"“We have lent a huge amount of money to the U.S. Of course we are concerned about the safety of our assets. To be honest, I am definitely a little worried.” "

Chinese premier Wen Jiabao 12th March 2009

""We have a financial system that is run by private shareholders, managed by private institutions, and we'd like to do our best to preserve that system."

Timothy Geithner US Secretary of the Treasury, previously President of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.1/3/2009

Friday, March 21, 2008

Plus ca change ....

THEN ....

The New York Times Robert Pear in November 1992:

A State Department official who carried out the two-day search of passport files for information about Gov. Bill Clinton said today that he had resigned, just 48 hours before Federal investigators are expected to issue a report criticizing the search.

The official, Steven M. Moheban, was a top aide to Elizabeth M. Tamposi, the Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs who was dismissed last week by President Bush for her role in the search of files on Mr. Clinton, his mother, Virginia Kelley, and Ross Perot, the independent Presidential candidate.

"I resigned Monday," said Mr. Moheban, a 30-year-old native of Nashua, N.H., Ms. Tamposi's hometown. "I no longer work for the State Department." (a political appointee who had served as her special assistant since July 1990. )

Mr. Moheban said he had not been asked to resign but had stepped down voluntarily to "pursue business opportunities in the private sector."


Ms. Tamposi has said that White House officials encouraged the search of Mr. Clinton's records and that her superiors approved it. The inspector general has interviewed White House officials. But it is not clear whether he will assign any responsibility for the search to senior officials at the White House and the State Department, or will merely focus on Ms. Tamposi and lower-ranking employees.

...and NOW

Senior management at the State Department learned that the three workers at three locations accessed Obama's information on Jan. 9, Feb. 21, (3 days before the funny pics) and March 14, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters on a conference call last night.

"Our initial view is this was imprudent curiosity on the part of these three individuals," McCormack said. Still, he said, the State Department was taking steps "to assure ourselves that it is nothing more than that."

Barack Obama's campaign tonight is demanding a full investigation of reports that his passport files at the State Department were viewed without authorization.

and as a post scriptum

Maura Harty (born c. 1959) is the current US Asst. Secretary of State for the Bureau of Consular Affairs ,(The office that supervises issuing passports) a post she has held since 21st November 2002 after agreat deal of delay and criticism. She had previously been Executive Secretary, essentially serving as Secretary of State Colin Powell's gatekeeper and running his executive office. She is a career Foreign Service Officer , although the Assistant Secretary position is a presidential appointment. In November 2007, Harty announced that she will resign the Assistant Secretary position and retire from the Foreign Service in early 2008.

Last June there was much public anguish (delayed weddings etc.,) as there was a delay in issuing 2 Mn. passports as Harty's office had prepared for 16.2 million passport applications this year, but that number proved too low by roughly 1.5 million. As the office is still playing catch up, it is likely that they are still hiring temporary / agency staff.

UPDATE 21st 5.00pm EST : Yesterday, it was revealed that Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) passport files breached three times in the past three months. Today, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told “Sen. Hillary Clinton that the security of her passport file were breached in 2007.” In a State Department press briefing today, spokesman Sean McCormack said that Sen. John McCain’s passport info had also been accessed by one of the people who looked at Sen. Obama’s file.

UpdateRep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) sent a letter to Rice today requesting the name of the companies that hired the contractors that breached the files.

UpdateAccording to MSNBC's David Shuster, the employee who accessed both Obama and McCain's files was only suspended, not fired. Two other contractors were fired for accessing Obama's files.

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(C) Very Seriously Disorganised Criminals 2002/3/4/5/6/7/8/9 - copy anything you wish