Congress overrode President Obama’s veto of a law allowing victims and their families of 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia.
This is the first time Obama has had a veto overridden but to be fair he hasn’t exercised that many vetoes. He complained that it was politics and he’s correct, but this time it wasn’t partisan. The entire Senate voted to override except for Harry Reid.
It was politics because Congress is full of cowards. This is a very sloppy law that’s dangerous for the United States but who wants to run for reelection and have their opponent argue you voted against 9/11 widows and children? That would be tougher to overcome than calling a woman “Miss Piggy.” It’s not that Harry Reid is the only brave member of the United States Senate. He’s not running for reelection. He’s a super rich guy retiring in Las Vegas. Why should he give a rat’s butt? For everyone else though, yikes.
The bill, titled “the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” (JASTA), gives the victims’ families the right to sue the Saudi government in U.S. court for any role it may have played in the 2001 attacks, which were carried out primarily by 19 al-Qaida hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi nationals. Never mind the fact they were taught how to fly planes in the United States by Americans, or that the U.S. airlines allowed them to board with pocket knives and box cutters. I guess chain saws would have been a little too suspicious.
I’m still mad over 9/11. I’m angry at the assault. I’m upset at the loss of innocent lives. I’m angry we used it to justify invading the wrong country. I’m even angry we still have to take off our shoes at the airport. And at Reagan National in D.C. it totally screwed up parking. I would love for someone to keep paying for what they did to us but this is a bad law.
How is this bad? Foreign governments may retaliate. They may pass laws allowing their citizens to sue us. You might think “so what?”. It would work the same way it will work here. If a family wins a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia the money will probably be taken from Saudi assets in the U.S. They may do that to U.S. assets in their nation. Our drone strikes may suddenly become very expensive and who says that Iraq wouldn’t someday sue us for our little invasion which may have killed over 30,000 of their citizens. What if they sue us for the Kardashians? This could get really bad.
Another unintended consequence could land George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in a world court for war crimes. Cheney never even got sued for shooting that guy in his face. He’s probably still spitting out pellets. As much as I’d love to learn how heart transplants would work for Dick in a foreign prison and see future paintings by W. of prison bars, it’s still a bad idea.
Congress is already talking about amending the bill. They know it’s bad. We’ll probably see a few adjustments in the next session under our new president, whoever she is.
Congress wants to blame Saudi Arabia for actions of their citizens they can’t control but they don’t bear any responsibility for gun deaths in our nation. Congressional Republicans has made it as hard as possible to sue gun manufacturers. Fine. Maybe victims of gun violence should sue the Republican party and the National Rifle Association. You know they have plenty of money.
We need to erase a law that will provoke other nation’s to sue us for our neglect and stupidity. President Trump could become an even larger liability.
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