Do Federal employees feel safer now than they did shortly after September 11, 2001? In a recent survey, readers strongly believe we are a long way from being free from terrorism in our future.
In a recent survey, 68% of them say they do not feel safer. 27% of respondents do feel safer and 5% are not sure if they feel safer or not.
Among those who do feel safer, most believe that the focus on terrorism at all levels of government are making America safer (18%). 9% believe the nation is safer because of the leadership of President Bush; and 2% believe we are safer because of better coordination among intelligence agencies. 1% of respondents believe the creation of the Department of Homeland Security has contributed to their belief we are safer now than two years ago.
The vast majority of comments we received were from people who do not feel safer now. Here are some of them:
From an information technology specialist with the VA in Austin, TX:
Much of the “security” is for show only. Essentially, someone determined to get to this building or the people could do what they want to do. It might take longer but could readily be done.
Some readers blame the administration for their fear. A psychologist from the VA in Georgia said:
Bush has inflamed the Arab/Muslim world and has no plan to deal with the consequences other than squandering tax money and scarificing (sic) young lives. With Bush and Ashcroft at the helm and prepared to trample on constitutional freedoms, I fear my own government more than I did Saddam or Osama.
A policy analyst for the Navy in Virginia writes:
Our systems for preventing terrorist attacks have been upgraded as well as the overall level of vigilance, and we will continue to improve in this area. However, U.S. military involvement abroad and the administration’s policies, which are designed to defeat terrorism, are actually encouraging an upswing in terrorist activity at this time. Eventually, the terrorists/potential terrorists may be dissuaded, but we’re not there yet.
An information technology specialist with the Air Force in California says:
California is going to issue driver’s licenses to illegal aliens. How safe is that? It shows me that border security is of no concern to this state or homeland security.
A Department of Defense employee from Arlington, VA contends:
The premise of sharing data and information between agencies was and is good. The Department of Homeland Security was not a solution. The IT problems remain. The “Patriot Act” increases the impression that Mr. Bush is being directed by private industry.
And a team leader from the Social Security Administration in Baltimore writes:
I haven’t seen anything out of the new “homeland security” provisions that would increase our safety. All actions are focused on preventing future occurrences of what has already happened. Future terrorists are not going to repeat the actions of previous ones. They will employ different methods of creating death, destruction and havoc. I see no indication that we’re looking to prevent a different kind of terrorist attack.