Getting A Little Testy There, Beinart?

I didn’t hear Hugh Hewitt last night, but I’m going to have to try and catch the last replay before tonight’s show (they run a continuous loop of the previous night on KRLA’s web site between live broadcasts). According to Lileks’ belated Bleat, The New Republic’s Peter Beinart came completely unhinged when Hewitt pressed him on the Sandy Berger theft of classified national security documents:

Beinart admitted that it could be a troublesome matter, but he reserved judgment; he was willing to admit that Sandy Berger existed, but whether he stole documents was a different matter. Time would tell. Anyway, it was testy, but then it got harsh.

Beinart snapped that Hugh was getting his


46 Responses to “Getting A Little Testy There, Beinart?”

  1. Mike M Says:

    These guys are cracking up, plain and simple. They see conspiracy behind every action and the level of denial is reaching disturbing proportions.

    Eventually, something has to give. The disconnect between fantasy and reality becomes too great and the whole mess comes crashing down. From the looks of it, the big media/Democratic industrial complex may only have a few months of life left in it. If Kerry loses and they don’t pull off a miracle and regain the Senate, the Democratic Party-as-we-know-it may be truly finished.

  2. Spoons Says:

    At this point, silence from the press would be a vast improvement. At this point, both the New York Times and the Washington Post are doing a full-court-press on “What did the President know and when did he know it?” The question of whether Berger stole classified documents is getting less ink than the question of who told the press that Berger stole classified documents.

  3. HoosierDave Says:

    Somewhat off-topic, but I just read the first part of the 9-11 Commission’s report, covering the four flights and what happened to each of them from pre-boarding to impact. It should be required reading for every American. I was surprised how visceral my reaction was, even nearly three years later.


  4. Frank Martin Says:

    “Youre not just wrong, you’re wrong at the top of your voice” Spencer Tracy – Bad Day at Black Rock

  5. Ed Says:

    Lanny’s Non-Denial Denial

    On her radio talk show, Linda Chavez asks Lanny Davis if he leaked the Sandy Berger story. Lanny responds with some of the best tap dancing since Fred Astaire hung up his Capezios. (Does Capezio make tap shoes?–Ed Beats me,…

  6. Mr. Lion Says:

    I heard the show yesterday. Beinart was right up there with some nutjob at a protest rally.

    If that’s the state the group I would label as “otherwise sane” lefties are in, they just haven’t come unhinged. That happened years ago. Now, they’re just circling the bowl.

  7. Pejmanesque Says:


    Especially if it being a Washington pundit means acting like this: Heard an amazing exchange on the Hugh Hewitt show last night. Hugh was interviewing Peter Beinart, the editor of the New Republic. Hugh wanted to talk about Sandy Berger…

  8. amy Says:

    Heard it and laughed my ass off.

    He didn’t like the idea of speculating and hypotheticals, never mind TNR’s wet kisses bestowed on serial slime-ball Joseph Wilson . The most interesting aspect was that because Hewitt was asking about Berger he was a hack because the really important issue was the 9-11 Commish’s esteemed bipartisan earth-shattering sweeping recommendation of creating a new intel overseer agency.

    Clinton and Lindsey and Lockhart and Bruer knew months ago. Clinton knew, then Hill knew (well maybe not), but I am sure Terry knew too. So all these previous Administration participants knew about Berger, but the Washington Post, Josh Marshall and Peter Beinart are concerned/worried that the National Security Council was aware of an investigation into MAJOR NATIONAL SECURITY BREACH and now the American Public knows and because it was a “leak” which is their life blood we shouldn’t know?

    Here we are receiving a huge report detailing the Governments intelligence failures that lead to 9-11 and Dems are MAD that people found out about one of their guys THEFT and DESTRUCTION of IMPORTANT intelligence.

    I think this explains the choice in the starkest terms.

  9. JPG Says:

    Too bad Hugh didn’t ask this fellow what two issues he thought Bush was better on than Kerry. Either the guy concedes there are at least two such issues or, if he won’t, then he’s a hack, like he accused Hugh of being.

  10. Fredrik Nyman Says:

    It is getting harder and harder to avoid making the same conclusion as Krauthammer did a while back, that the D’s suffer from BDS — Bush Derangement Syndrome.

    Via Powerline, we find this Rasmussen Report which says that 51% of Democrats say that the country is in a recession.

    Whether the country is in recession isn’t a matter of opinion, it’s a matter of fact. The fact is that it isn’t, which means that 51% of Democrats are either deluded or in denial.

