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by Sharon Rondeau

The GSA denies that it ordered the destruction of passport records in response to The Post & Email's FOIA request

(Sept. 12, 2010) — Following the release of several passport applications of Stanley Ann Dunham to Christopher Strunk on July 29, 2010, The Post & Email sent in its own FOIA request to the General Services Administration (GSA) for all records pertaining to the alleged destruction of “non-vital records…during the 1980s in accordance with guidance from the General Services Administration” as claimed by State Department employee Jonathan M. Rolbin to Mr. Strunk.

In an interview with The Post & Email regarding an affidavit he had filed disputing the State Department’s assertion, Mr. William Richardson explained the evolution of the GSA and NARA:

Before it became the NARA, the National Archives was part of the GSA.  It was established in 1949, and in 1985 the NA broke off from the GSA and was renamed NARA.  So now they’re completely separate divisions of the government in regard to reporting.  And the U.S. State Department is separate, just like the U.S. Department of Agriculture or Education.

The National Archives‘ purpose is to be “the nation’s record keeper.”  The agency was created by an act of Congress in 1934 to facilitate record-keeping of all government agencies by one department.  In 1949, the National Archives was renamed the “National Archives and Records Service (NARS)” and became part of the General Services Administration. The GSA’s purpose today is “to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for our customers in support of their missions and by so doing foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people.”  The GSA current employs 11,792 people.

Public Law 98-497, which made the National Archives independent of the GSA and renamed it the "National Archives and Records Administration"

In 1985, the National Archives separated from the GSA following a “struggle” and was renamed the “National Archives and Records Administration” by legislation signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.  The author of a book on the topic, Robert M. Warner, was sixth Archivist of the United States during the years 1980-85.  In his book, he stated, “Hearings were held in the Senate and the House during which the GSA Administrator inadvertently advanced our cause by threatening removal of senior staff, from the Archivist of the United States on down. This abuse of the Archives created a wellspring of sympathy for the Archivist and his troops and actually aided us in our campaign…The good guys finally won, and on April 1, 1985, the National Archives was “Free at Last.”

As a result of the separation of the two entities, were passport applications and records ordered destroyed?  According to the response from Sharon V. Lighton of the GSA, “Authorization and the destruction of Federal records is the responsibility of NARA…Therefore, you would need to contact NARA…”

NARA’s policy for maintaining and destroying its own employees’ passport records, identification materials, and “parking space permits” is here.  A manager from the GSA had stated to Mr. Richardson that the GSA also has a policy which covers its own employees’ personal information as he performed his investigation cited above.

On April 8, 2008, the National Archives held a symposium on “passport records” designed to inform attendees about “passport applications that are in the custody of the National Archives and those that still remain with the U.S. Department of State.”  A second presentation was held two days later at the College Park, MD location of the National Archives.

The U.S. State Department’s website states that “Passport Services maintains United States passport records for passports issued from 1925 to the present. These records normally consist of applications for United States passports and supporting evidence of United States citizenship, and are protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, (5 USC 552(a)). Passport records do not include evidence of travel such as entrance/exit stamps, visas, residence permits, etc., since this information is entered into the passport book after it is issued.”

The Privacy Act of 1974 appears to limit the release of passport information to an individual requesting his or her own record with certain exceptions.  To make a request for the passport of someone else, the following condition has been put in place:

c.  Third-Party Requests
Third party requests must include one of the following:

  1. Notarized consent from the owner of the passport records,
  2. Proof of guardianship,
  3. Death certificate, or
  4. Court order signed by a judge of competent jurisdiction requesting the Department of State to release passport records.

It is widely accepted that Obama’s mother died in 1995, but is there a death certificate for her?

There are records showing that she attended the University of Hawaii in the fall of 1960 and the University of Washington beginning in the fall of 1961 through spring 1962, although those could have been correspondence courses.  However, while the University of Washington registrar sent email verification of Dunham Obama’s enrollment for those dates, two requests for her records have gone unanswered.  Is it possible that correspondence courses allowed her to be out of the country?

