Sunday, July 22, 2007

 

How Should We Reward People Who Turn in Terrorists?

Our great Democratic Senators say sue the bastards!!
Congressional Democrats today failed to include a provision in homeland security legislation that would protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack, according to House Republican leaders.

“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.
More here.
[The Dems] scuttled this amendment in committee in a way that makes them difficult to track down individually. That’s sneaky but it’s how Washington often works. Rep. Bennie Thompson is the most likely culprit, but it’s unlikely that he’s flying solo here.
We have programs in place in virtually every locality in which citizens can anonymously report suspected child abuse (indeed, in some states you are legally required to report suspected child abuse), cruelty to animals, illicit drug activity, DUI's (many law enforcement vehicles have phone numbers on them to call to report suspected DUI's), almost any other type of suspected criminal activity. But, the Democrats in the Senate don't think we should be able to report suspected terrorist activity without fear of losing our homes, savings, etc.

I am SO GLAD that the Dems now have a majority of the Senate so that they can show us their vision for the future: CAIR suing anyone who says a bad word about any suspected Islamic terrorist activity. Oh, happy day!

Congress now claims its worst rating ever. I agree with Instapundit that this is worrisome. Especially, since Congress either doesn't care what the American people want or think, or is too clueless to figure it out. After the immigration debacle, you'd think they would be trying a little harder. Do the Democrats think they are shoe ins for the next elections including the Presidency because Bush is such a failure.

Guess what, guys. Bush's ratings are nearly 2 and half times better than Congress'. Your presidential candidates are a bunch of babbling prima donnas except for Hillary who successfully rode to her position on her husband's coattails while claiming to be a liberated, independent woman.

What is wrong with these guys (Democrat Senators)? I don't know but it scares me a lot more than any potential takeover by Bush.

Hat tip to Instapundit and Michelle Malkin.

Comments:
re:
Congressional Democrats today failed to include a provision in homeland security legislation that would protect the public from being sued for reporting suspicious behavior that may lead to a terrorist attack, according to House Republican leaders.

So, we now take on the behaviors of people in the 'hood'... say noth'n, see noth'n ? Give these politician's a quarter so they can buy themselves a clue!

re: Approaval rating of 14%... That is not disucssed in congress. I have written my representatives several times. It falls on deaf ears.
A few points;
> they earned it.
> It is an issue they are not serving the needs of the voting public.
> Think of you have the same approval rating at work @ 14% - your boss would throuw you out to the the barnyard - pecking %^$#* with the chickens.
> last - the 'boss' Mr bush - his rating is at 30% ( down 2% over the last few weeks)
> OVER ALL Abysmal performance and time to vote as many as we can out.
YET THE issue is, D.C. pollutes people for some reason...something in the water or something.

last point - we cannot take our eye off the ball. these pollitcal windsocks would sell the ground you stand on if it would benefit them...


[ superman where are you now! ]
 
This is what happens when you make 'terrorism' a 'special crime,' instead of the one we have already prosecuted successfully for decades.

This brings up questions on several levels:

1. Alleged child abuse, cruelty to animals, illicit drug activities, DUI's and suspected criminal activities suspects are still protected by due process. At least in name, if not always by action. There is a very current and very public debate in this nation as to whether accused terrorists 'deserve' this process.

2. In plenty of cases, if anyone accuses you of a crime (like child abuse, sexual abuse, animal cruelty, DUI, illicit drugs etc) and you are brought to prosecution and that prosecution is later found out to be erroneous, you maintain the right to a redress of grievances usually through litigation.

I bet the Duke Lacrosse players are going to have a knock down litigation against one prosecutor named Nifong and the State of North Carolina, is what I'm saying, and rightfully so. They'd probably have a knock down case against their accuser as well.

3. The refusal will also protect law enforcement from having to deal with idiots who accuse people of terrorism for fun. If someone gets mad at neighbor Hassan, and erroneously reports him as a terrorist, and the government spends time and money researching the crime, and it is found out to be a hoax, I think that the government itself should be allowed to bring charges and even litigation against a false accuser. This law may have been worded to prevent that as well.

4. I don't see the actual text of the amendment anywhere in the linked articles. After the immigration bill fiasco, I don't particularly trust Congress or the Senate to actually read what is in front of them, much less the spinners over at the Washington Times.

Looks to me like this 'amendment' was only added for political purposes. But that's what you can do when Democrats are unable or unwilling to successfully describe or defend their own actions.

And it did appear to have passed the House by a rather comfortable margin. So this could be as simple as one Senator's shenanigans, holding out for some sort of earmark.
 
Patrick - I agree with the need for Constitutional due process for terrorists.

Child abuse, drug hotlines, etc. are misused all the time. False child abuse allegations are common in child custody proceedings. In some cases police can charge people with false reports, I believe that could be done in the Duke case if I remember correctly. Malicious accusations by private citizens can also be grounds for civil suits.

Suing Nifong, who acted in an official capacity, is much different than suing the disturbed woman who made the accusations. He knew better.

All that said, we need to be able to report suspected activity without fear of a lawsuit. Law enforcement officials should be able to determine if a real threat is present.
 
I have never heard of someone getting sued for legitimately reporting any suspicious activity of any kind. In such litigation, it becomes the burden of the plaintiff to prove that the defendant knowingly and willfully engaged in reporting false suspicions. As far as I'm aware, this is the case for reporting almost any suspicious activity.

I've been related to law enforcement for about 29 some odd years at this point, and, while I'm sure it has happened somewhere, litigation against reporters of suspicous activity seems a rather rare occurence.
 
Patrick - You have a long relationship with law enforcement. I hope you're on the right side of the law. :-)
 
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