Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Keep it Within the Lines: The U.S. has just indicted three Britons for planning a terror strike in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, DC. This appears to be related to the same terror plot that set off the Orange Alert back in August. At the time, some skeptics criticized the Orange Alert because they thought it was politically motivated, especially because the information the Bush Administration used was three years old. Nevermind that it took just as long to plan, organize, and execute the 9/11 attacks -- Bush is evil, some people argue, and he can't be trusted.

This is being debated at Centerfield. Now it's impossible to rule out that a politician might take politics into consideration when making decisions. But Bush has not done anything to indicate that the Terror Alerts are anything but legitimate. Sure, they're vague. But so is the information. When we have specific information, we arrest the perpetrators, as we did with the latest nab.

Part of the problem is people don't understand how to react to the different color alerts. The simple answer is, if you don't know, you don't need to worry much about it. But officials all over the country do use the Terror Alert status to do their jobs.

I'm a volunteer firefighter, and every time the threat level changes, our station undergoes substantive changes, from the number of personnel on our apparatus to the security around the building. There's no way to contact individual stations all over the country about possible threats. The best way to spread the word is through the media.

Even with my day job at the newspaper, our office building tightens up security whenever the threat level is raised. We have open doors during Yellow Alert, but we have to use our pass keys to enter the building during Orange Alert.

It's tough to know for sure if the Bush administration ever manipulated the Terror Alerts. I don't think he did, but nothing would surprise me at this point. And perhaps there's a better system to be designed at a later date. In the mean time, many people around the country still have to take the alerts very seriously.


Post a Comment

Copyright © Staunch Moderate
Using Caribou Theme | Bloggerized by Themescook