Monday, July 23, 2007

The Pasport Backlog

Kos posts about the current backlog of passport applications, citing it as an example of how Republicanism can't work. I happen to have some inside info on this story, from my ultra-secret contact in the State Department, known on this blog only by the code name "Maestro". Here's my comment to Kos's post:

It's even worse than you think (0 / 0)

I have a friend who works in counter-terrorism in the State Department. The friend's area of expertise is Central Asia. You'd think he'd have some pretty important business to attend to these days, what with everything going on there. But guess what my friend will be doing for the next few months?

Passport backlog work.

Yep, and my friend is not alone. Counter-terrorism specialists are being pulled from all over and flown to special offices to work six days a week on clearing out the passport backlog. So critical counter-terrorism desks are sitting empty. This increased emphasis on passports is actually decreasing our security, because critical State Department personnel are being yanked from their jobs and assigned to look over the mound of applications.

Pretty messed up, no?

This passport backlog is a matter of some personal concern to me, as we have applied for a passport for Quinn so we can go on a cruise with my wife's family at the end of December. Even a Republican government should be apple to approve an application for a baby in time for December. Fortunately, Maestro has offered to unofficially expedite Quinn's application, but I really hope pulling such strings will not be necessary.

Of course, a delayed passport pales in comparison to crippling the State Department to deal with this problem. Ugh. Maybe this is all a part of the Bush administration infighting that we're always hearing about. It wouldn't be the first time State has been undercut by other branches of the "unitary" executive.

1 Comments:

Blogger Miguel said...

My renewal took all of five days, and I'm even rather suspicious-looking. Another friend had a new one in a similar amount of time. They must have a filtering process where some people get looked at in a way more time-consuming way.

6:15 AM, July 23, 2007  

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