Like his predecessors, President Obama is putting cozy ties with the Saudi royals ahead of telling the truth to the American people about the Saudi role in 9/11, writes 9/11 widow Kristen Breitweiser.
By Kristen Breitweiser
Why does President Obama think it’s okay for 15 Arabs (and four of their friends) to come into our country, hijack our planes, crash them into our buildings, and brutally kill 3,000 innocent people? Because those 15 Arabs were Saudis, that’s why. And, Saudis are special. Saudis are apparently allowed to get away with murder — or at least the financing of it.
I am a 9/11 widow. My husband Ron was killed while he was working at his desk for Fiduciary Trust Company on the 94th floor of Tower 2. Ron was 39 years old, I was 30, and our daughter was two. I watched the horror unfold on live worldwide television as I stood in my kitchen speaking to Ron. Moments later, I watched Flight 175 slice into his building, exactly where he stood on the other end of the line talking to me.
Since 9/11, my life has been spent fighting for truth, accountability, and lessons to be learned so that no other family would ever have to suffer such searing pain and tragic loss. Shamefully, my government has fought me tooth and nail along the way. Recently, it has become increasingly clear to me why my government has fought against such transparency, accountability, and revelation of the truth regarding the 9/11 attacks.
There are 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress (an investigation into the U.S. government intelligence failures prior to 9/11) that have remained classified and hidden away from the American public by both the Bush and Obama Administrations. These 28 pages allegedly prove that the Saudis had a controlling hand in funding the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 innocent people.
Now, it’s more than fair to say that if these 28 pages blamed the Iraqis or the Iranians for financing the 9/11 attacks, they would have been released years ago. Unfortunately, since the 28 pages allegedly implicate the Saudis, they’re likely to remain secret and kept away from the American public forever.
Knowing that evidence of your husband’s murder is being specifically withheld from you by the President — with the sole intent to protect the terrorists and their financial backers — is not something any American should ever have to tolerate.
Unfortunately, the 28 pages aren’t the only example of the U.S. government protecting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to the detriment of the 9/11 families. For the past 15 years, the 9/11 families have also tried to hold the KSA accountable in a court of law. Most recently, the KSA was dismissed from the 9/11 case on grounds of foreign sovereign immunities protection under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA).
The FSIA was clearly not created with the intent that nations that sponsor mass terrorism should get away with it scot-free. Nevertheless, the U.S. government has wholeheartedly supported this perverted and warped use of the FSIA by the Saudis. In short, it seems that as long as you are an ally of the U.S. and not a named state-sponsor of terrorism, apparently you can underwrite all the mass murder you want and get away with it.
Obviously, the 9/11 families have fought very hard against the Saudis misuse of the FSIA and their dismissal from our case. In fact, several times we have petitioned for a writ of certiorari seeking Supreme Court review of our case. Each time, the U.S. Department of Justice (at the direction of President Obama) has written “Letters of Interest” recommending that the Supreme Court deny hearing our case thereby allowing the Saudis to remain excused from our case via their FSIA shield.
Why would President Obama recommend that the highest court in the land refuse to hear our case about the worst terrorist attack in the land? If he wasn’t going to support us, couldn’t he just have kept his mouth shut? Did he really need to intervene and kill our chances of Supreme Court review? And, why does President Obama, as well as certain other members, officials and bureaucrats in our government, think it is more important to support and protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rather than Americans who were victims of a terrorist attack?
Finding ourselves blocked by the President with regard to the release of the 28 pages, and with regard to the Supreme Court reviewing the dismissal of the KSA as a key defendant in our case, we turned to the U.S. Congress for help. And Congress answered our call with a vital piece of anti-terror legislation called JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act).
JASTA ensures that no nation (including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) that funds terrorism will be able to use the FSIA as a shield to their culpability. JASTA is the legislative response to the Saudi’s misuse of the FSIA in our 9/11 court case. JASTA removes FSIA protections from the KSA and, as a result, the 9/11 families will finally be able to have our day in court against the Saudis.
