Friday, September 9, 2011

9/11 Questions



Heading to teach a 1st period class on September 11, 2001, we knew that a plane had hit the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York but we did not know that the world had changed.

During that 55-minute class period (in which we were discussing how the attack on Pearl Harbor led to the Japanese internment during World War II) we learned that the south tower of the WTC had been struck by another airliner, and then we watched it collapse just as a passing bell indicated that class was dismissed.

For the rest of the day and weeks later, planned classes meandered into trying to answer questions of “How?” and “Why?” in regards to the terrorists’ motives and methods. For months later, we asked the question of “What?” as in “What should the American government do to respond?”

Now, 10 years later, we’d like our readers to tackle another question.

“When you think back on the last 10 years, what do you think will be seen as the most significant response to the 9/11/2001 terror attacks?”

• The creation of the TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards.

• The creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

• The invasion of Afghanistan.

• The invasion of Iraq.

• The re-election of George W. Bush.

• The election of Barack Obama.

• The passage (3x) of the USA PATRIOT Act.

• The use of our Guantanamo Bay naval base as a long-term detention camp.

• The use of “enhanced interrogation” by the United States to question suspected terrorists.

• The use of “extraordinary rendition” by the United States to question suspected terrorists in countries that allow the torture of prisoners.

• The use of “warrantless wiretaps” to eavesdrop on phone conversations involving suspected terrorists.

• The killing of Osama bin Laden.


45 comments:

  1. 9/11 is well known as the day that changed America. In many respects this is true. 9/11 has become a defining element of the turn of the 21st Century. That day America did change. We as a nation changed in our national attitudes, cultural beliefs, and view of the outside world. Our priorities surrounding security and liberty were re-examined. Our sense of safety was flown into obscurity. 9/11 was a horrific event, and it killed 3000 American citizens, but a tsunami in Japan killed 100 times the amount of individuals who died on 9/11. Why is it that 9/11 has such dramatic cultural implications on our nation?

    When I think back upon the last 10 years, I believe that the most significant response to the 9/11/2001 terror attacks was the shift in American attitudes towards the Middle East and Al Qaeda, which can be shown through the expansion of our efforts in the War on Terrorism. Cumulatively, all the programs enacted and steps taken to address the War on Terror reflect American’s shift in cultural attitudes when it comes to security and liberty. Our global perspectives altered. We never saw the Middle East the same. The connotation behind what it meant to be Muslim change.

    If the question is, what was the most significant response by the government to the 9/11/2001, then I would have to say that the passage (3x) of the USA PATRIOT Act was the most significant government action. The status quo of liberty and personal freedom was forever altered with the passage of the Patriot Act. The executive branch was given new powers to protect our nation through increased probing of the American citizenry in the name of security. Wars will come and go. Opinions surrounding a candidate for President, and their chances for election are ephemeral. Shifting attitudes last much longer. The USA PATRIOT Act was emblematic of those shifting attitudes.

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  2. I think that the creation of the TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards have been the most significant response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The rigorous airport security and safety procedures have made it nearly impossible for a terrorist to get on a plane. People complain about getting a body scan, having to take off their shoes, or not being able to bring liquids on the plane, but those little things that we have to do ensure our safety and make sure that we have nothing to hide. The TSA also helps Americans to feel safer when they travel. If the security had not increased after 9/11, people would still be afraid to fly. Thankfully, the TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards have kept us safe and calm while flying since 9/11.

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  4. The passage of the USA Patriot Act and its continual extension was one of the most critical responses to 9/11. The events of 9/11 were tragic and created a lot of fear in the American people, mainly because citizens realized that as Americans, we could no longer sit back and watch events unfold, but were now a part of the conflict. The USA Patriot Act greatly expanded the government's ability to search private records, regulate financial transactions, and increased law enforcement discretion in stopping suspected acts of terrorism/terrorists. The USA Patriot Act is ultimately what started the debate over how much of our civil liberties we were willing to give up in order to stay safe and has caused people to perhaps change their priorities for the sake of safety. Are civil liberties worth anything if you're dead? Or is it better to die in the name of freedom? Distrust of the government has been perpetuated over the years, especially due to acts like the Patriot Act. Additionally, the Patriot Act has been a battleground for Democrats and Republicans and has greatly defined a candidate's foreign policy and chance of getting elected.

