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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Illegal Access to Obama's Passport - More Dirty Tricks?

An interesting story is being reported as I write this pertaining to unauthorized access of the passport information of Senator Barack Obama.

Three contract employees of the Bureau of Consular Affairs, which falls under the State Department, were responsible for unauthorized viewing of Obama's passport file. Two have been fired and a third person has been disciplined.

A monitoring system was tripped each time after the records were accessed. Once on January 9th, again on February 21st, and most recent on March 14th. The contract employees involved in the first two instances were fired and the third has been disciplined.

It was back in 1991, when Bill Clinton was running for president a similar violation occurred pertaining to unauthorized access to his passport information. This happened under the George H. W. Bush administration and as a result of a special prosecutor at the time, a monitoring system was put in place.

Amazingly, it was not until today that Senator Obama was notified of these violations by a phone call to his Senate office. Reportedly, the Inspector General office did not find out about these violations until today. Someone earlier in the chain determined that the information was not disseminated to others by these contract employees which would make their action a criminal act. They are saying that this action by the contract employees was not politically motivated. Another question is when was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice informed of this violation?

Senator Barack Obama has traveled around the world and lived as a child in Indonesia so this passport information would be of interest to many from a political standpoint.

The question that became famous during my college days and Watergate will be relevant again and that is "What did they know and when did they know it"?

Stay tuned.

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