December 16, 2009

Show Me Your REAL ID

You'd think the government would put at least as much effort into assisting a rational promotion and distribution of this bogus REAL ID program, wouldn't cha?  But that assumes there are responsible officials, great protective fathers (& mothers) in homeland security who dedicate their time to the PUBLIC's need to know, rather than covering their bureaucratic asses and climbing the corporate/government ladder.  It also very neatly provides enough confusion to ensure the right people "fall through the cracks."  Here's the latest on how we're gonna be safer.  Right. 

Real ID arrives on 1 January:
Will you be allowed to board a domestic flight? 
Published 15 December 2009
Unless Congress extends the deadline for implementing the Real ID Act, air travelers will have to produce a Real ID-compliant driver’s license as a means of identification – or they will not be allowed on board; trouble is, more than thirty states have not agreed to Real ID, and the driver’s licenses they issue may not be fully compliant with the act’s strictures
[...]  [Neala] Schwartzberg notes that currently there are more than thirty states that have not agreed to Real ID and are therefore out of compliance. On 1 January, unless an extension is granted by DHS (and it appears an extension will be issued), residents of those states have IDs that are not acceptable under the Real ID act and will not be able to use their driver’s licenses for identification for domestic flights.
The airlines have said nothing about this issue Schwartzberg contacted American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, two carriers with a significant presence in Albuquerque and Texas which also cover much of the United States. American Airlines spokesperson Tim Smith said:“We are not doing anything about it at this time, at the airline level. Here’s why: at this stage it is a ‘head-butting’ contest between TSA, Homeland Security, and Congress, which passed the law.” He continues: “With more than half the states in America unable to comply with the [Real ID] law at this time, we believe that this issue will have to be worked out among those parties in some fashion. We suspect none of them is prepared to turn away tens of thousands of travelers on January 1.”
[...]  Schwartzberg went to the TSA Web site to see what they had to say about it. The Web site said: “Effective June 21, 2008, adult passengers (18 and over) are required to show a U.S. federal or state-issued photo ID that contains the following: name, date of birth, gender, expiration date and a tamper-resistant feature in order to be allowed to go through the checkpoint and onto their flight.”

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