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Democrats Want CAIR to Be Able to Sue You

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House Democrats are trying to block a provision in a homeland security bill that would protect the public from being sued by the likes of CAIR if they report suspicious behavior: Democrats want ‘John Doe’ provision cut.

The legislation, which moves to a House and Senate conference committee this afternoon, will implement final recommendations from the 911 Commission.

Rep. Pete King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. Steve Pearce, New Mexico Republican, sponsored the bill after a group of Muslim imams filed a lawsuit against U.S. Airways and unknown or “John Doe” passengers after they were removed for suspicious behavior aboard Flight 300 from Minneapolis to Phoenix on Nov. 20 before their removal.

“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 in an interview last night. “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,” 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,” Mr. King said.

Republicans aides say they will put up a fight with Democrats when the conference committee begins at 1 p.m., to reinsert the language, but that public pressure is also needed.

UPDATE at 7/19/07 7:45:52 am:

More on this outrage, from Andy McCarthy at The Corner: Flying Imams — Are Democrats Trying to Sink Pete King’s Amendment?

The House-adopted King language ensures that any person who voluntarily reports suspicious activity in good faith-anything that could be a threat to transportation security-will be granted immunity from civil liability for the disclosure. The amendment is specific to threats to transportation systems, passenger safety or security, or possible acts of terrorism, and also shields transportation systems and employees that take reasonable actions to mitigate perceived threats. The amendment is also retroactive to activities that took place on or after November 20, 2006 - the date of the Minneapolis incident.

I am reliably informed that House Democrats are attempting, under the radar screen, to strip the King Amendment from the legislation based on an alleged technical violation of Byzantine House rules.

As Pete King’s office notes, in a post-9/11 reality, passenger vigilance is essential to our security. Given the variety of threats we face and terrorists’ history of targeting mass transit systems, encouraging passengers to report strange behavior to authorities is really just common sense. Failing to report suspicious behavior could end up costing thousands of lives — and while the “flying imams” don’t seem to understand this, the American people do. We must make certain that brave citizens who stand up and say something are given the protections they deserve. The King amendment does exactly that, and Democrats musn’t be allowed to strip it from the 9/11 conference report on a technicality.

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