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  5. It's difficult to make predictions about the future; Nixon seemed like a straight shooter at the time, and backing Mobutu seemed like a safe bet at the time. What seems significant or obvious now might not be worth a footnote later in history. But as far as I am concerned, to the average American I think that the revolution in Homeland Security is more pressing than problems abroad. I don't mean to diminish the historical significance of the invasion of Iraq or our involvement in Libya, but to a middle-class suburbanite it's very easy to focus on the TSA's and wiretapping. While I think what the TSA does is necessary and well within the rights of the national government, I do not enjoy it. But it is necessary to keep us safe, and for the most part it is working.

    Guantanamo Bay is another of our Governments Snafus that will be remembered for some time. While not on par with our stubborn refusal to withdraw from Vietnam or the Japanese internment camps, but our nation once again violated the natural rights of more than one-hundred men. Terrorists or not, they deserved a fair trial, that they have yet to recieve.

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  6. Er- Luke Stroth, Third Period.

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  7. I think the most significant response to 9/11 was the re-election of George Bush becaused it showcases how america could still hold hope in their government after an unfathomable tragedy. After 9/11, citizens had mixed emotions of anger, uncertainty, grief, and fear. However, despite the confusion, America still held faith in the executive branch by re-electing Bush. The terrorists of 9/11 had expected Americans to criticize the stability and quality of the government but instead the opposite occured. America demonstrated it could handle tragedy with grace and maintain it's faith in democracy to lead them out of hard times. When America was supposed to crash, the people formed together, despite many differences, to further fight terrorism.

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  8. I think the most significant response to 9/11 was the re-election of George Bush becaused it showcased how america could still hold hope in their government after an unfathomable tragedy. After 9/11, citizens had mixed emotions of anger, uncertainty, grief, and fear. However, despite the confusion, America still held faith in the executive branch by re-electing Bush. The terrorists of 9/11 had expected Americans to criticize the stability and quality of the government but instead the opposite occured. America demonstrated it could handle tragedy with grace and trust in democracy to lead them out of hard times. When America was supposed to crash, the people formed together, despite many differences, to further fight terrorism.

    -Alex Bach

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  9. I think that one of the most significant changes caused by the 9/11 attack is the increased airport security. Travel by air is something that has become so common and really a part of the culture, that we can travel halfway around the world within a day, that the increse in airport security was really something that affected the vast majority of the people. While one can argue that the warrentless wiretaps affect more people, the majority of people have nothing to hide from the federal agents and are thus not really affected. However, with the increase in airport security, everyone who travels has to take off their shoes and go through the body scanner. Furthermore, the security has continuously increased since the attacks, so ten years from now, who can guess hos difficult it might become to get from the airport onto an airplane.

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  10. Steven Kislenko

    In my opinion, the Iraq War was the most significant event post 9/11. It revealed a lot of holes in the United States Army's handling of a war, especially in a foreign land occupied by our own security forces. We came into the war in 2003 under the premise that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. We now know that this was probably not true, but lo and behold we ousted a dictator from power and left a power vacuum in the country. The United States and the Iraqis were quick to declare victory. However, the celebration turned to animosity and consternation as Iraqis felt angry with the presence of United States soldiers in light of events that were fixed by terrorists to prove the United States was at fault. So, this peaceful occupation quickly turned into civil war, with terrorists occupying many regions within the country. The rise of al-Qaeda in Iraq and Muqtada al-Sadr's army are prevalent names that come to mind. The United States, without another security force at hand really to assist (the Iraqi Security Force at this time was a non-entity and was not ready for combat, nor had the will to fight), the United States had to go at it alone. Unfortunately, events such as Abu Ghraib and their treatment of Iraqi citizens did not help their case one bit. In addition, there were IED's everywhere and no stable government in sight at the time. But, the United States began to learn its lesson: they helped establish a democracy, they took out IED's, they began to make peace with the local Iraqis, and they made the Iraq Security Force more competent in handling terrorist situations. By 2007, the war shifted to the United States and, by 2010, most troops had left Iraq. Those that stayed are now on training assignment. So far, Iraq has been relatively calm as the Iraqi Security Forces hold the reins for protection. Yet, we came really close to having Iraq become a terrible thorn in the side of the United States. Though people criticize the war as pointless, in many cases it showed us holes that we had not experienced before and we worked to patch those holes up so that, should a similar situation arise, the United States will be more ready to handle what comes their way.

