Thank you to all of you who have thoughtfully replied to my post. The issue is very complex and some good points and questions have been fleshed out in the discussion, so I think it is worthy of a follow up post (for those that missed the last post click here.) First, I want to say that the post is not meant to fill conspiracy theorist head’s with delusional ideas. I do not believe that the documents will reveal that the United States Government planned terrorist attacks against its own people. However, I do believe as political scientists, we must examine the situation for what it is. While I am not an International law expert, I would like to point out a couple points; if anyone has more information on the legal definitions and interpretations I am about to discuss, I encourage you to challenge my claims with future comments.
The United Nations adopted a tough stance against the funding of terrorism in the 1999 during the International Convention for the Suppressing of the Financing of Terrorism. In a nutshell, the 1999 convention declares that, any person who provides funds directly or indirectly to support violent acts that are intended to intimidate people or influence policy of a state, is in violation of international law. Further, the act allows nations to freeze assets allocated for these crimes. Last, the treaty compels states to hold perpetrators liable for these acts and advises they are unjustifiable, “by considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, or religious nature” (pg.5). There is much more to the treaty, and I encourage you to muddle through the details here. S. 2040 expands on the treaty by introducing compensation to victims, and absence of immunity in cases where money damages are sought as the result of terrorist acts. Please see this link to review the changes to conditions of immunity in 28 U.S. Code 1605(a). With what we know, we can say that the United States had international authority to freeze Saudi funds in international court after 9/11.
Now come the ifs. If the 28 pages hold information implicating Saudi officials in 9/11, then we have to ask why the executive branch took no action; it clearly had international authority to do so. If the executive branch used sovereign immunity to prevent the questioning of Saudi officials, we can see some motivation for the changes proposed in S. 2040. If the executive branch refused to take action because of economic fallout to the United States economy, we must ask ourselves if we are willing to accept casualties to maintain our economic status. When I see a story that involves a dollar sign and 12 digits I consider it big news. The Saudis threatened to liquidate $750,000,000,000 if S.2040 is passed; that is 150 billion dollars more than we are slated to spend on national defense in 2016. This is an issue worth following. I was asked to state if I think the answers to 9/11 are worth economic risk, but I am choosing not to be an opinion leader on this issue. Instead, I encourage you to click on my links, educate yourselves about international law, form your own opinions, and then tell me what you think.