The U.S. State Department’s sluggish passport processing system is making applicants wait months for their passports. U.S. Representative Bryan Steil (R-WI-01) is demanding answers — and action.
Citing increased demand, the State Department has expanded processing times for passport applications and renewals. It’s now taking agents about three months to process routine passports, and seven to nine weeks for expedited international travel permits.
The latest installment of the “Twitter Files” revealed that the FBI acted “as a doorman” for the social media giant to other government agencies, including the CIA, the State Department and the Pentagon.
“Twitter had so much contact with so many agencies that executives lost track,” journalist Matt Taibbi wrote as he released the ninth batch of internal Twitter files on Saturday evening. “Is today the DOD, and tomorrow the FBI? Is it the weekly call, or the monthly meeting? It was dizzying.”
The same State Department office that partnered with a Department of Homeland Security-backed private consortium that reported purported election misinformation to tech platforms for removal in the 2020 and 2022 cycles is also using internet games to affect elections abroad.
In an Oct. 31 memo reviewed by Just the News, Secretary of State Antony Blinken encourages diplomatic and consular posts worldwide to promote “Cat Park,” funded by State’s Global Engagement Center (GEC) and U.S. Embassy The Hague and released to coincide with UNESCO’s Global Media and Information Literacy Week.
A new federal watchdog report shows the State Department recently had as many as 325,000 unread emails from Afghans who assisted the U.S. war effort and want to be evacuated.
The report by the State Department’s inspector general shows the number of unread emails was as of May – nearly nine months after the U.S. military completely pulled out of Afghanistan, in a chaotic last-few-days exit in which residents were seen clinging in vain to the takeoff gear of cargo evacuation planes and ultimately being left behind.
The State Department released a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan that says it is seeking to “assess resources for gender dysphoria and gender transition care at posts for employees and their dependents,” a move that suggests the department may be looking to taxpayer-funding to expand such treatments.
The Biden administration has mandated all federal agencies to have a plan to implement policies that reflect equity and inclusivity, with an emphasis on LGBTQ individuals, and some Republicans in Congress say such a policy for the gender dysphoric children of diplomats overseas would damage the credibility of the United States abroad.
The State Department is funding a non-profit to recruit Korean social media influencers to drum up international student enrollment at universities in the United States, according to a new grant proposal.
The State Department will pay a non-profit up to $100,000 to organize a 10-day trip providing the Korean influencers with an expansive view of the United States, according to the grant. The program would require the influencers to post at least one blog or vlog post about their experience in the U.S.
The Biden Administration’s State Department is soon going to announce the establishment of a “Special Representative for Racial Equity and Justice” on June 17th, a leaked email reveals.
According to the Daily Caller, the position was first announced in April by the State Department’s own “Equity Action Plan. But the newly-obtained email reveals more details about the power that the position will have, including “institutionaliz[ing] an enterprise-wide approach to integrating racial and ethnic equity.” The email also declares that “advancing equity, addressing systemic racism, and strengthening democracy worldwide” will be considered “national security imperatives and core tenets of President Biden’s foreign policy.”
In an era where the hunt for disinformation has become a political obsession, Hillary Clinton has mostly escaped having to answer what role she played in spreading the false Russia collusion narrative that gripped America for nearly three years.
On Friday, that dodge ended with a most unlikely witness: her former campaign manager Robby Mook, who was supposed to be a witness helping the defense of her former campaign lawyer Michael Sussmann on a charge of lying to the FBI.
The federal government has assembled a 21-agency working group to study and assess the environmental impacts of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
The “Interagency Working Group on Environmental Damage in Ukraine” — which was assembled by the Department of State and includes officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Department of Defense — has met weekly for about a month, Axios first reported Friday.
Thousands of Americans were left in Afghanistan after the Biden Administration’s botched withdrawal last summer, according to a stunning new report released by the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken and other Biden administration officials claimed that number of Americans left behind was only 100-150.
According to the report, published by Foreign Relations ranking member Jim Risch (R-Idaho), the Biden Administration “did not hold a senior-level interagency meeting to discuss an evacuation or formally task the State Department (State) to contact at risk populations, including Americans, until August 14, just hours before Kabul fell.”
The State Department will waive fees for immigrants seeking visas to come to the U.S. if they were previously denied one because of the Trump administration’s travel ban, according to a Wednesday announcement.
“An IV applicant who is the beneficiary of a valid immigration petition may submit another visa application after being refused and in most circumstances they are required to pay again the relevant application fees,” according to a Federal Register rule published Wednesday. “The Department exempts from such fees only those IV applicants who are applying again after being refused” a visa under the travel ban.
The ban prevented immigration from Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. President Joe Biden issued an executive order repealing the ban on his first day in office in January 2021.
Two of the largest cell phone providers in the country are moving forward with their original plans to launch 5G wireless service this week, even as federal officials warn that such technology could pose a risk of interfering with aviation equipment, according to Politico.
In a joint letter sent to the State Department by the CEOs of AT&T and Verizon, the executives argued that an expansion of cell phone coverage via 5G is necessary amidst the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“With continued COVID crises, it has never been more important that our country’s critical communications infrastructure have the spectrum needed to handle escalating traffic demands from our customers,” said AT&T’s John Stankey and Verizon’s Hans Vestberg.
President Joe Biden has stumbled, mumbled, and bumbled his way through his first year in office. While many of his gaffes leave us laughing, much of what comes out of his mouth isn’t just nonsense, it’s outright lies. Here’s a look at Biden’s Top 10 Lies of the past year.
