March 23rd, 2008
02:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Passport contractor exec is Obama supporter

Passport contractors connected to Presidential campaigns.

Passport contractors connected to Presidential campaigns.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The CEO of a company whose employee is accused of improperly accessing the passport files of presidential candidates is a consultant to the Obama campaign, a source familiar with the firm said Saturday.

John Brennan, president of The Analysis Corporation (TAC), advises the Illinois Democrat on foreign policy and intelligence issues, the source said.

Brennan briefed the media on behalf of the campaign earlier this month. The executive is a former senior CIA official and former interim director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He contributed $2,300 to the Obama campaign in January.

When asked about the contribution, a State Department official told CNN's Zain Verjee, "We ethically awarded contacts. Political affiliation is not one of the factors that we check."

The department does not check the "personal activities of that nature of the officers of the corporation." Contracts are "competitively awarded," the official added.

On Friday, the department revealed that Obama's passport file was improperly accessed three times in 2008, and the passport files of the two other major presidential candidates - Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican John McCain - had also been breached.

Three contractors are accused in the wrongdoings, including the one who works for TAC, who was disciplined. That contractor accessed McCain's file in addition to Obama's. None of the contractors was identified.

The other two contractors, who worked for Stanley Inc., were fired. Stanley has had contracts with the department since 1992, and was recently awarded a $570 million contract to continue providing support for passport processing. Its CEO, Philip Nolan, contributed $1,000 to the Clinton campaign.

Stanley officials confirmed Friday that two of its employees had unauthorized access to Obama passport files. Both individuals were fired, according to a company statement.

"While this is a rare occurrence, we regret the unauthorized access of any individual's private information," the statement said.

The department official said the three contractors worked in three different offices in the Washington area that are involved in various functions. One office does consular work and visas on evenings, holidays, weekends and overnights; another office issues passports; the third office scans and files materials.

The source said there has been no problem "at all" in the past with the TAC employee, who has "extensive" experience. The worker has been at TAC for years, and during that time has always worked under a State Department contract.

Explaining that the department had "complimented" this person for work in the past, the source said the individual is considered a "terrific" employee, except for this one instance, which the source characterized as an "aberration."

The department asked TAC not to take any administrative action against the employee while the investigation is under way.

On Friday, the company released a statement saying it would fully cooperate with the federal probe. The source said TAC has told the employee to do the same.

Echoing the State Department spokesman Friday, this source said there is no indication the motivation was anything but idle curiosity.

The source said TAC first learned of its employee's actions Friday morning when it received a call from the State Department. In its statement, the firm confirmed that one of the contractors was an employee, and called it "an isolated incident."

The Washington Times - which first broke the story Thursday night that Obama's records had been improperly accessed - on Saturday reported that the State Department investigation is focusing on the TAC employee, and that the investigation by the department's Inspector General will include polygraph tests for supervisors in the passport section to determine if there was any political motive.

The department spokesman on Saturday said he would not comment on whether the
department was polygraphing employees in connection with the investigation.

Related: Watch Kate Bolduan on the passport breach developments

- CNN's Kate Bolduan and Zain Verjee

soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Tell the Truth CNN

    MSNBC is reporting that individuals from Stanley corporation gave money to Republicans, HIllary and Obama, why is it only Obama's being targeted? What's with the Spin, CNN?

    March 22, 2008 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. Annamica, OH

    Antonio, Obama will not be elected into the white house. For some reason the dems love losing to the GOP and that is exactly what will happen if Obama is nominated. It will be hilarious to see them them tear him apart for the hypocrite he is, should he win the nom.

    March 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. Tom,des moines

    Barack Obama,please release all of your record from states senator,Tony Resko,taxes and your travel. What r u afraid of Obama?

    March 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. LatinoNation

    What !!! The wanted to accuse the Clintons of this MSNBC keith Olberman was one and his cronies how sad that the Media has to make it out like this and then the Obama people try to make it even bigger to get away from his racist remarks and his Remarks about are great country AMERICA !!! I LOVE AMERICA DO YOU ????

    March 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. Ding Dong the .....

    HAHA Hillary won't be President be cause she is a poor leader for her idiot followers.

    March 22, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Ted, WA

    My god, the average age of some of these so called Obama and Clinton supporters must be 12....or Republican.

    March 22, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |

    Regardless of who the CEO of the corp supports, who was the one who DID THE BREACHING support?

    March 22, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. Adam

    Obama, how big of whole can you dogfir yourself? You are self destructing faster with each day. Every trick you try to play makes you look meek and desperate. Please drop out. You're ruining the party!

    March 22, 2008 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. ah! heck?

    this is why we need a national primary,

    50 states, one day, end of story....

    popular vote wins.., no delegate count., the peoples choice...
    end of story.........

    anything less is simple teareny..........


    March 22, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. Joe

    CNN Moderators,

    You are running behind schedule – the Clinton machine has only made 42 comments on this thread. You should tell them to hurry up so you can close the comment window before any dissenters post their opinions.

    By the way, the news articles stated that all 3 candidates have had their records breached.

    Instead of making this a primary related issue, why aren't we asking the State Department and Secretary Rice what is the selection process for hiring private contractors, and who is reviewing our travel records?

