(CNN) Saudi Arabia is warning it will sell off billions in American assets if the U.S. Congress passes a bipartisan bill that would allow victims of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks to sue foreign governments.
Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir issued the warning to U.S. lawmakers last month during a visit to Washington, two senior State Department officials told CNN. A source with knowledge of the Saudis' thinking said investments would be put in jeopardy if this bill passes, so they are trying to protect themselves from risk.
The story was first reported Saturday by The New York Times.
The Obama administration has, in turn, applied heavy pressure on Congress to block the bill. Top officials from the State Department and Pentagon warned Senate Armed Services Committee staffers last month that the bill could bring economic risks to the U.S.
The Saudis did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Asked if President Barack Obama would veto the legislation if passed by Congress, a senior administration official told CNN that "rather than entertain a hypothetical, we believe there needs to be more careful consideration of the potential unintended consequences of its enactment before proceeding with legislation." (CNN)
Unless you spent the weekend under a rock, you probably saw this story. Al-Jubeir made a bold-faced threat to our Congress to either do the Saudi’s bidding or face the economic consequences. I have a message for my fellow countrymen. If you still have some reserve of outrage left, now is the time to use it. The Saudis are desperately afraid that a trial would expose the connections between the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks and themselves. I have no idea how far these connections extend, but the Saudis seem to be deathly afraid of the truth. This story comes on the heels of the latest call to declassify and release the 28 pages of the 9/11 Commission Report and only a few days before Obama’s trip to Riyadh.
I hold onto the forlorn hope that our lawmakers will somehow find the stones to stand up to the Saudi gangsters and do the right thing. What could happen if they stood up for the citizens they are supposed to represent? Perhaps some rich people will be a little less rich. Perhaps some frozen assests and hurt feelings. Perhaps some uncomfortable sanctions and ensuing trouble for our allies. That’s all a small price to pay for some truth and honor… and a chance to create some serious perturbations in the Borg Hegemony.
This link describes the legislation in question fairly well.