The State Department has fired two contract employees and disciplined a third for inappropriately looking at presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama’s passport files. On March 20, the State Dept. became aware that Senator Obama's passport files had been accessed without proper authorization. This prompted an investigation which revealed that Senator McCain's passport files had also been accessed by the same person.
In a Friday morning press briefing, State Dept. spokesman, Sean McCormack said the Obama violations were detected by internal State Department computer checks, which flag certain records of high-profile people when someone tries to access the records improperly. McCormack said an internal monitoring system at the department discovered the violations. Passport records are protected by the Privacy Act. The department is looking into the possibility that the contractors accessed the information for political reasons.
Don't be fooled by media (including Fox News) attempts to include Senator Clinton in this story. Clinton's files were accessed last summer by a trainee in a training session and that incident is completely unrelated to the current accessing of McCain's and Obama's files being accessed by one person at the State Department this year.
Clinton's name was included in this media story only to derail speculation that it was her campaign supporters who were involved in this breach of State Dept. security. Don't be fooled by the mainstream media's attempts to cover for the Clinton's by including Mrs. Clinton in the story. It is well known that the Clinton have strong connections in the State Department and many employees there were hired by the Clinton Administration.
McCormack said the State Department already fired two contract employees for inappropriately examining Obama’s file on three separate dates this year, on Jan. 9, Feb. 21 and March 14. McCormack said the Clinton breach occurred in summer 2007 during a training exercise in which employees were asked to search the electronic file by entering a name. While the employees were encouraged to enter family names, one employee entered Clinton’s name.
McCormack said the trainee was admonished, and “it didn’t happen again,” which translates into - this incident was not a recent discovery and has no connection to the intrusions into the Obama and McCain files. The current perpetrator appears to have had no interest in breaching the Clinton files.
McCormack said the breaches of McCain and Clinton's passport files were not discovered until Friday, after officials were made aware of the privacy violation regarding Obama's records and a separate search was conducted. McCormack also stated that the Clinton incident last summer was detected but never reported to senior management in the State Dept. who just became aware of it during this recent search.
McCormack said the individual 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.
Why hasn't this person been fired? How much clout must this person have in the Department to avoid being fired? I wonder if Sandy Burger would have been considered a "contract employee" of the Clinton Administration.
“Senator Clinton will closely monitor the State Department’s investigation into this and the other breaches of private passport information,” Clinton’s Senate office said in a statement. I'm certain they will and try to derail any responsibility and connections to the Clinton campaign or the Clinton's themselves for this offense. I would like to see Clinton’s explanation as to why her passport records were not examined by this person, while Obama’s and McCain’s were.
U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, chairman of the House oversight committee, on Friday wrote a letter to Rice calling for the identities of the companies involved to be released. What? Waxman wants the names of the contract companies to be released but not the names of the employee? Be careful who you hire.
That contractor’s name has now been released as Stanley Inc. The company provides IT services -- including consulting, systems integration, logistics, outsourcing, and engineering -- primarily to military and civilian agencies of the US government. Its clients have included the Library of Congress, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, NASA, and the Smithsonian Institution. Stanley was started as a consulting firm in 1966 by Admiral Emory Stanley.
News reports continue to focus only on the passport application, saying little information could be gained from it other than the applicants Social Security number. Just the SS number in itself is nearly a password to other personal files. The question was asked earlier if the files contained one’s travel history. McCormack said he didn’t know. Where else would one’s travel history be saved if not in their passport file? My God, it’s part of the passport. What other information might be contained in those files is unknown. But I can assure you, there is a great deal more there than just the passport application, and possibly information that could be used in a political campaign to smear one's opponent.