24 September 2016

Well, He Promised the Veto

Obama has vetoed the "Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act", which allows survivors of the 911 attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia:
President Obama vetoed legislation on Friday that would allow families of victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for any role in the plot, setting up an extraordinary confrontation with a Congress that unanimously backed the bill and has vowed to uphold it.

Mr. Obama’s long-anticipated veto of the measure, known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, is the 12th of his presidency. But unless those who oppose the bill can persuade lawmakers to drop their support by next week, it will lead to the first congressional override of a veto during Mr. Obama’s presidency — a familiar experience for presidents in the waning months of their terms.

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.

“I have deep sympathy for the amilies of the victims of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, who have suffered grievously,” fMr. Obama wrote. But enacting the measure “would neither protect Americans from terrorist attacks nor improve the effectiveness of our response to such attacks.”
Not a surprise.

The DC consensus is that the House of Saud is an essential ally, and Obama is very much unable to see beyond the DC consensus.

What's more, his DCIA, John Brennan, has been a big fan of Riyadh ever since his days as station chief in Saudi Arabia.

I think that this veto will be overridden, for 2 reasons:
  • Republicans want to give Obama a great big f%$# you.
  • Any member of Congress, of either party, who votes to support the veto will be literally be writing their opponent's ads for the upcoming election.
Truth be told, Obama deserves to lose this one.

The House of Saud has spent decades creating the infrastructure of terrorism, and 911, or something like it, was a foreseeable result.


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