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Old 08-03-2004, 01:07 PM   #1
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Should the government issue terror alerts?

This week the govt has received detailed information suggesting the likelihood of terrorist activity at the NY Stock Exchange, the CitiCorp Center in NYC, and the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Word has gone out, cops are everywhere, certain bridges and tunnels have been closed to traffic, and traffic has been snarled. Some people are visibly worried, others are ticked off at the added inconvenience, and most just shrug it off as a sign of the times.,

I would be interested to know, especially from AA members in the law enforcement and security professions, what you think about these terror alerts and the precautions being taken as a result.

Should the govt issue terror alerts? Is it somehow incongruous for the govt to issue a code orange terror alert and then say, "...but lest we let the terrorists win, please go about your normal daily business." On the other hand, if something were to happen and no alert was given, we would all call for the heads of our elected officials, wouldn't we?

If the govt issues a terror alert, should the specific intelligence involved be made public too? Some government watchdogs would say that this is necessary to prevent the govt from needlessly inconveniencing people or turning terror preparedness into a political tool. Others would desire more specific information so they could better keep themselves and their families out of harm's way. On the other hand, divulging such information might endanger our operatives and allies, may tip our hand to the terrorists (they would know what we know), and may even cause more unease among the general population.

Also, if you've been around long enough to remember the 50's, do you see any parallels between today's terror alerts and the days of civil defense, nuclear bomb drills in school, and backyard fallout shelters?

I'm not writing a paper or anything, it's just been a slow day...

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Old 08-03-2004, 01:25 PM   #2
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I find it funny that a terrorist can create "terror" by the mere mention of an attack. They don't even have to do it now, they can just talk about it and we'll cause hardship and fear on our own. The threat is now almost more powerful than the actual attack.

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Old 08-03-2004, 03:52 PM   #3
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I think that it is necessary for any legitimate protection/defense agency to inform the (customers) people that it is protecting of the true threats that they face, so they can stay informed. So in that respect I say absolutely yes. And for the percentage of citizens that react in an irrational manner, well, you will always have that happen. We're all just people.

HOWEVER..... "terrorists" have existed for thousands of years and have just been called different things. We currently have simply a large network of angry muslim extremists that hate America and what we stand for. SO we are currently calling them terrorists and what they do well we call them terror attacks. Words such as these are powerful... conciously and subconsciously.

Thusly, the potential for abuse and agendas within this "terror alert" program and our "homeland security" program that it is part of, could be large. By this I mean using fear and manipulation of the American people in the name of terrorist attacks to allow things like Martial Law and New World Order stuff.

New World Order stuff is where the world is gonna go according to Revelations, so it just makes me wonder if the terrorist threats and fearmongering could be paving the way for a new cashless monetary system to prevent "terrorist operatives" (aka anyone who does not submit to govt and receive the mark) from purchasing things or functioning in the United States, within oh say maybe 50-100 years or less, or if my chronological snobbery and relative lack of historical knowledge is just making me think this, then perhaps this will be more like the 50's civil defense campaign that QToffer had reminded us of (I actually have a radiation detector from that same era... new in the box.. works fine still and takes D batteries) or maybe it will all just quiet down after 10-20 years and we'll cycle into another "The Great American We Kicked Their Butt Buying Spree" like we had after WWII.

So that's my big gloomy forecast. Cheer up though.. it is really nice outside and the terror alert is no higher than orange.
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Old 08-03-2004, 07:00 PM   #4
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Stop, drop and cover--that's all I have to say.

Hey, at least Americans are being kept nice and paranoid. Under control and employed making WMD--just the way the politicians like us.

My wife has just "discovered" John Candy. She watched Uncle Buck, and wanted to see other John Candy movies. So I rented Canadian Bacon--I had never seen it but figured it was a light-hearted John Candy movie. Turned out to be a horrible movie by Michael Moore, but it did have its brilliant (but scary and sickening) moments. For those of you who haven't had the displeasure of watching the movie, it's basically about an America without an enemy, a president lagging in the polls, and angry out-of-work manufacturing towns. The movie was made in 1994, but as they were brainstorming about finding an enemy, one of them suggested "what about international terrorism?"

