8:46 AM, Sep 9, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
President Obama hosted "a private dinner with a group of foreign policy experts," the White House announced last night. Among them: Sandy Berger, who was caught stealing and destroying classified documents that related to President Clinton's record on terrorism issues.
"Former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger was sentenced Thursday to community service and probation and fined $50,000 for illegally removing highly classified documents from the National Archives and intentionally destroying some of them," CNN reported in 2005.
"Berger must perform 100 hours of community service and pay the fine as well as $6,905 for the administrative costs of his two-year probation, a district court judge ruled."
Ronald A. Cass, in 2007, noted that Berger took extraordinary steps to cover up his crime:
On May 17th, Sandy Berger, President Bill Clinton's National Security Adviser, voluntarily gave up his law license and with it the right to practice law. That is a stunning move for an accomplished lawyer, one of the nation's most influential public officials. Someone should take note. In fact, everyone should.
Berger previously entered a deal with the Department of Justice after he was caught stealing and destroying highly sensitive classified material regarding the Clinton Administration's handling of terrorism issues. That deal allowed him to avoid jail time, pay a modest fine, and keep his law license. It also allowed him to avoid full explanation of what he had taken and why he had taken it.
What information was worth risking his reputation, his career, and his freedom to keep hidden? And who was he risking that for?
Recently, the Board of the DC Bar, which had granted Berger his license, began asking those questions. There was only one way to stop that investigation, to keep from answering questions about what he did and why he did it, to keep the Bar from questioning his colleagues in the Clinton Administration about what had been in the documents Berger destroyed.
And yet, there Berger was: back in good graces and dining last night with the president of the United States. Where the topic of conversation was, presumably, how to deal with the current threat of terrorism this country faces from the Islamic State.
Here's the White House's announcement of the dinner:
Tonight the President and Vice President are having a private dinner with a group of foreign policy experts, including former Administration officials from Republican and Democratic Administrations, academics and think tank experts. The President looks forward to engaging with this group and hearing their views on a range of national security and foreign policy issues.
The Vice President
Secretary of State John Kerry
Deputy National Security Advisor Tony Blinken
Counselor to the President John Podesta
Phil Gordon, White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf Region
Suzy George, Executive Secretary / Chief of Staff for the National Security Council
And the safe sidewalks of New York.Mar 4, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 24 • By HEATHER MAC DONALD
President Barack Obama recently went to Chicago to promote his poverty and gun violence initiatives and actually spoke a good deal of truth. “There’s no more important ingredient for success, nothing that would be more important for us reducing violence than strong, stable families, which means we should do more to promote marriage and encourage fatherhood,” he said.
After "forcibly remov[ing] beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes."4:18 PM, Feb 8, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Justice Department announced that 16 folks would be sent to prison for hate crimes against Amish folks. The defendants, who range in age from 23 to 67 and all lived in Ohio, were found guilty of "forcibly remov[ing] beard and head hair from practitioners of the Amish faith with whom they had ongoing religious disputes."
8:58 AM, Aug 13, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
In campaign remarks yesterday at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago, Illinois, President Barack Obama praised his adopted city, where he lived before becoming president of the United States. "Chicago is an example of what makes this country great," Obama said. His audience applauded.
Ali G does it again. 3:00 PM, May 7, 2010 • By DANIEL HALPER
Illinois Democratic Senate candidate Alexi "Ali G" Giannoulias was senior loan officer at his family bank, Broadway Bank, which authorized loans to convicted organized crime leaders like Michael “Jaws” Giorango (a pimp and bookmaker), Demitri Stavropoulos (an illegal gambling operator), and for convicted felon Tony Rezko, as chronicled here.
Broadway Bank, owned and operated by the Giannoulias family, was closed by the feds just two weeks ago, which led the spokesman of his political opponent Mark Kirk to give this statement to the New York Times: “While years of risky lending schemes, hot money investments and loans to organized crime led to today’s failure, it’s a sad day for Broadway Bank employees who may lose their jobs due to Mr. Giannoulias’s reckless business practices.”
