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An Old Trick

2010 July 2
by Bill

In 1974-1976 I was a member of a Federal Task Force on False Identification for the U.S. Department of Justice. We were formed to see how we could stop the proliferation of false I.D.s that were a growing problem for law enforcement. At that time everyone was still looking for Patty Hearst.

If you will recall, Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), a left-wing urban guerrilla group who made all sorts of impossible demands and robbed banks. That is where Patty got in trouble, but not why our Task Force was formed. Patty did, however, have eight sets of false identification on her when she was arrested in September 1975. That event gave the government reason to form the group.

Ms. Hearst got her identification by doing something quite simple. The directions were published in (gasp) the Rolling Stone Magazine, imagine that. The problem is, we were never able to stop the system and it is still being used today. What is it, you may ask, read on.

A child born in the county where I currently live, and who dies within 18 months of his/her birth will more than likely be buried in that same county. We are a very mobile society so adult death more often than not occurs in another county or state, but not infants. Death records and birth records are never matched up, and therein lies the hole. I was born in Covington, KY. I doubt that I will die there. When I go, the county in which I pass will not notify Covington of my death, and neither will yours.

Here is how it works. To re-create ones self as another person, simply go to a local cemetery and look for a headstone of a soul who was born and died close to your own birth date, and whose sex is the same as you own, of course. Then, go to the local county office of birth records and tell them that you have recently returned to the place of your birth from living in (pick a place a long way off), and that you have lost all of your records. They will welcome you home and charge you a nominal fee for a copy of the birth certificate. Armed with that you can now apply for a Social Security number, driver’s license and bank account. From there you can freely move about the countryside, get a passport and so forth.

When we tried to establish a tighter system in 1975 we were stopped at every suggestion by members of the ACLU who were members of this public task force and did not like big brother interfering with the “freedom” that they enjoyed. I’m still not certain what “freedoms” they were alluding to but the latest news may give you a clue.

A dozen Russian spies were arrested this week and most of them had identification, which was secured as I have outlined above. You have to wonder how many more are out there. I wonder when we will ever learn.

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