Gone But Not Forgotten, Part 2

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