March 23rd, 2008
02:00 PM ET
7 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. Elder

    I do believe The NATION is more important the these candidates.
    What about the Issues concerning our nation. American People you must see the whole picture. IT IS NOT ABOUT MR. OBAMA OR MRS. CLINTON. CAN WE FOCUS AT ABOUT THE NATION.The media is partly fault all of those created. Both candidates played dirty.
    VOTE FOR WHO HAS THE BEST INTEREST FOR THE NATION.

    March 22, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  2. Jacob

    Obama lost my support today.

    March 22, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  3. Patrice, Canada

    This media is getting rediculous. Hillary supporter does this. Obama supporter does that. Millions of people have already decided who they want to support for President. Are all the millions of supporters going to be on the news for all the good and bad things they do. It would only be fair.

    Lets get back to the economic, enviornmental and international issues. Lets really get to know the canidates. Not their supporters.

    March 22, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  4. kris

    READING FROM WHAT ALL YOU FOOLS ARE WRITING ON HERE, THERE IS NO REASON TO WONDER ANYMORE WHY BUSH WAS ELECTED TWICE. THE UK NEWSPAPER SAID IT BEST.. "HOW CAN 60 MILLIONS AMERICANS BE SO DUMB".. SOMETHING IS TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE HERE NOWADAYS..I THINK THE MEDIA IS PART OF THE PROBLEM....NO ONE AMONG YOU SEEMS TO THINK THIS MIGHT BE SOME KIND OF SET UP...HELLO!!!!!!..DO YOU THINK FOR A MINUTE WHO IS REALLY BEHIND ALL THIS??..WAS THIS EMPLOYEE GIVING SOME MONEY MAYBE TO DO THIS..THIS FILES WAS ACCESED LONGTIME AGO, WAY BEFORE WRIGHT CONTROVERSIES...IGNORANCE IS GONNA BRING THIS COUNTRY DOWN..HEED MY WORDS.

    March 22, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  5. Laura Charlotte NC

    Kathleen
    Please explain "Clintons dirty trick" about the Canadian NAFTA comment on the eve of the tx primary.
    From my info, this had only to do with Obama and more of his advisors.
    If I'm wrong please correct me.

    March 22, 2008 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  6. Soothsayer

    CNN, please publish my comments. I emphatically predict that Sen. Obama will win the forthcoming general election in November 2008. His win will bring untold benefits to the US. The whole world is watching.

    March 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  7. Minnie Taylor

    We don't know yet whether this is as innocent as all are trying to make it or not or if in order to calm the suspitions, they decided to throw in the other two candidates, Clinton and McCain, to make it seem less of a true invasion of privacy than it is. I say, investigate to the fullest and be sure. After all, they can and will tell us ANYTHING expecting us to be gullible and believe it.

    March 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Медведев

    Hillary is a fraud, a cheat, and a liar. Clinton-fools, all you understand is hate and bigotry, including ignorance. We can play your game too, if only to get you to listen to us. Remember Wal-Mart, Travelgate, Whitewater, Filegate, how about Peter-Paul? Snap! Read the Dick Morris report, and the Roland Martin report, and the transcripts from "A More Perfect Union." Clinton supporters, you truly are the most hateful, wicked, and stupid people in America! "Say WHAT one more time! I Dare You!" -Samuel Jackson from Pulp Fiction

    March 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. Zina

    This is madness. Barack Obama has done nothing wrong! Do you Clinton supporters believe that he initiated the breach 2 months ago to create a diversion of the Rev Wright fiasco? I beg you all, we are democrats, the party of the people. Let's be the party of the smart people. If Obama had done anything wrong, the article would CLEARLY state it and the news orgs would be going nuts right now.

    Please stop this for the good of our party!

    March 22, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. Don Fitzgerald

    The concern is not who the CEO supports, but what prompted the violation of Senator Obama's privacy rights!!! Wasn't it wonderful, that a day after the story breaks, oh so coincidentally, the other two nominees get thrown into the mix. Nice way to neutralize the affects of the story, as well, lessen the seriousness of the violation. Ah, those Republicans know how to manipulate the media and the electorate. Throw those bums out of office. Vote Democrat!
    SUPPORT OUR TROOPS, BRING THEM HOME, ALIVE. NOW.

