In the wake of September 11, 2001, America woke up to a devastating tragedy that recorded loss of lives and property in an air attack on the world trade center. The iconic buildings that stood strategically in New York came crushing down after the 2-passenger plane hit them. The attack was a part of a “what seem premeditated” four-series attack on American soil. The government confirmed of the terror act with its 9/11 Commission Report confirming (on zero evidence) Al Qaeda as the terrorist group and Osama Bin Laden, the leader, taking blame. The US citizens replayed the scene, this time examining the wide information gap, factual distortion and unclear scenarios of the attack in the government report. The fact remained it was a terrorism act, the question and decision to make was “who was the terrorist?” To address this ethical dilemma, the study uses the 7 steps in ‘The Prescribed Ethical Decision Making Model’, which help explain the ethical perception of the problem (Woodward, 2002).
Points of View
There are several persons who gave eyewitness accounts. Engineers who build the building, government agents and the then president gave different points of view as to the way the incident appeared, negating or affirming the terrorism theory.
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A first-hand account was issued by a New York Firefighter Department that also lost his son to the incident. He describes the place as “Dante’s inferno”. He had seen many fires, but the World Trade center fire was bigger and took long time to extinguish. The duration that the fire burned at the site was incorrectly articulated to the public. Jenifer Lin, a journalist for the Knight Rider, interviewed Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter who had been stationed at the wreckage for many days, and he disclosed that the underground fires had raged for months.
Engineers of the Twin Towers
One of the engineers who took part in the designing of the twin towers gave testimony that twenty-one days after the blast, the fires were still raging and molten steel was running. The towers were designed not to be impacted in any way as they did by an airliner size of a Boeing 767s (Weiner, 2007). Thomas Eagar, who is an MIT professor specialized in material engineering, stipulates that the impact of the plane could not have been significant, evidenced in the fact that the first impact was not capable of destroying all the columns to such a highly redundant building (Richard, 2008)
A short while after the collapse of the building, President Bush made a statement in which he advised the nation not to tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories relating to the attack of September, 11 (Bush, 2001). The government, however, had the biggest conspiracy theory that Al-Qaeda was solely to blame. They however failed to account for discrepancies of their theory which they wanted every American citizen to believe.
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden made a statement on the 17th of September that was kept hidden from the public. In this statement, he categorically denied his involvement in planning and executing the attack as the Afghanistan leader to whom he was hosted could not allow him undertake such an operation. Later, the government produced a confession by the same person, taking credit for the attack. Though his denial would not prove his innocence, questions should be raised as to why a man who spends six weeks denying an act then all of a sudden claims responsibility.
The Perception on the Ethical Problem
The perception on the ethical problem shows that dilemmas we face are often complex, so it is best to examine the problem from several angles and to avoid searching for a simplistic solution or relying on our personal biased decisions. There are several theories that put into perspective what happened to the World Trade Center bearing in mind that it was not directly hit by the plane. The President Bush administration is to blame for the destruction of the twin towers and the subsequent death of innocent Americans. Putting all these considerations together, their proposed theory is a sham as it is a cover up that they do not want to be questioned.
Describing the Situation
The administrative government responded to the attack of the twin towers with massive casualties and the death of 3,000 people by blaming it on Al-Qaeda with the evidence that Osama bin Laden had confessed to being behind the attack and that the jumbo jets crushed on the buildings, creating a massive fire that was responsible for the collapse. It was also alleged that the planes were out of service and lost track for more than 10 minutes undetected, which was unheard of in America, and the report said it did not recover all the black boxes.
Defining the Ethical Issue
The government is the elected representative of people and, therefore, people are entitled to a truthful account for what really happened on 11 September. It was not fast enough to intercept the planes before they crushed. There was no coincidence that their theories did not add up and neither could they counter other plausible theories.
Identifying Alternative Courses of Action
There are several ways in which the current government can ensure that those who took part in unethical issues culminated to the attack face justice. Independent commissions made up of experts tried to investigate what really happened on the ground. The then president should also be subjected to the same. Another alternative that could work with the first is to present the matter to an ad hoc tribunal. George Bush could also be indicted and face public trial together with the heads of departments involved.
Projecting Probable Consequences
If found guilty, Bush and other perpetrators in his regime should be discontinued to hold public offices, sentenced to life or death penalty for the killings of so many innocent lives as it is no different as they did to Saddam Hussein. The government also failed in providing details on the plane used in the attack. The information black boxed was missing. The issued report highly differed from that information obtained from the survivors and witnesses. Thus, this proved many unethical practices in the government. The plane companies and business people were to blame so much was blame on the government. The best alternative was creating an independent body from the government.
Identifying an Alternative
The most suitable sentence for the perpetrators would be life imprisonment in a maximum security as there is not enough retribution in death as there is no pain in death as compared to retracted freedom. These alternatives were meant to make someone accountable for their unethical behavior. There was a process of terminating George Tenet. This can assist in regulating the personal interactions in the upcoming directors of CIA and the President. This alternative can assist in resolving the issues. This will prevent future CIA from repeating mistakes committed by Tenet. However, this alternative may not be quite easy to implement (Tenet, 2007). The main reason is that the president appoints the head of CIA. Thus, an extensive procedure will have to be adopted making this alternative more difficult. There are also threats on part of the analysts, investigators and the press from the government. This makes it hard when it comes to sorting out the truth.
Selecting an alternative and State of Resolution
An appropriate alternative would be creating an agency policy thus reporting him thus making him face civil penalties. He could also face strict disciplinary measure that would lead to criminal prosecution. It is the best since if the inner controls are weak, there would arise inconsistent and unpredictable behavior. The second best alternative would be letting President’s Bush administration to allow tenet perform less duties rather than stepping down. The moral rules the president broke was by that he misused that position. He created personal opinions that are unethical. The ethical principle also proposed alternatives that would otherwise promote professional conduct that was vital in the public sector. Rehearsal of defenses by CIA is vital in that it will allow them gain more popularity (Cooper, 2012). This will help them acquire public trust and credibility. As per Richard, 2008, this had been lost though could be regained. Finally, anticipatory self-appraisal will play a vital role. It will redirect them rightly. They will get an opportunity to practice their duties.
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