Does anyone remember what it is and what its' purpose is? Our leaders don't, that's for sure...
I receive calls and emails each day from a great number of people frustrated over a wide variety of issues ranging from personal property rights to biometrics and everything in between including but not limited to red light cameras, 9/11, smart grids, our nation’s debt and healthcare exchanges. Many citizens are receiving the same or similar communications that I do. It should not come as news to anyone that the public’s confidence in government to do its job is at a historical low. Additionally, only about one in four people believe their elected leaders tell the truth. You may ask: Why, if there is a lack of confidence in government along with distrust, are more citizens not engaged? This article will provide a way to open the door to engage all citizens.
What I propose is we need a rallying point. We have such a rallying point to focus the public on; a lawsuit that each citizen can identify with.
Before getting into the specifics of the lawsuit I want to address common responses we have each come across when we reach out to the public at large. We each have heard “I do not care what government does; I am not doing anything wrong.” or “I have my own personal problems to deal with.” There is my personal favorite which is people feel like they cannot fight city hall. I have found when I respond to these “reasons” made by people for not becoming engaged that one response is far more successful than others I have used. My response is as follows:
“Every citizen has a responsibility for ensuring we pass on the rights and freedoms we inherited to the children and grandchildren of today, and tomorrow, thus honoring the sacrifices of previous generations who gave the ultimate sacrifice for each of us. The men and women who died protecting our rights and freedom must never have died in vain.” I also express “Our liberty is endowed to us by our Creator, it is neither ours to give or take, but rather preserve.”
The lawsuit Kaye Beach and her attorneys are filing in Oklahoma provides a rallying point for all citizens. What we do know is Kaye Beach was ticketed for driving with an expired driver's license. We know the charge was dropped and the case dismissed. We know Kaye Beach has said she wants her personal information to be just that, her personal information. Kaye Beach’s personal information is not a commodity that anytime she is required, or chooses to provide her personal information, the party or entity that receives it can do what they desire with it (paraphrasing). We know Kaye Beach is filing a lawsuit in Oklahoma to protect her rights, our rights. Kaye Beach is a mother, wife, Christian and selfless citizen.
What is certain is that Kaye’s case will go the heart of two issues where consensus does exist among citizens: 1) distrust of government, 2) no confidence in the effectiveness of government. I can say with 100% certainty that every citizen possesses personal information. How and by whom that personal information is collected, retained, shared, and ultimately used is something every citizen can relate to. Our government wants to know who, what, how, when, and where relative to each of our personal lives. Presumption of innocence use to mean something in our country.
Most citizens are confusing lifestyle with freedom. That being said, slowly but surely citizens are feeling the walls closing in. Citizens in the United States are on the wrong side of a one way mirror. The government wants to know everything going on in our lives while little or no transparency exists relative to what our own government is doing. Dana Priest and William Arkin did an excellent expose on the issue of the collection of citizen’s personal and sensitive information titled "Top Secret America". http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/
Last year, after FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests were submitted, DHS (Department of Homeland Security) admitted to three different domestic spying programs: 1) Pantheon, 2) Pathfinder, and 3) Organization Shared Space. When DHS was asked for information about these programs the response was sadly but expectedly non- responsive by providing documents that largely had parts blacked out, redacted. http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/blogpost/20100420moredomesticintelligenceatdhs
Russell Tice, a former NSA (National Security Agency) analyst came forward and disclosed the NSA was listening illegally and unconstitutionally to citizen's phone calls, reading emails, and monitoring cash transactions as well as storing the data collected. http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1491889
Warrantless searches, called NSL's (National Security Letters), have been abused for years. In one three year period alone 143,000 NSL's were issued. The Inspector General of the Justice Department noted he did not believe the FBI had fully disclosed all the NSL's the FBI issued in that three year period. Even using the 143,000 number that equates to over 100 NSL's a day for three years. If the Inspector General of the Justice Department does not trust the FBI, why should we? http://www.ombwatch.org/node/3225
Each year I visit many states, meeting with private citizens, leaders of groups, organizations, ministries and state lawmakers. As the co-founder of the Stop Real ID Coalition I help write legislation and testify about that legislation. I focus on our government’s addiction to our personal and sensitive information. Just as we would not give a heroin addict more heroin, we must not continue to feed our governments’ addiction to our personal information. One point I make continually that grabs the attention of people and lawmakers is we are each being enrolled into a global system of identification that directly links our body to our ability to buy, sell or travel. Clearly our nation’s sovereignty is under attack. http://www.scribd.com/doc/65243731/Your-Body-is-Your-Id
In conclusion, I would encourage every citizen, group, and/or organization to inform each of the people they are in contact with about Kaye Beach's sacrifices to protect not just her own rights but the rights of all citizens regardless of their race, religion political ideology or ethnic background. Point of fact - the national media has already started covering Kaye’s legal journey and her petition/suit has not even been filed yet (see: http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/oklahoma-woman-battles-against-real-id).
It is expected that Kaye Beach's attorneys will be filing her petition/suit any day now. The Constitutional Alliance has been and will continue to provide regular updates about Kaye Beach's legal battle to protect the rights of all citizens (see: www.constitutionalalliance.org ).