As Democratic leaders crowed Wednesday about nearing completion of a bill to implement the 9/11 Commission recommendations, some civil liberty advocates and lawmakers were furious that conferees slipped in language that they said could substantially increase racial profiling across the country.
The measure would grant liability protection for people who divulge information to authorities about possible terrorist actions. It was included in the conference report at the insistence of Republicans, with support from a key independent and some Democrats.
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...
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said the group has concerns with language encouraging citizens to target people who are Muslim or are perceived to be Muslim. But the group does not have a problem with the provision's language that says it only affects those acting in good faith, he added.