Rice apologises to Obama over passport breach

March 22nd, 2008 - 12:19 am ICT by admin  

Washington, March 21 (Xinhua) US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Friday that she has apologised to Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama after her staff improperly viewed his passport files. “I told him that I was sorry and I told him that I myself would be very disturbed if I learned that somebody had looked into my passport file,” Rice told reporters.

The state department confirmed Thursday the unauthorised access to the Illinois senator’s files by three contract workers on Jan 9, Feb 21 and March 14, respectively.

According to a CNN report, the passport files contain scanned images of passport applications, birth date and basic biographical information, records of passport renewal, and possibly citizenship information.

Two contractors were fired and the third one was disciplined by the contractor’s company, department spokesman Sean McCormack said, adding none of them had high-level position with management role.

The department’s acting inspector general has begun an investigation and contacted the justice department to determine if any laws were broken, he added.

Obama’s campaign called for a thorough investigation to find out the motive of looking at Obama’s files without authorization.

New York senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, another Democratic presidential hopeful, said through her spokesperson Doug Hattaway that “the Bush administration has a responsibility to get to the bottom of it”.

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