  11. MarkD Says:

    This is why I believe the theory that it was Dem and not a GOPer that leaked it… this is the least bad time for something like this to come out.. just in time for the wash of convention coverage to bury the news, thus doing minimum damage. Minimum damage is still bad news at this point because it reinforces the old stereotype that the Dems can’t be trusted on national security, and this is not a time to give the reins to the untrustworthy. They haven’t lost any ground, but they haven’t gained any either, and they’re running out of time.

  12. megapotamus Says:

    If ever comes a better answer to the Democrats who say that a Gore Administration would have done the same things (except I guess Iraq) that Bush has done in the WOT, here is the answer. This loon, Dandy Sandy, would have been NSA or possibly held a higher post and if that doesn’t make you grab your ass, nothing will.

  13. O'McSomething Says:

    Where are my comments? I’ve been commenting here for over 2 years and that is the thanks I get? Stephen never deleted anything I had to say. Wazzup now? I didn’t even say anything bad. Just a little ribbin’. Sheeesh! What is going on?

  14. Forbes Says:

    One of the curious things about the spin–that the Republican attack machine leaked Berger’s Pantsgate just prior to the 9/11 report and the Convention–is that, in itself, is pure spin. What’s the point? It changes the subject from Berger’s actions, to the motivation behind the “leak.”

    It is the purest example of how the Clinton WH worked–tarring your opponent about their dark and sinister motivations, so as to change the story from the “bad” news being leaked to their mean, cheap shots–you know, those Republicans just don’t play fair.

    The truth of the matter is that the 9/11 Report changes the subject, and the Dems will use their convention to highlight every anti-Bush talking point vis-a-vis the Report. Not exactly the sort of long shelf life story that benefits the Republicans.

    What would have been devastating for the Democrats would have been the “leak” regarding Berger during the Dem convention–talk about changing the subject. The chief foreign policy advisor to the Democratic candidate (he authored the foreign policy planks of the Dems campaign platform) is caught up in a devatating national security scandal–the networks can’t skip over that with a “we now go to the wife of the governor of Iowa, whose speaking to the delegates about the importance of biodiversity in cereal grains” segue.

    Definetely at Lanny Davis-type move/Democratic leak.

  15. Toby Petzold Says:

    With the Bush-haters, everything has become a matter of “timing.” It’s not the fact that lies, distortions, or thievery are happening that matters, but the very suspicious timing of their revelation. It doesn’t get more perverted than that, unless one believes that Berger could “inadvertently” smuggle notes made from Top Secret documents by unwittingly stuffing them in his socks. Not once but several times. Gibberish. Desperate gibberish.

    But, apparently, there is some canon of propriety with the Dhimmicrats that dictates when military action can be taken or when horrible news is supposed to be leaked. Like Ramadan. Like leaking the Berger thang six days or whatever before the Convention. Don’t we know that the Democratic Convention are high holidays? And that the week before the Convention is reserved for biographical blather about the candidates, never to be interrupted by news that the former President’s NSA is a thief and eraser?

    They’ve left their king’s rook open. Take it.

  16. G.Gilbertson Says:

    Having thought about this like all of us for days now, I have to admit it does seem more and more logical that the Berger leak was a dem deed.

    If I was going to leak it for RNC advantage I sure wouldn’t have picked the date it happened. I would have waited hoping to get a nice juicy 8X10 of Berger and Kerry… Ya know, maybe in the “OK everyone on stage for the balloon drop” pic.

  17. Ben Says:

    Taking orders from Lord Rove: This shows a fundamental difference of world view. I was reading an article about how teh Arab world is highly subseptible to conspiracy theories, and it made the argument that such was a natural result of their political structures. Nothing gets done unless you whisper the rights words in the right ears. In any sort of totalitarian setup, where permission is required from the ruling elite, this is how things HAVE to be done, for anything to get done.

    They see Republicans and conservatives as a totalitarian organization. Therefore nothing gets done, unless Rove says so. Nothing happens without Rove’s input. The fact that us sheeple might actually have ideas and opinions of our own, that we might operate more along the lines of a pack, rather than a herd, is an alien concept to them.

  18. McGehee Says:

    Ben, what’s alien to them is the concept that us Great Unwashed might arrive independently at ideas other than theirs.

