On June 6, President George W. Bush proposed adding a new Homeland Security Dept. to his Cabinet to coordinate the government's campaign against terrorism -- and to help avoid the kind of intelligence lapses that may or may not have contributed to the success of the terrorist attacks against New York and Washington last September 11.
The new department would be formed by collecting under one roof existing federal agencies that have 169,000 employees and budgets totaling $37.4 billion -- but would exclude the FBI and the CIA.
What's your opinion of this approach to defending the country against terrorists? And how willing are you to live with some of the side effects of such an approach, including intrusions into your personal privacy? (See BW Online, 6/5/02, "Special Report: New Threats to Privacy".)
That's what we hope to discover in this Reader Survey, which, as always, isn't a scientific poll, since anyone who wishes to can participate.
Do you support the President's proposal to create a new Cabinet department for homeland security?
What statement best describes your opinion of the proposal to organize disparate federal agencies under one roof?
It's the right solution
It isn't ideal, but it's the best way to get something done quickly
It'll be a bureaucratic nightmare
The new department, as described by the President, would include neither the FBI nor the CIA. Do you think:
Neither should be included
The CIA should be included
The FBI should be included
Both should be included
Would you prefer to see a thorough debate over such issues in Congress, or quick bipartisan approval, with the details to be tied up later?
As part of its homeland-defense effort, the government will have expanded surveillance powers over both U.S. citizens and visitors to the country. Do you think this is:
Not ideal, but necessary
An abuse of federal power
Once all the proposed changes are in place, how much more prepared do you think the government will be to fend off terrorism?
Much more prepared
Somewhat more prepared
No more prepared