Red Alert? What's That?

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The AP reports that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff "raised the threat level for flights from Britain to 'red,' designating a severe risk of terrorist attacks. All other flights, including all domestic flights in the United States, were put under an 'orange' alert—one step below the highest level." This in response to the news that British officials have nixed a terrorist plot to blow up several planes flying to the U.S.

So just in case you've forgotten what the government's color codes mean (and for all the good it will do you) I supply the link to the Department of Homeland Security's Citizen Guidance on the Homeland Security Advisory System.

As someone who is about to fly to Europe in the next two weeks, I will be following this story with particular interest.

NEXT: Terror Plot

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  1. If y’all didn’t see this yet DHS is also making Windows security recomendations.
    http://www.dhs.gov/dhspublic/display?content=5789

  2. Threat Level Red: “Provide volunteer services only as requested.”

    Apparently, when we reach level Red, you are supposed to become a prick.

  3. If the terror plot was thwarted, doesn’t that mean we’re safer? Shouldn’t the threat color indicate that? Or do the DHS nimrods actually belive terrorist plots follow the same pattern as severe thunderstorms?

  4. Mr. Bailey, I raised this on your abuse thread from yesterday. It is especially interesting since your life is potentially at stake.

    Right now we have a ticking bomb situation. There are some bombers still at large in the plot to blow up flights to the US from Britian. Are the things you described as abuse reasonable to use on the ones captured so far? My opinion is absolutely yes. Are slaps and “mild” physical abuse okay? Again, I think yes. Is waterboarding okay? Tough call, I thought it was appropriate for KSM, but not for your run of the mill potential mass murderer. Torture, such as pulling fingernails? No.

  5. Russ 2000,

    From what I understand, they haven’t caught everyone involved, and they aren’t sure that the plot doesn’t have something going on over here.

  6. I don’t understand why they didn’t go to the resistor color code

    0 – Black
    1 – Brown
    2 – Red
    3 – Orange
    4 – Yellow
    5 – Green
    6 – Blue
    7 – Violet
    8 – Grey
    9 – White

    (bad boys ravish only young girls but violet gives willingly)

    which is not only more comprehensible, but has another use you can put it to in girlfriend selection.

    Also finally the alert level would have units : ohms.

  7. stuartl:

    My life (and yours) is always at stake. However, it’s extremely unlikely that one of us will die in a terrorist attack. Take a look at Factmonster’s list of terrorist attacks on America and Americans to get a sense of how unlikely it is.

    Regarding your question about limits on interrogating terrorists–in general we should treat them the same way we would want our own troops and other Americans to be treated. I would probably make allowances for a real “ticking bomb” situation, but would want a subsequent judicial determination of whether or not whatever “extreme measures” taken were justified. We must not betray our principles nor undermine our liberties in the face of terrorist threats. We must not be afraid.

  8. Why not this color system?

    • Red
    • Orange
    • Yellow
    • Green
    • Blue
    • Indigo
    • Violet

    It’s more natural, and it was created by Roy G. Biv.

  9. Stuartl,

    Why no pulling out fingernails? That’s like the BMW of torture methods. The trick is to pull out five fingernails and then say, “If you don’t start talking, we’re going to stop this gentle stuff and get tough!” You may have to follow up with gouging out an eyeball. Things can escalate, but, hey, that’s torture.

  10. Clearly what we need to do is base our counter-terrorism strategy on 24.

  11. “Threat Level Red: “Provide volunteer services only as requested.””

    Apparently, when we reach level Red, you are supposed to become a prick.”

    So evidently the Department of Motor Vehicles has been at Threat Level Red for several decades.

    I want to know when we’re going to move to Threat Level: Rush’s Moving Pictures.

    /Too obscure?

  12. “My life (and yours) is always at stake. However, it’s extremely unlikely that one of us will die in a terrorist attack. Take a look at Factmonster’s list of terrorist attacks on America and Americans to get a sense of how unlikely it is.”

    Ummm, does that actually prove anything? I understand your point Ron, but, seriously, can history actually be used as a predictor here?

    Terror attacks are by nature pretty random. The fact that one hasn’t happened lately has no bearing that I can see as to whether one will happen in the future.

    I guessing that, statistically speaking, on the morning of Sept. 11 the odds were almost nonexistant that going to the Twin Towers would get you killed.

  13. “Why not this color system?

    Red

    Orange

    Yellow

    Green

    Blue

    Indigo

    Violet

    It’s more natural, and it was created by Roy G. Biv.”

    MGM owns the rights to it as a derivative work of The Wizard of Oz.

  14. Ron Hardin…

    Resistor color codes? That takes me back to memories of 1) electronics classes in school (good) and 2) memories of being a Radio Shack sales representative in the 80’s (not so good).

    Okay, I didn?t have anything to say about the actual thread topic.

    Resistance is futile. Reluctance is complex.

  15. Ron:

    Word has it that this thing had something to do with liquid explosives (nitro-glycerin in contact lens solution bottles, etc.)

    Given our wonderful government’s history of idiotic reactionary measures (take yer shoes off!), I would plan ahead for not being allowed to take any liquids or gels with you. Also, they may make you empty your bladder prior to boarding. And dry your mouth of saliva with towels.