As evidenced by the applications released to Mr. Strunk, at that time, the passport applicant was asked to provide a reason for international travel as well as the expected length of stay in the foreign country, apparently in contradiction to, or prior to the issuing of the State Department’s official statement above.  Why were records from 1965 and after released for Stanley Ann Dunham, but those from the years 1960-64 were not?  Stanley Ann’s son, Barack Hussein Obama II, allegedly was born during one of those years, 1961.  If he was born in Hawaii as he claims, why weren’t those records released which would reflect that fact?  And why is the GSA denying the veracity of Mr. Boldin’s statement?

If passport records are maintained “from 1925 to the present,” then who ordered the alleged destruction of the records of Stanley Ann Dunham, who, as far as we know, was not a government employee?  And why is the State Department claiming that the GSA ordered it, when the GSA does not have responsibility for the maintenance of records, except for its own employees?  Where is the proof of such claim?

On August 9, 2010, The Post & Email sent the following letter to the GSA, enclosing the letter from Mr. Boldin for reference:

Via Facsimile and Standard Mail

August 9, 2010

Ms. Sharon Lighton
General Services Administration
FOIA Requester Service Center (ACMC)
1800 F Street, NW, Room 3116
Washington, DC  20405

Dear Ms. Lighton:


According to the signer of the enclosed letter recently sent to Mr. Christopher Strunk in response to a FOIA request and subsequent lawsuit filed by same, your agency provided “guidance” to have passport records destroyed from the early 1960s.

My FOIA request is for the documentation generated by your agency which authorized that process and for all documentation relating to why passport records would have been “destroyed” when the National Archives website states that passport records are maintained for 100 years or more.

Thank you very much.


Sharon Rondeau

After several weeks of no response, a follow-up email was sent:

From: Sharon Rondeau
To: sharon.lighton@gsa.gov
Sent: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 6:54 PM

Hello, Ms. Lighton:

I sent a request by letter and fax about three weeks ago requesting information through the Freedom of Information Act of 1966.

The information I am requesting is any and all documentation regarding an alleged order by the GSA given in the 1980s to “destroy” passport applications and records.  This order was referenced by Mr. Jonathan Rolbin of the Bureau of Consular Affairs in a letter written to Mr. Christopher Earl Strunk at the end of July, and I enclosed and faxed a copy of it to you along with my request.

I would like to know the status of my inquiry.  I am willing ot pay the customary fees of copying and mailing.

Thank you very much.


Sharon Rondeau

An auto-response was then received stating that Ms. Lighton was out of the office until August 30, 2010.

On September 11, 2010, the following letter was received:

September 9, 2010

Ms. Sharon Rondeau

Dear Ms. Rondeau:

This is response to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request you submitted to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for information regarding the destruction of passports.

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) provide records management oversight and guidance for Federal agencies.  NARA was incorporated into GSA in 1949.  However, in 1984 Congress reestablished it as an independent agency.  Authorization and the destruction of Federal records is the responsibility of NARA.  The Department’s Records Management Program is responsible for ensuring that the legal, financial, evidentiary and historical transactions are recorded accurately and completely.

Therefore, you would need to contact NARA at the address below:

Jay Olin
FOIA Officer
Office of the General Counsel
Room 3110
8601 Adelphi Road
College Park, MD  20740-6001
telephone number:  (301) 837-2025


Sharon V. Lighton

A search engine located here yielded multiple results for the name “Stanley Ann Dunham,” including the last name “Sutoro” and references to her parents, Stanley A. Dunham and Madelyn Lee Dunham.  Using the same search engine brought up four pages of references for “Barack Hussein Obama,” some including “Michelle S. Obama.”  How many records are available but hidden on these people, and why is the State Department apparently misinforming the public about the disposition of records?

FOIA request sent to the GSA on August 9, 2010
Response received from the GSA on September 11, 2010

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  1. 15. This is from the Citizen Wells blog, and Michelle makes a brilliant observation. Why else would Stanley Ann have a passport?

    I had a major DUH moment at Pravda, they were talking about Stanley Ann Dunhams passport, I thought how could I be so oblivious-the only reason a girl that young would even need a passport was to go to a foreign land-Africa-she didn’t need one for HI, or the state of WA.It was the early 60′s not many people other than business people would have done int’l travel and rarely a teen-ager.


