Ever since the World Trade Center disaster of September 11, 2001, emotions have run high and conspiracy theories abound on just how the twin towers were brought down. Were passenger jets hijacked by Saudi Arabian terrorists and flown into the two towers? That is the “official” narrative but there are those who say the towers were brought down by carefully placed explosives on the metal support structures, the skeleton holding the buildings up.
That debate may never be resolved but the families of the victims of the 9/11 tragedy are looking towards legal remedies to help give some comfort and closure for the loss of their loved ones. Pressuring congress to help them, the families are wanting to file suit in federal court against the nation they say is responsible for allowing the ‘terrorists’ to have a base of operations as a state sponsor of terrorism.
Both the United States’ House of Representatives and the Senate passed a bill that would make it legal for victim’s families to sue Saudi Arabia as the home of Al Queda, the group which took responsibility for the act. After the vote, the bill was sent to the president’s desk and was immediately vetoed by Mr. Obama. Now we learn that both houses of congress have voted to override that veto.
From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON — Congress on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by President Obama for the first time, passing into law a bill that would allow the families of those killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to sue Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot.
Democrats in large numbers joined with Republicans to deliver a remarkable rebuke to the president. The 97-to-1 vote in the Senate and the 348-to-77 vote in the House displayed the enduring power of the Sept. 11 families in Washington and the diminishing influence here of the Saudi government.
Soon afterwards, president Obama expressed his anger with the veto:
Mr. Obama angrily denounced the outcome, saying lawmakers had been swayed to cast a political vote for legislation that set a “dangerous precedent” with implications they did not understand and never debated.
“I think it was a mistake, and I understand why it happened,” Mr. Obama said at a CNN town hall-style meeting with military personnel in Fort Lee, Va. “It’s an example of why sometimes, you have to do what’s hard, and frankly, I wish Congress here had done what’s hard. I didn’t expect it, because if you’re perceived as voting against 9/11 families right before an election, not surprisingly, that’s a hard vote for people to take. But it would have been the right thing to do.”
There was some discussion about possible retaliations from the Saudi government wherein the Saudis might liquidate billions of dollars in assets held in America plus the chance other countries might sue the United States *“as a result of important military or intelligence activities.”
*Translation: Foreign countries where the US government interfered in their private affairs.
Whether or not the families of 9/11 victims will actually see any recompense for their losses will be anybody’s guess since these kinds of things usually get tangled up in appeals motions and other legal mumbo jumbo. We can hope for the best for the families and pray they are able move on in the wake of their tragedy.
Source: The New York Times