TEHRAN, Oct. 03 (Press Shia Agency) – Prominent American Attorney Rahul Manchanda says the JASTA will bring down ‘Judgment Day’ on the US as the country has been involved either overtly or covertly in terrorist attacks in the vast majority of countries overseas.
15 years has passed since a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by al-Qaeda brought down the World Trade Center complex in New York City, causing the death of nearly 3,000 people, injury of over 6,000 others, in addition to 3 trillion of damage costs. So many aspects of the attacks, which came to be known as 9/11 attacks, are still shrouded in mystery, despite wide-scale investigations carried out immediately by FBI, CIA, and the US Congress that came to constitute the largest criminal inquiry in the history of the United States under the War on Terror campaign. Once it was realized that 15 out of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals, Saudi Arabia became a high suspect on the investigation list. The Arab Kingdom’s potential complicity in the attacks was hinted at in classified US documents which was opened to public scrutiny in the form of 28 pages this July. The declassified pages confirmed suspicions that the terrorists likely received support from high-ranking Saudi intelligence officers, and that “while in the United States, some of the September 11 hijackers were in contact with, and received support or assistance from, individuals who may have be connected to the Saudi Government, there is information, primarily from FBI sources, that at least two of those individuals were alleged by some to be Saudi intelligence officers.”
The alleged connection was strongly rejected by Saudi Arabia, however, and in absence of any definite evidence, the case against the Arab country remained dormant until Wednesday, September 28, when the US Congress voted overwhelmingly to override a veto by Barak Obama and pass into law a bill that would allow the families of the 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for compensations.
Obama had warned the Congress that the bill, the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA), would leave the United States vulnerable to an avalanche of lawsuits for their own state terrorism across the world, not to mention, deliver a hard blow to the US decades-long relationship with Saudi Arabia.
To shed more light on the various dimensions of the JASTA and what the lawsuit would lead to in case of the United States and Saudi Arabia, Mehr News Agency reached out to Rahul Manchanda, famous American immigration attorney and professor based in New York City, who has worked for one of the largest law firms in Manhattan and Paris for more than 14 years. He believes that the JASTA was “an emotionally charged piece of legislation that no member of Congress dared to oppose” but which would bring down a kind of ‘Judgment Day’ for the US, and that Saudi Arabia will most likely implead and seek indemnification from any nations that may have had even the most cursory level of involvement in any capacity, to ultimately close out the litigation.
The following is the full text of Press Shia Agency’s interview with Mr. Rahul Manchanda:
We know that 15 of the 19 hijackers of the 9/11 attacks were Saudis. The 28 pages on Saudi involvement in the terrorist attack, which had been held up for years due to ‘sensitive information’, exposed links between some of the hijackers and officials in Saudi Arabia. What else do we know about Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks? And how strong a case can they build to deny any responsibility now that the US Congress has passed into law a bill that allows family members of 9/11 victims to sue the Arab Kingdom?
The victims bill will likely lead the U.S. in effect to “sue itself” if Saudi Arabia blames elements within the U.S. for the terrorist attacks of 9/11.As in any type of legal case, defendants are allowed to “implead’ or “request indemnification” from anyone whom they deem to be either jointly responsible, or solely responsible for the damages/injuries. As I recently explained on CNN International, there is a very low threshold to implead or gain indemnification from third parties and so we are likely to see the US in effect “suing itself” if Saudi Arabia, as they have previously threatened to do, blame elements within the US for the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Furthermore, you may see other interesting third party countries being dragged into the litigation, provided that cognizable evidence can be shown to overcome the evidentiary hurdles involved in impleading/indemnification (for example, countries where the terrorist funding went through, telecommunications, mail or electronic mail or other “nexus” points. Conspiracy theorists and “truth-tellers” alike would have a field day in terms of adding third party countries to any type of litigation that could take place. And remember the legislation as it is currently written does not single out Saudi Arabia – any US Citizen can sue any country in the world if they believe them to be responsible for terrorist attacks on US Soil.
What does the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) exactly aim to achieve in case of Saudi Arabia, then, and do you think the lawsuit would be successful in achieving its goal?
Based on my reading of the statute, as it does not name Saudi Arabia in particular, I believe that this was an emotionally charged piece of legislation that no member of Congress dared to oppose because of the potential devastating effects it could have on their ability to remain elected in office. Who wants to be that Congressman (or woman) that denied the right of Americans to sue those nations that both mainstream and alternative media (and the 28 pages) declare were responsible for the 9/11 attacks? This is why it passed 97-1. But I do not believe that these representatives thought this through – they may very well see other constituents of theirs (both foreign and domestic, such as Israel and Pakistan) be jammed right into the center of litigation. However, these types of lawsuits will certainly shed some much-needed light on the inner workings of 9/11, the Saudi-Israeli relationship, that have not been obfuscated or hidden yet – it has been 15 years, and therefore much or most of the evidence is either outdated or lost – and it could also implicate other nations/agencies/individuals through exhaustive discovery, interrogatories, and written/verbal testimony.
