Thursday, July 22

LA Times: "The Berger Smoke Screen"

Every once in a while, someone gets it right. From this morning's LAT editorial:
Indeed, it's striking that Berger's accusers have yet to supply a motive for his actions. Do Hastert and DeLay believe that Berger would take that kind of risk to "assist" the Kerry campaign? Or to cover up a personal failure in confronting terrorism, because the documents were about the foiled so-called Millennium terrorist plot, which occurred during his watch? They don't say.

Anyway, the problem with such theories would be that because the original documents remain in the National Archives, Berger would not have been able to deny the 9/11 commission access to them. Any attempted cover-up would not have covered anything up. Instead, he's now drawn attention to the documents.

By contrast, the motives for whoever in the administration leaked the Berger investigation appear clear enough. Like the outing of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV's wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent, someone is sending up a smoke screen to deflect more serious charges. By creating a brouhaha about Berger's actions, the leaker distracts attention from any criticisms of President Bush and his administration in the independent 9/11 commission report.