Friday, September 08, 2006

Q&A with 9/11 Widow

Kristin Breitweiser is interviewed by TIME:

TIME: In her own book Godless released in June, conservative commentator Ann Coulter calls you and your fellow Jersey Girls various names — "harpies," "witches" — saying some "9/11 victims turned themselves into the arbiters of what anyone could say about 9/11."

KB: I don't believe in name-calling and hysterics. This country is in a place right now where we need respectful educated debate versus screaming, ranting and raving. That's not fruitful. Tell me why the airline system shouldn't be secure. Tell me why port security shouldn't be better. Tell me why border security shouldn't be our first priority. Tell me why I shouldn't care that the FBI still has an inoperable computer system. If Ms. Coulter can give me an argument to dissuade me those things aren't of paramount importance, I'll listen.

TIME: Coulter went on to lambaste you for attracting media attention and "reveling in [your] status as celebrities."

KB: Regardless of who you are — whether you're a 9/11 family member, an Iraqi war veteran, whether you lost a child in a hot tub drain, whether your child was abducted — if you're an American citizen, you have every right to open your mouth and partake in democracy. I have every right to voice my opinion.

TIME: There are those whose opinion is we're already putting too many resources toward fighting terrorism.

KB: I'll respond the same way I do to the Department of Defense when they say we can't reform our intelligence system because we have to focus resources on the troops on the field in Iraq. The reality is that the terrorists are doing a hundred things at once. It's not too much to ask our elected officials to be intelligent about how we make our country safe. Whether that has to do with inner-city crime or that has to do with keeping terrorists from getting inside this country, the reality is that you need to multitask and be smart. It's not an unfair assumption to make that my elected officials should be able to do that. That's why they are there.

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