Apparently someone snooped into Obama’s passport file, and the State Dept. never informed Obama. The discussion has taken up the entire hour of Countdown. We will see what comes of it, but I suspect no one will hone in on the real scandal- that our government has something other than simply where we have been recorded in our secret passport files. Why the hell there are notes and the like in there is beyond me and kind of creepy.
Consider this an open thread.
*** Update ***
Here is the CNN story:
On three occasions since January, Sen. Barack Obama’s passport file was looked at by three different contract workers, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.
The contractors accessed information in the file in an unauthorized way, he said.
Two contractors were fired and one was disciplined by the contractor’s company, McCormack said.
He said the contractors are not linked.
Next few days will be interesting.
We must check in on the favorite wingnuts to see what their conspiracy theories are. Maybe someone will work in some kerning.
Creepy, You think? With the admin’s unregulated snooping the first super duper pooper scoopers were looking for Eliot Spiziod like things, then the presidential pres corps, then the editorial staff of every major news outlet and so on… Did you honestly think these “people” played nice?
Yeah – how much evidence do people need to prove John Dean’s claim – these guys make Richard Nixon look like a guy who just crossed the line a couple times?
Here’s the rest, which includes more on the story from the Washington Times:
It seems to me that Secret Service might want to interview the employees as to motive. Also it appears that his files were breached three separate times.
Well, you want to be protected doncha? If they don’t keep secret files on us how will they know who is a God-fearing patriotic American and who’s a terrorist-loving, commie-pinko librul fag?
I’ll go out on a limb and guess the perpetrators were Democrats.
GOP operatives would have Dick get the files for them.
So you think someone in Hillary’s campaign pulled a Nixon?
The Other Steve
If you got nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.
And yet, for everyday Americans, they don’t really care to stop government workers from seeing all your records and personal information–banking, telephone, internet. What is surprising to me is that Obama and others are shocked by the intrusion. Didn’t they realize they are living the GW Bush’s USSA?
Gee, it took all of 30 minutes for someone to blame Hillary without a shred of evidence.
You’re slowing down.
On the surface, this seems like a bad thing. But personally, I feel safer knowing that someone out there is researching the comings and goings of people with names like Hussein. Obama’s not a terrorist, but a lot of other people are. They travel between countries, meet with other terrorists, and plot ways to kill us. What do you expect the government to do, sit back and watch this happen?
It’s not like this is the Third Reich or something. It’s still America, and as someone said above (sarcastically, I think), if you’re not doing anything wrong it shouldn’t matter to you.
A friend of mine returned from overseas recently and was held up at customs while they checked his database entry – he was bemused that he could actually warrant a federal database entry. Imagine. Anyway, he was also able to demonstrate to the US customs officer that there is not, in fact, a place to put the film in a digital camera,
I sleep feeling very safe.
You liberal dingbats just don’t get it, do you? They only spy to save Obama from himself… just like parents who tap their kids’ phones and periodically search their rooms to keep them away from smoking LSD and having a premarital sex. What if Obama was about to listen to a sermon from a black preacher (they hate white people, you know!), or visit a mosque where Muslims hang out, or put on a Ludacris CD, or attack school voucher programs? They could dispatch Secret Service to wrestle him to the ground before irreparable harm was done. It’s like having a combination of The Promise Keepers and a SWAT team to deter you from sin… or worse, socialism. What loyal American could have a problem with that? Left-wing tools like John Cole, I suppose.
Why do private contractors have access to this type of sensitive information?
Remember what happened last time, in 1991?
God you’re a fucking retard.
I didn’t blame her for shit, and quite frankly I find the proposition to be silly.
You’re the jackass that said you thought a Democrat did it, and if so who else would have done it? Obama’s campaign?
I guess the gasbag living at Ativan Drive and Percocet Lane got the package in his email. The games will start 0900 Friday.
MSNBC is all over it. Interesting data point – when the Clinton security breach took place there was a special prosecuter appointed: Joe DiGenova. Victoria the liar Toensing’s slimy husband.
How naive was Congress to ever let that happen?
Someone needs to reopen the Clinton investigation.
I mourn for Belmont. You fought the good fight, but a pact with the Devil is not easily overcome.
And I have just noticed that cleek’s greasemonkey script puts a tiny monkey in the lower right corner. He switches from black and white and sad (disabled) to red and happy (enabled). It’s unbearably cute.
And likely it will end similarly.
Chances are it was someone in the GOP clumsily doing oppo research, but there will be no evidence to link it back to anyone significant.
this is just a liberal hoax, designed to embolden The Terrorists™.
