National IDs for Everybody?

Declan McCullagh/C Net

October 4, 2004

National ID Cards for Everybody

National Loss of Freedoms Card

       Rep. David Dreier wants to force all Americans to carry a national ID card around with them.  The California Republican is not about to describe his new bill in those terms, but that's the reality.

Dreier's legislation would prohibit employers from hiring people unless the job applicants first obtain new federal ID cards with their photograph, Social Security number and an "encrypted electronic strip" with additional information. Any employer who fails to comply faces hefty fines and prison terms of up to five years.

Dreier is smart enough to realize that these federal IDs would be immediately forged, so he takes the next step of linking them to an employment eligibility database that's queried by card readers whenever the ID is swiped. The employment database is required to include "all such data maintained by the Department of Homeland Security," combined with what the Social Security Administration has on file.

Most all bills die without the dignity of a floor vote. But Dreier is a rising star in the Republican Party with the influence to enact legislation quickly.

As a chairman, he's one of the youngest to head the powerful House Rules Committee, not to mention acting as co-chair of Californians for Bush and chairman of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's transition team. In 1998, his conservative voting record garnered a perfect 100 percent rating from the Christian Coalition--and a zero percent rating from the left-leaning Americans for Democratic Action. Last week, Dreier appeared on MSNBC as a Republican spokesman before the presidential debate.

The ostensible reason Dreier gives for a federal ID: curbing illegal immigration, the subject of a recent Time magazine cover story. "The explosion in counterfeit identity documents and employers who are unable or unwilling to establish the authenticity of documents presented by job applicants severely undermines our national security," Dreier said when introducing his bill, which he calls the Illegal Immigrant Enforcement and Social Security Protection Act.

The real reasons are slightly more complicated.

Tight re-election campaign
Dreier is used to commanding handsome victories at the polls every two years over his Democratic rivals. But since 1996, Dreier's re-election percentages have dipped below 60 percent a few times, and events in the last month slammed the powerful Republican with a series of embarrassing pre-Election Day setbacks.

First came allegations in the LA Weekly newspaper and the New York Post that Dreier, who has amassed a slew of anti-gay votes, is homosexual. Then two local talk show hosts, John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou of KFI-AM 640, became fed up with Dreier's stand on immigration.

They organized a "Fire Dreier" rally on Sep. 15 on charges that illegal immigrants from Mexico have wreaked havoc on California's economy. Held outside Dreier's Glendora, Calif., office, it drew hundreds of protesters armed with signs and bullhorns who called for a "political human sacrifice," according to the Pasadena Star-News.

Conservative publications continued the attack--a worrisome sign for a Republican who won't deny wanting to be speaker of the House someday. WorldNetDaily columnist Jane Chastain wrote an article on Sept. 16 endorsing the Fire Dreier scheme: "It will leave congressmen, who have done little or nothing to help stem the tide of illegal immigrates, quaking in their boots."

The upshot? Just hours before the Fire Dreier protest, the embattled congressman informed the Claremont Kiwanis Club that he would introduce his national ID bill. Six days later, Dreier did just that.

The real problem with Dreier's plan is not that it creates an ID card. Driver's licenses do that today.

But Dreier would create a back-end database for authentication purposes that could track whenever the ID is swiped. Just as the Social Security Number's uses grew, those readers would appear just about everywhere: banks, office buildings, supermarkets. Such a database would overflow with detailed records of all of our life's activities and create an irresistible temptation for misuse by corrupt officials or electronic intruders.

Dreier isn't alone. A Senate bill introduced last month in response to the 9/11 Commission's report would give the Department of Homeland Security unfettered power to regulate state drivers' licenses and ID cards. The House version takes a similar approach.

Both measures say federal agencies will only accept licenses and ID cards that comply--a requirement that would affect anyone who wants to get a U.S. passport, obtain Social Security benefits, or even wander into a federal courthouse. States would be strong-armed into complying. Warns Barry Steinhardt of the American Civil Liberties Union: "Congress shouldn't be providing a blank check to the Department of Homeland Security to design a national driver's license."

It's not just a liberal sentiment. Says Stephen Lilienthal, a policy analyst at the conservative Free Congress Foundation: "Many conservatives have expressed concern that proposals such as the Dreier bill are placed on the books with a limited set of objectives but will expand bit by bit to include all sorts of other information and be monitored constantly by the government to keep track of individuals from cradle to grave."

