The “Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act” – referred to as the 9-11 Bill, was passed by Congress and awaits Presidential approval. The Act allows victims of the 9-11 ‘terrorist’ attack to sue any foreign state or government that is deemed to have been complicit in the bombings and supersedes the international law of sovereign immunity. The Act also allows victims to sue employees, agents and officials if their complicit action was within the scope of his or her office, employment or agency.
So what’s wrong with this? Everything – it’s a bad joke.
Every victim of the 9-11 terrorist act who received government compensation was required to sign a waiver that precluded them from EVER suing ANYONE for any additional funds. It was the “take it or leave it” clause. Of those persons who registered to receive claims, 94 opted to file lawsuits – all of which have been settled.
The ACT, does not mention anything about voiding this compensation clause, therefore there is no monetary award that could be pursued. In order to pursue this civilly, an attorney would have to work pro-bono, and the outcome would be in principle only.
This would explain why despite every US media outlet covering the latest passage by the House, two major Saudi newspapers don’t even mention it at all, it doesn’t warrant news. Because they are well aware that it is a meaningless ACT and have been assured of a $-0- outcome. It was a waste of time that will serve only to benefit Congress as they reap some positive, favorable ratings given their ethics are in the proverbial tank-twalette.
Given that the CIA and FBI documents can offer no ‘provable relationship’, any attorney would be battling uphill in a snowstorm wearing only his jockeys in sub-zero temperatures. The Saudis are laughing, and the entire wasted paper is worth more than any lawsuit will recover. Its embarrassing.
Funds have already been distributed, and while many may feel the compensation was not adequate given it was based on income as opposed to need, the waiver blocks ANY further attempt to sue for money. Had the ACT made some concession to override the waiver, there may have been a slim chance, but without it, there is a zero-nilch chance. And while the media likes to mention averages in the compensation pool, averages are a ridiculous analytical tool. Most received the minimum of $250,000 while the wealthier victims were granted multi-million settlements, some over $7 million.
The problem facing victims now is that they didn’t even know the extent of their ailments until years later. Scores have died, and thousands of others continue to battle PTSD, cancer, lung and respiratory infections, and neurological issues. They were subjected to a toxic cocktail of asbestos, dioxins, heavy metals, lead, mercury, chromium, plastics, petroleum and more. And while the EPA and White House seemed to have squelched the extent of the toxicity, allowing thousands to breathe and consume the cocktail without even a face mask, the ACT refers only to ‘foreign states and governments’, it does not allow for the people to sue our own government for negligence.
There are those who received no compensation and they would not be restricted by any waiver, but they would not only be fighting to prove the Saudis complicit, they would then be fighting to prove that 9-11 is the cause of their ailment and not some other source – work related, genetics, etc… which became the famous case of the police officer whose efforts created the James Zadroga 9-11 Health Compensation. Despite overwhelming evidence, Charles Hirsch, who tasked the autopsy of James Zadroga, concluded that he did not die from complications of his exposure in the 9-11 towers. The conclusion was rife with oddity and smelled of corruption, but it would set a precedent for future claims. And perhaps, that is the rub.
Obama vetoing the ACT, is all for show. It is a distraction. It is heinous because it gives hope when there is none in this particular situation. It takes victims and makes them victims again so that Congressmen can pretend they are hero’s.