GOP Urges Berger Lie Test; Honesty Doubted in 9/11 Testimony

Article excerpt


Eighteen House Republicans have urged the Justice Department to proceed with a polygraph test for Samuel R. Berger, the former national security adviser who agreed to take the test as part of a plea of guilty of stealing documents from the National Archives.

"This may be the only way for anyone to know whether Mr. Berger denied the 9/11 commission and the public the complete account of the Clinton administration's actions or inactions during the lead-up to the terrorist attacks on the United States," the congressmen said in their letter to Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales.

The congressmen - led by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia - said a prompt lie-detector test is needed to determine the extent of Mr. Berger's thievery, especially because the former Clinton administration adviser reviewed original documents for which there were no copies or inventory.

Other signers of the letter are Reps. Duncan Hunter, Darrell Issa and Brian Bilbray of California, John L. Mica of Florida, F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. of Wisconsin, Dan Burton and Mark Souder of Indiana, Christopher Shays of Connecticut, John M. McHugh of New York, Chris Cannon of Utah, John J. "Jimmy" Duncan Jr. of Tennessee, Michael R. Turner of Ohio, Kenny Marchant of Texas, Lynn Westmoreland of Georgia, Patrick T. McHenry and Virginia Foxx of North Carolina and Bill Sali of Idaho.

Mr. Davis, former chairman and now ranking Republican on the House Government Reform Committee, released a report by his staff on Jan. 9, saying a Justice Department investigation of Mr. Berger's admitted document theft was "remarkably incurious."

The report said the theft compromised national security "much more than originally disclosed" and resulted in "incomplete and misleading" information to the September 11 commission. It said Mr. Berger was willing to go to "extraordinary lengths to compromise national security, apparently for his own convenience."

In October, Mr. Davis led an effort to hold hearings to determine whether any documents were "destroyed, removed or were missing" after visits by Mr. Berger to the Archives. He said the full extent of Mr. …