John Doe Intimidation is Dead - Long Live the King

Marc Sheppard
In what must be celebrated as a major victory for both sanity and safety, the Improving America's Security Act of 2007 will, indeed, include liability protections for citizens reporting suspicious activity they fear may be linked to terrorism.

As you'll likely recall, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) responded to last November's Flying Imams Scam by backing civil litigation naming unnamed (John Doe) "whistleblowers" (who dutifully saw something and said something) as co-defendants.  While unabashedly frivolous, the potential hazards of such a suit were by no means lost on most security conscious Americans.

Thankfully, this included ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who quickly drafted a proviso to shield the vigilant from such blatant intimidation-by-tort.

King's so-called "John Doe provision" of the so-called "Sept. 11 Security Bill" passed the House in March by an overwhelming and decidedly bipartisan vote.  But the Senate proved a much harder sell, with many PC-minded Democrats echoing Pat Leahy's reckless concern that such an amendment "could invite racial and religious profiling."

The Senate Judiciary Chairman and other Tolerance-Over-Public-Safety Dems -- including Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers - have used every technical procedure at their disposal to scuttle this crucial anti-terrorism addition.

But, thanks in large part to King's resolve and willingness to accept silly "compromise language" specifying immunity only to "good-faith" informants - John Doe Lives.  What's more, whenever signed by the President, the bill will be retroactive to November, 2006 - affording immunity to those wrongfully persecuted by the bogus CAIR lawsuit.

In announcing the inclusion of his provision in both the House (HR 1) and Senate (S 4) versions of the bill today, the deservedly jubilant King proclaimed that:
"In a post-9/11 reality, vigilance is essential to security. Despite the Democratic opposition to this important homeland security measure, I'm thrilled to announce that common sense has prevailed and heroic Americans who report suspicious activity will be protected from frivolous lawsuits. The American people were heard and our country is safer because of it."
Hear hear -- and long live the (Peter) King.

In what must be celebrated as a major victory for both sanity and safety, the Improving America's Security Act of 2007 will, indeed, include liability protections for citizens reporting suspicious activity they fear may be linked to terrorism.

As you'll likely recall, The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) responded to last November's Flying Imams Scam by backing civil litigation naming unnamed (John Doe) "whistleblowers" (who dutifully saw something and said something) as co-defendants.  While unabashedly frivolous, the potential hazards of such a suit were by no means lost on most security conscious Americans.

Thankfully, this included ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Peter King (R-NY), who quickly drafted a proviso to shield the vigilant from such blatant intimidation-by-tort.

King's so-called "John Doe provision" of the so-called "Sept. 11 Security Bill" passed the House in March by an overwhelming and decidedly bipartisan vote.  But the Senate proved a much harder sell, with many PC-minded Democrats echoing Pat Leahy's reckless concern that such an amendment "could invite racial and religious profiling."

The Senate Judiciary Chairman and other Tolerance-Over-Public-Safety Dems -- including Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers - have used every technical procedure at their disposal to scuttle this crucial anti-terrorism addition.

But, thanks in large part to King's resolve and willingness to accept silly "compromise language" specifying immunity only to "good-faith" informants - John Doe Lives.  What's more, whenever signed by the President, the bill will be retroactive to November, 2006 - affording immunity to those wrongfully persecuted by the bogus CAIR lawsuit.

In announcing the inclusion of his provision in both the House (HR 1) and Senate (S 4) versions of the bill today, the deservedly jubilant King proclaimed that:
"In a post-9/11 reality, vigilance is essential to security. Despite the Democratic opposition to this important homeland security measure, I'm thrilled to announce that common sense has prevailed and heroic Americans who report suspicious activity will be protected from frivolous lawsuits. The American people were heard and our country is safer because of it."
Hear hear -- and long live the (Peter) King.