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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

9/11 Report Offers a Glimpse of Heroism

June 22, 2004

With all the negativity and second-guessing of the current administration over 9/11 and the war in Iraq, try to imagine the questions and outrage this administration would be facing today had it ordered the military to shoot down American Flight 11 and United Flight 175, even though this ultimately would have saved thousands of lives lost in the two World Trade Center towers.

Had those in the Clinton administration built up our military, fixed our CIA, FBI, etc., and not allowed terrorism to flourish and grow under their noses for eight long years, we would not be in this dangerous situation, and 9/11 would never have happened.

Linda Swortwood

La Jolla

Re "Tracking the Flights Hijacked on 9/11," June 18: What a gripping story of ordinary people doing their best in extraordinary circumstances. Thanks for publishing the excerpts from the 9/11 commission staff's report. It reminded me how many heroic acts there were that terrible morning and how hard hundreds of people worked to understand and cope with the unprecedented attack.

Rick Dinon

Crestline

The U.S. government ignored the numerous hijackings of civilian airliners by political dissidents that have occurred since World War II. At any time during the 60 years, any member of the House or Senate could have sought a mandate that civilian airlines secure their cockpits against unauthorized entry. Had that been done, the twin towers would still be standing and up to 3,000 Americans who died might still be alive. The sad thing is that, in a high-tech world, we Americans elect to be represented by lawyers -- and lawyers do not believe in Murphy's Law. Only engineers do.

Roy A. Norry

Laguna Niguel

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