On September 11, 2001 19 foreign citizens flew planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and several of them were on a plane that passengers forced to crash in Pennsylvania. Over 3000 people were killed and many more injured as a result of the physical damage. The World Trade Center Towers were a total loss as were the aircraft involved. The immediate action of the government was to shut the airspace of the United States which lasted several days before its insanity finally sank in and was stopped. The immediate cost in life and property can reasonably dimensioned but, the residual cost and the overkill actions taken thereafter are much harder but certainly estimable.
Let us assume that the World Trade Center Towers cost $1 billion each and that the aircraft cost $120 million each and the lives lost were insured for $500,000. The immediate direct cost is therefore about $4 billion. For argument’s sake let us assume the indirect costs were half that, making the total about $6 billion. The punishment for murder should be death but, this was not a deterrent for the perpetrators because they all died in the execution of their crime. The one’s who abetted and indeed convinced the 19 to commit their crime were beyond the reach of our law because they were outside the country. Even if they were, they would never have been able to compensate the loss.
Vigilantes in Washington were unsatisfied with this scenario so they decided to guard the front gate in the hopes of finding the needle in the next haystack and to go in hot pursuit of the real perpetrators who may number less than a few hundred. The result is a new cabinet department and thousands of employees and two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the sum total of which has cost over $2 trillion and counting because the methodology selected is being perpetuated. The ancillary loss of over 3000 and rising American troops is immeasurable. The ridiculousness of this effort becomes apparent when you examine the alternative action that may in fact have prevented it in the first place.
When we recognize a foreign government we should include in our condition of recognition the stipulation that each of us is responsible for the acts of our citizens when in each other’s country. It would then behoove the country to take care not only for those who they let into their country, but who they let out. These people are all identified because they are required to carry passports issued by their country of origin. In the case of the 9-11 disaster, there were 15 or so who were Saudi Arabian nationals. Under the above conditions the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would be liable for 15/19 of $6 billion or $4.7 billion in fines to pay for the direct and indirect damages. If they refused to pay for their breach of contract we could prohibit the entry of any Saudi Arabian national into the country or the prohibition of exports to Saudi Arabia or to impound their exports or imports or all of the foregoing. All of these actions are enforceable under international law. If such an agreement were in place it is entirely possible they would never have been allowed to leave their country and our state department, if doing their job, would never have issued them visas.
When you realize how easy it could have been to deter such an event as 9-11 it makes you wonder why we don’t employ it. The answer is simple, there are those who benefit from such catastrophes and they wield sufficient power to elect officials who would put such a system in place. Who are they? They are the trial lawyers, the government itself and the military industrial complex that feeds off government actions. Then there are those governments who do not wish to accept responsibility for their citizen’s actions because they get the benefits of our largess without taking on reciprocal obligations. A case in point is Obama’s payment of $50,000 each to the heirs of those randomly shot by a U. S. soldier in Afghanistan. Obama has no Constitutional authority to make such payments and the Congress has no Constitutional authority to appropriate the money to do so., even if Afghanistan were to reciprocate. Does it make you wonder why the targets weren’t the Capital Building and the White House?
When there are those who can convince others to give up their lives in the perpetration of a crime and escape detection or the consequences of their action you will certainly have those willing to take the risk. If you believe there will always be these people you can only take the action necessary to prevent them from doing it too often. For example, could we have prevented the Oklahoma City bombing, probably not, unless you put the entire country in a state of lockdown, which would be the action of our incompetent government and their parasite benefactors?