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Everyone Should Be Able To Board A Plane Without ID

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Everyone should be able to board a plane without ID, or so says John Gilmore and a group of civil liberties groups in this article on Wired.
Gilmore, who made millions as the fifth employee of Sun Microsystems, has not flown or taken an intercity bus or train domestically since July 4, 2002, when he was not allowed to fly on Southwest Airlines without showing identification, despite having gone through the screening process.

Gilmore, who began his fight against the identification requirement in the summer of 2002, filed suit ... in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, asking the court to force the government to reveal the requirement and to declare it an unconstitutional burden on the right to travel.

Ahh that bastion of glory we all love the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. For those of you under a rock the glorious Ninth Circuit is the one that:
  • Declared the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional.
  • Tried to overturn California’s "three strikes and you’re out" law.
  • Tried to cancel California’s recall election because the punch card ballots used to re-elect Gov. Gray Davis initially were too unreliable to recall him.
  • Found that a "statistical disproportionality" in the racial composition of prison populations constitutes a form of discrimination in violation of the 1982 Voting Rights Act. Therefore incarcerated felons should have the right to vote.
These are just a few of the decisions that they have stumbled upon. Now they are going to hear this case. So I will not be surprised if they find that anyone should be able to walk onto an airplane without ID.

Now I'm all for liberties, but safety comes first. When I'm on an airplane I want to know that the airline itself as well as my government have done everything in their power to be sure that everyone else on the plane, and their luggage, has been screened and I'm not going to be blown up or have my neck sliced with a box opener. Call me crazy, but I just want to get to my destination alive.

Maybe Mr. Gilmore doesn't mind sitting next to a murderous hijacker who wants to kill 200+ people, but his right to privacy does not trump everyone on the planes safety. The primary purpose of a government is in the safety and protection of its citizens.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which was co-founded by Gilmore, filed a brief supporting his argument that the requirement itself is unconstitutional, according to EFF attorney Lee Tien.

"When you are justifying a massive program of identity checking, you have the burden of showing why this is a good thing," EFF attorney Lee Tien said. "The identity requirement is security theater."

How about checking someones ID against a watchlist of known terrorists? Sometimes I wonder where these people come up with this crap. Just because Mr. Gilmore is a little bit inconvenienced by showing his identification we should now rip down every possible security precaution we have established to protect our citizens.

He must think really highly of himself.

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Posted by Digger on August 23, 2004 12:54 AM (Permalink)

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Not to ruffle your feathers, your worship, but did you know that Congress inserted the words "under God" into the pledge in *1954* as a means of advancing religion when America was fighting a war against the doctrines of *atheistic* communism? Should all Democratic societies be required to endorse a god or the God of Abraham?

Do you know the First Amendment? Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

When President Eisenhower signed the bill, he stated, "From this day forward, the millions of our schoolchildren will daily proclaim . . . the dedication of our Nation and our people to the Almighty." Seems clear to me that purpose of this bullshit was not to advance patriotism, but rather to promote religion.

The reference to God in the pledge is an inappropriate endorsement of religion on the part of the government and it's an unnecessary reference to God in a patriotic pledge.

Never mind the non-thiests but what about religions who may not worship a monotheistic God. Why should they be required to endorse the religious doctrines of the majority?

And about this privacy issue that you seem to oppose, do you think Osama Bin Laden would carry around a valid ID while traveling around our country? Pull your head out man! This is a means to track citizens. Do you really want to be required to "show your papers" whenever you want to move around? You're insane!

Anyway, I love you man.

Posted by: Tommy on August 23, 2004 05:05 PM

Yeah, I see your point on the "Under God" thing. I know we're supposed to be totally democratic etc etc, but we're more like Rome in that respect. Rome had polytheism that people were forced to observe (with their multiple gods). However they allowed people to also worship their own gods in addition to the Roman gods. I'm not saying it's right, I'm just sayin'...

I have no problems showing people my "papers". I could give a crap. Fact of the matter is at least with some form of identification they can track back and associate a known terrorist they've captured with the fact that he took a flight with the same 3 other people 4 times in the last year on the same route. With absolutely no ID they could make "dry runs" 20 times and noone would have any clue.

Without intelligence we are dumb.

Posted by: Digger on August 24, 2004 05:06 AM

Well if you think this will work, why not just require terrorists to wear an "I'm a Terrorist" t-shirt when they board a plane. Maybe you have no problem being tracked all over the place but there are plenty of people that would rather not (i.e., celebrities, business people, politicians or their political opponents, etc.)

From what I understand fromn the 9.11 Commission, they had plenty of Intelligence but they either failed to act or had too much data to piece together. This is just another case of our government taking advantage of a situation to erode more of our personal freedom and privacy away.

Pretty ironic that while the GOP screams about a government out of control, they try their best to give it more uneccessary power.

Posted by: Tommy on August 25, 2004 05:25 PM

How many Israeli planes have been hijacked recently?

Answer: 0

Why? Because they actually have screening processes that work. There are literally hundreds of groups out there that would want to hijack/blow up an Israeli passenger plane.

I can almost guarantee if we had 0 screening processes we would have had another terrorist attack by now. There are enough groups out there who would want the recognition of having successfully attacked America in a high profile way.

I know you're all for freedom, but noone is forcing you at gunpoint to take a plane. If you want to go around all anonymous because you think someone in a dark room somewhere has "Tommy" on their hitlist and they want to single you out and ruin your life then you need to get a tinfoil hat and sit in a closet somewhere.

If you're so worried about being tracked, drive where you are going. After all the plane industry is 100% privatized and they should be able to deny anyone they want from a flight.

If you don't show your ID then they don't have to let you on, case closed.

Posted by: Digger on August 26, 2004 12:56 AM

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