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Saudi Arabia Threatens U. S. Economy If Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

Saudi Arabia Threatens U. S. Economy If Congress Passes 9/11 Bill

Bill has broad bipartisan support . . . except from the White House

Last week, CBS aired a special report on the missing or redacted 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission’s report that might implicate Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks.  In the CBS report, former Senator and former Florida Governor Bob Graham (D-FL) restated his long-held view that these 28 pages should be declassified.

From the transcript of the CBS report entitled “28 Pages”:

. . . [T]he White House and intelligence officials are reviewing whether to declassify one of the country’s most sensitive documents — known as the “28 pages.” They have to do with 9/11 and the possible existence of a Saudi support network for the hijackers while they were in the U.S.

For 13 years, the 28 pages have been locked away in a secret vault. Only a small group of people have ever seen them. Tonight, you will hear from some of the people who have read them and believe, along with the families of 9/11 victims that they should be declassified.

Bob Graham: I think it is implausible to believe that 19 people, most of whom didn’t speak English, most of whom had never been in the United States before, many of whom didn’t have a high school education– could’ve carried out such a complicated task without some support from within the United States.

Graham, who has seen the 28 pages and has been trying to get the pages declassified since 2003, has to be careful about what he says, but he is confident that there is connection.

Bob Graham won’t discuss the classified information in the 28 pages, he will say only that they outline a network of people that he believes supported the hijackers while they were in the U.S.

Steve Kroft: You believe that support came from Saudi Arabia?

Bob Graham: Substantially.

Steve Kroft: And when we say, “The Saudis,” you mean the government, the–

Bob Graham: I mean–

Steve Kroft: –rich people in the country? Charities–

Bob Graham: All of the above.

Graham and others believe the Saudi role has been soft-pedaled to protect a delicate relationship with a complicated kingdom where the rulers, royalty, riches and religion are all deeply intertwined in its institutions.

Watch:

Graham is not alone in calling for the declassification of the 28 pages; Rand Paul, last year, introduced a Senate bill to do so, and Representative Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced a companion House bill at the same time. Neither went anywhere.

The Saudis were quick to respond to the CBS report, calling it a “compilation of myths and erroneous charges.”

Watch the report:

A bill currently working its way through Congress is taking a different tack and would, according to the New York Times, “make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil.”  Its passage would allow 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia for its purported role in 9/11; this, in turn, would strengthen the argument to declassify the 28 pages.

Business Insider reports:

As Vice News noted when it was reintroduced in September, the Senate bill would pave the way for a lawsuit to proceed over Saudi Arabia’s alleged role in the 9/11 terror attacks.

Saudi Arabia has been arguing that it’s immune from liability over 9/11 under a 1976 law that makes it difficult to sue foreign countries in US courts. However, the [Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act] JASTA legislation would allow victims of terrorism on US soil to sue foreign sponsors of terrorism.

Despite (or maybe because of?) the fact that the Obama admin has been working “intently” against the bill’s passage, the Saudi government has warned the Obama administration of economic repercussions should the bill pass.

The New York Times continues:

Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

. . . . The administration, which argues that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas, has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.

The bill, however, is widely supported on both sides of the aisle.

The bill is an anomaly in a Congress fractured by bitter partisanship, especially during an election year. It is sponsored by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. It has the support of an unlikely coalition of liberal and conservative senators, including Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, and Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas. It passed through the Judiciary Committee in January without dissent.

It’s puzzling that the Obama administration would fight tooth and nail a bill that has such broad bipartisan support, and it seems convenient that the Saudis would interject a threat to our nation’s economy as the Obama administration works furiously to kill the bill.

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Comments

We should send Saudi Arabia a bill for all the money we’ve spent in their defense over the last 60 years. Or ARAMCO could send a bill for the infrastructure they built that Saudi Arabia nationalized. They probably have, the checks in the mail.

“Threatens”?! By passing the bill Congress would be asking — no, forcing — the Sauds to do this. This is effectively what the bill’s sponsors want the Sauds to do. Well, not really, what they really want is for 0bama to veto it for them so they can look good and he can take the blame. But how is it not perfectly obvious that this would be the inevitable result of passage? If France passed a similar law aimed at the USA, wouldn’t the USA immediately sell all its French assets? How could we not?

“Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out”…is what the Sybil said in “I, Claudius”.

I’ve always thought that a very good policy in a republic.

That said, “The Kingdom” is a maze of conflicting factions, interests, and acts, even amidst the royal family. Some are quite pro-American, some quite not.

But Americans deserve information. We can deal with it.

They wouldn’t pay it. That’s the point. It’s past time our foreign policy got back to traditional American purposes. With less utilization of “Realpolitik’s” that’s a cover for deception.

the Saudis would interject a threat to our nation’s economy

What “threat” is that? The Saudis sell some “assets”. That doesn’t hurt the US in any way.

    sjf_control in reply to tom swift. | April 17, 2016 at 10:18 am

    That was my thought, too. So a bunch of U.S. property owned by foreigners is sold (perhaps at a loss?) to other foreigners. That would affect our economy exactly how? But it certainly could affect the Saudi economy.

