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John Doe Provision is Back in Security Bill

House Minority Leader John Boehner and Republican Congressman Peter King announced in a statement from Boehner's office that Republicans and Democrats have come to an agreement to include the John Doe provision in the homeland security bill:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Tonight, House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and U.S. Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY) released the following statement announcing the successful inclusion of the John Doe Protections language for terrorism tipsters in the 9/11 bill. King, the lead House Republican negotiator on the bill, sponsored the original Immunity Amendment which passed the House overwhelmingly in March.

"I'm pleased that Democratic leaders finally decided to do the right thing and agreed with Republicans that we should be encouraging Americans to report potential terrorist activity to the proper authorities," said Boehner. "This much-needed measure is critical in the effort to confront the significant threats posed by al Qaeda and other terrorists and protect the American people. I want to thank Reps. King and Pearce for their leadership on this issue and their efforts to make America safer."

"This is a huge win--a hard-fought victory for House Republicans and, more importantly, for the American people," King said. "In a post-9/11 reality, vigilance is essential to security. Despite 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."

The New York Sun is also reporting the same information:

A provision aimed at providing whistleblower protection to Americans who report suspicious activity has advanced on Capitol Hill despite opposition from some Democrats, as top Republicans announced an agreement last night.

The House Republican leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, and Rep. Peter King, a Republican of Long Island, said last night that they had reached agreement to include what has become known as the "John Doe" amendment in the final version of a major homeland security bill to implement the recommendations of the commission established to investigate the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

The bill is currently in a House-Senate conference committee, and a deal will be announced today.


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Comments (73)

Good. Let's see how the De... (Below threshold)
kim:

Good. Let's see how the Democrats go now. Two very high profile Democrats, Clinton and Schumer, already voted with the Republicans on this, because New Yorkers don't want to be told not to report suspicious packages under train seats. Now we'll find out which Democrats feel safe enough from terrorism that they can demagogue about race, as is their usual approach to this issue.

It'll be the ones without commuter trains in their districts. Or sentient voters.
====================

Jim, Jim, the world is goin... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Jim, Jim, the world is going to end.

Seriously, I am glad the dims came to their senses. ww

WW, they haven't come to th... (Below threshold)
kim:

WW, they haven't come to their senses; only Schumer and Clinton have, because they are very vulnerable if someone blows up a train in New York, and how likely is that?
=======================

OK, OK, WW, it would help i... (Below threshold)
kim:

OK, OK, WW, it would help if I'd read. There is still some Democratic opposition.
===================

OMG! What's jim gonna do?<... (Below threshold)

OMG! What's jim gonna do?

I just thank God that even ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I just thank God that even though they are in the minority the Repubicans are still able to protect us from the terrorists, the Democrats, and the trial lawyers.

Jim jumped the gun on the D... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Jim jumped the gun on the Democratic Talking Points, didn't he?

Naw, he was right in there ... (Below threshold)
kim:

Naw, he was right in there with almost all of the Democrats. I consider it dirty pool that Schumer and Clinton didn't convince the rest of those Democrats, and jim, what a stupid political maneuver it is to criminalize the good faith acts of our citizens and voters. It didn't sneak by mantis.
==================================

Alright, alright, tortify i... (Below threshold)
kim:

Alright, alright, tortify it.
=============

jim probably dwells in the ... (Below threshold)
kim:

jim probably dwells in the special circle of Hell reserved for those who can ingest the crap from above, but not digest it.
==================================

wwWHATT! You mean people wh... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

wwWHATT! You mean people who acted suspicious and were investigated for it can't sue the people who reported them!!?!

What's this world coming to!?

Oh yeah, it's senses.

kim, this is not the first ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

kim, this is not the first time Jim and his "opinion" was proven wrong. Like a said, he is a one trick pony. Same thing day in and day out. Bush lied, yada, yada, yada. So boring. So uninspiring. So devoid of morality. So pitiful. So, who cares. ww

Nice.Someone just ca... (Below threshold)
Robert:

Nice.
Someone just called the FBI and told them AG Gonzalez is a terrorist!

