Skip to comments.Napolitano: Colored threats replaced by 'formal, detailed alerts' in three months
Posted on 01/27/2011 2:21:42 PM PST by Sub-Driver
Napolitano: Colored threats replaced by 'formal, detailed alerts' in three months By Jordy Yager - 01/27/11 03:42 PM ET
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced on Thursday that the department is planning to phase out its color-coded threat advisory system over the next three months.
In its place, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plans to issue formal, detailed alerts about a specific or credible terrorist threat to law enforcement officials, private businesses such as shopping malls or hotels and the American public, depending on the nature of the threat.
These alerts will include a clear statement that there is an imminent threat or elevated threat, " said Napolitano. The alerts also will provide a concise summary of the potential threat, information about actions being taken to ensure public safety, and recommended steps that individuals and communities can take.
Napolitano, speaking at George Washington University in what she dubbed her first State of Americas Homeland Security address, said the new system was developed with the input of law enforcement officials, officials from previous White House administrations and former governors and mayors.
The color-coded threat advisory system was put into place following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, as a way for the American public to gauge the level of violent threats against the United States based on intelligence that law enforcement officials had received.
The incremental risk level is represented by colors from green as the lowest risk to blue, yellow, orange and red and the precautionary measures to be undertaken by the government and travel officials, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), in response would correspond accordingly.
But the system, which has largely remained at yellow for domestic travel and orange for national security, has been widely criticized as ineffective. Napolitano acknowledged the frustration of the public and members of Congress with the system.
This means that the days are numbered for the automated recordings at airports, and announcements about a color code level that were, too often, accompanied by little practical information, she said.
The ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, Rep. Bennie Thompson (Miss.), applauded the ending of the color-coded system, saying that many of his fellow lawmakers thought it was used by the Bush administration as a political scare tactic.
The old color coded system taught Americans to be scared, not prepared, said Thompson in a statement. Each and every time the threat level was raised, very rarely did the public know the reason, how to proceed, or for how long to be on alert.
Many in Congress felt the system was being used as a political scare tactic raising and lowering the threat levels when it best suited the Bush Administration.
The chairman of the committee, Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), also lauded the decision to end the system, but said he was reserving judgment about the new system until it was implemented.
I expect the biggest challenge for DHS will be balancing the need to provide useful and timely information with the need to protect sensitive information, said King in a statement.
Napolitano heralded many of the agencys recent undertakings in the areas of cycbersecurity, border security, aviation security and in battling homegrown terrorism, saying that the security of the nation was the strongest it has been in the past 10 years.
The Director of National Intelligence, the CIA, and the entire Intelligence Community, of which DHS is a member, is producing more and better streams of intelligence than at any time in the past, she said.
The new threat advisory system is part of DHSs push to engage local communities and law enforcement officials in identifying suspicious activity or behavior, which was launched to the forefront last year with the departments See something say something campaign. That campaign broadcasts pre-recorded messages in major transportation hubs, and Napolitano said the department plans to extend these messages to other highly frequented locations, such as Wal-Marts and sports stadiums.
Dozens of students were in the audience on Thursday and Napolitano pushed them to consider a career with DHS, saying that the militarys recruitment poster for World War I depicting Uncle Sam with his finger pointed to the viewer and the words I want you was in need of an update.
It is with the greatest respect that I say its time for a new recruitment poster, said Napolitano. Today, DHS wants you. We want a new generation of Americans to join the fight against the new generation of threats to our homeland.
All of these positions all of them come with the opportunity not only to do great work in this exciting field, but to serve your nation as well.
Napolitano also said that in the event of a terrorist attack, she remains confident that the underlying values of freedom, hard work, shared responsibility would persevere.
Common sense would say that in an open society with 8,000 miles of land borders, and 95,000 miles of coastline, a terrorist could get through, or a homegrown one could succeed, she said. Even if our enemies were to succeed in pulling off an attack on the homeland, they will never succeed in undermining those enduring values.
Nappy will always be remebered for her famous” the system worked” after the Christmas eve almost bombing in Detroit.
Nappy will always be remebered for her famous” the system worked” after the Christmas eve almost bombing in Detroit.
I never found the Color Coded thing offensive or stupid....I thought it made sense.
Sounds as if ol' Nappy is being a tad racist, eh?
“You might have heard that Naps Napolitano has been playing with the Bush coloring book on terror alerts which no one could figure out, including terrorists. That is probably one of the good things about Mike Cherthoff and that bunch is they made things so complicated for themselves that they left Americans alone.
