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President Obama vetoes 9/11 victim lawsuit bill

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  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Huffington Post, Sep 23. 2016: Barack Obama Vetoes Bill Allowing 9/11 Victims To Sue Saudi Arabia

    President Obama has vetoed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act passed on a bipartisan basis by Congress. Congress has the votes to override his veto.

    You can read President Obama's reasoning in it's entirety at the above link. Basically Obama is concerned about reciprocity against the United States for acts conducted by our men and women in uniform overseas. His response is more nuanced and detailed than what you can fit in a tweet. I don't claim to have a good understanding of international laws and customs, but I do have immense respect for the president's judgment.

    Likewise in this election year I do not trust members of Congress to necessarily act in the best interests of the USA when a populist campaign hits full stride, as in this case. For those more in tune with the legal aspects of this, chime in.

    Am I wrong to trust President Obama's judgement on this veto?

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Schmidt, I agree that our president almost always seems to make the right decisions. I guess I understand that with our over use of our military (sadly)..... we could easily be sued for drone strikes, bombings, or whatever we've done that is an injustice in someone else's view. I want very much for the next president to advise the other world leaders that we're not going to clean up every mess that comes up. We've been far too active in the problems of this planet.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Yes you are wrong! The Saudi's are one of the most corrupt societies in the Middle East, if not the world, and that's saying something. They were intimately involved in 9/11 and the Bushies let them get away with it. Just what do they have on our elected officials that allows them such power and control and fear?

    Obama is totally wrong on this, just like his support of free trade. He has been a fairly good president but he is totally blind to many of the real problems facing society today (as most politicians are).

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Slavery and human rights violations.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    I can appreciate that this is not an easy decision. As usual I look to Vox to provide a balanced view of the potential long term implications.

    Vox, Septemebr 23, 2016: Why President Obama just vetoed a bill to let 9/11 victims' families sue Saudi Arabia

    Now I am not a fan of Saudi Arabia. In fact I think we're on the wrong side of the Saudi - Iran conflict. So I am not driven by any emotional ties to Saudi. I want to do what's best for the United States in the long term, and that's why President Obama's veto needs to be upheld.

    Quoting from a New York Times Op-ed by Duke law professor Curtis Bradley and Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith:

    "If the United States reduces the immunity it accords to other nations, it exposes itself to an equivalent reduction in its own immunity abroad."

    "A nation’s immunity from lawsuits in the courts of another nation is a fundamental tenet of international law," they wrote. "Were the sovereign immunity rule to weaken, the United States would be subject to many more lawsuits in foreign courts than any other nation and would become an attractive and high-profile target for politicized litigation designed to contest its foreign policy."

    Read more on the pros and cons in the Vox link above, but essentially this is the fundamental argument.

    We should also note that the Saudi government is not specifically mentioned in the bill. It opens the door for all countries to participate with their own lawsuits. The 1976 Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) has served us well for 40 years, and just because of some election year "feel good" politics, we should not undermine it.

    Politicians in this election year are pandering for votes now. Their actions and accountability will soon be forgotten in the years to come as other nations line up to sue the USA if the veto is overridden.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    It would pose a problem if citizens could sue contrary to our official sovereignty position. If allowed to sue Saudi Arabia that would put the US at risk for respecting sovereignty. Our country doesn't hold Saudi Arabia responsible so is the USA an accessory? I think that is more of a reason for the veto but a subject rather left untouched.
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Congress rushed through this bill and the override of President Obama's veto. Obama admonished them not only passing the bill in a hurry but now also the override with little discussion. Republicans of course wanted to embarrass President Obama and rub it in his face, but Democrats...well they too look like a bunch of schmucks.

    Huffington Post, Day After Rejecting Veto, Congressional Leaders Concerned About 9/11 Law

    Many of these people admitted not even reading the bill. And it has serious flaws.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest noted how quickly lawmakers shifted from overwhelmingly voting to override the veto to wanting to change the law.

    “I think what we’ve seen in the United States Congress is a pretty classic case of rapid onset buyer’s remorse,” Earnest told a White House briefing.

    The funny part is that Republicans are now blaming Obama for not calling attention to the flaws sooner. But that's exactly what Obama did.

    And you wonder where Donald Trump got all his fairy tail crap. He learned it from the Republican Party.

  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Just wait until our military is being sued in Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, & 10 other countries. Not 1 or 2 lawsuits but dozens and dozens. Even more if it proves to be lucrative. What a freaking mess we have started and only because very simple minded politicians couldn't see the bigger picture. We're being governed by fools.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    TJ Wrote: Just wait until our military is being sued in Yemen, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, & 10 other countries. Not 1 or 2 lawsuits but dozens and dozens. Even more if it proves to be lucrative. What a freaking mess we have started and only because very simple minded politicians couldn't see the bigger picture. We're being governed by fools.
    T.J. I'm glad you get the picture; I've said these things a million times. The fools you are talking about know nothing about the world, ask the "Aleppo" question. Why do you think we have all these wars?
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    There are just some things you don't mess with because no matter how distasteful specific instances are they overall maintain a greater good. That is why I am against Ksepernicks movement. There has to be lines that aren't crossed in order for systems to work. Who disrespects the flag and national anthem? Obama was 100% right vetoing that feel good bill.