Which version is it? Is it... (Below threshold)
jpe:

Which version is it? Is it the version with the good faith clause or not? The version with that clause is worthless legislation.

Someone just called the FBI... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Someone just called the FBI and told them AG Gonzalez is a terrorist!
-------------------------------------
Hopefully the FBI is smart enough to ignore this call. On the other hand, the scary is that some liberal dem like Ramsey Clark (who happened to work for our notorious ex-president Carter) may volunteer to defend the rights of terrorirsts to conduct preattack security probes. These libs may be even willing to help sue any poor old American couple who dare to report these suspicious activities to the FBI.

http://www.nbc10.com/news/13746985/detail.html?rss=phi&psp=news

FYI, it's the "good faith" ... (Below threshold)
jpe:

FYI, it's the "good faith" version. The question of good faith is a material fact for a jury to decide, so a judge can't dismiss the suit immediately, and harassing lawsuits are still fully available to plaintiffs.

W00t. There are enough lud... (Below threshold)

W00t. There are enough ludicrous suites in this country already... having guilty people sue those who identified them would just define "idiotic".

WW, you hit the nail on the... (Below threshold)
kim:

WW, you hit the nail on the head with your 12:50 post. It is boring and uninspiring. It is the standard Democratic talking points. Ask mantis.
===============================

kim, it seems like you're b... (Below threshold)
mantis:

kim, it seems like you're becoming more obsessed with me than with Wilson. Ok, that's not possible. Still, disturbing.

Anyway, while it's a nice store you've got, I'm not buying.

i'm n ur tackle box eatin u... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

i'm n ur tackle box eatin ur bait!

This is a good deal notwith... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

This is a good deal notwithstanding the "Good faith" provision.

In fact, it is probably better with it in there to prevent harassment both ways. I would not want anyone to have immunity to harass me in bad faith.

Not perfect but a step forward.

What we need, in general, is a provision that the loser pays both sides' costs. This would go a long way to fixing trivial suits in all sorts of cases.

Let them vote no on this an... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Let them vote no on this and watch the demacratic heads roll this would be bad news for them

So LoveAmericaImmigrant thi... (Below threshold)
Robert:

So LoveAmericaImmigrant thinks the FBI should ignore notices of terrorists in the USA.

For an Immigrant, you're a typical American. Too lazy to save his own country.
No wonder the Constitution is held in the same esteem as the paper I got out of my fortune cookie.

So LoveAmericaImmigrant thi... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

So LoveAmericaImmigrant thinks the FBI should ignore notices of terrorists in the USA.

For an Immigrant, you're a typical American. Too lazy to save his own country.
No wonder the Constitution is held in the same esteem as the paper I got out of my fortune cookie.
-------------------------------------
Not sure you are trying to fake a parody of silly liberal talking points. Try to come up with a better example than the silly one you have. Given that I am not smart enough to fully master the English language, I still can see through your silly little fake example there. So it says much about your reasoning capacity. Still what do you think about this scary situation?

some liberal dem like Ramsey Clark (who happened to work for our notorious ex-president Carter) may volunteer to defend the rights of terrorirsts to conduct preattack security probes. These libs may be even willing to help sue any poor old American couple who dare to report these suspicious activities to the FBI.

http://www.nbc10.com/news/13746985/detail.html?rss=phi&psp=news

"For an Immigrant, you're a... (Below threshold)
D-Hoggs:

"For an Immigrant, you're a typical American. Too lazy to save his own country."

Yup, we sure have proven that over the years huh. And all those gen. y-ers in the military too, damned lazy bums the lot of 'em.

There are enough ludicro... (Below threshold)

There are enough ludicrous suites in this country already... having guilty people sue those who identified them would just define "idiotic".

I think you made a very important point there. Anyone who gets reported for "acting suspicious" is guilty, by definition. I mean, I read about this in a book about the old Soviet Union under Stalin. When someone reported you, and the big black car pulled up in front of your house, that meant you were guilty. They wouldn't have taken you away if you weren't guilty. You wouldn't have been reported unless you had done *something* wrong.

