March 20, 2008
Imprudent Curiositygate

BBC moved this story at 10:22 p.m. (EST) Thursday, and the 11 o’clock news only carried a sentence or two on it. But it will be all over the news by Friday morning, barring massive media misconduct. Which of course we can’t bar at all.

The US Department of State has fired two contractors and disciplined a third for accessing the passport file of presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

A spokesman for the department, Sean McCormack, said the cases were likely caused by “imprudent curiosity.” But he said it was not clear what the employees may have seen or what they were looking for.

A spokesman for Mr Obama suggested that the government could be using private information for “political purposes.”

The BBC’s North America editor, Justin Webb, says it is an extraordinary lapse in security which allowed temporary state department employees access to personal information on a man who is guarded by the secret service day and night .

The state department tracks those who access its passport database. Breaches occurred on three separate dates — 9 January, 21 February and 14 March.

“We believe this was out of imprudent curiosity, so we are taking steps to reassure ourselves that that is, in fact, the case,” Mr McCormack said…


Posted by Jerome Doolittle at March 20, 2008 11:31 PM
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9 January, 21 February and 14 March.

That would be the day after the New Hampshire primary, the day of the Democratic debate in Texas and the day the Wright story really hit.

Posted by: whig on March 21, 2008 2:58 AM

Meanwhile Obama's passport-file probably proves he's been travelling to some evil states like Iran or Venezuela. Or maybe something even more subtle.

Posted by: Peter on March 21, 2008 7:19 AM
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