Safe at home?: A town hall meeting assesses the war on terror

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A dozen years after the 9/11 attacks, the United States still hasn't let down its guard. The question is, should it?

Since 2001, the so-called war on terror has led to changes in American society. Personal inspections at the airport. Security cameras in public. Slogans such as "See something, say something." Now comes the news that the National Security Agency has accessed the daily phone records of millions of Verizon customers.

It raises a fundamental question: What's the price of safety in a world where militants for any cause have access to powerful, yet sometimes homemade, weapons? Is the war on terror ramping up at home while overseas it is winding down?

These and other issues will be explored by a distinguished panel when PNC Financial Services presents a Post-Gazette Town Meeting on Monday, June 17, at 6 p.m. in the Heinz History Center.

The panelists will be: Cameron Munter, former U.S. ambassador to Pakistan and a former security adviser on Iraq; Henry Willis, director of the RAND Homeland Security and Defense Center; Margaret Potter, director of the Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh; and Waqas Banoori, editor for Pakistan's Independent Press Network and a visiting fellow at the Post-Gazette. The moderator will be David Shribman, executive editor of the Post-Gazette.

Although the program is free to the public, attendees should register for a seat at post-gazette.com/townmeeting or 412-263-3850.

Many decisions on national security and the war on terror are made on behalf of Americans. This important town meeting will give Pittsburghers new insights to why.

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