U.S. bill to allow Saudis to be sued meets resistance
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act introduced in the U.S. Senate would allow the possibility of lawsuits against any foreign nations found to be involved in funding a terrorist attack on U.S. soil.
|The text of the act explicitly mentioned the 9/11 attacks in 2001. The bill appears to target Saudi Arabia in particular, a feature that has angered the Saudis. Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel Jubeir is said to have told the U.S. administration that if the bill was passed, Saudi Arabia would immediately sell $750 billion in US treasuries. This could cause interest rates to spike, damaging the US dollar and the U.S.economy.|
"If Saudi Arabia participated in terrorism, of course they should be able to be sued. This bill would allow a suit to go forward and victims of terrorism to go to court to determine if the Saudi government participated in terrorist acts. If the Saudis did, they should pay a price."Josh Earnest, the White House spokesperson, claimed the bill would jeopardize "international sovereignty" and would put the U.S. at risk should other countries adopt a similar law. He said it was difficult to imagine a scenario in which President Obama would sign the bill. The bill would prevent Saudi Arabia and other countries from invoking their sovereign immunity in federal courts.
"Which is why for almost 200 years, international law has recognized this concept of sovereign immunity that countries shouldn't really allow individual courts to sue other countries. It shall be worked down as a matter of foreign relations."While Saudi Arabia has not been implicated in the 9/11 attacks, there have long been suspicions that the Saudi royal family were involved. These suspicions have even been increased by the failure so far for the Obama administration to release 28 pages of an investigation into foreign involvement in the attacks.