Saturday, July 21, 2007

And Bad...

Democrats Cut “John Doe” Provision Which Would Protect Citizens Who Report Suspicious Behaviors From Civil Litigation.

Ever since 9/11, the government and law enforcement has openly urged citizens to be vigilent and to report suspicious behavior. Nevertheless, congressional Democrats Thursday stripped a provision in the pending 9/11 Commission recommendations legislation that would protect citizens from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior to authorities that may lead to a terrorist attack.
Rep. Peter T. King, a New York Republican who previously chaired the House Homeland Security Committee, said "This is a slap in the face of good citizens who do their patriotic duty and come forward, and it caves in to radical Islamists.”

A group of six Imams who say they were wrongly removed from US Airways Flight 300 from Minneapolis to Phoenix on Nov. 20 because of passengers and security personnel who separately reported what they believed was suspicious behavior on the part of the Imams, have sued the airline, the Minnesota Metropolitan Airports Commission, and the "John Doe" passengers who reported the men.
Oddly enough, on March 27, the House approved the "John Doe" amendment on a 304-121 vote.
"Democrats are trying to find any technical excuse to keep immunity out of the language of the bill to protect citizens, who in good faith, report suspicious activity to police or law enforcement," Mr. King said. "I don't see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity."
While the conference is not likely to meet again, Mr. King noted the conference report has not been written and says he will continue discussions with Sen. Joe Lieberman, Connecticut independent and chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, to insert the "John Doe" language.
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine Republican and ranking member of the committee, announced afterward she will attempt to attach a similar bill to an education measure currently under debate on the Senate floor.


Rachel said...

And my side wonders why we have recieved a 14% approval rating in only 7 months in office.

This will come out bad for Dems. Many people may not like the Admin's terror policies, but this looks like the Dems don't want us to protect ourselves. I understand fear of being falsely accused, but this ruling helps cement the idea that "we" are not serious about domestic protection.

and considering our own war ancestors' abuses (Wilson, FDR) keeping this rule is nothing

JMK said...

Here's the thing Rachel, those falsely accused can defend themselves and the burden of proof remains on the state.

Those few people falsely accused and convicted are usually men convicted of rape by women who believe they looked like their rapist.

Those are certainly sad cases and they highlight the problems with eye-witness testimony alone, but this is something different. If you or I see someone acting suspiciously and that person turns out not to be a "terrorist," but a mere kook, we could be sued for our well intentioned actions.

That seems very wrong.

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