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Discussion Starter #1
there has been buzz on the news lately about the 9/11 victims' families getting money from a special fund that congress put aside; yet families of war (that is 9/11 triggered) get no such fund.

so I'm wondering this, myself. what do you all think about the special treatment of the 9/11 familes vs. other victims of war?

I'm not saying that 9/11 familes shouldn't get financial support. but I have a slight problem with making their losses more special than other families' (who died on a date other than 9/11) losses.
 

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You need to elaborate on who these others are? When and how did their family members die? Maybe there is a fund.

9/11 is considered an act of war on our nation. One in which there was massive loss of life very quickly. It was also the largest terror attack on US soil. In the eyes of people it is different then other deaths.

Are you comparing it to military personal that are losing their lives? If so, do I believe they deserve compensation for family members, YES. Is their situation different, yes. They made a conscious choice to join the military where part of the job is the potential for war. The folks in DC or the Twin Towers made no such choice.

All I have to do is drive by the woman on the next street playing with her 4 young children who lost her husband and I know that she needs the help. Or recall the story of my friend stepping out of the subway to see people jumping to their death to avoid the fire and I know that they deserve help.

Are you comparing it to a murder or other random acts of violence? I don't think they are the same. 9/11 as I said above was an act of war, these people died in a war on our soil. We compensate the people of other countries that we attack, Germany, Japan and Iraq for examples. Shouldn't we compensate our own people who die in the same circumstances.
 

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Here's my 2 cents. If the families of those who perished during 9/11 cannot survive without government assistance, sure give them money. Now, let's say that Sally is used to her husband bringing in 250k/year and now she's having a hard time making the payment on that new 745i and million dollar house. Should she be helped?? Sure, but only enough for her to survive, NOT for her to maintain a wealthy lifestyle.

I personally think that those who CHOOSE to join the military and die in action deserve the money more than anyone. They are knowingly giving their lives to this country.

What about people killed by our own citizens everyday?? Don't they deserve a little dough?? In the same way the U.S let terrorists kill our citizens, they also let our own people kill each other.

I know some people at Oklahoma City were upset that their terrorism wasn't treated as important as 9/11.

Give them enough money for food/shelter and help them get by. That's it. If they want to be rich, let them get rich on their own.
 

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linux-works said:
so I'm wondering this, myself. what do you all think about the special treatment of the 9/11 familes vs. other victims of war?
Doesn't matter. Congress already set this in stone 2 years ago. You won't change it now. Hopefully they won't shoot from the hip and do stuff like this in the future.
 

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Holicow said:
This is what life insurance is for....
I agree, but if 2000 people, probably averaging $100,000 in life insurance carry the reccomended $2,000,000 in coverage, that is $4 bill. That would backrupt life insurance companies which is part of the reason that the government stepped in. If not bankrupt, cause a major business problem causing cut backs and a major workforce reduction that would have had a ripple effect in the economy that would have made things far far worse then they were after 9/11.

Sometime there is more to it than a handout. In a case like this it was more than just helping people that were directly affected.

As for how much to give them, define "getting by". Mother, 4 kids, $2500 a month mortgage, how much does she need to "get by"
 

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I can't beleive you guys are getting all sore about this. This isn't fair, that isn't fair. Where this pesons share of the pie? Where this person's share? Reparations this... Special funds for that....

While I agree that its tragic that some other very worthy people aren't getting any type of reparations or compensation (ie: veterans, etc.), I personally am glad that at least someone is. Unfortunatley not everyone is getting any type of assistance for their losses & sacrifices (not talking abot 9/11 here)... but why can't we just be glad for those people that are lucky enough to get some reparations for their tragic loss?
 

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I understood it was a payoff with a sign-off on any legal action against the US gov... Plain and simple. CYA

I do feel for all the OTHER families of terrorist attacks since they are getting a small percentage of the 9-11 families...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
at a level, its like saying that some people's lives are worth more than others.

that's why I'm a bit confused. maybe it is more about making a symbolic mourning gesture, to such a prominent event in our history.

but to the person who loses someone else, the hurt is the same, whether a war or a car crash.
 

