An Attack on Liberty, 100-0
Harold E. Smith III | May 12, 2005
Tuesday marked an important day in the long history of the United States of America. The Senate unanimously approved the Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill as expected, passing along with it a very important rider: The REAL ID Act.
What is the REAL ID Act? Simply put it is an erosion of freedom, balance of powers, and states rights under the guise of safety.
The erosion of freedom is simple, your government will be able to track you with uninhibited ease compared to the past. Language within the bill gives the Department of Homeland Security unequivocal control over the implementation of the new national ID. One of the "security features" will be an identification method, it could be similar to the magnetic strip already contained on the back of your driver’s license. Don’t count on this being the technology that will be used.
The Department of Homeland Security has a strong inclination for RFID technology (which is also being used in future passports). Yes, tracking technology. This is the same technology Wal-Mart uses to track its billions of dollars in inventory as it moves through distribution centers and stores. Why on earth would the Department of Homeland Security want to use tracking technology in licenses?
The question answers itself, why wouldn’t they. Mandating citizens to carry a card on their person that has a tracking chip isn’t as Orwellian and draconian as having an implant to keep tabs on citizens.
Don’t count on these cards being secure either. We all know how successful corporations have been at implementing secure digital media. Their failure rate has been immense, even given the unconstitutional Digital Millennium Copyright Act which was designed to severely punish those who "hack" and "crack" encryption technologies. One can only guess at how well a growing bureaucracy will do at ensuring our ID’s we have to carry with us will be secure. As the technology stands, you can "sniff" RFID tags from several hundred meters away, once cracked this is a dangerous proposition. Ignoring any Orwellian fears a minute, the simple fact it can be exploited for nefarious purposes by criminals is reason enough to cause alarm. The security of a system is only as strong as its weakest link. How many weak links can we find within the massive and ever growing federal government?
If you think using RFID’s is the end to this, you have another thing coming. RFID tags will only be the beginning of ever more control by the government. Government never stops growing and assuming powers it has no right to take.
Along with the RFID tags there will be extensive databases, all linked, to compile information on the citizens of the "free" United States. The new national ID must be used to open a new bank account, receive government benefits, and a host of other activities. They will track everything you do. But I guess the only people that have something to hide will worry, it isn’t like history repeats itself.
Section 102 of this bill should cause worry to all Americans, past and present:
IN GENERAL – Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall have the authority to waive, and shall waive, all laws such Secretary, in such Secretary's sole discretion, determines necessary to ensure expeditious construction of the barriers and roads under this section.
NO JUDICIAL REVIEW – Notwithstanding any other provision of law (statutory or nonstatutory), no court, administrative agency, or other entity shall have jurisdiction – "(A) to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security pursuant to paragraph (1)"; or "(B) to order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision."
You read it right, Congress is attempting (this text has appeared in previous bills) to remove the Supreme Court from the balance of power. Giving the Department of Homeland Security unbridled power to legislate as they see fit is unacceptable from the standpoint of ensuring freedom for all Americans. Who are we to hold responsible in the Department of Homeland Security? They are not elected officials, yet they cannot be held in contempt of violating our Constitutional Rights as Americans, our God given rights to live free and not be held slaves of our own government.
A war is brewing between the Supreme Court and the other branches of power. One must ask, do you really think the Supreme Court will rule against itself having the power to declare laws unconstitutional? The Supreme Court deciding they don’t have that power has as much chance of happening as Congress cutting the size of government in half. Now you must ask yourself, how will this be implemented?
Implementation will take place through extortion. Let’s not forget extortion is illegal, unless you are the federal government. If a state refuses to implement the REAL ID Act it will not be a beneficiary of federal dollars or programs. The citizens of the state will not be purvey to federal programs, incentives, and even travel. Your tax dollars are taken away and held hostage in exchange for your rights. The federal behemoth has concocted the perfect system to ensure they can erode the rights of the states. Identification of citizens was never a right given to the federal government by the Constitution, yet the immense power it has become has declared it the right of the federal government. The rights for identifying citizens have been predicated to the states as explicitly laid out in the Tenth Amendment.
Let us not forget the gross perversion of power that has allowed this bill to pass as is. The simple fact this bill was attached to emergency spending to ensure our troops are safe while at war is despicable. All members of Congress should feel disgusted at their attempts to subjugate the freedoms we enjoy as Americans while not standing up against this bill. The fact not one member of the Senate had the courage to vote against this bill should be proof to all Americans that our representatives are not upholding the Constitution they swore to obey. The bill failed to pass on its own last year. It would have done the same this year. It was bad legislation, it is still bad legislation, and it will be bad legislation.
Congress needs to do away with riders and unrelated legislation to bills. If a bill cannot pass on its own merit we as free Americans don’t need it.
Our only hope is for the governors to refuse to honor this law, which National Governors Association is planning to oppose. Write your governor; tell him to fight this to the bloody end. Fight the blackmail; fight the erosion of your constitutional rights to be free within your country. There is still hope, do everything you can and get everyone you can to contact your elected officials.