March 20th, 2008
09:19 PM ET

Live Blog from the Anchor Desk 3/20/08

We’ve got breaking news tonight. Sen. Barack Obama's passport records at the State Department have been breached on three separate occasions.  This story is still unfolding.  Candy Crowley and Zain Verjee will be on with the most up to date information. 

 We’ll also take a look at the latest out of Michigan which broke the rules by holding an early primary.  Their delegates were stripped and it looks like there will not be a re-vote. 

 We’ll open the blog to comments at 10p ET and stop at 11p ET.

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (282 Responses)
  1. larry....in mich

    i think llooking into the senators passport records was a clear lviolation. his private and civil rights were violated in my view. it may have put him and his family in danger and should not be tolerated by him me or any other citizen. there should be an investigation and a thorough one.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  2. Frances L.

    Obama's records are supposed to be high level security and a breach in this means our own records are severely compromised as private citizens. I hope his family will not be compromised somehow. No doubt every one of his family members were probably shown the same breach of records

    March 20, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  3. Euphemmie

    Why is Larry Johnson taking this so lightly? What his attitude be the same if it was McCain or Clinton?

    This is more reason why we need Obama as President. We need change in Washington.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:18 pm |
  4. Brandi

    Hi Anderson,
    I personally think they are literally trying to sabotage him along with his campaign, by trying to find any dirt they can and bring it to the public. I feel the government needs to step up and do something about this. I still don't understand why it took them so long to inform him about these strangers looking at all his information. By the way, I love you Anderson, and continue to keep them honest.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  5. Ivan

    Anderson, I am still waiting for you to pose the question of race to the other candidates for the White House. Secondly, I wonder have you ever witness racism in your life time and if so, what did you do? Did you just report on it or did you just overlook it.

    Finally, does the breech of Obama's passport information alarm you as a reporter and what steps will you and the network do to ensure this story does not simply fade away and just how many other people have had their passport breeched?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  6. olivia

    Please peaople, let us not forget Barak Obama is half White. Would we be having this conversation if Barack Obama was White and said typical White person.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  7. Rajin

    I am a data security person – in most cases contractors do not have access to REAL DATA. Data in passport files are shared on a need to know basic only.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  8. Hillary supporter

    AC is right. Obama campaign will definitely push this story to their advantage, So we need to stay focused on who Obama really is.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  9. Henry

    Janelle in WY – Give it a break. Of course the Obama clan is going to push this story. Anything to get the minds off of the real issues regarding BO and his true beliefs.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  10. Edward

    Lock Obama's records and stop the investigation!! Use the millions or hundred's of thousands of dollars to help the poor or build a stretch of road or something useful.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  11. skm

    HE HAS NOT TRAVELLED TO EUROPE!!!!!????!!!!! Wow!!!

    And this is wanting to be Commander-in-Chief????

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  12. Kate

    Sean McCormack was sworn in as Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs and Department Spokesman on June 2, 2005. Immediately prior to returning to the State Department, Mr. McCormack served as Special Assistant to the President, Spokesman for the National Security Council, and Deputy White House Press Secretary for Foreign Policy.

    Mr. McCormack was an analyst at the Meridian Corporation working on issues related to arms control and non-proliferation.

    IS THIS A COINCIDENCE? Meridian Resource Corporation is an independent oil and natural gas company engaged in the exploration for and development of oil and natural gas in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and the Gulf of Mexico.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  13. Carol Plummer

    I wonder what closed door agreement did Hillary and the republicans come up with to find some dirt on Obama. I mean really, did they think they wouldn't get caught snooping at his passport?


    March 20, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  14. Adeel Usman

    I just hope its really investigated.. Where did that order come from. WHo said look into Obama.
    3 times.. well that means someone was very determined and well connected.
    2 contractors fired and they found a 3rd.

    Just investigate the 3 people's cellphone and house phone records and emails ( is the NSA doing this already)

    But all I am saying is pure fantasy.. some poor low level clerk will be fired and they will say problem solved.


    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  15. Vernea Cottman

    Heads should roll at the State Department behind this gross breach.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  16. Mimi

    Now theirs a passport scandal? the media better not publicize what was in that account that would be SO wrong.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  17. cinda

    Funny, first breach 1/9: by 1/25 the airwaves are filled with dirt linking Obama to his grammar school in Indonesia.

    Second breach 2/21: 2/25 photo of Obama in Kenya gear all over the world.

    I knew dirt digging was inherent in a campaign, but this is outrageous.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  18. laura S

    BIG DEAL !!! Hillary has had to put up with a thousand times more scrutiny. It's about time someone did some real digging on this guy. Besides, if he has nothing to hide, he should have nothing to worry about.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  19. Palmer Ward

    Does anybody what company was supplying the contractors to the State Dept. Uh – could it have been KBR or Lockheed Martin?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  20. Roy - Minnesota

    This is the problem with contractors, no oversight.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  21. Luis - Glen Burnie, MD

    Anderson, how can we now trust our goverment to protect our personal information? Why do they hire contract workers to oversee such confidential information?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  22. Sheryl, IL

    This is a direct violation of his privacy and security. I would not want this to happen to anyone. How did this happen? Why did it take so long to come to light? Has there been a cover up? This to me is very serious no matter who it happens to.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  23. Henry

    I agree with Christine. Not seen much reporting on Hillary. Is CNN and/or AC pulling for Obama. It is beginning to seem that way. Whatever happened to equal time? Hmmmmm.....

