Press release Contacts:
Dean G. Skelos, New York State Senate, 9th District
Tom Dunham 518-455-3171 (Sen. Skelos)
Rory I .Lancman, New York State Assembly, 25TH District
Peter Flintoft 718-820-0241 (Assm. Lancman)
FRESH MEADOWS, NY (January 14, 2008) – Assemblyman Rory Lancman (D-Queens) and Senate Deputy Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R-Long Island) introduced the "Libel Terrorism Protection Act" ( S.6687/A.9652) on the front steps of The New York Public Library yesterday (the entire press conference is viewable here: (Part 1, Part 2).
The legislation will protect American authors and journalists from foreign lawsuits that infringe on their First Amendment rights. Senator Skelos and Assemblyman Lancman were joined by Senator Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), noted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams, Daniel Kornstein, Dr. Ehrenfeld's attorney, and Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, a New York author who was sued for libel in Britain by a Saudi businessman whom she identified in her book "Funding Evil – How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It" as a financial supporter of terrorist organizations.
Senator Skelos, Senator Golden, Assemblyman Lancman -- these three are trying to do something to protect our freedom of speech and of the press from Libel Terrorism. Dr. Ehrenfeld is a hero, for sure, but in this case she is also the instrument -- in addition to the support and appreciation we give Dr. Ehrenfeld, we need to applaud Senator Skelos, Senator Golden and Assemblyman Lancman.
Let's cross party lines and help these three, and let's remember their efforts when they are up for re-election. This is not about political party, it is about doing the right thing, and we need to cross party lines to support those public servants who are trying to do the right thing instead of the easy thing.
In Ehrenfeld v. Mahfouz, New York State's highest court held last month that it would not protect Dr. Ehrenfeld from a British lawsuit filed by Saudi billionaire Khalid Salim Bin Mahfouz, where she was ordered to pay over $225,000 in damages and legal fees to Bin Mahfouz, as well as apologize and destroy existing copies of her books.
Dr. Ehrenfeld sought a court order to protect her constitutional rights, but in a ruling with national First Amendment implications sending legal shockwaves throughout newsrooms across America, as well as potentially undermining our ability to expose terrorism's financial and logistical support networks, the New York Court of Appeals ruled that it does not have jurisdiction to protect Americans – on U.S. soil – from foreign defamation judgments, which contradict the U.S. First Amendment rights. "When American journalists and authors can be hauled into kangaroo courts on phony-baloney libel charges in overseas jurisdictions who don't share our belief in freedom of speech or a free press, all of us are threatened and our war effort is weakened," said Lancman. "This legislation will give New York's journalists, authors and press the protection and tools they need to continue to fearlessly expose the truth about terrorism and its enablers, and to maintain New York's place as the free speech capitol of the world," said Lancman.
"but in a ruling with national First Amendment implications sending legal shockwaves throughout newsrooms across America"
Shockwaves throughout newsrooms! ROFL!!
Those irrelevant feel-good MSM "opinion-makers" are the ones who are supposed to be fighting this battle, and they don't even know where the hell it is!
At least Assemblyman Lancman has a clue. Way to go, Assemblyman Lancman!
"The ability to expose the truth about international terrorist activities is critically-important to the global war on terror," said Senator Skelos. "These foreign courts are trampling the First Amendment protections guaranteed to American writers and journalists by our Constitution and this legislation will ensure that they cannot infringe upon our freedom," said Senator Skelos.
Exactly. If we aren't allowed to tell the truth about it, then the terrorists win.
Keep in mind that under Islamic law, dhimmis are not allowed to have weapons; obviously, much less are they allowed to have free speech and a free press.
That's why His Worshipfulness, Financier of Holy Terror, Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, is investing his time and money battling people like Dr. Ehrenfeld.
Bin Mahfouz should be investing his time and money building industry in his little Kingdom, so when their desert runs out of oil, these people will have something to sustain themselves.
Instead, the jihad rages on, and bin Mahfouz tries to trample the freedom of infidels. That's his contribution to Wahhabi hatred -- destruction of the rights of those who seek to be free, so they can feel themselves subdued as good dhimmis, and are unable to defend themselves.
Way to go, Senator Skelos!
"Under the Libel Terrorism Protection Act, writers and journalists would have foreign defamation suits declared unenforceable in New York unless the foreign law provides the same free speech protections guaranteed under our Constitution. In effect, we are giving New Yorkers a chance to have their fair day in court," said Senator Golden.
The way it should read is that such a civil suit from a foreign court is flat-out unenforceable in the United States -- or at least in New York, as these are New York legislators. If you want to collect on a libel lawsuit in territories subject to U.S. jurisdiction, then file and win your lawsuit in a U.S. court -- plain and simple.
Still, though, way to go Senator Golden!
Photo Libel Terrorism Protection Picture 1 (from left to right): Senator Martin Golden, Floyd Abrams, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, Senator Dean Skelos and Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld. (Daniel Kornstein, Dr. Ehrenfeld's attorney, is behind, in the hat.)
Photo Libel Terrorism Protection Picture 2 (from left to right): Senator Martin Golden, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld, and Senator Dean Skelos. (BTW: That's a beautiful scarf, Dr. E! A nice, cheerful shade of blue, eye-catching but not overwhelming.)
Photo Libel Terrorism Protection Picture 3 (from left to right): front row is Senator Martin Golden, Senator Dean Skelos, Assemblyman Rory Lancman, and Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld; back row is Floyd Abrams and (in the hat) Daniel Kornstein, Dr. Ehrenfeld's attorney.
Here are the URL's so you can see the press conference:
Visit Dr. Ehrenfeld's website to learn more about this bill (including how to contact these legislators) and about the case, and to make a fully tax-deductible contribution to the legal counterjihad.