A bombshell report by the New York Times has revealed that Saudi Arabia, the third largest holder of U.S. Treasury bills in the world behind China and Japan, has warned the Obama administration and Congress that they will begin liquidating their U.S. assets if Congress passes a bill allowing for the Saudi government to be held responsible for their role in the terror attacks of 9/11.
Make no mistake that this is blackmail, as the Saudis are estimated to hold three-quarters of a trillion dollars in T-bills and the sudden divestment would almost certainly crash the dollar as well as global markets along with it.
Perhaps this explains Obama’s unwavering support for the Wahhabi regime, as congressional aides and administration officials have confirmed that the President has been lobbying Congress to block passage of the bill. Administration officials have warned Senators that if the Saudis make good on their threat, there would be extreme economic and diplomatic fallout.
The bill before the Senate is meant to clarify that the immunity enjoyed by foreign nationals should not be applicable to cases where a nation is found responsible for a terrorist attack on American soil. If passed, the bill would effectively clear the way for the role of the Saudi government to be explored in the numerous lawsuits filed regarding 9/11.
Realizing their complicity in the events of 9/11 are on the precipice of being exposed, Saudi Arabia has gone into full panic mode. They are now threatening to liquidate hundreds of billion in U.S. denominated assets, and perhaps as much as $750 billion in U.S. T-bills (the NYT’s estimate of Saudi Treasury holdings).
During last month’s visit to Washington, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir delivered a message from the Saudi King, reportedly “telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts,” according to the NY Times.
The spectacular threat by the Saudis was not expected, as speculation about using divestment of T-bills as a weapon was largely thought of as a potential threat to be wielded by the Chinese in the event of a major geopolitical conflict with the United States. Surprisingly, it was the Saudis that are the first to threaten to use this potentially devastating economic weapon.
The threat is indicative of a continually deteriorating relationship with the Saudis, as the U.S. and the Kingdom have been at odds over how to deal with Iran. Many experts are skeptical of the threat by the Saudis due to the fact that the move, would in turn, decimate the Saudi Arabian economy, as their currency is pegged to the dollar.
According to the NY Times report:
Obama has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot.
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So why would this be the case?
Surprisingly, it isn’t the economic impact that the Obama administration is most concerned about, but rather what a legitimate inquiry into the Saudi Arabian role in the attacks of 9/11 would reveal, and subsequently whom it would implicate in the attacks.
Hence, the administration has forwarded a strawman argument, claiming that the legislation would ultimately put Americans at risk overseas.
“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.
Families of the 9/11 victims have attempted to utilize the U.S. court system as a means of holding members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks, and charities liable due to alleged Saudi financial support for the attacks. These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts, according to Zero Hedge.
It is this 1976 law that the proposed Senate bill aims to overturn, which now has the Saudis threatening the economic “nuclear” option.
Of course, the administration can’t outright admit that they are attempting to keep the truth buried, thus the government claims that weakening the sovereign immunity provisions would put the American government, along with its citizens and corporations, in legal risk abroad because other nations might retaliate with their own legislation. This was highlighted in February when Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel that the bill would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”
In layman terms, if the U.S. fully explores the role of the Saudis in the 9/11 attacks, due to the passing of this bill, then other nations would perhaps follow suit and strip U.S. immunity — in respect to terror attacks on their soil.
Essentially, the U.S. government fears that their own global terrorist misdeeds will then be unmasked if there is a reciprocation by other nations, an almost unthinkable scenario that would decimate U.S. standing across the globe.
Jay Syrmopoulos is a political analyst, free thinker, researcher, and ardent opponent of authoritarianism. He is currently a graduate student at University of Denver pursuing a masters in Global Affairs. Jay’s work has been published on TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared, Ben Swann’s Truth in Media, Truth-Out, Raw Story, MintPress News, as well as many other sites. You can follow him on Twitter @sirmetropolis, on Facebook at Sir Metropolis and now on tsu.