Thursday, May 12, 2005

The security system you use doesn't matter when the triggers are faulty

From Pam Spaulding, Former Homeland Security Chief Tom Ridge admits the Bush Administration just jerked the public around on whim. According to Ridge, the administration insisted on raising terror alert levels to High (that'd be Ernie) with flimsy evidence even when Homeland Security officials contended there was no need to do so. Ridge admitted to the disagreement between agency officials and the administration in order to "debunk" the myth that the agency itself was responsible for raising alerts. The facts themselves are, of course, not suprising in the least: many people, myself included, found the timelines for increased terror alerts were highly correlated to Bush's performance ratings (ratings dip, alert is increased, and Bush's approval ratings follow suit); and, as early as 2003, FBI agents were claiming that the Bush Administration was manufacturing hysterics specifically for the political effect.

Current Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is considering possible "improvements & adjustments" to the alert system, including the possibility of revising of scrapping the color coded terror alerts. Announcements about the changes may begin in the next few months. The actual system and method of communication is absolutely meaningless unless the triggers for action are based on credible evidence of an actual terror threat to the country instead of a threat to the administration's/a political party's hold on the American people.

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