Cheers to Bullock for Bucking the Feds and the Real ID Act

by lizard

Steve Bullock is reasserting Montana’s non-compliance with the Real ID Act:

Gov. Steve Bullock reasserted his opposition Friday to stringent federal driver’s license rules resulting from a 2005 anti-terrorism law, telling Homeland Security officials that Montana already has increased the security of its licenses and identification cards.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, the Democratic governor asked federal officials not to restrict Montanans’ from using their driver’s licenses as Homeland Security begins its first phase of enforcing the REAL ID Act.

Bullock’s letter was in response to a December notice from Homeland Security officials that said Montana, 12 other states and two U.S. territories were not compliant with the law or had not received extensions delaying its implementation.

The law set standards for licenses and identifications as a way to fight terrorism and prevent identity theft. Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses would have layers of security, such as verification of birth certificates, Social Security numbers and immigration status.

Here is an area of Federal policy where many Montanans across the political spectrum will find common ground. I think the general sentiment toward our government when it comes to protecting our privacy can be expressed with this: fuck off, Feds.

Why would any sane individual trust a government that is violating our constitution rights on a daily basis through NSA surveillance and bulk data storage?

What about fighting terrorism? When that motivation is invoked, don’t we Americans let the Feds do anything?

In a Counterpunch article titled Your Rights Aren’t Worth Crap, Chris Geovonis takes a look at the prosecution of the NATO3:

Public trials are one of the fundamental tenets of American democracy. And they’ve been cancelled in Chicago, at least for the trial of the NATO 3 — three defendants battling terrorism charges for alleged ‘crimes’ wholly instigated, manufactured and advanced by undercover cops in a blatant case of entrapment. But you’ll be hard pressed to determine this for yourself, since you’re essentially banned from the courtroom unless you’re willing to surrender your right to privacy, your right to even a glimmer of free expression, or your right as a non-corporate reporter to cover the case in real time like your corporate colleagues can.

Government officials are forcing every member of the public seeking to observe the NATO 3 trial to ‘pre-register’, produce a government-issued ID, submit to a criminal background check — and, of course, trust them with your data.

This last bit is spectacularly hard to swallow, as news continues to come out about the extent of government spying and data-mining on perfectly lawful activity like talking on the phone. Government agencies have surveilled and disrupted the Occupy movement, to which the defendants had a loose affiliation, simply for existing, and we’ve barely begun to plumb the depths of cop spying in the run-up to Chicago’s NATO protest — and beyond. For Chicagoans, this comes in the wake of the Chicago cops’ notorious history of political spying, disruption and assassination going back to the days of the infamous COINTELPRO Red Squad.

We will see how Montana and the other states bucking Federal compliance will be dealt with. Will Montanans face commercial airline restrictions? Will we be banned from entering Federal buildings? I guess we’re going to find out. Stay tuned.


  1. Big Swede

    Quote: “One example to which I have already referred is that of Warsaw, Poland. A 1939 census showed that there were hundreds of thousands of Jews in Warsaw, and it recorded their names, addresses, occupations, incomes and a variety of other information, including their family member’s names. The punchcard databases helped the Germans be most thorough. Today, some 68 years later, only a few hundred Jews live in Warsaw. Philosophy made it possible, people made it happen, but the databases made it efficient.

    Today, I hear a haunting echo from the past, as if the ghosts of millions of slaughtered Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and intellectuals were whispering in my ears. I hear that echo whenever I hear the words “Real ID.” Free countries do not require ID cards, or identification papers, or any other means of tracking and locating their people; totalitarian police states do. Free countries do not set up databases, whether of punchcards or solid-state memory chips, to record information about their people. But totalitarian police states do. What sort of country are we really living in?” -Views from Liberty Hollow.

  2. I renewed my driver’s license in 2012. Before placing myself at the mercy of the licensing bureau, I read the regulations. It appeared I needed as much documentation as one needs for a passport, so I assembled my papers and prepared to prove I was an American citizen. My preparation was unnecessary. All that mattered to the licensing people was that my new photo vaguely resembled me, and that I paid my fee. In other words, the federal requirements seem to be embodied in Montana’s codes, but enforcement thereof is a sham.

    Still, I want my DL to serve as a satisfactory ID for traveling in the U.S., so I hope Bullock doesn’t put me in a position where I have to produce a passport to board an airplane flying from Kalispell to Seattle.

    • mike

      As a liberrtaian I feel your pain, and as a fan of common sense you answered your own question.

  3. How will these IDs make us more secure?

    Yep, seems pretty clear no one wants this. I wouldn’t want to spend any money implementing this.

  4. mike

    so you somehow stumbled onto a new conspiracy where obama kills the poor and subjects useless idiots (your shoe size)…lol

    • mike

      the stupid by Greg is awesome, thanks Greg.

      • I’m glad to see you made it home again from the bar safely, mike.




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