Yesterday on his Fox News television show, Glenn Beck professed his deep concern for Beverly Eckert, a 9/11 widow who died in Thursday night’s plane crash in Buffalo. “After the attacks, she became a vocal activist for families of 9/11 victims,” Beck said in praising Eckert. “She pushed for the 9/11 Commission. She demanded answers from the government, and helped win the passage of the Intelligence Reform law.” David Neiwert recalls Beck’s earlier screed against the families of 9/11 victims:
You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims’ families. It took me about a year. Um, and I had such compassion for them and I really, you know, I wanted to help them, and I was behind — let’s give them money, let’s get them started, and all of this stuff. And I really didn’t — all the 3,000 victims’ families, I don’t hate all of them, I hate about, probably about ten of them. But when I see 9/11 victim family, you know, on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up.’ I’m so sick of them. Because they’re always complaining. And we did our best for them. And again, it’s only about ten.
The New York Times documents Eckert’s role in pushing for the 9/11 Commission:
With a group of other relatives of people who had been killed, Ms. Eckert traveled to Washington for a meeting with elected officials. They heard all the reasons why a country at war should not lay bare how its defenses had failed.
“I’ll never forget it,” Ms. Ashley remembered. “Beverly said, ‘Are you going to stand here and look me in the eye and tell me we are not going to have an investigation into the death of my husband and the relatives of all the other people in this room?’”
A commission was created. Ms. Eckert and other family members went to the White House for the announcement and to learn who would be running the investigation.
“We were just so relieved,” Ms. Eckert told Washington Monthly. “And then Bush brings Henry Kissinger into the room. I couldn’t believe it.’”
When the families and others demanded that he disclose the foreign clients of his international consulting firm, Mr. Kissinger withdrew.
The government stalled the commission’s investigators, balked at permitting testimony from officials like Condoleezza Rice, and tried to cut short the inquiries. In every instance, the commission, stiffened by the nonnegotiable insistence of the families, forced the administration to retreat. Ms. Eckert attended just about all of the sessions.
“She had this rare ability to separate the part of her that was grieving from the part that was rational, objective, analytic,” said John Farmer, who served as senior counsel to the commission.
With other families, she kept going back to Washington to press for enactment of the 9/11 Commission reforms. Last month, they met with the chairman of a commission on weapons of mass destruction.
In early 2005, she sent an e-mail message from a boat in Florida. “Somehow,” she wrote, “I feel more at peace with Sean’s death, having had the opportunity to help change our government — hopefully, for the better.”