What do you think the best response for Saudi Arabia could be, and what would the Kingdom more likely do in reaction to this lawsuit?
Saudi Arabia will implead and seek indemnification from any and all nations that may have had even the most cursory and superficial level of involvement in any capacity, to ultimately close out the litigation or cover up the etiology.
For his reason to having vetoed the measure, Obama said to Senate leaders that other countries could use JASTA to justify similar immunity exceptions to target US policies and activities that they oppose. How grim would the situation look for the US in that case?
The JASTA will bring down ‘Judgment Day’ on the US as the country has been involved either overtly or covertly in the vast majority of countries overseas.
Extremely so. Since at least the 1950s the United States has been transformed into a bona fide “National Security State,” wherein they have acted to involve themselves either overtly or covertly in the vast majority of countries overseas. Many of these involvements have resulted in death, damage and injury to foreign governments and individuals – the United States cannot allow its own citizens to sue other governments without allowing the same type of reciprocity overseas to citizens of other nations. Even Iran would theoretically have claims stemming from the 1953 Iranian coup d’état, known in Iran as the 28 Mordad coup, which as you know was the overthrow of the Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in favor of strengthening the monarchical rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi on 19 August 1953, orchestrated by the United Kingdom (under the name “Operation Boot”) and the United States (under the name TPAJAX Project, or Operation Ajax). The various South American, Middle Eastern, African, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and other second and third world nations would also have a field day with this. If there could be a definition of “Judgment Day,” this would be it.
What does this law mean to the eight-decade-long US-Saudi relationship? What would the two sides now stand to lose and gain?
The recent US working relationship with Iran signals a paradigm shift in the Middle East, with the vast majority of American leaders preferring to work with Iran for oil imports and strategic interests, rather than Saudi Arabia.
Practically speaking, the US-Saudi relationship has been in its dying throes for a few years now, as the price of oil has dropped markedly due to the Saudi influx of oil into the market in an attempt to artificially depress the price of oil out of fear of a sanction-less and competing Iran after the Nuclear Deal; furthermore, the revelations that Saudi Arabia was implicated in 9/11, their abhorrent human rights record, their funding and support for Wahhabi/ISIL terrorism worldwide, as well as the revelations that Saudi Arabia has been courting other nations to bolster its defenses and establish relationships (Russia, Israel, India, China, others) in order to defray their dependency on the US, all have contributed to the dwindling of US-Saudi relationship. The petrodollar seems doomed as Trump appears to be ready to assume office, and one of his first actions as President would probably be to somehow repudiate the 23 Trillion National Debt, thus rendering the Petrodollar valueless, with a possible shift to the Gold or Silver Standard. It doesn’t help the US-Saudi relationship that George Soros, Rothschild, and other Central Bankers are hoarding gold right now to shore up their reserves. Plus, the recent US working relationship with Iran signals a paradigm shift in the Middle East, with the vast majority of American leaders, intelligence, and business leaders preferring to work with Iran for oil imports and strategic interests, rather than with an out of control, backwards, and corrupt regime in Saudi Arabia, which appears to be toppling over any minute due to populist revolt. Iran is just a better bet for long term stable US-Islamic World relations, rather than remaining partnered with Saudi Arabia, which thanks to its Wahhabi influence is essentially responsible for global terrorism worldwide, and frankly, gives Islam a bad name. The only obstacle to this natural progression is the Netanyahu-led government of Israel, but even their own Mossad Leaders and Defense Establishment (Efraim Halevy, Meir Dagan, others) want peace with Iran rather than conflict, for Israel’s long term security.
In case of Iran, a US judge once ordered Iran to pay reparations to the families of 9/11 victims, even though there is no evidence of Tehran’s connection to the attack and none of the hijackers were Iranian citizens. How legal was that ruling and does JASTA incorporate similar cases against Iran?
Yes, this was the work of US District Court Judge George Daniels, who similarly exonerated Saudi Arabia of any wrong doing for 9/11. These were obviously extremely political decisions based on Zionist power and influence in New York City. I would invite you to read former CIA Officer Philip Giraldi’s excellent article entitled “Justice Is Blind: The Southern District of New York Is Deaf, Dumb, Blind and Stupid” for a thorough analysis of the whimsical nature of this particular courthouse, and how many perceive it to be simply an arm of Zionist power within the United States, not just for alleged “terrorism” cases but also for the wholesale financial fleecing/plundering of disfavored businesses/ entities/ individuals/ nations, the stifling of African-American/Latino/Minority/Arab/Muslim civil and human rights, and the expansion and augmentation of “favored protected class” litigation and progressive causes.
Famous American immigration attorney and professor Rahul Manchanda leads the Manchanda Law Offices PLCC based at Manhattan, New York, which is considered as one of the notable law firms of the United States dealing in immigration law, international law, civil rights, matrimonial and family law. He completed his law degree from Pace University in 1999. Earlier, he completed his bachelor degree from Boston University in Biology in 1996, and learned Molecular Biology and Evolutionary Biology at Yale University.
Interview by: Marjohn Sheikhi