|Article Overview: Daniel
Pearl's wife is seeking compensation from the September 11 Victims
Compensation Fund for the horrific murder of her husband when
Terrorists cut off his head and videotaped the act worldwide. I am
asking my insurance company to grant me compensation for Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of my trauma at Ground Zero.
Both Mrs. Pearl and I are facing large obstacles. But
since our heads are already cut off, do we have much to lose?
Tuesday, March 30,
2004—Ground Zero Plus 930
Beheading The Rights Of Terror Victims
GROUND ZER0, New York, N.Y.--Mar. 30, 2004 -- Four months and
a few days following the World Trade Center attack of September 11,
2001, Daniel Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was abducted by Al
Qaeda in Pakistan.
with a gun to his head
Four days from his January 23, 2002
abduction Daniel Pearl's face was broadcast on international
television with a gun to his head and a demand by his captors.
His body was found in May along with a
video tape recording of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the
9-11 attacks against the U.S., cutting Pearl's throat.
Mohammed and Daniel Pearl
The video shows Mohammed's hand slashing
Pearl's throat until it is severed from the body.
Ultimately, he holds Pearl's head by the hair as demands are read.
The Terrorists titled the video: "The Slaughter of
Spy-Journalist, The Jew Daniel Pearl."
Thousands of miles from Pakistan where her
husband was held hostage, forced to speak a "confession," and then
beheaded, stood Mariane Pearl, pregnant, viewing the horrible
unfolding events of the Beast of Terror ripping her husband's mind,
body and soul into tiny pieces and then casting them into the whirlwind's
of public spectacle.
with her lawyer
The visualization of Daniel
Pearl's torture is symbolic of the victims of the September 11, 2001
attack. What we didn't see aboard the hijacked airplanes when the
Terrorist abductors cut the throats of passengers with
box cutters, we saw in living color on the video of Daniel Pearl's
torture and death.
What we didn't see when Terrorists held weapons to the
pilot's heads, or threatened passengers with death, we saw on the
fourth day of Daniel Pearl's capture as he knelt with a gun to the
back of his head, ready to die.
Few can comprehend the close-up reality of
Terrorism in action unless one has been in its spotlight, a personal
witness to its horror and aftershocks. Daniel Pearl's
plight was the epitome of the horror of 3,000 victims that day.
vicious death was symbolic of the jumpers from the WTC buildings
He was in real time metaphor like
the people leaping from the burning buildings I watched tumble to their deaths
on September 11, 2001 as I craned my neck and looked up at the horror
of people choosing to die by falling rather than being burned to
death. Some leapt with flames engulfing them, soaring down
like a smoke jumper parachutist whose chute didn't open.
Others held hands and leapt together, dying in communion rather than
Daniel Pearl died a lonely horrible death
not unlike those who leapt from the Twin Towers. His
death parallels in part the recent Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of
Christ, which focuses on the suffering of one man for the "sins" of
Daniel Pearl's death was as public as
Jesus'. The world saw Pearl's throat being slit and his
head held high. He died as a hapless victim of
Terrorism's thirst to dominate the world with Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. We saw Pearl die in ways we could only
imagine thousands died on September 11. His death was a
horrific legacy to the deaths of so many faceless, nameless victims
buried in the rubble of that day.
only being paid to those who died as a result Nine Eleven
Daniel Pearl's wife is seeking to
not let his death be divorced from the source of its cause.
Slipping just under the cut-off date for
the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, she filed claim No.
212-005347. The fund is restricted by law to apply only to
those who died as a result of the Terrorist attack in New York,
Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Pearl wants to extend the scope
of the fund to include her husband, whom she considers a victim of the
Terrorist attack just as much as any who died on that particular day
in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
Her claim is being denied. Mrs.
Pearl is not giving up. She is appealing to Congress to grant
eligibility to her and her two-year-old son, Adam.
If successful, 36-year-old Mrs. Pearl and
her son stand to receive $2 million in tax-free compensation.
