The shortest-lived intelligence scandal since Maxwell Smart: The Nude Bomb appears to have fizzled out in a Clintonesque fog of qualified statements and ambiguity. The Wall Street Journal's Scot J. Paltrow reports (no link, alas) that former National Security Advisor Samuel Berger did not take any original materials from the National Archives and did not withhold any materials from the 9/11 Commission:
Archives spokeswoman Susan Cooper said officials there "are confident that there aren't any original documents missing in relation to the case." She said in most cases, Mr. Berger was given photocopies to review, and that in any event officials have accounted for all originals to which he had access.
That included all drafts of a so-called after-action report prepared by the White House and federal agencies in 2000 after the investigation into a foiled bombing plot aimed at the Millennium celebrations. That report and earlier drafts are at the center of the allegations that Mr. Berger might have permanently removed some records from the archives.
That story was printed a week ago, and there's been no followup since, though Useless-Knowledge.com makes a half-assed attempt to put an anti-Bergerian spin on the WSJ story. This shoots to hell my own conclusion, based on suspiciously elliptical statements by Berger's lawyer, that there probably were some originals missing. The issue of Berger's sneaking out copies remains active, but a former NSA acting high-handedly with classified materials doesn't have the same scandal value as an attempt to hide evidence from the 9/11 investigation. At this point, only Ann Coulter has the courage to keep alive this story the mainstream media continues to ignore!