While the media plays up the significance of the government show trial of the seemingly deranged so-called "20th Hijacker" Zacharias Moussaoui, not one 9-11 victim's lawsuit has been allowed to be heard in a trial by jury.
Why have the 9-11 victims' families not been given the same right to have their cases heard in an open trial by a jury of their peers?
Ellen Mariani, who lost her husband Neil on United Air Lines (UAL) Flight 175, filed the first 9-11 wrongful death lawsuit against UAL on December 20, 2001.
Interviewed on national television in May 2002 by Bill O'Reilly of FOX News, O'Reilly repeatedly questioned Mariani about why she had chosen to pursue litigation instead of accepting the government fund.
"I want justice," Mariani said. "I want accountability. Who is responsible? I want the truth."
Today, Mariani, like the other 9-11 plaintiffs, is under a legal gag order which prevents her from speaking about her on-going lawsuit. Likewise, thousands of employees of federal agencies, such as the Federal Aviation Administration, have received secret gag orders in the mail preventing them from speaking about what they know about the events of 9-11.