The fund has paid out to 1800 applicants to date a total of $2.4
billion, an average of $1.4 million per family. According
to the New York Times, 98 percent of all eligible applicants have
I understand the issues facing Mrs. Pearl.
Following my survival of the 9-11 Terrorist
attack, I found myself obsessed with fighting the demons I had seen
that day. I saw horrible death and destruction, and the
madness and selfishness of people rushing to save their own lives,
some at the expense of others.
I also thought I was going to die that day, as
did most all of us who were at the epicenter of the destruction.
My concern was the safety of my children and
grandchildren. How could I fight the Beast of Terror?
More than three decades earlier I had been a
warrior in Vietnam. I had been on more than 100 combat
operations as U.S. Marine Combat Correspondent. My job was to
fight and kill, then write and memorialize combat.
and participated in the wrath of war in Vietnam
I witnessed and participated in the
wrath of war. Many days, I and my comrades were the
Terrorists, burning villages, destroying anything that moved in what
were called "free fire zones."
I thought I had left the Beast of Terror behind
me, in Vietnam.
But on that day, the second Tuesday of September,
2004, I saw the Beast of Terror's Claws reaching out toward me and my
children and grandchildren.
When the Twin Towers collapsed and the roiling,
boiling mass of dust and blood and flesh from those it crushed smashed
into us, shrouding us all in pale of death, choking us so we gagged,
unable to breathe, I felt the claws of the Beast of Terror closing
around my neck. I knew the Beast had come to haunt
not just me, but all Americans who thought they were safe from the
horror of Terrorism, from the ravages of war upon our soil.
Every day from Ground Zero Plus One I
have written a report on how to battle the many forms, shapes and
sizes of Terrorism. Today is the 930th of such days.
I go to sleep at night seeing the faces of the dead--not only those in
Vietnam but those in Iraq, those in Afghanistan, those from Ground
Zero, including the face of Daniel Pearl.
I do my best each day to convince all
readers who stumble upon my site to take the Pledge of Vigilance, to
prepare their children for any battles with Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency by strengthening the sinew of their Courage, Conviction
and Right Actions for future generations.
I am afraid no one listens.
Still, I write.
Eleven Terrorist attack triggered in me current...
At the beginning of this past
year I was told to seek compensation, not unlike Mrs. Daniel Pearl.
Only, instead of seeking compensation from the September 11 Victim
Compensation Fund, I was urged to seek compensation from my private
medical disability insurance policy.
I was told I should
apply for compensation related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by a
top psychologist in the field. I had been referred to him
by my daughter. He knew my background in Vietnam and
the events of 9-11, and felt that the Terrorist attack had triggered
both past and current traumas.
Like Mrs. Pearl, I faced a technical
problem. At the time of the Terrorist attack,
I was receiving disability benefits from my policy for depression.
I had come to New York from Southern California with my wife, who
recently suffered from breast cancer, to be near our grandchildren.
I had trouble getting work in New York, and found myself falling into
a deep funk, and, at the urging of my wife, filed for benefits under
the diagnosis of depression. I was awarded them for a two
I was obsessed
with righting the wrongs of Terrorism post Nine Eleven
When September 11
came about, I was nearing the end of my benefits, but still receiving
them. I didn't consider my obsession to right the
wrongs of Terrorism as a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I didn't think that my nightmares about the people falling from the
buildings, or that sense of helplessness and sadness over the threats
to my children and grandchildren represented a disorder quite
different from depression.
The anger and rage I sense over
not being able to get the world to listen to my small Voice in the
wilderness, or the guilt and shame I sensed regarding my impotency to
stop the Beast of Terror were classic signals of PTSD.
Near the beginning of this
year, on February 1, 2004, I filed to my insurance company--whom I
won't name at this moment--asking them to advocate my claim.
Big insurance companies tend to farm
out much of their administrative work, and regarding claims and
processing them, my insurance company has a third--party administrator
reviewing my files.
As Mrs. Pearl faced the rejection of
the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund, administrated for Congress,
Mrs. Pearl is undaunted. She is asking Congress to serve as her
advocate, to recognize her claim for compensation as equal to any of
those current 1,800 who have received it.