    Great Insight. I did not get a passport until I decided to travel internationally. So that is an excellent point you make, Michelle, ” the only reason a girl that young would even need a passport was to go to a foreign land-Africa-she didn’t need one for HI, or the state of WA.”
    bob strauss | September 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm |

    Free Speech, Michelle has nailed the passport issue on the head. Except to travel to Kenya to birth Obama Jr, why would Stanley Ann Dunham, or Stanley Ann Obama, need a passport?

  2. Is DOJ (or FBI) also stating in their reply that any of say Lee Harvey Oswald’s DOS / INS travel / passport records of the same era were destroyed in the 1980’s without some sort of destruction logs??? This stinking nbc affair has become far worse than simply JFK being murdered in Dallas by American citizens (assassins) under the employ and psychological control of foreign governments and international criminal organizations and the inevitable quasi-judicial embarrassment cover-up that has followed.

  3. This really, really stinks.

    The government’s attorneys, in their July 29th letter to Strunk, are the ones that specifically raised the GSA excuse, when they stated: “We did not locate a 1965 passport application in an application for amendment of passport that is included in the released documents. Many passport applications and other non-vital records from that period were destroyed during the 1980s in accordance with guidance from the General Services Administration.”

    The government attorneys were the ones who pulled the GSA excuse out of the air as the ostensible reason that the passport application is missing.

    Now, in their reply brief filed on Sept. 16th, the government attorneys try to downplay this almost completely irrelevant – i.e., it’s just speculation that has no significance anyway. All that they were required to do was do a reasonable search, and they now seem to act like they have no idea why the record is missing – maybe because of the GSA and maybe not. Plus, we are supposed to believe (as stated on page 6 of the reply brief) that the so-called “guidance” from the GSA was simply a declaration from an official that “since the late 1960’s the General Services Administration had pressured the Bureau of Consular Affairs [at State] to reduce the volume of passport applications and related records stored at [the Federal Records Center].” And, because of that, the passport application may have been destroyed.

    Give me a break! This is simply unbelievable. The web of lies only gets more tangled. To me, if they would have originally said in their response to Strunk that “we did a reasonable search, but we couldn’t find it,” this would have been more believable. But instead, they try to advance the GSA excuse, get called on it (i.e., it is nonsensical on its face), and then try to backtrack. Emily Littella would be proud.

    Let’s hope that the judge easily sees through the government’s smoke.

    1. I am amazed at the DOS action in the Strunk case. Apparently in an effort to show that they made reasonable search for records, they located one 1980’s document which purports to describe an “unnamed” project which had over 40 employees, was located away from main offices, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and resulted in the separation of millions of files and destruction of millions of passport applications. This document was not properly introduced into evidence, it was not authenticated, there was no provenance of the document provided and there was nothing in any affidavit concerning any off the above except quotes from the document.

      In fact Galavich’s affidavit jumps out at you as missing all these details and more. A person who is Acting Director of the IPS (and in that department for over 20 years) which processes FOIA’s a person who has been an employee of the DOS since 1974, (and if the “destruction” is to be believed) surely he must have run into thousand of similar requests where documents were not located and must have used the same “cable” excuse in responses to thousands of other requests over the years? No one has ever questioned such a response before? DOS doesn’t have a better “boiler plate” response that they have used before for similar requests?

      DOS wants Strunk and Judge Leon and millions of Americans to believe that they instituted an unnamed project of this magnitude and importance and there is only one scrap of paper and no witnesses around to memorialize and testify to this historic “purge”?

      To add further insult to injury, the latest filing by DOS now names this mysterious document a “cable”. Interesting description that brings to question where is the originating document to this cable, you know the one on DOS stationary with a wet signature by the Secretary of State?

