After a thorough and time-consuming analysis, the FBI has confirmed what many of us were not wondering: none of the 60,000 Ground Zero workers eligible for Federal aid are currently on a terrorist watch list. Not one! The FBI was required to check all the names due to a stipulation in the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Rep. Cliff Stearns (R., Fla.) voted to pass the bill only on the condition that the FBI run background checks on anyone who might be getting compensation. If you think it was a pointless waste of time, you're not alone.

"Did anyone really think the heroes of 9/11 were terrorists? It's absurd," Rep. Jerrold Nadler tells the Wall Street Journal. "It was a waste of money, especially because it wasn't a simple thing to do, because you had to do the checks without violating the privacy of the first responders." But Stearns insisted the background checks were necessary because some people eligible for aid included "passersby and those who were near Ground Zero several months afterwards.''

It's unclear how much it cost for the FBI to find nothing, but they're not done yet: as more people become eligible for benefits, the FBI will have to run checks on them. But at least Congress has made the task a little less tedious by not requiring background checks on 9/11 workers with cancer—they're not eligible for any aid, at least not yet. Next year the government will release another review examining the contentious issue of cancer diagnoses in 9/11 responders. And yesterday the World Trade Center Health Registry announced it's conducting a survey of more than 70,000 people exposed to the dust during the attacks and the aftermath.