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Let bombing relief fund audit be completed before drawing conclusions

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: December 5, 2012

This is a dangerous, unaffordable concept. The federal government paid 9/11 survivors in exchange for waiving lawsuits. Period.

After the bombing, people from around the world donated money to help survivors and victims. Some of that money remains in the disputed fund. If the foundation were to liquidate the fund tomorrow, divvying up proceeds equally among survivors, the complaints wouldn't end. They would shift to arguments about the amount of the checks.

How Oklahoma City responded to the bombing set a benchmark that came to be known as “The Oklahoma Standard.” Complaints about relief efforts fly in the face of that standard. Also, the wrangling could dissuade people from donating in the future when tragedies occur.

The attention paid to the bombing sparked envy in one Oklahoma legislator, who pressed claims to help survivors of the 1921 racial violence in Tulsa. Despite a rebuff from the Legislature, interest remains for taxpayer-funded reparations. Proponents cited compensation paid by the state of Florida to survivors of racial violence there in 1923. It should come as no surprise that the Florida claimants fought among themselves and complained about the amount one survivor got in relation to what another got.

We long ago realized that some bombing survivors would become professional victims. The rest of us need to let the professional auditors do their job before drawing conclusions about the fund's oversight.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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