The daughter of a diplomat who lost her dad and younger brother to the terrorist bombing of the US Embassy in Kenya in 1998 is furious with New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez for preventing her and others from receiving millions in victim compensation money.
Edith Bartley called Menendez’s actions a “travesty” in the wake of the killing of her Queens-born father, Julian Bartley, the first African-American consul general to Nairobi and the most senior US diplomat slain in the attack.
It also claimed her brother, Jay, 20, who was doing a summer internship at the embassy.
Menendez has so far blocked a $300 million deal in which Sudan, which acted as a staging ground for the blast and another bomb in Tanzania, would pay the families of the 12 Americans killed $10 million each, while foreigners who worked at the embassy would get just $800,000.
“It would be a travesty for any member to block the passage of this agreement over compensation levels,” Bartley wrote in a June 4 letter to the powerful Democrat.
Menendez, the ranking member of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told The Post he was concerned that the deal “simply does not do justice for the many victims who worked at US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in some cases for decades, and who are now American citizens.”
He added: “We must be sure that the United States reaches the best settlement possible for every American family impacted by these horrid terrorist attacks.”
A total of 224 people were killed in the coordinated bombings on Aug. 7, 1998 in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and more than 4,000 people were hurt.
The US Sudan Agreement has bipartisan support in Congress, and is being reviewed by the Senate which is expected to vote on the issue in the coming days.
For Bartley, the fight is deeply personal.
“My entire world stopped and was never the same from that moment forward,” said Bartley, who was at the time a law student at the University of Missouri. “I felt so helpless when I heard about what happened…because I couldn’t protect my little brother. I had to do something.”
She decided to use her law studies to help her family and others obtain justice.
Bartley now acts as the spokeswoman for the Families of the Americans Killed in Nairobi and has worked on legislation that would add impact statements to federal lawsuits against terrorists and their sponsors.
If the deal is approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sudan, which ousted its military dictator last year, will be removed from the US list of terrorist sponsors and no longer subject to sanctions.
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