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December 21, 2006

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I'm trying to think of some reason to mourn his death, but I'm having a pretty hard time.

I heard he was a wizard with a karaoke machine. Actually, that's probably another reason not to mourn his death.

Unrelated: just when you thought Sandy Berger had disappeared below the national radar for the last time:

Berger took a break to go outside without an escort while it was dark. He had taken four documents in his pockets.

"He headed toward a construction area. ... Mr. Berger looked up and down the street, up into the windows of the Archives and the DOJ [Department of Justice], and did not see anyone," the interview notes said.

He then slid the documents under a construction trailer, according to the inspector general. Berger acknowledged that he later retrieved the documents from the construction area and returned with them to his office.

"He was aware of the risk he was taking," the inspector general's notes said. Berger then returned to the Archives building without fearing the documents would slip out of his pockets or that staff would notice that his pockets were bulging.

You know, this looks bad. Even ignoring whether any information was lost, this looks very bad.

Even ignoring whether any information was lost, this looks very bad.

charge, try, convict. maybe we'll learn his motivations in the process, maybe not.

Motivations are of interest, to be sure. But you never know when you're going to get a peek at those, do you?

Still, Berger knew the risks. What could possibly have made those risks look worth taking? That's a question I'm very interested in getting answered.

What could possibly have made those risks look worth taking?

dementia ?

seriously... beats me. they were Millennium Plot docs, right ? maybe he was going to write an article or a book about it.

1m in ur d0cqments, stuffin' mah pokits

Good analysis of Turkmenistan's uncertain political future from EurasiaNet.

I've got a little list--I've got a little list
Of society offenders who might well be underground,
And who never would be missed--who never would be missed!
-- W.S.Gilbert

Niyazov makes the list. I have a friend who is a refugee from Turkmenistan who was given asylum on 3 grounds: he's gay, he's a Christian, he was a human rights advocate. Pretty amazing and one of the rare times our asylum processes did the right thing, letting him stay.

"I'm trying to think of some reason to mourn his death, but I'm having a pretty hard time."

"Here richly, with ridiculous display,
The Politician's corpse was laid away.
While all of his acquaintances sneered and slanged,
I wept; for I had hoped to see him hanged."
-- Hilaire Belloc

I feel exactly the same poignant regret, for the same reason, every time somebody like Pinochet or Kim Il Sung finally shuffles off this mortal coil for natural reasons. The number of tyrants who actually get executed is still depressingly small.

Jonathan Edelstein and commenters provide some more material for speculation about the future in Turkmenistan.

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