Friday, April 01, 2005

Socks Burger to plead guilty! Not good enough!

This Sandy "Socks" Berger episode was disgraceful. This plea agreement is worse. I think the judge in the case, after review, ought to reject it. Worst of all, Mr. Berger is having his team of lawyers and "The Associate" scam the public record, by portraying Mr. Berger's actions as completely different than what this story indicates he will plead to in court. (ht: Brain Droppings)

I'd like to see the files in this case because something smells here; there's something we are not being told. I can't believe there wasn't enough to convict on a greater charge. Could it be that Mr. Berger's team insinuated he would do some major story telling or subpoena some major people to testify? Could he have dropped hints to the prosecution he would cause a legal and political ruckus by wanting declassify things for use in court?

In any event, I do think Mr. Berger's security clearance should be defined as "revoked", not "given up" as is indicated by the NYT article. In addition, the revocation ought to be for a minimum term of 10 years, no revisiting, as also noted in the article. Finally, and this is probably the most important alteration I suggest to his plea deal, Mr. Berger must:

-- never again say anything or allow anyone employed by him or acting in his capacity to say anything that might suggest, or be construed as, his having done anything in connection with these events inadvertently, mistakenly, without realizing, accidentally, unconsciously or in any way other than purposely,

-- publicize by advertisement in all newspapers having circulation over 250,000, a half page advertisement to the effect he pleaded guilty to purposely doing what was laid out in his plea deal and,

-- for a period of one year, write a letter to the proper authority of any and every domestic news organization or paper demanding a correction or retraction every time that organization prints or publishes a story in which it states, implies, or alludes to the possibility by direct statement, opinion, or quoting of anyone that Mr. Berger's actions were taken in any other manner than purposely.

I would be a smidgen less disgruntled about the government's decision to let this skunk off the hook if these provisions were added to his plea deal.

Update: Too quickly posted this and forgot the link and hat tip. Those have been added. Check Brain Dropping for more links to others covering the story.

More: Sworn Enemy rightfully emphasizes that Socks snuck these documents out in his pants and socks, not his pocket as Mr. Burger's Associate tries to sneak into the story. Jayson at Polipundit sees some other Clinton cronies smiling while Lori is taking the MSM to task for their yawning approach to the story.

Even more have piled on: My monitor has hardly cooled down and INDC journal's post is making it smoke. He is exercised, to put it mildly, on the deal in the plea deal and is suggesting the "T" word. I wouldn't go that far but, I'll admit he's right in thinking Socks should never being let within 50 feet of a classified document again.

Still more: Ugh. Instapundit is weighing in on this and in stronger words than I have seen from him in a while. Here again, I should defer to this stronger judgment (and INDC's) in this matter, and take it more seriously than my sarcastic additions to Sock's plea deal indicate. But my suggested plea deal additions make plain what happens when incidents like this sit for a long time away from the public eye -- memory fades, implications become detached from the story, opinions soften, outrage dissipates and those involved, like Socks and his paid spinmeisters and handlers, get a crack at making it all go away.

And Lori Byrd is right in excoriating the MSM for not taking it more seriously. The MSM does a disservice to the public for not reminding them (us) of the issues inherent in and context surrounding this story. It makes you wonder if they are deserving of their much ballyhooed claim to the title of The Fourth Estate.

And it makes me all the more suspicious now that the intention was keep notice of the plea deal quiet until just before it was to happen.

The Crowning comment: Roger Simon has the best post title in connection to this travesty of justice.

Last update: Outside the Beltway wonders why Sandy Scissorshands (if you love that one, too, go tell Roger) does do hard time. OTB also has a great round up of blogs covering this.


2 Creaks:

Blogger mike at SE creaked ...

Thanks for the link to Sworn Enemy!

4/10/2005 12:18 AM  
Blogger Dusty creaked ...

You're welcome, Mike.

4/10/2005 3:45 AM  

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