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Sandy Berger

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Sandy Berger
Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger (born October 28, 1945) served as United States National Security Advisor to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001.

Berger earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Cornell University in 1967 and graduated from Harvard Law School in 1971. He began working in Texas for Senator George McGovern's presidential campaign. There, he met Bill Clinton, forming a friendship that would last for decades.

After the McGovern campaign ended Berger gained experience working in a variety of government posts, including deputy director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department. Later he urged Clinton to run for president. Berger served as Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Governor Clinton during the campaign, and as Assistant Transition Director for National Security of the 1992 Clinton-Gore Transition.

Berger was Clinton's national security advisor from 1997 to 2001. During his tenure he advised the President regarding ongoing operations in Iraq and responses to the terrorist bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He was also one of the prominent actors of the Camp David 2000 Summit.

In 2004, Berger was called to testify before the 9/11 Commission regarding steps taken against terrorism during his tenure and the information he provided to his successor, Condoleezza Rice.

Criminal investigation

On July 19, 2004, it was revealed that the U.S. Justice Department was investigating Berger for allegedly taking as many as fifty classified documents, in October 2003, from a National Archives reading room prior to testifying before the 9/11 Commission. The documents were commissioned from Richard Clarke about the Clinton administration's handling of millennium terror threats. When initially questioned, Berger maintained that the removal of top-secret documents in his attache-case and handwritten notes in his pants and jacket pockets was accidental. He would later, in a guilty plea, admit to deliberately removing materials. Berger left the John Kerry campaign shortly after the incident became public. Some suggested that Berger's removal of the documents constituted theft and moreover had serious national security implications, while others claimed that the documents were taken, only drafts and all were flattering to Clinton and Berger (relating to the failed 2000 millennium attack plots). However, Berger admitted that the three documents that he destroyed were drafts that contained information not contained in the final report.[1] (http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/04/01/berger.plea/index.html?section=cnn_latest)

On April 1, 2005, in connection with the documents investigation, Berger pled guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material. Under a plea agreement, he was fined $10,000 and lost his security clearance for three years.


Preceded by:
Anthony Lake
National Security Advisor
1997–2001
Succeeded by:
Condoleezza Rice

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