Consul-At-Arms has a good commentary on the Passport Kerfuffle, what it is and what it isn't.
In order to do their jobs, people have to be able to access these systems. They also have to be trained in using the systems. People are a very curious flavor of primate and, naturally enough, the first thing they do, often before they can be warned against doing so, when they're first given access to this system is test it with a name they know. Oops. Their first impulse is to treat the database as a sort of Google, often inputting their own names or those of family-members. This is not nearly as sinister as the former FBI agent with all the terrorist connections who was doing the same thing with the FBI's investigative databases.
"What's truly ironic, again, is that this is yet another instance where the State Dept. is pilloried for being a political tool of the Bush administration, totally in thrall to its neo-con vision of world domination. Right. As if. In virtually the same breath, the Foreign Service usually gets chastised for being insufficiently supportive of the national objectives in places like Iraq and Afghanistan. What's that noise? Oh, that's my irony-o-meter resetting itself. It does that whenever I pay attention to the news. "
I recommend reading the whole post.