US Vulnerability and Response

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The World Trade Center is gone, and the Pentagon is in shambles. America has been assaulted as never before. Investigators have begun the unraveling the mystery of yesterday's synchronized hijackings and the unthinkable attacks on our symbolic structures. How does a democratic society protect itself against enemies it doesn't even know without compromising civil liberties? As we try to cope with the unimaginable, we examine the vulnerability of our airports and the options available to us, with experts on aeronautics, terrorism and public preparedness.
  • Newsmaker: Impact on the National Psyche - Alan Wolfe called yesterday's assault on America "an act of terrorism so great it's not even an act of terrorism; it's an act of war." Boston College's director of the Center for Religion and American Public Life addresses the role of religion in yesterday's tragedy as well as the difficult challenges and changes that lie ahead.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Best Clues to Terrorism May Come from Failed Mission That Crashed in Pennsylvania - Will the failed hijacking that crashed near Pittsburgh help explain those in Washington and New York that succeeded? Robin Acton, of the Tribune-Review and Cindi Lash, of the Post-Gazette, report on the investigative search at the Pennsylvania crash scene.
Special Edition: How the World Changed
Although it seemed like a nightmare, yesterday's drama is all too real. After so many television broadcasts, the unfathomable images are etched on our national psyche. An era of peace and prosperity has been violated by talk of war and the fear of profound economic problems. But wars and depressions happen in other places at other times. Before we decide what to do, what do we think? We talk about the changing consciousness of a people unaccustomed to being under attack, and look at how Americans will learn to accept the unacceptable with authorities on terrorism, history, and religion. [MORE] (This program is a second special edition of To the Point.)
  • Newsmaker: Heroism on United Flight 93 - Amid the horrific images and unthinkable devastation come stories of true heroism. Charles Lane, of The Washington Post, shares moving phone conversations from passengers facing certain death to loved ones at home. These valiant travelers, vowing to resist their terrorists, may have actually diverted the plane from its intended target.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Speculation on Suspects in World Trade Center and Pentagon Attacks One of our guests yesterday stated that in asking who might ultimately benefit by the terrorist attacks on US targets, we should include the state of Israel. Salam Al-Maryati, of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, rejoins us to clarify his comments and defend the sanctity of American civil liberties, regardless of one's political ideologies.

Center for Religion and American Public Life

Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence


Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review



Warren Olney