If At First You Don’t Succeed –
Cry, Cry Again
July 26, 2007
The latest skirmish in the ongoing battle between American security and Muslim sensitivities finds Congressional Democrats looking for any way to deep-six ANY legislation that provides “liability protection for individuals who report suspicious behavior to law enforcement agencies”...otherwise known as “John Doe” or “Flying Imam” amendments.
Would the Democrats really do that? Would the Democrats really sacrifice the lives of the American public at the altar of political correctness? Would the Democrats really play kissy-face with Muslim interest groups and trade your lives for their votes? Would the Democrats really enable another 9/11? Or, are the Democrats really standing on morally high Constitutional ground?
Well...YES, YES, YES, YES and NO.
As most already know, on 11/21/06 six imams departing from the Minneapolis airport were removed from U.S. Airways Flight 300 because average citizens reported their suspicious behavior (aka...outright hostility towards America). Immediately, CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) whined an overflowing sewer of protest and backed a lawsuit against the airline and the citizens who reported the suspicious behavior.
I guess this was just another case of racist Muslim profiling by infidel Americans.
After all, when in November of 1999, two Saudi students on an America West flight were detained after repeatedly trying to enter the cockpit during the flight...CAIR hired attorneys for the two Saudis and called for a boycott of America West because this was another case of “racial and religious discrimination”.
The FBI later concluded that the two Saudi “students” were conducting a “dry run” on the America West flight in preparation for the 9/11 hijackings. Whoops.
In response to the “Flying Imam” CAIR-backed litigation filed this past March, the House of Representatives adopted the “IMMUNITY FOR REPORTING SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITIES AND MITIGATING TERRORIST THREATS RELATING TO TRANSPORTATION SECURITY” measure (304-121 vote) into the Rail and Public Transportation Security Act of 2007. A trusting person might believe that the dilemma was solved. But...not so quick.
Before the winning vote, Republican Rep. Pete King of New York tried to recommit the measure to the bill and he was told by the SPEAKER pro tempore “that the noes appeared to have it” (I guess the SPEAKER spoke too soon). But Rep. King countered with “I demand a recorded vote”. And guess what...” The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 304, noes 121, not voting 8”.
The next day, the entire bill was “Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation” and there it was laid to rest.
If you don’t believe this fiasco, I invite you to search the Congressional records for the history of H.R.1401 and read it for yourself.
Now, the House Dems want to incorporate H.R. 1401 into the Senate’s “Improving America's Security Act of 2007” (known as the 9/11 Bill). Last week, Congressional patriots tried to include a “John Doe” amendment in the Bill because the House-Senate conference committee Dems were again trying to strip the final legislation of any “John Doe” protections.
In the House-Senate conference committee, Democratic conferees are using every technical procedure at their disposal to block this inclusion. Interestingly enough, one of the conferees, Congressman Larson, Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus (the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House Representatives), is listed in the roll call #200 as voting against the “John Doe” amendment as related to H.R. 1401. How do you spell “true intentions”?
Nearing the eleventh-hour for common sense to prevail, last week Republican Sen. Susan Collins introduced a “John Doe” amendment (S.A. 2340) to the educational funding bill.
Immediately, Democrat Sen. Leahy protested that, “It could invite racial and religious profiling. Suppose somebody is wearing religious garb and it frightens somebody--or maybe it doesn't frighten them, but they could say it does.”
Of course, Leahy conveniently ignored the second sentence of the Collin’s amendment stating that immunity from civil action “shall not apply to any report that the person knew to be false at the time that person made that report”.
Again Leahy protested that, “..., anybody who sees something that looks different: Hispanic, Black, someone wearing religious garb, they have a reasonable ground to turn them in under this. This is far too broad. Let it go to the Judiciary Committee--I guarantee we will have a hearing--but not on this”. What exactly does that mean?
On March 22, 2007 and May 14, 2007 Republican New Mexico Rep. Stevan Pearce introduced two “John Doe” protection measures (H.R. 1640 & H.R. 2291). On the same days as their introductions, both of these resolutions were referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary and have been buried there ever since.
Is that what Senator Leahy’s “promise” meant?
We will never find out because the Democrat’s “Death Wish Caucus” defeated S.A. 2340.
One might think that the unwillingness of Democrats to protect the average citizen from an on-going CAIR campaign of trying to silence its critics is nothing more than the pandering of vote-hungry Democrats. But it seems to go even beyond that level of moral bankruptcy.
In June of 2001, Democrat Senator Russell Feingold sponsored legislation entitled “End Racial Profiling Act of 2001” and reintroduced the same Act in 2004. On a parallel course, Michigan Democratic Rep. John Conyers repeatedly introduces the exact same legislation in the House. The usual Democratic suspects, including Pelosi, Kennedy, Dodd, Clinton et al, cosponsor these proposals.
Aside from the fact that such a law would grant CAIR an almost carte blanche weapon to silence its opposition, there is something even more abhorrent in the legislation’s language.
From the proposed legislation I quote, “In any action or proceeding to enforce this title against any governmental unit, the court may allow a prevailing plaintiff...reasonable attorneys' fees as part of the costs, and may include expert fees as part of the attorney's fee.”
Always follow the money trail.
Conversely, the “John Doe” legislation states that, “Any person or authorized official found to be immune from civil liability under this section shall be entitled to recover from the plaintiff all reasonable costs and attorney fees.”
As you can see, the Democratic sponsored legislation encourages litigious fishing expeditions while the “John Doe” legislation discourages the same.
The American Association for Justice, formerly the Association of Trial Lawyers of America (ATLA), is the fifth largest all time political donor. In the 2006 election cycle, 95% of this interest group’s contributions went to Democrats (the percentage only grows in Presidential years).
Why would you be surprised that the Dems charge headlong into a scheme that is trial-lawyer-friendly and national-security-weak while working to defeat legislation that is common-sense-good and trial-lawyer-unfriendly?
Hey...it’s a grand slam for the Dems. They can kowtow: (1) to their inflated sense of self-righteousness; (2) to the terrorists; (3) to one of their largest donors the trial lawyers and...(4) they get to screw the average law-abiding concerned American.
It seems that all CAIR has to do is keep crying to get its way.
What are a few thousand more dead Americans between friends....