Arizona Governor, Janet Napolitano, has formally agreed to have Arizona create a new driver’s license in an attempt to pioneer one of the first Real ID cards in the United States (Fischer, 2007). The Governor stated that she hoped the move would put the state on the “leading edge of a movement to an effective permanent program that can be implemented nationwide (ABC 15 News, Phoenix, August 28, 2007)."
Homeland Security Chief, Michael Chertoff, admits that the secure licenses that would be created are designed to be aligned with the requirements of the Real ID Act which eventually is designed to make each state’s driver’s licenses as acceptable as any federal document. And much like the infamous Mark of the Beast, a person cannot opt out of participation, unless of course, they do not intend to bank, travel and work (ABC 15 News, August 28, Phoenix, 2007).
Any reasonable thinking American sees the Real ID Act as the making of licenses into de facto national identification cards. Arizona State Senator, Karen Johnson, R-Mesa, calls the Real ID Act “a total invasion of privacy” (Fischer, 2007).
Director Chertoff simultaneously praised Arizona’s Governor while at the same time stating “I think the public wants more secure documentation. They recognize the current state of drivers licenses are a vulnerability.” And just how Chertoff intends to prevent identity theft is not clear. However, Chertoff, like the other Neocons, is adept at playing the fear card as he proclaimed “Whatever that dollar amount is, it would pale in comparison to a future (terrorist) attack on a national scale (ABC 15 News, August 28, Phoenix, 2007)." Again, neither Napolitano nor Chertoff, have provided the details on just how a national ID card will prevent a terrorist attack.
The Real ID system was adopted by Congress in 2005. The act requires states to create a system of driver's licenses and ID cards that allows the information to be shared between states and federal agencies. “I think anybody would be foolish to volunteer to do that, to put all your privacy and put everything on a card like that,’’ stated State Senator Karen Johnson (Fischer, 2007).
Despite Chertoff’s claims that fears about abuse or identity theft, resulting from the use of a national ID, card are unwarranted, I do not trust the net effect of this process and neither should you. I too, can play the fear card. However, my fears are based on documented historical precedents. If you are not yet concerned with the soon-to-be required national ID card, you should carefully consider the role that ID cards have played in the history of human persecutions within the 20th century. The prevalence of national ID cards should concern all persons who are mindful with the prevention of a national genocide similar to what happened in Rwanda and in Nazi Germany.
In Nazi Germany (July 1938), only a few months before Kristallnacht (i.e., the night of the broken glass) in which Jewish businesses were targeted by the infamous "Brown Shirts" for destruction, the notorious "J-stamp" was introduced on national ID cards and then later on passports. The use of the "J-stamp" ID cards by Nazi Germany preceded the yellow Star of David badges which led to the subsequent deportation of Gypsies, Jews, homosexuals and political dissidents to the infamous Nazi death camps. In Norway, where yellow cloth badges were not introduced, the J stamped ID card was used in the identification of more than 800 Jews deported to death camps in Eastern Europe.
Identification cards, in Rwanda, were a key factor in shaping, defining and perpetuating ethnic identity. Once the 1994 genocide in Rwanda began, an ID card with the designation "Tutsi" constituted a death sentence at any checkpoint. No other factor was more significant in facilitating the speed and carnage of the 100 days of mass killing in Rwanda.
Mr. Chertoff, are the fears about the dangers of a national ID card really so unwarranted?
No doubt due to 10th Amendment concerns, “an individual state could choose not to comply with Real ID, but that's a dangerous choice," said Homeland Security spokesperson, Russ Knocke, adding that people in that state "won't be able to travel. They won't be able to get into federal buildings." Arizona's "3-in-1" ID card also would satisfy those requirements as well as Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative rules. WHTI requires U.S. and Canadian citizens to present at the border a government-issued photo ID like a driver's license, or another WHTI compliant identification document. It also requires border-crossers to have a proof of citizenship like a birth certificate (ABC 15 News, August 28, 2007, Phoenix).
A Western Travel Initiative? What is that? I am baffled about the sum and substance of a Western Travel Initiative in light of Bush’s denials about the existence of a North American Union. If there is no North American Union, then who is in charge of enforcement of the WHTI? And since we take you at your word, Mr. Bush, can you tell us the exact name and the precise level of government which oversees the WHTI?
In the meantime, Granny gets goosed at the airport in the name of national security while more and more Americans are loosing substantially more liberty each day in the same of security. Yet, our borders remain as porous as ever as terrorists have unfettered access to our communities.
And here we sit, each day, as our country and its heritage are being given away piece by piece.
Benjamin Franklin once said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
We are no doubt rushing headlong into something, that as of yet, is undefined. But as this new and “more secure” society is taking shape, it is becoming increasingly clear that, for our kids, the new and secure government under which they will live will not contain many of the civil liberties handed down by our Founding Fathers.
Fischer, H. (2007). Capitol Media Services. Arizona to Pioneer 3 in 1 driver's licenses.
I wanted to take this opportunity to announce the debut of my new live radio show "Common Sense" on KBSZ radio, from Wickenburg, Arizona. The show will air Sunday October 7th at 3pm. The show is available on the internet, through live streaming which can be accessed at http://www.kbsz-am.com/streaming-audio/. The show will also be available for later listening through a podcast.