US Vets Exploited By Saudi Arabia Into Lobbying Against 9/11 Bill

New proof has emerged that Saudi Arabia paid at least one US lobbying group to bring military veterans to Washington to lobby for changes to JASTA.
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    WASHINGTON DC – While many consider the pro-Israel lobby to be the most powerful foreign influence bloc in U.S. politics, others have long argued that the lobbying power of Saudi Arabia is more powerful and the key driver of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and beyond. However, those who have asserted the Saudis’ influence in Washington DC is the strongest of all were understandably surprised when Congress went against the wishes of the oil-rich Gulf Kingdom and passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, commonly referred to by its acronym JASTA or simply as the “9/11” bill.

    JASTA was understandably reviled by the Saudis as it grants American citizens the ability to sue Saudi Arabia as well as any other nations with proven links to terror attacks that occurred on U.S. soil and resulted in American causalities. However, the legislation did more to just upset the Saudis as evidenced by their massive expenditures on expanding its lobbying efforts in DC with the sole intent of preventing the bill from becoming law. The same month that JASTA was introduced, the Saudis recruited both Edelman PR, the largest privately owned public relations agency in the world, and the Podesta Group, the lobbying firm founded by Tony and John Podesta – offering them $16,500 and $200,000 respectively for their services. Yet, these powerful lobbying groups were only the latest additions to the Saudis’ small army of lobbying firms including DLA Piper and Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman.

    Despite thousands of dollars spent and threats to sell up to $750 billion of US treasury assets, the Saudis failed to successfully lobby Congress to not support the bill. While then-President Obama vetoed the bill, it proved to politically inconvenient to ask US Congressmen to veto a bill pushed by 9/11 survivors and victims’ families just months prior to a major election.



    While JASTA is officially on the books as U.S. law, that hasn’t discouraged the Saudis from lobbying to have it amended in their favor. Senator John McCain, who had received $1 million from the Saudi government earlier in the year, promptly co-introduced an amendment to JASTA in November 2016 that would only allow foreign governments to be sued if they “knowingly engage with a terrorist organization directly or indirectly, including financing.” However, this effort too failed to gain traction despite the fact that Saudi payments to American lobbying and public relations firms had reached $1.3 million per month.

    Then, a month later, Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, began an “extended trip” in the U.S. capitol, later telling reporters that he was working “to persuade [US lawmakers] that there needs to be an amendment of the law” as it “represents a grave danger to the international system” by curtailing sovereign immunity.

    With most of their trusted tactics having proven unsuccessful, the Saudis have recently been trying a different approach to convince Congressmen to revoke or amend JASTA – paying U.S. veterans to go the nation’s capitol and personally ask politicians to change their stance. According to a Daily Caller report published in February, the Saudis have been paying at least one public relations firm, Qorvis MSLGROUP, to recruit military veterans to lobby on behalf of the Saudis by offering luxurious, all-expenses-paid trips that – interestingly enough – include stays at the $500-per-night Trump International Hotel.

    Veterans contacted by the initiative told the Caller that they were kept in the dark about who was funding the trip and what they expected to tell to Congress. Evidence also emerged that veterans were told that if other countries passed laws similar to JASTA, individual military service members would be sued in foreign courts, a false claim that allegedly helped Qorvis successfully recruit veterans for its lobbying campaign.

    Now, new proof has emerged that Qorvis was not the only PR firm involved in the Saudi latest lobbying efforts thanks to the recent disclosure of documents recently filed with the Department of Justice. According to the documents, Capitol Media Group – a lobbying firm owned by conservative “reporter” and executive director of the National Republican Trust PAC, Scott Wheeler – was paid $90,000 “to bring three groups of 25 to 35 military veterans to Washington to lobby for changes” to JASTA. The documents also show that Wheeler took direction directly from the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Abdullah bin Faisal.

    The registration of the group’s agreement to work as a foreign agent for the Saudis was months late after its lobbying efforts on behalf of the Saudis began last year – a “mistake” which is technically illegal as the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) requires registration within 10 days of agreeing to become an agent of a foreign government and before beginning such work. The registration, however, was conveniently filed just two days after a group of 9/11 families and survivors filed a complaint with the Department of Justice against the failure of lobbyists working for the Saudis to register.

