This isn’t the first time somebody’s been asleep at the switch at The National Archives. Twice in recent memory they’ve screwed up. HUGE. And both times it helped the Clintons.
Funny that, huh? Who do they have in-pocket over there? Do they? I’m just wondering. Spit-balling. Thinking out-loud. But these two things, connected or not, fairly scream: Who’s in charge over there???? Anybody?????
The first time they screwed-up it benefited Bill Clinton; presumably, by erasing from our institutional memory, his inaction in the face of the gathering threat leading up to 9/11. Most recently it was to benefit his wife, Hillary Clinton, who used a secret, private server for all of her emails. Now, you may ask, ‘Why blame the National Archives?’ Well, I’m not saying they deserve all the blame. Certainly not. I’m no liberal. I don’t blame the gun when someone gets shot; I blame the shooter. Bill & Hillary Clinton are to blame for their crimes. Period. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t have enablers, accomplices, if you will, either witting or unwitting. Part of the Archives’ job, part of the documentary traffic their mandate requires they keep, is email. How is it possible that they didn’t notice, for four years, that she hadn’t even bothered to set-up at .gov email account? How is that possible?
So let’s walk down memory lane, shall we? We’ll deal first with Bill’s janitorial job on America’s institutional memory, then we’ll deal with Hillary’s.
Recall, via the February 21, 2007 Washington Post article “Berger Case Still Roils Archives, Justice Dept.” that (article edited for clarity and brevity, bolds are mine):
During a meeting, November 23, 2004, (the Inspector General of the National Archives and Records Administration, Paul Brachfeld), in a chandeliered room at the Justice Department, (along with) the longtime head of the counterespionage section, the chief of the public integrity unit, a deputy assistant attorney general, some trial lawyers and a few FBI agents all looked down at their pant legs and socks.
(They were discussing) Brachfeld’s contention that President Clinton’s former national security adviser Samuel R. ‘Sandy’ Berger could have stolen original, uncatalogued, highly classified terrorism documents 14 months earlier by wrapping them around his socks and beneath his pants… Brachfeld wanted the Justice Department to notify officials of the 9/11 Commission that Berger’s actions — in combination with a bungled Archives response — might have obstructed the commission’s review of Clinton’s terrorism policies.
The Justice Department spurned the advice, and some of Brachfeld’s colleagues at the Archives greeted his warnings with accusations of disloyalty. …A report last month by the Republican staff of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said for the first time that Berger’s visits were so badly mishandled that Archives officials had acknowledged not knowing if he removed anything else and destroyed it. The committee further argued that the 9/11 Commission should have been told more about Berger and about Brachfeld’s concerns…
The commission’s former general counsel, Dan Marcus, now an American University law professor, separately expressed surprise at how little the Justice Department told the commission about Berger and said it was ‘a little unnerving’ to learn from the congressional report exactly what Berger reviewed at the Archives and what he admitted to the FBI — including that he removed and cut up three copies of a classified memo.
In an April 1, 2005, press conference and private statements to the commission, the Justice Department stated instead that Berger had access only to copied documents, not originals. They also said the sole documents Berger admitted taking — five copies of a 2001 terrorism study — were later provided to the commission. (end)
But we now know that’s not true.
Via “information culled from The New York Times” in a WND piece entitled, “What Did Sandy Steal,” (not normally a site I would cite*), is analysis that is spot-on and widely believed among the non-kool-aid drinkers (Again, article is edited for clarity, and bolds & underlines are mine.):
Sandy Berger was director of the National Security Center in the Clinton administration, and as such President Clinton’s top adviser on all national security matters. On Sept. 2, 2003, in a secure reading room at the National Archives building in Washington, Berger was reviewing classified documents from the Clinton era, in his capacity as Clinton’s point man in providing relevant materials to the independent commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks.
One such document was a copy of a White House “after-action” report that he himself had commissioned, while still National Security director, to assess the Clinton administration’s performance in responding to the so-called millennium terrorist threat before New Year’s 2000. (I am relying throughout on reports from the New York Times.) Berger put the document in his pocket and walked out of the National Archives with it.
