Friday, December 14, 2007
Napolitano should slow down on national ID card
TUCSON -- I'm back in the Old Pueblo after a week in Washington DC, a great place that makes me a more patriotic American every time I'm there, but also a place where under the Bush/Cheney regime, government surveillance and lack of privacy are excessive and extreme.
I am a progressive Democrat, and supporter of Governor Napolitano, but I am also a strong believer in civil liberties and protection of personal privacy. For those reasons, I cannot support the Governor's current push with the US Dept. of Homeland Security for tracking national IDs.
In some ways, I see the Governor trying to be responsive to an unwise Bush-era big government federal mandate for 'big brother' tracking IDs, as called for in the Real ID Act, a poor law. But the government has made no compelling case that these tracking IDs are needed.
Congress should take a new hard look at the Real ID Act and reconsider some of its over-the-top provisions, such as high-tech national IDs and the border environmental law waiver. There is no good reason to require people to use invasive IDs or passports for domestic flights or entering public buildings, as the Bush/Cheney DHS seems to be moving towards.
As a state and a nation, we must be on guard about security, but we also must always defend our privacy rights as law-abiding American citizens.
Too much power in the hands of the government is almost always a bad thing. DHS has not done much to earn the trust of Americans, and there is no reason to trust them here under the current circumstances.
With all due respect to our honorable Governor, concern over this issue is hardly a 'fringe' position, as she reportedly called it. Arizonans take our freedom and privacy very seriously.
The Governor should slow down on this issue, and work closely with the Legislature, ACLU and others starting in January for a solution to valid privacy concerns.