Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Real ID Act

STLtoday offers a story regarding the reaction of some evangelical Christian groups to the federal Real ID Act:

"...Several evangelical Christian groups say the federal Real ID Act, which will standardize state drivers licenses and link them to corresponding national ID numbers by 2009, represents the "mark of the beast," the devilish number 666 that is attached to the godless....

The federal program was enacted after government officials learned that most of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorists had obtained fake drivers licenses. The law sets state licensing rules, essentially making it harder to obtain a card fraudulently.The Department of Homeland Security says the cards would help boost national security by requiring their use to board airplanes and enter federal buildings."This is a known vulnerability. It was recommended by a bipartisan 9/11 commission and mandated by Congress. Shame on us if we don't heed the lessons of Sept. 11," said department spokesman Russ Knocke...."

I find it chilling that Dept. of Homeland Security spokesman is suggesting that if people don't agree with the Real ID Act that they aren't heeding the lessons of Sept. 11. There are other recommendations which were made by the 9/11 commission that haven't been mandated by Congress. Is Congress and the Dept. of Homeland Security failing to heed the lessons of Sept. 11 when they fail to 'mandate' and enforce other recommendations, or does that just apply to what the federal government decides is best?

Another problem I have is that anytime the citizenry of the United States of America oppose certain legislation there is an effort to paint the opposition as religious extremists, zealots, or in the words of another local blogger 'superstitious fools,' another case in point is those who oppose certain immigration reform legislation have been painted as bigots, racists and xenophobes.

At question is whether the citizens of the United States of America would like to be FORCED to carry a national ID card which contains personal information. Back in May of 2005, Ron Paul wrote National ID Cards Won't Stop Terrorism or Illegal Immigration:

"...This REAL ID Act establishes a massive, centrally-coordinated database of highly personal information about American citizens: at a minimum their name, date of birth, place of residence, Social Security number, and physical characteristics. The legislation also grants open-ended authority to the Secretary of Homeland Security to require biometric information on IDs in the future. This means your harmless looking driver’s license could contain a retina scan, fingerprints, DNA information, or radio frequency technology.

Think this sounds farfetched? Read the REAL ID Act, HR 418, for yourself. Its text is available on the Library of Congress website. A careful reading also reveals that states will be required to participate in the “Drivers License Agreement,” which was crafted by DMV lobbyists years ago. This agreement creates a massive database of sensitive information on American citizens that can be shared with Canada and Mexico!

Terrorism is the excuse given for virtually every new power grab by the federal government, and the national ID is no exception. But federal agencies have tried to create a national ID for years, long before the 9-11 attacks. In fact, a 1996 bill sought to do exactly what the REAL ID Act does: transform state drivers’ licenses into de facto national ID cards. At the time, Congress was flooded with calls by angry constituents and the bill ultimately died...." (emphasis mine)

That was then, this is now:

the 'REAL ID Repeal and Identification Security Enhancement Act of 2007', and part of the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 (Introduced in Senate), note the implications of Subtitle C:

Subtitle C--Other Border Security Initiatives, Sec. 121, in fact all of the Sections under Subtitle C are worth studying.

We all want border security. We all want to be secure against terror attacks in America, none of us are ignoring the lessons of 9/11. An effort to paint those who oppose The Real ID Act of 2005 and it's amendments as religious extremists and superstitious fools disregards the many citizens of these United States of America who value their privacy and freedom.

The real 'shame on us' should come with the understanding that our government is making an effort to track law abiding citizens of the United States of America when there are other viable ways to secure our borders. In my opinion, this isn't really about securing our borders against terrorists as much as it is about tracking and keeping tabs on those who do enter our country, thereby making our country more accessible rather than less accessible to illegal aliens entering at the borders. It is about our government's wish to embrace freer movement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S. If the government has the means to track all illegal aliens they will allow even more aliens to travel across the U.S., border to border between Canada and Mexico. These bills do nothing to stop the flow of traffic across our borders, they simply allow governments to track those aliens and communicate with the governments of other countries about people, including transfer of American citizens' personal information to Canadian and Mexican government authorities.

We are not cattle. We are human beings.

Secure our borders.

These smear tactics used by our government and perpetrated on us by our media anytime citizens of the United States of America wish to debate legislation which will effect all of us and future generations needs to stop.

Shame on Dept. of Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke for his effort at stifling debate by suggesting that those who disagree that the Real ID Act is the best way to secure our borders have forgotten the lesson of 9/11.

STLtoday spent much time reminding its readers that evangelical Christian zealots oppose the Real ID Act, briefly mentioning in passing that:

"Guest, a Republican from King City in northeastern Missouri, said his main reservation with the program was its potential for "Big Brother-like" abuses.

"We could be tracked by machines everywhere we go," said Guest, referring to provisions that require "machine-readable" technology in the ID cards. "This could signal the death of individual freedoms and rights."

before following up with:

"BUT Guest, who has recruited legislators from 35 other states to introduce legislation opting out of the Real ID Act, said he has received hundreds of phone calls, e-mails and letters from constituents who are more fearful about Biblical prophecies coming true if the program goes unchecked."

I suppose we are to ignore the real reasons for his concern and honor the implied suggestion that it's them ignernt, superstitious eeeeevangelical Christians who oppose the Act at their own security's peril? Sure.



John Stone said...

Far be it from me to correct anyone's spelling ...

"eeeeevangelical" ???

Shouldn't that be "Evilangelical"

Or Elvisenganical?

tom said...

"Resistance is futile you will be assimilated, COMPLY"

or I could say I'm from the government I'm only hear to help you

The Libertarian Guy (tm) said...

What you said, Tom.