Constitutional Tyranny

Mark Lerner
Campaign For Liberty
Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee met July 15th to hear testimony regarding the Real ID Act 2005 and the newly introduced Providing for Additional Security in States’ Identification (”PASS”) Act. Senator Lieberman is the Chairman of the committee. As you will see, the “fix” was in.

For two weeks the Stop Real ID Coalition, of which I, Mark Lerner, am the co-founder, had lobbied to provide testimony to the committee. Thousands of our supporters called the committee on our behalf.

The answer we received from the committee staffers was there was going to be two witnesses that were already scheduled to testify before the committee that were opposed to the PASS Act, thus my testimony was not needed.

This is where the “problem” started. I had already spoken with one of the two people that were supposedly going to oppose the PASS Act. He told me his organization was supporting the PASS Act. The second person was a former DHS senior person who had previously stated he preferred Real ID but would accept the PASS Act. He did believe the PASS Act did need some strengthening to work.

My own area of knowledge is in the areas of biometrics and global information sharing. I have testified on the state level many times. I must have been considered credible because legislation opposing Real ID resulted.

Knowing that I was not being allowed to testify, I decided to attend the hearing. Committee staffers had notified me that I would be allowed to submit written testimony. I declined because the “fix” was in. Few people ever read written testimony.

Long story short-The hearing proceeded and not one person provided opposing testimony to the PASS Act. Not only was I lied to but so were the thousands of citizens who called. The hearing was a “staged” event.

One would have to believe there were provisions of the Real ID Act that were not just needed but could not be achieved at the state level by state lawmakers before supporting Real ID or the PASS Act. The National Governors Association worked with Senator Akaka (the author of the PASS Act), the National Conference of State Legislators, and DHS to come up with the compromise legislation, the PASS Act.

The NGA and the NCSL sold out states’ rights and the rights of citizens for money. No surprise.

Our organization is opposed to the use of biometrics and RFID with state driver’s licenses. International standards under Real ID apply to the license itself and the digital facial image. American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) standards for driver’s licenses were adopted as part of Real ID. On AAMVA’s website they proclaim they are an international organization that serves law enforcement and motor vehicle administrators. The International Civil Aviation Organization, an agency of the U.N., adopted standard was applied to the digital facial image/photograph for state driver’s licenses during the rulemaking process for the Real ID Act.

By using international standards there would be global interoperability/information sharing. The photo was mandated to be facial recognition compatible. Real ID/PASS Act=Being enrolled into a single global biometric identification system that links our body to our ability to buy and sell.

After the hearing I asked people to call the committee staffers and Senator Lieberman’s office and again asked if I could testify in person before the legislation came up for a vote in committee in about two weeks. Once again committee staffers lied. They told callers two people had testified against the PASS Act and went further by saying I did not know what I was talking about. The actual testimony is provided on the committee’s web-site.

We are going to focus our efforts on the House Homeland Security Committee when the legislation goes to the House of Representatives.

I have met with the ACLU about the Real ID Act. That meeting with the support of Republican state lawmakers resulted in the ACLJ opposing Real ID. The provisions of the PASS Act would not allow the ACLJ to support the PASS Act. I spoke with the ACLU and they were already opposing the PASS Act as they did the Real ID Act. EPIC and others are also opposing the PASS Act as they did the Real ID Act. On our website, you will find a video of a conference we sponsored last year at the National Press Club (NPC) in Washington D.C. You will be surprised at the diversity of those that stood together at the NPC when you watch the video.

There is hope. Mainstream media is watching and reporting. The AP is honoring their responsibility as a media organization.

We have been told many times we would fail; each time we prevailed. The Campaign for Liberty is a valuable ally in this “fight.” Failure is not an option.

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