I think we need to abandon this idea that guaranteeing legal immunity for Americans who tell the FBI that their neighbor or co-worker is "acting suspicious" would encourage Americans to accuse their neighbors and acquaintances of "acting suspicious" to get revenge for some personal slight. I mean, U.S. troops have conducted thousands of house to house searches in Iraq, based on intelligence provided them by Iraqis, and if people were going to give our troops bad tips to get back at someone they didn't like, then most of those house to house raids would have come up empty, right?

Uh..oops. Never mind. Bad example. I'll come up with another one.

Kathy:I t... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Kathy:

I think you made a very important point there. Anyone who gets reported for "acting suspicious" is guilty, by definition. I mean, I read about this in a book about the old Soviet Union under Stalin. When someone reported you, and the big black car pulled up in front of your house, that meant you were guilty.

Excellent example! Except for of course, it being the old Communist Soviet Union under Stalin.

You worried that people in black cars are going to show up and take you away? And further, are you really worried that everyone is going to be pointing fingers just because it's apparently wicked fun to do...like when you have a difficult time explaining to the investigators why there is in fact nothing at all suspicious about the man you called them about?

The provision protects people from being sued, not from getting in trouble by making a bogus claim.

That pesky "In Good Faith" thing rears it's ugly head again.

and if people were going to give our troops bad tips to get back at someone they didn't like, then most of those house to house raids would have come up empty, right?

Rather large assumption on your part.


What we need, in g... (Below threshold)
jpe:
What we need, in general, is a provision that the loser pays both sides' costs.

I know I couldn't afford legal costs up front to protect myself from a nuisance suit, even if I could get reimbursed. That's why I lean toward thinking the def. should get the option of DoJ counsel or something. If the suit really is a nuisance suit, then even one of their first year atty's should be able to bat it away easily enough.

Rather large assumption ... (Below threshold)

Rather large assumption on your part.

It's not an assumption at all. It comes straight from the mouths of U.S. troops themselves. The vast majority of the thousands of house to house searches turned up nothing, because they were based on bad intelligence. Maybe sometimes it was an honest mistake, but there was lots of reporting people because of personal grudges.

Excellent example! Excep... (Below threshold)

Excellent example! Except for of course, it being the old Communist Soviet Union under Stalin.

Exactly right. It could never happen here, no matter how much we tweak the law to encourage Americans to report on their friends and neighbors. And if it did happen here, it would be because people really would be guilty if they were reported here. There, in the Soviet Union, people *believed* that just being turned in was an indication of guilt even though it wasn't necessarily true. Here, if someone was reported, it really would mean they were guilty of terrorist activity, because Americans would never make those kinds of mistakes.

Kathy I think you were a bi... (Below threshold)

Kathy I think you were a bit over-reactive in your post. The fact is, unless one's behavior indicates a strong possibility of immediate danger, no big black cars are going to just pull up in front of someone's house. This is not the USSR.

When something suspicious is reported, there's an investigative period to determine whether the claim has merit, if, as I said, there is no indication of immediate and dire danger. It's not like I call the police and tell them that there's an inordinate amount of traffic going in and out of my neighbor's house which might very well indicate he's selling drugs and then wait by the window for the "big black car" to pull up and haul them off.

You cannot compare this to the USSR or Iraq. It's a lopsided comparison.

Exactly right. It could nev... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Exactly right. It could never happen here, no matter how much we tweak the law to encourage Americans to report on their friends and neighbors.
-------------------------------------
Is this the justification to make sure that the terrorists will have the right to conduct preattack security probes and to sue Americans for daring to report to the FBI?

Kathy,
Since you are willing to exaggerate to the extreme the extent of the John Doe legislation, then you must want the other extreme. You would rather risk another 9/11 attack to ensure that the terrorists have the maximum protection of the law.

You worried that people ... (Below threshold)

You worried that people in black cars are going to show up and take you away?

