Department of Homeland Security Chief Michael Chertoff reports that ‘most jurisdictions meet initial REAL ID requirements’ according to its press release of April 1, 2008. The press release states “The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has granted extensions to 49 of 50 states, the District of Columbia and all five U.S. territories, putting more than 99 percent of U.S. driver’s licenses and ID cards on the path to secure identification. Congress mandated in the REAL ID Act of 2005 that state-issued identification must be REAL ID compliant to be acceptable for official purposes.”
Of course, what isn’t mentioned in this document is the battle being waged in many states against the privacy violations of REAL ID, the unfunded mandate foisted upon states in this time of depressed revenues and inflationary costs, and the resistance of the public to the surveillance demands that are unconstitutional and an invasion of privacy.
Aside from the fact that the Federal Government isn’t supposed to be dictating to the States such matters as licensing to drive, in order to attempt to force compliance DHS has threatened to keep non REAL ID citizens from boarding airplanes.
This indicates clearly to many of us how far the Federal government has come to an extreme dictatorship. It has ‘taken over’ the function and passage of the privately owned airline industry, the demands of the DHS having turned adequately paid service and safety personnel, the flight attendants, into underpaid and over-stressed front line terrorist combat forces! The demands, expectations and enforcement of the DHS into arenas that are unconstitutional and dictatorial is causing great alarm not only among airline employees and the passengers that are harrassed by high-turnover lackey DHS ‘security personnel,’ but also States who are being forced to pay for MORE unfunded mandates.
“One reason is the price tag, estimated at $14.6 billion. Congress has so far appropriated only $40 million and twice this summer voted against additional funding.
“There’s also concern about how difficult it would be to implement. Critics question how states could verify the legitimacy of many foreign passports. ((Impossible to verify with any certainty!))
Conservative libertarians and liberal privacy advocates balk at the requirement that the cards would eventually have an infrared chip containing such personal information as Social Security numbers – machine readable from several feet away. While critics argue that having a central databank could dramatically increase identity theft, DHS contends the secure nature of the ID would decrease it.”
So, rather than speaking the truth of the situation at the press release, Chertoff mislead the public by making it sound as though the DHS plan was going forward without opposition at all.
In truth, the objections raised by states have already prompted DHS to extend the deadline for implementation from the spring of 2008 to 2013.
If states take their citizens SERIOUSLY, and the Constitution of the United States, it is entirely possible that we can still beat this hideous surveillance of the American citizens.
9/11 would NOT have been prevented by REAL ID. Those men were in the country LEGALLY, they were PERMITTED to have licenses even under current DHS requirements, and any intelligence that had been gathered was simply ignored by our government as irrelevant. That, despite the fact that the military had, that very day, conducted identical ‘test’ drills, of planes flying into the WTC and the Pentagon; Dick Cheney ordered responsive fighter planes to STAND DOWN while these terrifying events went on.
There is FAR TOO MUCH unknown information about 9/11 to give up our rights to privacy and liberty. The government has PROVEN itself unable to act upon terrorist information in such a way as to even provide available protection DURING a known incident-in-progress as 9/11. There is no reason for us to believe that they will make any better or more effective use of intelligence gathered with REAL ID cards.
THIS is the truth: “Eight states have voted in the past year not to participate in the program. Nine others are on the record opposing the proposal. In total, legislation opposing the plan has been introduced in 38 states.”
Furthermore: “”This is the federal government telling a state you must do something, and you must pay for it. Well, thanks for playing; Montana is not in,” Governor Schweitzer told NPR. When asked whether his residents will be able to board planes, he taunted DHS. “This is another bluff by some bureaucrats in D.C.”
We must, through our State governments, continue to fight for an end to RFID monitoring of all types.