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  11. Looking back on the past ten years, I think the most significant response to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks was the creation of TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards. This government project is huge--according to PBS News Hour, it is the single largest federal startup since World War II--and its purpose is to protect American citizens. TSA screens about 1.8 million people every day and over 625 million people every year. With the very large number of fliers in the United States, TSA has tried to keep Americans safe from any act of terrorism. From its beginning, TSA was far from perfect: terrorists such as the shoe-bomber and the underwear-bomber were able to get through the security checkpoint. Though, it could not be expected that TSA would be without loopholes because we do not necessarily know the next move a terrorist will make. The system has gotten to the point where many travelers are subject to full-body scanners and pat downs and some travelers are subject to racial profiling, all of which many Americans feel violate their Constitutional rights. However, with the large number of travelers and the threat of terrorism, I believe TSA is necessary. If you have nothing to hide, is the protection of your life more essential weighted against not going through a body scan, or would you rather not have anybody go through a body scan and potentially put yourself at risk? As we learned, James Madison said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” In this case, it is the government’s duty to protect its citizens, and it will continue to protect its citizens with TSA. TSA is not perfect, but it will continue to evolve to make the process more effective. For the rest of our lifetimes, I cannot see TSA not stopping us before we head to our respective gates, making the creation of TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards have the greatest impact on our lives and our future.

    Bobby M., period 2

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  12. 9/11 is a moment which will forever be remembered in lives of everyone who lived or has any memory of that day. For my generation, 9/11 is our defining moment. As President Bush explained: we were attacked by a faceless coward. However, the face of Osama Bin Laden lived on. I remember for weeks after 9/11, my friends and I would talk about killing Bin Laden and holding him responsible for this. Yet, Bin Laden lived on. For many our age, we can at least remember some of that day, and I remember that patriotic feeling of wanting to get Bin Laden. The night we killed Bin Laden proved to be the most important moment since that day. His death provided some closer to myself and many others in our generation who remember him as being the constant enemy growing up. Just as the Soviets were the enemy for our parents, Bin Laden was the enemy for our generation. His death like the fall of the Berlin Wall, provided our generations with closer and relief. Interestingly as well, the death of Bin Laden is around the same time as the end of the War in Iraq and the deterioration of Al-Queda. Everything in the past 10 years as had some connection to him, and that is finally ending.

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  13. I think that the most significant change that we have made since 9/11 is the creation of the TSA. After the terrorist attacks people were scared to fly. The TSA provides not just the prevention of another terrorist attack but it helps the people flying feel safer. The TSA makes it impossible for anyone to bring any type of explosive or any dangerous weapon passed security. It helps people feel safer when they have to take their liquids out of their suitcases, take their shoes off and occasionally get asked to get scanned again. Overall, the TSA has helped Americans fly safely for the last ten years due to the intense security procedures
    - Alex C 7th period

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  14. As I flew from Ireland to the US two days after the Christmas underwear bomber, I had been checked by security three times. Then as we approached US airspace, flight attendants informed us that the TSA required us to remain in our seats at all times, put all electronics away, make sure nothing was in our laps, and deactivate the GPS feature of all the passengers TVs. In the two weeks I had been gone, the security regulations around the world (including the TSA) had drastically changed. This has lead me to believe that the most significant response to the 9/11 attacks 10 years ago has been the creation of the TSA and more rigorous airport security procedures. The reason being this is because the TSA will continue to evolve each and every year. For example, throughout the past 10 years they have added new regulations shush as shoe removal at security, limiting the amount of liquids you can carry on an aircraft, and implementing body scanners. As technology and terrorist tactics change, so will TSA regulations.

