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Richard "Jay" Edgar

Libertarian Candidate for 4th District US Congress

911 Commission Report

The 911 Commission has issued its report. The full report is 585 pages of mostly obvious observations. The Executive Summary is only 31 pages and provides a succinct summary of the full report.

I agree with some of the report but not with all of the report.

Foreign Policy Recommendations

I agree with most of the foreign policy recommendations:

"Define the message and stand as an example of moral leadership in the world. To Muslim parents, terrorists like Bin Laden have nothing to offer their children but visions of violence and death. America and its friends have the advantage - our vision can offer a better future."

Well said! If we really want to promote freedom in the rest of the world we need to set an example by maintaining freedom here in the United States.

"A comprehensive US strategy to counter terrorism should include economic policies that encourage development, more open societies, and opportunities for people to improve the lives of their families and to enhance prospects for their children’s future”

Again well said! A strong prosperous economy and healthy trade with other nations is a prerequisite to freedom. Trade restrictions and socialist policies only breed tyranny.

Domestic Security Recommendations

I find much of the domestic security policy recommendations rather Orwellian. I agree that we must protect ourselves from domestic attacks, but we must do so while preserving our civil liberties.

"Quickly complete a biometric entry-exit screening system, one that also speeds qualified travelers."

While I don't have an issue with fully checking out foreign nationals, I have a problem with not allowing our own citizens to travel freely within our own country (and even anonymously). An airline may decide to allow anonymous travel, if the traveler agrees to a more stringent search.

"Address problems of screening people with biometric identifiers across agencies and government, including our border and transportation systems, by designing a comprehensive screening system that addresses common problems and sets common standards." ... "Set standards for the issuance of birth certificates and sources of identification, such as driver's licenses."

This sounds eerily like a National ID card. I fear a day that in order to survive in the United States you need to give up your privacy and are constantly stopped with the demand "Your papers please!"

Any review of laws passed by congress shows that most of them are just a method of getting the federal government to spend more money. I found agreement with the following statement in the report:

"Base federal funding for emergency preparedness solely on risks and vulnerabilities, putting New York City and Washington, D.C., at the top of the current list. Such assistance should not remain a program for general revenue sharing or pork-barrel spending."

Government Reorganization

I strongly agree with the report recommendation on reorganizing government (although I may not wholly agree on how to reorganize it.) The current national security organization is based on an outdated view of the world. It was created to fight a cold war and organized by greedy politicians in such a way as to extract the maximum tax dollars out of the taxpayer.

One major fault I have with this report (and every government document and mission statement I have seen) is that it does not stress the importance of providing a value to the taxpayer at the lowest possible cost. We should streamline our government agencies so they not only operate better, but so they operate in a cost efficient manner.

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