It never ceases to amaze me the degree of incompetence within the various organs of government. Negligence of such gross proportions might be considered criminal if it were demonstrated just how harmful it has been or can become. The basis for a citizen’s legal identity being so vulnerable to the malfeasance of both private and public scumbags is appalling, to say the least.
Apparently, the government is not very good at keeping the most pivotal legal records of its citizens from criminal misuse. It is admitted in the Birth Certificate Fraud report from March of 1988 under the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Inspector General Richard Kusserow that fraudulent birth certificates were a widespread and pandemic issue, but that the full extent of it was unknown. They then went on to state that the security procedures were virtually non-existent, for it was common practice for “blank birth certificates and seals [to be] stored in the open” and for “documents [to be] kept at home by the local registrar.” As if that wasn’t bad enough, workers in user agencies (such as the Social Security Administration, the Passport Services of the Department of State, state-level welfare agencies, and state-level driver’s license agencies) received minimal training in evaluating and recognizing suspicious birth certificates.
Oh, but you may be thinking, “But that was back in 1988; surely, they must have improved it since then.” Not so, my fine not-so-furry friend. In the Birth Certificate Fraud report from September of 2000 under HHS Inspector General June Brown, they admitted in this updated version that the basis of an altered birth certificate as a “breeder document” (being defined as the core document from which to establish a legal identity from) was still very much ongoing. They are still easy to obtain, hard to detect, and are seldom prosecuted. It was also found that not only would it be impractical to redesign birth certificates to make them reliable, but also that by themselves they do not provide conclusive or otherwise a reliable proof of legal identity. This report capitulated that the integrity of birth certificates should be improved because due to experience, their standing history of providing a way to validate someone’s identity has already been established. Also, since it is so common to use fraudulent birth certificates to obtain other genuine legal documents (such as voter registration, driver’s license, passport, and so on), attempting to distinguish those using fraudulent birth certificates from government-issued ones is nearly impossible.
I think it goes without saying that the implications of this are staggering. What it would mean is that anyone is these United States who decides to perform a legal make-over of sorts can do so with a minimum of fuss. Even though Public Law #97-398 (“The False Identification Crime Control Act of 1982”) amended Title 18 of the USC in regards to Section #1028 by making it an offense to “knowingly produce, transfer, or possess false identification documents with the intent to defraud the United States” punishable by “a fine of up to $25,000 and/or imprisonment for up to 5 years,” the 2000 HHS report admits that “virtually all of the Federal and State staff we talked with indicate birth certificate fraud is seldom prosecuted unless it can be linked to large dollar losses or other punishable crimes….many prosecutors are reluctant, or refuse to take birth certificate fraud cases in which the only charge is attempting to obtain another individual’s birth certificate, or counterfeiting or altering a birth certificate.” Additionally, “State registrars indicate they receive information about potential fraud cases from Passport Services, SSA, [DMVs], and law enforcement…..most indicate that they receive little feedback regarding cases they refer for prosecution.”
Ah, but someone thinking a little bit outside of the box might suggest, “Hey, since 9/11 happened, there was a HUGE beef-up in all sorts of security procedures, including government-issued documents proving legal identity.” Perhaps in some arenas, but surely not across the board by a long shot. As an Associated Press article on post-9/11 “reforms” reported that, “Despite efforts to boost passport security since the 2001 terror attacks, [a government] investigator fooled passport and postal service employees four out of four times.” This is astounding! What it literally means is that “the State Department….does not have the ability to ensure that supporting documents are legitimate” (among them being birth certificates). Not only did State Department spokesman Richard Aker admit that, “The truth is that this was human error,” but that the State Department plans to implement facial recognition screening for all applicants. Wow, what a terrific idea….make a horrid problem even worse by increasing the invasiveness of the Big Brother surveillance police state apparatus.
In the final analysis, what we have is the admission by different organs of the government that at least between 1976 to 2000, birth certificate fraud didn’t even slow down. Nine years later, the State Department wasn’t able to ID one of their own friendly government white hats during security testing! Yet, the populace is supposed to put faith in the constant groping of men, women, and even children at the airports by the TSA? It is high time to reevaluate the misdeeds of government and determine whether or not we enjoy their protection, or even continue to want to do so.