The World According to Nick
My take on Software, Technology, Politics, and anything else I feel like talking about.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

We Were All Fooled 

So Sandy Berger is a moron. The former Clinton intelligence czar (insert oxymoron pun here) got is in trouble for taking classified documents from a secured area in his pants. More on this from Instapundit and VodkaPundit. Interesting side note: This is probably the first time that a Clinton Administration official has gotten in trouble for putting something in his pants. So what is the general reaction to this bizarre turn of events? I'll try to summarize for you in no particular order of importance:

  • Sandy Berger broke the law. Period. He took documents he knew he wasn't allowed to and destroyed some of them. Whether the destruction was inadvertent or not doesn't matter. He wasn't supposed to be in a position to destroy them in the first place. Whether they posed a national security risk by being taken or not is not important. They could have had important facts used during ongoing investigations.
  • The media seems to be down playing the wrong doing here. An important question to ask in this situation is: What would happen if Condi Rice had done this? But I've discussed this type of scenario before.
  • Because documents were destroyed, there will always be a certain level of doubt over past events. Berger may say there was nothing of importance there, but since they're destroyed, we'll never know will we? The conclusion by many will be that the Clinton Administration knew more than we think, and failed in obvious and terrible ways that we don't know about. Many think that already, more will now. I have a feeling that Berger will be kicking himself for doing this, because he will now be drawing attention to things that he wanted to hide.

It's that last bullet point that I really want to talk about here. Did the Clinton Administration f*** up in regards to terrorist threats to the United States? Yes. Did the Bush Administration do the same prior to 9/11? Yeah. It's easy to see that now since we have the advantage of hindsight. We can say now that we didn't pursue the terrorists as we should have. Clinton didn't act on certain recommendations, but the Bush Administration then had access to the same recommendations and didn't do much either.

We were all fooled prior to 9/11. Those threats were abroad. We were all safe and sound here on the home front. 9/11 changed things, and people still refuse to acknowledge it. It's easy to go back to those pre-9/11 events and look at them through terror colored glasses. But here is the kicker. No matter how hard we try, we can't go back in time and undo those things. I can't even make an argument to myself that would should have. Why? Because we didn't know then what we know now, and we didn't care that we didn't know. Should we have? Yep. But that doesn't mean that we did. And that's what we're just going to have to live with.

So toss Berger in the slammer for being a moron and doing something blatantly illegal. Question Kerry for having such a moron as a top advisor. But don't think that this will change what happened in the past. Concentrate on what we can do now, on how we can affect the future already.

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Name: Nick
Home: Wauwatosa, WI, United States

I'm a Software Consultant in the Milwaukee area. Among various geeky pursuits, I'm also an amateur triathlete, and enjoy rock climbing. I also like to think I'm a political pundit.


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