Saturday, September 11, 2010

Oh, Sure, the "Truth"

The kind of people who show up in Germanic epics, refusing to settle and carrying on with their feuds until everyone on both sides is dead, are still with us. Consider the family of Mark Bavis, a passenger on United Flight 175:
Ever since the family filed suit in 2002, it has spurned efforts to negotiate, despite settlement attempts and a court mediation session.

They recognize that they could have obtained a quicker resolution by settling; they say the case is not about money. They say they want to prove in a public courtroom what they and their lawyers believe was a case of gross negligence by United and other defendants that allowed the hijackers to board Flight 175 and the attacks to occur.

This is stupid. There are no more hidden facts to come out. The errors, by the airlines and the government, that allowed the attacks to happen are well known to everyone who follows the news. Whether they constitute "negligence" is a matter of taste, not a "fact" that can be "proved."

Michael Bavis, 40, said the family believed that only through a trial could the defendants be held accountable. “The public should know,” he said. “We’ve got a responsibility to hold them to the fire.”

Other victims’ families praised the Bavises’ stance. Julie Sweeney Roth, who sued over the death of her husband, Brian D. Sweeney, 38, also on Flight 175, said she had wanted to pursue a trial but ultimately remarried and settled her suit a few years ago.

“I always hoped,” she said, “that there would be at least one — it only takes one family — to hold out and bring them to trial and get the answers that everyone deserves.”

Answers? What questions are there left to answer? Why is there evil in the world? Why do random events kill one man and not another? Why are bureaucracies clumsy and short-sighted? Sorry, the courts will not be providing any answers to those questions.

There is nothing noble about this crusade. It is a disgusting bit of grandstanding by a handful of maladjusted people who want more from the world than the world can give them, driven by a sick desire to punish, and it appalls me that our court system is wasting time and money on their pathological need for revenge.

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