Thursday, July 15, 2010

State Department issued passports to 4,500 sex offenders

The State Department issued passports to at least 4,500 registered sex offenders, including 30 federal employees, according to a report released by the investigative arm of Congress.

The State Department balked at the presentation of the study, released on Wednesday by the Governmental Accountability Office (GAO), saying that it was “misleading” and “that it conveys more ‘shock value’ than factual accuracy,” according to a letter to the GAO responding to a draft copy of the report.

The report also suggests that the State Department may have violated federal law by granting passports to individuals convicted of sex tourism.

In December 2008, President George W. Bush signed a law granting the State Department the ability to deny individuals a passport if they’ve been convicted of sex tourism with minors while abroad.