No, of course not. I just told you, things like that could never happen here, no matter how much we shape the law to make it easier for them to happen. No American would ever jump to conclusions about neighbors or acquaintances or co-workers just because the law made it easy for them to do so. Americans just are not like that. We've got a different kind of human nature. We're just hard-wired differently from people in the rest of the world.

And further, are you really worried that everyone is going to be pointing fingers just because it's apparently wicked fun to do...like when you have a difficult time explaining to the investigators why there is in fact nothing at all suspicious about the man you called them about?

Well, there is this idea out there that if you give people an incentive to abuse power by taking away the negative consequences for such abuse, some people will abuse the power. But even if that were true, I'm sure it would only be a few people. Most Americans would never take advantage of such an opportunity to lie and not have to be punished for it. We Americans are not subject to those kinds of ethical weaknesses. You can encourage bad behavior all you like, but it's not going to make anyone do the wrong thing.

You can encourage bad behav... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

You can encourage bad behavior all you like, but it's not going to make anyone do the wrong thing.
-------------------------------------
Even after 9/11, being vigilant when flying is now considered bad behavior? In essense, you don't want the people to help protect the country from terrorism?

So are you trying to encourage bad behaviors from the terrorists and their sympathizers? Again, you would rather risk another 9/11 attack or worse and the terrorists having the maximum advantage in attacking us than to give the airline travelers legal protection from lawsuits?

So Kathy thinks that the so... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

So Kathy thinks that the soldiers doing house to house searches that did not always produce is not because of bad intelligience or the fact the terrorists move frequently, but because neighbors have grudges. That is one huge leap.

Kathy, what size is your tin foil hat? ww

Since you are willing to... (Below threshold)

Since you are willing to exaggerate to the extreme the extent of the John Doe legislation, then you must want the other extreme. You would rather risk another 9/11 attack to ensure that the terrorists have the maximum protection of the law.

No, LoveAmerica. This is exactly my point. There is no danger that people will file false reports out of malice, even if they know they can do so without adverse consequences. Therefore, when someone *is* reported, that would mean they were guilty. It would have to mean that, because no one would be accused of suspicious activity unless they were, actually, engaged in suspicious activity. And since there would never be any "false positives" so to speak, this would make us much safer from another 9/11-type attack. I mean, it's not as if Americans are so terrified of another 9/11 that they would jump the gun on the least little thing because they lose nothing by doing so -- there are no legal consequences for being wrong. It's not as if anyone would turn someone in out of malice, knowing they could never get in trouble for it. Now, if either of those things *could* happen, it might be correct to say that a law absolving people of all legal consequences for turning others in is actually detrimental to our security, because it would encourage so many false reports, which would keep the FBI hunting down every lead they got, thus making it more likely they would miss the real thing.

But since abuses like that would never happen, and since anyone who is informed on absolutely will and must be guilty, that is not something we have to be concerned about.

There are thousands of terr... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

There are thousands of terrorists out there trying to attack the UK and the US homeland. So people like Kathy would rather the terrorists have the maximum advantage to cause another 9/11 attack or worse.

http://counterterrorismblog.org/2007/07/uk_terror_july_22.php

Kathy, I laid out t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Kathy,
I laid out the two worst case scenarios:

Scenario#1: The wrongly accused would suffer inconvenience of being investigated by the FBI and delayed in their flights. A silly example given by Robert can be laughed off by our FBI.

Scenario#2: the terrorists would have the maximum protection to conduct preattack probe. They only need to succeed once to cause another 9/11 or worse. A probe is a false-positive in your view.

So in the end, you would rather have scenario#2.

So Kathy thinks that the... (Below threshold)

So Kathy thinks that the soldiers doing house to house searches that did not always produce is not because of bad intelligience or the fact the terrorists move frequently, but because neighbors have grudges. That is one huge leap.

Like I said, it's not a leap at all, and it's not what I think, it's what U.S. troops who have done thousands of these searches have said. And it's not that the house to house searches did not always produce what the intelligence said they would produce -- it's that they almost never did. And you're right, it is because of bad intelligence -- bad because it's motivated by malice and not facts.

You seem to be telling me that you don't believe what the Americans who have done these searches are saying. Do you think our troops are liars, or just dumb?