Because we are systematically outsourcing huge sections of our sleeves-up government workers. It started with job classifications that were identified as inherently non-governmental (services like custodial, food service, etc.) and has now spread to every sector. Theoretically it was to save the coattail and benefits costs of GS and WG employees, but that was before the contract mods started rolling in.
And when confronted, they’ll just say “So?”
The Other Steve
I had forgotten completely about that.
Wow, just wow.
Next they’ll be breaking into the Watergate Hotel.
i take no credit for the cuteness. that’s just the GreaseMonkey doing his thing.
Not being much of an NCAA hoops fan, for a second there I thought you were making some sort of Castlevania reference.
I was recently rated lowest by my friends in Facebook for “tech savvy”. :(
Well done Pb — way ahead of me.
Countess Laura Ingraham will cream her jeans when she gets the passport data from Palm Beach. She’ll have to wear the heavy duty light days all weekend.
So, did any of you catch this?
I don’t necessarily agree with Josh Silver’s take, but after watching the clip I find the tone and content of the newscast like something out of the most tasteless sketches on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim. I just can’t get over how CNN thought it was cool to mock the demonstrations about the fifth anniversary of the Iraq war. They mock both sides, so I guess they thought they were being equally insulting to all parties, but I honestly don’t get it. When they cut back to Wolf Blitzer, he has this smirk on his face, like “oh you crazy kids.” How is it hip to be inhuman on this scale??
Aren’t there adults in newscasting any more??
Cleek, beautiful Bradford Pears. They’re getting ready to bloom here any day, (SE, KY).
And Tricksey and Pepper… beautiful cats. I especially love the black and white photo.
The Other Steve
It just makes total sense. I mean there are thousands of companies who issue their own passports and are very experienced and efficient at passport processing.
This story may have legs after all:
I’m not sure what anyone would have hoped to have found in Obama’s passport file on those particular days, but they do seem to have some sort of political significance.
Is it possible that these contractors were just looking for some dirt to dish to the highest bidder and weren’t acting at anyone’s behest?
It will be very interesting to see how it all unfolds.
heh. don’t they know it. such spoiled little beasts.
I may have to vote for McCain. His spiritual adviser preaches the proper and acceptable kind of hate.
You have to love those guys over at the Politico, trying to kill two Democrats with one
See! The Clintons hate whitey, too!
you know, it seems far more likely to me that the government has a system with little to no oversight and that these contract workers — who knows how qualified they are — just look at whoever the fuck they want whenever the fuck they want. Probably they just felt like checking his file for the fuck of it and the 1-in-a-billion chance happened that someone in the bush administration actually did the oversight thing.
you have friends ? on Facebook ?
i’m a programmer.
Cleek, when you get a chance, have a look at my Maine Coon, Ms. Kitty.
(Poor quality images though, sorry.)
I’m calling regarding the US Constitution… remember it?
Did certain law makers take an oath to uphold it?
Without signing statements?
Are ya still there?
Do you understand what the 4th Amendment says?
Are ya still there?
looks like Pepper’s giant sibling! how much does a cat like that weigh ?
She weighed 14-lbs roughly a year ago when I adopted her, and she’s put on some weight since then, but not sure how much. And she’s still relatively young! (about 3-and-a-half)
She’s a handful, all right… ;-)
Cats are good!
Just keep em in the crock pot for at least 12 hours on low, plenty of soy, brown sugar, and vinegar.
Kittens are much better. Use five strips of bacon, an onion, roll em in flour and hit em in the grease.
LOL @ w vincentz!
Skin em out correctly and you’ll get a couple of nice mittens to boot! Use the brains to soften the hide, then salt it up. Trace your hand on brown paper, transfer to the hide, stitch up the mittens.
Keep your hands warm, on a full belly…
What was the topic?
The Grand Panjandrum
The State Department says this is what’s in your passport file:
That is quite a bit of personal information, but the passport number itself could be valuable for doing additional research.
Yeah, that list of data sure looks like it would provide just the kind of hard hitting dirt Republican operations research guys would really kill for.
As I said at the outset…Yawn.
Passport files don’t really contain anything sensitive, although they are private. The juicy stuff in govt. files is not easily accessible.
Unless you are a “loyal Bushie.”
Fuck, I’m caught
As Hilzoy notes at ObWi, if this had happened during, say, the Ford admin, you could just chalk it up to curiosity. But under G-Dub, it’s always safest to go with the most sinister interpretation possible.
I see a headline coming…or cumming.
It’s about time!
You really needed it!
Ain’t it good to be done with the 17 second Bill?
