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The author, Dr. Jeffrey Kahn demonstrates that today’s refusal by the U.S. State Department to issue passports to suspected terrorists or those suspected of possessing terrorist sympathies is nothing new. Indeed, for decades, the authority to approve or deny a passport was vested in a single State Department official. The decisions of this official, Mrs. Ruth Shipley, weren’t subject to judicial review. Her powers, and the arbitrary ways in which she employed them, were conceptually little different from those existing today in terrorist watchlists and similar government efforts.