MARCH 26, 2008
The U.S. government prioritizes cost savings over national security by outsourcing the manufacturing of electronic passports to overseas companies, including one in southeastern Asia that has been infiltrated by communist espionage.
An alarming investigative series published by a Washington newspaper reveals how the government compromises the crown jewel of American border security—state-of-the-art passports—to, not only save money, but also make a profit.
By manufacturing the passports in places like Thailand, recently victimized by communist Chinese spies, the government agency responsible for providing the State Department with the blank booklets makes tens of millions of dollars in profits even though it’s only supposed to break even.
Responsible for the production and distribution of information products and services for all three branches of government, the Government Printing Office (GPO) basically sells out national security for profits when it comes to passports. Created by Congress nearly 200 years ago, the GPO has been in charge of creating passports used by Americans to enter and leave the country since 1926.
Even the agency’s internal watchdog, Inspector General Anthony Ogden, has warned in a report that there are significant deficiencies with the manufacturing of blank passports, security of components and the internal controls for the process.
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