“Everybody, that is, except the guys who did it.”

by Walter Olson on September 10, 2007

Mark Steyn throws down the gauntlet:

Last week the New York Times carried a story about the current state of the 9/11 lawsuits. Relatives of 42 of the dead are suing various parties for compensation, on the grounds that what happened that Tuesday morning should have been anticipated. The law firm Motley Rice, diversifying from its traditional lucrative class-action hunting grounds of tobacco, asbestos and lead paint, is promising to put on the witness stand everybody who “allowed the events of 9/11 to happen.” And they mean everybody – American Airlines, United, Boeing, the airport authorities, the security firms – everybody, that is, except the guys who did it.

According to the Times, many of the bereaved are angry and determined that their loved one’s death should have meaning. Yet the meaning they’re after surely strikes our enemies not just as extremely odd but as one more reason why they’ll win. You launch an act of war, and the victims respond with a lawsuit against their own countrymen.

But that’s the American way: Almost every news story boils down to somebody standing in front of a microphone and announcing that he’s retained counsel. Last week, it was Larry Craig. Next week, it’ll be the survivors of Ahmadinejad’s nuclear test in Westchester County. As Andrew McCarthy pointed out, a legalistic culture invariably misses the forest for the trees. Sen. Craig should know that what matters is not whether an artful lawyer can get him off on a technicality but whether the public thinks he trawls for anonymous sex in public bathrooms. Likewise, those 9/11 families should know that, if you want your child’s death that morning to have meaning, what matters is not whether you hound Boeing into admitting liability but whether you insist that the movement that murdered your daughter is hunted down and the sustaining ideological virus that led thousands of others to dance up and down in the streets cheering her death is expunged from the earth.

(Mark Steyn, “No terrorism, just war?”, Orange County Register, Sept. 9; Anemona Hartocollis, “Little-Noticed 9/11 Lawsuits Will Go to Trial”, New York Times, Sept. 4; also to the point).

{ 3 comments }

1 throckmorton 09.10.07 at 8:22 am

Amen. I think that it is very sad that victims of the Islamic terrorists are using our legal system to continue the terrorists’ attacks on the other victims. Those other victims being the Airlines, government institutions and people of the United States.

2 Deoxy 09.10.07 at 9:39 am

They want the death of their loved ones to mean something, alright… they want it to mean “money in my pocket”. Sad, and pathetic.

If they REALLY wanted their lovd ons daths to “mean something”, well, the article covers that.

3 bob Neal 09.10.07 at 9:43 am

Maybe we can go after Motley Rice on a RICO claim – a conspiracy with Islamic terrorists. It would be justice, and couldn’t happen to a nice bunch.

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