Monday, March 12, 2007

Sandy Berger vs Scooter Libby --
TigerHawk wonders why Sandy Berger got off easy compared to Scooter Libby, but doesn't jump at the idea of a Clinton conspiracy like conservatives.

My rank speculation is that Sandy Berger had information which would have made his trial even more painful for the Bush administration than for, well, Berger. I have no idea what that information would have been, except perhaps more detailed evidence that some Clintonite somewhere "warned" the Bush administration about al Qaeda or the specific tactics deployed on 9/11. Or perhaps Berger's defense would have required that the administration compromise information of current tactical or intelligence value, in which case the trial of Sandy Berger would have hurt the United States. Either way, it seems to me silly to complain about Libby's treatment compared to Berger's without knowing why we let Berger off with the equivalent of after-school detention.

This is some interesting speculation. I've never believed, as some conservatives do, that Berger was destroying material that reflected badly on the Clinton presidency. Knowing how this White House operates, that information would have been leaked long ago to use against political enemies.

But I'm not entirely sure that TigerHawk's idea of someone giving an al-Qaeda warning sounds right either, because we would have that hypothetical Clintonite popping up and saying, "I told you so."

Of course, if Libby's crime and Berger's crime were equal, then Berger should still get the lighter sentence for the simple reason that he ultimately pled guilty.
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