PressTV: US veterans tricked and insulted by Saudis

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The Saudis have “insulted” American veterans by tricking them into lobbying on their behalf to scrap a law allowing families of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to sue the kingdom, says an American scholar.

Veterans Today Editor Kevin Barrett, author and Islamic studies expert, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday.

Veterans say they have been tricked into taking Saudi-funded luxury trips to Washington in order to lobby lawmakers in Congress to scrap the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), according to the New York Post.

In September, the US Congress made an effort to override then-president Barack Obama’s veto of JASTA, which clears the path to sue Riyadh for the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 people and destroyed some $10 billion in property.

This is while 15 of the 19 hijackers that allegedly carried out the attacks were Saudi nationals and available evidence suggests some of them were linked to high-ranking Saudi officials.

Barrett described the Saudi initiative to hire military veterans to eviscerate the act as an “insult to the veterans.”

This is like “you need to get rid of the law or you will be called a terrorist,” he added.

The veterans have said they did not realize they were lobbying for the Saudis and yet they were told that they could be held responsible for terrorism in the countries that they fought in, for example in Afghanistan and Iraq, Barrett said.

The scholar further insisted that individual soldiers cannot be sued, but the US government could be sued because of the wars of aggression it waged in Afghanistan and Iraq. He believed that individual veterans have nothing to fear in this regard.

The historian pointed out that JASTA has also been invoked against Israel, which is a much more “likely perpetrator than Saudi Arabia ever was.”

Israel has been sued under JASTA, although not in a 9/11 related case, he added.

So the veterans “have every right to be angry,” Barrett said, because they were sent to Washington under a false pretext, while they were actually lobbying on behalf of Saudi Arabia.

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Press TV (stylised PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news and documentary network, affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB).

IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran. IRIB’s head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is considered to be close to the country’s conservative political faction.

Press TV is headquartered in Tehran, and has offices and bureaus around the world, including London, Beirut, Damascus, Kabul, and the Gaza Strip. It bills itself as a third alternative to what it considers to be biased Western media and to Sunni media attached to radical Islamic terror groups; critics consider it a shill for the Iranian regime.

Press TV is the first Iranian international news network. Their global Tehran-based headquarters is staffed with outstanding Iranian and foreign media professionals. Press TV is extensively networked with bureaus located in the world’s most strategic cities. They feature often neglected voices and perspectives from around the world with aim to build bridges of cultural understanding, encouraging cooperation and unity between human beings of different nationalities, and races. They bring to light untold and overlooked stories of individuals who have experienced the vitality and versatility of political and cultural divides firsthand.


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3 COMMENTS

  1. Everyone has fooled the US military vet. As a Vietnam combat vet I feel fooled. Dr. Barrett how can you even mention 19 high jackers. Not one airport video was ever posted showing the alleged 19 getting on a plane. I’m not saying don’t sue the Saudi’s, but it seems using the official report as evidence is rubber stamping a lie.
    If victims are allowed to sue Saudi Arabia it will be because some group wants the Saudis to take the rap. It’s a miss direct.

    • “If victims are allowed to sue the Saudis it will be because some group wants the Arabians to take the rap. It’s a miss direct.” -fixed.
      Saudis and Wahabis aren’t Arabian, they’re Iraqi cryptos.

  2. Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA)
    I think this act should be adopted by every country. Any one who knows a bit about law will tell you that putting a gun to some one’s head and getting exemption from prosecution is not lawful.

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