Two State Department employees were fired and a third has been disciplined for improperly accessing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's passport file, the State Department announced Thursday night.
Senior Department officials said they learned of the incidents only when a reporter made an inquiry Thursday afternoon. They said an initial investigation indicated the employees - all of whom worked on contract - were motivated by "imprudent curiosity."
Then Hillary and McCain:
Then Hillary and McCain:
State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the breaches of McCain and Clinton's passport files were not discovered until Friday, after officials were made aware of the privacy breach regarding Obama's records and a separate search was conducted.
Obvious point: This is bad. But it probably wouldn’t be wise for Hillary “Filegate” Clinton to make too much of a stink about this, don’t you think?
"Well, you know, no comment", sounds about right.
The Obama camp is outraged:
The Obama campaign denounced the accessing as "an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an Administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years."
Spokesman Bill Burton said "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." (my emphasis)
It's a little over the top to suggest the Bush administration is behind this. Good grief. I'm sure the President could not care less what's in Obama's passport file. And just how has this information been used for political purposes? Trying to take the heat off Obama and Rev. Wright, I suppose. Confederate Yankee:
The Obama campaign, sensing a possible escape route from Barack's current string of self-inflicted wounds, quickly moved into victim-mode.
Will Bunch at Attytood:
...OK, the tin foil hats are out :-) ...ready?
1) The office that handles passports, consular affairs, is indeed run by a woman named Maura Harty, who's a....wait for it -- Clinton administration holdover. Remember, no one has implicated her or any State Department employees -- the two people who were fired were contract workers.
2) The greatest interest in Obama's overseas travel has been expressed by Clinton supporters. One area of interest -- and I really don't understand what exactly they were getting at -- is Obama's European travels, or non-travels.
Let the conspiracy theorizing commence.