Just Darts Since 2009
Thief jailed for stealing documents from the National Archives
July 13, 2007Posted by on
No, not Sandy Berger.
Sandy Berger, you’ll recall, was President Clinton’s National Security Advisor. He went to the National Archives and stole classified documents related to terrorism during the last year of the Clinton administration. He then destroyed them.
He’s not the one who got jail time. Berger lost his law license (which he hadn’t needed in fifteen years, and had never planned to use again), was fined $50,000 (small potatoes for a Friend of Bill and a lot less than Scooter Libby was fined), and lost his security clearance until–get this–2008. It’s not like he was going to need that until then, now was he?
No. The court decided to get tough on a man named Dennis McTague, who stole precious Civil War papers and sold them on e-bay. Now, it is right that Mr. McTague go to jail for this. The National Archives belong to all of us, and this theft must be punished.
But on the other hand, we know exactly what was contained in the documents McTague stole, and they all still exist–as a matter of fact almost all of them have been recovered.
I’d go as far as to say that stealing and destroying documents from the National Archives should get you a harsher sentence than stealing and selling them, no? How about if they’re classified?