Notre Dame Resources
September 3, 2002p. First anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
p. Civil liberties: “We can and should be proud that, in the year since nearly 3,000 of our fellow Americans were killed in a terrorist attack, we and our government have so far managed to strike a delicate balance between the civil liberties and privacy we cherish, on the one hand, and safety and security, on the other,” says Richard Garnett , assistant professor of law. “At every step, law enforcement and security activities? and even military decisions ? have been subject to appropriate and careful review in the courts of law and in the courts of public opinion. Continued vigilance is required, of course, both in the protection of our constitutional freedoms from government over-reaching, and in the protection of our communities from violence.” Professor Garnett can be contacted for additional comment at (574) 631-6981 or email@example.com .p. p. Biometrics: The events of Sept. 11 have stimulated a biometrics boom in the hope that computerized monitoring could spot known terrorists in airports and other public places before they can do any damage. “A biometric is just something about a person that you can use to identify them,” says Kevin W. Bowyer , Schubmehl-Prein Chair of Computer Science and Engineering. “The fingerprint is probably the most familiar example. The use of ‘face recognition systems’ has been in the news a lot since 9/11 and this is one of the subjects of our research. Also the use of ‘gait analysis,’ that is, how people walk.” Bowyer and associate professor Patrick J. Flynn have begun assembling a database of faces in the Computer Vision Research Laboratory in order to develop new theories and image-based identification systems. “The basic thrust of our research is to look at ways of evaluating the practical, long-term usefulness of face recognition and related technologies as a means of recognizing people,” says Bowyer. Professor Bowyer can be contacted for additional comment at (574) 631-9978 or firstname.lastname@example.org ; Professor Flynn is at (574) 631-8803 or email@example.com .p. p. Economy: The U.S. economy’s recession ? which began in March 2001 ? clearly became worse following the events of Sept. 11, with the biggest impact coming in the travel industry, says Jeffrey Bergstrand , associate professor of finance and business economics. “With concern over safety, overall demands for airline travel ? and associated industries ? is lower, which has dampened the ability of the economy to recover. In addition, with increased risk, costs of providing services such as airline travel have increased, which tends to keep costs and prices higher than otherwise. This is like an additional tax on consumer spending, which also reduces real disposable income.” Professor Bergstrand can be contacted for additional comment at (574) 631-6761 or firstname.lastname@example.org .p. p. Psychological impact of attacks : While there was a significant increase in trauma-related cases in New York City and beyond following the terrorist attacks, the impact has yet to be observed in any proportional measure by the psychological community. Notre Dame psychologist David A. Smith says mental health professionals braced themselves for an onslaught of cases, but found instead that the events of Sept. 11 had a minimal impact on the system. Smith calls the trend a “triumph of community support,” with professionals playing an important, but small, part in the story. “Care, reassurance, perspective, support, encouragement, reflection, validation, normalization, patience, security ? these are frequently available in abundance from family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, clergy and teachers. Even those who seek professional assistance are well-advised by the professionals they see to take full advantage of their community resources.” Professor Smith can be contacted for additional comment at (574) 631-7763 or email@example.com .p. p. Iraq: The Bush administration should turn to nonmilitary means to limit the influence of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, according to Notre Dame political scientist George A. Lopez , director of policy studies at the University’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “Whatever the merits of forcefully removing Saddam Hussein, the current discourse in Washington has focused almost exclusively on military options,” Lopez and colleague David Lopez say in a position paper titled “Disarming Iraq: Nonmilitary Strategies and Options.” “In a world where the war on terrorism may take on new contours at any moment, and challenges to U.S. policy mount daily in the Middle East, it would seem in the national interest to explore alternative scenarios that are not dependent on the use of military force for their success.” The proposals presented by Lopez and Cortright include maintaining indefinitely the current prohibition on shipping arms and military-related goods to Iraq, continuing revenue controls, intensive diplomatic efforts to resume weapons inspections, and the creation of an enhanced containment system through strengthened border monitoring. “Those committed only to a military solution and regime change in Iraq may consider our strategy too conciliatory, as ‘soft on Saddam.’ In fact, however, the proposals call for a continuation and indeed an increase in international pressure on the Iraqi government.” Professor Lopez can be contacted for additional comment at (574) 631-6972 or George.A.Lopez.firstname.lastname@example.org .