Exactly a month later, on Oct. 2, 2003, in another visit to the Archives, he stuffed four copies of other versions of the same report into his clothes (some reports have specified his socks) and again walked out of the building with them.
At his own office later that day, Berger cut three of the copies into small pieces. Two days later staff members at the Archives took the matter up with him. He said the removals were inadvertent, and returned the two remaining copies of the report, but said nothing about the three he had destroyed. …
The burning question here, of course, is what was in the three documents that Berger destroyed. We can be sure that Berger won’t tell us, or more precisely that we will never know whether anything he chooses to say on the subject is a lie. The documents are irretrievably gone, and Berger can carry the secret of their contents to his grave. But you can bet your bottom dollar that they weren’t Bill Clinton’s secret recipes for chicken a la king. In fact, as a practical matter, there is only one thing they could have been, given the huge risk that Berger took in stealing them from the National Archives and destroying them.
Consider. All five were copies, or (as the Times puts it at one point) “versions,” of a single document: an assessment of terrorist threats produced during the Clinton administration. These copies had presumably been distributed to various major figures in the administration, and later collected and placed in the Archives. What interested Berger about five copies of the same document? Presumably, notes scribbled on them by the recipients. And what could have impelled him to destroy three of the five copies, and return the other two? Surely, that the notes on those three copies made it all too clear that somebody high up in the Clinton administration had perceived a threat very much like what happened on Sept. 11, but then failed to do anything whatever about it.
For whom would Berger be willing to risk a jail sentence? For himself, no doubt, and for President Clinton, and that just about completes the list. (end)
Now the wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton. What the hell happened? Well, when you don’t have Inspectors General at either State or the Archives, corruption and incompetence can run amok. Well, more amok than usual, because, really, this is the federal government, right? The whole place needs fumigating. But I digress.
From The Washington Times, June 3, 2015,”Acting IGs at State Dept., National Archives Ignored Looming Clinton Email Scandal” (And, again, edited for clarity and brevity and bolds are mine):
A years-long vacancy in the State Department’s Office of inspector general allowed Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email account and server to hide her public records to continue unchecked, experts told a Senate committee Wednesday.
Daniel Epstein, president of nonpartisan watchdog Cause of Action, pointed to another empty inspector general office — this one in the National Archives and Records Administration — as a potential cause of the breakdown in transparency that occurred during Clinton’s tenure at the State Department.
James Springs, who now serves as the National Archives’ permanent inspector general, oversaw the agency in an interim capacity from September 2012 until March of this year.
That means the watchdog position was effectively empty as Clinton made her transition out of the State Department. …
Epstein told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee that the National Archives, under Springs’ oversight, “either was aware of the failure to preserve Mrs. Clinton’s emails or was extremely negligent in its efforts to monitor senior officials’ emails.” … (and, further suggests) the National Archives “had reason to know that the State Department was seeking legal justification for noncompliance with applicable regulations relating to email records,” Epstein said.
What’s more, transparency appeared to suffer at the State Department under another temporary inspector general.
Harold Geisel served as the agency’s interim watchdog while Clinton was secretary of state. Geisel had been named an ambassador by then-President Bill Clinton and donated to President Obama’s first presidential campaign, records show.
The Government Accountability Office raised concerns in April 2011 that Geisel’s career membership in the Foreign Service “resulted in, at a minimum, the appearance of independence impairment.” (Annie note: YA THINK????) Yet Geisel continued to serve as acting inspector general until shortly after Clinton left office…” (end)
So, in summary, it appears the Clintons had janitors where they needed them.
And absolutely nothing will be done about.
God Bless America.
*That I would not normally cite WND as a source is a comment on others’ perception of the site, not mine. They have people over there who actually know how to use a card-catalog at the library, value the importance of primary sources, and ask important questions. While every collection of reports & reporters has flaws, I consume all media with a presumption of guilt (as it were), thus, as far as they present proper sourcing and and ask important questions I might not have otherwise thought of, I have no problem with them.