The "International Cruise Victims" are up in arms again because of the final state of the new "Cruise Safety Act of 2012."
Before the bill was passed in its final form the FBI and the Coast Guard requested specific changes having to do with reporting crimes on ships.
The bill was originally written to mandate that all reported allegations of crimes on cruise ships would be made available to the public in a database. The ICV has long claimed there is a massive coverup conspiracy by the cruise industry to hide crime on cruise ships. They thought that a law mandating that all allegations
of crimes on ships being made available to the greater public in a database managed by the Coast Guard would lessen crime on ships, or at the least give future cruisers fair warning as to the "dangers" of even being on a cruise ship - in regards to crimes onboard.
At the time I wrote columns where I said I think it is wrong to make public mere allegations of crimes - because they are only allegations and people are innocent until proven guilty in this country.
Furthermore, it is a FACT that the cruise lines have always reported all crimes onboard to the FBI (which constitutionally has jurisdiction over crimes at sea against US citizens). It is the FBI which has the responsibility to follow up.
I have often said the anger of the ICV was misplaced in blaming the cruise lines for a "cover-up." First of all, cruise lines do not enforce laws, the FBI does, and secondly the cruise lines WERE (and still do) pass all crimes reported on ships on to the FBI.
So - we just found out the law was changed at the last minute so only closed cases are put in a public database - not mere allegations. Furthermore, this change was made by the congressional sponsors at the request of the FBI and Coast Guard - because these are open and ongoing investigations; (1) they don't want these allegations affecting the investigations in progress. (sometimes there is information that should be kept confidential), plus (2) one would be revealing names of very possibly innocent people and (3) "victims" with more information than they need may take matters into their own hands.
Now the International Cruise Victims is calling John Kerry a "traitor" and claiming he changed the law without their knowledge, etc... (the typical blame game).
Well, John Kerry's office just shot back with "We notified everyone of these changes in the law at least a year before the bill was finalized." And they followed up with "and by the way, thanks for the gratitude after we spent three years fighting this battle for you."
Here is the original report written by a crack AZ Republic reporter:
Law shields industry on cruise-ship crime information
And here is the link to today's response from John Kerry's office:
Cruise-ship article's details wrong