AGSIW Board Chair Ambassador Frank G. Wisner and Board Member Ambassador Thomas Pickering are among a bipartisan group of former officials who have signed a letter urging Congress to uphold U.S. President Barack Obama’s expected veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.
The signees argue that the legislation would harm U.S. foreign policy interests:
“If JASTA is allowed to become law, it will completely undercut sovereign immunity protections upon which the United States and all sovereign nations have relied for centuries, and our troops, our diplomats and all U.S. government personnel working overseas could very well find themselves subject to lawsuits in other countries. This must not happen.
The safety and security of our diplomats, intelligence offices, military and other senior officials of the U.S. Government, and their ability to perform their duties without foreign influence or intervention would be seriously imperiled by a process intent on denying them the international immunities that have been accepted by all civilized nations since the 16th century and earlier.
Our national security interests, our capacity to fight terrorism and our leadership role in the world would be put in serious jeopardy. Beyond the predictable endangerment of our official representatives, the chilling effect this legislation would have on U.S. officials overseas would undermine our ability to coordinate and consult with other nations to fight terrorism and therefore would endanger the American people and all those who interact with them.”