• More on State’s Illegal Passport Revocations in Yemen

    December 16, 2013

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Embassy/State, Yemen

    Searches of public court records continue to expose the illegal actions of the U.S. Department of State in Yemen. One private attorney connected to cases in Yemen says “Issues with the U.S. Consulate in Sana’a are systemic and reach far beyond seizure of U.S. passports. That is merely the egregious tip of the iceberg. I have dealt with many Yemeni’s experiencing problems with the U.S. Consulate in Sana’a. Most non-litigation options fail, but at the same time most Yemeni nationals are afraid litigation will result in retaliation.”

    If you have not read our original report on the issue, see it here.

    Abdo Alarir, et al, v. Hillary Clinton, Janice Jacobs

    The first case is Abdo Alarir, et al, v. Hillary Clinton, Janice Jacobs, et al, filed October 18, 2012 in the U.S. District Court for Southern New York. Mr. Alarir, a U.S. Citizen, filled paperwork to bring his children from Yemen to the U.S. One of the kids would immigrate to the U.S. on a visa (“Green Card”) and two would qualify already as American Citizens. The latter is made official when the State Department issues what is called a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (a CRBA in State-speak). The reasons why one kid gets a visa and the other two a CRBA are complex but irrelevant to what the State Department, illegally, did with this case.

    Actually what State did was… nothing. The Department of Homeland Security approved the visa (it’s a two-agency process) in 2010. At State, nothing was done for three years to process the cases. As for the Consular Report of Birth for the other two kids, these can be approved within an hour, with the official documents available soon after, right at the embassy, no Homeland Security involvement required. That’s pretty much standard practice around the world. But apparently not in Yemen. So, faced with stonewalling out of the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, the American dad sued.

    But back to Sanaa. Dad initially pursued the Consular Reports of Birth. He was told at an initial meeting with State on February 7, 2012 to provide more documents. He did on February 12, 2012, via DHL with a tracking number. Embassy Sanaa waited over a month until March 18, 2012 to send Dad a form letter saying the documents had not been received. Meanwhile, Dad’s lawyer was told by Homeland Security that they had done their part of the job on the visa, that the lawyer should contact the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, and to please bug State from here on out, not them. The paper trail as filed with the U.S. District Court ends there. State just dummied up and did… nothing.

    The lawsuit found its way through the court system, but before the District Court could issue a decision, wham! State, without comment, apology or explanation, just up and issued the visa and Consular Reports of Birth. The case was thus closed on November 23, 2013, and a State Department fudge-up swept under the rug.

    The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

    Two More

    Next up is Yemeni-American Nashwan Ahmed Qassem v. Hillary Clinton, Janice Jacobs, et al. This case was filed on January 30, 2013 in the U.S. District Court for Western New York and though full documentation is not available electronically, it appears to be similar to the other cases. Embassy Sanaa illegally revoked the U.S. Citizen’s passport, he sued, State turned around and re-issued the passport before the Court could render a verdict. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

    A third case we were able to unearth in public records is ongoing, that of Yemeni-American Hashed Mousa. This one involves a U.S. Citizen Yemeni-American grandfather, who was somehow made to “voluntarily” admit that years ago he obtained his own U.S. citizenship by fraud. Despite the law being very clear that only Homeland Security can revoke citizenship due to fraud on the original application, Embassy Sanaa just went ahead and confiscated grandpa’s U.S. passport. The embassy then waited for grandpa’s son to come in to apply for citizenship for the grandchildren, denying those applications based on a flimsy chain of a) since the embassy illegally claimed that grandpa was not a U.S. citizen b) his own son was not a U.S. citizen and therefore c) the grandkids could not be U.S. citizens. The case is 3:13-cv-05958-BHS, filed in the Western District of Washington State. The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.

    A Question

    It appears quite clear that something happened at the U.S. embassy in Sanaa. Whether the illegal actions against Yemeni-Americans were part of a State-sponsored process, or the actions of a local bureaucracy poorly supervised and out-of-control, are unclear and largely irrelevant. The problems with State and Sanaa grew so egregious that the National Security Council, and even Homeland Security, raised questions. Some good news; sources inside the Department of Justice suggest that whatever was going on toward Yemeni-Americans in Sanaa has tapered off under new management. State, for its part, selected the former manager as Consular Officer of the Year, promoted her, and reassigned her to a dream job in Sydney. The Consular Officer of the Year did not respond to a request for comment.

