Obama: 'If We Let Americans Sue Saudis For 9/11, Foreigners Will Begin Suing Us Non-Stop'RT
Apr. 20, 2016
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President Barack Obama has said the classified pages of the 9/11 Commission report that do not "compromise major national security interests" may "hopefully" be soon released, but argued against any potential legal action against Saudi citizens.
Obama, who flew to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, discussed in an interview with Charlie Rose his relationship with the Saudi regime and the controversially-classified 28 pages of the report, which some believe contain links between 9/11 terrorists or Al-Qaeda and Saudi officials.
The full conversation aired Tuesday night on PBS after initially airing highlights on CBS News.
Former US Senator Bob Graham, who has seen the pages as intelligence committee chair, had already told the CBS program “60 Minutes” that he believes the Saudi government helped the 9/11 hijackers.
When asked by Rose if he had read the pages, Obama said he “had a sense of what’s in there.”
While admitting it has been a long time since the US intelligence started evaluating the data contained in the classified pages, Obama said that “a whole bunch of stuff” needs to be “verified.”
He hinted that “hopefully this process will come to a head very soon.”
“But this has been a process which we generally deal through the intelligence community, and Jim Clapper, our director of intelligence, has been going through to make sure that whatever it is that is released, is not going to compromise some major national security interests of the United States, and my understanding is that he’s about to complete that process,” said Obama.
Rose also asked about legislation that would allow the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudis, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, but has yet to be voted on by the full body.
Obama has said that he doesn’t support the bill, due to the possibility of foreign citizens – presumably victims of US wars and drone strikes – suing the government.
"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," the commander-in-chief said.
The Saudis have reportedly threatened to sell its $750 billion in US assets if Congress passes the law.
Obama described the US as “the world’s singular superpower” during the full interview and said anyone who doubts his willingness to take military actions should “ask Bin Laden.”