Monday, September 26, 2016

Why Obama Had To Veto JASTA

[source: politico]
As you probably know, late last Friday afternoon President Obama vetoed a bill which had passed both houses of Congress unanimously, and Congress is now trying to work out whether it has enough clout to override the veto.

I don't think it does. Behind Obama's veto lie very powerful reasons, and behind those reasons stand very powerful people.

JASTA, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, would have allowed families of 9/11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for alleged complicity in the terrorist attacks if Obama had signed it. This could not, and cannot, be allowed to happen.

Therefore, at the behest of the Pentagon and a bipartisan group of national security heavyweights, including
Stephen Hadley, a national security adviser to President George W. Bush; Michael Mukasey, a US attorney general under Bush; William Cohen, a secretary of defense under President Bill Clinton; and Richard Clarke, a national security aide to Bush and Clinton
Obama expressed "deep sympathy" for the families and vetoed the bill.

According to the maintstream media, the families don't understand why JASTA had to be deep-sixed.
"The president's rationales to veto JASTA don't hold weight. They are 100% wrong," said Terry Strada, whose husband Tom Strada died in World Trade Center collapse. "For us, the 9/11 families and survivors, all we are asking for is an opportunity to have our case heard in a courtroom. Denying us justice is un-American."
Well, perhaps "the president's rationales" weren't the real reasons. Perhaps politicians don't always say what they mean. And perhaps the mainstream "journalists" can't tell the difference. But then, neither can the "dissident" journalists.

So the job of explaining it falls to the humblest of bloggers. In other words, the water in this case is so heavy that it can only be carried by a volunteer porter. Nobody who gets paid for carrying water will tell you this:

There are three very good reasons why JASTA cannot become law, but two of them cannot be discussed in public, lest the discussion jeopardize national security and undermine the war on terror.

What goes on behind closed doors is another matter, and the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election in November. We can be sure they will feel all the pressure the bipartisan national security heavyweights can muster, as they consider the ramifications of a vote to override the Presidential veto.

How many of them will stand their ground? I won't be surprised if we can count them without taking off our socks. But we shall see.



The bipartisan national security heavyweights are protesting that JASTA might motivate foreign countries to sue the American government for acts of terrorism committed by Americans against their own citizens on their own soil.

And this would be very bad for America, they say, because it could lead to "spurious lawsuits" against our men and women in and out of uniform, requiring them to take "a less forceful approach in dealing with state sponsors of terrorism" and thereby hindering them from keeping you and your children safe.

According to the New York Times:
“We continue to make a forceful case to members of Congress that overriding the president’s veto means that this country will start pursuing a less forceful approach in dealing with state sponsors of terrorism and potentially opens up U.S. service members, and diplomats and even companies to spurious lawsuits in kangaroo courts around the world,” Josh Earnest, the White House press secretary, said before Mr. Obama vetoed the measure.
What does he mean by "spurious lawsuits"?

Suppose a drone operator made a mistake and accidentally dropped a bomb in the wrong place, killing half a dozen innocent people.

Should he be held responsible for his actions in a foreign court? Should the American government be liable for reparations?

"Of course not!" say the bipartisan national security heavyweights. This is the realm of International Law, after all, where the guiding principle is "Sovereign Immunity."

If you are new to International Law, you might assume Sovereign Immunity would mean citizens of a sovereign state are immune to violent attacks from foreign powers. But that would be an error.

Sovereign Immunity actually means a sovereign state can do whatever it wants to the citizens of another state, with no legal repercussions whatsoever.

Sovereign Immunity means big fish can eat little fish whenever they get hungry. And the bipartisan national security heavyweights like it this way. So they don't want JASTA to threaten it.

To the 9/11 families, this is not a problem. The say JASTA is specifically worded to include only acts of terrorism sponsored by foreigners against American citizens on American soil.

But clearly they don't understand the power of precedent. And precedent here could be devastating...

... because suppose it wasn't a drone operator, but an administration. And suppose it wasn't a mistake, but a deliberate act of aggression. And suppose it wasn't a bomb dropped in the wrong place, but the invasion, occupation, and destruction of a whole country. And suppose it wasn't half a dozen innocent victims, but half a million. And suppose it didn't happen just once, but over and over and over, for decade after decade...

What if there were a means for victims to seek reparations? What if there were a legal precedent for this? And what if the precedent were set by the United States?

