Seven years after the horror of September 11th, these cultural sophisticates exude a kind of national-security ennui, bored with the hassles of visa paperwork and ready to go back to the way it was on September 10th. For them, even common-sense security measures are viewed with resentment and are held up as evidence that America is no longer that shining city on a hill but one turned inward with in fear and loathing.
To listen to the paranoid debate now taking place over the REAL ID Act in Congress, some state legislatures and the blogosphere, one might think that this legislation was some Bush administration plot to create a national identity card and spy on innocent Americans. The reality is much more serious and mundane. In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombings and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, there is a need to set some kind of minimum standards to ensure that driver’s licenses and other forms of government-issued identification cannot be tampered with and used by terrorists.
The FBI wants to Google you. Online, offline, underline. And they’d prefer to do it without your knowledge, thank you very much.
They are asking us to trust them.
They have a surprisingly short memory of the history of their institution.