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All the President's Men
Author: BobR    Date: 03/21/2008 12:12:57

Unless you've been living in a bubble, you heard it revealed last night that Obama's passport file at the State Dept. had been accessed by unauthorized personnel - on 3 wholly separate occassions. As of this writing, here is the latest info:
The State Department says it is trying to determine whether three contract workers had a political motive for looking at Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's passport file.

Two of the employees were fired for the security breach and the third was disciplined but is still working, the department said Thursday night. It would not release the names of those who were fired and disciplined or the names of the two companies for which they worked. The department's inspector general is investigating.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said that for now it appears that nothing other than "imprudent curiosity" was involved in three separate breaches of the Illinois senator's personal information, "but we are taking steps to reassure ourselves that that is, in fact, the case."

------------

The breaches occurred on Jan. 9, Feb. 21 and March 14 and were detected by internal State Department computer checks, McCormack said. The department's top management officer, Undersecretary Patrick Kennedy, said certain records, including those of high-profile people, are "flagged" with a computer tag that tips off supervisors when someone tries to view the records without a proper reason.

The firings and unspecified discipline of the third employee already had occurred when senior State Department officials learned of the breaches. Kennedy called that a failing.

"I will fully acknowledge this information should have been passed up the line," Kennedy told reporters in a conference call Thursday night. "It was dealt with at the office level."

In answer to a question, Kennedy said the department doesn't look into political affiliation in doing background checks on passport workers. "Now that this has arisen, this becomes a germane question, and that will be something for the appropriate investigation to look into," he said.

------------

Doug Hattaway, a spokesman for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady who is challenging Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination, said of the current breach: "It's outrageous and the Bush administration has to get to the bottom of it."

Kennedy and McCormack said it was too soon to say whether a crime was committed. The searches may violate the federal Privacy Act, and Kennedy said he is consulting State Department lawyers.

The State Department inspector general's power is limited because two of the employees are no longer working for the department. McCormack said it was premature to consider whether the FBI or Justice Department should be involved.

McCormack said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was informed of the breaches on Thursday.

As mentioned in the article, it is reminiscent of a similar incident that occurred when Bill Clinton was originally running for office, and George H. W. Bush was president:
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.

-------------

Ms. Tamposi has said that White House officials encouraged the search of Mr. Clinton's records and that her superiors approved it. The inspector general has interviewed White House officials. But it is not clear whether he will assign any responsibility for the search to senior officials at the White House and the State Department, or will merely focus on Ms. Tamposi and lower-ranking employees.

In a more general sense, it is also reminiscent of the the Nixon Watergate break-in, where Nixon was trying to get information about the Democratic candidate(s) running against him. In all of these cases, we have a well-liked presumptive Democratic nominee, and a Republican administration willing to break the law and use its access to secret records (or burglary) to get private information, in a win-at-any-cost push to hold onto power. Why do these things never happen the other way around?

As of now, there is no hard evidence that the current Bush administration had a hand in this. It seems unlikely, however, that the fact that 3 separate people on 3 separate occassions tried to dig through his file is anything BUT politically motivated. Right now the focus is on "who knew what when". Since this is a misdemeanor, the FBI should check the bank records of the people involved to see if there were any strange large deposits. Perhaps this Adminstration HAS learned from the past, and avoided a top-down approach, opting to use outside people instead. Only time will tell if this becomes Bush's "Watergate Moment" (discounting of course all of his previous Watergate moments that were allowed to slide).

Do not be surprised if this is only given the most cursory of looks and then brushed off as isolated incidents with no conspiratorial malfeasence. They have a pattern, and taking responsibility and honest self-examination are not part of it...

... and oh yeah - Bill Richardson is endorsing Obama

236 comments (Latest Comment: 03/22/2008 01:27:04 by livingonli)
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Comment by jd_in_ny on 03/21/2008 12:29:46
Do not be surprised if this is only given the most cursory of looks and then brushed off as isolated incidents with no conspiratorial malfeasence.




We switched over to Faux News (BRIEFLY) and CNN to see how/whether they were covering it after hearing about it on KO during the 8:00 show. Nothing. We checked again at 9, and Hannity (gah) was taking this line exactly

Comment by m-hadley on 03/21/2008 12:53:12
Mornin' Everybody,

Here's some happy news: Governor Richardson Endorsed Barack Obama today. I put up a quick little post on my blog this morning - yeah rah, go Obama :D

TGIF!!!

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by BobR on 03/21/2008 12:59:11
Time to get ready for work - see y'all in about an hour!

Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 13:00:35
Morning all! :yawn:



need more coffee..........

mmmmmmmmm........yerba Mati.............

Comment by TriSec on 03/21/2008 13:28:42
Morning, comrades!



