Statement On Behalf of the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism In Response to the Solicitor General's Refusal to Support The 9/11 Families' Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court
(In Re: Thomas E. Burnett, Sr., et al. v. Al Baraka Investment & Development Corp., et al., Case No. 03-CV-9849 (RCC)In Re: Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001, MDL 1570)
WASHINGTON, May 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a statement of 9/11 Family Members: Mike Low, Father of Sara Elizabeth Low, AA Flight 11; Bill Doyle, Father of Joseph M. Doyle, WTC North Tower; Tom & Beverly Burnett, Sr., Parents of Thomas E. Burnett, Jr., UA Flight 93; and Terry Strada, Wife of Thomas Strada, WTC North Tower on Behalf of the 9/11 Families United to Bankrupt Terrorism in Response to the Solicitor General's Refusal to Support The 9/11 Families' Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the Supreme Court:
Today the Obama Administration filed in the Supreme Court a document that expressed the Administration's decision to stand with a group of Saudi princes and against the right of American citizens -- 9/11 family members -- to have our day in court. Let there be no doubt: The filing was political in nature and stands as a betrayal of everyone who lost a loved one or was injured on September 11, 2001.
We are deeply dismayed by this decision, filed by the solicitor general of the United States in response to the Supreme Court's February 23, 2009 invitation for the government to express its views in the 9/11 families' request to appeal a portion of the case to the Court. The Administration's filing mocks our system of justice and strikes a blow against the public's right to know the facts about who financed and supported the murder of 3,000 innocent people. It undermines our fight against terrorism and suggests a green light to terrorist sympathizers the world over that they can send money to al Qaeda without having to worry that they will be held accountable in the U.S. Courts for the atrocities that result.
The Administration apparently gave less weight to the principles of justice, transparency, accountability and security, which our case embodies, and more weight to political concerns and pleadings of a foreign government on the behalf of a handful of members of its monarchy and others who stand accused of financing the attacks that murdered our loved ones. Sadly, although the Administration's obviously politically based filing is merely informational and in no way binding on the Supreme Court, if the Supreme Court were to follow it, these people will avoid being held accountable not because they are innocent, but because they are royalty.
The Administration's filing is all the more troubling in that it expressly acknowledges that the courts below applied incorrect legal standards in dismissing the Saudi defendants, but nonetheless argues that the case -- one that seeks to account for the terrorist attacks against America and the murder of our family members -- does not warrant the Supreme Court's time. Contrary to the view expressed by the Obama Administration in the solicitor general's filing, the victims of the September 11th attack deserve to have their claims decided under accurate legal standards.
For all of these reasons, we urge the Supreme Court to reject the solicitor general's politically-premised filing, along with its wrongheaded priorities, accept our petition, and grant us our fundamentally American right to have our day in Court.