Immigration and Information: Big Brother May Get His Wish

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I
just wrote my essay
for Lew on LRC on the latest immigration debacle. Well, after just
submitting my column and seeing it published on LRC, I had a vague
suspicion I had missed an important nexus in the story. Plenty of
conservatives and libertarians are scratching their heads and wondering
why Bush would forward such a nakedly wrong proposal for simple
electoral gain (Did Karl Rove do the math on the supercomputers
in the White House Situation Room and figure the net gain in illegals
voting for the GOP would outweigh the disaffected Republican voters
who would stay home out of disgust?). What crisis could the government
create to foment an overwhelming call for a national ID card? Grant
de facto amnesty to millions of illegal invaders and use the national
security shibboleth to press for the ID cards to ensure any potential
terrorists are thwarted through the usual efficient government methods.
Richard Perle and David Frum called for a national ID in their new
book, An
End to Evil
, so their national greatness fever dream may
see an important component added to their vision of empire.

Even
Bush the Younger has needed a pretense for this instead of risking
an Executive Order to make it so. All the methodologies are in place
including Congressional authorization in the form of HR
4633, "The Driver's License Modernization Act,"
a
particularly odious effort to nationalize databases to make it easier
for bureaucrats to track American individuals. Tom Ridge has been
itching to tattoo all American so his lads can better protect the
flock of sheep called Americans. If you think identity theft is
a problem now, wait until the Feds get their claws into data compilation
and collating. The abuses at the IRS will pale in comparison.

Remember
the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) promise
to revolutionize crime prevention under the Brady Bill? Let's ask
a simple question. Does NICS have a positive or negative database?
A positive database is a universal compendium of every American
citizen (not illegal, unregistered aliens or invaders). As much
as the Feds would like that, they aren't there yet. Witness Poindexter's
Total
Information Awareness
debacle. The NICS database is a negative
database in the sense that it only lists criminal convictions of
applicants, which are retrieved when a gun sale purchase is made.
Yet, if said criminal applicant uses a fake ID or gives a false
name, he will come out clean and able to purchase the weapon after
filling out the BATF Form 4473 (the infamous yellow form). The FBI
and BATF will then, of course, violate supposed Congressional proscriptions
against record keeping
and store the purchase information in
the alphabet agency's memory hole. Well, Tom Ridge may have a late
Christmas present for all the alphabet agencies in the Federal government.

The
National ID system will obviate this inconvenience to our rulers.
At last, the usual suspects in the halls of power will have the
means to track, identify and persecute the malcontents and criminals
they so urgently need to monitor for all manner of reasons. This
administration has been itching to find a reason to institute this
Orwellian device and some of corporate
America
has been clamoring to get in on the action. To readers
of LRC, the privacy and liberty ramifications are obvious and this
will be the knockout blow. Mark my words; the Bush administration
will use the immigration initiative to justify a national ID card
for all Americans. Whether this is the true purpose behind the initiative,
I don't know, but watch for the trial balloons to crowd the skies
over the Capitol and the polluted fever swamps in the Beltway media
complex.

January
19, 2004

William
Buppert [send him mail],
a retired Army officer, lives on a ranch in the Inland Northwest
with his wife and their three homeschooled children.

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