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Brian McGlinchey

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Lobbyists Concealed Their Saudi Paymasters From Veterans Pressed to Lobby Against 9/11 Bill

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Three veterans who were flown to Washington as part of a Saudi-sponsored campaign to lobby for changes to the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) say organizers of the event concealed the Saudi role in the initiative.

Enacted in September 2016 over President Obama’s veto, JASTA altered the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act in a way that cleared the path for 9/11 families and survivors to sue the kingdom for its alleged support of the hijackers.

Earlier this month, The Daily Caller and Politico were first to report that Qorvis MSLGROUP, the public relations giant that works on behalf of Saudi Arabia, has been organizing veterans to travel to Washington at no expense to lobby against JASTA. The veterans initiative is part of a much broader Saudi campaign against the law.

The central argument motivating veterans’ participation—and being used in their lobbying—is that, if other countries reciprocate and pass laws similar to JASTA, individual US service members could be sued in foreign courts. That claim is false, according to William S. Dodge, former counselor on international law at the US State Department and a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law. (See our detailed analysis of this and related claims.)

In exclusive interviews with 28Pages.org, US Marine Corps and Iraq war veterans David Casler, Tim Cord and Dan Cord shed damning new light on a brazen campaign that turns American veterans into unwitting lobbyists for a kingdom accused of aiding the 9/11 attacks and continuing to support extremism well beyond that day.
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Veterans Being Misled On JASTA, Says International Law Expert

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As Saudi lobbyists continue to fly U.S. military veterans to Washington to oppose a recently-passed law that cleared the way for 9/11 families and victims to sue the kingdom for its alleged assistance to the hijackers, an expert on international law says the principal argument motivating the veterans’ participation is false.

Lobbyists are persuading veterans to call for the amendment or repeal of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) by claiming that, if other countries reciprocate and pass similar laws, individual military service members and veterans will be exposed to lawsuits in foreign courts.

William S. Dodge, a former counselor on international law at the U.S. State Department, tells 28Pages.org that notion is fundamentally at odds with the actual language of JASTA itself and the principles of international law.

JASTA poses no risk of exposing U.S. service members to lawsuits in foreign courts. JASTA deals only with the immunity of foreign states, not individuals,” says Dodge, a professor at the University of California, Davis School of Law.
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Saudi Lobbyists Recruiting Veterans to Kill 9/11 Lawsuit

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Using misinformation and lots of cash, Saudi Arabia is recruiting well-meaning U.S. military veterans into its campaign to eviscerate a recently-passed law allowing 9/11 families to sue the monarchy for its alleged role in facilitating the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

It’s a brazen effort, considering 9/11 inspired so many veterans to enter military service. However, working through hired American proxies who don’t draw attention to their Saudi sponsorship, the kingdom is finding success by taking advantage of veterans’ patriotic instincts.

Specifically, lobbyists are telling veterans that, if other countries reciprocate by passing laws like the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), military service members and veterans will be sued in foreign courts.

Veterans who do their own research will discover an essential fact Saudi Arabia doesn’t want them to know: JASTA only allows U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments for supporting terrorism—not individuals.
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Like Saudi Arabia, Israel Has a Soft Spot for Sunni Extremism

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Thanks to last summer’s release of 28 pages detailing a variety of links between 9/11 hijackers and Saudi government officials—and the October leak of a 2014 email from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declaring the Saudi government was directly supporting ISIS—it’s increasingly clear that the US government’s depiction of Saudi Arabia as a vital ally in the “war on terror” is dishonest.

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia isn’t the only supposed “ally” whose official depiction as a steadfast foe of terrorism is out of sync with reality: The branding of Israel is also deeply misleading.

Israeli Aid to Al Qaeda in Syria

Though it received very little coverage in US media, last year it was revealed that the Israeli government was providing medical support to the al Nusra Front, a Syrian arm of al Qaeda.

That would seem inconsistent with routine declarations from US politicians that there should be “no daylight” between the United States and Israel, language that suggests two peoples whose interests are in perfect alignment.
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Bush Administration Official: Saudi Ties to 9/11 Hidden to Protect Iraq War Narrative

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In his September 20, 2001 address to a joint session of Congress, President George W. Bush laid out a defining principle of his nascent war on terror: “We will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.”

Even as he spoke those words, however, his administration had already embarked on a course that would mark them as a towering example of US foreign policy hypocrisy. The Bush White House would soon present false claims linking 9/11 to Iraq, while simultaneously hiding credible evidence implicating Saudi Arabia—evidence summarized in the final, 28-page chapter of a 2002 joint congressional intelligence inquiry into 9/11.

Bush demanded the 28 pages be kept from the American public, and it’s increasingly clear why: As former State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson tells 28Pages.org, to a White House bent on selling an invasion of Iraq, compelling evidence of Saudi complicity in the attacks was an unwelcome distraction.
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On 60 Minutes, A Compelling Case for Releasing 28 Pages on 9/11

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The movement to declassify 28 pages on foreign government ties to 9/11 received its highest-profile exposure to date yesterday, as 60 Minutes aired a report that featured insights from several former officials who are familiar with what the 28 pages contain—and believe the information should be public.

Even before it aired, Steve Kroft’s report had already had an impact: This afternoon, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released a statement reviving her long-dormant stance that the pages should be declassified.

The 28 pages are an entire chapter in the 838-page report of a joint House-Senate intelligence inquiry into 9/11 conducted in 2002. They were redacted by the George W. Bush administration over the objection of many who served on the inquiry, and of 46 senators who signed a 2003 letter to Bush demanding the release of the pages to the public. Among the signatories: future Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry and future Vice President Joe Biden.
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