Heckuva Job, Condi
by Todd Beeton, Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 08:55:42 AM EDT
Well, at least the State Department is an equal opportunity invader of privacy.
The State Department said Friday that all three presidential candidates' passport files were breached.
Sen. Barack Obama's passport file was breached three times since January, the State Department said.
The admission comes after it was revealed Sen. Barack Obama's files had been viewed three times by contractors. One of the contractors also viewed the files of Republican Sen. John McCain, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
Earlier Friday, Sen. Hillary Clinton's office said that the State Department had notified it that her file had been breached in 2007.
These revelations come on the same day that Condoleezza Rice apologized to Barack Obama for yesterday's news that his passport file had been breached by State Dept. contractors.
"I told him I was sorry and I told him that I myself would be very disturbed in anyone had looked at my passport files and that, therefore, I will stay on top of this," Rice said.
"We are going to do an investigation through the inspector general," she said. "None of us want us to have a situation where any American's passport file is accessed in an unauthorized way."
Umm, ya think?
The State Department thus far has refused to reveal the names of the companies whose employees breached the presidential candidates' files in their capacity as State Dept contractors. Waxman is on it.
The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Harry Waxman, sent a letter to Rice asking for the companies' names and said they should be made public.
The department hires contractors to design, build and maintain their systems and help employees with searches. McCormack said two of the contractors in the Obama case were "low-level" personnel and the other was in a mid-level position with no management role.
The Clinton and McCain campaigns are being briefed on the breaches to their files today. What's more remarkable than the fact that these breaches occurred is how long it's taken for them to come to light. The Clinton breach took place last year, which makes one wonder just how many other candidates' files were compromised.