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.
Nancy O'Leary Pew
I am glad the 9/11 Commission did this work, but it is not enough.
The bipartisan group appears to have identified things that went wrong years before the attack on the World Trade Center and have constructive suggestions to improve security.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Nancy O'Leary Pew
Lives: Seattle, Washington
Current voting intention: Democrat
In 10 words or less: "Concerned American wife, mother, grandmother, librarian, friend, neighbour, activist"
They clearly articulated the need for greater coordination among US intelligence gathering agencies, more human agents and better communication on the part of operatives.
Agencies must work together rather than protect their turf.
Transitions between administrations need more cooperation for seamless safety as well.
The report said that the "most important failure... was one of imagination".
To be safe we need to think and feel as the enemy does and not impose our motives and ways of thinking on the terrorists.
We should not have our freedoms limited in the name of fighting for freedom. We should act with integrity and justice in conducting the war on terror.
The recommendations must be implemented in such a way that safety of the country and its citizens is more important than political expediency or secret presidential agendas.
I frankly fear the erosion of our constitutional rights through this administration's interpretations of law more than I fear an attack by terrorists.
I do not trust the judgment of George W Bush and company to use even the best intelligence to work in the true interests of the American people.
Now, more than ever, I plan to vote for John Kerry and John Edwards in November.
I would really be curious to hear what "freedoms" you have lost since 9/11. In what tangible ways have you felt "violated"? The only people that seem to be concerned with the Patriot Act are those that have something to hide. I am more concerned about losing our freedom to make decisions about homeland defense without asking permission from France than allowing intelligence agencies share information.
Michael Yopp, Tustin, CA, USA
The biggest erosion of Americans' rights over the last few years has been the dismantling of the second amendment but I have never heard liberals complaining about that.
C, Moorpark, USA
You said: "I frankly fear the erosion of our constitutional rights through this administration's interpretations of law more than I fear an attack by terrorists". That thought process is based on fear and not reality. Name one specific US citizen who has lost rights because of the Patriot act. Just so you know, during WW2 some rights were suspended in order to be able to effectively fight our enemies. If we fail to win this war on terrorism you won't have any constitutional rights to worry about, we will all be dead.
Kevin L, Cincinnati, USA
"To be safe we need to think and feel as the enemy does and not impose our motives and ways of thinking on the terrorists." This statement is so lacking in common sense and reality that if it were not for the fact that this woman was serious it would be laughable. Think and feel as the enemy does? This "enemy" has 12th Century concepts, beheads and dismembers people without conscience, slaughters over 3000 of your fellow citizens -and you want us all to have some sort of meditative therapy session to think and feel as the enemy does? No thank you, Ms Pew! I prefer to "feel" the loss and grief of my countrymen and their families. I prefer to "think" that without President Bush at the helm we would still be the sitting ducks that we were during the 90s when complacency was the order of the day and denial was king.
Lisas, Wisconsin, USA
"To be safe we need to think and feel as the enemy does and not impose our motives and ways of thinking on the terrorists." I think I can clarify what she means. Lisa in Wisconsin said that the enemy has '12th century concepts'. By pointing this out, you are following Ms Pew's advice. Ms Pew is stating that we must not be deluded into believing that the terrorists are thinking exactly like us. It's one of the oldest strategies there is. Try to put yourself in their shoes, and see what they would do.
Jesse Holmes, Boise, ID, USA
I agree with Nancy, though I must say I think Americans got what George W wanted from the commission, not what we, as a people and a nation, needed. Not finding fault is admirable in some instances, but this in not one of them.
Carla, Cedar Hill, USA
Wrong, Ms O'Leary Pew. If you do not trust Mr Bush and his use of intelligence, then you do not trust Mr Kerry as he voted for the war in Iraq and is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. How safe was America under Mr Kerry's stewardship? Not very.
Brian M, Columbus, OH, USA
Interesting to note that the gentleman from Chicago points out that fear is a major tool employed by both political parties and Ms Pew's response highlights how that fear has been played upon by the Democratic Party. Perhaps in her next posting Ms Pew could detail exactly which of her constitutionally guaranteed rights have been eroded by this administration. And the assertion that she fears the United States government infringing on her rights more than she fears the terrorists serves well to highlight the gulf between the perspectives of those on the left and those on the right, politically, in America. Hopefully she and other Americans who share her sentiments, can take heart in the words of a former Democratic president: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Peter Doyle, Houston, Texas, USA
Nancy is right! Many of the laws made for homeland security (especially the Patriot Act) place more limits on our freedom rather than preserve our safety. In fact some of the newly implemented laws have been occasionally abused, by being used to prevent crimes that have nothing to do with homeland security. I can't say that I will vote for Bush or Kerry, but I hope whoever wins will implement homeland security laws that have more consequences for the terrorists not the American people.
Chandra Halma, Brandon, SD, USA
Nancy, like most liberals, you have no clue. Your statement: "I frankly fear the erosion of our constitutional rights through this administration's interpretations of law more than I fear an attack by terrorists" betrays your ignorance of the facts and of the true danger posed by terrorism. Name one of your constitutional rights that have been eroded. You cannot, because they have not been. Perhaps if the next jet is piloted into the Space Needle, you will wake up and see that the war on terror is the most important battle our country has faced since the fall of the Soviet empire.
Jeff, Atlanta, GA, USA
Nancy, you say that "To be safe we need to think and feel as the enemy does and not impose our motives and ways of thinking on the terrorists." Obviously, you haven't paid much attention to how the terrorists "think and feel." They have an ideology 100% opposed to what all of us consider normal, including respect for human life. For example, they believe Church and state are one and the same. Is this how we should think and feel? Go ahead and vote for Kerry, but don't pretend we're dealing with an enemy that we can negotiate with if we just share a little empathy.
Wes, San Diego, CA, USA
Thank you, Nancy, for a well thought-out, articulate (and relevant) response. I am so often amazed at the number of people who sidestep the issues, or simply use them to parrot the catchphrases they've learned in order to justify their voting for a person they really know little about, despite the information publicly available. We need to keep educating the citizens of this country about what's really going on in this administration.
Mike, Seattle, USA