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: Corey Harrison
Lives: Chicago, Illinois
Works: Real estate
In 10 words or less:
"A liberal Jew with a cynical view"
While I'm not surprised that this report avoids political controversy in an election year, its blatant neutrality undermines its recommendation and conclusions.
It will not affect the majority of voters, including myself.
With most voters already bound to a candidate, only a fraction who consider themselves independent or unsure may change their voting intentions.
That said, homeland security is still an important issue.
There has been much criticism of the effectiveness of this new department.
It has been massively under funded, and the constant colour-coded alerts seem only to create an environment of fear.
As on every issue, Mr Bush never admits fallacy and continues to advocate the strengthening of the controversial Patriot Act as his main security policy.
Kerry's plan differs from the president's by creating a targeted alert system, adequately funding security programs, and at the same time showing respect for civil liberties - all positions I support.
The American electorate has a history of being motivated by fear, both by Democrats and Republicans.
Whether it is the fear of losing social security, higher prescription drug prices, or gay marriages, politicians know that fear works.
This election will be no different as Bush's re-election chances rely heavily on it.
Corey is parroting the same rhetoric the Democratic campaign has waged since before the primaries began. He says that Kerry's legislation will somehow provide better security with more respect than Bush's yet in the end, Kerry usually admits that he won't do things any differently. From my perspective it's the Democrats who are all about "fear and loathing".
Ken, Florida, USA
Sounds as if Mr Harrison has seen Fahrenheit 9/11 one too many times. These, of course, are the same folks who voted for Bill Clinton, yet deny that the series of events and complacence leading up to 9/11 happened on his watch. So whom should we really blame for this "atmosphere of fear"?
Angelo Morata, Chicago, IL, USA
Bush's re-election chances rely heavily on fear? Have you listened to the waste that Kerry and Edwards have been saying? I personally don't care for either Bush or Kerry, but at least Bush has been an adequate president. And I still believe that Al Gore would still be wondering what he should do if he was president on 9/11. Bush has proven that he can make the hard decisions, even when they aren't the popular decisions.
Scott Stein, Ohio, USA
I agree. Fear works and the politicians know it. I wish a fraction of the money spent on the Iraq war had been spent on homeland security, like securing trains, shipping systems and infrastructure.
JoAnne McKim, Minneapolis, USA
Corey is right. The report is blatantly neutral and leaves out much of the testimony given by President Clinton and Al Gore on what the Bush administration was warned about and the dangers of an attack from Bin Laden's al-Qaeda. Most Americans who followed the commission's investigation and read or watched as the testimony was given, know that. The problem with many Bush supporters is that they won't read or watch anything that puts a negative light on their president and still look at him as the leader who will protect us.
Sandra Vago, St Louis, MO, USA
Well said, Mr Harrison. The coloured alert system is a joke. I feel like we have a national security system that was either designed by Fisher Price or George Orwell. That is to say, there are certainly people who know what they're doing when they make a recommendation about threat levels, but our alert system only helps to increase fear and ignorance in the populace. "Well, I'll be! We're down to yellow alert status again, someone must be doing something right."
Andrew McCullough, American in Seoul, South Korea
Corey's absolutely right about the importance of fear in the election. The Homeland Security system set up by the Bush camp draws on the real horror of the 9/11 attacks to get folks in middle-America rushing out to buy plastic sheeting and gas masks on every orange alert. This propagation of mass hysteria doesn't make us any safer, as would a less alienating foreign policy that worked to eradicate the injustices which are the fuel of extremism. It will win votes for Bush, though.
Olivia, New York, USA
Here in the States not a week goes by without a new "unspecified threat" from terrorists plotting to attack somewhere or something. Who knows what's for real and what's bogus but the effect on Americans' sense of security is the same. And when it comes to capitalising on this sense of unrest, Bush's administration has not missed a beat.
Cody Jordan, Los Angeles, CA, USA