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  15. As a few other above me have said, I also think that the most significant change that we have made since 9/11 is the creation of the TSA. Like Matt, I also had an experience that led me to believe this. As I was coming back from vacation in Dubai last summer, I was surprised in the way the TSA did their security procedures there. Instead of metal detectors, women and men were taken into separate rooms and "hand searched". Normally, only an inspection with a "hand wand" is required. But this time a full "pat-down inspection" was required. After that, our luggage was checked. Again, normally it would be checked through the X-ray machines. But these too were searched by hand. There was a team of security rapidly opening up luggage and doing a thorough search. Even the flip flops that I was wearing had to be removed and checked! Lastly, their was the "laptop screening". My dad, brother, and I were all carrying laptops and we were all asked to take them out and turn it on because security officials wanted to make sure they "functioned normally". Flying out of the U.S, these were not required. Flying back into the U.S was when all these inspections started. Even after going through this, I strongly believe TSA is necessary. After 9/11, the large number of terrorists, and threats- TSA is necessary. It helps passengers feel safe and protects the U.S. For the rest of our lives, I know the TSA will still be here to protect us and keep us safe.

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  16. Of course, Abhi writes a novel for a blog post.

    Ten years ago, I was sitting in a 2nd grade classroom in Wisconsin. I had an Arab classmate, and sadly, everybody stopped talking to him for the rest of the year. Considering kids are supposed to be the most understanding and figuratively colorblind, I find this extremely shocking and kind of frightening when looking back on it.
    In this way, I think the most significant response to the 9/11 attacks hasn't been a single or group of events, but the widespread fear or deep-seated loathing of people who are from the Arab world or look like they're from the Arab world. In a way, the biggest movement in the past decade has been this shift in view towards these people. Throughout history, we've had certain racial or ethnic groups we look at with narrowed eyes: the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, Eastern Europeans during the Cold War- and as much as we strive to eradicate feelings of hostility and racism, events like 9/11 will always provide incorrect justification for them.
    Hopefully, there will never be an event like 9/11 ever again.

    Gina Li, Comparative Pd. 2

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  17. I would say the creation of the TSA will be the most significant response post 9/11 in the future mainly because it is the one event that will personally affect every the most people. In my own lifetime, I would see the killing of Osama Bin Laden as the most important because it took almost 10 years to find him and I remember that right after the news came out all of my friends (myself included) tuned into the TV to watch Obama interrupt Donald Trump and deliver the news. Seeing all of my friends responses on Facebook truly showed national unity. However, thirty years from now, that will just be another date in a text book. To the contrary, security at airports will never be the same and people will always be able to track down that day back to 9/11, thus making it the most significant event since the attacks.

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  19. Whenever an American citizen hears the phrase "9/11" he or she is taken back to where they were when they found out that two planes had hit the World Trade Center in an act of terrorism. I myself remember being in Mrs. Berkowitz's second grade classroom. Little did I know, rather little did anyone know how much this tragic day would change America for forever.

    Almost any response to this terrorist attack would be significant, but I believe, domestically, the most significant response wasn't a policy change or a law passed. The most significant response to 9/11 was the unity that was seen in every corner of the U.S. Hearts across the nation went out to those in New York as the reality of the event sunk in. The "United" in our country's name was tested, and every citizen passed. We showed our
    unity, most measurably, through our support for our government; President Bush's approval rating reached it peak less than a month after Sept. 11th, reaching around 92% percent. As a nation we stood behind our President and his decision to wage a War on Terrorism. Although terrorism seems to be an unbeatable method of racism and destruction, our unity will stand forever in the face of attack.