Dennis - SGMM
Contractors? Christ in the foothills on a tricycle. How many fucking contractors are we employing to dig into records, wield weapons, fly people to secret prisons? The phrase “nest of vipers” comes to mind. I had to swear a solemn fucking oath to to protect and defend the Constitution from all enemies, both foreign and domestic, to be enlisted as a low level swabbie, now we have contract employees whose loyalty is to God knows what in the State Department, shooting people in Iraq, etc.
You hire a contractor to build a room addition or to pour a driveway, you hire a contractor when you need some unique knowledge or expertise on a short=term basis. And that’s it.
Regarding the what? Maybe we’re on our way to something like the British constitution; nothing actually written, just y’know, a set of generally understood suggestions, not hard-and-fast rules. Like The Onion article about Bush editing down the Bill of Rights to a manageable 6 (even that looks optimistic now). 6! Liberal dreamers…
The implication is that this passport snooping is some sort of heinous Watergate move by the administration, and it may yet prove to be so.
Or it may be simply a couple of young computer dudes poking around because they could. In the same vein as those docs and nurses passing Britney’s file around.
I’m a federal employee. If there’s no conspiracy, then all this means is that there are lapses in the State Department’s management of its computer files. Am I supposed to be surprised? My agency had its entire IT department outsourced a few years ago.
Yes of course the government keeps notes on where people are going overseas. The War on Terra in Iraq is one thing, the actual defense of our country another.
My hunch is that this doesn’t go very high. Could be wrong though.
You’re wright. Hillary and her people would never be caught with the opposition’s confidential files… /rolls eyes.
Ya got it.
“What me worry?” – A. E. Nuemann (sp)
I was thinking “barrel of monkeys.”
Were these contractors former Arkansas State Troopers? Did they fly in from the Mena Airport?
So when will Obama finally come clean, and release all the information in his passport file?
Here’s the thing. One has to believe that there are “secret” files with Obama’s name on them because of his association with Dohrn and Ayres. If the FBI isn’t keeping track of what those two unrepentent “terrorist bombers” are up to, they aren’t doing their jobs. Add in Obama’s long-time association with “radical black activist preacher” Dr. Jeremiah Wright, his “foreign born” father Muslim father, his foreign born “Muslim” stepfather, his years of education as a child where he was registered as a Muslim and taught the Koran….
….well, its not hard to imagine that Barack Obama is one of those people who has quite the file with our intelligence services, especially after 9-11.
Of course, its all bullshit, but the fact that these files doubtless exist — and thus give “official” imprimature to the kind of crap that we can expect the right-wing to sling at Obama — is a problem.
Yep. Dumbasses doing dumbass things and getting caught. As an added bonus, whoever mentioned the SS is spot on. These guys don’t want to have to explain why their charge has a bullet hole in him so a few minutes of curiosity will translate into a loooong Q & A session with dudes who are have approximately no sense of humor.
Dennis - SGMM
Anyone with even a nodding acquaintance with human nature knows that Clinton wants to get her withered claws on the levers of power so that that can have Monica Lewinsky extraordinarily renditioned and tortured in a secret CIA prison. The circle will be completed for her when she compels old Bill to cut off Lewinsky’s head with a dull knife.
Seen this reaction a couple times now, and it’s a reasonable initial reaction, but is it really so crazy to set up extra safeguards on the files of high-profile people?
Suppose you’d like to flag some files for special follow-up should anyone access them. Why not every single file, you ask? Because that’s not a safeguard-that’s a routine. When everything is a priority, nothing is.
No, you can’t mark EVERY file for follow-up should it ever be accessed. Instead you focus on the ones that are the most likely to attract prying eyes.
Start with Britney Spears.
After that it’s just a matter of figuring out how many files is the optimum number to flag. You want to cover as many as you can, but not so many that you’re getting more alerts than you have the ability to check out. Task some smart guy with figuring out the optimal number.
Then start thinking about who, besides Ms. Spears, you want to watch out for. Cook up some clever way of choosing movie stars and recording artists who might draw such attention. Also, flag any high-ranking government officials, members of congress and their spouses and maybe their senior staff. Governors and maybe state legislative leaders. Candidates for major office.
If you’re really thinking ahead, you’ll definitely make a list of everyone who’s able to access that information and flag them, their spouses, their former spouses, and any love interests you may know about. And their supervisors.
So, no, I don’t have my shorts in a twist that accessing Obama’s file set off alarms that accessing mine wouldn’t.
Dennis - SGMM
Well Holy moly, I thought that I was the only one who remembered the Mena Airport bullshit. Although your posts mostly annoy the hell out of me, if you find yourself in Los Angeles, I’ll gladly buy you a drink just for remembering that one. Email cyberden at gmail dot com.