Mrs. Pearl and her attorney frame the question to
Congress: Was the fund created as an act of unparalleled compassion
that was meant to apply to all American families who were devastated
by the war of terror waged by Al Qaeda? Or was it a politically
expedient program, for instance, intended to bail out the airline
industry by shielding it from potentially ruinous litigation?
In my case, I am arguing the PTSD
as a result of my presence at Ground Zero is quite different from any
previous or current ailment I had. My insurance
company is questioning whether PTSD is different from "depression,"
and if so, is it significant enough to create what they call a "new
enrolled in the Veteran's PTSD program
I have enrolled in the VA PTSD
program. I have met with a battery of psychiatrists
and psychologists who have diagnosed me with PTSD. I
am currently appealing to the advocacy of my insurance company to
expedite my claim and let me know whether they view what happened to
me as worthy of a "new benefit" period.
In a small but similar way, I am in the
same boat as Mrs. Pearl.
My financial life has been victimized by
the Terrorist attack. My wife and family have suffered.
Parts of me have been torn apart. Old issues have boiled to the
surface. I see the mangled bodies of both Vietnamese and
victims of the World Trade Center pretzeled together in my dreams, my
daydreams. I cringe when I hear a low-flying
airplane, for I looked up that morning and saw the underbelly of the
Terrorist jet slicing low and feral through the sky and my guts told
me something was wrong. When it smashed into the
buildings, it tore the viscera of our national security out, and for
me, my sense of personal safety for my family.
Mrs. Pearl has suffered great sorrow, great
horror. I understand her battle to get compensation.
I am only
asking for what is right and just from my policy
In my case, if there is a
major distinction, it is that I paid for decades on a private policy
that I own. I am only asking for what is right and
just from my policy. I am asking my insurance company to
recognize my disability is different from the previous one, and while
concurrent with it, creates a new benefit period as of September 11,
2001, and, according to the wording in the policies, becomes effective
at the end of the previous benefit period.
More importantly, I am asking my insurance
company to see my situation as unique, as Mrs. Pearl is asking
Congress to do.
I find it hard to believe the insurance
company is dragging its feet on my claim. I have created
nearly 2 million words in defense of Vigilance over Terrorism on my
website, and consumed more than 930 days of my life in battling the
Beast of Terror only to find out that I am operating in the symptoms
My psychologists and psychiatrists have
said: "Stop writing on your website and get a job."
They believe I have been rendered inept by my hunger to save the
and son, Adam, face a world of financial suffering
Mrs. Pearl is fighting to save her world.
She and her son, Adam, face a world of financial suffering.
The husband and father of the family is gone, directly related to Nine
Eleven. Mrs. Pearl wants the same rights dealt to her for
her husband's political death as the victims who died here.
I want the same. I want the same
rights I would be given had I not had a claim for depression at the
same time Nine Eleven came about. I am sure my insurance
company would not argue any problem with the PTSD claim were it not
for a previous claim.
Just as I know that if Daniel Pearl had been
aboard one of those airplanes and his throat was slit, he would have
been unquestionably approved. In a way he was there, in a
But, we are both here today. I am here
seeking compensation from my insurance company.
Mrs. Pearl is here seeking compensation from Congress.
We both have
our head in our hands
We both have our heads in our hands.
Part of us has been cut off. Horror does that.
It severs a part of you that can never be put back the way it was
before the horror. I was never the same after Vietnam.
And, I will never be the same after September 11, 2001.
All studies on victims of horror show the level
of damage to one's psyche is related to one's proximity.
A person standing one block from the World Trade Center looking up and
watching bodies leaping from the burning buildings is different from
the degree of damage from someone watching it on television.
Walking through a village in Vietnam and burning
huts and shooting people is different from watching it on television.
Mrs. Pearl watched her husband's head being cut
I watched horror come to haunt me when I thought I was
Do we deserve to be compensated? Or, do we
deserve to hold our severed heads in our hands for the rest of our
Mar 29--Ground Zero
Horrors Key To Washington Witch Hunt