    -- Sydney Bauer

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  20. Unfortunately, it seems that many Americans are solely concerned with an end. They will ignore the means to get to that end if it means getting there successfully. I believe Americans treat 9/11 with a similar attitude. Therefore, the most significant response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks will focus on an achieved goal. War gave people little satisfaction in tangible results. However, the headline on every news station in the nation, if not world, reading "Osama bin Laden is Dead" leaves a mark on American citizens. They saw a tangible victory achieved through enacted laws, security measures etc. But to view the 9/11 attack in the eyes of a majority, our real defeat and thus most significant action was the killing of Osama bin Laden.

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  21. I think the most prevalent change in post 9/11 america is the addition of heightened flight security and the creation of the TSA. Before 9/11 you could go onto an airplane without have any additional screenings besides going through a metal detector. Nowadays, the arduous process of air travel contains full body scanners, that critics say violate our civil liberties. However despite the inconvience of all the added steps in security, it is impossible to quantify national security. Without all the efforts of the TSA, our country would not be as safe as it is today and would be more suseptable to other terrorist attacks. There is now a fear instilled in terrorists coming to the US, because of our heightened security, therefore the problem of using an airplane as a weapon is eliviated.

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  22. In my opinion, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security constitutes as the most significant response to the tragedy of 9/11. The formation of the DHS involved restructuring multiple goverment agencies into one of the largest cabinet deparments in the United States. In addition, it marked a dramatic shift in U.S. government policy from countering threats outside our borders, to protecting ourselves within our borders as well. While controversy has emerged over its excessive spending, the DHS serves as the the cornerstone behind all of our major efforts to win the war on terrorism.
    - Lindsey Mendelson Period 5

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  23. The most influential response since 9/11 for people like us would definitely be the creation of TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards. For many of us, TSA and these air travel security standards have always been there whenever we travel by air. It affects what and how we pack our belongings when using air travel for vacation or school trips; the amount of liquid we can carry on the plane is limited, there are prohibited items that cannot be carried on the plane, , showing identification when passing through the security gate, and much more. Now, there are body scanners to make sure we don’t carry something prohibited under our clothes. These safety standards affect travelers every time they wish to use the plane. However, other reactions like the invasion of Iraq and the use of Guantanamo Bay as a long-term detention camp is important, but it is something that doesn't necessarily change our day to day lives.

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  24. I think that the killing of Osama Bin Laden was a significant response to 9/11. Osama Bin Laden was not only the leader of Al Qaeda, but a symbol of Al Qaeda and terrorism in general. Americans were waiting for that moment when it would be announced that Osama Bin Laden was dead, and it took 10 years for that moment to occur. His death not only gave many Americans a sense of relief and peace, but also brought everyone in this country together.

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  25. “Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security.” -Benjamin Franklin

    The most astounding change in American government since the September 11, 2011 terrorist attack is the Patriot Act, and the fact that it was passed not once, but three times by congress. America began as a weak federal government, a federal government that chose not to limit the freedoms of its citizens. States' rights advocates have always been weary of the federal government taking too much power, whether that be from Adam's Alien and Sedition Acts, which would have limited freedom of speech, or "King" Jackson's veto-heavy rule. By passing the Patriot Act, our legislators decided, basically, that privacy and freedom of speech are less important than liberty. In essence, any of us, at any time could be watched. Any phone could be tapped. It may sound paranoid, but it's a sad truth. The terrorist attack has lead to a government that doesn't trust it's citizens. And, in turn, it's citizens are afraid that the government will turn against them.

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  26. I believe that the most successful responses to 9-11 was the killing of Osama Bin Laden because it caused so little consequence while eliminating the most dangerous threat. The creation of the tsa also provided the necessary security while deterring terrorism. There were many mistakes, like using enhanced intterogation because it complicated information and took away civil rights. Looking back at the past 10 years, I believe that the hope for a war without terror and the demand for justice was the most significant response to the attacks.