Obama though has apparently found a way to help terrorists who are invested in the Stock Market deal with Geithner playing the market for his cartel cronies. Naps new system is one which she will now intimately name exact American conomberates yes I mean conBOMBerates as this is terrorism, which are under threat of attack.”
Interesting reading here:
Janet N is the baseline from which all stupidity should be measured.
It is possible to have both
We’ve raised the Alert Level from Eggshell to Ecru...
Actually, a numeric level like the US military’s ‘DEFCON’ level would make the most sense. That way you don’t have to memorize which color is more severe.
Well, what are the numbers??? Orange...Caution....RED....SEVERE ALERT sounds OK to me. We should ALWAYS be at Orange!!
<<I never found the Color Coded thing offensive or stupid....I thought it made sense.<<
Except it never changed. It started at Orange and has been on Orange nonstop for, what, 8 years? A system that can’t discern has no value.
I think this a blind squirrel finding a nut.
Glad to see that she has secured the border and has time to play with the warning system.
Heard on the radio that this new system will be location specific. Wanna bet that there are terrorist threats from Wasilla, Alaska?
Code Orange will be replaced by the detail alert message, "Imminent Threat".
Code Red will be replaced by the detail alert message, "OMG! WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!"
My two-tiered system: “Get a helmet.” “Put it on.”
(Swiped from Ron White, who’s mother is very proud of him.)
It should never have chnaged! We will ALWAYS be at ‘CAUTION”....it would only go to RED if a ton of Terrorists were blowing themselves up in crowded areas!
maybe so, but law enforcement, and all government agencies know exactly what the level means and have detailed instructions on what is to be done.
Will there be an incremental alert system to show the level of DHS’s encroachment on the personal liberty of citizens?
She would have been better off saying “threats of color” (but not much better).
The U.K. is feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats, and has therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved”. Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to “Irritated” or even “A Bit Cross”. The English have not been “A Bit Cross” since the blitz in 1940, when tea supplies nearly ran out. Terrorists have been re-categorized from “Tiresome” to “A Bloody Nuisance“. The last time the British issued a “Bloody Nuisance” warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
The Scots have raised their threat level from “Pissed Off” to “Let’s Get the Bastards”. They have no other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.
France announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from “Run” to “Hide”. The only two higher levels in France are “Collaborate” and “Surrender”. The rise was precipitated by a recent fire that destroyed France’s white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country’s military capability.
Italy has increased its alert level from “Shout Loudly and Gesture Excitedly” to “Elaborate Military Posturing”. Two more levels remain: “Ineffective Combat Operations” and “Change Sides”.
Germany has increased its alert state from “Disdainful Arrogance” to “Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs”. They also have two higher levels: “Invade a Neighbor” and “Lose”.
As usual, Belgium is on holiday; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.
Spain is all excited to see their new submarines launched. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
Canada has no alert levels.
New Zealand has raised its levels - from “baaa” to “BAAAA”. Due to continuing defense cutbacks, New Zealand has only one more level of escalation, which is “I hope Australia will come and rescue us”.
Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from “No worries” to “She’ll be alright, mate”. Three more escalation levels remain: “Crikey!” “I think we’ll need to cancel the barbie this weekend,” and “The barbie is cancelled” No situation in modern times has ever warranted use of the final Aussie threat escalation level.
We here at MinnCon Central hope that this answers all your questions about where the world stands today regarding the terrorist threat.
They have to learn how to use a pencil, I guess...
Colored Alerts were meant to reduce the chance of alerting terrorists of intelligence while allowing the public to be proactive.
Issuing detailed alerts much beyond the color codes is aid and comfort to the enemy.
This is what the Bush Administration struggled with and I don’t think the current administration is giving enough weight to.
2,542 DHS bureaucrats give a huge sigh of relief...their jobs are safe for another 5 years.
I like Ron White’s system better. There are 2 levels. Buy a helmet and put on the helmet.
New Black Panther: "You want freedom? You're gonna have to kill some crackers! You're gonna have to kill some of their babies!"
Except that exactly half the population gets the defcon level direction wrong.
They will also be administered by the EAOC or Equal Alert Opportunity Commission.
Excellent — good chuckle.
Chamber a round.
Hey, I resemble that remark. (The ironic part is that I spent more than my share if time in "the mountain".)
Now its all clear to me.
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