‘Americans can now sue for information regarding Saudi complicity in 9/11 terror attacks’
US congress voted to override President Obama's veto of the bill that would allow Americans to potentially sue Saudi Arabia for its involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Obama vetoed the legislation after it had previously won unanimous approval by voice vote in the House and Senate.
The President cited concerns the bill could negatively impact US alliances or even open the US government to similar lawsuits for alleged terror sponsorship.
Riyadh's links to 9/11 were revealed in 28 declassified pages from a congressional report into the attacks. They were finally made available to the public in July, almost 15 years after the tragedy. The pages claimed some of the hijackers were supported and assisted by individuals connected to the Saudi government.
Saudi Arabia earlier warned of severe economic consequences if the bill was passed, threatening to dump $750 billion worth of US assets.
RT: You are one of the survivors of that horrific day. It is known that many families of the victims have been waiting for this bill to be passed. Are you cheered by what Congress has done?
William Rodríguez: It was the final effort we had as victims to get Obama to get this approved. He vetoed it, and to actually get the override was a big success. Now we are trying to go and pass it to the second level. It means a lot. And people have misunderstood this. It is not that we are blaming Saudi Arabia for 9/11. It is that we are taking the immunity out, so we can sue them for any information that we find out that they actually helped this perpetration to happen. And we are referring to the relationship also that the Saudis had with the CIA, who we know have maintained and used them in a proxy wars in the Middle East for a long time, even helped the mujahedeen with the Afghanistan war, the Saudis gave them an economic help to do this. And we want to be able to find out exactly what was their involvement after the 28 pages were released about 9/11.
RT: It's the first time in Obama's 8-year presidency that his veto's been overturned. How embarrassing do you think this is for him?
WR: It is very embarrassing because part of his legacy is now tainted because he got an override. It never happened for several of the last presidencies. But again it is established that you can’t have double standards for ignoring such things. We’ve been accusing other countries of human rights abuses and the treatment of women, the treatment of extreme Wahhabism. We know this. But we make our eyes blind when it comes to Saudi Arabia because they are allies. And we don’t agree with that. We think that the same way that we accuse other countries of different things, we should go to our supposed allies and the way they are involved in the death of over 3,000 people. This was a criminal act, an international criminal scene because 92 countries were represented among the dead people. So, these actions are not against the Saudi Arabia itself but the interest that they have in terrorism and supporting it.
Rick DeSantis, 9/11 survivor shared his opinion on the issue:"First and foremost, I with many other great Americans have been working in fighting this battle for years, as well as many congressmen and senators. This is a victory for 9/11 families and 9/11 victims and truth and justice hopefully with JASTA (The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act). The 9/11 families today now finally have legal standing, which was taken from all 9/11 attack victims only days after the 9/11 attack by the president at that time, George W. Bush. Now this president, Barack Hussein Obama, after failing to put the interests of Americans first, has been overruled by the US Senate and the US Congress. This means, after 15 years, we finally, with legal standing, have the right to file legitimate legal complaints providing the necessary and appropriate subpoena power and the discovery of evidence… and rights. They were taken from Americans only days after the 9/11 attacks by George Walker Bush. It allows for the resumption of many lawsuits that go all the way back to 2002."
RT: Does this vote actually mean that US citizens can now sue the Saudis?
WR: That exactly what it means. It removed their immunity. At the same time, we know that the Saudis and their kings are not really our friends. They are the CIA’s friends; they are intelligence partners because they have mutual interests in the region. Let’s go back to last week. We had around 27 senators that voted against selling arms to Saudi Arabia because they were using them against civilians in Yemen. When you have a geopolitical situation like this when it comes to just the law, it opens the opportunity for people that were affected by the event of 9/11 and terrorist attack to go after the people that promoted it or gave money to the alleged terrorists.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.