  16. stuartl,

    Yeah, let’s torture folks who were ok with dying for there beliefs. Gee, that dog will hunt.

    I think some folks just saw Marathon Man too many times and figure YEAH that’ll get ’em to talk!!

  17. And dry your mouth of saliva with towels

    They could’ve saved the cost of towels if they wouldn’t have banned those packets of salty peanuts.

  18. What messes the whole scheme up is the Amber Alert. Why couldn’t they have used the kid’s last name?

  19. Threat Level Red: “Provide volunteer services only as requested.”
    Apparently, when we reach level Red, you are supposed to become a prick.

    Actually this rule was firmly in place in the recent Katrina field exercise. It means “Don’t interrupt the approved government response by bringing in water trucks, setting up low-power radio stations in supershelters, patrolling your own neighborhood, organizing refugee communities, and all that crap. The government is in complete control, and any service we ain’t offering ain’t needed and your efforts will be terminated ASAP and with extreme predjudice.”

  20. The New York Times really dropped the ball on this one.

  21. um premtive thoughts about what people here will say about this:

    Not a real threat to the US.

    The courts should handle this rather then the executifve branch.

    Amitures at best.

    If we did not invade Iraq, support isreal, reinste the shaw, or drive suvs this would have never happened.

  22. Jesus. Do you specialize in creating the highest possible density of grade-school errors in your posts?

  23. I am convinced that this whole thing is a sham. It occured two days after Joe Leiberman was humiliated in Connecticut.

  24. Joe who? This “discovery” is meant to distract us from Cynthia McKinney’s political loss, but giant entertainment win with her #1 hit single “hard work”? I bet “the man” doesn’t want us to hear her foray into the music world. Or maybe its another J-E-W plot like 9/11? Who cares what they found in some back yard in Scotland anyway?

  25. Ron, this should make you feel better – from the New York Times:
    U.S. Rushes to Screen Liquids at Gates
    WASHINGTON, Aug. 10 ? For the near future, the American strategy to deal with liquid explosives is to ban liquids; the longer-term plan is to discriminate among liquids. At least some of the tools for doing both are already in place.

    THE FIRST TOOL IS BIG PLASTIC GARBAGE BAGS, which screeners were using to accept containers of shampoo, hand lotion and beverages that the Transportation Security Administration said were being ?voluntarily surrendered? by people who packed their bags on Wednesday night, when those items were considered innocuous, and arrived at security checkpoints this morning, when they were considered ?threat items.??

  26. The solution is simple. So simple that I’ve proposed it before. Using some high-tech means, we simply render all passengers unconscious. Then we stack them like cordwood in planes that are newly reconfigured to handle, well, bodies stacked like cordwood.

    The benefits to this are manifold and obvious. First, the ability to thoroughly search and deal with unconscious terrorist threats is much better than the current situation.

    Second, the airlines will be able to perhaps triple or quadruple the number of passengers per plane. This will return airlines to the list of profitable industries and make America stronger. And, of course, bathrooms, food, water, carry-on compartments, televisions, telephones, magazines, and flight attendants will all be unnecessary and their absence will additionally contribute to the bottom line.

    Third, an unconscious passenger is a happy passenger. No more boring flights. No more terror for people who are scared of flying. Simply get bonked on the head and wake up refreshed at your destination. And if you are unlucky enough to be on a plane that does crash (for whatever reason), you’ll transition blissfully from sleep to death.

    Frankly, I see no flaw in this plan.

  27. PL,
    Watched Boron one too many times I see.

  28. I am convinced that this whole thing is a sham. It occured two days after Joe Leiberman was humiliated in Connecticut.

    damn it i missed one!

  29. Using some high-tech means, we simply render all passengers unconscious. Then we stack them like cordwood in planes that are newly reconfigured to handle, well, bodies stacked like cordwood.

    That’s actually a damned fine idea. Like in “The Fifth Element.” Everybody goes nighty-nite until landing. No more belligerent drunks, screaming babies, horny salesmen and/or frat boys trying to pick up on you, lousy movies or lousy food. Sleeping people also use less oxygen. And very few of them use box knives against their fellow passengers.

  30. Kwix, you’ve out-referenced me. I have no idea what Boron is, other than the element. Not that I claim anything original. I did see other movies and TV shows dealing with suspended animation. But that was always in space.

    Can I patent this? Cuz I see the whole process as inevitable, the way things are going. Yep, can’t have conscious people mucking around on a plane.

  31. Pro Libertate: I’ve got a better idea. Let’s just ban air travel. They’ve made a pretty good effort to make it clear to everyone they’re unwanted but passengers just aren’t getting the message.

  32. The render-all-passengers-unconscious idea was portrayed on my friend’s TV show Lost.

  33. Okay, James, we’ll merge our ideas. No more planes. Instead, we render the passengers unconscious, load them up into super-shock-absorbent spheres, then launch them ballistically to their destinations.

  34. Pro Liberate: Yes, Boron is an element. Specifically, it’s the *fifth* element.

  35. So it is. Of course, the “elements” being referred to in the movie aren’t the ones found on the Periodic Table. So the fifth element in the movie is the one that comes after earth, air, water, and fire. Quintessence, baby! In the movie, it was love, right? I forget that part, because the movie was, to me, just watching Gary Oldman act particularly evil.

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