If you see something, hire a lawyer. Then, perhaps, you can say something.
That would be the new mantra for passenger vigilance — replacing the ubiquitous “If you see something, say something” — if Democrats get their way in Congress. They oppose an amendment to the homeland-security bill sponsored by Rep. Peter King (R., N.Y.), that would protect anyone from civil lawsuits who, in good faith, offers a tip about suspicious activity on mass transit.
The case of the “flying imams” prompted King’s amendment. On Nov. 20, 2006, six Islamic clerics were removed from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis after passengers complained about behavior they considered suspicious. The imams prayed before boarding the plane, didn’t sit in their assigned seats — arranging themselves in a pattern associated with the 9/11 hijackings — and asked for seatbelt extenders. Authorities questioned and eventually cleared them.
Twenty-first century America wouldn’t be a boon to grievance-mongers of all varieties if such an incident didn’t occasion a lawsuit.
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