And it's not that the house... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

And it's not that the house to house searches did not always produce what the intelligence said they would produce -- it's that they almost never did.
-------------------------------------
How would we get the good intelligence to get AlQ on the run in Iraq right now? Let 's say every time an Iraqui give us an intelligence that doesn't produce the catch, then they will be sued in court to the last dime. Who is going to give us the next intelligence tip? Is this another version of the "perfection fallacy"?

http://www.americanthinker.com/2007/07/the_surge_succeeds.html

Gosh, that Kathy's clever.<... (Below threshold)
Yeah, we get your point, already.:

Gosh, that Kathy's clever.

More sarcasm, please! It's not like it gets tiresome or anything.

John Doe is a good idea. Sh... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

John Doe is a good idea. Should we complement John Doe with another legislation to award people for positive results from a tip. Folks who gave the tip to the FBI to stop the Fort Dix attack for example should get some significant monetory reward.

Thanks for all your respons... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Thanks for all your responses, Kathy.

I think you're misunderstanding the provision, it's intention and it's ramifications on everyday life. We had a huge thread on this just yesterday.

I also still think that your Soviet comparison is off.

No American would ever jump to conclusions about neighbors or acquaintances or co-workers just because the law made it easy for them to do so.

You went on about this a few different ways, essentially trying to put words in my mouth, as if I'm trying to say that somehow Americans are ethically and morally superior.

Not so. It was a good effort though, I appreciated the subtle sarcasm...well done.

As I said before, I think you've misunderstood and are overreacting as a result. Check out Jay's thread from yesterday.

I fully expect, once everything is in place, and there isn't mass hysteria with millions of people calling in reports of suspicious people (because apparently this provision makes it "EASY"! WOOHOO!)...that you'll come back and apologize for trying to misrepresent everyone's argument.

The wrongly accused woul... (Below threshold)

The wrongly accused would suffer inconvenience of being investigated by the FBI and delayed in their flights.

That's not the worst scenario. And I don't know why you seem to be assuming these turn-ins would always be at airports. I'm not sure where you got that idea from. In any case, the worst scenario, or one of many worst scenarios, would be the FBI demanding entrance to someone's home in the middle of the night, arresting them, throwing them in detention for questioning (using "enhanced" interrogation techniques, of course), and letting them languish there for weeks or months or longer, because some neighbor had a grudge and reported "suspicious activity." Obviously, there doesn't have to be any evidence or proof. All the law says is that people can report "suspicious activity" and be immunized from lawsuits.

...the terrorists would have the maximum protection to conduct preattack probe. They only need to succeed once to cause another 9/11 or worse. A probe is a false-positive in your view.

Well, you know, there is this one minor little detail you are forgetting, which is that there is no law *against* reporting suspicious activity to the FBI, and indeed people have done that many times. The difference with this law is the inclusion of a specific provision which absolves people who report suspicious activity of any adverse legal consequences if the information is untrue -- even if it's flagrantly untrue. Even if it's clearly maliciously motivated. That is clearly conducive, not just to abuse, but also to flooding the system with frivolous reports that make it harder to track down the real threats. So I think it's you who wants another 9/11 attack.

the worst scenario, or one ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

the worst scenario, or one of many worst scenarios, would be the FBI demanding entrance to someone's home in the middle of the night, arresting them, throwing them in detention for questioning
------------------------------------
I thought in order to enter someone 's house you need to have a warrant from a judge with enough evidence to show a probable cause. So, Heralder is correct that you are not talking about America.


The difference with this law is the inclusion of a specific provision which absolves people who report suspicious activity of any adverse legal consequences if the information is untrue -- even if it's flagrantly untrue. Even if it's clearly maliciously motivated.
------------------------------------
In other words, the terrorists can conduct preattack probe (which is a false positive in your view) and sue people to the last dime. I thought Heralder brought to your attention about the "good intention" clause in John Doe already.