Today is the last day on the calendar that I still pretend to be Catholic (Good Friday). All vegetarian today, no meats...and I partially gave up caffeine for Lent, too. (No coffee, but I have been drinking tea.)



Anyway, it's spring, it's Easter, Papa TriSec turned 74 yesterday...it's a pretty good weekend, methinks!





Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 13:33:48
Good Morning!

Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 13:34:37
Margaret................ brown-noser..........





Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 13:35:49
Bill Richardson endorsing Obama!!! :banana:

Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 13:35:56
All these f*ckers that label Rev. Wright a "hate-monger" or "unpatriotic" need to say the saming fucking thing about Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, etc....

Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 13:36:21
Quote by velveeta jones:

All these f*ckers that label Rev. Wright a "hate-monger" or "unpatriotic" need to say the saming fucking thing about Falwell, Robertson, Hagee, etc....




Totally Mrs. Cheese! Totally!



Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 13:38:00
I cannot believe the American People are going to fall for BULLSHITE again!

I have a case of Political Stupidity Exhaustion.



Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 13:41:37
people at work were talking about Rev. Wright yesterday and I threw up a little bit in my mouth. I am a little ashamed because I didn't interrupt and clarify some things, but I didn't have the energy. They were saying all the talking points; "How could Obama go to that church week after week and not believe that stuff? Etc."



And, these people, having this conversation? Democratic.



Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 13:44:38
:: gets a wet rag to clean up muse mess ::

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 13:45:59
Quote by jd_in_ny:

Do not be surprised if this is only given the most cursory of looks and then brushed off as isolated incidents with no conspiratorial malfeasence.




We switched over to Faux News (BRIEFLY) and CNN to see how/whether they were covering it after hearing about it on KO during the 8:00 show. Nothing. We checked again at 9, and Hannity (gah) was taking this line exactly
Someone was given the marching orders.



It is so frustrating. Have we had any comment from the house or the senate on this situation?







Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 13:49:53
Quote by starling310:

:: gets a wet rag to clean up muse mess ::


Cleanup on aisle 6! Stat!



Doncha worry about that Muse missy, we take care of it.









Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 13:50:18
:prince: Billy don't be a hero

Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 13:53:12
:: jim :: What?!



Gets me every time.



Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 13:53:14
ACTUALLY the hillary preacher thing seems problematic to me. that is a very serious breach of religion and politics.

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 13:56:22
You know what :star:, I am having the same kind of exaustion myself.

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 13:57:13
Once again, peopel are parsing and splicing this speech with listening to all of it. Are we a nation of idiots?



Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 13:58:30
Quote by starling310:

I cannot believe the American People are going to fall for BULLSHITE again!

I have a case of Political Stupidity Exhaustion.



Are you feeling constantly wound up, stressed, and feel like you might poke someone in the eye with a sharp implement at any moment? You may suffer from Political Stupidity Exhaustion. PSE is caused by other people who have little concern for their basic educational needs. Sufferers of PSE may feel sharp pains in their head and neck region, other symptoms are sleepiness, nausea, dizziness, melancholy, suicidal and homicidal tendencies. There is no known cure for PSE, however, alcohol seems to help with outbreaks. And armed revolution is currently being studied. Consult your doctor before picking up a gun and revolting. Side effects from using a gun may include: handcuffs, orange jumpsuits, Gitmo and waterboarding.

Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 14:01:35
Ya'll ! Turn on MSNBC in the background. Condi may be making a statement in the next hour.



MSNBC has been all over this story, since they broke it.

Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:02:28
Quote by Raine:

You know what :star:, I am having the same kind of exaustion myself.




I can fight an honest fight all day long. But, this fight isn't fair and it feels like we can't win if people will believe every stupid thing they hear.



I am gonna have to don my "Black Power" t-shirt. That will get me back in the mood!



Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 14:02:42
The biggest questions I have... why did it take so long to report this, and WHAT was the name of the contracting company?





Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:03:08
Quote by velveeta jones:

Quote by starling310:

I cannot believe the American People are going to fall for BULLSHITE again!

I have a case of Political Stupidity Exhaustion.



Are you feeling constantly wound up, stressed, and feel like you might poke someone in the eye with a sharp implement at any moment? You may suffer from Political Stupidity Exhaustion. PSE is caused by other people who have little concern for their basic educational needs. Sufferers of PSE may feel sharp pains in their head and neck region, other symptoms are sleepiness, nausea, dizziness, melancholy, suicidal and homicidal tendencies. There is no known cure for PSE, however, alcohol seems to help with outbreaks. And armed revolution is currently being studied. Consult your doctor before picking up a gun and revolting. Side effects from using a gun may include: handcuffs, orange jumpsuits, Gitmo and waterboarding.