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upshot said:
I understood it was a payoff with a sign-off on any legal action against the US gov... Plain and simple. CYA

I do feel for all the OTHER families of terrorist attacks since they are getting a small percentage of the 9-11 families...
the payoff also precludes legal action against the airlines. They were the ones that were gonna take the huge hit.

that said, I don't feel badly about them getting the money, but think it could be distributed more equitably.
 

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The decision was in part sympathetic and in part good economic business. As others have mentioned, destroying the insurance industry and airlines in one fell swoop would've played into Al Qaida's plans.

I applaud Congress and the Bush administration for getting this done, and most of you know i'm no fan of the Bush administration. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
jimbob said:
that said, I don't feel badly about them getting the money, but think it could be distributed more equitably.
I don't feel badly either, really. but I just am wondering how fair it is that some people who lose family get a payoff and others don't.
 

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No, losing someone to the terrorist attack on 9/11 and losing someone in the subsequent war are not the same things at all. The people that got on the flights or went into the WTC that day were not soldiers on a mission, they were not trained combatants, they had no expectation of danger or loss of life, they were simply fathers, mothers, sons and daughters that went in to work or were taking a vacation or bringing their family to Disneyland.

That one helluva long way from being a volunteer in an army trained to kill or be killed defending your nations freedom. Soldiers and their families know full well the danger they will be placed in, every day, during their service. Yet they volunteer to enter the Army, or Navy, or Marines or the Air Force, with full knowledge that they may be killed. The people on 9/11 didn't volunteer to risk death for their country.

What part of that are you guys having trouble with?

The reason that there was the potential for lawsuits was not just because 9/11 happened, it's because it was allowed to happen through poor airport security, poor passenger screening, poor in-flight security and cockpit lockdown, etc. And from the benefit of hindsight we can look back at airline security pre 9/11 and realize that we were just inviting disaster because so many procedures were so poorly implemented.

Maybe that does mean CYA, for the cynics and the people that like to stir up the silly "debates" but for me, it means that 3000 people died who didn't need to, and their families bloody well are owed something.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
jwil said:
No, losing someone to the terrorist attack on 9/11 and losing someone in the subsequent war are not the same things at all. The people that got on the flights or went into the WTC that day were not soldiers on a mission, they were not trained combatants, they had no expectation of danger or loss of life, they were simply fathers, mothers, sons and daughters that went in to work or were taking a vacation or bringing their family to Disneyland.
and yet people who die in a car crash ALSO were not in a war, didn't choose to be in front of fire, etc.

a victim is a victim. there was nothing more OR less patriotic about those that died in 9/11.

again, to the remaining family members, a loss is a loss, even if not a 'famous' one.
 

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linux-works said:
jwil said:
No, losing someone to the terrorist attack on 9/11 and losing someone in the subsequent war are not the same things at all. The people that got on the flights or went into the WTC that day were not soldiers on a mission, they were not trained combatants, they had no expectation of danger or loss of life, they were simply fathers, mothers, sons and daughters that went in to work or were taking a vacation or bringing their family to Disneyland.
and yet people who die in a car crash ALSO were not in a war, didn't choose to be in front of fire, etc.

a victim is a victim. there was nothing more OR less patriotic about those that died in 9/11.

again, to the remaining family members, a loss is a loss, even if not a 'famous' one.
God, I love your non-sensical arguments. If someone dies in a car crash, they are not a victim. A victim of what? poor driving? who are you going to blame? The DMV? BS.

If they were not driving, but a passenger, and the driver was drunk, impaired, unqualified to operate the vehicle, whatever, then sure they are a victim and you know what? They can sue. It's called wrongful death and it's all about culpability. Look it up. That was the basis for all 9/11 reparations, the government was culpable due to poor/nonexistant security measures.

