Sen. Graham Blocks 9/11 Lawsuit Bill Amid Saudi Threats

Bill's Status Looms Large Over Obama's Visit to Riyadh

The battle over the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act continues to grow today, with co-sponsor Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) announcing that he’s going to block his own bill, to “make sure that anything we do doesn’t come to bite us.”

It’s unspoken, but the admission is the latest response to Sunday’s threats by Saudi Foreign Minister Abu Jubeir to sell $750 billion in US treasury assets in response to the law, a move which if done rapidly could do massive damage to the US dollar and the American economy in general.

The act would allow victims to sue foreign countries in US courts if those countries are involved in terror attacks on American soil, with Saudi Arabia’s government’s involvement in 9/11 likely to be a major target for such lawsuits. The Saudi leverage over the US economy seems to have derailed the law outright, with the White House also indicating a probable veto of the measure over fears it would “harm taxpayers.”

This complex and in many ways scandalous state of affairs comes amid President Obama’s planned visit to Saudi Arabia, and while he probably will try his darnedest to keep the matter out of the public statements surrounding the visit, it seems inescapable that the matter will be a topic of major discussion, with the Saudis bound to reiterate their threats to collapse the US economy during the visit.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.