The decision by the US Congress to defy the President on this issue leaves Obama more isolated than he has ever been over his two terms in the office, and will do lasting damage to his legacy.
It also reminds us that there remain far too many unanswered questions surrounding 9/11, questions that have given rise to a thriving conspiracy theory industry in the years since the attack occurred. Here it is important to disabuse those who have fallen into the trap of ascribing legitimacy and veracity to the junk science and fantastical theoretical analysis which supports the assertion that 9/11 was an ‘inside job.’ It was not, which any serious rendering of the facts makes abundantly clear.
But back to the Saudis and its is worth recalling that immediately after the attack took place US aviation authorities quickly ordered the grounding of every commercial and non-military private aircraft in order to clear US airspace.
- As Obama put it, a "dangerous precedent" that could open a Pandora's box of lawsuits against the US itself55.7% (3455)
- An opportunity for the families of 9/11 victims to finally get justice, which proves that Congress made the right move44.3% (2747)
The Saudis are thought to be a major owner of US debt. Yet significantly, unlike other countries that hold substantial amounts of US debt – i.e. China and Japan – the US Treasury will not disclose precisely the amount of debt held by its Saudi ally. It is also a fact that the Saudi government has been putting significant resources into the creation of a vast PR and lobbying operation in Washington, designed to foment a positive media and political orientation towards Riyadh.
All in all, we are talking about a very murky relationship between both countries, one of mutual advantage economically, politically, and strategically. Perhaps this is why the Saudis have managed to escape undue pressure or media attention over 9/11.
To put it another way, imagine for a moment if 15 of the 19 hijackers had been Iranian or Syrian nationals. Does anyone seriously believe that neither the Iranian or Syrian governments would have been held responsible and made to pay a heavy price long before now?war crimes on a grand scale in Yemen with barely a peep in the Western media or from Western governments, this tells its own story.
The 9/11 families and a US Congress that dare not defy them, given the emblematic and iconic status of 9/11 within the country, have with this vote punctured this cosy relationship. For many it is something long overdue.
The story cannot end with the Saudis being put on trial for 9/11, though. How can it possibly end when the atrocious crime of 9/11 was the catalyst for the even more atrocious crime of the war on Iraq. In this regard, the people of Iraq would be more than justified in bringing a similar civil suit to bear against the US government for destroying not only a few buildings and killing a few thousand, but for destroying an entire country and killing untold thousands.
For justice to be truly just, there has to be enough to go round.
The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.