REAL ID for Homeland Insecurity

The topic of the Diane Rehm’s Show today (I am a total NPR junkie) was the new ID proposal Congress is trying to sneak through on the back of a war funding bill. From my understanding (and I was driving so I couldn’t take copious notes), they want to make sure that illegal immigrants cannot use their legally obtained US Driver’s License as ID to fly on planes. Instead, they would have to register for these Real ID cards along with getting a Driver’s License. I really don’t know where to begin with all that I think is wrong with this. First of all, next to 9-11, the most recent and most deadly “terrorist attack” on US soil was Oklahoma City. And Timothy McVeigh neither flew a plane or on a plane, nor was he an illegal immigrant. But, I am pretty sure that he had to show a Driver’s License to rent a Ryder truck. I know I am beating a dead horse, but isn’t the real problem lack of intelligence and not immigrants trying to use Driver’s Licenses to get on planes? Secondly, ALL of the 9-11 hijackers (none of whom were Iraqi, just making sure you know that) were in this country LEGALLY and could have boarded the planes with their Visas. They didn’t need legally obtained US Driver’s Licenses. I try not to dwell on the past too much, but can you explain how this program would’ve prevented the tragedy of 9-11. Third and finally, I hate when they pass this sort of bullshit legislation through piggybacked on war spending because our freedom-protecting, war-mongering political leaders know they can make their political opponents look bad for voting against “funding our troops”. Fuck that! A close friend of mine was blown up by an improvised explosive device on a road outside of Baghdad on October 12th. The vehicle he was traveling in was unarmored because as Rumsfeld says “you go to war with the army you have, not the army you wish you had.” Sorry assholes–too little too late! Freedom is the new f-word.

6 thoughts on “REAL ID for Homeland Insecurity

  1. leslie

    Andy-totally with you on this-it would also, literally, do away with the concept of habeas corpus, which is a protection against tyranny. This is a thinly veiled attempt at creating a National I.D., which Americans could (and would) eventually be required to show in situations including travel and heaven knows what else. Just another way the government is trying to do away with our Constitutional rights under the guise of protecting us from terrorism. Hogwash.

  2. orbicon

    The ID card’s are purely a result of fear and racism. Remember the last election? Half of the U.S. voting population is mildly retarded. They’ll just dismiss it until it’s their turn to be ‘taken away’.

  3. Mike Pellerin

    Real I.D. is a Farce

    When you renew your driver’s license, who authenticates your proof of identity? What document forensics training did they get? The answers to these questions really do matter.

    In the state of New Jersey, we have six point system where certain types of bearer-specific documents are given 1 to 3 points each. When I presented my Louisiana Birth Certificate to a cute, shy twenty-something reading a book behind the counter at the Division of Motor Vehicles, she looked at it and said, `WOW, its so big!’ I asked if she had ever seen a Louisiana Birth Certificate before and she said, `in the two years i’ve worked here, no.’

    After handing her a credit union cash deposit receipt, she held it up to the light and handed it back to me after a quick glance. I asked what she was looking for as she checked it. She advised – things like `funny markings that don’t look right, eraser marks.’

    The final `proof’ of identiy I presented was my social security card. After a quick glance and a smile, she slid it back across the counter to me, without even picking it up.

    I was impressed with her ability to conduct a diligent forensics exam of my three forms of I.D. before taking my picture, afixing it to, and handing me my new `Real I.D.’

    When one is given a `Real I.D.,’ either by the state Division of Motor Vehicles, or what ever other governmental office gets into the act of distribute them, the bearer is then free to go out and obtain other forms of identification, and gain inappropriate access (ie: an airline seat) predicated upon a `Real I.D.,’ obtained from an `official’ who was not qualified (in forensics document analysis) to discern the authenticity of any of the documents given them as proof of identification.

    This isn’t rocket science folks. Now who is kidding who here?

    And when did a `Real Driver’s License’ ever force a driver to drive under the speed limit? I have nine points on my driver’s license, and I earned every one of them. An accomplishment not possible without a `Real Driver’s License.’

    New Jersey has a lot of financial institutions – banks, savings and loans, credit unions, and a multitude of investment firms offering savings accounts, each of which generate and give you a statement, every time you make a deposit. My credit union has only a few thousand members, and its not even located in the county inwhich I went to renew my driver’s license. I wonder what authentication template she compared my barely legible cash deposit receipt against? When asked, she confessed that she never heard of my credit union.

    To authenticate a twenty, fifty, or hundred dollar bill, one can hold it up to a light and look for the verticle bar imbeded to the side of the off centered portrait. In examining my social security card, she didn’t even pick it up off the counter before sliding it back to me.

    So much for `Real I.D.’

    Now how many people think an alcoholic with a `Real I.D.’ is going to stop driving under the influence because they’re carrying a `Real I.D.’ in their wallet? Convince just one of the 40,000 motorists in this country who are going to lose their lives over the next twelve months on America’s highways that the `Real I.D.’ is going to diminsh the carnage, or spare one of them a trip to an early grave. Thats 40,000 individuals per year folks, and what has congress and law enforcement done to curb it? Their called acceptable losses, the price we pay for a free society.

    The terrorist highjackers who gave us 9/11, couldn’t have done it without a `Real Visa’ issued by the rocket scientists in the employ of our Departments of State and Immigration and Naturalization Service. With government talent like them, who needs terrorists?

    Proponents of the `Real I.D.’ are at best naive, and more likely simple minded. But in America, stupidity remains God given, and constitutionally protected.

    /s/ Mike Pellerin (Princeton, New Jersey)

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