Congress Must Act Decisively To Stop Police State ‘REAL ID’
Georgia governor says pressure elected officials with calls, letters
Americans should heed the urgings of Mark Sanford (R) a former House member and current governor of Georgia, who is urging Americans to prod their lawmakers into debating REAL ID, pointing out that the revolutionary, Constitution-defying legislation passed as an amendment to a major bill without hearings or debate.
REAL ID “never saw committee debate in the House and Senate, and passed as nothing more than a rider, an attachment to a bill devoted to tsunami relief and military personnel fighting in the Middle East,” Sanford wrote in a Washington Times commentary.
“I hope you’ll join me in making your voice heard for truly debating this issue,” he said.
“REAL ID would surreptitiously require all 50 states to change their drivers licenses to act as de facto national ID cards . . . the cost of REAL ID, and the national ID card system that would come with it, would not be borne by the federal government but handed to the states and individuals,” Sanford wrote.
“I find it amazing now that Washington has stacked up $50 trillion in debts, which amount to $450,000 per household, that their idea of keeping those promises rests on handing the bill to others,” he said.
“Our greatest homeland security is liberty, and the Founding Fathers believed our greatest threat to liberty was a central government grown too powerful,” he said. “Accordingly, they set up checks on federal power by vesting
authority at the individual and state levels. REAL ID disrupts this delicate balance of power in two ways. First, it turns the Founders’ logic on its head by forcing states to act as agents for the federal government in creating a national ID card for federal purposes. Needing a REAL ID card to board a plane or enter a federal building would also change the balance of power in something as seemingly insignificant as a visit to a member of Congress.”
REAL ID “falsely assumes our personal information will be safer in one spot in Washington rather than housed independently across 50 separate states,” he wrote. “In the last couple of years, Washington has exposed the personal information of as many as 40 million Americans—-not to mention the presidential candidates—to potential theft.”
To err is human, “But if you accept the reality that mistakes do happen and that bad people do hack into spots they aren’t suppose to access, does it really make sense to put all this information into a central database?” he asked.
“A host of loopholes would in many ways render this bill an inconvenience and cost to Americans—not the bad guys it is intended for,” Sanford said. “These range from REAL ID having no impact in travelers with foreign passports to the recent affirmation by the federal government that no form of ID is needed to board a plane. In short, there are many faults in this bill that could be sorted were there debate in Washington on REAL ID.”
(Issue # 17, April 28, 2008)