JASTA Poses No Threat to U.S. Military and Veterans
By Terry Strada
Saudi Arabia is spending more than $1.3 million monthly on a massive lobbying and public relations campaign to spread misinformation about the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) to dupe Congress into gutting the law before it has a chance to work. Saudi agents have grotesquely distorted JASTA, but none of their lies is more offensive than their claim that JASTA puts American troops at risk.
These false claims are inimical to U.S. interests, and the Saudi-led campaign to promote them should be considered an act of aggression towards America. The fact is that JASTA does nothing to put U.S. troops at risk, nor does it drastically change our sovereign immunity law. It provides a modest exception to the limited sovereign immunity of foreign states where Americans are injured in the U.S. due to an act of international terrorism caused by the tortious act of a foreign state, and it expressly preserves foreign state immunity where the claim might be for an omission or act that constitutes mere negligence. In other words, JASTA is extremely narrow.
The Saudi-funded distortion would have you believe that other nations will enact “reciprocal” laws that target our troops, but JASTA’s terms are clear. JASTA has nothing to do with the immunity of individuals – neither officials, troops, nor other individuals. It is about foreign countries. It has nothing to do with any nations’ military actions, applying only to “international terrorism” and specifically excluding “acts of war” – both being terms carefully defined in preexisting federal law.
The U.S. generally – and certainly not our armed forces – has nothing to fear from other nations enacting JASTA laws. The Saudi lobbyists are surely aware that, for years, official U.S. policy has been to negotiate and apply Status of Forces Agreements …read more
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