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May 14, 2007

Where Is The Whistleblower Protection For The War On Terror?

Topics: War on Terror

Common sense would dictate that we didn't need it, yet as Captain Ed notes, ever since the Traveling Imams threatened a lawsuit against the people who notified security personnel of their concerns over their pre-flight actions, members of both parties in Congress have spoken of the need to offer legal protection against lawsuits for those who tip off law enforcement about potential terrorist activity.

Americans should not have to fear legal harassment for participating in the nation's security. Given that national security is one of the few tasks that everyone agrees belongs at the federal level, Congress has the duty and responsibility to protect people who assist in finding terrorists among us by calling the police or FBI, or airport security, about suspicious activity. The failure to close this avenue of intimidation will eventually result in dead bodies, and we will then hear all about people who thought the perpetrators suspicious but feared getting involved.
So, why is it, as Katherine Kersten notes, they have done little to push the legislation to the floor?
The bill's sponsors submitted it as an amendment to another bill in March. It passed 304-121. Every House Republican and 105 Democrats voted for the it. Opponents included Minnesota's Keith Ellison, Betty McCollum and Jim Oberstar.

So where is the bill now? It's stuck in a House-Senate conference committee. Last Friday, however, Sen. Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut Independent, and others introduced a standalone version of the bill, and this week sponsors plan to do the same in the House.

The stakes here are large. What would have happened at Fort Dix if the store clerk had hesitated to contact authorities because he feared a retaliatory lawsuit? We might be watching funerals on TV.

Keith Ellison is the by now well known first Muslim in Congress, Betty McCollum (D MN4) supported the Impeachment of Bush in the last session, and both Keith Ellison and Jim Oberstar are members of the "Out of Iraq" caucus. All are Democratic leftists.

Posted by Richard at May 14, 2007 2:15 PM

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