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Aftermath Of 9/11; Congress Acts Essay

1281 words - 5 pages

On September 11, 2001 a national tragedy struck the nation. The terrorist group, al-Qaeda, hijacked 4 passenger airlines and performed multiple suicide attacks at locations such as New York and Washington, D.C. This event struck fear in the American people as this was the largest event that caused the highest lost of lives from a foreign attack on the country. Following the event, the national government was forced to act quickly. The incumbent president at the time, George W. Bush, was left with a difficult task on how to deal with this threat and possible future threats. He worked with Congress to come up with multiple measures they could implement to prevent future events of terrorism.
In the documentary “Are We Safer”, Richard Clarke is the former counter-terrorism czar and said in an interview that “President Bush said to us in the basement of the White House on the night of 9/11, ‘You have everything you need’“ (Clarke). It was a desperate time for the national government as everyone needed to do the most they can. All the counter terrorism agencies received an increased funding after the event of 9/11 as Congress also threw in tens of billions of dollars to deal with the al-Qaeda threat. However one of the most significant action, by far, Congress took was the passage of The Homeland Security Act in 2002. The passage of this Act allowed for the creation of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS is the “largest merger in government history. There were 17 agencies from multiple departments . . . all being fused together into one organization and all at once” (Clarke). The main responsibility of the DHS was to prevent future terrorism events from happening in the United States. Officials believed that the reason 9/11 happened was because of the failure between multiple agencies to communicate and share information. The DHS decided to fix that problem by funding and building fusion centers throughout the nation. Information from federal databases to local police forces would all be connected and analyzed at these centers.
On paper, the fusion centers provide a new and efficient way for the nation to deal with future terrorist threats. However, in application, there are numerous occurrences where the fusion centers have been ineffective in actually preventing terrorism. On December 25, 2009 Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to detonate explosives on board a passenger airline. National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter said “Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab should not have stepped onto a plane on Christmas Day. The counterterrorism system collectively failed and I along with Director [of National Intelligence Dennis] Blair and Secretary [of Homeland Security Janet] Napolitano and others want to tell you and the American people the same thing we told the president, that we have to do better” (qtd. in Voice of America). The Fusions that the DHS heavily funded did not prevent this act of terrorism and what’s more is that it...

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