John Brennan, the Obama counter-terrorism adviser nominated this week to head the CIA, played a controversial role in what many suspect was an effort to sanitize Obama’s passport records. On March 21, 2008, amid Obama’s first presidential campaign, two unnamed contract employees for the State Department were fired and a third was disciplined for breaching the passport file of Democratic presidential candidate and then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Breaking the story, the Washington Times on March 20, 2008, noted that all three had used their authorized computer network access to look up and read Obama’s records within the State Department consular affairs section that “possesses and stores passport information.” “As far as we can tell, in each of the three cases, it was imprudent curiosity,” McCormack told the Washington Times.By the next day, the story had changed.
The New York Times reported March 21, 2008, that the security breach had involved unauthorized searches of the passport records not just of Sen. Obama but also of then-presidential contenders Sens. John McCain and Hillary Clinton. The newspaper quoted Obama as saying he appreciated the apology but that he expected the passport situation “to be investigated diligently and openly.”
According to the New York Times report, Obama’s tone of concern was obvious. “One of the things that the American people count on in their interactions with any level of government is that if they have to disclose personal information, that is going to stay personal and stay private,” two offending State Department contract employees who were fired had worked for Stanley Inc., employed by the Analysis Corporation of McLean, Va.
Stanley Inc. did “computer work for the government.” At that time, Stanley Inc. was a 3,500-person technology firm that had just won a $570-million contract to provide computer-related passport services to the State Department. Analysis Corporation was headed by Brennan, a former CIA agent who was then serving as an adviser on intelligence and foreign policy to Sen. Obama’s presidential campaign.
After Obama’s inauguration, Brennan joined the White House as assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counter-terrorism. In July 2008, the State Department’s Office of Inspector General issued a 104-page investigative report on the passport breach incidents, stamped “Sensitive But Unclassified.” The report was so heavily redacted, it was virtually useless to the public. Scores of passages were blacked out entirely, including one sequence of 29 consecutive pages that were each obliterated by a solid black box that made it impossible even to determine paragraph structures. Investigative reporter Kenneth Timmerman said a well-placed but unnamed source told him that the real point of the passport breach incidents was to cauterize the Obama file, removing from it any information that could prove damaging to his eligibility to be president.
According to the theory, the breaches of McCain’s and Clinton’s files were done for misdirection purposes. A new witness surfaced unexpectedly, providing evidence that breaching passport files was an offense being perpetrated by State Department officials on a massive and everyday basis. Leiutenant Quarles Harris Jr, Harris had stuffed in his jacket pocket a large clear zip-lock bag containing 13 smaller clear zip-lock bags, each filled with marijuana, 19 different credit cards with names different from Harris. Harris admitted under questioning that he obtained the passport information from an unnamed co-conspirator working at the State Department.
Passport Information Electronic Records System, commonly known by the acronym PIERS. What also was clear was that Harris had information related to the State Department employees who had breached Obama’s passport records and that he was cooperating with government officials. Despite the objection of the prosecutors, the judge at his arraignment released Harris the next day on personal recognizance. He was ordered to return to court for a hearing in June 2008.
Harris did not live to attend the court hearing.
On April 18, 2008, he was found murdered in Washington, D.C., by a single bullet to the head in what appeared to be a drive-by shooting. The Washington Times reported April 19, 2008, that a “key witness in a federal probe into passport information stolen from the State Department was fatally shot in front of a District church”, described as “cooperating with federal investigators,” was found slumped dead at the steering wheel of his car in front of the Judah House. Harris got himself in way over his head when he decided to work with the State Department officials accessing PIERS to obtain passport records without authorization. Cleopatria Harris, the mother of Leiutenant Quarles Harris, believed her son was murdered to keep him from cooperating with the federal investigation into the passport-record breach. He was killed because he was an important witness regarding a State Department breach of passport records. To date, the D.C. Metropolitan Police have no suspects in the still unsolved murder of Leiutenant Quarles Harris Jr. Nor has the State Department ever revealed publicly what was discovered in the breach of Obama’s passport records.
April 7, 2008, that he had traveled to Pakistan during his college years. He had taken a college trip to Pakistan was “news to most of us.” Tapper said “it was odd we hadn’t heard about it before, given all the talk of Pakistan during this campaign.” Tapper reported that, according to the Obama campaign, Obama visited Pakistan in 1981.
Did Obama use an Indonesian passport to travel to Indonesia and Pakistan in 1981, and was he concerned the breach of his passport records might end up disclosing such information.
Sources—wnd, Jerome corsi, Washington tiomes, nyt, abc