The question to me is why wasn’t Obama informed until now. The first breach was back on Jan. 9th. Until proven otherwise I’m gonna guess this was just a few lookie-loos. Unless Hillary was behind it, then it just goes to show what a cold calculating scumbag she is.
The broader issue really is, the Government has too much info on us, that is too easily accessible. Remember when the “conservatives” actually were concerned about privacy?
So tell me, p.luk, when did you stop beating your wife?
We’ve got West Virginia now. Why CBS decided Wisconsin-Cal State-Fullerton was over is beyond me.
Well it’ll at least knock the Wright Brouhaha off the front pages for a day or so.
Yeah DJ? what if he was found going to Mecca? He is a Muslim after all you know.
jokes on you. I’m queer. No wife.
and since I’m the quintessential toxic boyfriend, no husband either :P
It wasn’t about you. That phrase is apocryphal for that old reporter’s trick of accusing someone of doing something they didn’t do so you can watch them squirm as they deny it.
I know you were just pointing out what the right-wing slime merchants are going to throw at Obama this year, not affirming that he actually has any questionable connections.
What troubles me about you Hillary backers lately is how eager you seem to be to help them.
Those Mountaineers look fired up. And did I just see Nichols mouth “This one’s for you, Cole”?
I understand that the Bush administration has opened up an investigation into why this monitoring system wasn’t shut down several years ago.
Over at Kos, they are talking about a Republican mayor of a small town in Pennsylvania who announced that he is switching parties to vote for Obama. Now that is the kind of news I like to hear! On top of that, Susan Eisenhower and Lincoln Chafee are endorsing Obama too. They were on with Tweety today, and they wholeheartedly endorse him.
It is nice to see there are some Repubs who like Obama enough to endorse, support and vote for him. I hope a lot more of them start doing the same thing. What I am hearing is that people are tired of fear, and Obama does not use that in his campaign. Some people are happy to hear that he wants to sit down with our enemies (insert collective right wing gasp! here) and see if a solution to our problems can be found. How refreshing, someone who wants to try to try discussion and possible negotiation instead of brute force.
I think it is fine that the Clintonistas and Repubs are focused on Obama and Wright. I think that the initial reaction to Wright will wear off, and the longer that the opposition harps on it, the more people will have to think about it and maybe confront the truth of the race issues in our country. That it came out now and not any earlier or later works to the advantage of Obama IMO.
People are tired of hearing the cry of WOLF!!! from this administration and their supporters. For this reason, the more people hear endless harping about Wright from anyone who pushes it, the sooner they will tire of it and it will become old news.
Whites may not like to hear it, but the black citizens of our country are generally not happy with the way they have been historically treated. When you know of things like the Tuskegee Airmen and the deliberate infliction of syphilis on those men and their families by their own government and military, it is hard not to think ‘God Damn America’. Same with the deliberate infliction of smallpox on the Indians. We have done some pretty shameful things in our past, and though each of us may not have had a hand in it, we all bear the collective responsibility for it. Like it or not, it is our history, it is fact and it is shameful.
I love my country, but I am not blind to its many faults.
I prefer to think of myself as the guy running around the white house with his “hair on fire”, warning about a potential terrorist attack before 9-11.
Trust me, I’m not trying to help the right-wing slime machine. I just “know” I’m right about what’s coming. I could, of course, be wrong, just as the “hair on fire” guy could have turned out to be wrong and 9-11 would not have happened.
Or maybe its just too late anyway…maybe Obama is inevitable, and the inevitable attacks will follow, and running around warning about it can’t stop it from happening.
But since I still don’t know it can’t be stopped, I’ll going to keep being that annoying guy running around with his hair on fire….
Since this is an open thread – if Wilber is out there s/he might want to read what Hannah Allam of McClatchy has to say about Obama’s speech.
I’m sure you’re right about what’s coming. Of course the attacks on Obama are inevitable. But I haven’t lost sight of the fact that the wingers really really wanted Hillary to win the race and had been honing their anti-Hillary weapons for years. When the handwriting was on the wall that she wouldn’t, their disappointment was palpable. They also knew that whatever her strengths, she isn’t well liked and doesn’t inspire people any more than Kerry did.
Obama is an unknown against whom their attacks are poorly aimed and may well backfire. I think his confidence, candor, and coolness under fire have a broad appeal that is growing. All I’ve seen from Hillary this campaign is bullshit and bluster.
So I’ll take my chances with Obama, and (apologies for the following), Bring ‘Em On.
