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.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Neil Sherman
Lives: Germantown, Tennessee
Works: Retired naval officer, Presbyterian minister
Current voting intention: Undecided
In 10 words or less:
"Husband, father of six, grandfather of 17, soccer fan"
The findings of the 9/11 commission do not affect my voting intentions.
I do appreciate the fact that neither former President Clinton nor President Bush are blamed.
I like the bipartisan tone of the report. Our institutions must be overhauled in order to meet the challenges of the current threat
There needs to be more cooperation between the CIA and FBI.
I have not felt safe about flying since 9/11.
I have flown though and my son, who is an airline pilot, has absolutely no reservations about flying.
But I am not quite as confident as he is.
I still worry about security in the US in general. I must say I feel less safe overall.
Homeland security is important to me.
I feel that President Bush has a better handle on the situation than Senator Kerry.
But in all fairness Kerry has not really stated his position on national security.
My problem with Kerry is that he has voted against virtually every military and security appropriation bill since he has been in the Senate.
People, examine what's around you carefully. Today, the US is the most hated, feared and possibly misunderstood country in the world. Middle Eastern countries abhor us, African nations do not support us, Europe by and large does not agree with our heavy-handed tactics and the Asian countries while resenting our bullish ways look to us as trade partners. I can assure you that we are the most disliked and least trusted nation since 1945. It's time we changed our ways and stop this jingoistic, patriotic and meaningless banter. A decade from now we will not be the only economic power and will find ourselves being sidelined and isolated. Let's face it, GWB has put us deep in debt, and presented America in a poor manner. All I can say is, wake up America, the dream is over, we need other countries just like they need us.
M Motard, USA
President Bush has made the United States less safe. Bin Laden has not been caught and his group is getting stronger. Bush once said that he did not care where Bin Laden was. That shows that he does not seem to care for the safety of his own country.
Joseph Sarno, Old Wesbury, New York, USA
Joseph Sarno: Bush is right not to worry where Bin Laden is, for the simple reason that it doesn't matter. He could be in Afghanistan, Old Westbury or Nottingham for all the difference it makes. Presuming he's still alive (personally I think he's dead - but neither side benefits from admitting that) all he needs is internet access to order an attack. Five miles or 5,000 miles makes little difference these days.
Peter, Nottingham, UK
I have to say that Neil seems to be the only panellist that is taking an honest look at both candidates. And ultimately it is Americans like Neil in TN that will decide the outcome of this election. Kerry is in the spotlight next week, and that will be his chance to connect. The report itself said what we already know. That our government is one big bureaucracy! The one question I think should have been addressed is why did the administration not finish up the job in Afghanistan, and get Osama? Does anybody remember him?
I also feel less safe in the US than I did before. I believe that the cause for our lack of security is not so much the fault of the intelligence community but of our foreign policy which has angered much of the world.
Amanda Cuellar, Waco, USA
I disagree. The President is responsible for ensuring that all agencies work properly, from the top down. Unlike Harry Truman, who accepted all responsibility, President Bush is busy finding scapegoats. 9/11 should not have happened, nor should the Iraq war. The government had ample evidence that the terrorists were trained in Saudi Arabia, so why have the Saudis escaped any blame?
James A Hammond, Redlands, California, USA
"My problem with Kerry is that he has voted against virtually every military and security appropriation bill since he has been in the Senate." This is just patently false! Such an inaccurate and ill-informed opinion is the very reason that democracy in the United States is in such a sad state.
Michael Heiderstadt, Mamaroneck, NY, USA
Mr Heiderstadt from NY has no clue what he is talking about. He claims that Kerry didn't vote against the military at every turn. Well prove it. I have read his voting record and surprise surprise - he has. Read up on his record and try and say he didn't.
Michael, San Antonio, Texas, USA
Neil, I am also a parent of six (no grandkids yet, though) and I am frightened at what is going on in our country today. I couldn't disagree with you more about Bush's "handle on security". My son, who was in your neck of the woods while serving at Campbell in the 101st, has helped to open my eyes quite a bit. I do not respect Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, or any of the others in this administration. They are civilians who set the course of our nation in Iraq, against all of the best advice of the military commanders who knew better.
Mary Broderick, Southborough, MA, USA
I find it very interesting that Mr Sherman says he has not felt safe flying since 9/11, feels "less safe overall", and "worries about security in the US", but then says, "I feel that President Bush has a better handle on the situation than Senator Kerry." Please explain how these contradictions work! Mr Kerry is a Senator, not the President. The fact that Mr Sherman feels unsafe says it all!
LV Fyodorova, Washington, DC, USA
It is nice to hear from a politically moderate citizen in the midst of all this partisanship.
Brent, Austin, USA
Neil, your "wartime" president sat paralysed for seven minutes after Karl Rove told him our country was attacked and you feel better having him lead during this war. I'm glad you're not partisan!
Liz Coromilas, Brooklyn, NY, USA