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  27. Creating a new Cabinet position is what I predict will be the most long lasting and significant change in a post 9/11 America. The DHS has become the 3rd largest Cabinet department in the government, trailing only the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs in sheer manpower. It's taken control of the roles of 22 different organizations, including the TSA and the Coast Guard. We've never "lost" a Cabinet position once it was created, and the role that the DHS has in our security seems to be here to stay. Times of war have proven to be justification for restriction of liberties, historically illustrated by the War Powers Act and the Alien and Sedition Acts. Thus, the outcry against the Patriot Act does not feel very provocative or something that will create a lasting impact.

    Will Chen-Period 5

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  28. I think that most significant change after 9/11 is the re-election of George Bush because that meant that voters and citizens still had faith in the President and in the government. I think that Bush did a poor job in keeping our country's pride up after 9/11, but it was very important that he was re-elected because that showed the Americans weren't going to give up and that they still wanted the same leader to help us push through these tragedies and try to make America stronger. Many other changes have been very effective and memorable since 9/11, but I think this action is the most significant one.

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  29. I believe that the creation of the TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards was the most significant response to 9/11. By imposing strict standards and heavily restricting access to certain hazardous materials on planes, the government effectively removed the possibility of future terrorist attacks. The new culture of security took hold and actually stuck, creating a lasting structure with which we could keep our airports safe. While the TSA has been endlessly criticized in the past, there have not been any issues since the institution of the rigorous standards, yet they have quietly kept us safe ever since.

    - Eugene Bulkin (5th period)

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  30. I think that the creation of the Transportation Security Agency(TSA) was the most significant response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. The TSA provides Americans with security when traveling. After the attacks people were afraid of flying or taking any form of public transportation. The birth of the TSA allowed Americans to feel safe while flying but came at a cost. Security at airports became much more thorough and almost intrusive. Americans, although still cautious, have been able to grow stronger and feel safer since the attacks on 9/11.

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  31. There's just not one thing; there can't be. One can debate for hours, days, months, or even 10 years what the most significant change after 9/11 was, but no one will ever know. Over the past 10 years, so much has occurred socially and politically, but how do we do respond to these events? As FDR says, "“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy” after the attack on Pearl Harbor, I believe 9/11/2001 will also carry a magnitude similar to Pearl Harbor. 9/11 showed Americans how fragile life can be from a moment to moment basis. Even though we don't want to accept it, we need to realize that we always need to be on alert. As today is the 10 year anniversary of one of the worst dates in American history, we realize that we need to remember this event and learn from the aftermath.

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  32. I believe that the thing that will be seen as the most significant response to the 9/11/2001 terror attacks is the gradual lessening of civil liberties in the years after the attack. This includes many of the things listed after the question above such as: The creation of the TSA and more rigorous air travel safety standards, the passage (3x) of the USA PATRIOT Act, the use of “extraordinary rendition” by the United States to question suspected terrorists in countries that allow the torture of prisoners, the use of “warrant less wiretaps” to eavesdrop on phone conversations involving suspected terrorists, etc. This is a result of the fact that many Americans tend to not be fully aware of the types of extremist groups that actually commit terrorist activities and are willing to allow the government to take extreme measures inside the country itself to quell their fears. However, this is leading to a gradual corrosion of civil liberties and allows the national government much more power that it should, which will manifest in later problems.

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  33. Over the past 10 years the most dramatic change has been the establisment of the TSA. This has completley changed the way that Americans travel. This huge increase in security has made it nearly impossible for a breech in American security. As the rules continue to change and become more strict, travel continues to get safer. Sure it may be a pain to not be able to travel without getting searched, but it is necessary to our safety. Many people have taken our safety after the 9/11 attack for granted and no longer feel we need body scans. But the opposite is true. The fact that we continue to implement the safety restrictions that we have is a major reason as to why our air travel has stayed safe over the past 10 years.

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  34. I think the most significant response to 9/11 was the re-election of George W. Bush. Though Americans, throughout history, have often feared the rise of a strong executive, we as a nation needed President Bush to remain strong after the tragedies of 9/11. While today President Bush is often criticized, in 2001 we needed him to be decisive and tell us that, without doubt, we would overcome the fear and uncertainty that followed September 11. President Bush's re-election therefore reflects the attitude of our nation--that in times of crisis, we turn to our government and our chief executive to reassure us.