    Wheeler’s involvement in the Saudi veteran lobbying scandal is noteworthy as Wheeler, a veteran himself, once ardently supported JASTA and accused then-President Obama of “selling out” to the Saudi royal family. It’s amazing how convincing $90,000 can be.

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    • James Wherry

      It would be GREAT, if Americans could sue Sa’udi Arabia and get damages for their crimes like Iran was sued and paid damages for the Beirut Massacre of our Marines in 1983, or the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis of 1979.

      Oh, wait:

      1. Iran has steadfastly refused to pay for their crimes, despite a Federal court finding them responsible for the murder of our Marines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombings

      2. The criminal government of Iran demanded immunity for their crimes against our Embassy as a condition for fulfilling their obligations to protect our embassy staffers. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4458160,00.html

      3. But JASTA passed, so now Sa’udi Arabia CAN be sued for 9/11.

    • James Wherry

      Here’s a classic example of how the neo-NAZ! Pedohile “tapatio” shills for Syria and Iran. His claims are FAKE. No “international” court was set up to address the Marine Corps Barracks bombing. The case went to a U.S. Federal District Court which heard the evidence and listened to the tape recordings of the Iranians giving orders for the IRANIAN suicide bomber to carry out the bombing. “tapatio” thinks he can lie enough and someone will believe him.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombings

      Civil suit against Iran[edit]

      Further information: Iran and state-sponsored terrorism and Terrorism in Iran

      On October 3 and December 28, 2001, the families of the 241 U.S. peacekeepers who were killed as well as several injured survivors filed civil suits against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Ministry of Information and Security (MOIS) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. [127] In their separate complaints, the families and survivors sought a judgment that Iran was responsible for the attack and relief in the form of damages (compensatory and punitive) for wrongful death and common-law claims for battery, assault, and intentional infliction of emotional distress resulting from an act of state-sponsored terrorism.[127]

      Iran (the defendant) was served with the two complaints (one from Deborah D. Peterson, Personal Representative of the Estate of James C. Knipple, et al., the other from Joseph and Marie Boulos, Personal Representatives of the Estate of Jeffrey Joseph Boulos) on May 6 and July 17, 2002.[127] Iran denied responsibility for the attack[128] but did not file any response to the claims of the families.[127] On December 18, 2002, Judge Royce C. Lamberth entered defaults against defendants in both cases.[127]

      On May 30, 2003, Lamberth found Iran legally responsible for providing Hezbollah with financial and logistical support that helped them carry out the attack.[127][129] Lamberth concluded that the court had personal jurisdiction over the defendants under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, that Hezbollah was formed under the auspices of the Iranian government and was completely reliant on Iran in 1983, and that Hezbollah carried out the attack in conjunction with MOIS agents.[127]

      On September 7, 2007, Lamberth awarded $2,656,944,877 to the plaintiffs. The judgment was divided up among the victims; the largest award was $12 million to Larry Gerlach, who became a paraplegic as a result of a broken neck he suffered in the attack.[130]

      The attorney for the families of the victims uncovered some new information, including a U.S. National Security Agency intercept of a message sent from Iranian intelligence headquarters in Tehran to Hojjat ol-eslam Ali-Akbar Mohtashemi, the Iranian ambassador in Damascus. As it was paraphrased by presiding U.S. District Court Judge Royce C. Lamberth, “The message directed the Iranian ambassador to contact Hussein Musawi, the leader of the terrorist group Islamic Amal, and to instruct him … ‘to take a spectacular action against the United States Marines.'”[131] Musawi’s Islamic Amal was a breakaway faction of the Amal Movement and an autonomous part of embryonic Hezbollah.[132]

      In July 2012, federal Judge Royce Lamberth ordered Iran to pay more than $813m in damages and interest to the families of the 241 U.S. peacekeepers that were killed, writing in a ruling that Tehran had to be “punished to the fullest extent legally possible… Iran is racking up quite a bill from its sponsorship of terrorism.”[133][134][135][136] In April 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that frozen assets of Iran’s Central Bank held in the U.S. could be used to pay the compensation to families of the victims.[137]

    • tapatio

      In response to the lie of James Wherry (below) that Iran was sued and paid damages for the deaths of the Marines in Beirut………….Iran was “sued” is US court. NO EVIDENCE that Iran ever participated in the deaths of those Marines was ever presented and Iranian assets were taken. There was NEVER an attempt to sue Iran through legal, international institutions set up SPECIFICALLY for that sort of issue.

