Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Obama Passport Caper Revisited

If you happened to be channel surfing on the night that the news broke that someone illegally accessed then-candidate Obama's passport file, you might have noticed that MSNBC was covering the story like it was a combination of Watergate, IranContra, and the death of Elvis. CNN, to its credit, had a more measured coverage. As soon as it came out that the perpetrator had also snooped into Hillary Clinton's and John McCain's file, the story quickly disappeared from all media outlets, including MSNBC. Newsmax is now claiming an Obama supporter (rather than what was presumed to be an opponent) breached the passport records:
Obama’s top terrorism and intelligence adviser, John O. Brennan, heads a firm that was cited in March for breaching sensitive files in the State Department’s passport office, according to a State Department Inspector General’s report released this past Jul
The security breach, first reported by the Washington Times and later confirmed by State Department spokesman Sean McCormack, involved a contract employee of Brennan’s firm, The Analysis Corp., which has earned millions of dollars providing intelligence-related consulting services to federal agencies and private companies.
During a State Department briefing on March 21, 2008, McCormack confirmed that the contractor had accessed the passport files of presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and John McCain, and that the inspector general had launched an investigation.
Sources who tracked the investigation tell Newsmax that the main target of the breach was the Obama passport file, and that the contractor accessed the file in order to “cauterize” the records of potentially embarrassing information.
“They looked at the McCain and Clinton files as well to create confusion,” one knowledgeable source told Newsmax. “But this was basically an attempt to cauterize the Obama file.”
What could possibly be in a candidate's passport file that would be so damaging that an covert operative would need to go in and scrub it? Incidentally, a key witness in this incident was murdered, and the case remains unsolved.

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