Bill Passes House Allowing Citizens to Sue Saudi Arabia for 9/11 — But It’s a Cruel Hoax

From Jay Syrmopoulos:

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives, following the lead of the Senate, has passed a bill allowing Americans to sue Saudi Arabia over 9/11 only days before the attack’s 15th anniversary. The measure passed unanimously, without objection or opposition, but President Obama has promised to veto the bill.

House Resolution 3815, also known as the “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” or JASTA, creates an exception to sovereign immunity created by a 1976 law, which currently prohibits U.S. citizens from suing foreign countries for terrorism that kills Americans on U.S. soil. The unanimous vote in the House gives the Republican-dominated legislature the ability to override a promised veto from the White House.

U.S. House approves by voice vote bill allowing 9/11 lawsuits against foreign countries & nationals. pic.twitter.com/tInCq0fq4m

— CSPAN (@cspan) September 9, 2016

 

The sovereign immunity law has been invoked to guard Saudi Arabia from numerous lawsuits related to their involvement in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Fifteen out of 19 men, who are alleged to have hijacked commercial airliners and used them as missiles to target the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, were citizens of Saudi Arabia.

For all the excitement about the House’s unanimous passage of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), following a similar unanimous vote in the U.S. Senate in late May, it turns out that the bill offers nothing more than an illusion of the prospect of justice and accountability. It is, indeed, a cruel hoax.

A last-minute amendment to the final draft of the bill included a provision that allows for the U.S. attorney general and secretary of state to stop any pending legislation against the Saudis. The section that was quietly inserted into the legislation — “Stay of Actions Pending State Negotiations” …

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