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First, Obama's passport…now, Hillary's breached, too; 12:13pm Eastern: State Dept says McCain's passport accessed, too; Update: Contractor ID'd

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By Michelle Malkin  •  March 21, 2008 12:01 PM

Scroll down for updates…Bottom line: State Department won’t name contractors involved in breaches; employee who accessed Obama and McCain files is still employed; at least 3 supervisors failed to send the info “up the chain”…State Dept briefing live 12:14pm Eastern…Spokesman Sean McCormack says Rice contacted Hillary Clinton re breach…”this past summer, a trainee in passport office had unauthorized access of Clinton’s file during training session”…More: “John McCain–earlier this year–one of the same people who accessed Obama’s file also accessed McCain’s file”…McCormack says the employee was disciplined but still remains working with State Dept contractor…”we’re reviewing our options”…”For some reason, people at the working level did the right things. They confronted these employees who had accessed these files in an unauthorized way, but that information did not rise to senior management levels”…State Department refusing to name the contractors…to “err on the side of caution and allow investigators to get a start”…Contractor ID’d: VA-based Stanley Inc.

Fresh off of apologizing for the State Department breach of privacy in Barack Obama’s files, Condi Rice has now informed Hillary Clinton that her files were breached, too. Via AP:

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has told Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that her passport file was breached in 2007. In a statement from her Senate office, Clinton said she had been contacted by Rice. The State Department plans to brief Clinton’s staff Friday about the unauthorized breach. The development came just hours after the State Department fired two contract employees and disciplined a third for inappropriately examining the passport file of Clinton’s Democratic rival, Sen. Barack Obama.

Obvious point: This is bad. But it probably wouldn’t be wise for Hillary “Filegate” Clinton to make too much of a stink about this, don’t you think?

Obvious point, part II: The State Department is such a freaking joke.

Two State Dept. employees have already been fired and a third disciplined in the Obama case.

Who else is guilty of “imprudent curiosity?”

Two State Department employees were fired and a third has been disciplined for improperly accessing Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s passport file, the State Department announced Thursday night.

Senior Department officials said they learned of the incidents only when a reporter made an inquiry Thursday afternoon. They said an initial investigation indicated the employees – all of whom worked on contract – were motivated by “imprudent curiosity.”

***

12:16pm Eastern. State Department briefing and q&a underway. Inspector General leading investigation. Will probe “systemic” issue.

Question: Will all the other presidential candidates’ files be checked to see if they were breached?

McCormack “isn’t aware” of any other searches.

“For some reason, people at the working level did the right things. They confronted these employees who had accessed these files in an unauthorized way, but that information did not rise to senior management levels.”

I wonder if anyone will blog about this at the State Department blog?

12:25pm Eastern. McCormack goes through timeline. State Dept wasn’t aware of unauthorized accesses until yesterday afternoon following media inquiry. “While we were doing that yesterday afternoon, we asked ourselves were there any other unauthorized accesses of other remaining presidential candidates…we briefed campaign staffs and [Rice] reached out to candidates…”

12:50pm Eastern. Here is McCormack’s bio. Not to pile on, but watching this guy just confirms the State Department image of hubris and cluelessness. He keeps repeating the soundbite that the “system worked” and smiled and giggled when someone asked the stupid but simple question: “Isn’t this an embarrassment for the State Department?”

1:07pm Eastern. McCain reacts.

3:22pm Eastern. Here comes Henry Waxman.

***

The latest…Via MSNBC, one of the contractors has been ID’d: Virginia-based Stanley Inc.

It was the Washington Times that gave clueless State Department brass the heads-up about the breaches.

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Categories: Barack Obama, Media Bias