Passport to Lunacy

Written by Nexcerpt on April 28th, 2011 in Patterns & News.

[Sigh] OK, left-leaning conspiracy theorists — and you know you’re nearly as common as Birthers — I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but the State Department has not gone batshit insane, no matter how many mouths have already frothed over the notion.

I don’t want to link to any of the screaming, so, I’ll leap directly to the debunking phase. (If you don’t know what this ruckus is about: move along; nothing to see here.)

You almost certainly will not be required to offer personal details of your lifetime residence, employment, siblings, or religious sacraments if you’re an actual US citizen.

From the State Department:

“The Biographical Questionnaire for a U.S. Passport, form DS-5513, is used to supplement an application for a U.S. passport when the applicant submits citizenship or identity evidence that is insufficient or of questionable authenticity.”

For sixty days they did ask for everyone’s opinion (which seems rather non-totalitarian), wherein they pointed out that they expect only 74,021 people to need to submit this data.

That is, one percent of some seven million applicants annually. Presumably, that reflects the number of people who fail to provide authentic documents in a typical year. Probably not you; probably not me. Just a relatively small number of people who probably don’t have blogs, and probably don’t read blogs. That will include a very few you might really want not to have a US passport.

From a civil liberties standpoint, allowing such people to submit a written form seems more… well, civil than the alternative: to bring them in for questioning. Or, to simply say, “You seem different. No Passport For You!”

To keep any semblance of order, the US will have to do something to help authenticate identity, as they’ve been doing for some time.

So, as I said: move along… nothing to see here.


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