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High Deity
01-17-2004, 06:10 PM
Considering the current U.S. administration's behavior, what do you think the terriost alert level (or "color") will be come the November election? How long before the election do you think the level will be set?

My personal bet (I'll take it at 20-1 odds): Terror level will be "high" (which I think is orange), and it will be set there about a week before the election. This will be timely coupled with a few GOP speeches about how only the current adminstration can protect us.

jayjay
01-17-2004, 06:20 PM
I'm hoping that the current administration won't be quite that opportunistic.

However, if they were to move it to Elmo Alert, I'd imagine it would be accompanied by warnings not to congregate in large numbers, i.e. at the polls. In other words, don't go out and vote. Apathetic turnout is usually a Republican win, at least in the last couple of elections.

XT
01-17-2004, 06:20 PM
I'll take your bet. Whats the debate though?

furt
01-17-2004, 07:34 PM
My personal bet (I'll take it at 20-1 odds): Terror level will be "high" (which I think is orange), and it will be set there about a week before the election. This will be timely coupled with a few GOP speeches about how only the current adminstration can protect us.I'll happily take those odds. I'd take less. We'll mail the money to the Reader to be held in escrow.

Or are you just full of crap?

Diogenes the Cynic
01-17-2004, 07:39 PM
Does anyone even pay attention to those bullshit terror alerts?

It wouldn't surprise me if the Bushies did try to raise the alert to scare people into voting for Bush, though. Nothing is beneath these people.

Achernar
01-17-2004, 07:49 PM
Does anyone even pay attention to those bullshit terror alerts?In the Charlotte airport, they play a thingy over the intercom that says something like "It's important that you watch your bags and report unattended bags." What gets me though is that they preface it with "The Department of Homeland Security has raised the terror alert threat level thing. Therefore..." Notice how they don't say what it was raised to; this is because they play it all the time. So I would guess that even people who want to increase security don't pay attention to it.

Rashak Mani
01-18-2004, 12:45 AM
Well unless they raise it to the last level... RED I think it is... never been done before has it ? I guess most americans don't care about the color code anymore.

As for the OP... they can always lower the threat assessment as proof that the country is safe thanks to Dumbya Jr.

David Simmons
01-18-2004, 01:36 AM
Does anyone even pay attention to those bullshit terror alerts?


Well, at the main gate of our local navy base, if the alert is yellow the "rent-a-guard" looks at your badge; for orange they reach out and touch it with one finger. I don't know about red, maybe they would use two fingers.

John Mace
01-18-2004, 02:00 AM
Does anyone even pay attention to those bullshit terror alerts?

I was very cynical (not pun...) about this whole thing at first, thinking "what the hell am I supposed to do differently"? But the fact is, this stuff isn't really for the avg Joe, it's for all the federal, state and local agencies to react to. I don't have a cite for this, but I did see a pretty good news analysis (right after the most recent terror alert level rise) that outlined the actions taken by police, fire, and other public safety depts. at the various alert levels. It changed the way I thought about this whole thing. No, citizens really can't do much differently. But be aware that, at increased alert levels, you can expect a higher level of visibility of public safety personnel. In other words: don't be surprised if it takes a bit longer to (for example) check in at the airport.

And frankly, if this were done in a non-public manner, you'd be the first to rant about "secret protocals that the adminisrtation is keeping from the public".

It wouldn't surprise me if the Bushies did try to raise the alert to scare people into voting for Bush, though. Nothing is beneath these people.

I doubt that this system is politics-free. But people aren't entirely stupid. An elevated alert level might generate more cynicism than sympathy, and backfire if it were used as you suggest. I think most people already say "WTF" whenever the alert is raised. But if it makes you feel better to add this to your "Bush is evil" arsenal, have at it!

Apos
01-18-2004, 02:09 AM
I was very cynical (not pun...) about this whole thing at first, thinking "what the hell am I supposed to do differently"? But the fact is, this stuff isn't really for the avg Joe, it's for all the federal, state and local agencies to react to.

But that's exactly what's so confusing. Of COURSE they need an internal rationing system for the deployment of personnel and such. But the terror alert system, with its color coded system and public display, seem tailor made for the public, not the agencies. They already have plenty of these sorts of things, and they don't run around holding press conferences to announce their internal coordinations. Does NORAD tell the public what the DEFCON level is?

