veterans say they were misled by Saudi Arabia into opposing a law that allows the families of those who died in the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia.
“I joined the Marine Corps as a direct result of 9/11, so to be wined and dined by the very people I joined to fight against, that was sickening,” Timothy Cord, who served as a Marine sergeant in Iraq, told New York Post on Sunday.
Cord was one of the many unsuspecting veterans who were sent on Saudi-funded luxury vacations to Washington in order to convince lawmakers in Congress to scrap the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA).
The US Congress overwhelmingly voted in September to override then-president Barack Obama’s veto of JASTA, which clears the path to sue Riyadh for the 9/11 attacks that killed 3,000 people and destroyed some $10 billion in property.
Of the 19 hijackers that allegedly carried out the attacks, 15 were Saudi nationals and available evidence suggests some of them were linked to high-ranking Saudi officials.
Apparently, after failing to fight off the bill in Congress and Obama’s White House, Saudis have hired 75 foreign agents across the US to fund lavish trips to Washington for veterans, which included lodging them at new Trump Hotel near the White House.
The veterans told the Post that they were misled and openly lied to by trip organizers Qorvis MSLGROUP.
According to the vets, an organizer denied any “Saudi involvement” in sponsoring the trip, despite the fact that federal filings show the organizer had struck a $100,000 contract with the Saudis and is registered as a foreign agent for the regime.
The Saudi lobbyists, who posed as veteran advocates, had told the vets that JASTA exposes them, as well as “150,000 [US] military personnel stationed in over 150 countries,” to “retaliatory lawsuits” in foreign courts.
JASTA, however, deals only with the immunity of foreign states and poses little risk against individuals.