Seeds: The House and Senate unanimously passed a bill called Justice against sponsors of terrorism earlier this year which allowed families of 9/11 victims to sue members of the Saudi Arabian government who are suspected of playing a role (financial or otherwise) in the attacks. The President initially vetoed the bill, saying it could open troops, US citizens and companies to lawsuits abroad because this bill would effectively overturn a 1976 bill which protects other countries from American lawsuits.
Core: Today, Congress overrode this veto, the first time this has happened in President Obama’s two terms. President Obama wrote that the law “could be devastating to the Department of Defense and its service members, and there is no doubt that the consequences could be equally significant for our foreign affairs and intelligence communities.” It should be noted that the 9/11 commission has found no substantive proof that the Saudi government was involved in the attacks.
Skin: While the vote in the Senate passed 97-1, (there are 100 members of Senate, and two did not vote), which is an incredibly large margin. However, the President still remains concerned about the bill, stating it could leave Americans open to similar lawsuits in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
Leaves: With the passing of this bill families can now sue Saudi Arabian officials for implications in the attacks, and it is undoubted that if any of these cases make it to court that they will be highly publicized.
Food For Thought: Do you think this bill was a good idea? Do you think that it will do more harm than good, or do you think it’s a necessary step toward closure for these families?
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