You're nobody without your national ID card!

By Tom DeWeese
web posted September 27, 1999

It's the year 2001 and you've dashed to the airport trying to catch a flight to deal with a family emergency. You're ready to buy a ticket when you're asked to produce your federally issued national identification card. You've left it at home. Sorry, you can't get on board any flight without it.

It's the year 2001 and you've applied for a new job. Human Resources tells you they cannot consider your resume because it does not list your national identification number and asks to see your card.

It's the year 2001 and you've just moved your family to a new State and want to get a driver's license. Without your national identification card, they will not issue it. Then you discover that, to get your new license, you will also have to provide fingerprints and a voice recognition recording that will be entered into a federal registry so you can be identified no matterwhere you are in the nation.

It's the year 2001 and crime is up in your neighborhood. You decide to purchase a handgun to protect yourself in your home or apartment. The local police will not issue the documentation required without seeing your national identification card, nor will be able to purchase a weapon without it.

It's the year 2001. You want to open a new bank account. Without your national identification card, the bank will not do business with you. When you show them your card, they ask you to sign a document permitting them to make any information about your banking activities available to any agency of the federal or state government that requests it.

If this sounds like something out of a really scary novel about the way the federal government is tracking everyone in the nation from birth to death, the bad news is that it is not fiction. It will be fact if the Republican-led House of Representatives does not act soon to stop the implementation of a "Big Brother" national identification system. The man who can resolve and end the threat of this invasion of everyone's privacy is Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House.

When Americans beat back the government takeover of the nation's health system, they thought they had protected the privacy they assume applies to their personal medical records. When they protested the proposed "Know Your Customer" banking laws that would have established massive federal data bank profiles of every bank customer, they thought their personal banking activities were again private matters.

The national identification card, the instrument of every despotic government in the world, will become a reality unless Speaker Hastert hears from enough Americans who don't want the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution rendered meaningless. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures" will cease. A national identification card will make us the slaves of a central government where faceless bureaucrats can pry into every aspect of our lives and thwart every action we take.

Tom DeWeese is the president of the American Policy Center, Herdon, Virginia, a grass roots, activist think tank. It maintains an Internet site at

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