Thursday, January 10, 2008

Remember the American Caliphate Litigation Unit When It Is Your Loved Ones Being Body Bagged On The Evening News

WASHINGTON - Americans born after Dec. 1, 1964, will have to get more secure driver's licenses in the next six years under ambitious post-9/11 security rules to be unveiled Friday by federal officials.

Gee. Only 6 freaking years! The Government really pulled out all the stops!

The Homeland Security Department has spent years crafting the final regulations for the REAL ID Act, a law designed to make it harder for terrorists, illegal immigrants and con artists to get government-issued identification. The effort once envisioned to take effect in 2008 has been pushed back in the hopes of winning over skeptical state officials.

Yeah, the illegals may have to go through two or three steps to get their IDs.

Even with more time, more federal help and technical advances, REAL ID still faces stiff opposition from civil liberties groups.

What? How could that possibly happen?

To address some of those concerns, the government now plans to phase in a secure ID initiative that Congress passed into law in 2005. Now, DHS plans a key deadline in 2011 — when federal authorities hope all states will be in compliance — and then further measures to be enacted three years later, according to congressional staffers who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not yet been made. DHS officials briefed legislative aides on the details late Thursday.

Ahh yes. The leaks, from whence all real news arises.

Without discussing details, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff promoted the final rules for REAL ID during a meeting Thursday with an advisory council.

A government official speaking without giving details? How could that happen?

"We worked very closely with the states in terms of developing a plan that I think will be inexpensive, reasonable to implement and produce the results," he said. "This is a win-win. As long as people use driver's licenses to identify themselves for whatever reason there's no reason for those licenses to be easily counterfeited or tampered with."

Yeah, underage drinkers are all miffed that the cost just when up for their fake IDs.

In order to make the plan more appealing to cost-conscious states, federal authorities drastically reduced the expected cost from $14.6 billion to $3.9 billion, a 73 percent decline, according to Homeland Security officials familiar with the plan.

A billion here, a billion there...

The American Civil Liberties Union has fiercely objected to the effort, particularly the sharing of personal data among government agencies. The DHS and other officials say the only way to make sure an ID is safe is to check it against secure government data; critics like the ACLU say that creates a system that is more likely to be infiltrated and have its personal data pilfered.

Yeah. And the scumbags they make a priority would not want the competition.

In its written objection to the law, the ACLU claims REAL ID amounts to the "first-ever national identity card system," which "would irreparably damage the fabric of American life."

Hyperbole. Exaggeration. Fear-mongering. Piffle. A stumbling block to terrorist's otherwise unfettered access to free movement.

The Sept. 11 attacks were the main motivation for the changes.

Although wanting to stop illegal immigration would certainly be a plus.

The hijacker-pilot who flew into the Pentagon, Hani Hanjour, had a total of four driver's licenses and ID cards from three states. The DHS, which was created in response to the attacks, has created a slogan for REAL ID: "One driver, one license."

Which should make it harder at election time in Chicago and King County Washington.

By 2014, anyone seeking to board an airplane or enter a federal building would have to present a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, with the notable exception of those more than 50 years old, Homeland Security officials said.

Which should spark a rash of elderly suicide bombers. On the bright side, maybe Social security can stay solvent for a few more years while the government readjusts its strategy.

The over-50 exemption was created to give states more time to get everyone new licenses, and officials say the risk of someone in that age group being a terrorist, illegal immigrant or con artist is much less. By 2017, even those over 50 must have a REAL ID-compliant card to board a plane.

Wow! 2017! Nine years! Now THAT'S security!

Among other details of the REAL ID plan:

_The traditional driver's license photograph would be taken at the beginning of the application instead of the end so that should someone be rejected for failure to prove identity and citizenship, the applicant's photo would be kept on file and checked in the future if that person attempted to con the system again.

Thus the ACLU's squealing like a stuck pig.

_The cards will have three layers of security measures but will not contain microchips as some had expected. States will be able to choose from a menu which security measures they will put in their cards.

Giving government officials money and choices: like giving whisky and car keys to teenage boys.

Over the next year, the government expects all states to begin checking both the Social Security numbers and immigration status of license applicants.

Except in the "sanctuary cities", of course.

Most states currently check Social Security numbers and about half check immigration status. Some, like New York, Virginia, North Carolina and California, already have implemented many of the security measures envisioned in REAL ID. In California, for example, officials expect the only major change to adopt the first phase would be to take the photograph at the beginning of the application process instead of the end.

And we all know how good Cali is a catching the illegals. Maybe we should save ourselves the time and effort and surrender now.

After the Social Security and immigration status checks become nationwide practice, officials plan to move on to more expansive security checks, including state DMV offices checking with the State Department to verify those applicants who use passports to get a driver's license, verifying birth certificates and checking with other states to ensure an applicant doesn't have more than one license.

And how does one verify a birth certificate, exactly?

A handful of states have already signed written agreements indicating plans to comply with REAL ID. Seventeen others, though, have passed legislation or resolutions objecting to it, often based on concerns about the billions of dollars such extra security is expected to cost.

Only 17? Give it time.