First and foremost, in America, there is nothing held more sacrosanct than the protection of our troops. That is why arguments made on grounds of needing to "protect our troops," are taken so very seriously by all Americans - especially when delivered, in earnest, by a war veteran in uniform. And, that is why we find the recently revealed actions made on behalf of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to "co-opt our troops" so absolutely appalling.
The 9/11 law, JASTA (Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act) does not place our troops in harm's way. In fact, our troops and our diplomats, along with their actions overseas, have always been protected by the Vienna Convention and individual Status of Force Agreements. JASTA does not affect these long-established protections.
JASTA was a well-thought out, extremely carefully written piece of legislation that was thoroughly studied by the House and Senate Judiciary Committees and their attorneys before it became law. Any concerns or possible unintended consequences from JASTA - including its impact on our troops - were raised and addressed prior to JASTA becoming law. That is why the 9/11 families have always so strenuously dismissed arguments made against JASTA based on grounds that JASTA places our troops in harm's way.
Now, we can better understand why and from where these specious arguments against JASTA originated - the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was paying unwitting proxies to make these bogus claims on their behalf.
We are alarmed to see this level of outright foreign intervention in our legislative process by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Given the alleged recent intervention on behalf of Russia with regard to our electoral process, we believe that the actions undertaken by the Kingdom must also be taken extremely seriously.
Therefore, we call upon the leading voices in Congress who have spoken out regarding the dangers of foreign intervention - Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham - to address these facts that have now come to light regarding the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its actions to manipulate and use members of our armed forces against 9/11 family members and JASTA.
Admittedly, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's recent deceitful actions do not rise to the level of their alleged deeds in connection with the 9/11 attacks - which some believe were an outright act of war. Nevertheless, we believe that these recent actions knowingly engaged in by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to directly and/or indirectly pay members of our military were done expressly with the intent to avoid accountability and prosecution for their alleged role in the September 11, 2001 attacks upon our nation.
Finally, using and manipulating American troops by pitting them against American victims of terrorism is abhorrent. Such Saudi intrigue and subversion is truly an indefensible act and not to be expected from a nation deemed an "ally." This sort of outright foreign manipulation and infiltration of our military personnel by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a government who provides clandestine financial and logistic support to terrorist groups like ISIS, ISIL, and al Qaeda and supports Wahabbist extremism, must not be tolerated.