I'm not much for conspiracy theories, but I find it odd that we need to always be fighting some expensive, lucrative (for big business) war against some huge, unbeatable enemy. I mean, let's get real--"War on Terror?" When is the "wall" coming down on that one? One people's terrorist is another people's freedom fighter. The 3,000 people lost at the WTC was a horrible, horrible event--but so is losing our children overseas and 10,000 Iraqi and Afganis dying in this "War on Terror." People dying in this war are barely making the front page anymore--after the first hundred or so people just don't care--people in this country are more concerned with the economy than some far away war. The war was declared "Mission Accomplished", and if that means we are in another expensive 50 year war that justifies turning America into Sparta rather than Athens, well "Mission Accomplished".

Phew...thought I just had one thing to say . Well, bottom line is, if there's going to be some attack, it's going to happen. I think people are obsessed with preventing another 9/11--they don't need to be. There won't be another attack quite like 9/11. Whatever happens next will be different and not expected--no matter what kind of device is employed to make people stressed out and paranoid. People will be looking for a middle-aged middle easterner, and it will be the next Timothy McVey. Like the sniper case in Maryland not too long ago--everyone was looking for a white van--when it was a blue car they were shooting people from.

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Old 08-03-2004, 08:54 PM   #5
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A few days after Tom Ridge and the geniuses in Homeland Security came up with the color-coded terror alerts, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show ran a hilarious sketch. I couldn't find a clip, but essentially, it consisted of a traffic signal and a person freaking out as it changed from green to yellow to red, and back to green.

During the Cold War, I'm sure that we went to DefCon 2 on several occasions because of one thing or another. Could you imagine the disturbances that would have been created if the government told us every time they fueled the ICBMs because a Soviet missile sub strayed into Alaskan waters or a really big flock of geese crossed the Canadian border?!

I just can't see the point in issuing a code orange and getting people all worked up for something that MAY happen, over which they DO NOT have one iota of control. The US government desperately needs to improve its intelligence gathering methods, and when they get reliable (the key word here!) information, they should quietly act on it (weld manhole covers shut, put more cops on the street, increase surveillance) without involving the entire general population.
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:26 PM   #6
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A few days after Tom Ridge and the geniuses in Homeland Security came up with the color-coded terror alerts, Jon Stewart of the Daily Show ran a hilarious sketch. I couldn't find a clip, but essentially, it consisted of a traffic signal and a person freaking out as it changed from green to yellow to red, and back to green
I remember that...LMAO

How many times can you raise and lower the threat level with out either (god forbid) something happening or an arrest being made before it turns into the boy who cried wolf? I think that might be the case already since I have heard a lot of talk that this whole code orange thing this time could just be for political reasons. I don't think anyone wants to believe that but what does it show you about the state of our government that something like that could even sound true?

I feel a political anti establishment the whole system needs to change rant coming on and no one needs to hear that so i'll quit while I'm ahead
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Old 08-03-2004, 09:31 PM   #7
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honestly, I don't mind being warned about terrorist threats, but only when it is reliable information (like the documents that warned administration of Sept. 11th *sigh*). I know there is a lot that goes on which nobody outside the CIA and other important officials hear about, but I believe a lot of the "terror alerts" were used as scare tactics (and media contributed a lot to this) to help the administration gain support in their cause when we shifted from afghanistan to iraq. Don't get me wrong, I am glad Sadam and his two sons, plus most of his officials are out of power, but I think it would have been better if we hadn't undermined the UN. I could go on and on about my opinions because that is what my major focuses on (and I've been discussing it in class every day this summer!) but I'll spare everyone the ramblings.

