What the hell is going on in the state department?!

From Volokh, a story about two Palestinians who had gotten Fullbright scholarships to study in the U.S. Apparently, Israel refused to let them pass through, until U.S. diplomats put heavy pressure to make it happen. U.S. diplomats then used additional heavy pressure to get Jordan to open a border to get the students through. Then… the U.S. canceled their visas, citing “new [presumably security-related] information,” and sent them right back to Jordan, while one of the students was on a plane.

This does not inspire confidence. I’m not so bothered by the U.S. pressure — students with Fullbrights ought to get to come and study. I’m also not bothered by the U.S. cancellation of the visa (or Israel’s resistance) — security concerns are real, and the U.S. government has the right to protect its own borders. But to have both happening within hours of one another? This indicates that this administration still can’t find its ass with both hands, seven years after 9/11. Decide whether these kids are security risks or not!

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One Response to “What the hell is going on in the state department?!”

  1. Barry Kelly Says:

    A wild guess: one probably caused the other – heavy pressure on Israel caused someone who was upset by that to put reverse pressure on the US via back channels, likely pro-Israel lobby groups.

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