Last week the New York Times carried a story about the current state of the 9/11 lawsuits. Relatives of forty-two 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 that they’re after surely strikes our enemies not just as extremely odd but as one more reason 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 someone standing in front of a microphone and announcing that he’s retained counsel … 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 …
On this sixth anniversary, as 9/11 retreats into history, many Americans see no war at all.