My kids love the movie National Treasure.
They've watched it over and over and I suppose part of the appeal for them is the way in which Ben, the main character, manages to lift the Declaration of Independence from the Archives. It's a pretty exciting scene.
Now I read that Sandy Berger, who did a little lifting of his own, has been fined 50, 000 bucks for his misdeeds. It also appears he's lost his clearance for three years as part of the bargain, and in this way, he won't go to the pokey. After all, he took the documents simply because it was inconvenient for him to do his work in the Archives building. He wanted to work from home, probably save on commuting costs, save the environment, you know. Then once at home, those documents got destroyed. Didn't anyone tell him not to leave important papers on the kitchen table or they might get Lucky Charms spilled on them? I tell my kids all the time to put their important documents away where they'll be protected! Maybe Sandy's mom didn't share those words of wisdom with him.
Anyway, considering the current climate of racial intolerance and deliberate drowning of blacks in New Orleans, I put my mind to thinking of what sentence a person of color would have received if they had "borrowed" documents from the NATIONAL ARCHIVES FOR PETE'S SAKE!!!! and then DESTROYED THEM!!!!!. I have a suspicion that jail time would have been in their future and rightly so. It should have been in Sandy Berger's future and I'm mystified as to why he won't do time. My husband put it succinctly when he said, "He has a better lawyer than you do." (I told him I don't HAVE a lawyer at all) Soooooooooooooo, one can assume that in this country, if you're a white democrat with money and access to great lawyers, you can steal all you want from our National Archives and walk away.
Look for Sandy Berger in the sequel to National Treasure. It'll be called NATIONAL DISGRACE.