      Looking closer at Galvich’s affidavit (p12) he appears to sidestep the “cable” and disown any knowledge of it by his failure to authenticate it. He merely states “Plaintiff was advised in that letter (Roblins letter of 7/29/2010 -exhibit 6) that Passport Services did not locate a 1965 passport application referenced in an application for amendment of passport. The Department concluded it was likely destroyed as part of a records disposition project in the 1980’s in which routine passport applications and other non-vital records from 1925-1968 were destroyed in accordance with continued requests from the General Services Administration to reduce the amount of space used to store routine passport records and other non-vital records (exhibit 7).” Let’s see neither Galavich nor Roblin seem to put their name to this “cable” and appear to be tossing it back and forth like a “hot potato”. Why? If it’s true, why not scream it out loud? I find it incredible that such a large and significant project has no one claiming knowledge of or authenticating it.

      It appears to me the DOS has acted in “Bad Faith” if not worse in presenting this excuse to apparently try and make their search appear reasonable under the circumstances. I think DOS just opened Pandora’s box and the number of FOIA’s and lawsuits to follow will set records. Maybe we will have another Warren Commission and someone can find another “Magic Bullet” and tell us poor peons what they decide we should know.

      Next up the reasonableness of their search….laughable…..

  4. http://www.scribd.com/doc/37579996/Strunk-v-u-s-Department-of-State-Doj-Reply-Brief

    On page 5, the defense states – “indeed, State was able to provide to Mr. Strunk numerous applications submitted by Ms. Dunham during these periods. It simply was not able to locate one document to which reference was made in another passport amendment application.”

    On page 6, the defense states – “the precise disposition of the putative 1965 Dunham passport application is not known”

    On page 7, the defense states – “There is no basis for Plaintiff, searching for evidence to prove up his varied theories concerning the President…”

    It appears from the page 7 statement that US Assistant Tony West and his team do not like Mr. Strunk’s motives for making the FOIA request. Given this, does anybody really believe their statement that the disposition of the 1965 application is not known? How very convenient. Oops, we must have somehow misplaced that one. We don’t have a clue where it went. Maybe it got destroyed when we were cleaning house. Yeah, that’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

    Perhaps Sandy Berger paid them a visit. Perhaps the dog ate it.

    You mean to tell me that the Dept. of State has missing records and doesn’t really know where they went? Again, that’s not believable.

    1. I read the Department of State’s Doj brief reply. It is as obfuscatory as we would expect given their past behavior with regard to the documents of Stanley Ann Dunham. They completely elide the issue of GSA directives to destroy documents, falling back on vague suppositions of “pressure” being applied to destroy records. But government bureaucracies do not operate this way. They cross the t’s and dot the i’s on everything, especially procedural issues.

      This stinks to high heaven. More coverup and dissembling. Par for the course when it comes to protecting Obama.

  5. This is an amazing new interpretation of the Dunham passport records that I and many persons initially overlooked. Why was Obama’s name crossed out on one of her passport records? Well, the enclosed link blows up parts of the instructions that previously were not made relevant to the document. It basically states that if a person has since been naturalized as a citizen of a foreign country, the portion which applies should be struck out. Obama, on his mother’s passport, thereby had to be “struck out” to comply with the fact that he was adopted by Lolo Soetoro upon marriage to Dunham and made an Indonesian citizen. This is explosive stuff. Check out the link and pass it on.


      1. I think there is a little misinterpretation on that statement. What it says is that the PORTION which applies should be struck out – not the name of the person attached to the passport When they say he PORTION, they mean anything in the preceding paragraph, such as “been naturalized as a citizen of any foreign state”. That line would be crossed out and a supplementary form explaining why would be attached. She did not strike anyhthing out in that paragraph so thre would be no statement attached

  6. A reinforcement from the GSA.

    Great job Sharon.

    This again “proves” that the GSA does not issue guidance or directives to the U.S. State Dept. on maintenance of passport records for non-GSA employees.

    Even if the directive was given by the NA/NARA, it again only applies to their employees. Yes, other Government departments follow the NARA policies and practices, but that only applies to those employed by them, not non-gov employees. And they would have had to issue a passport to the employee for the individual to qualify under the destruction of applications.

    We reasonably know, that Ann Dunham was not an employee of the GSA or any other department during 1960 thru 1964.

    The U.S. State department is going to have to explain this in their response to Mr. Chris Strunk on 9/16. Simply claiming that Stanley Ann Dunham was an Employee without supporting documentation will not fly.