  19. MartiniPundit Says:

    As the Left Unravels

    Will Collier over at Vodkapundit reveals a testy moment in the history of talk radio. The Berger thefts are a window into the un-seriousness at the core of the Democratic Party where national security is concerned. They dare not let the Great Unwas…

  20. Caroleb Says:

    Just a note to mention NBC is having a Kerry hour and I think it is going to “pretty up” Kerry’s behavior when he returned home from Vietnam. This weekend, such good timing!

    I expect he will be shown as noble and strong fighting for his country and the troops.

    This is just untrue and there are many vets out there who will attest to that.
    The vets are having a seminar
    on “Examining the myths on the Vietnam War” in Boston July 26-29. That should
    be very interesting.

    If you follow the vets news on this, the Swift website is updated and easy to use, with more information.

    These men should be supported, they
    are a force to support with their deep lack of respect for Kerry and they are the ones who know about him and they deserve to have their reputations cleared once and for all.

    I will not watch the spin on this on NBC as I am sure it will make me ill.

  21. Bubba Says:

    How can anybody pick two issues where Kerry is better than Bush? Kerry always straddles boths sides of the argument. A better question would be, “name two issues where Kerry has taken a stand.” It would be more of a trivia question though.

  22. Knight of The Mind Says:

    Hack Attack!!

    It’s as if Bill Clinton had paged Bienart with the catch phrase “Legacy cleanup on aisle 9!” Therefore Bienart had no obligation to behave in a civil or respectful manner to Hewitt. Given the choice between civilization and liberalism, Peter Bienart …

  23. Doug Anderson Says:

    I sent this email to Jeffrey Dvorkin ( NPR’s Obmudsman on Thursday:

    Dear Jeffrey Dvorkin,

    re: 7/22/04 NPR All Things Considered

    Thanks so much for not mentioning a word about Sandy Berger, former National Security cheif, stealing state documents from the national archives, in today’s NPR broadcast. That’s a dumb story and it can only hurt John Kerry; you’re doing all of America a great service by burying it. On the other hand you did highlight chaos in Afghanistan and the nefarious doings of Halliburton, both stories damaging to George Bush.

    I am so happy you take my tax dollars so that you can steer the news, with boldness and transparency, towards what you believe is good for me and my countrymen. God Bless you NPR!

    Doug Anderson, Seattle

  24. Ray Eckhart Says:

    At least one Washinton Post editorial board liberal is asking the right questions.

    Colbert King today.

    The question is, was Sandy Berger’s violation due to negligence — at best — or was it deliberate — at worst? And should he be held accountable for his actions? Or is he too important and well-connected to be treated like everyone else? What’s the answer, Washington?

  25. The Kid Says:

    At least one far lefty is upset about Berger and wants justice done. Today’s WaPo Colbert King’s column Sandy Berger: A Case for Accountability concludes with this:

    The question is, was Sandy Berger’s violation due to negligence — at best — or was it deliberate — at worst? And should he be held accountable for his actions? Or is he too important and well-connected to be treated like everyone else? What’s the answer, Washington?

  26. TacJammer Says:

    Quote of the Day

    James Lileks: Unless you

  27. M. Simon Says:

    Mike M,

    The Democratic Party as we know it will be finished in Nov. The Republican Party will follow shortly there after.

    I guest blogged this over at Winds of Change 16 May.


    The problem with the Democrats? War and Economics. The Problem with the Republicans? Sullivan and Santorum. The Democrats have lost their ideology and the Republicans will be shrinking the tent.

  28. Chuck Pelto Says:

    TO: Stephen Green
    RE: Beinart Loses It

    Or, how the editor of the vaunted New Republic, falls back on the Lawyers’ Rule (Option 3).

    Long ago and far away, in another life, my TAC officer (at the Army’s spa for the masochistic (i.e., the Ranger course), read to the assembled beknighted crowd of ‘survivors’ from a good book, The Official Rules: A Compendium of Truths and Axioms regarding Life.

    I bought the book, after graduation.

    In there I found something called the Lawyers’ Rule. Here it is….

    [1] If the Law is against you, argue the facts.
    [2] If the facts are against you, argue the Law.
    [3] If both the Law and the facts are against you, call the other side names.

    The Dems, as presented by Mr. Beinart, cannot argue either the Law nor the facts. Therefore, they must resort to calling the other side, in this case, Mr. Hewitt, ‘names’.

    But that has been their MO for quite some time now.

    I suspect the NEA has a lot to do with this situation.


    [Education: Replacing an empy mind with an open one.]

