Archive for the ‘financial crisis’ Category

National ID bashing with Cato’s, Jim Harper

by Jim Harper

I’ve written here before about how the National Governors Association is seeking to peddle state power over driver licensing and identification to the federal government in order to cement its role as a supplicant for states in Washington, D.C.

NGA is currently seeking to drum up a false, end-of-year driver license crisis to convince Congress to pass a new version of REAL ID called PASS ID, moving the national ID project forward.

The letter says that states must be “materially compliant” with the REAL ID Act by the end of the year or their citizens will not be able to use their driver’s licenses as identification to board commercial aircraft. This is technically true, in one sense, but it omits some important information.

The statutory deadline for REAL ID compliance was actually a year and a half ago, May of 2008. No state was in compliance then, and the Department of Homeland Security gave out deadline extensions wholesale—even to states that didn’t ask for them.

If Congress takes no action by the end of the year, the DHS will simply do this again. There is no end-of-year driver license crisis.

And it’s no harm, no foul—nobody who has studied identity-based security believes that the national ID law would cost-effectively protect the country. Ignoring or repealing REAL ID are the best paths forward.

The NGA, of course, believes that states will be better off with its preferred version of REAL ID. Some of the sharpest corners are taken off REAL ID in the new ”PASS ID“ version, but states are kidding themselves if they think PASS ID is good for their bottom lines.

As I wrote beforetwice!—PASS ID is likely to cost states as much or more than REAL ID. Its requirements are essentially the same, and its implementation deadline—one of the biggest cost drivers—is tighter in some respects than REAL ID.

Will Congress slip PASS ID into law by the end of the year the way REAL ID was slipped into law four-plus years ago? It’ll be interesting to see…


Chertoff boasts, “Among the six of us we pretty much have all of those things in DHS, in DOD, and the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and finally, in the intelligence community. So we have pretty much every element of homeland security covered.”

Former Bush Security Chiefs Find Terrorism Obsession Can Be Profitable

Tom Barry | August 25, 2009

Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP)

Contracts with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are spewing billions of dollars into private industry, largely to companies that also rely on Pentagon military contracts. In this new variation of the military-industrial complex a new revolving door is now in full swing.

Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff, the two Republican stalwarts who served as the first two Department of Homeland Security secretaries, are now busy attracting defense, homeland security, and intelligence contracts in the country’s rapidly expanding high-tech security complex.

Tom Ridge, former Pennsylvania governor who was appointed by President Bush to direct the newly created DHS, has parlayed his government service into a lucrative career in business since he stepped down as DHS chief in November 2004. Soon after leaving DHS, Tom Ridge became president and CEO of Ridge Global, a global strategic consulting firm. He also has joined numerous corporate boards and advisory groups, including major military and homeland security contractors. (See Box: Ridge’s Post-DHS Security Businesses).

Chertoff Group Covers Homeland Security

Michael Chertoff, former secretary of the DHS, has taken his portfolio over to the private sector. Homeland security is business—an estimated $200 billion in annual revenues—and the newly formed Chertoff Group is seeking a major stake in this booming industry.

As the latest homeland security consulting firm, Chertoff Group will be competing with two other security companies formed by top Republican Party figures: Ashcroft Group founded by former Attorney General John Ashcroft; and Guiliani Group, formed by former New York City mayor and presidential candidate Rudolf Guiliani. Although not specifically focused on homeland security, Ridge Global, formed by the first DHS secretary Tom Ridge, also has a piece of the expanding global security industry.

Chertoff Group describes itself as “a security and risk management advisory firm that counsels corporate and government clients addressing threats related to terrorism, fraud, cyber security, border protection, and supply chain security.”

The Chertoff Group has a leg up on its competitors. The revolving door between government and industry has brought a half-dozen former high government officials of the Bush administration into the Chertoff Group.

Not only does it count on the political and business connections of Chertoff, the new firm has a roster of five other former government officials that can translate government experience and inside information into lucrative industry contracts.

Chertoff boasts, “Among the six of us we pretty much have all of those things in DHS, in DOD, and the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and finally, in the intelligence community. So we have pretty much every element of homeland security covered.”

My friend Peter Thottam, foe of totalitarianism, Green Party economic champion and L.A. based madman, sent me these. They were so good I had to throw them up here for you.

First, from a favorite filmaking series, a short from the makers of Zeigeist:

In this next thought provoking short, “The New World Order is going down.” It documents those opposed to the politics and policies of identity gridding, biometrics and microchipping. It shows the who’s who of policies which were strategically placed and some of the faces familiar in the fight to expose them. If you are looking for your face among them – please look in the mirror and then find a way to get involved. It can be you.

They can’t live in the sunshine. The NWO is in a perilous state; because it cannot survive without secrecy. They know they will never get your consent.

For more content like this visit: http://www.peterthottam.com

WHAT IS HR 140?

To withhold certain highway funds if a State does not comply with certain requirements in issuing a driver’s license or identification card, and for other purposes.
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h111-140&tab=related

BTC Exclusive

In my work approaching State legislators, some of them are cowing down due to threats of losing federal funding for their Highways by hitching them to Real ID regulatory conditions (Yes, the exact ones you hate). Otherwise this is still a voluntary unfunded mandate; the same as it was when it was passed on May 11th, 2005. There is a federal bill out there, HR 140, very similar to the one which died last session without even entering committee, that dearly craves the public-private bankrolling from your identity traffic.  I assure you, that is what is driving it.

I find it highly ironic that 4 Republicans from the destitute state of California stepped up to try to move this forward. California is suffering immensely due to lack of State funds. Cali also had a garden variety of pan-partisan effort to drown HB 60, CA’s Real ID bill, when it came up for air last session -R.I.P.

So I take delicious glee in naming names of the federal traitors trying to bully a broke state into a place of reckless endangerment. The technologies are neither secure or affordable. Many needs go ahead of Real ID compliant licenses. Especially when most states have insituted secure license measures before the passage of the Real ID Act.

SHAME ON YOU!!!

Rep. Elton Gallegly [R-CA]introduced
Cosponsors [as of 2009-01-14]
Rep. Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD]
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher [R-CA]
Rep. Brian Bilbray [R-CA]
Rep. John Campbell [R-CA]

I think we can live without our nationalized ID with surveillance capacity. However, they are going to try to starve states into making it happen.

There are a couple of ways to tell them your State will not suffer from this coercion:

1)Contact your State’s federal legislators and tell them as a constituent that you cannot afford the comprehensive damages to your identity in this time of economic crisis and that you feel secure license technologies are available without volunteering for the Real ID license regulations. Ask them to oppose HB140.

2) Contact & fiscally support grassroots lobbies who understand what is happening, and will send someone to fight for you in Washington.

Wherever you are in the political strata there are those who will support your position. Here are a few who are working to curb Federal coercion on Real ID:

Center for Democracy & Technology
The Electronic Frontier Foundation
The American Civil Liberties Union
The Bill of Rights Defense Committee
The Stop Real ID Coalition