Maybe the levels are to intimidate terrorists?

I'm hoping that the current administration won't be quite that opportunistic.

Sure, they would never hold a convention in the middle of the city most affected by 9/11, the city that, when they aren't out crying gushing tears for, they are deriding as a bunch of wacko liberals who want to ruin America.

John Mace
01-18-2004, 02:26 AM
But that's exactly what's so confusing. Of COURSE they need an internal rationing system for the deployment of personnel and such. But the terror alert system, with its color coded system and public display, seem tailor made for the public, not the agencies. They already have plenty of these sorts of things, and they don't run around holding press conferences to announce their internal coordinations. Does NORAD tell the public what the DEFCON level is?

I agree that the government (or the press in their reporting) has done a terrible job of communicating this to the public. It would make a lot more sense to people if they just said: "We don't actually expect you to do anything differently, but we wanted to to inform you that we are increasing our vigilance." I don't know why this is so hard to do...

Bricker
01-18-2004, 08:02 AM
I'll also take your bet. I like the idea of escrow, although I suspect the Reader isn't going to take it on; I'm sure we can find some volunteer, though. But I'll put up $100 at your 20:1. Do you accept?

Aldebaran
01-18-2004, 08:26 AM
My guess is that if they are loosing the election, organising a "terrorist attack" is within the range of possibilities. Yes or no being "prevented just in time" is an option.

Salaam. A

manhattan
01-18-2004, 08:31 AM
Not to be a killjoy during another mindless Bush hate-fest, but what if Al Qaeda actually plans election-day attacks? They're not democrats, you know. And their think is disrupting the kinds of things open societies like to do.

E72521
01-18-2004, 01:33 PM
That is possible, manhattan. I'd give al qaeda the benefit of the doubt that they're smart enough to know that would benefit the Chickenhawk-In-Chief, were they to disrupt election day. But Aldy, as always, is right on the money. What better way to keep the Steaming Millions away from the polls than to fabricate some sort of hysteria come November?

Kimstu
01-18-2004, 01:36 PM
manhattan: And [al-Qaeda's] think [? thing?] is disrupting the kinds of things open societies like to do.

Not to be a killjoy during another mindless sneer, but would a polling place really be the most impressive place to stage a terrorist attack? Highly diffused geographically, nobody but maybe a hundred ordinary-citizen voters and poll volunteers in it?

I concur, however, that this thread is pretty flimsy as a debate (apart from some interesting discussion from Apos and JM on the nature and utility of color-coded alerts, it seems to be basically an IMHO-type survey as to whether people believe that the Administration would manipulate terrorism alerts for its own political purposes). It also has a piss-poor thread title.

Duckster
01-18-2004, 03:38 PM
4. High Condition (Orange). A High Condition is declared when there is a high risk of terrorist attacks. In addition to the Protective Measures taken in the previous Threat Conditions, Federal departments and agencies should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:

* Coordinating necessary security efforts with Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies or any National Guard or other appropriate armed forces organizations;
* Taking additional precautions at public events and possibly considering alternative venues or even cancellation;
* Preparing to execute contingency procedures, such as moving to an alternate site or dispersing their workforce; and
* Restricting threatened facility access to essential personnel only.

5. Severe Condition (Red). A Severe Condition reflects a severe risk of terrorist attacks. Under most circumstances, the Protective Measures for a Severe Condition are not intended to be sustained for substantial periods of time. In addition to the Protective Measures in the previous Threat Conditions, Federal departments and agencies also should consider the following general measures in addition to the agency-specific Protective Measures that they will develop and implement:

* Increasing or redirecting personnel to address critical emergency needs;
* Assigning emergency response personnel and pre-positioning and mobilizing specially trained teams or resources;
* Monitoring, redirecting, or constraining transportation systems; and
* Closing public and government facilities.
Source: http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?theme=29

Going to a Red alert for the election may result in an enormous expenditure in personnel and tax dollars. When our national incident team was being demobilized in Texas as part of the Columbia Shuttle recovery efforts, war with Iraq was imminent. We had serious concerns that a rise to the red alert status would very well cause all of us to be redeployed somewhere else. Since none us us on the team are in the military, and most are federal employees, this meant we could have been sent anywhere as part of a red alert and potential terrorist attack within the US.