Monday, January 5, 2009

It's REAL Alright

Several years ago I wrote an article entitled “In Dependence”, which, along with “Countdown to 1984”, formed the basis for the book “What So Proudly We Hailed”. Most people probably thought – and still would think – that the articles were alarmist in nature. Maybe. Maybe not.

I invite you to read both of them if you have the time (they are fairly long) and then consider the article that I found just this morning from the Washington Times entitled Real ID mandate resisted in Virginia - of which some selected quotes are listed below - before you make up your mind whether I am an "alarmist".

If you’re intrigued, I of course invite you to explore the possibilities even further by reading “What So Proudly We Hailed”. The novel is fiction; the below is not:

The program was born out of the commission that looked into the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It recommended that the U.S. improve its system of issuing identification documents because the hijackers had numerous licenses and state IDs. Congress approved legislation requiring states to issue licenses and ID cards that meet certain security standards.

The new IDs will be required for federal purposes, such as boarding an airplane or entering a federal building. Other federal identification, including passports and military IDs, also will be accepted.

"The bottom line is that citizens of states who do not move forward with the Real ID mandate from Congress will see real consequences," said Laura Keehner, a spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, which is in charge of the program.

States had until May 2008 to implement Real ID, but the department extended that until Dec. 31, 2009. If they need more time and have met certain benchmarks, states can request an extension until May 11, 2011.

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