The Obama Passport Scandal

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Or maybe just overly curious contract employees.

Bill Gertz:


Two State Department employees were fired recently and a third disciplined for improperly accessing electronic personal data on Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Bush administration officials said yesterday.

The officials, all contract workers, used their authorized computer network access to look up files within the department's consular affairs section, which processes and stores passport information, and read Mr. Obama's passport application and other records, in violation of department privacy rules, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was notified of the security breach yesterday, and responded by saying security measures used to monitor records of high-profile Americans worked properly in detecting the breaches.

Mr. McCormack said the officials did not appear to be seeking information on behalf of any political candidate or party.

"As far as we can tell, in each of the three cases, it was imprudent curiosity," Mr. McCormack told The Washington Times.

The FBI is apparently investigating.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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