Today marks the day that the Senate passed legislation that would allow families of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabia government. The legislation was approved by a voice vote from The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, which was followed by a threat from Riyadh to pull billions of dollars from the U.S. economy if the bill is executed. Even though the House still has yet to act on the legislation, it would give the families of victims the right to sue in U.S. courts for any role that the Saudi government might have had in the attacks in 2001. Thousands of people were killed from New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania, in the 9/11 attacks.
Senators John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) were the ones behind the sponsorship of the bill and Cornyn said that the passing of this bill is sending a message that the United States “will combat terrorism with every tool we have available and that the victims of terrorist attacks in our country should have every means at their disposal to seek justice.” Any foreign government that aids in terrorism against the United States ““will pay a price if it is proven they have done so,” said Schumer.
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The families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks have been desperately seeking the release of the U.S. intelligence that allegedly shows the involvement of the Saudi government in the attacks.
This is an extremely sensitive subject, especially for Obama, who’s administration is extremely against the legislation and the release of the information, which puts him against the Senate Democrats who are widely accepting of the bill. Obama’s administration is saying that this legislation opens up the door to overseas legal risks, stating that if we can sue other countries than other countries can sue us. Which to me, is a very interesting concept. I mean in the judicial system we are appointed the right to have a jury of our peers. Well if Saudi Arabia decides to sue the United States, who would our peers be? We can’t have a jury of American’s because of course we are going to say that we are innocent and that Saudi Arabia has no bias to their accusations. To me, it seems like an endless cycle that might end up doing more damage than good. That being said if Saudi Arabia is responsible for the disaster of 9/11 they should pay for what they have done.
Josh Earnest, a spokesman for the White House, said: “Given the concerns that we’ve expressed, it’s difficult to imagine the president signing this legislation.” Yet Schumer is confident that they have the two-thirds vote that would be necessary to veto the president’s decision.
It is unsure what the outcome of this bill could be. Some are fearing that it could cause retaliation from Saudi Arabia towards the United States although if the Saudi government did have a hand in 9/11 they would have no reason to retaliate with a lawsuit but their own pride and shame. We have never negotiated with terrorists that is the America motto, and if we find out that the Saudi government had something to do with the worst attack since Pearl Harbor then you can be that we will seek justice.