    Quite the pickle they have themselves in, eh?

  7. They may be correct in saying that the PAPER records were destroyed. However, before destroying any paper record, a microfiche copy had to have been made. After all, she was still alive in 1985. Those are legal documents pertaining to her. By law they could not destroy them since she had a legal interest in them. So, there should be MICROFICHE copies of ALL the records pertaining to her.

  8. I am confused a bit. If the GSA and NARA broke away in 1985, why would the GSA not have been able to order records destroyed before 1985, notwithstanding how long they were supposed to keep them?

  9. Fraziskus School (Djakarta, Indonesia) registration page photo (AP):

    name: Barry Soetero –
    citizenship: Indonesian –
    religion: Muslim –

    Any of these three entries warrant at least a few questions –

  10. So one government agency is allowed to destroy information on its own employees that would be kept for all other citizens. Parking permits I can understand, but passport information? Why destroy it?
    If one government agency can destroy passport information for a select group of employees, wouldn’t they be willing to destroy it for other federal employees also? Anybody ask that question yet?
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: The Post & Email is continuing its investigation.

  11. No congressional member serving at the time of the usurpation is going to aid in his own complicity. It may well have been decided the constitutional violation would be acceptable on 3-13-08 during the secret session of congress. It ought to raise an eye that both candidates had issues with eligibility yet only one was even investigated publicly. That doesn’t mean Obama wasn’t investigated in secret and a deal struck.

    As for the State Dept. one word, Clinton. What a gift to her eh? Coincidence or more Chicago payback? Even that appointment was illegal and unresolvable in the current court system even though the law was plainly violated.

    The “embarassment” wouldn’t stop there as the clerk vetting cases for the Supreme Court was no other than Elana Kagan. Another coincidence?

    The most obvious man in Obamas’ pocket is Eric Holder. How nice for there to be a seperation of powers when the president has taken over all the powers of the judiciary by congressional gift. What good is the Supreme Court if it either will not hear a case, can not hear it due to clerks with an agenda or the DoJ blocking for obvious reasons, to protect the appointment.

    We are expected to just keep trying, getting nowhere while they laugh and be happy we have a paper document protecting us from a tyrannical government that rules by fiat until the next election and hope there is still a nation left to vote in. Hogwash! But there it is in real life just as the founders described it, two branches joined together to defeat the third which may or may not be of any honor simply because they can not or will not speak. Is it that easy to destroy our nation? Apparently any time a deal can be struck we are toast. Balderdash!

  12. ”In my opinion, we must stay focused on the Obama eligibility scandal. If this is not resolved, the rule of law may not survive.”

    Getting Fox, various popular radio and TV talking heads, even the “conservative” ones, and the so-called main stream media to discuss the elgibility issue would do the trick……which explains why they refuse.

  13. DOJ has until Sept 16th to reply to Strunk’s extensive supplemental briefs in opposition to summary judgment / dispositive motion. USDC-DC 08-2234 See also USDOS/DHS FOIA related USDC-CAED Barnett v Dunn removed by US-EAC (Election Assistance Corp) from CA state court and now with cross-motion for special three judge district court panel in an election matter of national (multi-circuit) significance — especially HAVA (Helping Americans Vote Act) voter roll / data base unification and the issue of detecting multiple voter registrations as well asn non-citizens in the national EAC supervised and controlled (paid for) voter roll database.

  14. Well, here’s the answer, he’s “hidden,” so what does this tell us?

    However, sooner or later, the truth will come forth. I’m pretty sure about that.

  15. 12,000 working there and you can’t get info. So what is their job really?
    Mrs. Rondeau replies: They say it’s not their job to have the information!

  16. ”The point is that the ball must get rolling NOW for any hope of affecting the 2012 election. Why is there so little emphasis and attention on this line of thought?’

    Most politicians are afraid to mention eligbility for fear of being called names.

    Arizona tried to come up with something to make candidates prove their eligibility, but it died.

    I guess they don’t believe the Constitution is important?

