Apr 28 2011

State Dept. responds to passport form furor — with lies

Several readers (among the thousands who submitted comments) have forwarded copies of the email message the State Department is sending as an auto-response to all mail to the point of contact for their proposed new “Biographical Questionnaire” for passport applicants, Form DS-5513.

For your entertainment, and so we won’t be accused of quoting out of context, we’ve copied the State Department’s statement in full below the fold.

The good news is that the State Department seems to have realized that they’ve gone too far, and “may very well” revise the proposal.  The bad news is that they are still talking about trying to get Office of Management and Budget approval for a “revised version” of the proposed form, rather than scrapping the idea entirely.  And they make no mention of the (illegal) unapproved form that the public comments revealed they are already using.

But rather than admit they have gone too far, much less done anything wrong, the State Department lies about what the proposed form says, and tries to attribute the surge of outrage to “misperceptions regarding this form.”

The State Department says that, “Many of these questions may not apply to the majority of applicants.” But both proposed Form DS-5513 and the current (unapproved and illegal) Supplemental Worksheet state that the respondent must “Complete this form in its entirety” and under penalty of perjury. Proposed Form DS-5513 says that, “failure to provide the information requested may result in … the denial of your U.S. passport application.”

That’s not a “misperception.”  That’s the plain and unambiguous language of the form. Read More