That is clearly conducive, not just to abuse, but also to flooding the system with frivolous reports that make it harder to track down the real threats. So I think it's you
who wants another 9/11 attack.
------------------------------------
It didn't seem to happen in Iraq where the Iraqui didn't have to face legal cost when they didn't give always positive intelligence. As a matter of fact, it seems to help get AlQ on the run. It didn't flood our troops with all the bad tips .

In the end, you would rather risk another 9/11 with the terrorists having maximum advantage to conduct preattack probes.

I appreciated the subtle... (Below threshold)

I appreciated the subtle sarcasm...well done.

Thank you.

As I said before, I think you've misunderstood and are overreacting as a result. Check out Jay's thread from yesterday.

I will check it out.

I fully expect, once everything is in place, and there isn't mass hysteria with millions of people calling in reports of suspicious people (because apparently this provision makes it "EASY"! WOOHOO!)...that you'll come back and apologize for trying to misrepresent everyone's argument.

I'm not trying to misrepresent anyone's argument. I think you sincerely do not see the possible horrendous consequences of telling people, in essence, that they can file false reports and not get in trouble. I think it's a terrible precedent to set, and that it will come back to haunt us.

As they say, time will tell.

I thought in order to en... (Below threshold)

I thought in order to enter someone 's house you need to have a warrant from a judge with enough evidence to show a probable cause.

Not anymore, LoveAmerica.

Hi, I saw dangerous and sus... (Below threshold)
jdoe:

Hi, I saw dangerous and suspicious activity and I'm concerned enough to report it to authorities, but f it if I might get sued.

I need my congressman to make a new government program/skirt I can hide behind in case I make a mistake that damages someone, I shouldn't be held accountable for my actions by my peers, i need the government to protect me.

This is not the USSR...yet.... (Below threshold)
Robert:

This is not the USSR...yet.

Kathy:the wors... (Below threshold)
marc:

Kathy:

the worst scenario, or one of many worst scenarios, would be the FBI demanding entrance to someone's home in the middle of the night, arresting them, throwing them in detention for questioning (using "enhanced" interrogation techniques, of course), and letting them languish there for weeks or months or longer, because some neighbor had a grudge and reported "suspicious activity."

Hoot! And "they" call some of those that post here scardy cats and hide under tables because of terrrrrrrorists!

So, tell me, what odds do you give in a country of 300 million that your scenario would actually occur? (forgetting for the moment you fail to consider the possibility of a warrant being needed to enter anyones home)

I thought in order to enter... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I thought in order to enter someone 's house you need to have a warrant from a judge with enough evidence to show a probable cause.

Not anymore, LoveAmerica.

-------------------------------------
How? Unless we are not talking about facts any more.

Hoot! And "they" call some ... (Below threshold)
johnd:

Hoot! And "they" call some of those that post here scardy cats and hide under tables because of terrrrrrrorists!

So, tell me, what odds do you give in a country of 300 million that your scenario would actually occur

Um, I am not "afraid" that the FBI will do this to me. The FBI does on occasion roust and inconvenience the wrong people.

I do not want to be subborning government activity and this legislation that is similar to the former Soviet Union.

I have no right to bust up your stuff, endanger your family and possibly do physical harm to you on the anonymous words of an immune alleged do gooder, and the constitution makes it clear that the government shouldn't have that authority either. We are promised our life and liberty, when someone's actions deny us some liberty or our life we can seek justice.

Anyone who gets re... (Below threshold)
Anyone who gets reported for "acting suspicious" is guilty, by definition.

Uh, no.

Being guilty requires a judge or jury to determine that you committed wrongdoing/something illegal/etc.

The accusations will simply be investigated... oddly enough, like any accusation is today. If the accusation is found to be false, the accused can sue your happy little pants off. Otherwise, you are protected from the possible (and very likely) repercussions of reporting a criminal.

I still have yet to see how this is a bad thing.

