After eight years of living under this color code of fear, the Obama administration is considering doing away with this dumb system that was created after 9/11. From Day 1, it made absolutely no sense. What it was was a tool for the Bush administration to yank the chain of Americans whenever it was convenient to remind us that they were on the case, and we needed them to protect us no matter what laws they needed to ignore or flat-out break. Who needs the Constitution ... we are at war. They forgot to tell us just who we were at war with. Oh that's right, Osama bin Laden. So we attack Iraq! I guess that showed 'em!
The color code is now being looked at by some 17 people from a variety of agencies from the Pentagon to local law enforcement people, representatives from Congress, Homeland Security, State Department and who knows who else ... probably security personnel from the Main Street Plaza. As far as I can remember, we have been under "Yellow" alert for, what, five years? Who knows and, more important, who cares? This system makes as much sense as when our first director of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge, told us to stock up on Visqueen and duct tape!
I remember how The Home Depots around the country were running out of these materials because people actually thought you could protect yourself from biological attack if you covered your house with this stuff. It was hard not to laugh at news footage of idiots covering and taping their houses up. I would have thought bubble wrap would have been better because at least, you could have fun popping it.
I remember a square-jawed Ridge, who looked like Dick Tracy, sternly coming on the nightly news and proclaiming the threat level has been elevated from yellow to orange, based on intelligence! Before I started to hide under my bed, I stopped and asked myself: What intelligence? Where? For what state, city, target? I knew that this whole system was of absolutely no use whatsoever. Did the Orange apply to Stanley, Idaho, as much as New York City or Fresno? What target, and just what the hell was I supposed to do about it in the first place? Run out into the street yelling, "They're going to attack! Duck and cover!" Oh ... I forgot, that was the government's advice if we saw a nuclear flash back in the '50s. Remember the black and white films the government put out showing little kids diving under their desks in schools or hitting the deck by a curb in the street covering their heads with their little hands? Yeah, that would do it.
Have we not gotten any smarter in the past 50 years? The color code has done one thing positive: It has provided continued material for comics to make jokes about.
I wonder just what new system will come out of these meetings with these supposed experts huddling around a big conference table. This would make great television. Maybe they will keep the concept but update and change the colors. Pink indicating gays on the Plaza, plaid if Scotland becomes a threat, mauve and glitter if there is a treat of Super Models going rogue! There is no end to this idiocy. While it provides some laughs, what bothers me is how much is it costing us to even bother having government employees sitting around trying to figure out how to warn us schlubs in the hinterlands that a threat exists?