Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Hecklers, Mayor Giuliani and the 9/11 Commission

I am 60 years old, but I am still capable of being appalled at the venality that can suddenly reveal itself. I am far from a skeptic, but even I can sometimes recognize corrupt motives beneath a veneer.
This morning, I watched Mayor Giuliani’s gripping narrative of his experiences on 9/11. I was surprised to hear frequent heckling and bursts of outrage from the audience. There was a group of “victims’ families” who kept interrupting to scream about the “radios,” and “Motorola,” and “scandalous contracts,” etc. I couldn’t understand it, until it suddenly came to me: these people have no one other than Motorola to look to for money! If they can manufacture a claim that somehow Motorola’s radios were substandard (even if they were not, and met the needs of pre-9/11 reality) and that, as a result, that might have contributed to the loss of life, then they have a basis for extorting money from Motorola. This is not fanciful. Johns Manville was driven into bankruptcy as a result of essentially baseless claims.
I am sure that not all of these people have such base motives, but I have no doubt that many of them do.
At 60 I am finally becoming disillusioned. The political nature of the hearings themselves, the hectoring of some witnesses and the idolization of others, and the use of 9/11 for the furtherance of hidden agendas is peeling the scales from my eyes…
I want the scales back!


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