July 20, 2007

Zero Visibility


From The Washington Times: Tipster shields lifted by Democrats by Audrey Hudson.

Congressional Democrats yesterday declined to protect tipsters who report suspicious behavior from nuisance lawsuits.

"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," said Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.
Republicans tried to write the protection provision included in final homeland security legislation, crafted yesterday by a House and Senate conference committee, to implement final recommendations from the September 11 commission.

Mr. King and Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, sponsored the provision after a group of Muslim imams filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against US Airways and unknown "John Doe" passengers. The imams were removed from US Airways Flight 300 on Nov. 20 after fellow passengers on the Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight complained about the imams' suspicious behavior.
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."

From New York Daily op-eds: Disarmed by the Dems: Congressional leaders fail to protect terror tipsters from insane lawsuits by Debra Burlingame.

We disarm ourselves when we succumb to political correctness - which encourages us to second guess our common sense and look the other way. It is an outrage that Pelosi and Reid would allow individuals to be punished when they come forward to protect us all.

Michelle Malkin has more.

UPDATE I -- July 22: From the editorial page of Investor's Business Dailyl: Keeping The Flying Imams Airborne.

Were it not for the courage and sacrifice of the passengers of United Flight 93 who forced their plane into a Pennsylvania field, many in Congress might not be here today, with a gaping hole where the U.S. Capitol still stands. We wonder if this fact is appreciated by those trying to block final passage of the so-called "John Doe" provision protecting from legal action those who report suspicious behavior on airplanes.

UPDATE II -- July 24: From the The Washington Times Insider Politics blog: The Dems, the 'John Does' and the blogosphere. (via Hot Air)

Public pressure is mounting on Capitol Hill Democrats to include the "John Doe" provision into a written conference report of the final 911 Commission bill. ...

"Democrats have been backed into a corner by public outrage over their efforts, so we are seeing these Democrats publicly say they support it in principle, but behind the scenes they are working to kill it," said one Republican leadership aide close to the conference process.

UPDATE III -- July 25: From the The Washington Times: 'John Doe' protection to get floor vote.

A late-night agreement yesterday guaranteed that so-called "John Doe" protection -- to prevent airline passengers from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior -- will get a floor vote in the House and Senate.

"This is a huge win -- a hard-fought victory for House Republicans and, more importantly, for the American people," said Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.

The provision survived a contentious congressional process before a House-Senate conference committee agreed just before midnight yesterday to include the measure in the final draft of the September 11 Commission bill.

The move ensures the provision cannot be amended on the floor. It is expected to come to a vote in both houses of Congress before the August recess.

Posted by Forkum at July 20, 2007 03:47 PM