    This ain’t what the vaunted American public education system has been doing for the last 30 years….

  29. Bruce Hayden Says:

    Berger has claimed negligence when accidently removing documents – even though he apparently stuffed them in his pants and socks – multiple times.

    Normally, it would probably be hard to overcome the negligence defense. But this time, it should not be that hard. After all, he apparently removed four different revisions of the same memo on more than one occasion (not exactly gramatical, but you get the point). Once is an accident. Twice maybe arguable. But four of them? Negligence is unlikely. Intent beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Will he be indicted? I am giving odds on it. AJ Ashcroft has shown himself, esp. during the 9/11 hearings, to be a fierce political fighter and somewhat politically tone deaf, while doing what he considers the right thing, regardless of consequences.

    At least for the Dems, there is rarely ever any question how they all get their talking points. DNC chair Terry McAuliff (or whatever) tends to pretty much always lead the charge, with all of the rest of them, including the major media mouthpieces, picking them up the next day or two. First I heard the question of who leaked was from him, as usual. Nothing like lockstep.

  30. Art Wellesley Says:

    Fred Nyman posts the most distubing comment of the thread.

    The Rasmussen report – as if belief has anthing to do with mathematics.

    Wasn’t there an old “Jack Handy” “deep thought” about that?

    Despite this sickness, I really think that as long as just under 2 % of democrats have changed their minds about how they view the world when they woke up on the 12th and remembered what had happened, the President is re-elected.

    Fred Nyman posts the most distubing comment of the thread.

    The Rasmussen report – as if belief has anthing to do with mathematics.

    Wasn’t there an old “Jack Handy” “deep thought” about that?

    Despite this sickness, I really think that as long as just under 2 % of democrats have changed their minds about how they view the world when they woke up on the 12th and remembered what had happened, the President is re-elected.


  31. Teri Nelson Says:

    Don’t know about the rest of you, but I sure as hell want to know what was in those docs he stole.

    I also want to know why they didn’t give him a “pat” search before he got out the door. The “guards” obviously knew or thought he was taking docs by evidence of their sting to mark them. The should have searched him after he said he was ready to go and assured them he had taken nothing. Then, they could have found the docs and slapped the cuffs on him immediately. That way, we’d know what he tried to steal, which would also answer the question as to why.

    Bill Clinton laughed when he found out! String ’em both up for having such reckless disregard for the safety of our country and sanctity of our history.

  32. J_Crater Says:

    The events surrounding Sandy Berger took place back in Sept/Oct of 2003. Why was this covered up for so long ?
    Lord knows, if this had been a Republican , the press would have been all over this before Haloween. The NYT and WaPo should be ashamed of themselves for this unseemly display of jackass-ery.

  33. Mark Walker Says:

    What I would like to know is: why did the archivist call Clinton’s thug, sorry, lawyer, Lindsay, instead of the security/ where did he get the idea to call ANY Clinton personnell?

  34. Mark Walker Says:

    What I would like to know is: why did the archivist call Clinton’s thug, sorry, lawyer, Lindsay, instead of the security/ where did he get the idea to call ANY Clinton personnell?

  35. twalsh Says:

    Oh, come on, the dems and press are just being consistent aren’t they? I mean, didn’t they question the timing of the Bush DUI leak in 2000? Oh, they didn’t? Well, surely they questioned the timing of the Clinton Sudan aspirin factory bombing right? Oh, not then either?

    Well, I’m sure that anything bad leaked about Bush or the administration right before the Republican Convention or the election will have them questioning the timing, but I won’t hold my breath.

  36. HH Says:

    Two issues – Allowing people to keep the money they earn and national security.

  37. Croooow Blog Says:

    Pounding the table

    The Dems’ new favorite form of argument…Also, Drum goes into uncharted territory……

  38. Croooow Blog Says:

    Pounding the table

    The Dems’ new favorite form of argument…Also, Drum goes into uncharted territory……

  39. Sharps Shooter Says:

    As den Beste pointed out recently, it is of ZERO import whether Berger violated the law by intent or by incompetence. Motives are only admitted into the law in a VERY FEW instances (ie., manslaughter -vs-murder)

    Berger violated the law.

    Now deal with him AS IF he were an American citizen. Period. Deal with him as I would have been dealt with, under the State Secrets Act of 1957 (?) because HE VIOLATED THE LAW, not because he’s a good guy, bad guy, loved, unloved, Dem or Repub or Libertarian…

  40. Sub_Hunter Says:

    I’m really not one for conspiracy theories, but if there were ever some ripe soil…….