    • tapatio

      THE CREDIBILITY OF JAMES WHERRY A SELF-STYLED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST (How can any human claim to follow Christ and promote the crimes of Zionism?) TROLL IN THE EMPLOY OF ISRAEL CAN BE JUDGED FROM WHAT HE IS…………………………

      JAMES WHERRY WAS STUPID ENOUGH TO USE HIS NAME AND A PHOTO THAT COULD BE TRACED. TURNS OUT THAT HE IS……………..

      1 A SELF-STYLED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST. THESE, AH, PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT, ONCE ALL OF THE JEWS ARE GATHERED IN PALESTINE, SOMETHING CALLED “ARMAGEDDON” WILL HAPPEN AND ALL OF THE “CHRISTIAN” ZIONISTS WILL BE WHISKED UP TO HEAVEN WITH THEIR BODIES INTACT IN THE HOLY 0RGASM THEY CALL THE “RAPTURE”. NOBODY HAS EVER EXPLAINED TO THE OTHER 99% OF CHRISTIANITY HOW THESE FUNDAMENTALISTS WHACK-A-MOLES CAN BELIEVE THAT JESUS OR HIS DAD WOULD EVER SUPPORT SUCH FANTASIES OR THE CRIMES SUPPORTED BY PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS.

      2) A MAJOR IN THE US ARMY FROM “CIVIL AFFAIRS”. BABY-BOOMERS MIGHT RECALL THAT “CIVIL AFFAIRS” WAS PROMINENT IN THE “PHOENIX PROGRAM” IN VIETNAM……..THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO TOLD THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE, “LOVE AMERICA OR WE’LL NAPALM YOUR VILLAGE.” WHERRY HAS ALSO BRAGGED ABOUT HELPING TO TRAIN THE STATE TERRORISTS OF UGANDA.

      3) A “GAY” PREDATOR THAT BOUGHT A BOY FROM THE PHILIPPINE SLUMS TO USE AS HIS SXX TOY. PRESUMABLY, THIS BOY HAS PAPERS CLAIMING THAT HE IS OF AGE. BUT, HE COULD PASS FOR A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL KID AND YOU CAN HAVE A BIRTH CERTIFICATE MADE IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR $100..
      https://www.facebook.com/james.wherry.39

      http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article29462263.html

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtrbvD22CEQ

    • James Wherry

      It would be GREAT, if Americans could sue Sa’udi Arabia and get damages for their crimes like Iran was sued and paid damages for the Beirut Massacre of our Marines in 1983, or the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis of 1979.

      Oh, wait:

      1. Iran has steadfastly refused to pay for their crimes, despite a Federal court finding them responsible for the murder of our Marines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombings

      2. The criminal government of Iran demanded immunity for their crimes against our Embassy as a condition for fulfilling their obligations to protect our embassy staffers. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4458160,00.html

      3. But JASTA passed, so now Sa’udi Arabia CAN be sued for 9/11.

      • An Israeli Mossad Agent on his death bed confessed that you Israeli had pre-knowledge of the attack and sat on the information to let the US Marines die so you could trick the Americans into going to war with Iran.

        More Real History Revealed: Did Israel Deliberately Allow 241 American Marines To Die? (1983 Marine Barracks Bombing) http://northerntruthseeker.blogspot.com/2010/10/more-real-history-revealed-did-israel.html

        James, why can we not sue Israel for their complicity in the 1983 Marine Barracks attack?

        • James Wherry

          How is it a “trick” to let the Iranians murder Americans? If the Iranians murdered Americans – which they did – then why shouldn’t we go to war with Iran? Why didn’t Reagan choose to do so, if he was such a war monger, as the far Left frequently spews?

