[Politech] Rep. Ron Paul: Reject a national ID card! [priv]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Sep 07 2004 - 09:57:36 PDT

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: 	FW:
Date: 	Mon, 6 Sep 2004 15:47:48 -0400
From: 	Singleton, Norman <Norman.Singleton@private>
To: 	'declan@private' <declan@private>

please forward to the politech list:


   Reject the National ID Card

Washington politicians are once again seriously considering imposing a
national identification card - and it may well become law before the end
of the 108th Congress. The much-hailed 9/11 Commission report released
in July recommends a federal identification card and, worse, a "larger
network of screening points" inside the United States. Does this mean we
are to have "screening points" inside our country where American
citizens will be required to "show their papers" to government
officials? It certainly sounds that way!

As I have written recently, the 9/11 Commission is nothing more than
ex-government officials and lobbyists advising current government
officials that we need more government for America to be safe. Yet it
was that same government that failed so miserably on September 11, 2001.

Congress has embraced the 9/11 Commission report uncritically since its
release in July. Now Congress is rushing to write each 9/11 Commission
recommendation into law before the November election. In the same way
Congress rushed to pass the PATRIOT Act after the September 11 attacks
to be seen "doing something," it looks like Congress is about to make
the same mistake again of rushing to pass liberty-destroying legislation
without stopping to consider the consequences. Because it is so
controversial, we may see legislation mandating a national
identification card with biometric identifiers hidden in bills
implementing 9/11 Commission recommendations. We have seen this
technique used in the past on controversial measures.

A national identification card, in whatever form it may take, will allow
the federal government to inappropriately monitor the movements and
transactions of every American. History shows that governments
inevitably use the power to monitor the actions of people in harmful
ways. Claims that the government will protect the privacy of Americans
when implementing a national identification card ring hollow. We would
do well to remember what happened with the Social Security number. It
was introduced with solemn restrictions on how it could be used, but it
has become a de facto national identifier.

Those who are willing to allow the government to establish a
Soviet-style internal passport system because they think it will make us
safer are terribly mistaken. Subjecting every citizen to surveillance
and "screening points" will actually make us less safe, not in the least
because it will divert resources away from tracking and apprehending
terrorists and deploy them against innocent Americans!

The federal government has no constitutional authority to require
law-abiding Americans to present any form of identification before they
engage in private transactions. Instead of forcing all Americans to
prove to law enforcement that they are not terrorists, we should be
focusing our resources on measures that really will make us safer. For
starters, we should take a look at our dangerously porous and unguarded
borders. We have seen already this summer how easy it is for individuals
possibly seeking to do us harm to sneak across the border into our
country. In July, Pakistani citizen Farida Goolam Mahomed Ahmed, who is
on the federal watch list, reportedly crossed illegally into Texas from
Mexico. She was later arrested when she tried to board a plane in New
York, but she should have never been able to cross our border in the
first place!

We must take effective measures to protect ourselves from a terrorist
attack. That does not mean rushing to embrace legislation that in the
long run will do little to stop terrorism, but will do a great deal to
undermine the very way of life we should be protecting. Just as we must
not allow terrorists to threaten our lives, we must not allow government
to threaten our liberties. We should reject the notion of a national
identification card.

Norman Kirk Singleton
Legislative Director
Congressman Ron Paul
203 Cannon
Washington, DC 20515

/"I don't care about pollution, I'm an air-conditioned gypsy, that's my
solution, watch the police and the tax man miss me."/

/    /

/ The Who   /

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