In brief: Dorothy Rabinowitz's "No Crueler Tyrannies" and the "Touchstone Reader."Apr 21, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 31 • By
Books in Brief
No Crueler Tyrannies: Accusation, False Witness, and Other Terrors of Our Times by Dorothy Rabinowitz (Free Press, 256 pp., $25). The term "witch hunt" has been used so often--and so inaccurately--that one automatically mistrusts it these days. Yet one recent set of events does bear a striking resemblance to the Salem trials: the hysteria over sexual abuse of children in day-care centers that frenzied the nation in the late 1980s and early 1990s.
In 1865, a military tribunal convicted Dr. Samuel A. Mudd in the conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln. Was he guilty?Dec 30, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 16 • By ANDREW FERGUSON
ONE FRIDAY THIS PAST NOVEMBER, without much to-do, the Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia dismissed the case of Dr. Samuel A. Mudd. The court's reasoning, what I could make of it, seemed highly technical. "Appellant's insurmountable problem is that his claim is not arguably within the zone of interests to be protected or regulated by the statute in question," the judges wrote. The ruling was rendered unanimously, and bloodlessly--though bloodlessness, in my opinion, is an odd tone to adopt in a case so heartfelt and long-lived as Dr. Mudd's.
Crime fiction for Christmas.Dec 23, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 15 • By JON L. BREEN
A Crossworder's Holiday
by Nero Blanc
Prime Crime, 224 pp., $22.95
A Puzzle in a Pear Tree
by Parnell Hall
Bantam, 308 pp., $23.95
The Christmas Garden Affair
by Ann Ripley
Kensington, 293 pp., $22
THE TRADITION of telling ghost stories at Christmas has a venerable lineage, reaching back well into the Middle Ages. Christmas detective stories have a shorter history.
Michael Connelly's mysterious Los Angeles.Dec 16, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 14 • By DAVID KLINGHOFFER
"Chasing the Dime"
by Michael Connelly
Little, Brown, 400 pp., $25.95
WILLIAM J. BRATTON, having won his crime-fighting laurels in the first Giuliani administration, was recently inducted as the new chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. There was something discordant about the erstwhile top cop of New York City taking over in Los Angeles. The two cities are just so different.
It's not a question of statistics, though in L.A. violent crime is rising at an alarming rate, murders having vaulted upward by 27 percent since 2000.
It's past time to tackle the prison rape problem.Oct 21, 2002, Vol. 8, No. 06 • By ELI LEHRER
THANKS TO A COALITION of evangelicals, left-wing prison reformers, and human rights activists, Congress is on the verge of tackling America's most ignored crime problem, prison rape. A measure that would apply various types of pressure to shape up lax prison systems is now working its way towards approval, though not as quickly as its advocates had hoped.
The bill, officially the Prison Rape Reduction Act of 2002, has drawn together a group of ideological opposites.
The British crime invasion.Apr 22, 2002, Vol. 7, No. 31 • By IRWIN M. STELZER
THINKING OF VISITING London? Great idea. Airfares are low, the weather is fine, the chance of contracting mad cow disease has fallen from infinitesimal to zero, and the talented British actors tread the boards of the West End and National theaters with their usual skill and verve.
But leave your Rolex at home. At least once each day someone here is mugged for his or her Rolex, and typically badly mauled in the process. And if you hire a car and driver to show you around, make sure the driver is reasonably expert in evasive tactics.
. . . and how it harms the war on terrorism.Dec 31, 2001, Vol. 7, No. 16 • By HEATHER MAC DONALD
I'VE BEEN AMUSING myself recently with the following experiment: I call up the most strident anti-police activists of recent years, people like Georgetown law professor David Cole, who argues that every aspect of the criminal justice system is racist. I ask these police critics the following question: Suppose that in the wake of September 11, the FBI decides to check out recent graduates of American flight schools to see who else may be plotting to use airplanes as weapons. Which students, I ask, should the FBI investigate--all of the would-be pilots, or a subset of them?