Tue, May 15, 2007 at 8:42:32 am
One of the more insidious and sinister activities of the Council on American Islamic Relations is their threat to sue citizens who report suspicious behavior to the authorities.
And if House Homeland Security chairman Bennie Thompson gets his way we will have no protection against the legal wing of the global jihad: Bennie Thompson vs. terrorism tipsters.
We’ve all seen this phrase in block letters: “REPORT SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY,” followed by a 1-800 number. But if a House Democrat manages to kill a tipster-immunity measure under consideration in Congress this month, people who report suspicious behavior could be sued in civil court if the accused are not charged with a crime. November’s frightened U.S. Airways “John Doe” passengers in Minneapolis are already in the crosshairs.
The lawmaker in question is Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. He thinks that granting tipsters immunity amounts to racial and religious profiling. Yes, that’s the Democrats’ “homeland security” pointman in the House speaking.
For two months, Mr. Thompson has deployed the profiling argument against this measure, tucked into the House transportation-security bill. The good news is that a bipartisan House majority already passed it 304-121 seven weeks ago. But sadly, Mr. Thompson is expected to strip it from the bill. He is expected to be the lead House negotiator in the coming weeks when the bill reaches conference committee, and if he is, he will have considerable sway over the final product.
Mr. Thompson would stand alone among key homeland-security players, all of whom support immunity, if he blocks it. Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat who chairs the Senate committee and ranking Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, both support it. So does Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, the ranking member in the House homeland-security committee.
How damaging it would be to leave tipsters on the hook; there could be few better ways to staunch the flow of information. Think of last week’s Fort Dix tipster and ask yourself whether you would report suspicious behavior in a similar position.
UPDATE at 5/15/07 9:49:52 am:
Bennie Thompson donated to the campaign of CAIR’s congressman, Keith Ellison: Bennie G. Thompson: Campaign Finance/Money - Contributions. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)