Hoot! And "they" call some ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Hoot! And "they" call some of those that post here scardy cats and hide under tables because of terrrrrrrorists!
-------------------------------------
Not sure you try to fake a parody of liberal "courage". This may help explain how this scenario may happen

some liberal dem like Ramsey Clark (who happened to work for our notorious ex-president Carter) may volunteer to defend the rights of terrorirsts to conduct preattack security probes. These libs may be even willing to help sue any poor old American couple who dare to report these suspicious activities to the FBI.

http://www.nbc10.com/news/13746985/detail.html?rss=phi&psp=news

I do not want to be subborn... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

I do not want to be subborning government activity and this legislation that is similar to the former Soviet Union.
------------------------------------
Nor sure again that you are trying to fake a parody of liberal fantasy land. Someone must be really clueless to say such a thing.

johnd:I do not... (Below threshold)
marc:

johnd:

I do not want to be subborning [sic] government activity and this legislation that is similar to the former Soviet Union.

Notice how 99.99% of the arguments against this provision are hypothetical?

OMG the frickin gobment is goin' to tear up my house based on a complaint accuseing them of suspicious behavior while in a train station, airport or the neighborhood Baskins & Robbins.

No their not, as linoage points out, it will be investigated and found to warrant further action.

If the accusation is fou... (Below threshold)

If the accusation is found to be false, the accused can sue your happy little pants off.

You are correct. I just found this in Congress's online publication, "The Hill."

"The final provision is not as far-reaching as previous versions. It would only apply to people giving information in good faith and would not protect those making false statements with "reckless disregard" for the truth, aides said."

But NOTE that this "good faith" clause was not in the earlier version, and that it only was added because of Democratic objections to the sweeping nature of the original John Doe provision, which would have immunized anyone who reported "suspicious activity" from legal consequences without any language to protect people from malicious, willfully false accusations.

How? Unless we are not t... (Below threshold)

How? Unless we are not talking about facts any more.

Under the so-called "Patriot" Act, government authorities can enter and search your home at any time, whether you are there or not, without having to get a warrant or establish probable cause, and they don't have to tell you about it after the fact, either -- if those authorities say that the search is part of a terrorism investigation. The government does NOT have to show probable cause that the person whose home they are searching is involved in terrorist activity, or has any connection to terrorism. They just have to say so. And presto, your home can be broken into and searched with no warrant and no probable cause.

Well, I don't think folks l... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Well, I don't think folks like jim and Kathy need to worry about black cars and MIB arriving to cart them off.
No, the folks coming to their doors will be wearing white and will be bearing over-sized butterfly nets.

Still the dems took out the... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Still the dems took out the "good faith" legislation out of the homeland security bill. So no question that the Dems don't want to pass this recommendation from the 9/11 committee at all despite their rhetoric about respecting the 9/11 committee.

Still this doesn't excuse the clueless rhetoric that once you are accused, you are automatically guilty and the FBI can break into your home at will. The comparison to the Soviet Union is an overreach at best. It shows that people don't really know what the Soviet Union is about. It is as clueless as the comparison of Bush to Hitler.

But it is interesting to note that the comparison to the Soviet Union seems to pop up by a number of posters today. Looks like this is a talking point from a central location somewhere.

Let 's put to rest of the h... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Let 's put to rest of the honesty of the dems wrt this "John Doe" legislation

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=YzU1NjliMGI4NTJiYzcwYTRlOWJhYTI5NDI1ZDU4NjQ=
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.

Under the so-called "Patrio... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Under the so-called "Patriot" Act, government authorities can enter and search your home at any time, whether you are there or not, without having to get a warrant or establish probable cause, and they don't have to tell you about it after the fact, either -- if those authorities say that the search is part of a terrorism investigation.
-------------------------------------
And you still have the right to SUE the FBI or seek redress for mistreatment. John Doe just protects the tipster. It doesn't protect the FBI agent from law suits. Still you do have a good point about this area of the Patriots Act that needs stronger judicial oversight.

*Kicking all rocks in sight... (Below threshold)
Ran:

*Kicking all rocks in sight*.. JIM!..JIM!.. who took Jim?

it's a simple premise, the ... (Below threshold)
jond:

it's a simple premise, the right of US citizens to life and liberty. No one can legally abridge that right in favor of the government, other citizens or aliens.

