President Obama owes Americans a public explanation for why his administration is lobbying Congress to protect Saudi Arabia from lawsuits by families of those killed in the attacks of 9/11. The lobbying was disclosed Friday in a scoop by the New York Times. It reported that the kingdom threatening to sell hundreds of billions of dollars in American assets if Congress exposed it to suits related to the attacks, most of whose perpetrators, including Osama bin Laden, were Saudis.This is starting to head into the land of conspiracy theories.
Mr. Obama’s administration isn’t alone. Its truckling to the Saudis, its siding against Americans, is part of a long scandal going back to the Clinton administration, which fetched up in court on the side of Iran against the estate of Alisa Flatow. She was the Brandeis coed who was slain in 1995 by Iran in a bus bombing at Israel. Her heroic father, Stephen Flatow, pressed her case in an early test of whether American tort law could be used in this war.
The estate of Alisa Flatow won that case, and was awarded something like $247 million dollars. Come time to collect, however, the Clinton administration appeared in court against Alisa Flatow’s estate. In the settlement that followed, the Flatows got a pittance of the court’s award — only $16 million. The government, using taxpayers’ money, essentially bought the Flatow’s claim and the right to keep whatever it can wrest from the Iranians. It’s unclear as yet what that will be.
Saudi Arabia can’t be sued under the same law that the Flatows used against Iran, however; that law, the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, covered only certain nations officially listed by our state department as sponsors of terror. The families suing Saudi Arabia tried to pierce its sovereign immunity under more traditional law, but they lost in United States district court and are now appealing. The law the administration opposes would end the sovereign immunity defense for the Saudis.
We can all understand why Saudi Arabia would be against this bill, but why would the Obama Admin? What scares them so much about the visibility that a lawsuit would bring against the Saudis?
Even more interesting is why Admin allies like Senator Schumer would push for this bill and yet the President that he supports state uncategorically that he will not sign it?
This is crazy in a handbag. If you still believe that the US govt is acting in your best interest then you are certifiable.
Sidenote: I hope you read the above carefully. Clinton, Bush, Obama...all our presidents have engaged in gamesplaying when it comes to terrorist activity.