As many on the Left desperately try to overturn the will of the people by claiming that the presidential election was “hacked,” true evidence of foreign interference in American governance has gone on for a decade and a half now with barely any protest.
Prior to the presidential election, Congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) to allow families who were victimized by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 to file lawsuits. Congress adopted the measure nearly unanimously and overrode a presidential veto to see the law enacted.
Shortly thereafter, the government of Saudi Arabia went on a hiring spree, engaging over a dozen lobbyists to see that the law is gutted. Ironically, the two Republicans in Senate most outraged over Russia’s supposed influence on the American election are carrying the ball for the Kingdom of Saud.
Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC.). and John McCain John McCain (R-Ariz.) have introduced legislation to remove the teeth from the law. Their “fix” would repeal JASTA and prohibit the families of 9/11 victims from ever seeing their day in court. Sadly, they have been joined by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who spoke in favor of the legislation just a few weeks ago. Money can’t buy you love, but it can apparently buy enough lobbyists to have a law that was enacted with strong bipartisan support repealed.
Despite nearly 15 years of blocking information, we know that Saudi Arabia was funding Muslim radicalism in mosques and charities at the time of the attacks on the Twin Towers and, according to declassified intelligence reports, hijackers were gathering in the United States and making contacts with Saudi nationals.
Efforts to hold the government of Saudi Arabia accountable have been stymied by for Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FISA). Rather than overturn the law, Congress made a narrow exception when it passed JASTA, allowing the families to go forward in civil court.
The Graham/McCain and Hatch “fix” would allow foreign governments to be held responsible for terrorism only “if they knowingly engage with a terrorist organization directly or indirectly, including financing” of terrorist activities. Spokesmen for the families are decrying the effort to block their day in court.
Terry Strada, national chairman of a group representing the 9/11 victims said that “[Graham] and Sen. McCain are seeking to torpedo JASTA by imposing changes demanded by Saudi Arabia’s lobbyists. We have reviewed the language, and it is an absolute betrayal.”
Former U.S. Senator Bob Graham has noted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia continues to support radical groups, mosques, and madrassas across the globe. Their money fuels radical Islamic terrorism throughout the world. It is only proper that Americans who may have suffered because of their activities be given their day in court to find out the truth.
President-elect Trump, who hailed passage of JASTA during the campaign, has promised to help “drain the swamp” of Washington. The effort to repeal JASTA through a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign is a classic example of the muck and mire that the American people have come to reject. Leave JASTA alone. Congress must reject the efforts of the Saudi government to hack American law to their benefit.