For this assessment, please interview at least 2 (or more) friends, relatives, colleagues, etc. to ascertain answers to the following questions:
What impact did the events of 9/11 had on their sense of security/vulnerability?
Do they agree or disagree with the U.S. response to the attacks?
Which aspects of the U.S. response do they feel have been most successful and effective?
Which aspects of the U.S. response do they feel have been least effective or even counter-productive?
Do they feel safer now than they did after 9/11? Why, or why not?
What areas of vulnerability do they think have not been addressed that should be?
Be sure to ask detailed follow-up questions. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
Do they agree or disagree with the term “War on Terrorism?” Do they think the “war” will ever be “won,” and all terrorist threats completely eliminated? If they disagree on the term, what would they suggest as an alternative?
Do they feel civil liberties, including privacy rights, have been curtailed significantly in the wake of the U.S. response? If so, in what way? Is some curtailment of some civil liberties for some individuals a necessary step, even if not ideal? Do they agree with the government’s justifications for wiretapping, etc?
Do they agree with holding captured suspects indefinitely, without charge? Or do they think suspects should enjoy due process and be tried in civilian courts?
What are their thoughts on secret prisons, extraordinary rendition, and the Enemy Combatants at Guantanamo Bay?
Do they agree with the rationale behind the invasion of either Afghanistan or Iraq or both?
Are citizens of other countries at all justified in their negative view of America’s stand in the World?
Write a 3−5 page paper identifying the specific questions on which your interview subjects differ, and articulate the interviewee’s reasoning behind those answers.
Share your opinion on the same questions, and on the subjects’ answers. Did any of their answers change your mind, or cause you to rethink your own opinion? If so, how? If not, why not?