Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Security breach at State

Yesterday it was reported that the passport records of Barack Obama were accessed without authorization. State keeps a tight leash on the people who can access these records, but it appears that three employees decided to have a look-see of his passport records. Today the AP reports that the passport records of all three candidates have been accessed illegally:

State Department employees snooped through the passport files of three presidential candidates — Sens. Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain — and the department's inspector general is investigating.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the violations of McCain and Clinton's passport files were not discovered until Friday, after officials were made aware of the unauthorized access of Obama's records and a separate search was conducted.

The incidents raise questions as to whether the information was accessed for political purposes and why two contractors involved in the Obama search were dismissed before investigators had a chance to interview them. It recalled an incident in 1992, when a Republican political appointee at the State Department was demoted over a search of presidential candidate Bill Clinton's passport records. At the time, Clinton was challenging President George H.W. Bush.

McCormack said one of the individuals who accessed Obama's files also reviewed McCain's file earlier this year. This contract employee has been reprimanded, but not fired. The individual no longer has access to passport records, he said.

"I can assure you that person's going to be at the top of the list of the inspector general when they talk to people, and we are currently reviewing our (disciplinary) options with respect to that person," McCormack said.

Let me start off by saying that this should end the gossip/conspiracy theorizing that occurred when this story broke yesterday about Obama's records. Many people started asking who would have concocted this tactic to use against Obama, and naturally those asking the questions immediately pointed to Hillary. To some, that would make sense. To others, that's asinine. She wouldn't contemplate such a low brow move because she would be the number one suspect.

The FBI yesterday called it “imprudent curiosity." Be that as it may, two employees have been fired, and the third has been reprimanded, has been removed from any connection to accessing that information again. What this does show us is that State has a serious security problem. While they spin it as their security measures caught the breaches when they occurred, State didn't move on this until now. The first breach happened in January. Why didn't they move on this then? That's the question that should be asked of State, and it's vaunted security measures.

Publius II


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