US Government Demanding Access to San Bernardino Terrorist's iPhone -- What If It Leads Back to a U.S. Ally?

After September 11, 2001, U.S. government intelligence agencies gathered information from every likely source in an effort to learn everything possible about the 19 hijackers and how they carried out their murderous plot.

While Americans mourned the innocent lives lost, we trusted our government would take the necessary steps to ensure terrorists would not continue killing Americans on American soil.

However, incredibly, when the intelligence they gathered pointed to an ally of the U.S. -- namely Saudi Arabia -- the evidence was buried and classified under the ambiguous umbrella of "national security." I am speaking of the 28 redacted pages of Part Four of the "Congressional Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks" -- "the Joint Inquiry" which refers to "specific sources of foreign support for some of the September 11th hijackers while they were in the United States."

As National Chair of 9/11 Victims' Families & Survivors United for Justice Against Terrorism, I would like to know, if the Department of Justice accesses the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, what will they do with the information if it leads back to an ally of the U.S.? Will they allow it to be buried like the 28 pages, which according to former Senator Bob Graham (D-Fl) who co-chaired the Joint Inquiry, point a strong finger at Saudi Arabia for the financial and logistical assistance they gave toward the worst terrorist attack on American soil?

Since the redaction of the 28 pages from the Joint Inquiry, several prominent U.S. government officials have called upon their release. Namely, former Senator Bob Graham and more recently, Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC), Stephen Lynch (D-MA) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who all have read the pages and publicly stated "there is no threat to national security" in releasing them.

In the September 10, 2015 episode of 5-time Emmy award winning reporter, Sharyl Attkisson's show Full Measure, Rep. Stephen Lynch, told Ms. Attkisson that the classified 28 pages give names and identities of individuals who were "complicit" in the terrorist attacks. "They are clearly identified. How people were financed, where they were housed, where the money was coming from, the conduits that were used and the connections between some of these individuals."

Further reported by Ms. Attkisson, "Other lawmakers also give hints about some of the alleged responsibility and financial ties the attackers had to prominent figures in Saudi Arabia, and speculate that the reason the documents are still classified is to shield that nation from embarrassment and maintain U.S.-Saudi diplomatic ties."

Like the victims' family members of the San Bernardino murders, we want justice and are incensed certain members of our government are more concerned with "embarrassing" Saudi Arabia then our civil right to pursue justice for the murder of our loved ones in a U.S. court.

Without any help from the government, although we are armed with tens of thousands of pages of evidence we have gathered and submitted in Court, our lawsuit has been stalled by misinterpretation of the law and egregious errors by the courts.

In an effort to correct this injustice, the 9/11 victims' families & survivors have called on Congress to enact legislation called the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act -- "JASTA" (S.2040/H.R.3815). On January 28, 2016, JASTA passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee 19-0 and has strong bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress and should move to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

JASTA amends the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) so that foreign sponsors of terrorism cannot invoke "sovereign immunity" in cases arising from a terrorist attack that kills Americans on American soil. For example, if evidence were to prove the San Bernardino shooters had foreign government assistance, without JASTA, it is possible the victims' families may not be able to achieve the justice they seek and hold the evildoers responsible in a U.S. court.

Because a few Senators have imposed a "hold" on JASTA, delaying its consideration by Congress, Saudi Arabia's accountability for its role in the 9/11 attacks remains in question, allowing Saudi Arabia to continue to act with impunity, funding terrorist organizations like al Qaeda, ISIS, Boco Haram and countless others. Because someone in our government is more concerned with protecting Saudi Arabia from embarrassment than stemming the flow of money from the wealthy paymasters in the Middle East to the terrorists, the nation's protection from further terrorist carnage, and the justice due to the 9/11 families, we sit with JASTA in a "holding pattern."

So, if the U.S. government obtains the information from the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, what will they do with the evidence if it points to Saudi Arabia or another U.S. ally? I fear that justice for the San Bernardino victims' families will follow the same fate of the 9/11 families and receive no help from those government officials who "know the truth". http://passjasta.org