It is not a "liberal" right. It is interesting how no one here addresses the actual loss of a previously available remedy when someone elses erroneous anonymous, immune actions (however well meaning) may legally impede your liberty or endanger your life.

No one addresses that this is a new law giving government additional power over individuals of their choosing. I thought you conservatives were against all laws that did that?

Go ahead and feeel all righteous and ridicule those who disagree with you about this law. I see it makes you feel all knowing to hold up your opinion as fact. X or Y will be the "worst case", no negative outcomes will result. Comparisons to similar policies in totalitarian governments are ridiculous. Oh those people who disagree with you are such idiots!

Why not simply argue by estimating the magnitude of positive outcomes of this law vs the smallness of the possible pitfalls of it that people who disagree with you point out?

Instead you state with certainty that the brand new law is a victory of intelligence over stupidity by blatantly speculating the unknown future of it as fact.

I am adding the by now thousands of government legislated, erected and illuminated roadsigns reading "report suspicious activity" that I've read, to the now discarded individual luggage possesion interrogation ritual that tens of millions endured before 9/11/01 at ticket counters to my personal dustbin of feel good ideas from people who I think don't like to admit they have very few good ideas on how to prevent terrorism, but think we have to do "something" to make "the public" feel safer. I don't want to spend a nickel or lose a bit of freedom making myself or anyone "feel" safe.

Be honest, that's usually the intended result of all of these beuracratic solutions to a very non beuracratic deadly danger.

it's a simple premise, the ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

it's a simple premise, the right of US citizens to life and liberty. No one can legally abridge that right in favor of the government, other citizens or aliens.
------------------------------------
So we don't need laws to protect you against murderers? And this law is to help protect you from the terrorist mass murderers despite all your cheap talk. The rest of your post is just another example of cluelessness.

Under the so-calle... (Below threshold)
Under the so-called "Patriot" Act, government authorities can enter and search your home at any time, whether you are there or not, without having to get a warrant or establish probable cause, and they don't have to tell you about it after the fact, either -- if those authorities say that the search is part of a terrorism investigation. The government does NOT have to show probable cause that the person whose home they are searching is involved in terrorist activity, or has any connection to terrorism. They just have to say so. And presto, your home can be broken into and searched with no warrant and no probable cause.

Uh, there is no such provision in the PATRIOT Act. Someone is really very very confused. Where does this nonsense come from?

jond, your comment makes no... (Below threshold)

jond, your comment makes no sense to me, there is no abridgment of any liberty interests or other civil rights in the John Doe amendment.

You are going to have to fill that argument out before I'll be able to figure out what you think you are saying.

But NOTE that this... (Below threshold)
But NOTE that this "good faith" clause was not in the earlier version...

Uhhh.... yes, it was.

Reading comprehension must be a shortcoming of 99.99% of the liberals out there.

I'm glad I waited to say so... (Below threshold)

I'm glad I waited to say something before I read all the comments. Linoge said it for me. That the provision was put back in I think is simply a matter of some Democrats coming to their senses when they considered the "chilling effect" argument they brought forward over their concern for corporate whistle-blowers. They should show at least as much concern for those who report behavior that could result in the deaths of many. I mean, that's just common sense.

Limoge writes: "Reading com... (Below threshold)

Limoge writes: "Reading comprehension must be a shortcoming of 99.99% of the liberals out there."

Together with an overactive fantasy life given the commentary we've seen.

Ah well. I guess I'm too li... (Below threshold)
jim:

Ah well. I guess I'm too liberal for the Democratic party.

:)

I hope that the Democrats a... (Below threshold)
jim:

I hope that the Democrats allowing this provision to come back in, means that they are receiving something else which is worth it. Either that, or they're expecting Bush to veto this bill, and didn't want him to have this provision's removal as an excuse.

Uhhh.... yes, it w... (Below threshold)
jpe:
Uhhh.... yes, it was.

No, it wasn't. Go back and read the House version, which was the original one: it only requires that the person reporting not say anything they know to be false. That's the only requirement - they could be acting in bad faith, and they're still immunized from a civil suit.




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