Condoleezza Rice and the Passport Privacy Breach

March 21, 2008

Easter Greetings

Good Friday penance took on a new meaning for Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, as she found herself calling presidential candidates Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to apologize for the huge egg laid by State Department employees who viewed the passport files of all three Presidential candidates, in separate incidents dating back to last summer. The passport data contained sensitive information such as Social Security numbers and emergency contact information. Rice personally called Clinton and Obama to apologize for the security breach and planned to speak to Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), who was in Paris following a trip to the Middle East. The State Department was one of seven Federal agencies which failed recent computer security reviews.

When speaking to Obama, Rice said that she would be “very disturbed if I learned that somebody had looked into my passport file. And therefore I will stay on top of it and get to the bottom of it.” How about…resigning instead? You’re the captain of that loose-lipped ship. Besides playing the piano passably well, what is it that this woman has actually accomplished in Washington? Okay, there was that creative writing project editorial she wrote for the New York Times about those elusive weapons of mass destruction, “Why We Know Iraq is Lying.”

CIA Director George Tenet

Then in Summer 2001, the “Warrior Princess,” who was then the National Security Advisor, met repeatedly with CIA director George Tenet to discuss possible terrorist attacks on America. In what Tenet referred to as an “emergency meeting,” he and Rice met on 10 July 2001. He briefed Rice and the National Security Council (NSC) on the potential for an al Qaeda attack. In 2006, Rice said she didn’t recall that meeting and said she found it “incomprehensible” that she would have ignored threats of terrorism two months before 9/11.

 

Easter Bunny Inspects Yet More Eggs

As we enter the fifth year of the Iraq war, her “transformational democracy” doesn’t seem to be producing results. In a September 2005 speech at Princeton, Rice commented that “We have set out to help the people of the Middle East transform their societies. Now is not the time to falter or fade.” How noble of us. Were we invited? No. Is our presence wanted in the Middle East: specifically, Iraq? No. Does the American public want us in Iraq? No. Can we afford to be there? No. She’s compared Iraq reconstruction to reconstruction in post-World War II Europe. Really? Where? A tisket, a tasket, another egg in the basket. She’s made nine trips to the Middle East, with little to show for her efforts. In fact, the Israelis have coined a new verb based on her first name, “lecondel,” which means to attend many meetings which produce few results. We have a feeling that we’re about to be stonewalled lecondeled over this invasion of privacy. Does it happen often? Your guess is as good as ours.

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