Three buried stories, following up on story #1
From the Wall Street Journal, All the President’s Memos: Let’s all see what Sandy Berger was trying to hide,
the precision with which the former National Security Adviser zeroed in on one specific document in the National Archives suggests focus, not absentmindedness.
. . . At the least, releasing the Clarke after-action report now would provide better context for weighing such ongoing political accusations as the charge that the Bush Administration’s concern about Iraq was simply a fantasy of a “neoconservative” cabal.
Toward that end we can’t help but note page 134 of the Commission report, which documents a proposal early in 1999 to send a U-2 mission over Afghanistan to gather intelligence on where bin Laden was hiding out. Mr. Clarke objected on the grounds that Pakistani intelligence would tip bin Laden off that the U.S. was planning a bombing mission. “Armed with this knowledge,” the Commission quotes Mr. Clarke as saying, “old wily Usama will likely boogie to Baghdad.” Is that the same secular Baghdad that we are told would never cooperate with Islamist al Qaeda?
The entire justification for the highly contentious exercise known as the 9/11 Commission has been to provide Americans with a full accounting of that terrible day, let the chips fall where they may. Now we learn that Mr. Berger wanted to keep some of those chips hidden. Whatever Mr. Berger’s legal liabilities, the largest interest here is less what he did than why a sophisticated ex-National Security Adviser would do it. And for that we need to see what he was hiding
And please, no “sloppy” excuses.