:rofl:



Comment by livingonli on 03/21/2008 14:03:26
Good morning everyone.



So, is Ben Furguson a right-wing version of Comic Book Guy?



How do you feel about 45-year old virgins who still live at home with their parents?



Oh god over at the SMS board. The one Hillary defender has never heard of The Tuskegee Experiment even though Bill Clinton apologized for it. :Thud:



Well, anyhoo, today I am a year older and hopefully a year wiser as I reach my 41st Bithday.

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 14:03:59
Chocolate Rain?



Youtube awards? Hmm... scurries over... brb!

Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:05:05
WOO HOO! LIVING IS IN THE HOUSE!!!



Hoppy Birfday to you!

Hoppy Birfday to you!

Hoppy Birfday to liiiiivvvvviiiiinnnnnnn

Hoppy Birfday to you!



Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 14:05:11
Oh my... I do not know what to make of this...





Comment by m-hadley on 03/21/2008 14:07:00
Quote by livingonli:

Good morning everyone.



So, is Ben Furguson a right-wing version of Comic Book Guy?



How do you feel about 45-year old virgins who still live at home with their parents?



Oh god over at the SMS board. The one Hillary defender has never heard of The Tuskegee Experiment even though Bill Clinton apologized for it. :Thud:



Well, anyhoo, today I am a year older and hopefully a year wiser as I reach my 41st Bithday.




Happy Happy Birthday Liv!

Here's hoping that your special day is fabulous and the year ahead is even better! :D

Cheers,

mfaye

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 14:07:40
LIV!!!!





HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!




Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 14:07:59
Is anyone else doing the Steph live blog? I don't like it.........and not currently blogging on it.

Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:08:45
HEY! I can view that video?!? WTF? The work code monkeys must be slacking.



That is weird sh*t y'all!



Comment by TriSec on 03/21/2008 14:09:30
[Unfiltered]



(marching cadence)

Happy, happy, happy birthday!

Happy, happy, happy birthday!

Happy, happy, happy birthday, Right Wing!



[/Unfiltered]



Yes, I know you're not a wingnut, but any chance for an Unfiltered reference these days must be taken advantage of.



:peace:



Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:11:40
Poor Momma....she sounds awful. for momma.

And, here's some medicine.



Comment by livingonli on 03/21/2008 14:11:43
How do you put the words in the big box?

Comment by wickedpam on 03/21/2008 14:11:59
Morning :hug:











Happy B-Day Liv!


Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 14:12:39
Happy B-DAY LIV!! Well, I feel bad.............. I meant to put a card in the mail to you.... *sigh* but I've been taking care of Mrs VJ and I .............. forgot.



:cry:

Comment by wickedpam on 03/21/2008 14:13:02
Quote by velveeta jones:

Is anyone else doing the Steph live blog? I don't like it.........and not currently blogging on it.




I'm not really in the mood to deal with it really.



Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:13:54
The Steph Live Blog can bite me.

Comment by livingonli on 03/21/2008 14:16:37
Quote by velveeta jones:

Happy B-DAY LIV!! Well, I feel bad.............. I meant to put a card in the mail to you.... *sigh* but I've been taking care of Mrs VJ and I .............. forgot.



:cry:


That's OK. :hug:



Best the part is I have a three-day weekend.

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 14:16:38
Quote by starling310:

HEY! I can view that video?!? WTF? The work code monkeys must be slacking.



That is weird sh*t y'all!

Ok, At least it isn't just me. I now have that earworm in my head!



Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:17:35
Re: the tourist story. . .I was at a St. Patricks Day party on Monday, with several Americans, 2 Germans and a Brit. The foreigners in the mix all agreed that the most obnoxious tourists????



Australians!



It's not Americans. :banana:

Comment by livingonli on 03/21/2008 14:17:50
Quote by starling310:

The Steph Live Blog can bite me.


With the feuding between the Obama and Hillary supporters and the rhetoric of one Hillary supporter there, I agree.



This is a much nicer place.

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 14:19:24
Well we ARE the preferred alternative to the SMS blog.



(and happily we were lucky enough to meet JD-in-NY and Shane-O)





Comment by starling310 on 03/21/2008 14:19:38
China shouldn't be allowed to host the Olympics. F*ckers!

Comment by velveeta jones on 03/21/2008 14:22:07
CONDI'S ON THE TEEVEE...........LIVE

Comment by Raine on 03/21/2008 14:22:30
fwiw, I think this is a much nicer place because of the people!





Comment by livingonli on 03/21/2008 14:22:47
Quote by Raine:

Well we ARE the preferred alternative to the SMS blog.



(and happily we were lucky enough to meet JD-in-NY and Shane-O)





And we had Faye from Tulsa first too.