btw... if you haven't seen the new michael Moore movie, I'd suggest going to see it. Whether you are a democrat, republican, independent (or whatever you want to call yourself) there is some good information underneath all the annoying sarcasm and biasness (I think Michael Moore could have done a much better job on this documentary... he just undermines his efforts by using his own "style"). Just take it with a grain of salt

and if I've said anything which might offend anyone (because I know this can be a touchy subject) then I apologize and encourage you to express your own opinion... remember, there is no democracy if people don't communicate and add to the "marketplace of ideas." Get involved!!!
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:05 PM   #8
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Politics... I really can't stand them...
You know, no matter who is president, someone will find something wrong with them... I know some people like the current president, and some don't... like any other president, those who don't like him, really don't like him. I can't stand that part of politics... Always focusing on the negative. Anybody can stand back and say how bad George bush is doing and so on... sure he isn't perfect, but who is... I read an article in the opinions section of a local paper, if I can find it online somewhere I will post it, but I don't know if I will be able to... basically the writer commented on how some people feel George bush is the worse president ever. The writer made a list of quite a few other presidents from the past and listed some of their short comings... he listed some of the wars that we've been in and shouldn't have... compared lists of lives lost... I sure hope I can find the article, but no matter what people are thinking and saying, it's not as bad as it seems... Things have gone better under Bush's command than with several past presidents... What frustrates me (same with religion) is no one can manage to come together... If it's a republican in the white house than Most of the democrats, if not all, can't stand the president and do Everything they can to focus on everything negatice... when they start running out of things I believe they try harder to find new ones or make them up... and it goes the same way when a democrat is in office... the republicans would do pretty much the same thing... It is my belief that when a leader is doing something that is absolutely and honestly against everything we stand for, then sure, protest that one thing... don't protest the leader himself... Every president we've ever had has done good and done bad... When we focus on the bad we really, really miss out on the good... When people started running a while back it was all democrats... why aren't there republican alternatives? Anyway, back then when all the other canidates were still in it I heard several people say that a monkey would do better or they didn't care if a monkey was in office, as long as it wasn't George Bush... I just don't understand that thinking... It isn't logical. No matter what goes on, we know very little of it... We're not President, we've never been there and chances are we never will... we can sit back and judge all we want but I seriously doubt many of us here would be able to do a better job of running a country(unless it's that one up for auction on ebay ).. I think a lot of people that vote for Kerry this year are going to do so only because he's not George Bush... In my opinion that is a terrible reason and a big mistake... I'm not going to say who I think is better, but voting for one only because you don't like the other is not very smart... Anyway, I think I'm going to shut my mouth now as I really hate discussing politics at all... We are blessed to live in a country where we can freely express our opinions but I think we often do that a little too much... I also think, just my opinion, that a lot of people in this country feel the way they do, about either or any person, because of some outside influence in their life and not just their own personal feelings and beliefs. When you are with one party, it's just so easy to hate the other party because people tell you how horrible they are and therefore hate any canidate from the opposing party... If I were of any party I would not vote simply based on which party either canidate was from... anyway, I'm really going off now aren't I...
Back to the originaly question...
I think they really need to be careful what they say... It sometimes upsets me to hear them making some of those announcements... It's like "hey terrorists, we know where you might be going next..." It's like a warning to them to maybe think of another plan... In a way that's good because it might actually prevent a few things from happening but I do believe if something happens we wont be ready for it and it wont be what we expect at all... Another thing that bothered me is there were times when they would discuss, on TV, the different ways someone could attack the country... like they need any other ideas... eh... I know some of you might not be too thrilled by some of what I said... I am truly sorry if anything I say upset or offended anyone and I have no problem having my post edited or deleted if anything is found offensive... I wish to stay out of any arguments... I have no problem with people not agreeing with me, but if someone tries to start an argument with me, they might end up talking to themselves. Man, this is too long winded... time to start talking about fish again...
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:21 PM   #9
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Wow. This is quite a topic. It all boils down to one of two cliches. Is ignorance bliss, or does what you don't know hurt you?

Also, there's no parallel between the duck and cover routine of the 50s and the terror threat today. Reason: We don't know who to strike back at and if we did, they're happy to die for Allah. JMO.

9/11 has been the single most significant event in my almost half century on this planet. We can't go back to pretending to be either infallable or impervious to harm. There's no easy solution to this craptacular situation, and no snap answer to QTOFFERs question. It's a no win deal for the govt. If they're wrong they're crying wolf, but if they're right..........
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Old 08-03-2004, 10:45 PM   #10
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yeah since the terrorists have already proved they can do what they say i think it was right that they raised the terror alert. because if they did it on 9/11 les people woulda died

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