I still can’t tell what your “hair on fire” guy is warning us about — is it “GOP Determined to Strike Within U.S.” or “OMG, Obama’s going to win.”
The Other Steve
Anybody who thinks Hillary Clinton wouldn’t be attacked by the Republicans is a naive child who ought not be allowed to vote.
We all know what is coming. I went from wanting to vote for Democrats to stop the damage the GOP was doing to finding someone who I think is not only a decent person, but has what I think is a workable approach to solving problems. Hillary, to me, means more of the same way of doing things right now.
So I am choosing Obama, and I will deal with the attacks as they come.
And you know what I won’t do- circulate and peddle rumors about Hillary like the Hillary supporters are about Obama. Sure, I could link to the Hillary uncensored videos. I could link to all the BS scandals involving her. I could claim she is no better than McCain. But then I would be no better than her.
Two expanded videos of Wright’s sermons. Looks quite different in context:
Full set of videos
God Damn America sermon
Cleek and Buck, take a look at my guy.
Joxur’s 11, and last time he was weighed, was 22 lbs, most of it fur.
9/11? Chickens coming home to roost? Monica Lewinski was the 20th hijacker, I swear to God.
And then Bill will give head to Hillary?
Hey, we’re all embracing the Politics of Hope(tm), now. The way Darth Cheney’s defences have been falling apart lately, let’s keep thinking positive thoughts that the Rove-larvae who got caught with his tentacles in Obama’s files will have failed to erase his RNC email files, including the special “sports” jpegs featuring Dubya, Jeff Gannon, and the baby panda from the Washington Zoo.
The point of the references to Joe DiGenova, above, was that when George H.W. Bush was presented Clinton’s secret passport file, he was not upset by the illegality of the oppo research, but got in a hissy fit because there was no decent incriminating information on Bill Clinton there.
When the scandal came to light, Judge Sentelle appointed DiGenova, who declined to investigate beyond some ‘heads-up’ calls to the White House Counsel.
The whole thing was a dry run for Ken Starr – putting dishonest, unscrupulous cronies in charge of investigations for fun and profit.
Darkrose, he’s a beauty! I love his coloring.
I have to ask… what does ‘Joxur‘ stand for? I never heard it before.
My wife has the Today show on — Matt Lauer just dismissed this as “some knuckleheads doing the equivalent of a Google search” and then moved on to ask Joe Scarborough of all people about how the Obama race speech went over.
And all this time, I thought it was Katie Couric who exposed her asshole on that show.
Let me note, at 10:00 pm est last night I turned the news channels on, and CNN has this as a BREAKING NEWS ALERT all in red and flashing text and earnest talking heads arguing over the significance. I switch to MSNBC and they had this as a BREAKING NEWS ALERT all in yellow and flashing text and earnest talking heads arguing over the significance. I switch to FOX News and they had clips of Rev. Wright’s speeches. No alerts, no scrolling texts, no sidebars enlightening viewers that a new development in the primaries just came up. It was as though FOX was stuck in last week and that their editors had no idea anything else was going on that evening.
This is proof that you should not get your news from FOX, as they are obviously one week behind everybody else.
It could be entirely innocuous. I’m a database administrator and I used to work for one of the big insurance companies in VA. There was a guy in the dept who got fired for looking up the medical records of national political players, including two presidents. It was a major violation of HIPAA, but it was just out of curiosity, nothing hostile intended.
Contractors? Reminds me of Charlie Sheen’s character taking a job as a janitor in the movie Wall Street.
PaulW – You should have tuned into Fox first, at 10 PM. They led with a lengthy story about the passport files of Obama, and included the full text of the angry and accusatory press release from the Obama campaign. THEN, they moved onto a ten minute segment with Al Sharpton in which he was given ample time to refute negative charges against Wright.
Speaking of cutting off heads, I read in an email someone sent me (so it must be true) that George Bush strongly considered converting to Judaism back in the lead up to the 2004 election (this was before they realized how Kerry could be swift-boated). Anyway, he thought it would make him popular with the Israel-first crowd, and show his ‘mid-East cred,’ so the idea was floated.
They decided against it when the line of volunteer moils reached from the White House to Dupont Circle.
They could just ask me and I’d tell them.
The one thing that sends off alarm bells is some of the reports say the State Department higher ups were alerted when a reporter called to ask about it. And it just so happens the Washington Times broke the story. So put those two facts together and you end up in suspicion land.
It ain’t hard to design a security system that doesn’t allow access to information.
Condi’s an idiot or hoping that her idiot fans are easily swayed by truthy sounding words. A security system isn’t doing its job when it notices people broke in, its supposed to prevent the break in.