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Ethical Issue Analysis The Sandy Berger Scandal

1420 words - 6 pages

During the past five years, the United States has experienced an abnormal number of business and engineering catastrophes and disasters. The causes have too often involved the lack of ethics, the violation of a code of ethics, or the violation of procedures. One seldom misses a day when a new or ongoing ethical problem is not being discussed in the news. One could wager that over fifty percent of the hard working Americans have been affected financially and ethically by business failures such as those at Enron, Adelphia Communications, Tyco, Martha Stewart Enterprises, and WorldCom (Alfred Smith, 2003, p.1). The new scandal in the news is in regards to Samuel Berger's conduct, a former deputy national security adviser. He graduated from the Harvard Law School on 1971, next year he was a Speechwriter for a democratic presidential candidate George McGoverns. In 1992 he was assigned as deputy national security adviser by the president Bill Clinton (Todd Brian, 2004, p.1). The author will define what the issue is, why it happened, and what was the main motivation behind it.One of the major issues begins when Sandy Berger goes to the United States National Archive in Maryland. This building contains 520 miles of shelves, several sanctorum, some security vaults named SCIF; which stands for sensitive classified information facility, lockers where people that need to view the documents can leave his or her briefcases or backpacks, and a declassification personnel that has to check and screen all the notes and documents taken. Sandy, a former national security advisor and having an ex presidential position, has the right to go into this security vault and read his memoirs and documents that he wrote or received during the Clinton administration. He goes inside of the security vault and starts taking notes to better prepare, so he can present his anti-terrorism case in front of the nine eleven investigation commission. A few months after doing so, and before the last presidential convention, the FBI asks him what happened with these documents. Mr. Berger replies that he returned them to the security vault. However, some of the most critical millennium documents have become lost.Another major issue is in regards of the personnel that let Sandy Berger enter the vault and take the notes. According to the news published on Hartford Courant (2004) editorial "National Archives employees told FBI agents that they had observed Mr. Berger placing documents in his clothing while reviewing classified Clinton administration papers and then noticed some documents were missing"(p.1). Why didn't anyone try to stop him? Why did these employees let him break the rules? What was Sandy's motivation on perhaps stealing these documents, when he has a vast awareness of the law as a security advisor and as a lawyer?As a result of his actions, the FBI is now probing Sandy Berger as a suspect in this mix-up. According to Kant and his categorical imperative theory, he conveys, "Act...

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