Obama passport file breached

Two State Department employees have been fired for looking at the Illinois senator's file.

By Alex Koppelman
March 21, 2008 6:30PM (UTC)
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Two State Department employees have been fired for looking at Barack Obama's passport file, and third has been disciplined. All were contract workers. The department's inspector general is now investigating. According to the Associated Press, it's not clear whether the employees saw anything beyond basic information.

Sean McCormack, a State Department spokesman, has said it was nothing more than "imprudent curiosity" that led the employees to examine Obama's file. The Obama campaign is pressing the issue, however. In a statement, Obama spokesman Bill Burton said:

This is an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an Administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years. Our government's duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes. This is a serious matter that merits a complete investigation, and we demand to know who looked at Senator Obama's passport file, for what purpose, and why it took so long for them to reveal this security breach.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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