Should 9/11 Victims be Able to Sue Saudi Arabia?
Should the victims of 9/11 be allowed to sue Saudi Arabia for damages? That is the question Congress is considering in a bill that would allow assessment of the responsibility of the Saudi government’s for its role in the 9/11 attacks. The Senate bill would remove the immunity given to foreign nations in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil.
The bill is sponsored by Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas, and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York. It has the support of liberals like Al Franken, Democrat of Minnesota, and conservatives like Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas.
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The Obama administration argues that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas. The Saudi foreign minister told lawmakers that his country would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the US to avoid the danger of their being frozen by American courts. Skeptics suggest such a sell-off would cripple the kingdom’s economy.
Former Sen. Bob Graham, the co-chair of the 9/11 congressional inquiry, stated that he is “outraged but not surprised” by the warning from the Saudi government.