In other words, according to the commission report, Berger was presented with plans to take action against the threat of Al-Qaeda on four separate times — spring ’98, June ’99, December ’99, August 2000 — and each time Berger was an obstacle to action and refused to take it. Had he been a little less reluctant to act, a little more open to taking preemptive action, maybe the 3,000 killed in September 11th, 2001, would be alive today. Now, the point is this. We have Robert Byrd and his book. He was on the Meet the Press last Sunday, and he was complaining about, “Oh, Bush’s actions!”
He supported Afghanistan totally, but opposed Iraq, and I made the point, “Well, that’s well and good, senator, but would you have supported Afghanistan if you’d have known what Sandy Berger knew?” Probably not, and this is the point. All the excuses that Sandy Berger gave for not attacking bin Laden are reflective of the excuses that we hear from the people like Bob Byrd, John Kerry, and others ? the same excuses they would have given when we would have had a preemptive strike opportunity that would have been legitimate, and it is for this reason, uh, ladies and gentlemen, that I just have continually said I don’t trust these people with this kind of thinking, this kind of philosophy, leading the nation during wartime.
They’re not willing to take preemptive action against known enemies. They want to wait till something happens, and then go talk to these people about it. It’s dangerous. Now, I see that Senator Kerry supports the September 11th Commission’s recommendation for a national intelligence director. Kerry says he “wants to restore America’s international alliances to share the burden of fighting terrorism, to provide first responders the resources they need.” Now, keep in mind this is from the guy who sought to gut the CIA. This is from the guy who cut the CIA, participated in decisions to limit the kind of people they could hire as agents and informants, spies, if you will, and that sort of thing.
“U.S. officials…” Bill Gertz and Rowan Scarborough today, the Washington Times, their Inside the Ring column. “U.S. officials tell us,” they write, “that the FBI is focusing on a single document in its investigation of former White House national security advisor Sandy Berger. Investigators are trying to determine why Berger improperly removed a highly classified after-action report by Richard Clarke.” It is a call here to release this document, and this program made this called this week. F. Lee Levin wrote a piece at National Review Online back in April, first I saw of it, which said release this document, back then. The question still remains, not the timing — and, by the way, do you remember I told you yesterday that F. Lee Levin constructed sort of a timeline of events, had gone back and read Lanny Davis’ book about how he conducted spin for the Clinton administration, and in Lanny Davis’ book he detailed how he called an AP reporter to get a story out that wasn’t quite true that would change to an alternative storyline, like on July 3rd right before the July 4th weekend you got bad news, get out your version of it first?
And so people are now asking Lanny Davis, “Did you leak this Berger thing?” Linda Chavez had him on her radio show yesterday. She asked, “Did you leak this?” He said, “I’m not answering that. You’re not a journalist and I don’t have to,” or some such thing. Not she’s not a journalist. I forget how the transcript went. I don’t have it right in front of me, but he refused to answer the question, but it’s being asked now. He got pretty defensive about it. You know, these are people throwing stuff against the wall.” Lanny Davis leaked back then. I wonder who leaked this?” because it’s to the same AP reporter, the Berger leak is the same leak, same — well, the same reporter got the leak as got the Lanny Davis leak back then so people are starting to ask. No big deal, it’s just interesting. Learn how the inside-the-Beltway crowd works.