Did 9-11 Turn America into a National-Security State?
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Nine years after the attacks of September 11, are hundreds of new intelligence bureaucracies making America safer? Are they a wasteful over-reaction that’s counterproductive? Also, President Obama sounds a campaign note in this morning's press conference, and reminds critics of Islam that Muslims are serving the country in American uniforms.
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Obama Sounds Campaign Note in Press Conference ()
At his first news conference in three months, President Obama today defended the war in Afghanistan, said his efforts at Middle East peace are worth the risk of failure and blamed Republicans for creating an economic crisis and then deciding to sit on the sidelines while Democrats tried to fix it. He also addressed the November elections. Peter Baker is White House correspondent for the New York Times.
September 11, Nine Years Later ()
The 9-11 Commission led by Lee Hamilton and Tom Kean established the National Security Preparedness Group to follow its work with periodic assessments of terrorist threats to the United States. Its latest report, released today, says terrorism is more complex than it was nine years ago and that some US citizens are more dangerous than al Qaeda. In the meantime, the US has built dozens of new intelligence bureaucracies, with thousands of employees, costing more than $75 billion a year. Even some intelligence experts say over-reaction is leading to massive waste and duplication of effort. Is it worth the cost to make America safer? Is it counterproductive? Does it exaggerate dangers, create unnecessary fears and perpetuate an overly powerful national security state?
- Bruce Hoffman: Director, Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies, @hoffman_bruce
- William Arkin: Online Columnist, Washington Post
- Philip Mudd: former Deputy Director, CIA's Counterterrorism Center
- Fawaz Gerges: Professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations, London School of Economics
Obama Speaks Out on Behalf of Muslim Americans ()
At today's news conference, President Obama was asked about the furor over the mosque near Ground Zero, the threat to burn copies of the Koran and the growth of anti-Muslim sentiment in America. He said what he most admired about President Bush -- after September 11 -- was that he made "crystal clear" that America was not at war with Islam. Mariam Memarsadeghi is an Iranian-American human rights activist and founder of Tavaana E-learning Institute for Iranian Civil Society.
- Mariam Memarsadeghi: Iranian-American human rights activist
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