    Sandy the Bungling Burglar’s “inadvertent” removal of highly-classified docs from the National Archive has several unfathomable elements: why did he do it?, what did he take? was he working alone? As more information becomes available, I suppose some of the answers will become more clear.

    Another interesting issue is the “timing” of the leak. Several sources seem to think Lanny Davis is responsible, so just to stir the pot…. Lanny Davis attempted to deflect his involvement in the leak (but not did not deny it) by saying,

  41. Sub_Hunter Says:

    Oops, sorry. I meant to say “Clinton’s legal beagle Bruce Lindsay” instead of Fabiani.

  42. Amphipolis Says:

    All of the defenses I’ve heard of Berger have been red herrings. But that’s nothing new. They do it because it works. The story is already on the way out.

  43. Dave F Says:

    Instapundit logs a report that he was apparently seen to insert documents INTO archive files on several occasions. What’s up with that? Correcting the record, I guess.

  44. David Says:

    I actually heard the Hewitt show when Beinart was on, and it was even worse than that. Beinart made a complete ass out of himself.

    As for the allegations that Hewitt gets his marching orders from the RNC -the Demsmake this accusation all the time, not just to talk radio hosts, but, more importantly, to the audience. They try to label all conservatives as mere ditto-heads, blindly following the dictates of Rush Limbaugh. They do this largely in order to create ” dissension in the ranks:, i.e., to get conservatives to distance themselves from Rush et al, to prove that that they don’t blindly follow him.

    Well, I’m proud to say that indeed, I generally do agree with the talk show hosts I listen to. If I didn’t like them, I wouldnt listen to them. The Dems can attempt to insult my intellignece all they wan’t – who cares? I don’t have to prove anything to them. I’d rather have them waste their time in attacking conservatives, rather than in them trying to advacne their agenda. ( Would that the GOP learned this lesson as well!)

    In any case, it’s often effective to throw such grabage back in their faces. Point out that the left is merely the parrots for Michael Moore and James Carville. Do I beleive this? No. But then, they really dont beleive what they say about us either.

  45. pouncer Says:

    “How can anybody pick two issues where Kerry is better than Bush?”

    Easily. Ten, even.

    1) Kerry speaks better French, with which to do diplomacy with our traditional allies in France, Quebec, and VietNam.

    2) Kerry speaks better ENGLISH, with which to parse what the meaning of “is”, is; and –like a poet — mean several different and contradictory things with a single sentence.

    3) Kerry is more cosmopolitan; growing up OUTSIDE America and understands and appreciates
    un-American values.

    4) Kerry has much more legislative experience; while Bush has never served in a legislature at all, Kerry has introduced and gotten enacted such major legislative initiatives as — uuhmmm –I think he got an inland waterway in his home state designated a nationial historical landmark, for instance.

    5) Kerry gets along well with his ex-wife. Bush has no track record at all on this important clue to a man’s character.

    6) Kerry has personally killed at least one human being, an experience which shapes his position on capital punishment (he thinks killing is wrong, and works to ensure the law reflects his belief) and abortion (he thinks killing is wrong, and works to separate his personal belief from the process of law- making.) Bush’s principles, whatever they are, are not founded in such personal experience.

    7) Kerry was a lawyer. Any lawyer will tell you that’s “Better” than being an MBA.

    8) Kerry’s (current) wife is another widely-traveled cosmopolitan internationalist who speaks several languages and sits on the board of many philanthropic institutions and will probably make an “activist” first lady. Bush’s wife is a mere elementary school librarian who has merely quietly wallflowered away her spotlight, soapbox, and opportunities to shape public policy.

    9) Kerry can handle liquor. Bush is a reformed sot who can’t touch the stuff any more. (By the way, Kerry openly admits –boasts of — smoking grass in the 70’s, while Bush is secretive to the point of lies about what drugs he was doing during his own youth. This, of course, makes BUSH’S position on current marijuana and narcotic law hypocritical. )

    10) Kerry is not Bush. ANYBODY who is not Bush is better than anybody who IS Bush. Didn’t you get the memo on that?

  46. Jack Tanner Says:

    Pounce – you’re basically right except on #5. Julia Thorne said she would never marry anyone who wore a suit and tie after being married to Kerry and that people who do, businessman, lawyers and politicians just do it to control other people. Not exactly an endorsement.

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