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Silence cannot be bought...


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"Silence cannot be bought'

USA TODAY 12/18/2003 8:24:57 PM

I've chosen to go to court rather than accept a payoff from the 9/11 victims compensation fund. Instead, I want to know what went so wrong with our intelligence and security systems that a band of religious fanatics was able to turn four U.S passenger jets into an enemy force, attack our cities and kill 3,000 civilians with terrifying ease. I want to know why two 110-story skyscrapers collapsed in less than two hours and why escape and rescue options were so limited.

I am suing because unlike other investigative avenues, including congressional hearings and the 9/11 commission, my lawsuit requires all testimony be given under oath and fully uses powers to compel evidence.

The victims fund was not created in a spirit of compassion. Rather, it was a tacit acknowledgement by Congress that it tampered with our civil justice system in an unprecedented way. Lawmakers capped the liability of the airlines at the behest of lobbyists who descended on Washington while the Sept. 11 fires still smoldered.

And this liability cap protects not just the airlines, but also World Trade Center builders, safety engineers and other defendants.

The caps on liability have consequences for those who want to sue to shed light on the mistakes of 9/11. It means the playing field is tilted steeply in favor of those who need to be held accountable. With the financial consequences other than insurance proceeds removed, there is no incentive for those whose negligence contributed to the death toll to acknowledge their failings or implement reforms. They can afford to deny culpability and play a waiting game.

By suing, I've forfeited the "$1.8 million average award" for a death claim I could have collected under the fund. Nor do I have any illusions about winning money in my suit. What I do know is I owe it to my husband, whose death I believe could have been avoided, to see that all of those responsible are held accountable. If we don't get answers to what went wrong, there will be a next time. And instead of 3,000 dead, it will be 10,000. What will Congress do then?

So I say to Congress, big business and everyone who conspired to divert attention from government and private-sector failures: My husband's life was priceless, and I will not let his death be meaningless. My silence cannot be bought.

Beverly Eckert, whose husband died at the World Trade Center, is the founder of Voices of September 11th, a victims advocacy group.


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I don't agree with her actions... The govt and agencies involved know where they messed up, they don't need a trial by family members to figure it out. Now before anyone gets on my case listen up for a second... The fund was set up to spare the LONG expensive litigation and to compensate the families for their loss.

There is no doubt in anyones mind that the govt and local authorities got caught with it's pants down but is a trial necessary to expose those faults so others can exploit them in a diffrent way or avoid reattemping a procedure we knew we failed at but the terrorists still believe they can accomplish. Wouldn't that make us miss an oppurtunity to apprehend terrorists before their attempt at mass death is underway... Napolean once said never correct your enemy when they are making mistakes why should we tell them how we dropped the ball let them make the same mistakes so it makes it easier to nab em...get my point?

Wasn't it smart to limit the damage done to the Airline industry as well as the govt? If lawsuits were filed and won, the gov't as well as the airline industry would have gone bancrupt. Does the end result of a bancrupt industry, which will carry ramifications unmeasured on other parts of our economy really going to make anyone happier or safer? Shouldn't the govt concentrate on taking that information and processing it to avoid another tragedy not prepare it for a trial where admittance of fault was already conceeded when the fund was set up after 911.....

Steps have been implemented to prevent another catastrophe such as improved security at airports, better communication between authorities and the severe asskicking Alqaeda's leadership has received that last 2 years.... we are on the right track that last thing we should be doing is diverting our resources to a courtroom instead of the battlefield....

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Originally posted by mr mahs

...Napolean once said never correct your enemy when they are making mistakes why should we tell them how we dropped the ball let them make the same mistakes so it makes it easier to nab em...get my point?

That's a good quote but I think you're mis-using it.

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the quote definitely applies

although it is important to put some pressure on the government and the agencies (CIA, FBI, etc) so that they get their act together

i think all in all the aftermath has played out fairly nicely, although its still amazing to me that there are so many people still sympathizing with the terrorists and those who support them

i figured 3000+ innocent american deaths were enough, but i guess not for some people

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