The tragedies of September 11, 2001 brought the need for increased national security to the forefront of the American agenda. Never before had so many civilians been the target of violence and hatred on American soil and, as a nation, we vowed to not let it happen again.
In response, last week, the House passed the 9/11 Commission Implementation Act, based on the recommendations from the 9/11 Commission Report. This legislation calls for reform and multi-level improvement of our current security and intelligence operations to preserve the safety of the American people.
Among the many provisions outlined in the 9/11 Act, this legislation calls for the creation of a National Intelligence Director, establishes a National Counterterrorism Center, increases airport security measures, expands current laws and penalties for dealing with weapons of mass destruction, enhances airline security, targets terrorist travel, streamlines current security clearance procedures, increases protection and funding for first responders, and increases security patrols at our borders.
The National Intelligence Director will act as the principal advisor to the President for foreign and domestic intelligence matters concerning national security. All intelligence operations will fall under the direction of one person which will streamline intelligence gathering. Intelligence efforts across the nation will be in the pursuit of one goal: protecting the American people.
The 9/11 Act includes provisions to help boost the security at our nation's borders by doubling the number of border patrol agents from 10,000 to 20,000 over the next five years. Increasing the security of on our extensive borders will allow us to better monitor who enters the country and will present roadblocks to terrorists attempting to enter the U.S. If we cannot control who enters our country, such as illegal aliens, then we cannot control what enters our country, such as weapons or dangerous materials.
The 9/11 Act also provides protection for our first responders. This bill makes it easier for first responders, firefighters, policemen and women, and EMTs, to help those in need across state lines without the fear of being sued. Everyday, men and women across the country continue to dedicate themselves to the protection of fellow Americans and it is our duty to provide them with the funding they need and protect them from potential legal woes.
By centralizing and better coordinating our intelligence efforts, coupled with increasing our border controls and monitoring who and what crosses our borders, we can better secure the safety of our country. The 9/11 Act provides the clear guidelines needed to reform and streamline our intelligence activities, track and prosecute terrorists, increase funding to first responders, and improve the security of our nation's borders.