Burnt Orange Report

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March 17, 2004

Still Not Orange...

By Andrew Dobbs

So one of our two closest allies in the War in Iraq falls victim to a horrendous terrorist attack and still no actions have been taken by our government to heighten security here. Why not just nudge it up to Orange? I mean, if these alerts mean anything what is a better warning sign than an actual terrorist attack. Shut up about "chatter"- the terrorists are alive, kicking and ready to kill. We need to step up our security or we will fall victim to another attack. Mr. President- raise the threat level to Orange.

Posted by Andrew Dobbs at March 17, 2004 12:05 PM | TrackBack


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Posted by: Brian at March 17, 2004 01:07 PM

I think you're just biased in favor of the color orange, Andy :-)

Posted by: Mathwiz at March 17, 2004 01:23 PM

"Mr. President [sic]- raise the threat level to Orange."

And then what? Go shopping? honestly, that color code is a bunch of hooey. I notice it really only goes up when Bush's numbers slide in the polls or something. Seriously, I know that we should be under alert, Andrew, but what good is an orange bar in CNN going to do? Our security should ALWAYS be ready.

Posted by: Leodem at March 17, 2004 01:42 PM

I would disagree that nothing has been done.

This past weekend, I attended my first Houston Rockets game at the Toyota Center. Just for fun, we decided to ride the brand new rail line into downtown. At each rail station the electronic sign asked passengers to be aware of any strange looking packages and report anything to the rail conductor. I do believe that is the best line of defense against that kind of attack. It reminded me of the day after September 11, 2001 when the FAA banned all knives from airplanes.

A more effect thing would have been for them to just ban terrorists. I think big signs should be placed at all potential terror targets telling potential terrorists they are not allowed there. Kind of like a no-smoking section.

A more serious note, I think that the biggest failure in dealing with terrorists, is not knowing that an attack is underway, or in the planning stages. Example: On September 11, how long did it take to understand that we were under some sort of coordinated attack? When the first plane hit the WTC, the second, the one that hit the Pentagon? At what point did we realize that something needed to be done in response, like ground all the planes, lockdown airports, scramble military jets to intercept?

If there was to be another coordinated attack on the US, will we do more that change from yellow to orange to red. Will we be able to respond and be in the position to stop the second or third stage of a coordinated attack? More funding needs to be put into place for the training of “first responders.” The OEM’s, firefighters, police, doctors, bridge inspectors, who will first see an attack and need to be able to recognize that it is the potential to be the first wave of an attack. The ones that scare me the most is a doctor who will not recognize a flu as some sort of viral attack and lets the patient walk out. Our current policy of get them before they get us is just not going to work. Too much or our so called “homeland security” is designed to give the illusion of safety. Just like the banning of knives on airplanes.

Posted by: TC-TX-Dem at March 17, 2004 01:52 PM

There's probably no political advantage for the administration to increase the level at this point. In fact, it might just remind people that Osama is still at large.
By contrast, 2.5 years after the February, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, the culprits who carried out those attacks had been caught. Ditto for the Oklahoma City bombers.

All you get from Republicans is a lot of excuses and finger pointing.

Posted by: Tim Z at March 18, 2004 01:05 AM

A Burnt Orange Alert?

Posted by: walter at March 18, 2004 02:21 PM

I would have placed Spain as the US' fourth staunchest ally in Iraq, after the UK, Poland, and Australia.

Tim Z:

The perpetrators of 9/11 are dead.

In '93, investigators caught a break, when the dummies who bombed the WTC went back to the truck rental company to retrieve their deposit.

Ditto the OKC bombing, when McVeigh got stopped for a traffic violation. If he'd driven away, would we ever have gotten him ?

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at March 19, 2004 03:05 PM

The perpetrators of 9/11 are dead.

Then what are we doing in Afghanistan???

I can't help it that more resources were devoted to the police during the Clinton administration than now. Good police work at the local level does more to thwart terrorism than a revived "star wars" project, the main defense focus for the G.W. Bush administration before 9/11.

Bill Clinton kept his promise to add 100,000 police officers during his administration. On the other hand, the troops that Dubya sent to Iraq don't even have enough body armour to go around.

Typically, Republicans make numerous excuses and always try to pass the buck for their glaring failures.
When Democratic administrations have notable successes in the area of national security, these are disparaged as trivial or accidental by GOP propagandists eager to portray Democrats as "weak on security".

Democrats almost never bring this up, we are more interested in cleaning up a mess rather than having a hissie fit over who made it. But almost all of the planning for the 1993 WTC attack was done under the noses of President George H.W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney.
Deal with it.

BTW, the equivalent of Osama bin Laden for the February 26, 1993 attacks was Ramzi Yousef. He was arrested on February 6, 1995 and extradited by a Pakistani government which was much less pro-American than the current one led by President Pervez Musharraf.
Yousef was sentenced to 240 years in solitary confinement in 1998. He currently resides at a federal "supermax" prison.

True enough, luck plays a role in any criminal investigation. But as Thomas Jefferson put it, "I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more luck I have."
That's something that FBI Special Agent Colleen Rowley believed but her superiors in the administration did not.

Posted by: Tim Z at March 19, 2004 05:35 PM


Posted by: news- at August 6, 2004 10:26 AM
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