Saturday, September 12, 2009

Need More Democrats? Then Just Endanger National Security

We have just gone through the eighth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. In the wake of that tragic mass murder, a bipartisan Congress formed the 9/11 Commission both to investigate the attack and to propose methods by which future attacks could be prevented. Some good came out of it. One remedy was the REAL ID Act.

The REAL ID Act established strong standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards. This included all of the most state-of-the-art enhancements to those cards available. The enhancements include eventual use of holographic images on every card, and a magnetic strip capable of protecting the security of the card and data privacy. And in order to obtain one of these cards, the applicant is required to demonstrate proof of citizenship, or sufficient verifiable information for the issuing authority to verify citizenship independently. Those legally allowed in the United States, but not citizens, would be allowed to have an ID card, but included in the information in the security strip there would be information proving the person has entered and remained in the United States legally.

As we predicted awhile back, the Obama administration is going to start slipping dangerous but low-profile legislative proposals to Congress while the nation's attention is on Obamacare and Cap and Tax. Secretary of Homeland Insecurity Janet Napolitano has put together her wish list of things she thinks are too cost-ineffective or redundant. Among them is REAL ID. The program, although not yet fully implemented in every state, has been a success. No terrorists have boarded an American plane successfully since 9/11. But absence is not proof. So how do we know it works?

The Act produced a very successful side-effect. One of the major concerns of the 9/11 Commission was terrorists sneaking across the borders and obtaining or manufacturing fake IDs. Since the Act was already accomplishing one purpose, the legislation covered another one--employers in certain categories are required to check REAL IDs for proof of citizenship or work visas. Scores of illegals have been caught and deported because of their attempts to duplicate REAL IDs unsuccessfully. And every illegal (and that doesn't just mean Mexican immigrants by any means) is a potential terrorist.

Napolitano has plenty of cover for her willingess to put America at greater risk again. Hard-pressed states have complained about the cost (couldn't we use some of those billions in unused stimulus money to defray the cost?). "Civil rights" activists naturally complain that it's racist. Scofflaw corporations complain that it interferes with their ability to hire low-wage unskilled labor. And the average citizen either doesn't know about the Act, or has forgotten about it. Truly effective laws do have a way of slipping out of the public consciousness.

So here's what's now before Congress. It's called the PASS ID resolution. It would roll back every meaningful portion of the REAL ID Act. It removes the requirement of states exchanging information on holders of their respective driver's licenses and IDs. It will negate the current portion of the Act which requires that upon implementation of the Act in each state, airlines must require the use of a REAL ID cards or an acceptable alternative (such as a diplomatic passport) before being allowed through the boarding gate. It would eliminate the "no tamper" security portion of the data strip. And the proposed legislation even further weakens its own inadequate provisions by extending the time for the states to comply with the pathetic PASS ID.

No security device is ever entirely secure or tamper-proof. But they can become sufficiently sophisticated that the number of people who would be capable of defeating them decreases exponentially. And the more sophisticated, the more expensive, thereby eliminating another large swath of potential terrorists being able to get past the system. I'll take 90% secure over 10% or 15% secure any day in the week. And before anybody screams "National ID, the government's out to get us," REAL ID standardizes high-security procedures already in place and improves them, but the final authority remains with the states. And frankly, I want the federal government to know the moment someone produces a fake or inadequate ID rather than a REAL ID-quality ID.

As I've said over and over again, if we even take a quick nap, this administration will exploit our inattention to increase government control of our lives and our economy while at the same time reducing our ability to defend ourselves and ferret out terrorists. They will continue to fund useless make-work projects and radical "community organizers." But protecting our very lives is too expensive. Still believe that Obamacare won't ration medical treatment?

Side Note: For those of you who may be unaware of this, after the most recent round of indictments and convictions for voter fraud, the Bureau of the Census has sent a formal notice to ACORN that its services will no longer be considered to be in the national interest for conducting the next census. Bye Bye ACORN


Joel Farnham said...


It doesn't surprise me Nappy wants to destroy one of the more effective means of limiting access to planes.

To paraphrase Rush: It is obvious to anyone who loves this country that this gang wants to destroy everything in this country.

I have been following the Adventures in Community Organizing Right Now exploits. When it was announced ACORN would administer the Census, I didn't expect that it would be taken back. :-) I guess all it takes is a disguised video camera and a pair of fearless journalists to clean up some acts.

StanH said...

Lawhawk our liberals in charge are racing backwards. I would bet that they are rebuilding Jamie Gorelick’s wall between the CIA and the FBI as fast as their little liberal hearts and minds can work. Our leftist fear that a good defense is somehow offence and can be construed as aggressive, therefore we must spread our legs for a swift kick, well you get the point. I don’t believe ACORN is gone but will reemerge as corrupt as they are today, be vigilant. To be fair George Bush favored amnesty for all of our illegal friends as well, watch for the Maverick to lead the charge.

Writer X said...

Not a huge surprise that Napolitano wants to put the kabosh on anything truly effective. That was her MO as the AZ Governor. It's funny that she would call READ ID cost-ineffective and yet thinks nothing of asking to build a new Homeland Security building "for meetings." Cause you just can't have enough of those.

