Terror Alert: Yellow!
May 11, 2005 8:49 PM   Subscribe

Be afraid: The national threat-alert level today is yellow or "elevated," with "significant risk of terrorist attacks," says the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, the alert level has been elevated since December of 2003, when it was raised from orange. During the election season, the Fox News network flashed the terror alert level in their "crawl" as if there was breaking news -- the sort of thing that prompted some liberal wags to ridicule the entire system. Now former DHS secretary Tom Ridge says that the Bush administration was "really aggressive" about raising the threat-alert level during his tenure, even when the agency felt that the intelligence didn't warrant it.
posted by digaman (24 comments total)
posted by keswick at 8:52 PM on May 11, 2005

Am I missing something? It can't be elevated to yellow from orange, can it?
posted by aaronetc at 8:59 PM on May 11, 2005

Shocking! What could have been the motive?
posted by caddis at 9:03 PM on May 11, 2005

Color me magenta, aaronetc. Apparently the threat level was raised from yellow to orange in December of 2003, and then lowered back to yellow.
posted by digaman at 9:05 PM on May 11, 2005

it's posts like these that make many tags worthless. I mean, who will search for "Iraq" or "Orwell" and actually give a darn about Bush trying to keep America at "Yellow"? (which would actually be a decent tag)
posted by Joybooth at 9:06 PM on May 11, 2005

I just saw him on the Jon Stewart show the other day saying basically the opposite.

I suspect Jon will revisit the issue.
posted by hackly_fracture at 9:08 PM on May 11, 2005

So what was today's (actually now yesterday's) threat-assesment, when the Cessna came within 3 miles of the White House?

3 miles... if you had, say, a certain kind of ordinance of Korean origin, you wouldn't even need that.

I feel safer, everyday...

[i who live less than 2 blocks from Union Station, 1 mile from the mall, and other sorts of attractive, symbolic, high-profile terrorist-targets..].
posted by vhsiv at 9:08 PM on May 11, 2005

Joy, I like the Orwell tag, because when future grad students want to search the digital archive for Orwellian techniques employed at the turn of the century, they might find this post.
posted by digaman at 9:09 PM on May 11, 2005

in other news: The film US TV networks dare not show : The Power of Nightmares
posted by quarsan at 9:37 PM on May 11, 2005

Actually I hear that the threat level was in fact raised to red during the "lost Cessna" incident.
posted by clevershark at 9:47 PM on May 11, 2005

Yes, there are a lot of incidents of late that seem to involve the President being hauled down to a bunker; talk about a threatening sky.
posted by digaman at 9:54 PM on May 11, 2005

This is the only terror alert marker that I'd trust:

Thank you banana terror alert (and meepzorp.)
posted by NewBornHippy at 10:55 PM on May 11, 2005

Damn you NewBornHippy! Now I'm going to stare at that banana all day long. I'll never get any work done.
posted by sveskemus at 11:39 PM on May 11, 2005

The "terror alert status" has nothing to do with keeping America safe, or even informed.
It has everything to do with the legislation that was quickly passed after 9-11 (before the PATRIOT act, it's almost like they already had it written..)
I has to do with databases and lists, and files kept on people and groups, and covert ways to gather this information.
The terror alert will never, EVER, go back to green, because to do so would make all these lists and files legally moot, and the government would HAVE to destroy them. They won't because the alert status will NEVER go down to "safe" (green) mode, where they will have to trash all these databases..

With the formation of the DHS, the PATRIOT act (I&II), etc might have rewritten these rules, but this is the original intention, and just serves as a reminder that we will never be safe again, from terrorists, or the government.
posted by Balisong at 12:05 AM on May 12, 2005

Sorry, I was repeating myself there...
posted by Balisong at 12:12 AM on May 12, 2005

Oh you crazy kids - why not just take advantage of this handy guide which will clue you in to all the multicolour terror you could ever need?
posted by longbaugh at 4:30 AM on May 12, 2005

Just leave the damn thing at black 24/7/365. That should cover it.
posted by yoga at 5:10 AM on May 12, 2005

quarsan: good call. I strongly urge everybody to watch The Power of Nightmares - far less polemic than a Moore job, and to my mind ten times as powerful. Fantastic.
posted by blag at 5:42 AM on May 12, 2005

For the Cessna incident, it was raised to Red, but only locally for the DC buildings.
posted by smackfu at 6:23 AM on May 12, 2005

Thanks, longbaugh. That was just what I needed.
posted by AlexReynolds at 6:33 AM on May 12, 2005

Heimat Sicherheitdienst Novelties Gem├╝tlichkeitsamt offered a solution to this problem long ago. (shameless self link)
posted by warbaby at 7:03 AM on May 12, 2005

Move along... nothing to see here... these aren't the colors you're looking for...
posted by AspectRatio at 8:48 AM on May 12, 2005

JuliusBlog has a chart of terror alerts and Bush approval ratings and a timeline of terror alerts.

Ridge also met with Republican pollsters during the campaign to "shoot the breeze."
posted by kirkaracha at 8:55 AM on May 12, 2005

certain kind of ordinance of Korean origin

Hey, I like kimchi.
posted by mendel at 8:56 AM on May 12, 2005

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