Regarding the passage of JASTA in the U.S. Senate, we would like to sincerely thank Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) for their dedication and support. Their wisdom and leadership has demonstrated an understanding of the need to hold those responsible for funding terrorism accountable. Without accountability, there can be no justice. We look forward to members of the House joining with the Senate in demonstrating that same level of wisdom and leadership. In this time of angry partisan fighting, it is gratifying to see Senators from both parties joining together to fight terrorism in accordance with our legal principles. Ultimately, we hope to see this important legislation on the desk of President Obama for his swift signature.
In light of that goal and in direct response to the Obama Administration's statement today that they still, "strongly continue to oppose this legislation," and that they may, "seek additional changes to the measure or try to get it killed in the House," we would like to respectfully request that the Administration refrain from using such violent language when opposing legislation specifically designed and intended to help victims of terrorism.
For us, whose loved ones were killed, there is simply no room for the word "killed" in this dialogue. Obama and his speechwriters and spokespeople ought to know that.
Moreover, we would also like to encourage President Obama to recalibrate his priorities by placing American citizens and victims of terrorism ahead of nations like the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who fund terrorists that want to kill Americans. We are tired of witnessing President Obama block our path to justice. We do not appreciate such behavior being exhibited by a President who has the audacity to pride himself on holding such lofty principles of constitutionality, openness, transparency and accountability - not to mention being a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Furthermore, over the weekend, at Rutgers University, President Obama stated the following: "In politics and in life, ignorance is not a virtue. It's not cool to not know what you're talking about. That's not keeping it real or telling it like it is."
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In the spirit of keeping things real, we would like to draw Mr. Obama's attention to his own deliberate decision not to read the 28 pages of the Joint Inquiry of Congress' Final Report into the 9/11 Attacks. Perhaps if Mr. Obama had bothered to read the 28 pages, he would more rightfully comprehend and appreciate the need for JASTA. Ignorance is NOT bliss.
Finally during the same speech, Mr. Obama quoted Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, "The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends towards justice." Noting that to get there depends on, "... the choices we make, particularly at certain inflection points in history."
Today, we stand at just such an inflection point in our history. We call upon President Obama to heed the words he so easily echoed from Dr. King, and make the right choice, one that bends towards justice for the 3,000 innocent souls murdered on 9/11.
Lorie Van Auken
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