In his Feb. 24 letter, "Let the Berger Case Rest," Lanny A. Breuer, counsel to Samuel R. "Sandy" Berger, questioned my motivation in the Berger matter.

I respond by stating that, as the inspector general of the National Archives and Records Administration, my duty is to detect and investigate matters of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement within NARA programs and operations. By his own admissions, Mr. Berger abused his privileges by removing and destroying holdings maintained by NARA. Thus, my motivation was to do the job that the American people have entrusted me with.

I have never sought to "tar not only Mr. Berger but also professional prosecutors and investigators of the Justice Department and the FBI," as Mr. Breuer wrote. Indeed, I have the highest level of esteem for Justice and FBI employees, with whom I have worked closely throughout my career.

My concern after Oct. 10, 2003, when I was first notified by NARA staff of Mr. Berger's removal of classified records, was whether the Sept. 11 commission would receive timely notification related to Mr. Berger's actions and could be assured full production of documents it needed to conduct its work. I defer the answers to these questions to representatives of the Sept. 11 commission.

PAUL BRACHFELD

Inspector General

National Archives and Records Administration

College Park