9/11 bill that allows US citizens to sue the Saudi government passes

Secretary of State John Kerry meets with King Salman of Saudi Arabia out on the tarmac. Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

Well, this is a bit awkward.

The controversial bill that allows US citizens to sue the Saudi Arabian government for its part in funding terrorism that may have led up to 9/11 was passed, then vetoed by Obama, and then Obama was immediately overridden, and so now it’s law.

So what does this mean? It means that anyone who was injured, or whose family was killed or injured in the 9/11 attacks, can now attempt to sue the Saudi government. The bill was created as a follow-up to the ‘28 pages‘, declassified material that may or may not have implicated the Saudi government because of its funding of terror. The reason I am using such a meaningless line is because the report itself is full of silly wording like this:

“These kind of connections could suggest incontrovertible evidence that there is support for these terrorists within the Saudi Government. On the other hand, it is also possible that further investigation of these allegations could reveal legitimate, and innocent, explanations for these associations.”

“…Some of the September 11 hackers, while in the United States, apparently had contacts with individuals who may be connected to the Saudi government.”

The people who authored the ‘28 pages‘ even said that a lot of the report “remains speculative and yet to be independently verified.”

President Obama, being a reasonable person, foresaw this being a bad idea, both in terms of foreign policy with a nation that is one of the US’s few allies in the Middle East, as well as being damaging in the precedent that it sets. So he vetoed it. But almost immediately, it was overturned by a large majority.

Forget the ridiculousness of a bill that allows people to sue when there is no concrete evidence yet, if families can sue the Saudi government for its ‘possible’ indirect role in the 9/11 attacks, who’s to stop the Vietnamese government from allowing people to sue the US government for its totally direct role in killing a large amount of innocent civilians in the Vietnamese war? Or how about the people injured by bombs from the Vietnamese war in Laos, a country that stayed neutral during the conflict? Or how about innocent people injured in interrogation camps in Iraq? To suggest that we can sue the Saudis for this, but not have to pay for our role in these incidents is complete and utter moral hypocrisy.

The Saudi government is also one of our allies, and there’s a reason that Obama and American leaders have always lavished undeserved praise on the restrictive and authoritarian government. If the Saudis have to pay out millions of dollars in lawsuits because of this, the damage to the alliance is going to be incontrovertible.

American congressmen and lawmakers apparently didn’t realize how bad of an idea this was, and are only now regretting their decision.

“Everybody was aware of who the potential beneficiaries were but nobody really had focused on the downside in terms of our international relationships,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said.

Others also chimed in on the failure, rubbing salt on the wounded knee of the absurdly popular bill that claimed a 97 to 1 victory in the Senate.

“[The veto override] is the single most embarrassing thing the Senate has done since 1983,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.


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