Immediately after 9/11, Bush and Congress gave compensation money to the families of the 9/11 victims.
September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 was the last part of the three-part Air Transportation Safety and System Stabilization Act of 2001 [ATSA) issued at President Bush’s order. This final part was issued on 9/23/01. Under this Act, the airlines received 15 billion dollars as a subsidy to keep them from going under. Per Kenneth Feinberg’s “Final Report of Fund” activities: “In total, the Fund distributed over $7.049 billion to survivors of 2,880 persons killed in the September 11 attacks and to 2,680 individuals who were injured in the attacks or in the rescue efforts conducted thereafter. The average award for families of victims killed in the attacks exceeded $2 million. The average award for injured victims was nearly $400,000. . . 97 percent of the families of deceased victims who might otherwise have pursued lawsuits for years have received compensation through the Fund. . .” [Kenneth Feinberg is currently the overseer of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill fund, and a lawyer for BP. This is not seen as a conflict of interest.] The airlines, in other words, received twice as much as the families of the victims.
There was a catch, however, to accepting this money: a waiver of a claimant’s right to file suit if he or she filed for fund money. The moment he/she submitted an application for fund money, he/she could forget about filing a lawsuit against the airlines or the government. Our government and airlines, that is. Turns out, some of the victims could, and did, successfully file a suit against other governments and groups for monetary compensation.
NEW YORK — A federal judge has signed a default judgment finding Iran, the Taliban and al-Qaida liable in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Judge George Daniels in Manhattan signed the judgment Thursday, a week after hearing testimony in the 10-year-old case. The signed ruling, which he promised last week, came in a $100 billion lawsuit brought by family members of victims of the attacks. He directed a magistrate judge to preside over remaining issues, including fixing compensatory and punitive damages.
Daniels signed findings of fact saying the plaintiffs had established that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were caused by the support the defendants provided to al-Qaida. The findings also said Iran continues to provide material support and resources to al-Qaida by providing a safe haven for al-Qaida leadership and rank-and-file al-Qaida members.
During last week’s open-court hearing, family members of Sept. 11 victims sat through a four-hour presentation from attorneys who cited evidence supporting their claims that Iran actively assisted the hijackers of planes that crashed into the World Trade Center towers, at the Pentagon and into a field in Pennsylvania. Former members of the 9/11 Commission and three Iranian defectors also spoke.
It would be near impossible to collect any damages, especially from the Taliban or al-Qaida.
Iran has not commented on the ruling. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly denied any Iranian connection in the Sept. 11 attacks or with al-Qaida. Saudi Arabia had been knocked out of the lawsuit, but lawyers filed papers on Thursday to reinstate Saudi Arabia as a defendant.
Iran and the Taliban had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. al Qaeda claimed responsibility, if we are to believe the official version of events. Most of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia, but as we see, someone did not want the House of Saud included in this lawsuit. The list of “expert witnesses” includes three
CIA covert operatives Iranian defectors – always believe the defectors, no matter how improbable it is that they had access to their government’s secrets, and these defectors are not identified – and several staff members from the 9/11 Commission – the same Commission that many members of Congress found to be unbelievable, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
The Taliban, you may recall, claimed to know where Osama bin Laden was and stated that they would turn him over to the US if the US had evidence that he was behind the 9/11 attacks. The US had no such evidence and, in fact, never officially charged bin Laden with the attacks. Now we are to swallow whole-hog the idea that the Taliban itself was involved in 9/11. We are also expected to believe that the Shi’ite government of Iran and the Sunni-dominated group al Qaeda secretly coordinated for years on the attacks. It will, indeed, be nearly impossible to collect from the Taliban or al Qaeda. I don’t think they have a collective fund in a bank somewhere. Or CEO’s and attorneys to contact. Or that much money. As to Iran, why would they accept the absurd judgment and pony up? Wait, they can’t, even if they wanted to. We just sanctioned Iran, calling their banks “money-laundering operations” and making it illegal to do business with any of their financial institutes. Oh, darn. Should have thought that one through. Unless we do what we do best – ignore our own rules and go in, guns blazing, and just steal the money outright. (Hey, worked in Iraq. Worked in Libya.)
One piece of evidence to “come to light” was that the Iranians had not stamped the passports of the “al Qaeda operatives” who flew the airplanes that day. This was offered (I am not making this up) as proof of the guilt and perfidy of the Iranians. The fact that the attackers could not have had their passports stamped in Iran since, uh, they neither came from nor passed through Iran was ignored completely. Instead, with utter disregard for the obvious, the lack of Iranian stamp “proved” how sneaky the Iranians are. I might note, for the record, that the passports of the hijackers also lacked stamps from China, Russia, Japan, France, Italy and New Zealand. Just sayin’.
In a final touch of irony, the news media reports that “none of the defendants contested the case”, as though this were some sort of admittance of guilt by the Taliban, al Qaeda and Iran.
I wonder if the date for invading Iran has been set. And somewhat morbidly curious to see just how gullible the public is. Will we believe that Iran was to blame for 9/11? Just how many countries can we invade with that excuse, anyway?