The Counterfeit State Department

One has to wonder how good American intelligence in Africa could possibly be.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of State announced it had shut down a fake embassy in Ghana this summer with the help of local authorities... The criminals weren’t just in it for the adrenaline rush of processing consular paperwork, though. It was a lucrative enterprise that charged unknowing marks about $6,000 each for “fraudulently obtained, legitimate U.S. visas, counterfeit visas, false identification documents,” and other services, the State Department said.

It operated for about a decade in part because local authorities were paid to “look the other way,” the State Department said.... The fake embassy had an American flag flying out front and a photo of President Barack Obama and embassy signs inside. The criminal ring running the scam even advertised its services in neighboring Togo and Ivory Coast.
Did we really not know about this? None of our open-source intelligence people noticed the advertised access to American consular documents from a location that wasn't legitimate, not for ten years?

Or was the Obama administration happy to accept the additional semi-documented migrants? Are they just shutting this down now so that the Trump people won't look into it and realize they were letting it roll?

Neither possibility is encouraging.


james said...

Unfortunately, I can easily believe that no American officials noticed. I am not there, and cannot say for certain, but there'd be likely to be a strong temptation to hang out with Westerners and well-off locals, and skimp a bit on getting to know the man on the street. It's rumored that reporters in less-pleasant areas get stories from each other at the bars. (Now that I think of it, I don't actually know any reporters. Plenty of other vocations--even lawyers--but not reporters.)

Ymar Sakar said...

I'm sure it was a good thing Bush II was listening to Powell and the State Department then, dividing authority on post war iraq between DOD and State.. in some other universe.