Dreier should take note. Talking loudly about ID cards may boost his re-election bid next month, but voters won't be pleased when they've figured out what it actually means.


Real ID Act Passed — The End Of America!

JPFO | May 12, 2005

On Tuesday, May 10, 2005, America became a true police state. Your U.S. senators voted -- unanimously, with no discussion, and without even reading the bill -- to create a national ID card.
The Real ID Act blackmails state governments into turning their drivers licenses into a draconian tool of the federal homeland security apparatus. If states refuse, their citizens lose such "privileges" as being allowed to board an airplane, enter a federal building, or apply for social security. President Bush is expected to sign the bill eagerly on Thursday.
In three years -- by May 2008 -- this Stalin-style internal passport will be an American reality. But your government will have _more_ control over you than Stalin ever dreamed in his most violent, vicious, anti-freedom dreams. (See links to the text of the law and articles about it at the bottom of this article.)

But that's only the beginning.
The creator of the Real ID Act, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, smiles and tells us that his Real ID Act is all about "solving illegal immigration" or "preventing terrorists from entering the country."

This is one of the biggest of the thousands of "Big Lies" we've heard from the tyrants in Washington. The Real ID Act is about tracking and controlling Americans. You. Me. Our children. Everybody.
In May 2008, barring a miracle, America as we once knew it will be in ruins. It will be gone. And the rights of gun owners will be among the first scheduled for destruction.
Here's your future:
* You walk into a gun store, fill out your 4473, and show your government ID just as you now do. But instead of looking at your license and taking down some information, the clerk runs the license (which is likely to contain a radio-frequency ID chip) through a scanner. Your purchase is instantly recorded in your _state_ drivers license registry. The federal government isn't currently allowed to keep a gun registry. But no problem; the Real ID act gives them an open door into your state records.
* Complete information on every firearm you buy will be instantly available to every police officer (and possibly every government employee, store clerk, or computer hacker) you ever encounter. You'll be an instant criminal suspect every time you deal with someone who has access to the database.
* Just as travelers are encouraged to get background checks and give fingerprints to avoid some of the worst excesses of TSA screening, gun owners will be encouraged to get background checks and give whatever biometric ID the Department of Homeland Security requires. This will be sold as a "benefit," ensuring you'll never again experience an "instant-check" delay. In fact, Congress, the ATF, or the FBI might even "mandate" 5-day or 15-day delays for anyone not enrolled in the "Trusted Firearms Buyer" program.
* The private purchase "loophole" will be closed, so that all gun buyers must make trackable purchases. (The ultimate goal is for _every_ purchase of every kind to be trackable.)
* Buying ammo? The store scans your national ID card and -- bingo! -- your purchase is registered in the state database.
* The federal government or state governments can now also _effectively_ legislate limits on the amount or kind of ammunition you're "allowed" to purchase. Try to buy more and the database instantly rejects you.
* The federal government or state governments can now also _effectively_ legislate limits on the number of guns you may own. Try to buy more, and the database rejects you.
* Eventually -- after the federal government "discovers" the obvious, that national ID won't stop either illegal immigration or terrorism -- the old attack on "evil guns" will resume. When they want your .50 BMG . they'll know just where to find it (because the Real ID act says your home address _must_ be revealed). When they want your evil "scoped sniper rifle" (you know, the one you hunt deer with), they'll know just how to get it. Ditto with you "Saturday Night Special" or your "assault weapon."
* If you don't surrender your guns, well, then the Department of Homeland Security will cut off your driving "privilege," as well as your right to escape the growing police state via plane. You'll be a prisoner in your own home, in your own country. Or you'll be forced to function as an outlaw, operating and living a precarious existence beneath the government radar.
You say these projections are ridiculous? That we're paranoid?
Well, frankly, if the Real ID Act doesn't make you paranoid, you're not paying enough attention. We ask you to consider the long-term impact of a few other acts of government.
In the 1930s, Congress promised us that our social security numbers would never, absolutely never, be used for identification. Now, they're the key to everything about us -- and without a social security number you won't get a drivers license and you won't even be "allowed" to drive after May 2008.
In 1913, Congress and the media swore to us that the brand- new income tax would only affect the rich. Well, how rich do you feel after paying 40 percent of your income (or more!) in taxes?
This is the way government works. They've even got a term for it: mission creep. And there is no creepier mission than the mission the federal government has currently set itself: to track everyone, everywhere, and to control what we do.