    -Rachel Landsman, 2nd period

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  35. I personally think that the creation of the TSA and enforcing rigorous travel standards will be seen as the most significant response to 9/11/01. Whether it's traveling from state to state or from state to a different country, the TSA will provide protection to its passengers. Going through body scans and having our luggage scanned is definitely worth the time. Even taking of our shoes, which may seem superfluous to some people, is worth the safety. The TSA will definitely limit future terrorist attacks.

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  36. Throughout this past weekend, many radio stations paid tributes to the 9/11 attacks. One station in particular played news reports that were broadcasted during the time of the attackss and those following the attacks. Listening to the reports, I realized many of them emphasized unity: the attacks failed to divide the nation, but rather unified the people to become one. I some aspects, this may be true; a sense of patriotism has, no doubt, soared in most individuals. However, in retrospect, how accurate is this idea of unity?

    Examining the various laws and agencies that were passed and formed as a result of the attacks, a certain pattern can be seen. Although it may not be totally discernable, almost all the responses have this underlying them of distrust. Heavier airport security, harsher regulations, leniency involving civil liberties, all of these are, by no means, unneccsary, but have they truly made us unified?

    The most exemplary of this theme of distrust, and therefore I believe the most significant, response to the 9/11 attacks is the USA Patriot Act. For a country that, honestly, prided itself for being so "free", how willingly we granted such huge power to the executive branch, and how willingly we handed over our civil liberties (i.e. virtually unrestricted surveillance on citizens). Nevertheless, I think people feel relatively safer since the passing of such laws. However this safety came as a result of this heigtened distrust and at

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  37. I still remember 9/11/01; I was in my 2nd grade classroom when our teacher turned the TV on. None of my classmates had any clue what was going on; nothing like this had ever happened before. We were watching a news program, but there was so much hysteria going on that I couldn’t make sense of it all. I remember going home early and seeing that both of my parents were already home. This was unusual and although I was too young to understand the severity of this event, I knew something horrible had happened. In my opinion, the creation of the Department of Homeland Security was the most significant response to the 9/11/2001 terror attacks. This cabinet department was designed to deal with domestic defense. Because it includes the Coast Guard, Border Patrol, Customs Service, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Secret Service, and Transportation Security Administration, it has had a large impact on many people’s daily lives. The DHS protects us from terrorism, controls our border, and makes certain that we are prepared for any possible attack. It is an important way that our government is keeping our nation safe.

    Kristine Yang Period 7

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  38. At a 9/11 Memorial service this weekend, I thought back to 10 years ago, coming downstairs as a second grader for just another school day, and seeing my mom watching the TV. I had no idea at that moment how significant the image of a plane crashing into a building that was on our TV screen would be. Ever since that day, we have had to make changes in our everyday lives. I think the most significant of these changes has been the creation of the TSA and the more rigorous air travel safety standards. This is because after the tragedy of that day, these new standards are mild inconveniences for our safety to be ensured. If having to take our shoes off at the airport, or waiting in a bit longer lines, or having to get travel toiletries of 3 oz can prevent another 9/11 tragedy, then that is a small price for us to pay. By implementing these new safety measures, they have now outlawed the small knives/weapons that made the hijacking of the flights that crashed into the World Trade Center possible. The TSA and these standards can stop another act of terrorism like the ones the country experienced 10 years ago.

    Rebecca Muller Period 7

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  39. This weekend, while looking back over the past 10 years and how much had changed since 9/11/01, I realized how the vast majority of our childhoods (or at least the parts that we can remember) were in the "post 9/11" world. Hearing about how the threat level changing from yellow to orange on the news, or the newest count of how many soldiers had died in Iraq/Afghanistan, or whispers about Guantanamo Bay and wiretaps, or any of the other changes since 9/11 is all we've known for the past 10 years. It almost has come to seem "normal" to most of us. In the future, when we look back at the past 10 years, I am almost positive that the re-election of George W. Bush will be seen as the most significant response to 9/11. As times goes it, it will become increasingly evident that we only elected him our of fear of the unknown "threats" lurking around our country and the world– a "fear" that the president and his administration made sure we recognized. When our country faced uncertainty from outside sources, we decided to keep an element of our government the same and stable. The re-election of George W. Bush shows how in times of crisis, our country turns to chief executive for strength and stability and gives up liberty and progress for a sense of security

