Terrorism panel pushes national ID cards

ALBANY, N.Y. – A special anti-terrorism committee created in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center will call for the creation of a national identification card system, reported WNBC in New York City Nov 14.

New York state Sen. Roy Goodman, who created the panel on Oct. 10, said the recommendation would be one of 50 to be made public at a Nov. 15 news conference in New York City.

Goodman’s panel includes former New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who has just been tapped by New York City Mayor-elect Michael Bloomberg to again become police commissioner.

The senator said the universal identification card system would utilize high-tech microchips storing digitized fingerprints, facial characteristics and retinal images. Goodman said the panel had not yet decided if the ID card system should be mandatory or voluntary, but that in his opinion a mandatory system would “maximize safety and security.”

Goodman said the cards would be available to all residents and visitors to the United States. He said those that could afford it would be charged a fee for the cards. Goodman declined to provide an immediate cost estimate for the program or say how long it might take to implement. He said the ID card proposal could be self-financing.

Asked about civil liberty objections to national ID cards, Goodman said, “The Constitution does give the right to privacy, but not the right to anonymity.”

Goodman predicted the cards “would eliminate all racial profiling” by law enforcement officials. “When you have a suspicion as to whether a guy is or is not a person who might cause you problems, you put his ID card in your little machine and it tells you if his record is clean,” Goodman said.