Georgia election reforms
Biden claimed “Georgia’s new law ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote.”
Even the Washington Post called Biden out for this lie (after the paper repeatedly repeated it for months!)
Biden repeatedly condemned a new Georgia election law that imposed new restrictions on voting, but one of his complaints was simply false: “It ends voting hours early so working people can’t cast their vote after their shift is over.” Many listeners might assume he was talking about voting on Election Day. But Election Day hours were not changed. The law did make some changes to early voting. But experts say the net effect of the new early-voting rules was to expand the opportunities to vote for most Georgians, not limit them.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed Wednesday the State Department is conducting an internal review into the evacuation of Afghanistan.
“It’s absolutely critical that we capture and benefit from lessons learned,” Blinken said in a speech at the Foreign Service Institute in Arlington, Virginia, attended by lawmakers, diplomats and others.
Just as the special counsel’s investigation into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane—the FBI counterintelligence probe launched in the summer of 2016 to sabotage Donald Trump’s presidential campaign—is showing signs of life, one of the central figures in the hoax is attempting to burnish his sullied image.
ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos has produced a documentary featuring Christopher Steele, the man responsible for the so-called dossier bearing his name. “Out of the Shadows: The Man Behind the Steele Dossier,” streamed on Hulu Monday night; promotional clips hinted that, far from a hard-hitting interview exposing Steele for the charlatan he is, Stephanopoulos gave Steele a chance to spin his story ahead of possible new indictments related to John Durham’s inquiry into the Trump-Russia election collusion hoax.
A gang known for previous abductions has been blamed for the kidnapping of 17 American missionaries in Haiti on Saturday, NBC News reported.
The Christian Aid Ministries missionaries were kidnapped on their way from the construction of an orphanage, according to a message from Ohio-based ministry, NBC reported.
“This is a special prayer alert,” the ministry’s one-minute message said. “Pray that the gang members would come to repentance.”
The U.S. Embassy is working with the field director of the mission, whose family stayed at the ministry’s base with an unidentified man while the abduction took place, the message said.
State Department evacuation flights out of Afghanistan will resume by the end of the year, a senior State Department official told The Wall Street Journal.
The operation to retrieve U.S. citizens and Afghan allies left behind will require coordination with the Taliban and other governments, the official told The Wall Street Journal. Kabul’s international airport remains closed to regular passenger travel since the U.S. ended its first evacuation attempt on Aug. 31.
U.S. citizens, U.S. legal permanent residents and immediate family members will receive priority treatment in securing seats on evacuation flights, the official said. The State Department is hoping to eventually have several aircraft leave the country each week.
President Joe Biden is planning to increase the number of refugees allowed to enter the U.S. to 125,000 during the new fiscal year, which will begin October 1.
The move, which was announced by the State Department Monday, fulfills a Biden campaign promise. Though, the action will likely not impact two groups of people in the news of late – the thousands of Afghans who fled Kabul last month as U.S. forces were hastily withdrawn, and the more than 15,000 Haitians who are camped under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas, along the southern border having fled political and economic turmoil in their home country. The two groups are not classed by the department as refugees.
America First Legal is demanding an investigation into the Biden administration regarding its withdrawal from Afghanistan and is requesting answers from a number of government agencies over the handling of evacuees, according to a letter and six Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests first obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The group has asked the Department of Defense (D0D) acting inspector general for an investigation into the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, specifically into the reported “‘Kill List’ Given to the Taliban,” information revealing what the president knew from intelligence reports, details about the “abandoned equipment and assets” and about leaving Bagram air base, as well as information about the “effective deployment of US air force assets.”
Uzbekistan, a Middle Eastern nation that borders Afghanistan, warned the U.S. that refugees fleeing the Taliban wouldn’t be granted asylum, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The Uzbekistan government recently urged the U.S. to take action and transport the refugees to a third nation, according to the WSJ. The small Middle Eastern country reportedly doesn’t want t0 create tension with the incoming Taliban-controlled Afghan government by housing refugees including soldiers who fought alongside and were trained by American troops.
The Biden administration continued to inform American citizens in Afghanistan as of Thursday evening they could have to pay more than $2,000 to board an evacuation flight out of the country, despite the State Department telling the press hours before that it had no intention of levying any such charges.
The U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan has stated in multiple security advisories since Monday that any U.S. citizen seeking to evacuate the country must complete an online form in order to secure their repatriation flight. “This form is the only way to communicate interest in flight options,” the embassy said in a security advisory Wednesday.
State Department spokesman Ned Price told the Daily Caller News Foundation and other news outlets late Thursday afternoon that the Biden administration has “no intention of seeking any reimbursement from those fleeing Afghanistan.”
Army Maj. Gen. Hank Taylor and Pentagon Spokesman John Kirby dodged a reporter’s question about whether the US military is buying aviation fuel from the Taliban as evacuation efforts continue at Hamid Karzai International Airport (HKIA) in Kabul.
During a briefing at the Pentagon Thursday, Kirby also revealed that of the 2,000 people evacuated over the last 24 hours, only 300 of them were Americans.
“How are you fueling your planes… are you now in a position that you have to buy fuel from the Taliban?” asked Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin during a briefing at the Pentagon.
The Biden Administration quashed a critical State Department program designed to help Americans evacuate safely out of crisis zones just months prior to the fall of Kabul, the National Pulse reported Wednesday.
The “Contingency and Crisis Response Bureau” was established late last year to handle medical, diplomatic, and logistical support involving Americans overseas.