March 19, 2008

MSNBC is reporting that there was a breach of Barack Obama’s passport file that led to two firings at the State Department and a suspension…

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Two contract employees of the State Department were fired and a third person was disciplined for accessing passport records of Sen. Barack Obama "without a need to do so," State Department officials confirmed to NBC News...

A monitoring system was tripped when an employee accessed the records of a high-profile individual,” a department official told NBC News. "When the monitoring system is tripped, we immediately seek an explanation for the records access. If the explanation is not satisfactory, the supervisor is notified."

Does this surprise anyone of us that has followed the Bush administration for all these years?

Statement from Obama campaign:

"This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an Administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years. Our government's duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes. This is a serious matter that merits a complete investigation, and we demand to know who looked at Senator Obama's passport file, for what purpose, and why it took so long for them to reveal this security breach.

Update from Will Bunch:

...from Nov. 1992:

A State Department official who carried out the two-day search of passport files for information about Gov. Bill Clinton said today that he had resigned, just 48 hours before Federal investigators are expected to issue a report criticizing the search.

The official, Steven M. Moheban, was a top aide to Elizabeth M. Tamposi, the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs who was dismissed last week by President Bush for her role in the search of files on Mr. Clinton, his mother, Virginia Kelley, and Ross Perot, the independent Presidential candidate.

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