Friday, July 30, 2004

Berger Cleared of Withholding Material From 9/11 Commission

Covington heard it first on NPR, but there's nary a peep from major news sources, not yet anyway. But I just found it in a SCOT J. PALTROW WSJ article which was printed on page A6. The story's been out there. Where's the coverage?!!!!

Officials looking into the removal of classified documents from the National Archives by former Clinton National Security Adviser Samuel Berger say no original materials are missing and nothing Mr. Berger reviewed was withheld from the commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.


The conclusion by archives officials and others would seem to lay to rest the issue of whether any information was permanently destroyed or withheld from the commission.

Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said officials there "are confident that there aren't any original documents missing in relation to this case." She said in most cases, Mr. Berger was given photocopies to review, and that in any event officials have accounted for all originals to which he had access.

That included all drafts of a so-called after-action report prepared by the White House and federal agencies in 2000 after the investigation into a foiled bombing plot aimed at the Millennium celebrations. That report and earlier drafts are at the center of allegations that Mr. Berger might have permanently removed some records from the archives. Some of the allegations have related to the possibility that drafts with handwritten notes on them may have disappeared, but Ms. Cooper said archives staff are confident those documents aren't missing either.

Daniel Marcus, general counsel of the 9/11 Commission, said the panel had been assured twice by the Justice Department that no originals were missing and that all of the material Mr. Berger had access to had been turned over to the commission. "We are told that the Justice Department is satisfied that we've seen everything that the archives saw," and "nothing was missing," he said.

Come on, media. Let's hear from the rest of you.