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Comments on Dina Temple-Raston: Behind the Scenes: Terrorism Cases After the Cold War

Andrew Clark:

Dina Temple-Raston's convocation was quite intriguing . She mentioned how much terrorism has changed since the Cold War times. I think she even said something like, "Back then, you knew who your enemy was and who to point the missiles at." These days, it is not that easy. Connections and numbers of terrorist groups have also increased. With the technology available, anyone could be affiliated with a terrorist organization. Most of her speech contained a few cases she worked on, accompanied by the actual recording of the piece. (To me, that was different; I'm used to seeing a type of visual aid or , rarely, audience participation to go along with a speech.) Some of the cases mentioned, that I remember, were the failed bombing in Times Square and another about a boy that seemed content with his life but suddenly going to fight for a terrorist type organization.

Another lesson I learned, although off topic, is that you have to watch what you say, even if it is true. You never know what your audience may think later (and sometimes with a profession similar to Dina's, you may never know who is listening in.)

-Andrew Clark

The content of Mrs. Temple-Reston’s presentation has definitely been the most captivating so far, but I would not give her the award for best presenter. The stories she told were engaging because they were relevant and ones you cannot get from just reading stories in the news. I am interested in journalism and I thought it was fascinating to hear about how close journalists can safely get to their stories. She told us about how she can sit down with alleged terrorists and blatantly ask them about their plots. She told us about sneaking across borders on motorcycles and emotionally connecting with a Minnesotan family whose son unexpectedly ran away to fight in a civil war in Somalia. On the other hand, I found Mrs. Temple-Reston’s presentation hard to follow because she didn’t present it in a very organized fashion. I felt that it was one story after another and sometimes there was no obvious connection to the stories. It would have been easier to follow had she gone in chronological order from the Cold War, but I felt that most of the stories were recent and didn’t have anything to do with terrorism closer to the end of the Cold War. Regardless, I am grateful for the information she did presented, no matter how she did it.

-Morgan Counts
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Topic revision: r3 - 2010-09-26, MorganCounts

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