major urban areas where millions of Americans live within the circle of vulnerability.

-- Tighten Aviation Security and Combat Threats to Civilian Aircraft. John Kerry will close loopholes in existing regulations on cargo carried by passenger flights and increase the reliability of new screening procedures. Kerry will increase perimeter inspections of U.S. airports and work with international aviation authorities to make sure the same standards are in place at all international airports. He will work with our allies to crackdown on the sale of shoulder-fired missiles that could be used in an attack on civilian aircraft, and are sold on the black market.

Posted by Vanderleun at July 24, 2004 1:45 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Entirely possible. Writing in the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, Rep. Chris Cox noted that one of the missing documents outlined two dozen recommendations for improving national security. Were these three of them? Wouldn't surprise me, since I'm sure Kerry isn't capable of coming up with anything on his own.

Posted by: Fresh Air at July 24, 2004 1:57 PM

"Republicans have suggested that the information contained in the documents was used to formulate Kerry's policy, but are limited in proving those charges because the material is still classified."

Well, they're also limited by the fact that Kerry's membership on the Senate Foreign Relations committee means Sandy couldn't have provided him with anything he couldn't have accessed on his own.

Posted by: Ken Ormes at July 24, 2004 2:11 PM

My only quibble with this is that the Kerry website has just gone through a big re-design (so says the NY Times, and it sure looks different today than a few days ago.)

What struck mne is that about three weeks ago their news section had Kerry's speeches back through early 1993 (I picked up his abortion speech to NARAL in Jan 2003 - no nuance there!).

A few days later, 2003 was (mostly) gone. Now, all they have is speeches from about April 2004.

Well, I have long thought that Kerry had a problem with limited bandwidth, but I guess it's not just an expression anymore.

His terror plan may have been moved to his Homeland Security section, if anyone cares to compare.

Posted by: Tom Maguire at July 24, 2004 2:36 PM

Unless Kerry was banging 6 of 9, you won't see the media making any FOIA requests.

Posted by: Scott R at July 24, 2004 5:08 PM

Yes, Kerry has been on that committee, but apparently he does not stay current on their security briefings. Indeed, a week or so ago, we found that he was skipping the briefings being offered him as a Presidential candidate in order to attend a fund raiser. It is apparently much easier to have plausible deniability about your actions, or, if he wins this November, the actions of his people, if he can plausibly deny that he knew what was going on.

Iraq's WMD? Must have missed those briefings. He was shocked, shocked, that President Bush actually believed that Iraq had WMD. Apparently his speech writers wrote those speaches for him that mentioned such.

However, I think that bigger things are afoot with the Berger thing. The little information that we have gotten in the public about the material stolen by Berger seems to indicate that it somewhat implicated Clinton's administration for 9/11.

The first issue that this brings up though is who or what was being protected by the thefts. He should have known that it was a fairly high risk operation - though maybe he didn't, given the sheer magnitude of the classified information that he dealt with as NSA. He could have been protecting himself. But that makes little sense, given the risk. More likely, IMHO, was Clinton and his legacy. That is something that he might be willing to fall on his sword for. Also, Clinton controls enough resources that Berger will be remembered for this, well.

Secondly, if he still is carrying water for Clinton, doesn't it look a bit weak for Kerry to be using him for national security advise? Apparently, all the Clintonites know of Berger's problems here, but not Kerry or his campaign. Kerry could be lying about this (not the first time), but I find that unlikely, as it hurts his campaign. Notice how quickly Berger was dumped when this came out? More likely, Kerry wasn't in the loop, and Clinton was. Obvious to me where Berger's loyalties are. But why hire him in the first place? My guess is that the Democratic bench is not that deep.

Posted by: Bruce Hayden at July 24, 2004 5:26 PM

Gotta call bullshit on that Ken.

I've worked on the Hill and in a federal agency, answering information requests from the Hill.

Saying Kerry or any other Member has access to Executive Branch information is like saying that because you can read, you have access to every work ever written. It's sort of true - provided you know what you are looking for, the librarians are willing to let you borrow it, you have the time to read it, and so forth.

The Executive Branch frequently withholds material - especially deliberative material - that it considers to be privileged.

Moreover, with respect to classified information, the same compartmentalization that applies to Executive Branch personnel applies to Members of Congress. Certain committees and subcomittees will get the full story with all details, and they in turn report back with less classified summary reports.

Finally, the biggest problem is like that librarian problem. You have to know what to ask for, and frankly, the Hill doesn't ask very informed questions sometimes. That's what you get when half your staffers are 25 year-olds like Wonkette. As a result, the depth of knowledge isn't terribly deep, especially on the House side, and the questions asked often don't get the whole story, unless somebody in the Executive Branch is feeling generous.

And finally, as to special access programs materials, just because Kerry "could" have accessed it, doesn't mean he had legitimate access. The requirements of special briefings, material handling rules and "reading on" to the programs - signing on to a list of everybody with access - still apply.

Posted by: Al Maviva at July 24, 2004 5:55 PM

Al Maviva, I concur yr analysis.

So much of what passes for thought these days is regurgitation, rote meme-recall and gossip.

To ask valuable, potent or radical questions, one must have done some SERIOUS homework, paying attention along the way.

Sounds too much like 'work' for most left-leaning liberals.
Sign me: 98C/98G3L46

Posted by: Sharps Shooter at July 25, 2004 6:14 AM