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The Senator from Sandy Berger


Intellectual Fraud

Intelligent Design

Mega Fix

Ron Brown

Popes & Bankers

TWA Flight 800






© Jack Cashill - May 23, 2010


n 1934, “Boss” Tom Pendergast handpicked a Jackson County administrative judge to be the next United States Senator from Missouri, and for the next ten years Harry Truman wore the tag, “The Senator from Pendergast.”

Truman began to find his own footing after Pendergast was shipped off to nearby Leavenworth in 1939, but until then, he pretty much carried Pendergast’s water in Washington.

Should Democrat Joe Sestak be elected the next United States Senator from Pennsylvania—he beat Arlen Specter handily on Tuesday—he might best be known as the “Senator from Sandy Berger.” Sestak owes his political career to Berger. Were there any justice in Washington, Berger would himself be in Leavenworth and for crimes far more damaging than any Pendergast ever committed.

In the way of background, according to the New York Times, Berger served as “the point man for the [Clinton] White House’s China policy.” That policy, unfortunately, had more to do with advancing Bill Clinton’s desperate quest for reelection in 1996 than it did with advancing America’s interests in the world.

During Clinton’s first term, Sandy Berger, then deputy national security advisor, had begun plotting to undermine the professionals from the National Security Council, State, and Defense who were resisting the wholesale transfer of licensing authority for satellites and other potential military technology to the Commerce Department. Once moved to Commerce, the military feared it would lose veto power over exports.

American technical advice was making Chinese threats against Taiwan and even America more than empty boasts. And yet in their relentless drive to raise money, the Clintons were fully prepared to broker that advice. In March 1996, Berger pressed on and managed to send satellite control to Commerce. Said Clinton at the time, ‘‘Industry should like the fact that they will deal with the more ‘user friendly’ Commerce system.” Industry did. So did China. And the Clinton campaign coffers swelled accordingly.

Senator Fred Thompson’s Committee report sums up their shenanigans:

The president and his aides demeaned the offices of the president and vice president, took advantage of minority groups, pulled down all the barriers that would normally be in place to keep out illegal contributions, pressured policy makers, and left themselves open to strong suspicion that they were selling not only access to high-ranking officials, but policy as well. Millions of dollars were raised in illegal contributions, much of it from foreign sources.

Clinton rewarded Berger for his trust with the job of National Security Advisor in his second term. This job did not require Senate confirmation. It is unlikely that Berger could have gotten any job that did. In 2002, according to the House report, Clinton “designated Berger as his representative to review NSC documents” in relation to the 9/11 inquiry. Berger was still Clinton’s go-to inside guy. As we now know, Berger made four trips to the National Archives. He did so presumably to refresh his memory before testifying first to the Graham-Goss Commission and then to the 9/11 Commission. Berger made his first visit in May 2002, his last in October 2003.

As we now know too, he stole and destroyed an incalculable number of documents during these four visits. “The full extent of Berger’s document removal,” reports the House Committee, “is not known and never can be known.

As proposed punishment. The Department of Justice recommended a preposterously slight $10,000 fine and a three-year loss of security clearance for Berger, which would get him back in the ball game in time for a potential Clinton resurrection in 2008. In fact, he was back in the political game by the spring of 2006.

Berger began his rehabilitation in March 2006 with a fundraiser for Sestak, a former vice admiral forced into retirement for what the U.S. Navy charitably called “poor command climate.” Before being recruited to run for Congress by the Clinton shadow government, Sestak had expressed no political ambitions and had not lived in his Pennsylvania district for 30 years.

Although hosted by Berger, the fundraiser was held at the law offices of Harold Ickes, a veteran Clinton fixer, and Janice Enright, the treasurer of Hillary Clinton’s 2006 Senate campaign. Kicking in to support Sestak was a who’s who of Clinton national security exiles. These included former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, Richard “Against All Enemies” Clarke, former national security adviser Anthony Lake, former White House chief of staff, John Podesta, and Hillary Clinton herself.

Berger was not the only Sestak supporter to have a cloud hanging over his head. Donor John Deutch, formerly director of central intelligence, had signed a criminal plea agreement in connection with his mishandling of national secrets a day before being pardoned by the outgoing President Clinton.

Another interesting contribution came in from Mary O. McCarthy, recently dismissed by the CIA reportedly for failing a polygraph on leaked classified information in regards to CIA prisons overseas. As it happened, a timely leak shortly before the 2006 election would ultimately do in Sestak’s Republican opponent in.

Before the campaign was through, Clinton insiders would enlist Stonebridge’s Director of Communications to serve as Sestak's campaign spokesperson, summon former president Clinton to rally the troops, and finally call in the federales. Their reasons for supporting Sestak were transparent even to the local media. “A Sestak victory,” observed suburban Philadelphia’s Delco Times early in the campaign, “would muzzle a Republican congressman who blames Clinton for doing irreparable harm to America’s national security during the 1990s.”

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