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realclearworld

Kafkaesque Bureaucracy: Show Us ALL Your Papers

Blog Boing Boing says the U.S. State Department has plans for some new procedures for U.S. citizens looking to apply for a U.S. Passport ... I have a feeling Obama might have a slight problem getting one:

Olga sez, "The U.S. Dept of State is proposing a new Biographical Questionnaire for passport applicants: proposed new Form DS-5513 asks for all addresses since birth; lifetime employment history, personal details of siblings; mother's addresses prior to your birth; any "religious ceremony" around time of birth, circumstances of birth including names (as well as addresses/phone numbers) of persons present, & more. Failure to answer can mean denial of passport, & govt reserves right to use this info for 'routine uses.'"

Update: Commenters note that this form is specifically intended in lieu of a birth certificate with a passport application; but as the FA suggests, the circumstances in which people unable to provide a birth certificate will be given this form (rather than the traditional bureaucratic investigation) are not spelled out; further, the form itself remains a Kafkaesque impossibility for most people to complete.

Read more...

For some odd reason this story gives me the feel of the old "Iron Curtain".

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