September 11th 2001 was a day that will live in the minds of every American who lived it. The day that rocked the United States to its core. The day that arguably changed, shaped, and steered the country’s future in a new direction from that day forward. Over 3000 families of lost ones still left reeling. They now have a chance at compensation. At least in some small way, for their terrible losses. How? By the introduction of a new bill that allows the victim’s families to directly sue the Saudi government. The legislation passed in an unprecedented move by both sides this past Wednesday. Obama vetoed it before it was overturned by the US Senate.
“This bill was carefully negotiated over more than six years.” This was according to representative Jerrold Nadler, another New York Democrat, told the House.
JASTA is a piece of legislation headed by Republican Senator Bob Corker. It has been in the works for six plus years. It reached the US senate floor. Then it passed by a wide margin in the first vote. And again a second time after Obama vetoed it.
“Overriding a presidential veto is something we don’t take lightly, but it was important in this case that the families of the victims of 9/11 be allowed to pursue justice, even if that pursuit causes some diplomatic discomforts,” Senator Charles Schumer, a top Senate Democrat, said during an interview with CNN.
Obama and Saudi King
Obama cited the reason of his dismissal of the bill. It was due to the fact that other countries in which America might see an incentive. And they might take America to the International courts. Obama was “fully committed to assisting the families of the victims of terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.″ But warned them that the bill “would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks.”
Meanwhile the Saudi government maintains their stance. They threaten to sell off hundreds of billions worth of assets if the US Congress does indeed allow the bill to pass. The victims’ families are adamant and unwavering. This time they have the support of their respective senators and the political push to pursue justice for the loved ones lost on that day.
“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband tragically lost his life while working in Tower 1 of the World Trade Centre on September 11.
It seems that with the Obama administration anything can leveraged. Even American citizens. This piece of legislation will likely alienate Obama’s chummy relationship with the Saudis. Regardless of Obama, his administration and their wishes to keep Saudi Arabia happy, justice will prevail.