    March 20, 2008 at 10:15 pm |
  24. Marvin I Oberman

    Dear Mr. Cooper:
    Why is no one asking why the passport records of Senator Obama were not made secure after the first breach of January 9th. Why weren't all passport records of all candidates blocked from intrusion. They give secret service protection against physical assassination – why not against personal assassination. Why does this happen only to Democratic candidates. Oberman

    March 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  25. Teresa / Wellington, Florida

    Get off the passport thing. Privacy is invaded every day. Get to the real issue like what kind of person Obama really is. Trying to get voters onto nonsense and forget the real stuff.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  26. C. Ann

    Luckily for Senator Obama, something else has come up to take away from the 'bad-press' that he has been getting. I am sure that the Obama camp is going to beat this story to death.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  27. Stacy

    Erica, they're looking for anything and everything they can use against him. I thought they'd given up on painting him as a Muslim now that they have the Wright thing to work with, but perhaps that's the angle.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  28. Joe , Binghamton, NY


    Inlight light of Scooter Libby being used as a scapegoat for VP Cheney, how can we believe the Bush Administration regarding interference with Barack Obama's file at the Dept. of State? In addition, what about the tampering into private citizens lives by this Administration? Lies by the administration to cover-up .... their desire to intrude into the private lives of American Citizens. Three times is not a curious mistake.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  29. Jess, PA

    If this were some sort of FBI thing, I would guess that the breech would have been approved by a higher up and would not be surfacing. Also, the two people would not have been terminated... unless they tried to stop something. I cannot believe that 70 days went by between the first time the breech occurred and when the Obama camp was notified.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  30. VERY Concened American

    I thnk Obama is trying to get the press off of his racists comments.
    You're right.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  31. sw

    Please note that the breach in Obama's passport records coincides with his victory in Iowa and after Super Tuesday when it was apparent he was a viable candidate.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  32. chanel

    do you really believe they would push this story for their benefit? that question caught me off guard...lol
    Obama is going to have to choose his words more wisely ..even though I am sure many knew what he meant the media and his critics are going to pick his words apart with regards to race

    March 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  33. Sebbe

    What's the secret where he has been he is a public servant. I think Anderson hit it on the nail. Trying to defer attention from his recent blunder.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  34. Dennis

    Don't you thinik it is funny that acording to the
    STATE DEPT Shan Mcormick says that he only found out this information today and that this came from a reporter doing a interview.
    Who was the reporter and how did he or she have this info before the STATE DEPT ????????

    March 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  35. Paul

    Anderson – what are the security levels of these contractors in the state department? Who makes sure they are cleared to get at this information....? Where are the checks and balances?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:13 pm |
  36. Billi

    Considering that Senator Obama has been on the campaign trail durng the last three months, what exactly would the breach uncover???? Of course, it is wrong but why the indignance?

    This is a distractor – just what the pundits say Seantor Obama needs to have to get the topic changed.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  37. Rose from San Bernardino, Ca

    No, I think the State Dept do know they just don't want to tell the american people that our personal information is out there for anybody to have.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  38. Mouad

    good question, please answer cnn..

    March 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  39. anita in honolulu

    Does anyone know if any one of the three private contractors was Halliburton?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  40. Jo Ann, Ohio

    How did these low level people think they could get around the security put on these files?

    @chanel; Don't worry, the media will be all over this. This comes at a perfect time in the campaign for Obama.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:12 pm |
  41. Janelle, WY

    Anderson, I'm shocked you would imply the Obama campaign would push this story! His rights and privacy were violated- this is a big deal.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  42. Jennj

    I thought Duke was going down! We love march madness erica!

    March 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  43. Shane, KY

    I wonder how much more snooping or even hacking of federal government data goes on that few, if any, know about?

    March 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  44. skm

    Jenn, I agree, it is much nicer to have AC at the table.. but 2 days of BO and back-to-back focus frm LKL and AC on BO is a lot much.

    AC, you got them.. yes, they are pushing the story.. let them take it up where they need to not on in the media. We want them to explain the Black Panther connection... which is piling on top of Wright story.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  45. Christine

    CNN way too much Obama I really need a break – guess I'll go watch Animal Planet.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  46. ambboogie

    This is very fishy and clearly politically motivated.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  47. EJ - Ohio


    "I fear for Senator Obama and his family."

    I didn't want to say but I feel the same way. I know Mrs. Obama has to be worried – more so than she has been in the past.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  48. Melissa -

    Anderson glad you are better – I hope the entire show will not be dedicated to this. Is this a plow to change the subject? Are you going to play his remarks from today calling White people "typical"??

    March 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm |

    There is a fire behind this smoke....and it will certainly unfold.

    March 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
  50. Joseph Moody American in Singapore

    Three times reeks of cover up
    From The FBI to Govenor Crist are the Republicans tinkering with Democratic Party Politics. Didn't they learn from Watergate Probably not.

    An Obama Supporter and a Yellow dog Democrat I will even supert that other person

    March 20, 2008 at 10:10 pm |
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