We have lots of military and defense industry workers as readers (and we like having them!), so it should be no surprise that I’m hearing from so many people who’ve dealt with classified materials in the past or currently. What’s interesting is that these readers are — to a person — more furious about the Berger story than almost any other reader. It seems that the more you know about how these things work, the less plausible Berger’s explanations are. Something to keep in mind throughout the day’s coverage.
If you’ve spent a good chunk of your life being responsible for protecting classified information, the Berger story (not unlike John Deutch’s derelictions of duty a while back) is an absolute blood-boiler. As I said yesterday, if I did what Burger has already admitted to, I’d probably go to jail. I would certainly lose my clearance, my job, and my career, in short order.
But based on the tepid media reaction, and reflexive defensive posture of Democratic politicians, I’d bet good odds that Berger will get away with it. He’ll probably be rehabilitated down the line and start re-appearing as an “expert” on television and in future Dem campaigns. After all, he’s a big fish, and the rules are only for little people (as aptly noted yesterday by “jerry,” one of Roger L. Simon’s readers).
This guy stole code-word-level classified documents, people. And half the political apparatus in the country, as well as most of the media, thinks that’s no big deal.
You shouldn’t have to work for the military or an intelligence agency for that to make you furious… but it does help.