    • SirRobinRanAway

      Didn’t Israel’s Mossad do the 9/11 hoax?

      • tapatio

        They did……in cooperation with the CIA, the Bush regime and Saudi Arabia.

    • Mohammad

      Having failed with 9/11 the Saudis are resorting to corrupting the American politician and ultimately destroying America.

      • They did not fail to start the proxy wars.

        The Saudi-Israeli failure was to recognize that their proxy wars will finish them in the end.

        • Mohammad

          Thats true and is much desired by the victims of their terrorism

    • tapatio

      Washington had best pray that the Saudis never have to appear in civil court over 9/11. It’s one thing to know that the Bush regime/Israelis/Saudis committed 9/11. It’s another to have that proven in court.

      • tapatio

        THE CREDIBILITY OF JAMES WHERRY (comment below) A SELF-STYLED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST (How can any human claim to follow Christ and promote the crimes of Zionism?) TROLL IN THE EMPLOY OF ISRAEL CAN BE JUDGED FROM WHAT HE IS…………………………

        JAMES WHERRY WAS STUPID ENOUGH TO USE HIS NAME AND A PHOTO THAT COULD BE TRACED. TURNS OUT THAT HE IS……………..

        1) A “GAY” PREDATOR THAT BOUGHT A BOY FROM THE PHILIPPINES TO USE AS HIS SXX TOY. PRESUMABLY, THIS BOY HAS PAPERS CLAIMING THAT HE IS OF AGE. BUT, HE COULD PASS FOR A JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL KID.

        2) A MAJOR IN THE US ARMY FROM “CIVIL AFFAIRS”. BABY-BOOMERS MIGHT RECALL THAT “CIVIL AFFAIRS” WAS PROMINENT IN THE “PHOENIX PROGRAM” IN VIETNAM……..THOSE WONDERFUL FOLKS WHO TOLD THE VIETNAMESE PEOPLE, “LOVE AMERICA OR WE’LL NAPALM YOUR VILLAGE.” WHERRY HAS ALSO BRAGGED ABOUT HELPING TO TRAIN THE STATE TERRORISTS OF UGANDA. (And Wherry holds a law degree from some cow college in Iowa and has even been censured by the American Bar Association)

        3) A SELF-PROFESSED “CHRISTIAN” ZIONIST. THESE, AH, PEOPLE BELIEVE THAT, ONCE ALL OF THE JEWS ARE GATHERED IN PALESTINE, SOMETHING CALLED “ARMAGEDDON” WILL HAPPEN AND ALL OF THE “CHRISTIAN” ZIONISTS WILL BE WHISKED UP TO HEAVEN WITH THEIR BODIES INTACT IN THE HOLY 0RGASM THEY CALL THE “RAPTURE”. NOBODY HAS EVER EXPLAINED TO THE OTHER 99% OF CHRISTIANITY HOW THESE FUNDAMENTALISTS WHACK-A-MOLES CAN BELIEVE THAT JESUS OR HIS DAD WOULD EVER SUPPORT SUCH FANTASIES OR THE CRIMES SUPPORTED BY PSEUDO-CHRISTIAN ZIONISTS..
        https://www.facebook.com/james.wherry.39

        http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/news/local/article29462263.html

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtrbvD22CEQ

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    • James Wherry

      Yes: it would be GREAT, if Americans could sue Sa’udi Arabia and get damages for their crimes like Iran was sued and paid damages for the Beirut Massacre of our Marines in 1983, or the U.S. Embassy hostage crisis of 1979.

      Oh, wait:

      1. Iran has steadfastly refused to pay for their crimes, despite a Federal court finding them responsible for the murder of our Marines. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1983_Beirut_barracks_bombings

      2. The criminal government of Iran demanded immunity for their crimes against our Embassy as a condition for fulfilling their obligations to protect our embassy staffers. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4458160,00.html

      3. But JASTA passed, so now Sa’udi Arabia CAN be sued for 9/11.

      • TecumsehUnfaced

        What about Iran suing the USA for overthrowing its democratically elected government in 1953?