    1. I do not believe it exactly died just yet. It was just not taken up by the Senate due to SB1070 and the ethnic studies law that was passed. The Senate Leader felt the legislature had already passed enough “controversial” bills and set it aside.

      I don’t know how the AZ legislature works but it might not have to go through the House again and all that is necessary to complete the bill is Senate amendments if any, and a vote.

      If the bill has to go through the House again, fully expect Representative Burges to re-introduce the bill during the next legislative session. AZ has an axe to grind with this inept and unconstitutional administration, I would not be a bit surprised if they pass it just out of spite. As of today, both chambers have an overwhelming Republican majority.

      All it takes is one state to bring the whole house of cards down. If Obummer cannot or will not produce his “papers” for AZ, it will not go unnoticed. One can only hope that will be the case.

      Hopefully we won’t have to wait until 2012 to dispose of the usurper-in-chief.

  17. Unbelievable!

    Every attempt to uncover meaningful information about the life of this strange man just results in more unanswered questions and more evidence of official corruption.

    Where will it all end? Are we to be denied by every agency and institution of government a remedy for a denial of the vested legal right of the people to have a constitutionally-qualified president?

    When will the American people decide they have had enough of of this governmental run-around?

    I, for one, am completely fed up.

  18. This is just another roadblock in a long chain of moves by our government to hide, obfuscate and deny reality.

    What I don’t understand is why there is not an immediate focus on getting at least *one* of the states to pass a bill requiring presidential candidates to not only provide a long form birth certificate, but also show proof that both parents were citizens at the time of birth, as per Vattel and the commonly-understood definition of NBC by our Founders.

    Citizen Grand Juries have been ignored, Hawaii has violated its own FOI laws to suppress information, Secretaries of State have not honored their oath and duty to the Constitution, and even the courts have failed us on every front that has been attempted. The state legislatures are our last hope. If a state passes a law that follows Vattel’s definition of Natural-Born Citizen, then the burden is then put on the deceivers to prove otherwise or take the fight all the way to the SCOTUS. That may be the only way the highest court will ever hear such a case.

    The point is that the ball must get rolling NOW for any hope of affecting the 2012 election. Why is there so little emphasis and attention on this line of thought?

    1. If the current eligibility crisis were resolved, it would certainly trigger actions in every state to insure that this never happens again.

      If the current crisis is not resolved, I am sure that there are attorneys across the country just itching to challenge the constitutional eligibility of every candidate for the next election.

      In my opinion, we must stay focused on the Obama eligibility scandal. If this is not resolved, the rule of law may not survive.

      Under the current conditions, with the Constitution being ignored at every turn, the rule of law is hanging by a thread.

    2. T.C. Your point is very well taken. Our Federal government is gone, the States are what we need to work on, and that is where we still have some clout. I don’t know that all of the States would have to do this just enough to alter the outcome and keep ineligible candidates off the ballot. Arizona passed a law making it mandatory for US Presidential candidates to submit documents to the secretary of state proving they meet the constitutional requirements to be president. The secretary of state could decide to keep a candidate off the Arizona ballot if he or she had reasonable cause to believe the candidate was ineligible. Obama has come down hard on Arizona for immigration supposedly but I think the NBC ballot requirement was the real reason; he is making an example of them. Oklahoma has a similar measure but it stalled and so did Missouri. More need to follow Arizona’s fine example. The State Secretaries of State are the ones we have to work on as well and insist they DO THEIR JOB! The ultimate responsibility for the conduct of elections, including the enforcement of qualifying rules, oversight of finance regulation and establishment of Election Day procedures falls on the secretary of state. We as citizens need to require this as well before we ever give any money to any Presidential candidate. In my opinion any candidate who takes matching funds who is ineligible for the office is committing fraud, that is taxpayer money. Unfortunately Obama did not take matching funds but I believe McCain did. Why hasn’t he been brought up on charges of fraud? Resolution 511 is bogus and unconstitutional, a resolution cannot amend the constitution and cannot in a defacto manner change a person’s natural born citizenship status. So by taking matching funds McCain as an ineligible candidate he committed fraud. There are many areas in which we need to take back our power and see that we remain a Country ruled by laws and not by men.