We warned you in _The State vs. the People_ ( ) that this was coming. That book is still relevant, still a good read, and still filled with information about what our future will be like in this new American police state.
Be forewarned. Be aware.
Please take a moment to go to this site:
Click on the link that leads to the song "Justice Day."
Listen to the music or read the lyrics.
Here's the opening of the song:
You're the boot.
Stomping on the human face forever.
You're the eye.
Staring down on everyone and ever seeing all.
You're the lie.
Twisting all our minds into your whoredom.
You are Death.
You are war.
You are slavery.
You're the law.
You're the law.
You're the LAW!
George Orwell was the first to describe totalitarianism as a "boot stomping on the human face forever." But in Orwell's day Americans would have had a hard time believing that the law -- the good old, all-American legislature -- all those smiling senators and "representatives" would be the ones to plant their iron heels in our faces. Back in those innocent days, we imagined tyranny would come from _outside_.
Well, tyranny is here. And it's a gift from the very people we so trustingly put into office.
Tyranny is THE LAW.
Is this a way to run a country? Tacking something as onerous as national ID onto a must-pass bill and making it law without any debate? What does this say about people the gun owners consider their friends? In the House, where the bill containing the Real ID Act passed 368-58, only three Republicans voted against it. Here's the final roll-call vote so you can see how your own congressperson voted: )
In the Senate, not one person cared enough about freedom to vote against it -- or even to demand that senators _discuss_ it.
(The Real ID Act originally passed the House in February as a standalone bill (H.R. 418) by a vote of 261-to-161. House leaders, realizing national ID would have been in trouble in the Senate, then added it to a must-pass military appropriations bill in a cynical ploy to make it almost impossible to fight national ID.)
Turning America into a full-fledged police state was just business as usual to your representatives. And, just as Adolf Hitler scrupulously followed German law while committing his horrors, so your "representatives" and the bureaucrats you face at the national-ID drivers license bureau will also be following the law -- the Real ID law that allows them to enslave you.
(To see what a real Bill of Rights leader would do, read the novel _Hope_ by Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith: .)
We have two choices now: Resist or submit.
More than 600 organizations, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the National Governors Association, opposed the bill. Even the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (which loves national ID and was largely responsible for an earlier attempt at such legislation nine years ago) criticized it.
We can expect lawsuits against national ID, including at least one suit led by state governments.
However, nearly all the opposition from state governments focuses on one area: They're upset because the federal government didn't offer them extra money to enslave us. If Congress bribes them with enough millions and billions, they'll gladly sell our freedom.
Only one state, Montana, has so far absolutely refused to cooperate with national ID. The Montana legislature passed a law saying they would not go along. However, that will mean that Montana residents are barred from flying without extreme extra scrutiny or from applying for federal benefits because their licenses will be "non-compliant." Although we applaud the courageous Montana legislators, no doubt we'll soon hear many Montanans demanding the "privilege" of having a real national ID card.
Ultimately, real resistance is up to us, as individuals. There are certain courses of action JPFO cannot recommend. But every freedom lover should be pleased if all the people who had a hand in creating Real ID act lost their jobs -- soon. And those individuals who truly value their (and their children's) futures should seriously consider making national ID their line in the sand.
We have already heard from many people saying they will drive without a license rather than submit to a license that has become a Stalinist control document. We just hope their resolve stays equally strong when they face a world in which it's impossible to buy, sell, retire, travel -- or buy a gun -- without national ID.
We ask you to remember men like Alexandr Solzhenitzyn and Natan Sharansky .
Both stood up and boldly opposed a tyrannical regime in the Soviet Union. Both risked their lives. Both suffered horribly for their resistance and their protests. But eventually, they triumphed -- and the Soviet Union crumbled.
We are in need of such people, and such courage, today. We cannot wait for _someone else_ to stand up and show that kind of integrity.
We must become the kind of people we admire if we are ever again to live in a nation we can trust.
G-d help us if we fail.*
- The Liberty Crew
Text of the law:
"No Real Debate for Real ID"
"Last Chance to Stop National ID" . (written before
Senate passage)
* We spell G-d this way because in Judaism it is considered
a sign of respect. We spell out the name of the Creator
only in sacred settings.
Original Material in JPFO ALERTS is Copyright 2005 JPFO, Inc.
Permission is granted to reproduce this alert in full, so long
as the following JPFO contact information is included:
Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership
PO Box 270143
Hartford, Wisconsin 53027
Phone: 1-262-673-9745
Order line: 1-800-869-1884 (toll-free!)
Fax: 1-262-673-9746


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