The average family of a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks received about $3 million from insurance companies and the federal government of the United States. Altogether, the governments kicked in about $16 billion in compensation. (Insurance Companies kicked in about the same amount.) The government enacted legislation limiting the liability of governments, airports, airlines, and other agencies or companies, in exchange for the settlements produced by the 9/11 fund.
[2011-09-26 I just reread that and I couldn’t believe it. So I double-checked. Yes, $16 billion. And I’m sure lots of people watching it all unfold on TV thought to themselves, boy, they can’t pay them enough.
Yes they can.
You just want the theatrical moment in your mind when you well up with tears and awesomeness at how
As the Rand Corporation pointed out, the government’s actions here establish some precedents for compensation for the victims of a terrorist attack. Politically, it was impossible to stand up to the families of the victims of 9/11: all they had to do was go on TV and complain about “unfair” treatment and politicians of all stripes would fall over themselves to grant their every wish. They even demanded the right to censor any entertainments eventually provided in facilities at the new World Trade Center.
There were concerns that litigation would go on forever, would cost far more than the roughly $30 billion offered by the government, and make everybody feel really, really bad.
The lawsuits would have been a grave thing– what jury could resist giving a huge award to someone who lost a loved one because the airlines and the airports didn’t check for box-cutters? But no one, of course, was going to be able to sue the people actually responsible for the disaster: Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda.. Instead, you sue whoever happens to be nearby, with large wallets. The government is always handy, even if we say we don’t want them intruding on our lives. Then, when the Bush Administration couldn’t get Bin Laden, they followed a similar strategy of diffusion: let’s kill Saddam. You sue or kill the most convenient target or the target with deep pockets.
The victims of Hurricane Katrina, of course, were not so lavishly compensated for their losses. Of course, you couldn’t sue Katrina herself either. And for some reason, the victims of Hurricane Katrina, and the remarkably inept government response, didn’t have nearly the political sway the victims of 9/11 had.
Does that have anything to with the economic status or colour of the victims? You decide.
There was something about the hatred and bitterness and vindictiveness of the 9/11 Families that seemed to have nothing or little to do with perceived or real injustice. It was not pleasant to watch. It caused me personally to begin to lose sympathy for them thought they had suffered real losses.
It’s a lot of money. I think you should only be able to sue for that kind of money if you could clearly demonstrate that there was reckless disregard for the safety of the individuals working in the towers. How reckless were they, compared to all the other towers in Manhattan, most of which are equally vulnerable to this kind of attack?
Not the Empire State Building: it was designed differently. A plane did crash into it once — it met an immovable object. The Empire State Building is far, far safer than the World Trade Center because the builders spent enough money to make sure it was safe. That’s all there is to it.
It is a known fact that no fire above the 37th floor of building in New York City can be fought by fire-fighters. Nobody cares– not when a billion dollars of office space is just sitting there to be cashed in on. Buildings are required to have a water tank on the top floor: the World Trade Centre safety equipment did not work. The door to the roof was locked and could not be opened.
It probably would have cost a lot less than $30 billion to have built the World Trace Center to the standards.
On the 9/11 compensation fund.
9/11 was a genuine act of savagery and a genuine tragedy. One is tempted to forget that, in the face of the relentless, incessant, over-bearing monumentalism going on in the U.S. right now.
U.S. payback was overwhelming, disproportionate, and wildly misguided. And it was payback. Will there be a moment at which the U.S. finally announces that they are even?
On 3/20 will the Iraqis hold a memorial to the 100,000 innocent people who died in the American invasion? (We’re talking about women and children and non-combatants here). Will they solemnly read off the names of the 100,000 at the site of the one of the bombed out neighborhoods? Will the families of the 100,000 sue whoever is nearby with a fat wallet for “compensation”?
We know they won’t get a penny. They just happened to be in the way.
About $3 billion was given to the 9/11 fund from charities.