Saudi Arabia Condemns US Law Allowing Suits By 9/11 Attack Victims

07 October, 2016, 08:32 | Author: Brittany Bishop
  • Day after rejecting Obama's veto US lawmakers concerned about September 11 law

"It appears that the Obama administration is pulling out all the stops to keep this bill from moving forward before the president's visit to Riydah", he said.

The law, called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, which grants foreign states immunity from suits in USA courts, except when it comes to commercial activity. Other lawmakers acknowledged that they didn't pay much attention to the bill.

Obama, who vetoed the measure last week, said in a letter to Senate leaders on Tuesday that other countries could use JASTA to justify similar immunity exceptions to target USA policies and activities that they oppose. But regardless of what happens, any unintended consequences of Congress' veto override can certainly be mitigated through further legislation or good diplomacy. George W. Bush had four and Bill Clinton two. The White House called the override the "single most embarrassing thing that the United States Senate has done" in decades. Obama wrote in a letter delivered Tuesday.

Speaking after the Senate vote, Obama said he believed Congress' decision was a "mistake" and "basically a political vote". "And, frankly, I wish Congress here had done what's hard". "But I didn't expect it".

A USA congressional vote to allow the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudi Arabian government over alleged connections to the attacks could "open the floodgates" to retaliatory cases against the United States, according one legal expert.

The source elaborated that JASTA has been opposed publicly by many nations as well as dozens of American national security experts who see the dangers that JASTA represents.

The Senate passed the bill in May and the House followed on September 9, two days before the 15th anniversary of the 2001 attacks and a little more than a week before two new bombing plots in the NY and New Jersey area.

"All the states will stand by Saudi Arabia in every way possible", he said.


Doing so meant ignoring warnings from a president whose popularity has only inched up as he nears his term.

On Wednesday, Obama said the measure sets a "dangerous precedent" in worldwide law that could have repercussions for the United States.

Despite an expectation that Congress would override, the White House made a last-ditch attempt to fight it. He said the US would actually welcome downward pressure on the dollar and questioned what other markets are big enough to absorb what they could sell.

Obama's 11 previous vetoes were all sustained.

So Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) leveled at least partial blame on Obama.

Earnest said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and others claimed some lawmakers did not know what was in the legislation before they approved it.

Saudi interest groups have lobbied against the bill and said they'd taken steps since 2001 to disrupt terrorist activities in their country.

And they appear to have settled on Obama.

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