Obama Rips Bill That Would Allow 9/11 Victim Families to Sue Nations That Support Terrorism

In an interview that aired on Tuesday’s “CBS This Morning,” President Barack Obama discussed some of the lingering issues surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including an unreleased classified portion of the 9/11 report and a legislation called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, would allow victims those attacks to sue countries that support terrorism.

Obama would not commit saying if those pages would be released and he panned the legislation, warning that it would open the United States up to lawsuits by individuals in other countries.

Partial transcript as follows:

ROSE: Let me turn to issues that have been in the news recently, which is the 28 pages of the 9/11 report. Have you read it?

OBAMA: You know, I have a sense of what’s in there, but this has been a process which we generally deal with through the intelligence community and Jim Clapper, our director of national intelligence, has been going through to make sure that whatever it is that is released is not going to compromise some major national security interest in the United States. There are just reams of intelligence that are coming through constantly. Some of them are raw and not tested. Some of them are..

ROSE: And some of that may be in the 28 pages.

OBAMA: And some of that may be in the 28 pages. I don’t know. But the point is is that it’s important for there to be an orderly process where we evaluate this because what can end up happening is if you just dump a whole bunch of stuff out there that nobody knows exactly how credible it is, was it verified or not, they could end up creating problems.

ROSE: But the point is, it’s been a long time.

OBAMA: Yes, it is.

ROSE: It’s a long time.

OBAMA: That I will acknowledge. And hopefully that this process will come to a head fairly soon.

ROSE: And what about this legislation in the Congress that will allow families to sue the Saudi government? And other governments in similar circumstances.

OBAMA: Exactly. I’m opposed because of that second clause in your sentencee and that is this is not just a bilateral U.S.-Saudi issue. This is a matter of how generally the United States approaches our interactions with other countries. If we open up the possibility that individuals in the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor


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