Notably, JASTA merely brings the KSA back into court and allows for the discovery and investigation to begin against the Saudi’s and their financial role in the 9/11 attacks — nearly 15 years after the crime was committed. Egregiously, it has taken eight long years in Washington, several Congresses, and two Secretaries of State to get JASTA even close to passing into law. (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wasn’t exactly an enthusiastic supporter of JASTA, but then again, neither is Secretary John Kerry. The KSA has given between $10 million and 25 million to the Clinton Foundation.)
Unsurprisingly, as soon as JASTA was set to pass with Senate approval, the shadowy Saudi-protectionist hand of the U.S. government, once again, reached out to block our progress. A whisper campaign with no fingerprints was dispensed to kill JASTA.
And, those whispers sounded something like this: if JASTA passes, the Saudis will bankrupt our economy by withdrawing $800 billion worth of T-bonds, and even worse, if JASTA passes, the Saudis will stop protecting and sharing intelligence information with the U.S. and leave us vulnerable to an ISIS attack.
So, it would seem that the same group of people who fought against the release of the 28 pages, and our case being heard by the Supreme Court, are at it once again, this time opposing JASTA and labeling it a diplomatic disaster.
Exactly how a piece of legislation, like JASTA, that stops nations from funding terrorists who want to kill Americans can be labeled a diplomatic disaster defies logic. Does anyone think the folks in Belgium would have a problem with JASTA? What about Paris? San Bernardino?
The problem is that those of us who are victims of terrorist attacks don’t exactly benefit from any relationship with the KSA — a nation that has knowingly funded terrorists for years. Conversely, those who do directly benefit from a “special relationship” with the KSA feel that the rest of us should just quietly go away and accept our plight and fate.
Why does our government cover up and protect the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rather than hold them accountable for their funding of terrorist groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda? Why does our government not care about victims of terrorism funded by the KSA? In a nutshell, here’s why:
- The U.S. has sold nearly $100 billion worth of weapons to KSA. Our defense contracting industrymakeslarge campaign contributions to ex-presidents, presidents, potential presidents, and various members of Congress.
- KSA funds the CIA for its “off the books” forays around the world — in other words, when the CIA wants to do something without the mess and hassle of Congressional oversight (like the war in Yemen and Syria, Iran-Contra, funding the Mujahedeen, etc.), they turn to the KSAto fundtheir recreational activities.
- KSA providesdrone basesfor the U.S. military.
- KSA is part of the newly formed coalitionfightingagainst Assad and prosecuting the proxy war in Yemen (supposedly to combat Iranian influence).
- The U.S. apparentlysoldapproximately $800 billion of U.S. Treasury Bonds to the KSA and they now threaten to cash out, thereby crashing the U.S. economy. 6. KSA pays lobbying firms with deep ties to the Obama, Bush and Clinton White Houses in addition to Congress.
Three thousand innocent people were killed on 9/11. Right here, on our soil. Those men and women were slaughtered in broad daylight. And to this day, not one person, not one official, not one Kingdom has been held accountable in an open court of law. Not one. And that is a crime itself.
Rumor has it that President Obama is soon scheduled to travel to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I only wish I could adequately relay the disgust I have in my heart when I anticipate having to see my President smiling, laughing and joking with his “special Saudi friends” — the very same people who I believe underwrote the murder of my husband and nearly 3,000 others.
President Obama, you must not have read those 28 pages of the JICI, because if you did, I cannot fathom how or why you could ever bow and kiss the ring of Saudi terror. No amount of money, no greed, no power, no regional interest could ever be worth such treason.
9/11 widows Patty Casazza, Monica Gabrielle, Mindy Kleinberg, and Lorie Van Auken also sign their name to this blog. Follow Kristen Breitweiser on Twitter: www.twitter.com/kdbreitweiser. [This article originally appeared as a blog post at HuffingtonPost.]