If someone is driving a car and something fails on the car, the brakes or whatever, due to manufactuing defect the victim or victims family can sue for reparations. If you are caught in a fire and the fire extinguisher fails or the sprinklers don't go off, you can sue for damages and name a whole host of defandants including the sprinkler manufacturer, fire extinguisher manufacturer, and property manager.

I can't believe you can't wrap you brain around such a simple legal concept as culpability.
 

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Tyrannosaurus said:
The decision was in part sympathetic and in part good economic business. As others have mentioned, destroying the insurance industry and airlines in one fell swoop would've played into Al Qaida's plans.

I applaud Congress and the Bush administration for getting this done, and most of you know i'm no fan of the Bush administration. :thumbup:
I have to agree with this point most. Congress stepping an and saying the nation would take the hit because it could best absorb it (-vs- the airlines and insurance companies) is OK with me. I'm more than happy to take the hit as a tax payer (and donator to the 9/11 Fund), seeing how my life was not directly effected by 9/11.

It's the least we (I) can do, for the sake of stability, and for the sake of the victims. This will be the only time you see me agreeing with applauding dub-ya :)
 

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I really think linux-works that you are trying to make the helping of the people even more of an issue than it was. I would say that there are 2 main reasons for the payout. Preventing airlines and Ins Co. from going out of business due to claims and lawsuits.

The second was to prevent a complete tailspin of the already faltering economy. The lawsuits and insurance claims would have put us into either a major recession or even drepression. The side effect of that work is the gesture. Not saying that W and the Congress are not sympathetic, but if they didn't do what they did arguing over whether any victim of any crime deserves restitution would be the least of our worries.
 

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Article in yesterday's (3/30/04) NY Times about this exact issue.

Reporter's Widow Is Making Her Case for a 9/11 Payment

March 30, 2004
By DAVID W. CHEN

Correction Appended

It is a 22-page application, typed in boldface and completed in a just-the-facts fashion like thousands of others processed by the federal fund compensating relatives of those killed on Sept. 11. The victim was 38, in the prime of his life, and employed by a Wall Street corporation. His wife was pregnant. His death was horrific.

What makes claim No. 212-005347 different, however, is the fact that it was filed on behalf of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped in Pakistan, then beheaded by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, once Al Qaeda's top operational commander and the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 hijackings.

Three weeks ago, the administrator for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Kenneth R. Feinberg, while expressing deep sympathy, rejected the claim filed by Mr. Pearl's widow, Mariane, because it lay outside the bounds of the Congressional statute governing the fund. So now, Ms. Pearl and her legal advisers have filed a formal appeal, and are asking Congress to consider drafting a new law that would grant eligibility to her and her son, Adam, who is almost 2. An award from the fund would likely mean a tax-free payment of close to $2 million.

In making the claim, Ms. Pearl and her Manhattan lawyer, Robert S. Kelner, are essentially trying to publicly test the true intent of the fund. As they frame it, was the fund created as an act of unparalleled compassion that was meant to apply to all American families who were devastated by the war of terror waged by Al Qaeda? Or was it a politically expedient program, for instance, intended to bail out the airline industry by shielding it from potentially ruinous litigation?

Ms. Pearl and Mr. Kelner, who in December just beat the fund's deadline for filing, acknowledge the daunting odds they face in pressing their case; after all, previous efforts to widen the circle of eligibility to cover victims of other terror attacks have gone nowhere in Congress. These include, on domestic soil, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and on international ground, the 1998 bombing of American embassies in East Africa and the 2000 bombing of the destroyer Cole in Yemen.

Still, Ms. Pearl and Ms. Kelner argue that Mr. Pearl was singled out as a symbol of American capitalism, and that his death has since been fodder for Qaeda propaganda. At the same time, they believe that the case raises important questions as to how, to what extent - or even whether - governments should compensate the victims of terror attacks, past, present and future.

