In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of voters to share their views on the key issues. Here they react to the findings of the 9/11 commission.
The findings of the bipartisan commission illustrate how little information was shared by the intelligence agencies.
This cost many deaths and wrecked lives.
The commission could have been critical of the Bush administration. But as its findings show, there is culpability to go around.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Jorge Caspary
Lives: Tallahassee, Florida
Works: Civil engineer
In 10 words or less:
"Bolivian immigrant, geologist, father-of-three, moderate Republican"
To hold responsible the current administration would have been naive, as the intelligence agencies knew about al-Qaeda as far back as the mid-1990s.
The findings will not affect my vote.
The tragedy would be not to implement the commission's recommendations.
There must be accountability. Too many intelligence chiefs in Washington have fiefdoms to protect and are immune to accountability, but my hope is that this will change all that.
For the sake of those that died, it has to change.
In general, I feel safer now, but no amount of safeguards will ward off a determined band of murderers capable of infiltrating US borders.
Overall I don't think homeland security is an important issue in this year's presidential campaign, as adequate steps have been taken to protect us, and security services are alert.
I also feel that the "trial-by-fire" experience of President Bush on this issue gives him the edge over Senator Kerry.
Mr. Caspary's comments are thoughtful, and he's right on many points. However, I disagree strongly with his conclusion: Bush's reactions to 9/11 (particularly the ill-advised invasion of Iraq) have done great damage to our long-run security. Many people, like me, see Bush's poor performance in his 'trial by fire' as the single best reason to vote for Kerry.
Carl, Tallahassee, FL, USA
I agree with Jorge's comments. We are "safer than we were before 9/11." I don't know how any reasonable person can deny that. We know that we are not immune from attack but we are certainly better prepared and more vigilant.
Ken, Florida, USA
I find it very difficult to say we are more safe now than we were before the 9/11 attacks. As Jorge was saying, "no amount of safeguards will ward off a determined band of murderers capable of infiltrating US borders." This is exactly the threat that presently faces us everyday. I feel that the US military presence in Iraq is fuelling anti-American terrorism. With the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal and the lack of WMD, anti-American sentiment is at an all time high. The US government can ill-afford to once again shoot itself in the foot. It is time, with the 9/11 report finalized, to stop pointing fingers. Clinton, Bush I and II should acknowledge that they could have done better. The world now demands that the US government become fully accountable as well as responsible for the short comings of the intelligence community. The bottom line, the truth will hurt and it will be sad. The truth shall set you free.
Andrew B, Missouri, US
I agree with Mr Caspary's remark, "no amount of safeguards will ward off a determined band of murderers capable of infiltrating US borders." So, I feel the US should work to defuse the hatred toward our country instead of inciting it by strutting around the globe like a arrogant bullying cowboy.
Andrea Nelms, Vancouver, USA
I believe Jorge has it right. If it were not for 9/11 and his "trial-by-fire" President Bush wouldn't stand a chance at re-election. Fear is Bush's blessing.
Anonymous Patriot, Dallas Texas