Countless Americans complain about the power of the government, claiming it’s getting larger and more out of control; however, when one suggests that they’re making every effort to track civilian populations, most others ridicule and slander the messenger, calling him/her a “conspiracy theorist.” Well, now all naysayers will need to change their tunes.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. Army in concert with NATO forces is implementing the Afghan Biometric ID Plan. These biometrically backed identification cards, which will be issued to more than 1.65 million Afghans by next May, were designed to keep tabs on the movement of Afghan citizens and too prevent Taliban sympathizers from infiltrating the Army. According to Lt. General William Caldwell, “The system allows the Afghans to thoroughly screen applicants and recruits for any potential negative past history or criminal linkages, while at the same time it provides an additional measure of security at checkpoints and major facilities to prevent possible entrance and access by malign actors in Afghanistan.”
While this news might comfort people who are anxious to see a quell in the violence in one of the Middle East’s most war-torn nations, it only makes me wonder how long it will take for these measures to reach our shores. Here, new Homeland Security laws allow for such extremes under the guise of fighting a war against terror, and if they’re conducting massive “biometric sweeps” abroad, it’s more than possible that it will be done in the U.S. American citizens will have to line up to have images of their irises taken with the same hand-held camera-like devices, resulting in biometrically enabled national ID cards.
Still nay-saying? Well, there’s already a Biometric Automated Toolset that enables an individual user to scan and collect fingerprints, irises and faces. Last year, Homeland Security officials released guidelines for the 2005 law known as the Real ID Act for such purposes. –torrance stephens, ph.d.