Monday, December 10, 2007

Springmann: Consul General Filled Out Visa Applications For Pakistanis With Forged Passports

From an article by Margie Burns in The Progressive Populist:
Panelist J. Michael Springmann, former chief of the visa section in the US Embassy in Saudi Arabia, narrated some of his experiences in the Jedda office.

Instances of procedural failures included seeing the then-Consul General in Jedda, in his office, "filling out visa applications for Pakistanis who had forged passports."

He describes US strategy at the time as "people being rounded up to come to the US for training" against the Soviet Union during its invasion of Afghanistan.

As the man in charge of visas in Jedda, "there I issued visas to terrorists recruited by the CIA."

In one anecdote, "two Pakistanis came to me one day" to apply for visas, presenting forged documents in the application. Springmann denied the application, but his superior "reversed me" after a phone call, "issued the visas, then they took off."

Now in private law practice in Maryland and D.C., Springmann mentioned attempting to publicize the problem after returning to the US but, he said, "Nobody in Washington, D.C., wants to hear about this."