Investors Business Daily: Why we need the John Doe provision

IBD slams this one home:

But last week, as Republicans tried to have the “John Doe” protection included in final homeland security legislation crafted by a House-Senate conference committee to implement the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations, they found Democratic conferees blocking its inclusion.

“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,” said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. “I don’t see how you can have a homeland security bill without protecting people who come forward to report suspicious activity.”

Neither do we, and certainly the actions of the six imams last November qualified as suspicious. While at the gate, according to police reports and witnesses, the six made anti-American comments and provocatively chanted “Allah, Allah, Allah.” On the plane, they asked for seat-belt extenders with heavy metal buckles, even though none was obviously in need of them, and then dropped them at their feet.

Last time we checked, there was no tenet of Islam that required them to leave their assigned seats shortly before takeoff, a violation of federal rules, and occupy the exit and entry rows of a jet aircraft, a pattern associated with the 9/11 attacks. All six moved — two to front-row first class, two in the middle on an exit row and two in the rear of the cabin.

Was it racism to report these actions? Stereotyping? Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute notes: “A stereotype in this instance is nothing more than a compilation of facts about who has attacked American interests in the past and who, given what we know, is most likely to do so in the future.”

We wonder how the plot by the Fort Dix Six to attack a U.S. Army base might have unfolded if a courageous Circuit City employee hadn’t overcome similar fears to report a video showing the six engaged in paramilitary training while shouting “Allahu Akhbar!”

As a federal air marshal in Las Vegas observed: “The crew and passengers act as our additional eyes and ears on every flight. If they are afraid of reporting suspicious individuals out of fear of being labeled a racist or bigot, then terrorists will certainly use these fears to their advantage in future aviation attacks.”

What bothers us is why some Democrats want to let them.

That was my question, too.

Will the Democrats reverse course and get on board with the John Doe provision? Audrey Hudson has the latest updates.

Hat tip: Kim Priestap at Wizbang


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