    That leaves only the question of why the State Department is not seeking to resolve these cases administratively, going back through the files, identifying and reviewing “unusual” actions/inactions and moving to fix things. Instead, State is forcing American Citizens to file expensive lawsuits, which State contests to the last moment before bellying up and doing what it should have and could have done much earlier, issuing the documents it was supposed to.

    It is almost as if State, even when caught red-handed in the wrong, still wants to punish those who challenge it.


    BONUS: In the past, State has challenged the use of its official seal, as seen above, by this blog. Haven’t heard them this time.



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  • Recent Comments

    • pitchfork said...

      1

      quote:”The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.”unquote

      quote:”The State Department did not respond to a request for comment.”unquote

      quote:”The Consular Officer of the Year did not respond to a request for comment.”unquote

      Naaaaaaaaww..really? Shame on them. I mean..really..

      quote:”It is almost as if State, even when caught red-handed in the wrong, still wants to punish those who challenge it.”unquote

      whudda thunk?

      I once knew a 5th grade playground bully too. I guess he went to work for State. He must have seen the ad for “Bullies wanted”..on State’s website.

      btw, this is the third time I’ve had to log in here in two days. Just like all the other sites I visit normally. Wonder why?

      Dear NSA…eat me.

      shame on them. Bad boys.

      12/16/13 6:39 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      2

      Hm, based on this, I see some incongruity in the State Department’s standards for issuing a “CBRA”…

      …because if the State Department has such strict standards about issuing a CBRA, then WHY would the Yekaterinburg Consulate issue a CBRA for the daughter of a non-US-Citizen, Russian woman’s illegitimate daughter (born outside of marriage), in the name of the child’s American Citizen father, simultaneously with illegally (illegally under Russian AND US law) using a different name for the child than was on the Russian-born child’s Russian birth certificate? And to do so without informing the American Father, of the child’s name on the child’s American CBRA?

      I mean, if the US State Department is SO scrupulous about the letter of the law, when it comes to issuing CBRAs, then why did the US Consulate in Yekaterinburg issue a CBRA for the illegitimate child of a Russian woman (whose biological father is American), with a name different from the name the American Father was told that his Russian-born daughter had?

      And without any legal change of name in Russia OR America?

      And yes I’m talking about my own daughter. Immediately after she was born, I sent her Russian mother all of the necessary documentation – including my own prior US passport, and an affidavit claiming paternity, and documentation of my having LIVED IN America throughout my childhood – to make my illegitimate, Russian-born daughter a US citizen…

      …but then her Russian mother avoided making my daughter a US citizen for almost two more years, until she began an affair with the husband of an American woman. She waited almost two years to make my daughter a US citizen, and she did so only after she started f-cking an elderly husband of an American woman, who gave her more money than I was able to at that time. (A lot more money, including buying a new residence for her in Russia, with his wife’s money behind his wife’s back, until his wife found out. And then his wife divorced him for this, and then the Russian homewrecker – my daughter’s mother – moved to America and married him.)

      And so, getting back to my original point:

      When I voluntarily claimed paternity of my daughter, immediately after she was born, I claimed her as my daughter by one name…

      …but then, two years later, her Russian mother made my daughter a US citizen, under a name that I had never known. And my daughter’s name was never changed under the laws of Russia OR America – it was changed illegally by a US Consular staff member in Yekaterinburg, because my daughter’s Russian mother is a special friend of the US State Department.

      So much for Human Rights. This story says, that in America, an American Father has no right to know the name of his daughter. The State Department can extrajudicially change the name of the foreign born child of an American citizen – without the Father’s knowledge – as long as the child’s foreign mother has friends in the State Department…

      …because in the eyes of the US State Department, all I am – a sixth-generation native born American – is sperm. That’s how the US State Department thinks of US citizenship too: No more than sperm. Not history, not culture, just a thing to be used, an expendable thing.

      12/16/13 7:03 PM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      3

      To the above, I shall add:

      NO native born US citizen parent has ever acknowledged “Miranda Vera Onischenko” as his daughter. And there is NO birth certificate in ANY country, for “Miranda Vera Onischenko”.

      Therefore, the CBRA for “Miranda Vera Onischenko” is fraudulent.

