from today's CATO Daily Dispatch (www.cato.org)


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alan
December 29, 2003, 07:36 PM
Congressman Calls for Color Alert System Changes

"A leading House Republican said yesterday that the Homeland Security Department needs to reform its color-coded alert system to avoid alarming people who are not at risk and to reduce the impact of idle threats from al Qaeda terrorists," The Washington Post reports. "Since its inception in March [2002], the color-coded homeland security advisory system has been nothing but government sound and fury signifying much of nothing," writes Director of Defense Policy Studies Charles Peña in "Homeland Security Alert System: Why Bother?" He goes on to say, "The sad truth is that the best purpose for the homeland security advisory system is for the federal bureaucracy to be seen as 'doing something,' to prove to the public that politicians and government officials are not asleep at the wheel--if something actually does happen, they can claim they gave fair warning."

Now then, doesn't this business sound more and more like another exercise in the "pass a law syndrome"? JUst add another penny to the sales tax, or just pass another "common sense" restriction, after all, it's all "for the children", it goes on and on, but then readers likely had already noticed that.

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7.62FullMetalJacket
December 29, 2003, 09:46 PM
Oh yeah. The government CAN NOT provide sufficient details regarding threats otherwise the terrorists are forewarned and change tactics, intelligence sources may be compromised,intelligence gathering techniques outed, etc... This "alert" scheme is designed to cover buns. What I do not understand is that these yahoos are still responsible with or without the warning system, so why bother with the CYA?

The alert system is useless and not consistent. There should be regional threat matrices with identifiable targets, or else no warning. What is the point of putting the entire country on "orange" when only LA, NY or DC are at risk? Or now Las Vegas?

jimpeel
December 29, 2003, 11:07 PM
"Since its inception in March [2002], the color-coded homeland security advisory system has been nothing but government sound and fury signifying much of nothing," writes Director of Defense Policy Studies Charles Peña in "Homeland Security Alert System: Why Bother?" He goes on to say, "The sad truth is that the best purpose for the homeland security advisory system is for the federal bureaucracy to be seen as 'doing something,' to prove to the public that politicians and government officials are not asleep at the wheel--if something actually does happen, they can claim they gave fair warning."My sentiments exactly. Hear, hear!

alan
December 30, 2003, 12:01 AM
7.62FullMetalJacket offered:

"The alert system is useless and not consistent. There should be regional threat matrices with identifiable targets, or else no warning. What is the point of putting the entire country on "orange" when only LA, NY or DC are at risk? Or now Las Vegas?"

Make it general, and non-specific enought, and the hold damned country can, and is being messed with. Guess who it is that is doing the "messing"?

MeekandMild
December 31, 2003, 12:08 AM
I propose the following:

Pink= all OK, like "in the pink". Sort of like giving the National Security Council a good dose of Pepto Bismol.
Blue= a might peaked, maybe some ambassador at risk of geting a letter filled with flu germs.
Fuscia= faintly disturbing like one of those recordings of OBL ranting about killing our camels and donkeys.
Purple= risky, like the probablilty of a baggage checker sniffing your underwear at La Guardia field.
White= really dangerous, like what happens when you try to drive on ice without studded tires.

seeker_two
December 31, 2003, 12:21 AM
Here's the only color-coded warning system that I've needed...

RED: Being red-in-the-face angry that Bush was proposing Patriot III...:fire:

WHITE: The white-hot shock I felt that Patriot II was signed in a secret ceremony while the press was distracted by Saddam's capture...:what:

BLUE: The feeling I had when I realized that Bush will probably have a Patriot III & IV to sign in his second term...:uhoh:

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