    March 22, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Robert

    Voters should recognize that these people are treating all of us as idiots. The accusations and false impression of being insulted and offended are making this race a soap opera.

    Voters should remember those who treat them as adults and provide us with some real solutions (that they intend to keep) to our real world problems.

    March 22, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  12. California Voter

    Obama is still playing the role of the victim. I'm not falling for him and I hope others are beginning to see that he is no different than any other politician. Just another silly story hyped by the media at the behest of the Obama campaign.

    March 22, 2008 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  13. Guest

    I just figured it out!

    Obama has ALREADY ADMITTED being "SHOOK UP" by the Pastor incident. Hmmmmm. If his nerves are THAT FRAGILE, THAT SHAKY...
    what would he do if there was another 9/11? Huh?

    Or if that RED PHONE rang at 3AM.

    All we need is for him to come UNGLUED – his mind to fog up under pressure, and sending him over the edge.

    That's the MESSAGE I got!

    March 22, 2008 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  14. John Galt

    Just seems like Obama is another one of those typical corrupt inner-city politicians like the mayor of D.C., Ray Nagin, etc.

    You guys want change and you bring in this guy? Wow. Corrpution won't be confined to pork spending with Obama. Keep drinking the kool-aid, Obama-bots, but wake up soon, there are actually problems that need solutions.

    March 22, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. Rose Patterson

    The flawed candidate is Obama. People better take a close look and see what is going on. This world is in terrible unrest. No time for games.

    March 22, 2008 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. vic nashville,Tn

    Look like Another Tony Rezko story
    First $160,000 then 250,000 that is close to $300,000 less than house value
    Obama we watching every thing
    you are under our Microscope

    March 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  17. Anette

    Let's see, I know that my supporter is involved with a contractor that had someone access files. Now, why would I, get upset. He is no dummy, you Clintonites, just want to spin it that way...

    Please give me a freakin break.

    Obama O8"

    March 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  18. April in Texas

    Well what is news is what isnt being reported or posted and that is that one was also a Clinton supporter. The real question is why was Obama looked at three times where the other two canidates were looked at once?

    I think both Clinton and Obama need to learn to play nice and stop the back and forth petty he said she said technique and address the issues.

    Also this "typical white female" comment is really reaching as if it bothers anyone its just as bad as how a black person may feel when called a (N word). Its up to how you all take things that blow me away I am whie and a woman but I don't find the typical white female comment racial.

    Grow up this is politics and if you dont want McCain to win then please grow up and think before you condem others.

    Obama 08

    Btw will this one get posted? probably not.

    March 22, 2008 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  19. MB

    Bill Clinton is a racist-
    You can say whatever you want, but that what he is a RACIST. Just because he picked and kissed black babies does not make him less of a RACIST. Just because he had more black people in his cabinet does not change the fact that he does not like black people. Hispanics you need to work up too. It amazing what you really start learning when your back is against the wall, people's true colors.
    Just because he appointed Bill Richardson to a post with the UN does not mean the man owes him anything.
    No one owes the Clintons anything people wake up.
    CNN I guess I will not see this.

    March 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  20. janice

    how on earth are you NOT holding him accountable to Obama's gross racist remark about his Grandmother being a "typical white person" – I can't even imagine what would have happened if someone described Obama as a "typical black person" Racism is racism whether it is coming from the white or the black – and it's WRONG. I cannot support Obama so if he gets the nomination despite being a life long democrat, McCain will get my vote...

    March 22, 2008 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  21. Joe Ossai, Bedford, NH

    News Flash Hillary supporters. THE GAME IS OVER, YOUR SIDE LOST.


    March 22, 2008 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Candy said it right – If someone on Hillary's side speaks something, it is racism ( same as what happens at work when a white person speaks – african american runs to HR ), but when Obama speaks it is all about bringing people together. It is all messed up.

    More importantly, observe this across channels, across pastors, across leaders, across parties – less than 10% African american folks in each of these categories are ready to condemn obama on any of his problems, but they ( 95+%) are more than eager to condemn Hillary on her problems or Bill Clinton's misunderstood remarks.

    In the final election, there will be only 2 candidates, not 3, and that's why Bill Clinton seems to have said 2 and not 3. What is a big deal about it ?

    Now move to White americans, exactly opposite, 90+% of white americans condemn Clintons or Obama whenever it comes... they don't side by their RACE.

    Race is a big thing, atleast a big thing for Aftrican Americans. White americans are fooled out and they will realize when they loose it in November.

    This is very important. Haven't heard this much on either CNN, MSNBC or Fox. Can you please ?

    March 22, 2008 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  23. kaye

    Why no comment from Obama's supporter Brennan? The Ceo got caught with their hand in cookie jar.Would Obama care to retrack his statement?
    Now to McPeak ,I've heard his speak before and he should stay on the sideline.He is over the hill.

    March 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  24. Sas

    Obama adviser heads one of the companies that employed one of the breachers.

    March 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  25. Laura Charlotte NC

    Gov. Richardson's endorsement is politically motivated, believe me.
    Can't get a spot on the cabinet if you don't help move the spotlight off of the negative publicity.

    March 22, 2008 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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