Sunday, July 25, 2004

Chris Matthews prides himself on being the ultimate insider, providing viewers with an inside perspective on politics. While it may be true that he is the insider's insider, it would help if he would do an extra bit of homework. The controversy over the Sandy Berger investigation is a good example of when homework could help. Despite statements by the September 11 commission that no documents were withheld, Matthews and his guests on his Sunday Chris Matthew's Show still speculated that Berger's removal of documents (possibly copies, not originals) and notes was an attempt to cover up failings of the Clinton administration. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo has the rundown.

While it is certainly possible that Berger may be interested in massaging any possible fallout from a negative evaluation of the Clinton administration's anti-terrorism techniques, there is certainly almost no chance that he was attempting to remove damaging documents. The speculation is more problematic that the possible violation. In almost 9 months of investigation, there have been no criminal charges filed. The story is all sizzle and no steak.

There has of course been much speculation about who allowed the leak, a Democrat or a Republican; a leak by the Dems to deprive the Republicans of ammunition or a leak by the Republicans to soften the blow of a (possibly) negative 9/11 commission report. No one has come clean as to who did the leaking, but the story is unlikely to last. The Democratic Convention starts on tommorrow, which should pretty well dominate the next few days of news.

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