Do you see the problem?

That's not the only problem. It's a big one, but it's not the biggest. I think it's the third biggest; clearly it's the one that the bipartisan national security heavyweights are least unwilling to talk about in public -- even if they only hint at it.

The other two reasons are even darker.



Aside from the question of Sovereign Immunity, there's another question, which is finessed more often than it's answered, and for good reason.

What is terrorism? Or more precisely, Who defines terrorism?

Allowing the definition of terrorism to become a matter for the courts would undermine the war on terrorism, according to the terror warriors themselves, but they only say this when they don't think anyone else is paying attention.

But Stars and Stripes reports:
The White House [...] argued the classification of terrorism should remain an executive authority, not become a question for the courts.
Stars and Stripes also quotes Lt. Col. Pat Testerman, a retired Air Force commander:
“What we define as acts of terrorism or acts of war is up to interpretation,” Testerman said. “And we open ourselves up to significant danger with this.”
Of course they would prefer to keep this fact as quiet as possible, since it's far too easy for people to put two and two together when they realize that the entire global war on terror is predicated on the notion that the President will both define terrorism and command the world's response to it.

This may strike you as similar to the popular notion:

"If we do it, it's Good. If our enemies do it, it's Evil."

If so, you've been paying attention.



The third and officially unspeakable reason why JASTA must get shafted ... is an old sweet song, which only conspiracy theorists can sing. And it goes like this:

The official story of 9/11 is not only false but obviously false, indefensible, ludicrous, absurd. It cannot stand serious scrutiny of any kind, and it most certainly cannot stand up in a court of law.

In a courtroom, as opposed to a press briefing room, witnesses are bound to tell the truth, and subject to cross-examination. There is no sure way to control the questions a lawyer might ask, or the answers a witness might give, or the direction in which a cross-examination might go.

In a nation raised on television, in love with litigation and addicted to infotainment, the trial of a former football player accused of killing two people was enough to stop millions in their tracks for weeks.

A generation later, to a population shocked out of its wits with terror, a 9/11 trial would be the spectacle of the century. Daily coverage would be inevitable. Hundreds of millions, maybe billions of people would be paying close attention. And just one question, or one answer, could be enough to bring the rickety official story crashing down on top of the people who built it.

It would only take one sharp defense attorney. But I'd sooner see two.

The first one would say:

PROVE the 4 planes in question were scheduled to fly on 9/11.
PROVE the 19 alleged hijackers were in the airports on that day.
PROVE the 19 men boarded the 4 planes.
PROVE they forced their way into the cockpits.
PROVE they took control of the aircraft.
PROVE they flew those incredible flight paths.
PROVE they crashed the planes into the buildings,
PROVE the buildings disintegrated because they were hit by airplanes!

THEN we can talk about who was responsible.
This attorney would be very scary, of course, because the government cannot prove any of these things, let alone all of them.

But his partner would be absolutely terrifying, because he would say:

Everybody talks about what the Saudis did, but nobody wants to talk about why. Well, I'll tell you why. They did what they did because they were asked to do it.

This is how things work. Friends do favors for each other. Requests are made. Requests are granted. And operatives don't ask questions.

They had no idea that the people they were helping were going to be used as patsies. They were just following instructions. They didn't even know they were working for an ally, rather than for the kingdom directly. And it didn't matter. They only knew what they were supposed to do. This is how things work.

Did the Bush administration know about it? Of course they did. Who do you think requested the favor? Who else could request such a favor?

Why do you think President Bush and Prince Bandar were so close? Why do you think the White House shut down every investigation that ever started looking into anything connected to Saudi Arabia?

Why do you think so many important Saudi families were allowed to leave the USA immediately after 9/11? Why do you think they got so much help?

Why do you think the 28 pages were classified for so long? Why do you think the mainstream media keeps trying to make this story go away?

And why do you think the government is so intent on keeping all this quiet that they will do absolutely anything to keep it out of court?
Connect the dots. The 28 pages describe the cutouts who set up the patsies. The "hijackers" are just one part of the story -- the part we call "the legend."

Now: Who created the legend? That's part of the story, too.

And: What really happened? That's another part of the story.

What would it take to expose the fraud? Maybe just one court case?

Aha! Now you understand why Obama had to veto JASTA.