Thursday, March 20, 2008

State Dept. Confirms Obama's Passport Security Breached

Any characterization of three unauthorized break-ins into Obama's passport file as overzealous curiosity--or anything else--is premature.

The State Department has not yet investigated these breaches, despite the fact that three months have passed since the first breach occurred. That's three months. Difficult to comprehend why the State Departent Inspector General failed to embrace his or her responsibility for something so palpably suspect, so manifestly illegal, and so potentially explosive politically. Three months is a long time in which to disseminate and massage whatever was found.

State is also claiming that "high-level managers" were not aware of these breaches until this afternoon, although two contract employees have been fired and one has been "disciplined." As a former Washingtonian, I can assure you that incidents with this explosive potential in the midst of a presidential election year are not likely to be withheld from senior managers. They are routinely withheld from the public, but senior managers, particulary those with responsibility for fire-fighting, were most likely informed immediately in case a public leak occurred. State--in this administration a partisan agent--would have wanted to be prepared.

The fact that this is a Republican administration known to favor Republicans in its hiring and Democrats in its firing, known even to have populated the ought-to-be sacrosanct Department of Justice with partisan hacks, makes the snooping more suspicious, if not outright sinister. The issue here is not what the snooper found. It is the Republican break-in into the files of a Democrat presidential candidate.

Is this beginning to sound familiar? It does if you're over fifty and remember Watergate. There's something that Republicans just don't seem to get: It's that government is not their tool, not theirs to do with as they will. It is a sacred trust. Anyone privileged to serve has an absolute, unquestionable duty to serve with honor and with integrity.

Republicans go forward now, into this election cycle, tainted with the broadest and deepest wave of corruption in modern history. As a former State Department official put it, the W administration is known as the benefactor friends and family, and we know that from Brownie, Liz Cheney, Halliburton/KBR, Blackwater, and all the rest.
Republicans go forward now, into this election cycle, tainted as well with having undermined the Constitution (a direct contravention of the President's oath of office) with respect to starting the war, domestic spying, the corrupt notion of a "unitary" president in a tri-partite/balance of powers structure, and the separation of church and state. Republicans--exemplified by choice as they are by militant liars such as Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingram, Ari Fleischer, Cheney, Bush, Scooter, Novak, Rice, Rumsfeld, Feith, and the rest--now also have what today is an illegal snooping expedition and what tomorrow may be Watergate II--as a testiment to their patriotism.

That pretty much sums it up, too.