What does the world cost? Oh well, then we'll just take a small coke.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Take it easy on Sandy!

Sandy Berger has taken some serious flak in the political community of late. While I am sure no one who counts him or herself among the faithful FCN few would ever deign to deride the great achievements of this noble public servant, some hebetudinous commentators have taken it upon themselves to poke fun at or otherwise tear down this great American.

In case you were born yesterday, which given the fact that most kids these days can type before they are potty trained is a possibility, Sandy Berger became famous as the 19th National Security Advisor under President Clinton; he did what Condi Rice now does, minus the estrogen.

In his position as NSA, Berger was widely criticized for looking the other way as Chinese espionage agents pilfered some of our nuclear weapons technology. While there is little doubt that Berger didn't do enough to secure the technology, the widespread dissemination of the latest scientific findings should be regarded as a good thing, especially if it gets into the hands of a close ally like China.

Despite his in-office accolades, Berger's rise to fame took place after his stint in office on the rocket of a national security “fiasco” involving allegedly “secret” documents. Berger lost his clearance after it was found he was doing technically illegal things with the classified papers, like cutting them up with scissors and sticking them in clothing compartments they weren't designed to fit in. But nobody ever asked the question, what would have happened to America's national security if Berger hadn't eloped with the documents?

Maybe as former National Security Advisor, Berger knew of an imminent threat and saved us from indescribable monstrosity. Maybe he discovered a dirty bomb plot or impending small pox attack and used the documents to histrionically save the day à la Jack Bauer.

Berger took his punishment like a real Clinton man, absorbing the indignity of a large fine and suspended security clearance with all the gumption and resolve of George R. Kelly. He didn't cry, ask for a blindfold or beg for one last cigarette. He was the dream criminal, accepting the castigation in the only way he could. But for some reason critics have materialized like a fog, covering a decent man with a shroud of suspicion.

Some center on the socks, others zoom in on Berger's allegedly unfulfilled promise to take a lie detector test, still more slander him for no reason more than that he took documents from the national archives that could very well be used to aid the 9/11 commission, like that's really a big deal.

Cut the poor man some slack! He has a wife (Susan) and three children (Peter, Paul and Mary) who are probably struggling through school under constant jabs about their stocking stuffing father. How would you like to have your future determined by an unfortunate judgment against your patriotic father?

Please, take it easy on poor Sandy. Let him rebuild his life, get his children through college and reestablish his relationship with the Clintons. After all, if he doesn't get things together now, he won't have any shot at the National Security Advisor position in Tillary's administration.

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