      Milhouse in reply to sjf_control. | April 17, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      It would hurt our economy by depressing the market for such assets. It probably wouldn’t affect their economy much, since there are many other places to invest money.

        Paul in reply to Milhouse. | April 17, 2016 at 6:45 pm

        They could also hasten the transition of world oil markets away from the US Dollar as the de facto reserve currency.

          rabidfox in reply to Paul. | April 18, 2016 at 5:30 pm

          What would be the alternate currency? As bad shape as the dollar is in now, what other currency is more stable?

“It’s puzzling that the Obama administration would fight tooth and nail a bill that has such broad bipartisan support,”

At every turn, and I mean, at every turn, Obama and his hacks always champion the position of the Muslim.

You would be excused if the thought ever crossed your mind that he might be doing his best to protect Islam.

Continuing to cover this up is conspiring with the enemy. The saudis should have been nuked for their roll in that attack. A strong message should have been sent that when countries mess with the USA, they cease to exist. How different the situation would be with terrorists if their major financial backers got vaporized.

The simple solution is to go wide open on domestic oil production. Then the Saudis can sell their idle tankers.

ugottabekiddinme | April 17, 2016 at 12:21 pm

If there is any sense at all in the Obama Middle East policy long-term, it seems to see the Saudis and Iranians as counterbalancing poles of the Sunni and Shia world, and somehow this counterbalance is supposedly a good thing as the US withdraws. This implies that Obama would not want the 28 pages to come out.

But then, if they are coming out anyway, the cynic in me says the way this information, if accurate, becomes public will somehow be manipulated to the the Democrats’ advantage in the presidential race.

I imagine the media framing the story in the 28 pages as the “Bush cover-up for their Saudi buddies” in their never-ending smear campaign to impugn each and every Republican at all times and in all places.

The bill will allow the American civil tort system to bring the Saudi Government into its jurisdiction. No one wants to be subject to the American legal system, especially its civil side. The tort-hell locations and absurdities of the American courts as they decide liability based more of deep pockets and riled up jury sympathy is a world-wide farce that forces most world courts to ignore US judgments.

Businesses use arbitration because the treaties allows recognition of the neutral, arbitration panels for commercial decisions. Adding to the farce is the way the US Government has kicked to the side most appearances of rule of law and now there are many many examples of the Government (DOJ and state AGs) extorting fines and fees for the privilege of continued doing business in the country. To many, these are more byzantine than the bribes expected in other countries, but business by bribery just the same.

Bringing in a sovereign nation into the court system is a step outside of the normal US corruption and idiocy. Sovereign nations are normally immune to other nation’s citizens and its own (unless allowed by law) and relations between sovereigns is handled by international relations, not maddened civil juries seeking “justice” for causes. With AGs and perhaps DOJ seeking causes of justice for multi-nationals for the horrific crime of denying that climate change will kill the earth and peddling fossil fuels that allow our advanced society and wealth, I submit that adding countries to the jurisdiction of our civil system is madness.

We allowed Iran to go before our civil system only after they left the bounds of normal international relations with the Iran hostage crisis. This was seen as a move against their going outside of international norms but short of war. Has Saudi Arabia left the normal international relations?

Whether or not some minor functionaries in the Saudi Government wittingly or unwittingly helped the 9-11 hijackers does not mean that the Government of Saudi Arabia committed an act of war against the US. If they did, then there are actions that nations take against one another. However, anything that we allow our courts to do, it is the US Government doing the action and that is how it will be viewed internationally.

Of course the Saudi’s will divest themselves of anything that could be attached or seized by our courts once they are subject to its whims. They will invest those funds in other countries. As most other advanced countries do not automatically recognize US civil court judgements, that money could likely flow to Europe and our economic competitors. Other nations will be more reluctant to invest on our shores as the likelihood that their assets are seized unreasonably will have dramatically increased.

This is a large step to becoming a banana republic and we should not do it. Just as we should not allow the state AGs and the DOJ to punish large multi-nationals for the crime of not believing in the fraud called climate change.

conservative tarheel | April 17, 2016 at 7:21 pm

H/T to grouchyconservativepundits.com

Obama wasn’t president when this happened, and neither was Clinton. The then sitting president who loudly claimed he loved this country and its’ people put the enemy first by protecting them from immediate danger and afterwards.
Maybe some day this nation of rubes will wake up and realize there is no one in office ever who gives a shit about the ones who pay the bills.
When our borders were not slammed shut by the end of 9/11/2001, and we were not put on a war footing across this land it was obvious to some just where we stood. And then we are into a war with a million young men and women who volunteered as citizen soldiers to be killed, and maimed only to face the utmost insult of having everything they fought for thrown away like so much trash.

There’s an old meme: “If you owe your bank $100,000 and can’t pay, you’re in trouble. If you owe your bank $100,000,000 and can’t pay, the bank is in trouble. Actions have fallout. Try not to be downwind.

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