As an aside, has anyone seen the pics in Washington D.C. today? It's not really being covered by the news (no big surprise) but I've seen pics on various blogs with tea party people flooding the streets. The crowds are huge.

LL said...

There have been no further hijackings because the passengers would slaughter anyone trying to hijack an airplane in America -- think of Flight 93 on steroids.

All of the goofy security measures we use now are WINDOW DRESSING - and I mean that sincerely as one who knows.

freedom21 said...

writer X, which blogs are you looking at? I am so eager to see what's going on in DC but have yet to find an outlet covering it in real time.

Also, did you see the report about the bombthreat on the Freedomworks building? The liberal comments after the ABC article are down right disgusting.

Writer X said...

Freedom, yes I saw that bomb threat on Drudge. has had the best pics so far.

AndrewPrice said...

LL, I so agree about the flight security stuff being window dressing. It's ridiculous. As the guys at La Guardia showed, terrorists can get into an airport simply by going to work for a baggage handler or a caterer.

The idea that searching little old ladies and taking away their nail sissor is going to stop terrorism is just stunningly stupid.

AndrewPrice said...

What I find so typical about this, is that they do something that will annoy people -- inching toward a national identification (which I actually don't have a problem with -- we already have that in our social security cards -- but does bother many people) but then they gut the very purpose of doing this?

This seems to be becoming a common theme. Look at the health care thing, we're going to cover everyone. . . unless you can't aford it, then you won't get it. Then why are we doing this at all?

Unknown said...

JoelFarnham: It gets harder and harder not to draw one of two conclusions about the Obama administration. Either they are actively seeking to do the United States in, or they are incredibly blind to the consequences of their acts. Of course there's a third possibility--maybe they're just suicidal.

StanH: ACORN's down, but it's not out. Still, this must be a blow to pimps and prostitutes everywhere.

Unknown said...

WriterX: How true, how true. Buildings for gabfests are far more important than actual results. I find it ironic that Napolitano pretends to listen to state arguments that REAL ID is too expensive for them when the Democrats absolutely love imposing unfunded mandates costing biliions of dollars of those same states.

LL: There's definitely something to be said for people who are "mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.

Unknown said...

Andrew: Don't forget that on top of all that, Democrats have consistently stood against every effort to require that baggage handlers and security people be American citizens. Too chauvinistic.

No security instrument will ever stop every determined terrorist, but it will stop some of them and slow more of them down. Sadly, REAL ID hasn't been fully implemented, so if it's eliminated now we'll never find out how successful it might have been. So far, where it has been implemented, it has been very successful, even if it wasn't for the exact purpose originally intended.

Of course when we all get our free medical care, we'll get a free national ID card to go along with our Social Security cards. If REAL ID were actually a national ID (which it isn't), at least it's called an ID. Dishonestly, the Social Security Act has said from the beginning that the card is never to be used as a form of identification. Does any body actually believe that?

Unknown said...

Another side-effect of REAL ID would be making our basic institution of voting more reliable. Now that the courts are coming to their senses and upholding the right of poll workers to guarantee the integrity of the ballot by requiring ID, what better than a high-tech, highly-recognizable form of ID?

Unknown said...

Freedom21 and WriterX: I also notice that the MSM have been strangely silent about the murder of a very non-threatening, non-dangerous pro-life man in Michigan. I'd love to see how they're going to turn this into a "heated" confrontation that went bad. The poor guy was in his late 60's, and had to use an oxygen tank. His most dangerous threat was his picket sign.

Skinners 2 Cents said...

I'm pretty sure that there is something wrong with our country when it comes to national security. I think this very topic brings out who still thinks America is great and who thinks it's evil.

Those who think it is evil seem to try everything in their power to make us as unsafe as possible.

I just read an article about the Rangers being used as border guards. No not the baseball team silly, think Chuck Norris Texas Rangers ;) With that much kung fu going on at the border they could probably sell tickets, I'd go and watch....although I'd have someone else ask Chuck not to sing his theme song while fighting.

On a side note if anyone hasn't read the transcript of the pimp's and hoe's sting at ACORN it's hilarious. I can't figure out how those two kept a straight face the entire time they were doing this.

I was laughing so hard reading the transcript that I was sure it had to be a spoof of some sort. I know I know the child sex trade and prostitution is no laughing matter but the audacity of these two investigative reporters is incredible. I figured at some point the ladies from ACORN would just ask them to leave.

Thank God ACORN doesn't discriminate ;)

Unknown said...

Skinners2Cents: I will never be able to fathom the thinking of leftists. I saw so much of it in the 60s, and it's where I first realized that some day I would have to leave them. I loved the idea of following Martin Luther King into the lion's den to end segregation, but I could never figure out why that meant I was supposed to hate America and encourage her enemies. So I didn't follow them down that path. Their support of the Islamic Jihad (willing or neutral) absolutely mystifies me. At least with communism there was the underlying lie of equality and fairness. Islam doesn't even pretend to care about that.

I think the Rangers (and I do mean the baseball team) would do a better job of protecting our borders than Obama's weak sisters any day in the week.

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