Some of us who fervently try to stay up on issues and try to fulfill a mission of being watchmen on the wall have been snookered big time with the REAL ID Act of 2005. Real ID is to be implemented by the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) which creates standards for a national driver license. This ID will be used as identification for "official purposes." Through this Act, citizens of the United States are being enrolled without their knowledge in a single global system of identification.
I learned a few years ago to look carefully at what the liberal government officials are saying up front because behind the scene they are doing just the opposite of what they are proclaiming from the roof top to be the truth. This same principle was applied perfectly to the REAL ID Act. The REAL ID ACT fooled both sides of the political spectrum: ACLJ and conservative organizations, as well as the ACLU.
ACLU Stand on REAL ID
Rarely do I ever agree with the ACLU and don't ever remember quoting from them before, but after they were brought into the battle, they got it right this time by saying "Since its enactment, the Real ID Act has troubled people across the political spectrum [Anti REAL ID has been introduced in all but eight states according to ACLU]. It was enacted through procedural trickery out of keeping with the spirit of democratic process vital for such a sweeping measure…amounts to a hidden tax increase, invades everyone's privacy, and embodies the worst excesses of bureaucratic government…The single interlinked database of drivers' personal information mandated by the REAL ID Act will be an irresistible honey pot for identity thieves" [Letter from Washington State Legislative Director, ACLU Larry Frankel February 7, 08]
ACLU member Calabrese alluded to a classic George Orwell novel in voicing his opposition to the Real ID Act. “It’s going to be ‘1984’ — just a little later, in 2008,” he said. http://www.news-register.net/page/content.detail/id/510098.html
In testimony opposing REAL ID before a Congressional Hearing April 29, 08 Caroline Fredrickson, ACLU Director of Washington Legislative Office stated: REAL ID "offers only the fiction of security, while in fact threatening our security, vastly increasing the incidence and severity of identity theft, and changes our culture irrevocably without any significant, measurable benefits to the American people….and would lead to the building of a National ID card system over the next decade or more.
In this ACLU testimony, Fredrickson also says, "The very creation of a "REAL" Id will entice criminals and terrorists to acquire them so as to freely move throughout our society … When criminals and terrorists obtain Real ID licenses under assumed names they will walk through our society without scrutiny – just as the 9/11 hijackers." http://www.aclu.org/images/general/asset_upload_file355_35079.pdf
ACLJ's Concerns With REAL ID
On the opposite end of the political spectrum, the very conservative American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) headed by Jay Sekulow is just as adamantly opposed to the REAL ID Act. ACLJ is specifically dedicated to protecting religious freedom of rights and has argued numerous cases before the Supreme Court and Federal Court of Appeals, In ACLJ's document opposing REAL ID, they express the following concerns in a document dated January 31, 08.
(1) Citizens of the United States being enrolled in a single global system of identification and financial control.
(2) "The extent of international involvement in the proposed REAL ID database system implicates national sovereignty issues in addition to the concerns expressed by many Americans that their personal information and biometric data will be made available outside the United States, without the citizen's knowledge or consent."
(3) [The REAL ID ACT of 2005 places the design and control of state issued ID documents in the hands of international organizations enrolling U.S. citizens into a global biometric ID system.]
(4) Concerns that this REAL ID driver license will become a national ID for "official purposes" stating, "The term 'official purposes' has been left intentionally vague, leaving great discretion to Department of Homeland Services (DHS) to add more activities in the future as it deems necessary and prudent." ACLJ is concerned that this ID may be required in the future for other areas of "official purposes" like gun purchases, voting, and certain banking transactions.
(5) "The Act prohibits [although it is not supposed to be mandatory] any federal agency from 'accept[ing], for any official purpose, a driver's license or identification card issued by the State to any person unless the State' meets certain requirements." (Some of those requirements include scanned birth certificates into permanent electronic storage along with a biometric photo, full legal name and birthday, social security number and principal residence. All this information must be put in a form compatible with UN standards.) ACLJ expresses concern that thee biometric identifiers could be expanded to other areas like the use of DNA make-up and voice recognition which are now under development.
States Rebel Against REAL ID
This REAL ID Act is so bad that states are moving en masse to reject it, and many states are refusing to comply. Eight states have passed statutes prohibiting implementation of REAL ID. Ten states have passed a Resolution Denouncing REAL ID or asking for the repeal of REAL ID. In eleven states anti REAL ID legislation has passed at least one chamber. In seven states anti REAL ID has been introduced. "In all, only eight states have not seen the introduction of anti-Real ID legislation," according to ACLU. http://www.aclu.org/images/general/asset_upload_file355_35079.pdf
See maps and text.
This is Part I of a six page article. For the rest of article where the following are discussed see this link: http://www.wpaag.org/REAL%20ID%20-%20Snookered%20by%20Big%20Brother.htm
Arkansas's Involvement in REAL ID (which might surprise you)
Cost of REAL ID
The views of the Stop Real ID Coaltion who brought ACLU and ACLJ together to battle this issue
The history of REAL ID,
The present status of REAL ID