Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Obama's Passport Records Breached

21 March 2008

Obama's Passport Records Breached

Like father, like son: Bushes like to go fishing in their political opponents' passport records

On three separate occasions this year, State Department employees improperly accessed Senator Obama's passport records. Two contract employees at the department were fired, and a third person suspended. State Department officials blame the breach on the employees' sense of curiosity.

The last time a presidential candidate's passport files were improperly examined was 1992, when an employeee of George the Smart's State Department rifled through the records of Bill Clinton.

(via The Seminal) (cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)


Anonymous pimperenel said...

After reading this and Richard's piece before, it's pity the US authorities don't check back on McCain's claimed lineage the Bush family's too) and then expose the whole bunch of them as liars.

Mind you, would it really make much difference? Would the media give the revelation a proper 'airing'? I doubt it.

9:43 am  
Anonymous gordo said...

Well, the last time this happened, the person who authorized the search said that White House officials had encouraged the search and that her superiors had approved it. Since she was Assistant Secretary of State, the list of her superiors was very short. It included only James Baker and George H. W. Bush.

Faced with that set of facts, the press did virtually nothing in the way of follow-up, and the incoming Clinton administration did not investigate. So it's not at all surprising that this has happened again.

11:10 am  
Anonymous Rex said...

It's all too easy to overlook the fact that data bases that are so easily accessed in order to extract information - can also be used to insert information. Including entirely false information - which can of course then be accessed and extracted as and when when it 'suits'.

While IT can be a marvelous thing, it also has it's much darker side.

11:16 am  
Blogger Twilight said...

I think what Rex has said is the important part - possibility of including false information in the data.

Otherwise, what could anyone find out from passport records which would be of any use ? It's basic detail about a person's birth date, place, etc. The only use of snooping would be to uncover suspected lies I guess.

As the government has almost carte blanche to listen to phone calls and otherwise invade privacy of all US citizens, I don't see snooping into passport records as being any more serious than that, in itself, but those who did it without permission deserved to be fired, of course.

4:20 pm  
Blogger Twilight said...

According to CNN all the candidates' files (Clinton's and McCain's) were breached, not just Obama's

So any lurking doubts that the "wicked evil" Clintons were behind it can be put aside - please!

4:41 pm  
Anonymous gordo said...


Two of the three people caught snooping were private contractors. Since they accessed all three candidates' records, it could be that they were looking to find something embarrassing that they could sell to a rival campaign. It's the sort of security breach that can be expected when you outsource all government functions.

9:45 am  

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