Via the InstaPundit we see that Sandy Berger has some legal difficulties:
WASHINGTON - President Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is the focus of a criminal investigation after removing highly classified terrorism documents and handwritten notes from a secure reading room during preparations for the Sept. 11 commission hearings, The Associated Press has learned. . . .
Berger and his lawyer said Monday night he knowingly removed handwritten notes he had made while reading classified anti-terror documents he reviewed at the archives by sticking them in his jacket and pants. He also inadvertently took copies of actual classified documents in a leather portfolio, they said. . . .
The officials said the missing documents were highly classified, and included critical assessments about the Clinton administration's handling of the millennium terror threats as well as identification of America's terror vulnerabilities at airports to sea ports.
So, an incident with clear national security implications, and what looks like a clear and deliberate breach of the law. And the motivation? Some will assert Mr. Berger's good faith, but can we rule out that this is a thuggish attempt to conceal key documents demonstrating malfeasance (or worse!) by the Clinton Administration?
Absurd, some will say (I will be inclined to agree with them). Mr. Berger (we will be told) is a distinguished public servant just trying to do his job, and he didn't have any sinister intention. Fair enough.
But we have been lectured recently that the law does not make an exception for intentions, and we will excerpt this:
Government officials are not allowed to disclose the identity of covert intelligence agents, whether they feel like they have a good reason or not.
And yes, this is a different law, and different circumstances, and so on. It's always different. But at first blush, it looks like the defense will be, Berger's intentions were good. Which will give us a chance to evaluate the consistency of some commentators.