>REACT: Passports from hell.

>One of the few efficient government services was the issuance of passports. In my company’s frequent duty to obtain passports for our clients, we found the lines short and the turn around time a matter of a day or two (for the expedited service).

Well … leave to the government to find a way to screw up works. In over response to post 9/11 hysteria, the State Department issued new requirements. Now, you many need a passport just for thinking about leaving the country. Okay … that is a bit of an exaggeration. However, there are no more friendly-neighbor policies with Canada, Mexico and a few other foreign destinations. These ill-conceived requirements put millions of people on the passport request list. The result is a back log stretching back months. Caught in the snafu are millions of Americans who have missed vacations, weddings (and worse, honeymoons), were no shows at business meetings, etc., etc., etc.

Well, at least the government official in charge accepted full responsibility for the decisions and policies that caused so much heart break and cost a lot of people a lot of money. She is Assistant Secretary of State Maura Harty (pictured).

While it is nice to see a bureaucrat actually take responsibility, it is of little consolation to those who have fallen victim to the new policies. In the fight against terrorism, sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

I say Maura Harty would receive a gold medal for accepting responsibility. Yes, indeed. She deserves it. Then she should be summarily fired for gross incompetence. Yes, Indeed. She deserves that, too.

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