    March 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. kris

    I THINK THE GOP ARE BEHIND THIS..WHY IS IT THAT THESE PEOPLE SUPPORT HILLARY AND OBAMA??...THOSE EMPLOYEE NEEDS TO ANSWER A LOT OF QUESTIONS

    March 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  12. augustcandi

    The Analysis Corporation donated over 1000.00 to the hillary campaign..how come CNN doesnt report this information?

    How bout that fact that the person in charge of the whole dept, Harty, was a former hillary employee? how bout that in your news story..

    one sided news like always

    March 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  13. charlotte

    How can Hillary just attend tea partys on the one hand and yet be responsible for NAFTA? Make up your minds Obama-bots!

    March 22, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  14. charles

    i have never posted a message abt this election before.although i follow it . one think i have noticed through reading comments on here is that u people u are either stupid or you dont read one of the two. the employee for TAC was disciplined and the two employees for Stanley lnc were fired. TAC ceo supports obama and Stanley ceo supports clinton. now make up yr mind all of you here instead raving over nothing.read first then comment dont just comment without reading you all look stupid.

    March 22, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  15. kris

    HAHA JACOB..OBAMA DONT NEED SUPPORT OF PEOPLE LIKE YOU.

    March 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  16. Jones in California

    This is not news anyway, but having said that. My vote goes to Obama.
    He is smart, honest, has the judgment, and straight talks.

    Obama 08...

    March 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. Korn

    Surprise Surprise!!!!!

    IT WAS OBAMA CAMP THAT SET UP THIS TRAP ...Sigh

    I HOPE THAT WE ALL WAKE UP THIS TIME FOR REAL

    March 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. PA Voter

    The writers of this thing must be Hillary fans. They won't post that you all act like Obabma put this person up to this to take the heat off Wright. However all 3 of Obama breaches were before the Wright mess came up. You people that think Obama is doing this to take attention away from Wright our morons.

    March 22, 2008 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Bill

    What else will the voters learn about Obama? The longer this election goes on the more we find out about the real Obama. Doesn't surprise me that the snooper turned out to be one of his advisors. Any church member who would attend a church for twenty years and listen to so much hatered against our great country and our fellow Americans is beyond me. And, to be Prsident of our country. No thank you.

    March 22, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. jake, California

    This whole thing is planned to bring down Obama but it wont work..

    Washington times broke the story?

    Give me a break...its obvious that people are trying to destroy this gifte guy but it wont work because this is what we came to fix...

    This is the work of the cynics because they can no long find words to battle Obama with!

    I didn't know America was this evil!

    March 22, 2008 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  21. kathleen

    Laura Charlotte NC
    Charlotte. Excuse me, I am one of the lucky ones too. I have worked
    forever as a professional woman and I do not turn a blind eye to the
    hard-hard working people, men and women, that cannot find work
    in their field of expertise. Look around America and listen to the jobless and the underprividleged before you go around bragging
    that you were lucky enough to obtain a job. Are you a Nurse or
    a Teacher because Nafta can't or haven't yet taken those jobs
    from the "GOOD AMERICAN PEOPLE" And do you think Nafta
    was good for our country. LOOK AROUND PAST YOUR OWN
    DOMAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 22, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. Roger

    Wait a minute! Obama supporters are actually blaming Hillary on Obama losing in Ohio. This is a fine example of how the Obama campaign twists things against Hillary. The fact is Obama lied to America saying that he opposed NAFTA and then told Canada that he didn't really mean it. How are you getting Hillary to be at fault for that?

    March 22, 2008 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  23. YR

    I'm sure this is not last one, more and more such news will be coming out everyday! what a joke for Obama's "new politics"!

    March 22, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Laura Charlotte NC

    Patrice
    Knowing the candidate fully is the only way to know them.
    The issues are quite obvious to all of us. Most Americans are on the middle ground and share many of the same ideas and views.
    We need to know about these people in depth, to make wise decisions. This is the most important representative of our country.

    March 22, 2008 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  25. kris

    I DONT GET IT...IS THESE EMPLOYEE OBAMA SUPPORTER??????????????/

    March 22, 2008 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8