Senate overwhelmingly votes to override Obama veto on 9/11 bill

I’m watching CSPAN; the voting has just ended at 97-1, and the bill will now go to the House. I’ll post a link as soon as one comes up on Fox or CNN, which should be shortly.

Edit: I had to settle for USA Today:

Why the veto?

From the article:
Obama vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

More specifically,

In his veto message to Congress, Mr. Obama said the legislation “undermines core U.S. interests,” upending the normal means by which the government singles out foreign nations as state sponsors of terrorism and opening American officials and military personnel to legal jeopardy. It would put United States assets at risk of seizure by private litigants overseas and “create complications” in diplomatic relations with other countries, he added.

The House is expected to take up the override this afternoon; watch this space.

97 to 1 speaks for the Will of The People.

As I understand the JASTA Bill, only those affected by 9-11 could sue Saudi Arabia IF, a big IF, it is first shown that Saudi Arabia had a significant role in 9-11. The mere fact that most of the terrorists were from Saudi Arabia is not enough to prove their government assisted them. Perhaps they did. But proving it will be very hard.

Because Obama is afraid that if citizens of the United States can sue Saudi Arabia for 9/11, then there would be precedence for Syrians and Pakistanis and Iraqis and Somalis and Afghanistanis to sue the United States for drone strikes, and we wouldn’t want that now, would we?

None of those drone strikes were terrorist attacks, they were designed to take out terrorists.

House voting is still ongoing, but they needed 290 to overturn, and it’s 324 and still going up. The overturn is a done deal.

It probably looks different from their POV. Especially given the controversy around numbers of civilians being hit in the strikes, albeit unintentionally.

Suing Saudi Arabia smacks of “getting our own back” and it’s a bit silly if I’m being honest. If there was already enough evidence to prove that they undoubtedly sponsored the terrorists, a case could be made, but it would be better to prosecute in international court for crimes against humanity. Seems weird that relatives could sue SA in an American court…

That’s why it took an act of Congress, literally.

Yeah, but it just seems odd to me. Like, you have a court case in America, which is naturally going to have a tendency to be biased, and then what? You tell SA that they owe these people money or else you’ll impose sanctions?

I don’t think the relatives should sue. The UN should try SA if there is sufficient proof. Suing for money from a terrorist attack seems… opportunistic or vengeful. I’m sure it’s not meant to be opportunistic, it was just my gut reaction to the news. But hey, just my perspective, I could be way off here.

This is why:

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Saudi Arabia and its allies are warning that U.S. legislation allowing the kingdom to be sued for the 9/11 attacks will have negative repercussions.

The kingdom maintains an arsenal of tools to retaliate with, including curtailing official contacts, pulling billions of dollars from the U.S. economy, and persuading its close allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council to scale back counterterrorism cooperation, investments and U.S. access to important regional air bases.

Another potential pandora’s box. A formidable deterrent against the US and one that makes the Saudis look very guilty. Clearly the Congress is calling their bluff as the Saudis would be exposing themselves to many unintended consequences, the least of which is the loss of US protection and support. Iran and the Kingdom are blood enemies. The Saudis have also been bleeding money for quite a while due to low oil prices.

The President is right to oppose this legislation and I hope the House of Representatives rejects it.


See post #8.

Yeah, I just learned the house passed it.

Now watch for the reaction from the Sunni nations in the ME.

Heck, watch for Sunni’s and Baathist’s to sue the US for the destruction and invasion of their country, where they lost lives when Bush invaded.


It opens a can of worms, to be sure.

I don’t keep records on it, but I think this is probably the first time I have ever agreed with anything Obama has done. That is, if I understand the bill.

I can understand the overwhelming vote to override. These legislators will all have to explain to their constituents why they voted “for” an odious regime and 'against" victims if they don’t. I get that.

So what will happen is that some high-end lawyers will put together a class action suit and seek to prove that S.A. had somebody high enough involved in it to blame the country for it. They’ll do it before a jury. What jury is really going to fail to be sympathetic to the victims?

And so, not wanting to face possible garnishments of their bank accounts here or even some oil tanker arriving from S.A., the Saudis will take their money out. But they’ll likely settle just to avoid further hassle of that kind. The lawyers will get from 1/3 to 40% of the total, perhaps more, their expenses will eat up most of the rest, and each victim will get something like a $10 discount on a seat in a Saudi airliner to visit Mecca in July, 2050. That’s how class action lawsuits usually work.

And then Iran will file suit in Iranian courts for something or other, and grab an American tanker to “satisfy” the judgment of some Mullahs. And it won’t just be Iran. America would face a potential looting that would make Obama’s giveaways with MMGW and the internet look small indeed.

This makes sense to me but I have a couple comments/questions that hopefully someone can clarify for me.

Obama has been trying to close Gitmo and have those people tried in US civilian courts. He says our courts are more than capable of handling those people so why not a foreign government?

What was stopping Iran from setting up some kangaroo court and ruling against the US before this? The way I am understanding this law, it applies to US citizens filing law suites against foreign governments, does doing so nullify some international law that prevented governments from being sued?

Congress suddenly has buyer’s remorse for overriding Obama’s veto

Top congressional leaders from each party expressed buyer’s remorse Thursday about a controversial new law that was enacted over President Barack Obama’s objections that allows 9/11 families to sue Saudi Arabia.

Just one day after these lawmakers led the first override of a veto during Obama’s presidency they publicly called for making changes to the law. But even as they admitted they agreed with some of the White House’s concerns, GOP leaders quickly blamed the President for “dropping the ball” for failing to engage with Congress on the legislation before it passed.

The White House didn’t hold back in its criticism after both the House and Senate voted decisively on Wednesday to overturn Obama’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, also referred to as JASTA. The President called the vote Wednesday “political” and his spokesman ripped the move as the “single most embarrassing thing” Congress has done in decades.

On the surface, rarely do you see such an overwhelming bipartisan vote. I don’t even count Harry Reid, since he basically Obama’s tail. But even without being an expert in the nuances of the bill, the odds that 97 members of the Senate, with such diverse backgrounds, would oppose the President on this indicates it was far more than just political.

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