    Sarah Handler 5th Period

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  40. I think that the most significant response to the 9/11 attacks will always be the response of the people. As I was listening to the radio yesterday, I heard a tribute song about the attacks, and one line was that these attacks could've torn our country apart, but instead it united us and made us one family. I think that this is incredibly true. No matter what, we will always look back and reflect on that tragic day with the utmost respect and reveration for the those brave enough to venture in and save civilians, and will wish for the peace of those who passed on. It is the determination of the American people, who have continued to work to keep freedom alive and not be brought down or disheartened by this attack, in my opinion, that is the greatest response. In addition, even on an international level, we have seen other countries offer their support. To me, our strength as a country and as a world in showing others how we cannot be that easily defeated, is the most powerful response.

    Kathy Li
    Period 1

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  41. I believe the most significant response to 9/11 has been the increase of security; including the creation of the TSA. After 9/11 our country began to fear of impending attacks via planes therefore increasing security in airports. The creation of these new security machines that show the entire human body to a person sitting in a room is just an example of how fear is leading to civil liberties possibly being taken away in order to keep tranquility.

    I remember the day of 9/11 sitting in my english class in second grade and the teacher stopping class to turn on the t.v. I didnt exactly realize how drastic the events that just unfolded in front of me were. I looked at the teacher and she began to cry. I didnt understand why but now I do. Although 9/11 did cause fear amongst the American people it also brought us together unifying as truly as a country.

    Josh Sushan
    Period 3

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  42. 9/11 is a day still burned in my mind. I remember the images of the fire burning from the towers on the TV. My mom always kept the TV on and tuned to the Today show, and I remember being shooed out of the room when my mom realized what was going on. I can still remember all of the surroundings when I was watching the fire.

    So many of the changes afterwards were vital to where we are today, but of all the changes we have gone through, I feel that the use of "enhanced interrogation" is the most important because it stretches the 8th amendment to its breaking point, and if we destroy our constitution, then the terrorist win (it may be a cliched phrase, but it still works).

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  43. I don't believe that one of those additions to our society will be remembered more over another one, but there is no doubt that the creation of the TSA and the creation of US Homeland Security still, and always will be, extremely important for years to come. Even though some of the actions are irritating and an annoyance, these creations have brought a major amount of change to our society that will ultimately keep us safe. I think that the overall sense of nationalism resulting from the 9/11 attacks will definitely be remembered. I do believe that there is a greater sense of pride on our country, even if it may not seem so. Along with that, there is a price we have to pay for preventing another attack as catastrophic as 9/11 and that I do think that the wiretapping will also be remember, but we have to acknowledge that we are using it for out benefit, even if it may go against our privacy rights.

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  44. 9/11 has shaped both the national and international policy of America for the past 10 years. With so much trauma resulting from this event, there is clearly a lasting impact today. Without 9/11, the United States likely would not have engaged in multiple conflicts in the middle east, including Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan. The multiple wars resulting from this terrorist strike were the most significant, costly, and lasting response to the 9/11 terror attacks.

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  45. Dan Klebanov P.2

    The September 11th attacks heightened U.S. military presence in the Middle East, prejudice against Arabs in the U.S., and a plague of insecurity in “the policeman of the world.” The most important impact, however, is the poignant effect on the people. Unfortunately for the U.S., this day’s events left the country struggling to police itself and a stretch from policing the volatile Middle East region. The ringing sirens of emergency personnel still resonate with us today—an alarm to remind the citizens that America has lost its invincible hand, making it susceptible to future attacks. This was awe striking to the people of a country unfamiliar to hostility from belligerent nations because of their values (i.e. Israel). Moreover, it was an attack on home soil causing a greater shock to the people.

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