"What's horribly, painfully obvious is that if Danny Pearl had come from any other country in the world, he'd be alive today," said Mr. Kelner, who is offering Ms. Pearl his assistance without charge. "And because there is a 9/11 fund which is compensating people for the exact same kind of death, we feel that Danny should be included as a victim in the same class as other victims."

Mr. Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief for The Journal, based in India, vanished in Karachi, Pakistan, on Jan. 23, 2002, while researching an article about Islamic extremism. Several weeks later, investigators obtained a videotape that graphically showed Mr. Pearl's death at the hands of Mr. Mohammed, according to the authorities.

Since then, Ms. Pearl, a 36-year-old journalist, has worked to track down her husband's killers. Part of that search was detailed in her memoir, "A Mighty Heart: The Brave Life and Death of My Husband, Danny Pearl," which was published by Scribner in September.

The book, while far being from a best seller, has provided enough income to enable Ms. Pearl and her son to live in New York, for the short term. They are entitled to some insurance money, too, as well as a few hundred thousand dollars from a memorial trust in her husband's honor that was set up, in part, by The Journal.

Even so, Ms. Pearl said she had few long-term options that would come close to replacing her husband's salary of about $100,000 a year. As a result, some of her legal advisers urged her to apply to the victim compensation fund. She has the support, as well, she said, of her in-laws, who live in the Los Angeles area.

"This whole bizarre thing of associating somebody's death and money is very difficult," Ms. Pearl said in an interview in Mr. Kelner's 37th-floor offices in Lower Manhattan, overlooking ground zero. "It's unnatural. It's very uncomfortable. But I have good people around me, who are like, Whatever my emotions, I have to think of my son."

The fund has proven to be a very popular option for families wary of the uncertainty of litigation against the airlines. About 98 percent of those eligible filed by the December deadline. So far, the government has cut checks for about 1,800 families totaling $2.45 billion, or an average of close to $1.4 million per family.

Some families have attached personal essays, photos or even videos to humanize an application that is typically packed with statistics and dollar figures. But not Ms. Pearl, whose husband's harrowing tale is already so well known. Her application, instead, spells out the barest details of his financial profile: his salary in each of his last three years; his modest 401(k) of $12,510; his son's Social Security payments of $1,409 a month.

But barring any acts of Congress, the fund is very specific about its criteria: the victims had to have died in New York, Pennsylvania or Washington as a result of the Sept. 11 attack.

"I'm very sympathetic to the inquiry, but the statute is the statute, and I do not have any discretion," Mr. Feinberg said in an interview yesterday. "But the application does raise the fundamental question as to why 9/11 - and not other terrorist attacks or other acts of terror both at home or abroad - is covered. I think Congress will address at some point whether the 9/11 compensation fund should be a precedent for future compensation or whether it is a unique response to a unique historical event."

Some relatives of Sept. 11 victims have said that they would not begrudge Ms. Pearl anything if she were successful because her husband was also a Qaeda victim and because any money that would go to his family would come from a fund that is open ended.

The same tacit support was voiced, as well, by Edith Bartley, whose father and brother died in the Nairobi embassy attack in 1998. To date, her efforts to widen the pool of terror victims eligible for the fund have led to nothing but frustration.

"Whatever way Mrs. Pearl is able to secure some kind of compensation for her tremendous loss - more power to her," Ms. Bartley said. "Just the fact that Mr. Pearl was killed by Al Qaeda is a direct link to all of our families, and I think it absolutely does warrant our government looking into all victims of international terror finding some compensation and reprieve from their loss."

Correction: March 31, 2004, Wednesday

Because of an editing error, a front-page article yesterday about an application for federal 9/11 compensation filed by the wife of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was kidnapped and killed in Pakistan, omitted attribution in some copies for the assertion that he was personally executed by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a top commander of Al Qaeda now held as a suspected terrorist. Mr. Mohammed's guilt has been asserted by American officials, who said in October that he could be charged before a military tribunal.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/30/nyregion/30PEAR.html

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company
 

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Discussion Starter #20
that's exactly the story I was referring to.

thanks.
 
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