The New York Sun updates us on the saga of Sandy Berger’ Stockings. You’ll remember that Berger stole pivotal documents from the National Archives on the eve of the 9-11 Commission hearings. Since that time, Rush Limbaugh has referred to Mr. Berger as Sandy Burglar. Burglar got away with a $50,000 fine and a slap on the wrist.
Now we have the case of Donald Keyser. He wasn’t treated at all like Sandy Burglar.
A longtime high-ranking official at the State Department was sentenced to just over a year in jail yesterday for keeping thousands of classified documents at his home and for lying about his personal relationship with a younger Taiwanese diplomat.
In late 2005, the former deputy chief of the State Department’s East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, Donald Keyser, pleaded guilty to three felony charges stemming from an investigation into his contacts with the Taiwanese agent, Isabelle Cheng.
Judge Thomas Ellis of Alexandria, Va., imposed the sentence after a lengthy hearing yesterday. According to court records, the judge ordered Keyser to spend a year and a day in jail and two years on supervised release, and to pay a fine of $25,000.
Keyser had asked not to be sent to jail. He submitted a sheaf of letters from former colleagues praising him for his selfless devotion to America during more than three decades in the Foreign Service.
” Mr. Keyser had an absolute obligation to safeguard the classified information entrusted to him and utterly failed to do so. His sentence of imprisonment is a warning to others in positions of public trust,” the U.S. attorney overseeing the case, Chuck Rosenberg, said in a written statement.
It seems that the Burglar rules only apply to Clinton cronies. The outrage over Berger’s tampering with critical evidence and destruction of significant dcouments never materialized in the mainstream media. Thankfully, some responsibile media outlets will not let the story die.
And now comes the case of Donald Keysey who took documents to his home. A career diplomat, Mr. Keyser took too many papers to his home, and readily admitted that the documents were there. He never stole anything!
This autumn a congressional committee made an astounding discovery regarding the contents of Mr. Berger’s socks. The archives had failed to catalogue the materials that they gave him to review. No one aside from Mr. Berger has any idea what he took from the archives. He may have doctored documents. He may have destroyed documents. There have been many distinguished former government officials who lived to write their version of the history they participated in. Sandy Berger is the rare government official who has lived to erase history. A polygraph test might reveal how much history he erased.
Mr. Berger’s lawyer, a veteran Clinton smog artist, Lanny Breuer, insists there is no “evidence” that his client did anything wrong. That is classic Clinton obfuscation. Mr. Berger was caught stealing classified documents from the National Archives. For a former national security adviser to do such a thing is without precedent. Mr. Berger is also a proven liar — he turned around and said he did take the documents from the National Archives. All this constitutes “evidence” that Mr. Berger has done something very wrong.
A lie detector test may give us a sense of how much wrong he did. Mr. Berger should live up to his 2005 agreement and take the test. The Justice Department should enforce the rule of law.
Yet as we have seen since the 1990s, there is a peculiar double standard in our country. One very lax and capricious rule obtains for the Clintons and their servitors, and another duly exacting rule for the rest of us. Keyser, though, is among the rest of us. He was a top adviser to Secretary of State Powell — so off to the hoosegow with him. While he is disgraced, Sandy Berger is standing gloriously among us in his stocking feet.