Here we go again...terror alert raised

Interesting. It seems they didn’t raise the level in NY because they’re already in “perma-orange”.

And had I suggested any such thing, you might have a point. As it stands, however, you don’t.

Let’s think for just a moment here.

Let’s assume for the purpose of discussion that Secretary Ridge’s announcement is legit, that there is in fact a line of information that a bunch of real Jahadists are working up plans to blow up the Prudential Center in Jersey City or where ever it may be, or the World Trade Organization Building or the World Bank or Madison Square Garden. Does it make any sense at all for the Secretary to put out a press release? Doesn’t that have the direct and proximate effect of alerting the Jahadists that their plans and their organization has been compromised? Isn’t this analogous to, in the middle of the Battle of the Atlantic (which was won in no small part to the Allies, primarily Britain, having broken the Enigma codes), announcing information that a certain wolfpack of U-Boats was expected to attack a certain convoy? Such an announcement would give the Allies no advantage and would just prompt the Germans to change their codes. Unless there is no serious threat to the announced targets or the plot has already been broken up this announcement makes it harder to detect and frustrate Jahadist.

Further, does it make any sense to announce the threat and then encourage people to carry on as if nothing was wrong? If I worked at the Prudential Center or the World Trade Org, or the World Bank I might be a little shy about going to work tomorrow. It makes sense only if the plot has been neutralized.

I suppose there could be some CYA factor. If somebody blows the World Bank up next week and the plot was known there might be some answers demanded of the Homeland Security folks – like why the hell didn’t you warn us so we could stay home and not have our asses blown into Pennsylvania. But, again, that makes no sense because the word being put out is that everyone should just go on with their ordinary life as if nothing was wrong, except to be alert.

Maybe the view is that it is better to announce this thing to avoid panic and rumor when the police start disassembling every truck and semi-trailer that comes withing 10 blocks of Madison Square Garden?

On a practical level this makes so little sense that my bullshit alarm is tingling.

My emphasis added, above.

That is specifically NOT what Ridge said:

from the AP’s text of Ridge’s news conference

Again, unless you think this story is being entirely fabricated, what would you recommend be done?

In reply to MLS: From the quote from the Secretary it doesn’t sound as if he has any advice for the, for instance, Prudential employees. “Ask your employer” isn’t very helpful. In terms of carrying on as if everything were normal, the item I heard on the news tonight was either the mayor of New York of the mayor of Newark telling folks to go on with their lives, work, shop, go to restaurants and bars. Generally, carry on.

My point is not that the whole thing might be fabricated, it is that it makes no sense to me to make this announcement if the plot were not already defeated or not sufficiently advanced to constitute a serious threat. There is, as others have pointed out, a big difference between just pulling out of your ear and then exploiting it and simply exploiting a genuine situation for political gain. Just because there may be some suspicion that this present warning might have a political aspect not directly concerned with the defense of the homeland does not mean that the warning is baseless. I trust there is or was a legitimate plot.

I suppose my attitude is influenced by the “not in my back yard” factor. If I lived in New Jersey I might not be quite so cynical. The chances that a bunch of Jahadists is going to try to blow up the Fayette County Court House is remote.

None the less, I would be interested in knowing just what the employees at the Prudential Center are being told to do.

I don’t work at the Prudential Center, but my employer is a financial entity that has offices in Manhattan and Jersey City. And I’m sure branches in Newark as well. I’ll let you know if there is any announcement tomorrow.

BTW, I have seen some significant changes in some areas of security since 9/11. Lots of things have changed.

Well, the Holland Tunnel and Williamsburg Bridge have just been closed to inbound truck traffic.

I think random vehicular traffic has been banned from Wall Street itself since 9/11 anyway; as for Newark (which is a city that really does NOT need any more problems), they’re putting those big Jersey barriers around the building.

Another problem is that Wall Street has a gazillion subways within blocks of it. And a three subway lines stop right UNDER another target, the Citibank building.

I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t trust this administration.

Oh wait, they used flawed intelligence and manipulated America’s post-9/11 fears to build support for an unjustified invasion of another country. That’s right, I almost forgot about that.

At least they didn’t invest in Whitewater, that would have been bad.

Blow jobs are even worse.

Why the hell don’t they just say there has been unconfirmed terrorist threats, so we will be increasing security in the appropriate places, and leave the rest of us alone? I mean this is like me driving through a bad neighborhood in the city, honking my horn, and screaming, “Someone’s house might be burglarized tonight”.

Sheesh. :rolleyes:

When the terror alert goes up what exactly are people supposed to do differently?

I was going to say “post complaints that it is part of a vast right-wing conspiracy” but that is not really different.

If it was my building, I’d be freaked out. But I’d probably still go to work there.

Be vigilant, be aware of their surroundings and anything that seems odd – unattended packages, people who are acting suspiciously, vehicles sitting where they ought not sit or showing up outside the building too frequently to make sense, panel vans with no windows driving into underground garages, squirrelly looking people buying large quantities of diesel fuel or organic fertilizer.

It also wouldn’t be a bad time (though I’m pretty sure that anyone who isn’t an ostrich who works in a tall/potential target building in New York City and anywhere in DC has already done this) to review emergency procedures, to know where exits are, to know where firefighting equipment and first aid kits are, and to have stuff on hand in your office that might come in handy should you find yourself evacuated and walking 40 blocks in order to get to safety and/or out of the city – bottled water, energy bars, tennis shoes, a bandanna or something else to use as a mask and cheap sunglasses to protect your eyes.

This is the world we live in. There are people who happily seek to kill us in brutal and spectacular ways. Being aware and being prepared is the best thing that we, as civilians, can do. Being pissed off at our Homeland Security officials for trying to help us to do so makes about as much sense as being pissed off at the NOAA officials who warned recently about riptides off the North Carolina coast.

Vote Republican.

So if the terror alert is low we should ignore such activities? :dubious:

That’s what I thought. Does the govt announcing the terror rating has gone up affect how people go about their business day to day?

Why will none take up Binarydrone’s task? Really; think how much fun it would be if you could actually prove one of these Bush conspiracy theories!

C’mon, you know you’d like to try…

At each level additional security measures are put into action.

  1. 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.

Is this when I offer up my first born?