- - Sunday, December 18, 2016

Jesus had his Judas, General George Washington had his Benedict Arnold, and the 9/11 victims’ families have their betrayers in Republican Senators Lindsey Graham (S.C.), John McCain (Ariz.) and Orrin Hatch (Utah).

The Senators are attempting infanticide of the 10-weeks-old Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), which was enacted with their support to assist the 9/11 families in obtaining judicial redress for the 9/11 terrorist abominations. To paraphrase attorney Joseph Welch’s rebuke of Senator Joseph McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings, have Senators Graham, McCain, and Hatch no sense of decency in putting the interests of the misogynist, religiously bigoted, tyrannical Kingdom of Saudi Arabia without a crumb of loyalty to the United States above the interests of American citizens? Words cheapen the detestation these Senators have earned.

If the rule of law means anything, it means that power is subservient to justice. The loathsome doctrine that the King can do no wrong was repudiated in here by the American Revolution. That repudiation was reinforced in 1974 when President Richard Nixon was compelled to resign because he endorsed and practice the noxious theory that if the President does it ,it means it’s legal.

Foreign sovereign immunity from suit is an odious relic of law serving power rather than justice. The immunity exists only at the sufferance of Congress, which severely clipped its wings with JASTA. Until its enactment, only foreign sovereigns listed by the United States as state sponsors of terrorism could be sued in the United States for complicity in international terrorism inflicting death or other serious injury on Americans. At present, the list is confined to Iran, Syria, and Sudan.

JASTA, however, authorizes suit against any foreign sovereign complicit in an act of international terrorism in the United States that kills or injures persons or property in the United States caused by tortious acts of the foreign sovereign or its officials, agents, or employees anywhere in the world. The actionable tortious conduct must be more than negligence or a failure to act.

The July 15, 2016, release by the House Intelligence Committee of a substantially declassified 28 pages of the Joint Congressional Inquiry Committee’s post-mortem on 9/11 provides credible evidence of material support by Saudi Arabia or its agents to one or more of the 9/11 terrorists.

During JASTA’s short infancy, no foreign jurisdiction has retaliated with laws that would expose the United States to liability under reciprocal circumstances. The probability of retaliation in the future is slim to none. The United States enjoys huge military or financial leverage over virtually every nation in the world. We have military bases or lily pads in 130 countries. We forced Belgium to repeal a law that exposed high level civilian and military officers of the United State to prosecution for war crimes or crimes against humanity by threatening to remove NATO headquarters from Brussels. Even in the remote likelihood that an adverse judgment for complicity in international terrorism was entered against the United States by a foreign tribunal, it would be unenforceable. No foreign jurisdiction commands the power to compel the United States to do anything.

Why then the attempted infanticide of JASTA by the three unholy Senators? Follow the money. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has hired an army of lobbyists to urge a congressional amendment. It would prohibit liability absent proof that the foreign sovereign “knowingly engaged” with a terrorist organization, including the financing of terrorism. Material assistance to a terrorist organization, simpliciter, would not trigger foreign sovereign liability under the amendment, but would continue to expose American citizens to criminal prosecution by the Unites States!

Senators Graham, McCain, and Hatch are eager to do the bidding of the Kingdom because of its nexus to the multi-trillion dollar military-industrial complex. The latter is heavily represented in South Carolina, Arizona, and Utah.

Between October 2010 and October 2014 alone, Saudi Arabia concluded agreements to purchase more than $90 billion worth of United States weapons manufactured by such giants as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Sikorsky Aircraft, and General Electric. These arms deals bring jobs and profits to defense contractors with presences in South Carolina, Arizona, and Utah to the delight of Graham, McCain, and Hatch. They are willing to subordinate the interests of the 9/11 victims’ families in justice to the raw financial power of Saudi Arabia and the military-industrial complex against which President Dwight Eisenhower warned.

Their attempted infanticide of JASTA makes them like men who would dine with Jesus at the Last Supper and breakfast the next morning with Pontius Pilate. Is that what these Senators want written on their epitaphs?

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