Long-time readers here may recall that I filed my own FOIA with the US Department of state asking for records of passports issued to Stanley Ann Dunham. I filed it in January of 2009, over 16 months ago. The DoS accepted the request, assigned a case number to it last April (improper requests do not get a case assigned). And I have been sitting for a very long time waiting for an answer.
I’ve called the DoS 4 times and emailed them once. The email received no reply and the phone calls yielded no useful information except that it had be referred to the Passport section.
I called again today and the fellow I talked to at the DoS FOIA Hot Line was a little more forthcoming than the folks I talked to before. Here are some things I picked up from the call:
- Passport information requests are normally “pretty quick”.
- The fellow I talked to was aware of litigation by others over requests overlapping mine. That is, he knew exactly what was going on in the wider context.
- My request had been responded to by the passport section.
- For some reason the FOIA sent it back to Passport for further research.
- My request was now being looked at by the DoS “Legal advisor.”
- I got the impression that the reason I didn’t have results back is because of the complications created by the other lawsuits.
- I was promised that the DoS would review what was previously provided by the passport section to see if it was “responsive” to my request by this Friday.
- I think he said that there were 4 lawsuits related to this topic. [I only know of two: Allen and Strunk.]
- My impression (and this is just an impression) is that all of the other requests are “in legal”.
- My request is taking longer than it should.
I have no assurance of what will be disclosed. If Stanley Ann Dunham had no passport in 1961 then it would be a huge blow to the Kenyan birth story. If she did, we’re pretty much where we are now. I certainly would love to break the news here first, but in all fairness, others asked first. So stay tuned for one of two headlines: OBAMA HAD A US PASSPORT, or OBAMA HAD NO US PASSPORT.
PS: If I am the first to break this story, expect most of the BLOG features to be turned in preparation for the onslaught of visits.
Update: Upon reflection, I believe that my requests and the other overlapping requests were being handled together. One of the more complex requests had been referred back to the passport section. I was being told that if the passport section’s previous response was responsive to my limited question, then they could go ahead and send it to me (presuming the legal adviser isn’t in the way).