Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain will vote to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation that would allow families of the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia — defying warnings from military officials that it could put U.S. troops at risk.
McCain’s decision to back the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act is also a notable break from his usual hawkish allies on the Capitol. House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry of Texas has circulated a letter urging Republicans to sustain Obama’s veto, while close friend Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has also voiced concerns and worked behind the scenes on potential tweaks to the bill — but with little success.
“I plan to vote to override the president’s veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act,” McCain said in a statement to POLITICO. “Going forward, I will continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to ensure that American military, intelligence, and diplomatic personnel are protected from any potential retaliatory lawsuits and that the implementation of this law is true to its narrow intent.”
9/11/16 - “thank you for keeping us safe! you’re doing a great job!”, she says with sincere cheeks. he responds, “thank you ma'am.” as he looks into the distance, the future if you will - a future free of crime, terror and villainy.
It’s been 15 years since the tragic events of September 11, 2001, but the images of that day remain clear. Two planes were flown into the World Trade Center in New York and a third into the Pentagon in Virginia. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives. Because of the actions of 40 passengers and crew aboard the fourth plane, Flight 93, the U.S. Capitol was saved. In New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and across the country, people will gather today to remember the depth of our loss and the strength of our resolve. By visiting these places and hearing their stories, those who were taken will never be forgotten. Photo from the Flight 93 National Memorial by Tami Heilemann, Interior.
When cell phones failed on Sept. 11, 2001, one couple turned
to paper and pen to reach each other in the parking lot of the Pentagon, where
they both worked.
Amid the chaos of the day, Daria “Chip” Gaillard
wrote this to her husband Franklin with assurances of love and safety. After
they found each other, the Gaillards moved to protect children at the Pentagon
They survived the terrorist attack, as did this letter. It’s
now in our @amhistorymuseum.
Three days after September 11th 2001, Barbara Lee (D-CA) bravely called for a no vote against authorizing George W. Bush’s wars.
In an op-ed she published in The San Francisco Chronicle 9 days later, she explained her vote by pointing out that the resolution “was a blank check to the president to attack anyone involved in the Sept. 11 events — anywhere, in any country, without regard to our nation’s long-term foreign policy, economic and national security interests, and without time limit.” She added: “A rush to launch precipitous military counterattacks runs too great a risk that more innocent men, women, children will be killed.”
For her lone stance, Lee was deluged with rancid insults and death threats to the point where she needed around-the-clock bodyguards. She was vilified as “anti-American” by numerous outlets including The Wall Street Journal. The Washington Times editorialized on September 18 that “Ms. Lee is a long-practicing supporter of America’s enemies — from Fidel Castro on down” and that “while most of the left-wing Democrats spent the week praising President Bush and trying to sound as moderate as possible, Barbara Lee continued to sail under her true colors.” Since then, she has been repeatedly rejected in her bids to join the House Democratic leadership, typically losing to candidates close to Wall Street and in support of militarism. (continue reading from theIntercept)
On this September 11th, in addition to remembering all of the lives lost in America, Iraq and Afghanistan, I choose also to remember Barbara Lee’s brave example in calling for calm, reflective thought before blindly rushing into endless war in the Middle East. Even at the risk of her political career, she stood up and did what was right.
We need more leaders who know that sometimes, it takes more strength to say “no” when everyone else takes the easy way out by saying “yes” to war and militarism.