Congress overrides POTUS veto

I had a discussion on this topic a few days back. Congress is smart enough to realize the possible repercussions that may stem from this event (foreign lands suing the US) and have a plan to avoid these costly events. From this, the only angle i was able to see was using this unprecedented event as a deterrent. Lands that harbor terrorist cells can no longer play coy. They can now be held liable with monetary ramifications, and will ,at least this was my interpretation of the plan, become more active in preventative measures. Thoughts?

You’re giving Congress way too much credit. It’s pretty simple, Obama doesn’t have to worry about getting re-elected, most of Congress does.

^Have a link to a good article explaining the issue with pros and cons? I just don’t know enough about it to have an opinion. I’m thinking the historical context is important to grasp. Fairly ignorant on this one.

From the point of view of US national interests, this is a major mistake if passed. Sovereign states have to be legally exempt for our modern system of policy to work. This type of policy could badly spiral out of control and may be unenforceable. I get that families of victims want justice, but if Congress thinks this is the way, they will find out the reality shortly.

And yes, GOTUS itself will likely be a major target.


If the US wants to punish countries that support terrorism, it should be done through military and diplomatic channels, not through the courts.

I think this is a very simple vision which strikes us all at first thought. Yet, if you take the time to think of how this could play out, you’ll start to understand that the US has the best lawyers (aka they will win most lawsuits) and, more importantly, will allow these nations to be held accountable, despite if they are truly guilty or not, thus forcing them into taking more internal actions to ensure the US doesnt get attacked.

^I don’t think you’ve thought this through.

I think it’s extremely funny SA is threatening to sell ~$750B of US assets. Given what’s going on in Europe at the moment and the extremely high demand for USD, they’d get gobbled up in no time. SA doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Looking at it another way, this is a good option to screw with SA given we won’t take military action there even though they (the radical muslim population, not the royals) were (and continue to be) directly responsible for training terrorists.

The royal family is actually in a bad spot. They aren’t radicals themselves, but they have to put up with the radicals for political reasons. It’s kind of ironic, suing them may be the most diplomatic way of punishing them without causing a major dust-up.

I wonder what other cases besides Saudi will pop up. Any ideas? Lawyers being lawyers will search the globe.

No doubt i’m missing things. Yet, for the senate to pass 99-1 i believe there are ulterior motives. I just wanted to bring it up to brainstorm possible ideas. The straight forward excuse of an election season seems too transparent to me.

I don’t know. I’m with Palantir here. How the heck would it be enforced? Is there a world court? The U.S. would be inviting an infinite number of lawsuits against themselves.

There is always the ICJ -in fact i believe it is already possible to sue foreign nations in the ICJ - but this legislation stipulates trials be held in a US court.

Enforcement is easy. Stop giving aid (particularly in the form of fighter jets) to SA. They’ll pay up real fast.

I’ve been trying to find a detailed analysis of this issue as well, but haven’t found anything substantially useful. It’s true that this would undermine some authority of the US government in foreign policy. But what if the US government is actually mismanaging foreign policy and needs private citizens to push it in the right direction?

Also, I don’t know if the same lawsuit risk will come back to the US government, since the US can generally exert pressure on other countries to behave in their interests. It is reasonably to expect that US citizens have more freedom and means to sue other entities than Saudi Arabian citizens. Saudi Arabia can most likely convince its citizens to behave in return for benefits it receives from its relationship with the US. The same applies to 90% of countries, which have more autocratic governments and less litigious citizens compared to the US.

Other than the executive branch of the US, which has a clear interest in monopolizing foreign policy, I’m not aware of other entities who really oppose the Saudi Arabia lawsuits. They might just be afraid of offending 9/11 people, though.

As for precedent, US families did sue Libya over the 1989 plane attack. There was some drama and government meddling, but Gaddafi did end up paying about $1.5 billion in the end. The implications of the legal precedent that this set is unclear to me.

There is a plausible argument that the Saudi Arabia issue could undermine some US interests, but beneath the surface, I don’t know if anything has been convincingly established. Most likely, the implications are just unclear and therefore present some risk.

the royals have been pumping money into wahabi extremism for a while now!

Obviously, but they’re doing it to stay in power. It’s splitting hairs I guess, but the royals were never extremists. However, to maintain control they needed the backing of the radicals so they supported them. At first (many decades ago) it was just to control their own population. Now, it’s grown out of control but there’s not much the royals can do about it.

That’s put in amazingly simplistic terms, especially since there are dozens of members of the royal family and some are complete assholes. I’ll link to some interesting info when I have some more time.

My understanding is that we have been able to sue countries that were deemed terrorist states for a long time. The barrier is that Saudi has not been labeled a terrorist state by our government. Thanks for the link.

this seems like an appropriate place to put this:


I forgot the name of the book until now…The Looming Tower. I’m sure there are some here that have read it. I’ve picked it up a few times but haven’t made it all the way through. It’s much larger in scope than just what’s going on in SA, but does talk a lot about the royals and the role they played in the rising extremism since post WWII. Good read. I recommend it.