      Not to mention later instances of US Passport Fraud which her Russian mother has committed, the most recent one being in 2007, and I can document the objective lies in that passport application. The statute of limitations for THAT, is ten years.

      But HEY! YOGA! Yoga and Joseph Campbell and snake oil about using yoga and myths to teach English as a Second Language! Yeah, THAT’S why shielding that Russian woman, is in America’s national interest! (Sarcasm on at full volume.)

      12/16/13 7:16 PM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...

      4

      Fun Fact: Unlike visa processing at State, where there is at least lip service paid to checks-and-balances, when it comes to issuing a CRBA there are none. The officer who works on the case can approve it with no oversight or review. If s/he denies the case (outside Yemen) and the American complains, a supervisor will usually have an informal look but has no real responsibility to do so.

      12/16/13 7:27 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...

      5

      It’s partly the problem that our agency is still living like its 2001 and that old problem of unofficial policies and operating in the shadows

      12/17/13 2:48 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      6

      Fun fact: Russia’s FSB is reading this.

      12/17/13 5:05 AM | Comment Link

    • meloveconsullongtime said...

      7

      Another fun fact, corroborated by court records: When Jurgen Schlate of Stelfer Steel hired Chinese detectives in 2002-2003 to investigate a private American citizen in China, he was actually paying the Chinese government to spy on an American in China. And he did this on behalf of his Russian mistress.

      That kind of gets messy when you factor in the additional fact that at that time, the US Consulate in Yekaterinburg was providing a Russian woman to Jurgen Schlate to suck his c-ck behind his American wife’s back. And to do some translating too.

      Hey, State! Your Russian honeypots end up sliming you all over the world! Keep up the discretion!

      12/17/13 5:46 AM | Comment Link

    • Lafcadio said...

      8

      Great post PVB!

      You caught them red handed. Janice Jacobs was going to give the “Dunce” this award over two years ago, and little things like facts and how she actually ran the consular section be damned.

      Tip of the iceberg here, and definitely shows how cronyistic, incompetent and downright corrupt State and CA management are.

      12/17/13 10:57 AM | Comment Link

    • Lafcadio said...

      9

      I know you’ve covered this before, but just a little reminder on who wlse has won this “prestigious” (yuk yuk) award.

      http://www.afsa.org/afsa_members_in_action.aspx

      12/17/13 11:01 AM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      10

      Holy mother of House of Cards. Stay tuned indeed.

      I’m nominating this comment section for this years Great Moments in DoS Consular Skeletons award. Wow.

      Only problem is..melove..you’ve REALLY got me confused now. hmmm..(note to self..reread ALL melov’s previous comments.) For some reason..I was under the impression you were…well, nevermind. I’ll figure it out.
      All I can say is..NSA’s got nothin up on DoS. Too bad there isn’t a We Meant Well equivalent for NSA though. Although, things are getting pretty interesting in the Mutiny on the bridge of the NSA Starship saga…

      http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/12/16/an-nsa-coworker-remembers-the-real-edward-snowden-a-genius-among-geniuses/

      Makes Alexander look like a total schmuck on the NSA’s 60 Minutes infomercial too.

      sheeezus.. who needs Showtime when the Greatest Show on Earth is running LIVE.. in real time. Popcorn anyone?

      12/17/13 4:18 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      11

      quote:”Tip of the iceberg here, and definitely shows how cronyistic, incompetent and downright corrupt State and CA management are.”unquote

      Amazing. DoS is starting to look like a Showtime hit on steroids. I wouldn’t be surprised if some producer in Hollywood makes a new series with DoS as the vehicle. I mean..it has EVERYTHING!..worldwide sex, money, backstabbing, intrigue, suspense, plots, dancing, war.. ..youbetcha ..everything. WOW..that gives me an idea. Hollywood here I come! This one is worth MILLIONS!! Hey Peter..wanna become a Hollywood producer? Move over House of Cards..here we come!
      Heck, we already have the first episode playin out live here! God I love the smell of money.

      :)

      12/17/13 4:39 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...

      12

      Holy mother of Script writers…

      http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/12/17/keeping-the-crazies-occupied-while-finishing-iran-nuclear-negotiations/

      Sheeezus. This stuff will write itself. Man, the possiblities are ENDLESS!!!

      12/17/13 4:45 PM | Comment Link

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